Heaven and Hell (Divine Justice Explained by the Spiritist Doctrine)¹
Author: Allan Kardec
First Published: 1865
Allan Kardec wrote, in “Le Revue Spirite”² of September 1865 , "The title of this work clearly indicates its objective. There, we compiled all the elements needed to enlighten man about his destiny. As in our other writings about the Spiritist Doctrine, we have introduced no product of any preconceived system or of any personal notion, which would have no authority. Everything there is deduced from observation and agreement of facts."
Description: From the back cover of the book 3:
This book is one of the five basic works that make up the Codification of Spiritism. Its overall scope is to explain the justice of God in the light of the Spiritist Doctrine.
The objective of Heaven and Hell it to demonstrate the immortality of the soul and its condition in the spirit world as a consequence of its own acts while incarnate in the physical world.
The work is divided into two parts:
The first part examines various ideas concerning life after death: the purely materialist view of nothingness, the idea of absorption into the Universal Whole, and pantheism. It also provides a portrayal of the classic pagan view of Tartarus and shows how the traditional Church doctrine of hell is a reflected intensification of the pagan doctrine. Furthermore, it explains how the Church’s doctrine fails in light of the scientific view of the cosmos and a rational understanding of the justice of God. It deals with a gauntlet of problems that only immortality of the soul and reincarnation can explain satisfactorily. The author seeks to clarify topics such as angles, heaven, demons, hell, purgatory, the fear of death, the Mosaic prohibition against evoking the dead, etc. He also defends the Spiritist stance against the doctrine of eternal punishment.
The second part is a collection of actual communications by happy, average and suffering spirits as well as repentant criminals, hardened spirits, and suicides. They themselves describe what they experienced at the moment of death and what they are experiencing right now in the afterlife.
¹Translation of original in French, titled “Le Ciel et L'Enfer Selon Le Spiritisme (La Justice Divine Selon Le Spiritsme) ”
² The translation in English is "Spiritist Journal"
3 As published, in 2008, by the International Spiritist Council