To be born, to die, to be born again
and to never stop improving, that is the law.
Allan Kardec is considered the father of Spiritism -- as compared to Spiritualism -- in France. His real name was Hypolyte Leon Denizard Rivail. The pseudonym originated from mediumistic communications. Both the names "Allan" and "Kardec" were said to have been his names in previous incarnations.
He is best known for his classic, Le Livre des Esprits (The Spirits' Book), first published in 1856. Within this book is expounded a new theory of human life and destiny. The Spirits' Book is based on trance communications received.
The automatic scripts brought forward a thorough and intriguing doctrine of reincarnation.
The success of The Spirits' Book cannot be questioned. It is, by far, one of the mostly popular books dealing with mediumship, life in Spirit, and the evolution of the soul. It has attained more than 25 editions and still remains widely read, especially amongst the people of South America, Australia, and New Zealand. It is, without question or equal, the primary text amongst Spiritists.
Later, in 1864, Kardec compiled and wrote Le Livre des Mediums, or The Medium's Book. This, too, became very successful, as a wonderful source of guidance and information of mediumship and mediumistic development.
The Medium's Book and The Spirits' Book are, truly, Allan Kardec's most lasting signature upon the Spiritualist Movement.
Other books written by Allan Kardec are: The Gospel as Explained by Spirits (1864); Heaven and Hell (1865); Genesis (1867)..
Allan Kardec did depart, with tremendous resolve, from traditional Spiritualist teaching concerning the growth and evolution of the Spirit. He believed and strongly advocated the doctrine of reincarnation. In order to delineate clearly his teachings from traditional Spiritualism, the term "Spiritism" was adopted and still used amongst many people. There are other areas of thought which distinguish Spiritualism from Spiritism, but the concept of reincarnation remains the most predominant.
Allan Kardec's contribution to the cause of Spiritualism was magnificent. He helped bring forth some of the most profound and insightful teachings concerning Spirit and Spirit communication.
He is buried in the cemetery of Père Lachaise, in Paris, where, every day, tens of persons come to meditate and pray on his tomb, featuring a dolmen, in remembrance of his past life as a Druid.