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The Spirits' Book Paperback – 14 Jun 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Spastic Cat Press (14 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612038980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612038988
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 1.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

The figure-head of the Spiritist movement, Allan Kardec, was born Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail on October 3rd, 1804, in Lyon, France. He came from a long line of lawyers and legal professionals and was expected to follow suit but broke with family tradition to explore his interests in philosophy and the sciences. Hippolyte finished his studies in Switzerland where he became an acolyte and colleague of the famed educational maverick Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. By the time he had finished his education Rivail had quite a collection of qualifications and skills such as Bachelor of the Arts degrees in science and letters and a doctorate in medicine. He was also fluent in Spanish, German, Italian and English and all of the talents and honours he had acquired made him an ideal collaborator for Pestalozzi. Hippolyte's work with Pestalozzi helped to lay the foundations for the teaching model in schools in France and Germany. He was a member of many scientific societies and wrote extensively on various subjects and one of his papers, 'Which System of Study Is Most Harmonious with the Needs of the Time?', lead to his induction in the Royal Academy of Arras. Rivail's interests in science expanded beyond conventional studies and by the early 1850's he had taken an interest in Franz Mesmer's theory of 'animal magnetism'. Mesmer's theory was all the rage in the upper reaches of society and so was the phenomenon of 'spirit tapping'. Spirit tapping had become very popular in France and the USA and it involved the apparent unaided movement of objects by spirit forces to answer questions by tapping out noises on surfaces with the amount of knocks translating to numbers of the alphabet. Such widespread fascination in the incidents piqued the interest of Rivail and so he decided to investigate the strange goings on. He attended his first seance in the May of 1855 and recorded his thoughts on this initial exposure to the phenomenon: These meetings provided me with my first opportunity for serious studies of the subject that later led to the Spiritist Doctrine-study filled less with revelation and more with systematic observation. As to any new subject, I applied rigorous method to the investigation: avoiding preconceived notions, I observed attentively, compared observations, and deduced the consequences. I tried to identify the causes of the phenomena by linking the facts logically, and I did not accept an explanation as valid unless it could resolve all the difficulties of the question. This was the way I had always, from the age of fifteen or sixteen, proceeded in my scientific investigations. I understood from the beginning the gravity of the exploration I was undertaking. I foresaw in those phenomena, the key to the solution of problems so obscure and so disputed, both in the past and in the future, which I had searched for all my life; the phenomena posed a complete revolution in ideas and beliefs. It was necessary, therefore, to act not lightly, but rather with circumspection, to be positive rather than idealistic, so as not to be carried away by illusions.A" During the many seances he attended Kardec communicated with a collection of entities that called themselves 'The Spirit of Truth'. The group talked about many lofty subjects such as life after death, good and evil, the universe and the origin of spirits, amongst others. Thomas of Aquino, Voltaire and Augustine of Hippo all came through in the sessions and after a number of seances with the group Revail decided there was enough proof to convince him that there was life after death. Sensing that his revelation wasn't meant just for him he decided to spread the message and 'codified' the Spirit of Truth's teachings and listed them as answers to questions. The resulting text made up his first book on the topic, 'The Spirits Book', and the book was published under the pseudonym of Allan Kardec. Sources vary on why he chose the name with some suggesting it was an old Breton name from his mother's family with others postulating that in his seances with the group he had been communicating with an entity named Zefiro who told him that in a former life he had been a Druid named Allan Kardec. Whatever the genesis of the soubriquet the reason he decided to use this as his pen name is not so disputed: he simply wanted to distinguish his Spiritist writing from his formal educational texts. 'The Spirits Book' was the first of five texts he wrote, collectively known as the 'Spiritist Codification', that laid out the Spiritist doctrine with the other four books, 'The Medium's Book', 'The Gospel According to Spiritism', 'Heaven and Hell' and 'The Genesis According to Spiritism', making up the number. 'The Spirits Book' was released 1857 and it didn't take long for Spiritism to become popular and spread far beyond France. People in many other European countries followed Kardec's lead and Spiritism found its way to North America where it travelled south to Brazil where Kardec's doctrine still has millions of followers to this very day. Many of Kardec's contemporaries, such as famed French astronomer Camille Flammarion, expressed their belief in Spritism and it was Flammarion who read the eulogy at Kardec's funeral after he died from an aneurysm in 1869. To this day his grave is one of the most visited in Paris with his legions of followers, many from Brazil, flocking there each year to leave messages and flowers. After his death his work and message was continued and expanded upon by Leon Denis who had been converted to Spiritism after reading 'The Spirits Book' of which he said the following; I found in this book the clear solution, complete and logical, to a universal problem. My conviction became strong and sound. The Spiritist Theory dissipated my indifference and my doubts.A" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jason Derbyshire on 10 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
I cant say enough how much this book has changed my views of life for the better. Its like i can stand back from the world and see it for what it truly is, i feel enlightened and priviliged to have been given the opportunity to read this book.

I have always thought about the possibilties of paranormal goings on and the afterlife either through common sense or personal experiences, but never expected to be so in awe as i was after reading this book. The book all makes perfect sense, it makes you see the world differently, its like someone from the outside has given you their views on how things are which is exactly what this is after all.

This book makes you realise why you are as a person, that this is not the end but a small part of something much more grand. I wish the world would all read this book because if they did it would be a much better place for us all.

People who think the universe all happened by chance need to wake up, people who constantly disprove anything paranormal or the after life really do need to listen up and stop being so short sighted, there is more to life than their daily routine, one day they will find that out one way or another.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By scroggins on 24 Mar 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, the meaning of life, karma and many other important questions are all discussed. The logic of the answers impressed me. If you don't want to waste your life, read it. At the very least it will make you think.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Josiane on 6 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
Allan Kardec teaches us about everything we always wanted to know, but no religion could really answer. It covers every aspect of life in its 1013 questions, with answers given by the superior spirits. If you ask yourself: 'Why I am here?' 'What's the meaning of life?', it's time for you to read the book. Don't spend more time without discovering your true yourself! Feel free to e-mail me to discuss about the book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Feb 1999
Format: Paperback
I CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE A VERY CRITICAL THINKER, AND ONE WHOM NEEDS FACTS TO BELIEVE SOMETHING. THIS BOOK GAVE ME ALL OF THE ANSWERS TO THE TRUE QUESTIONS OF LIFE. EVERYTHING IN HERE MAKES SENSE TO ME. I FINALLY FOUND WHAT MYSELF, AND EVERYONE ELSE, HAS BEEN LOOKING FOR. THE PURPOSE OF LIFE. I AM GREATFUL THAT SUCH A BOOK EXISTS. IF ANYONE WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS THIS BOOK FEEL FREE TO CANTACT ME AT MY E-MAIL ADDRESS LISTED OR AT A.SPADARO@DREXEL.EDU THE WORLD IS READY FOR A CHANGE FOR ALL OF MANKIND AND IT STARST HERE.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By samr1975 on 30 Jun 2005
Format: Paperback
As this book was written in French well over 100 years ago the English translation can be quite difficult to comprehend at times. However, the whole concept of the afterlife is brought to life in these pages.
Using a psychic to "interview" spirits, the author records the answers to various questions posed to those in the afterlife. The anwsers are quite astounding and had me believing for the first time in my life that there is life after death. A must read for anyone who wants to gain spiritual enlightenment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Aug 1997
Format: Paperback
The Spirit's Book is a research made by Allan Kardec in the past century, using channels from all around the world, to collect answers about the main questions of the human being. You'll find here questions like "what is God?", "are there spirits?", "what is a soul?". Kardec merged the answers he found through different mediuns and published it. The Anna Blackwell's introduction is interesting, telling the story of how the book was compiled. Nowadays it is a best seller in Brasil, where the Spiritism doctring has more them 6 million people practicing it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Mar 1998
Format: Paperback
1013 Questions and answers that will prove through its consistency the fact of reencarnation and communications with our spirit friends...This book became an instrument of studying for Victor Hugo (French Romancist who wrote Les Miserables and The Huntchback of Notredame), Arthur Conan Doyle (English Writer, creator of Sherlock Holmes), William Crooks (English Phisycist) and many other celebrities of the literature and cientific world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 July 1998
Format: Paperback
This book really explains the meaning of our existence. It brings us informations about the spiritism and how it is important to our lives. It changes too the meanings of life and death. It's a wonderful reading!
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