How is Spiritism organised? How does it differ from other religions?
Spiritism does not have a clerical structure. It is, in fact, profoundly different from all traditional religions. It does not accept the concept that priests or ministers are necessary mediators between God and Man, or that there is any need for religious offices or temples.
It adopts no kinds of ceremonies such as baptism, confirmation, weddings, etc. neither does it perform any rituals.
Spiritism does not advocate the use of special clothing either and it uses no form of symbolism whatsoever. There is no singing of any kind of hymn or songs.
Spiritism is an act of devotion that is performed within each person’s heart. It is the elevation of people’s sentiments, of love for others and constant work in favour of our neighbour. It seeks to revive the teachings of Jesus in all their simplicity and sincerity, without luxury or social conventions, pomp or ceremony.
Why should we study Spiritism?
Spiritist opens a wider and more rational vision of existence, by explaining about life in a logical manner. It reveals new and more profound concepts of God, the Universe, the Human Being, the Spirits and the Laws which govern life itself.
It also reveals what we are, where we came from, where we are going, what the objective of the existence is and what the reasons for pain and suffering are.
This allows us to begin the process of inner transformation, which inevitably brings us closer to God.
Does God exist?
Spiritism accepts the existence of God as a fact. God is the origin and end of everything. God is the Creator and the use of all things. God is Supreme Perfection with all the purest attributes our imagination can conjure up and many more. We are not able to understand the full nature of God because we are still very imperfect. How could a limited and imperfect intelligence know and understand all that which is unlimited and infinitely perfect?
What does Spiritism believe about the immortality of the soul?
We are Spirits created by God. Spirit is the intelligent principle of the Universe, created simple and ignorant so that it may develop and come to fulfilment through its own efforts.
As Spirits, we existed before we were born and will continue to exist after physical death.
When a Spirit is inhabiting a physical body, it is called soul or incarnated Spirit. When the Spirit is born, it is said to have reincarnated; when it death comes, the Spirit is said to have discarnated. The discarnated Spirit then returns to the spiritual world from where it had come before being born. Therefore, Spirits are merely discarnated people who, now, live in the spiritual world, which is our true Homeland.
What is Spiritual evolution?
The Spirit is created simple and ignorant, but having been given free-will, which is the capacity to choose between good and bad, it makes its own decisions and creates its own destiny. Thus, each Spirit has the possibility of developing, evolving and perfecting itself just like a student in school, who passes from one grade to another by means of taking various courses.
Spiritual evolution requires intensive periods of learning, which can only be achieved by living incarnated in a material world. Each Spirit acquires further knowledge through the multiple experiences offered with each physical life and will continue to reincarnate periodically for as many times as it is necessary.
The knowledge achieved by each Spirit during the many experiences it has passed through is not only intellectual but most of all moral. It is exactly this aspect of growth that allows the Spirit to approach closer to God.
However, just as every student, a Spirit must repeat each failed lesson once, twice or more times, so a Spirit who has not made good use of its time on Earth may remain stationary for long periods of time, undergoing more lessons, and consequently delaying its evolution.
It is improbable that we will ever know how many incarnations we have already had, and impossible to know how many more we will need in the future. Nevertheless, we do know that we have many incarnations yet to come until we reach the necessary moral development required to become pure Spirits.
Have we always lived on Earth?
As we do not know how many incarnations we have had and how many more are yet to come, Spiritism believes that those incarnations will not always take place on this planet.
There are both inferior and superior worlds to Earth. When we have reached a more advanced state of evolution, it is possible that we may then reincarnate on another planet, of a higher order. The Universe is infinite and as Jesus said: “In the house of my Father there are many Mansions”.
The planet Earth is a world of inferior moral status, as it can be seen by the current panorama of humanity. However, planets also progress and so this planet is destined to be transformed into a place of regeneration.
Can we remember our past lives?
We cannot remember our past lives and here we see the proof of God’s wisdom. If we were to remember all the mistakes we had made in the past, the suffering we had caused, the enemies we had made or those who had caused us harm, we would be in no state to live amongst them at this moment. Today, it is not uncommon that those enemies from the past have become our children, our brothers or sisters, our parents or husbands, our wives or friends, whom we now meet again in close proximity so that we may find reconciliation. It is for this very purpose that reincarnation exists.
We are incarnated on Earth today to be able to evolve by correcting past mistakes perpetrated against others and suffering the consequences of crimes we have committed. On the other hand, we might be also receiving help and support from those who, in the past, caused us harm. So, we begin to see the importance of the close family unit, which is created customary to remake links that had been cut off in past existences.
What are the main purposes of life on Earth?
- To make amends for the mistakes we have made; our errors being paid for by various forms.
- To be able to prove or measure our degree of evolution when faced with the difficulties of life.
- To help humanity and exemplify goodness towards others.
- To fulfil special missions, which is the case of superior Spirits who offer great service to humanity.
Are there possibilities of communication with Spirits?
All Spirits are human beings who have discarnated. They remain just the same as they were while alive; good or bad, serious or jokesters, energetic or lazy, cultured or mediocre, truthful or liars.
There are no specified locations for Spirits. Generally, the least perfect ones are to be found close to us, because they are attached to our own imperfections. We do not see them because they exist in a different dimension from our own, but they can often see us, and sometimes know our thoughts.
Spirits act upon us, but this action is almost always restricted to thought because they cannot manage to act directly upon the matter. In order to be able to do that they need people who offer special resources; these people are called mediums.
A discarnated Spirit can communicate with the incarnated world through a medium if it is able to and if this is permitted. The communication will depend on the kind of mediumship or faculties of the medium. This may happen through speech (trance mediumship), writing (psychography), sounds (typtology), etc.
What is Gospel at Home?
It is a moment of prayer, of talking to God, which should be done weekly rigorously on the same day and time. It helps you to reacquaint yourself with your purpose on Earth and to restructure your family environment. It also gives you a new understanding of relationships and creates peace and harmony.
It is recommended that all family members living at the same place share this moment, but there are no restrictions for it to be done alone.
Gospel at Home cleans our home from bad vibrations and spreads superior feelings and thoughts, allowing the messengers of God to guide you and your family.
Andrea Virna, a volunteer worker at Paul and Stephen Spiritist Centre, runs an online section of Gospel at Home through Skype, every Thursday at 9:00 pm. Everyone is welcome. Please, express your interest by contacting her either by phone +61 431 298 345 or email email@example.com.