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Prefaces generally introduce authors, extolling their virtues and enlarging on their personalities. Here, however, the situation is different. There are no social records for a physician named André Luiz.
Often real understanding and true love come to us hidden under the cloak of anonymity. In order to redeem a disgraceful past in the process of reincarnation, old names are wiped away and new ones take their places. All bygone happening sink into temporary oblivion – a blessing of Divine Mercy.
In this way, a curtain has been drawn over André Luiz's former self. Thus, we cannot introduce an earthly doctor and human writer, but instead present a new friend and brother in eternity.
In order to bring his valuable impressions to his earthly companions, it was necessary for him to forego all conventions, including the use of his name. He did so to avoid hurting loved ones still wrapped in the mist of illusion. He acted with the same generosity as a reaper of corn, who avoids giving offense to those tilling in the distance and does not trample on the green fields still in bloom.
We realize that this book is not the only one of its kind. Others have already described the conditions of life beyond the grave. Nevertheless, we are glad to have drawn to our spiritual circles one who might transmit an account of his own experiences. He gives as much detail as possible to clarify the laws that preside over the efforts of diligent Spirits of good will in spheres which are invisible to human eyes, although intimately connected with the planet.
Many will surely smile on reading certain passages in this narrative. Let me remind you, however, that the unusual has always caused surprise. Who on the Earth did not smile tolerantly upon hearing about aviation, electricity, or the radio before their development some decades ago?
Surprise, perplexity and doubt are common to students who have not yet gone over their lessons. It is natural and most just. Yet we would not think of criticizing our neighbor's point of view, although we might disagree with it. Every reader must analyze for himself what he reads.
We will refer here to the essential aim of this work. The Spiritist Doctrine is rapidly increasing the number of its adepts. Thousands of people are taking interest in its work, methods and experiments. Yet, faced with a world of novelties, man must not neglect his most important goal – his own spiritual growth.
It is not sufficient to investigate phenomena, adhere verbally to any doctrine, collect and improve statistics, exhort the conscience of others, gain converts or win public approval, however commendable all this may be on the physical plane. It is essential to acquire the knowledge about our infinite potential, and to use it in the service of good.
Man is not forsaken on Earth. He is a child of God engaged in constructive work, temporarily clothed in flesh. He is a student in a meritorious school, where he must learn to raise himself up. The human struggle is his opportunity, his set of tools, and his textbook.
Interchange with the invisible is a sacred movement, functioning to restore pure Christianity. Let no one neglect his own obligations in the place he occupies by the Lord's design.
André Luiz come to tell us, dear reader, that the greatest surprise of bodily death is that it places us face-to-face with our own conscience, where we build our heaven, remain in purgatory, or plunge ourselves into the infernal abysses. He reminds us that the Earth is our sacred school which no one could desecrate without knowing the price of this terrible mistake.
Keep his lessons in the book of your soul. They remind us that it is not enough for man to cling to his human existence. It is necessary to know how to use that existence worthy. The steps of a Christian, whatever his religious affiliation, should move truly towards Christ. To this end we have great need of Spiritism and Spiritualism, but most of all spirituality.
Pedro Leopoldo, October 3, 1943
is F C Xavier's spirit guide.