- Has Spiritism always existed?
- Had the Spiritist ideas and phenomena existed prior to Kardec’s time?
It is impossible to give any date for the early appearances of external intelligent power of higher or lower type impinging upon the affairs of men. Spiritualists are in the habit of taking March 31, 1848, as the beginning of all psychic things, because their own movement dates from that day. There has, however, been no time in the recorded history of the world when we do not find traces of preternatural interference and a tardy recognition of them from humanity. The only difference between these episodes and the
modern movement is that the former might be described as a case of stray wanderers from some further sphere, while the latter bears the sign of a purposeful and organized invasion. But as an invasion might well be preceded by the appearance of pioneers who search out the land, so the spirit influx of recent years was heralded by a number of incidents which might well be traced to the Middle Ages or beyond them.
Some term must be fixed for a commencement of the narrative, and perhaps no better one can be found than the story of the great Swedish seer Emmanuel Swedenborg, who has some claim to be the father of our new knowledge of supernal matters.
The prophet of the New Revelation is Andrew Jackson Davis. Quoting Davis in
one of his books: “Spiritualism is useful as a living demonstration of a future existence. Spirits have aided me many times, but they do not control either my person or my reason. They can and do perform kindly offices for those on earth. But benefits can only be secured on the condition that we allow them to become our teachers and not our masters – that we accept them as companions, not as gods to be worshipped.” These are wise words – and a modern restatement of the vital remark of Saint Paul that the prophet must not be subject to his own gifts.
Some of the aforementioned ideas are also present in the following New
1 Corinthians 14:13
“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of
1 Thessalonians 5:19-213
“Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good.”
1. Doyle, Arthur C. “The Story of Swedenborg” The History of Spiritualism.
Ed.Arno Press. New York, NY, 1975. pp.11.
2. Doyle, Arthur C. “The Prophet of the New Revelation” The History of
Spiritualism. Ed.Arno Press. New York, NY, 1975. pp. 58.
3. The Holy Bible, New International Version. Colorado: Colorado Springs; 1984.
More references ca be found at: http://www.buss.org.uk
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