Allan Kardec – The Great Codifier

By Brian Foster


The arrival of Allan Kardec and the Spirit of Truth was heralded in the New Testament John 14: 15-17 and 26. The Consoler, advocate, and other translations were made describing the person who would come to earth and teach us all things. Allan Kardec, by working with the Spirit of Truth, fulfilled his mission and left five books that tell us the answers to age-old questions. Questions that at some time or another each of us has asked. The answers have arrived, and all you have to do to open the cover, all because of Allan Kardec.


“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Consoler to help you and be with you forever…the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” New Testament John 14: 15-17

“But the Consoler, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.“ New Testament John 14: 26

What did the Consoler actually do? What did he contribute? Spiritism states that Allan Kardec was the Codifier, who worked with the Spirit of Truth, and that in the five books that Allan Kardec assembled, he revealed the extent of the Spirit world, who is God and Jesus, why we are here on earth, how we should live and the doctrine to follow. That is all. The answers to questions that every one of us have spent nights pondering.

Allan Kardec

To start at the beginning, because that is the logical place, Allan Kardec is the pen name of the French teacher and educator Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail (Lyon, October 3, 1804 – Paris, March 31, 1869).[1] Wikipedia describes his early life;

AllanKardec-youngerRivail was born in Lyon in 1804. He was raised as a Catholic. He was a disciple and collaborator of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, and a teacher of mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, physiology, comparative anatomy and French in Paris. For one of his research papers, he was inducted in 1831 into the Royal Academy of Arras. He organized and taught free courses for the underprivileged.
On February 1832, he married Amélie Gabrielle Boudet. Rivail became a convert to Spiritism in May, 1855 after attending a séance where he claimed to witness table-turning which he believed was caused by spirits.[2]

Anna Blackwell, in her forward of her translation, describes the numerous achievements he made, before he became exposed to Spiritism;

Of the numerous educational works published by him may be mentioned, A Plan for the Improvement of Public Instruction, submitted by him in 1828 to the French Legislative Chamber, by which body it was highly extolled, though not acted upon; A Course of Practical and Theoretic Arithmetic, on the Pestalozzian System, for the use of Teachers and Mothers (1829); A Classical Grammar of the French Tongue (1831); A Manual for the use of Candidates for Examination in the Public Schools; with Explanatory Solutions of various Problems of Arithmetic and Geometry (1848); Normal Dictations for the Examinations of the Hotel de Ville and the Sorbonne, with Special Dictations on Orthographic Difficulties (1849) These works, highly esteemed at the time of their publication, are still in use in many French schools; and their author was bringing out new editions of some of them at the time of his death.[3]

Allan Kardec, for I will use his pen name from now on, was fifty-one years old when first encountered spirits. Anna Blackwell, who translated his books into English in 1881, describes his first encounters and what set him off in his journey;

When, about 1850, the phenomenon of “table-turning” was exciting the attention of Europe and ushering in the other phenomena since known as “spiritist”, he quickly divined the real nature of those phenomena, as evidence of the existence of an order of relationships hitherto suspected rather than known, namely, those which unite the visible and invisible worlds. Foreseeing the vast importance, to science and to religion, of such an extension of the field of human observation, he entered at once upon a careful investigation of the new phenomena. A friend of his had two daughters who had become what are now called “mediums.” They were gay, lively, amiable girls, fond of society, dancing, and amusement, and habitually received, when “sitting” by themselves or with their young companions, “communications” in harmony with their worldly and somewhat frivolous disposition. But, to the surprise of all concerned, it was found that, whenever he was present, the messages transmitted through these young ladies were of a very grave and serious character; and on his inquiring of the invisible intelligences as to the cause of this change, he was told that “spirits of a much higher order than those who habitually communicated through the two young mediums came expressly for him, and would continue to do so, in order to enable him to fulfill an important religious mission.”[4]

He was extremely interested in this message of a mission and wished to delve deeper. He discussed how he could ask and organize a series of questions to get a more complete understanding of the spirit world with his wife. His wife, Amelie, encouraged him to undertake this task. Given his background, he organized a series of questions that would be posed by mediums to spirits. Allan Kardec was not a medium himself, so he used the service of various mediums to gather the information. He did not rely on one reply, but made sure that an answer to one question was seconded by another medium in a different location. Anna Blackwell recounts the sequence of events that led him to publish;

When these conversations had been going on for nearly two years, he one day remarked toA._Kardec_et_A._Boudet his wife, in reference to the unfolding of these views, which she had followed with intelligent sympathy: “It is a most curious thing! My conversations with the invisible intelligences have completely revolutionized my ideas and convictions. The instructions thus transmitted constitute an entirely new theory of human life, duty, and destiny, that appears to me to be perfectly rational and coherent, admirably lucid and consoling, and intensely interesting. I have a great mind to publish these conversations in a book; for it seems to me that what interests me so deeply might very likely prove interesting to others.” His wife warmly approving the idea, he next submitted it to his unseen interlocutors, who replied in the usual way, that it was they who had suggested it to his mind, that their communications had been made to him, not for himself alone, but for the express purpose of being given to the world as he proposed to do, and that the time had now come for putting this plan into execution. “To the book in which you will embody our instructions,” continued the communicating intelligences, “you will give, as being our work rather than yours, the title of Le Livre des Esprits (The Spirits’ Book); and you will publish it, not under your own name, but under the pseudonym of Allan Kardec. Keep your own name of Rivail for your own books already published; but take and keep the name we have now given you for the book you are about to publish by our order, and, in general, for all the work that you will have to do in the fulfillment of the mission which, as we have already told you, has been confided to you by Providence, and which will gradually open before you as you proceed in it under our guidance.”[5]

From this scholarly pursuit, all five books were created. In the fourteen years of his life that he codified the doctrine of Spiritism, he traveled spreading the word and helped organize many Spiritism societies and created a Spiritism magazine. He endured much skepticism and abuse from many in society and from the Catholic and Protestant churches. Organized religion would spend the next hundred years trying to stamp out Spiritism with all of their might. Almost succeeding, except for the outpost of Brazil, which has brought the doctrine back to life and is currently on a mission to expand its reach.

Tombe_Allan_KardecAllan Kardec’s death was sudden and peaceful, on the night that he had just finished drawing up the constitution and rules for his Spiritist Society, seated at his desk in his apartment in Paris, he died of an aneurysm. His wife dedicated herself to the continuation of his work.

Allan Kardec’s Books

Allan Kardec wrote five books (The Spirits’ Book, 1857; The Mediums’ Book, 1861; The Gospel according to Spiritism, 1864; Heaven and Hell, 1865; Genesis, 1868), each dealing with separate subjects, but at the same time overlapping in their complete description of the Spiritist doctrine. The first and most famous is the book that he was given the title by his spirit messengers.

The Spirits Book – Written by Allan Kardec, in 1857, is widely regarded as the most important

The one must read book in the series of book about Spiritism

The Spirits Book

piece of writing in the Spiritist canon. The Spirits Book lays out the doctrine of the belief system. The subjects that Kardec discusses lays down the foundations for the Spiritist philosophy and all of the concepts that would become, and still are, key to the movement’s thinking have their genesis in the book. The belief that there is one Supreme Being, God, who created everything in the universe, is postulated. According to the text the Devil does not exist and Jesus is a messenger of God. Although the book does not refer to Jesus as the son of God and no mention is made of the ‘immaculate conception’ he is considered God’s perfect messenger and his teachings are to be adhered to. Reincarnation and the survival of the soul after death are vital beliefs and it is stated that it is through reincarnation that lessons are learnt that can be taken into the next life and that every life moves the soul closer to perfection. According to the book man is made up of three separate elements; the body, the spirit and the spiritual body.[6]

The Mediums Book – The Mediums’ Book is the second of the five books comprising the Codification of the Spiritist Doctrine. The book presents the teachings of the Spirits on all types of

The Mediums Book

The Mediums Book

spirit manifestations, the ways of communicating with the invisible world, the different types of mediums, the development of mediumship, and the difficulties and obstacles that may be found in the practice of Spiritism. At the end of the book there is a helpful basic Spiritist glossary. Besides being a source of indispensable reading and research for Spiritists, The Mediums’ Book is also an essential source of knowledge for any person interested in the mediumistic phenomenon, which is manifesting increasingly the world over, both inside and outside Spiritist activities per se. Since incarnates are an integral part of the exchange between the two planes of life- the physical and the spiritual- it is advisable that we fully understand the mechanics of such a relationship. The Mediums’ Book is the safest guide for all those who have devoted themselves to communicating with the Spirit World.[7]

The Gospel According to Spiritism – The Gospel according to Spiritism is the third of the five books that comprise the Spiritist Codification, a compilation of teachings transmitted by high orderthe-gospel-according-to-spiritism spirits (the Spirits) and organized and commented on by Allan Kardec. The book contains the essence of the moral teachings of Jesus, thus providing a roof under which followers of all religions- even those who profess no religion at all- can gather, for it offers a sure guide for our inner reform, which, according to Christ, is indispensable for us to find future happiness and inner peace, a state that is possible for the spirit on its evolutionary journey to God only by complying fully with the divine laws.[8]

Heaven and Hell – The fourth book of five books, published in 1865. In this book, Allan Kardec approaches divine justice from the point of view of Spiritism. The first part is a comparativeHeavenandHell analysis of the concepts of different faiths about heaven, purgatory and hell, angels and demons, and future punishment and rewards. The dogma of eternal punishment is especially discussed and refuted by arguments taken from the laws of nature. The second part presents numerous communications with spirits in different situations, and which shed light on the state of the soul after death and its passage from the physical life to the spirit life, which until then had been obscure and feared. It is a sort of travel guide to be used before we enter a new world.[9]

Genesis – Genesis is the last of the five basic books of the Spiritist Codification. When studied and understood, it offers a unique opportunity for delving into great themes of universal interest,Genesis discussed in a logical, rational and revealing manner. The book is divided into three parts: the first analyzes the origin of planet earth and avoids mysterious or magical interpretations about its creation; the second deals with the question of miracles by explaining the true nature of the fluids and the extraordinary phenomena portrayed in the Gospels; the third part focuses on the predictions in the Gospels, the signs of the times and the new generation, whose advent will be the beginning of a new era for humankind, based on the practice of justice, peace and fraternity. The subjects presented in its eighteen chapters are based on the immutability of the great Divine Laws.Spirit-101-3d-Small[10]

3D-Explore-Small-coverFor an introduction to Spiritism, I recommend my book, Spiritism 101 – The 3rd Revelation.

To discover more about Spiritism and learn the principles and how Spiritism affects your life read about the spirit world in Explore Your Destiny – Since Your Life’s Path is (mostly) Predetermined.

Brian Foster has a BSCS degree and a MBA. He has worked in R&D for medical device corporations and in IT for large financial institutions. Brian Foster has a blog at
Works Cited
Amazon. (2014, May 11). Genesis. Retrieved from Amazon Books:
Amazon. (2014, May 11). Heaven and Hell. Retrieved from Amazon Books:
Amazon. (2014, May 11). The Gosple According to Spiritism. Retrieved from Amazon Books:
Amazon. (2014, May 11). The Mediums Book. Retrieved from Amazon Books:
Amazon. (2014, May 14). The Spirits Book. Retrieved from Amazon Books: (2014, May 10). John 14:26. Retrieved from
Blackwell, A. (2014, May 10). Spirit Writings. Retrieved from Allan Kardec Biography:
Wikipedia. (2014, March 7). Allan Kardec. Retrieved from Wikipedia:

[1] Wikipedia, “Allan Kardec”, n.d.,, (accessed May 10, 2014)
[2] Wikipedia, “Allan Kardec”, n.d.,, (accessed May 10, 2014)
[3] Spirit Writings, “Allan Kardec Biography:, n.d., (accessed May 10, 2014)
[4] Spirit Writings, “Allan Kardec Biography:, n.d., (accessed May 10, 2014)
[5] Spirit Writings, “Allan Kardec Biography:, n.d., (accessed May 10, 2014)
[6] Amazon, “The Spirits Book”, n.d., (accessed May 11, 2014)
[7] Amazon, “The Mediums Book”, n.d., (accessed May 11, 2014)
[8] Amazon, “The Gospel According to Spiritism”, n.d., (accessed May 11, 2014)
[9] Amazon, “Heaven and Hell”,n.d., (accessed May 11, 2014)
[10] Amazon, “Genesis”, n.d., (accessed May 11, 2014)


Is there a route to experience Spiritism from a non-Christian point of view?


    Yes, there are many who are Buddhist and people from other religions, beside Christians, who follow the Doctrine of Spiritism. Spiritism isn’t meant to replace religions, but to present all with the revelations that we are here on earth to learn. To reincarnate to pay for past wrongs and to improve ourselves. In many places in the Spiritist books, it says, you don’t have to believe in Jesus, any one type of religion, just follow the Natural Laws of the Universe, of love, charity, fraternity, and honest dealings with others.

    Many call the Supreme Being, God, but others call it the Universal Intelligence, any name or approach you desire.

    I hope this helps you and please let me know if you would like to discuss further.


Dear friends

Please take the time to watch the following link and i look forward to your feedback.

Patrick Shaw


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