REVIEW "Kardec's Spiritism: A Home for Healing and Spiritual Evolution"
by Josie RavenWing, Casa guide
Having spent much of the past six years in Brazil myself, being exposed to aspects of Spiritism and reading some books on Kardecism, I applaud Bragdon in taking on the challenge of writing her book on the subject. It is a vast topic, but while hundreds of books have been published on the subject in Brazil - in Portuguese - few are available in English. This makes Bragdon's contribution to the growing interest of the English-speaking audience even more important. And for those who visit the Casa de Dom Inacio, her book gives a Spiritist context for the Casa work.
In Kardec's Spiritism, Bragdon gives the reader the history of Spiritism, contrasts it to other spiritual / metaphysical paths and religions, and gives several fascinating and in-depth examples of Brazilian Spiritist centers in which she has spent time. All of these well-researched descriptions leave the reader wondering why such an in-depth system of healing and spiritual development (Spiritism) has not flourished to the same extent outside of Brazil as it has there - and what we could do to plant the seeds of possible Spiritist centers in the U.S. and other countries! Bragdon not only helps the reader appreciate the immense value of Spiritist centers, but thankfully gives us some guidelines as to what might be involved in creating such a center where we live.
Finally, I feel that one of the most important things this book does is to "de-glamorize" mediumship. Bragdon emphasizes that Spiritism describes mediumship as work - work that involves long-term, careful training - and that mediumship is a mission to be performed out of charity, not for self-aggrandizement or any other personal gain beyond the medium's own spiritual development and satisfaction in performing service. The basic element in this is, of course, love, and Bragdon portrays this element in her descriptions of the various centers and through her own obvious love of the subject.
Josie RavenWing, Casa guide and author of "The Book of Miracles: The Healing Work of Joao de Deus," "A Season of Eagles," and "The Return of Spirit: A Woman's Call to Spiritual Action" www.healingjourneys.net, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Roth, PHD. author of Reclaiming Your Spiritual Power, Founder and Director of the Casa of the Saints:
" A very well done and comprehensive guide to Kardec's concept of Spiritism. An uplifiting and practical approach for all who are interested in Kardec's work of Spiritual Healing."
Dr. James Gordon, author of Manifesto for a New Medicine, Founder and Director
of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine:
"What we call spiritual healing is central to all our healing. Emma Bragdon gives us rare and intimate glimpses into how this healing manifests itself to millions in Brazil."
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. Co-author, Extraordinary Dreams and Becoming Psychic:
"Allan Kardec's books have played a historic role in the development of several spiritual healing traditions, yet they are virtually unknown to the American public. Kardec's Spiritism by Emma Bragdon attempts to rectify this situation. It is thoroughly researched and thoughtfully written; its diagrammatic drawings assist comprehension and its lively illustrations provide some balance to the text. Bragdon's goal is to demonstrate how U.S. health care would benefit by incorporating spiritual perspectives, and many of Kardec's insights seem surprisingly contemporary, even though he wrote them in the 1800s. Both Bragdon and I have spent time in Brazil where numerous spiritist centers base much of their diagnosis and treatment on Kardec's pioneering discussion of what is now called "energy medicine."
John Zerio, Ph.D. President of the Allan Kardec Educational Society:
"Written with insight and sensitivity, this book is an extraordinary introduction to the rich wellness tradition of Brazilian Spiritists. Authentic and lasting body wellness comes with a sound and well adjusted spirit. This is the foundation of Spiritist thought. Spiritist communities have become notable centers of healing by treating and engaging the whole being in the process. Through research, interviews, and extensive time spent in many such communities, Dr. Bragdon captured the essence of this grass-roots model that will one day transform our medical care environment. A book that will change the way you think about yourself, and give you strength to explore new pathways. A book that has strength and soul."
David Lukoff,PhD, Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School:
"Health professionals in the West have become much more open to including spirituality in their clinical work. Yet few have received any training in how to incorporate spiritual healing approaches. While Kardec's approach cannot be transferred en toto to contemporary medicine and psychotherapy, Dr. Bragdon's cross-cultural study of Brazilian Spiritists is a rich resource for seeing how spiritual healing can be taught and practiced."
Ron Holman, PhD and his wife Linda who own and operate a mental health HMO,
providing pre paid mental health insured benefits to 450 corporations, organizations
and governmental agencies employees and family members since 1979:
"In today's world the rising cost of Health Care Insurance in the United States is headed for a time when only the rich can afford Health Care Insurance! What to do? Emma Bragdon, PhD's book Kardic's Spiritism: A Home for Healing and Spiritual Evolution brings to light the infinite possibilities available to our species. All we human beings have to do is REALIZE those possibilities! This Realization brings with it a much greater degree of responsibility for health and healing and when combined with allopathic medicine there is indeed Hope from financial ruin!"
Marilyn Feldberg, Psychosynthesis Therapist/Teacher; Founder and Director
of WYSE [World Youth Service and Enterprise]:
"We are not just this body, or mind, or feelings. We are essentially the eternal spirit that has no end. We need the experience of a human form to learn to be the divine beings that we are. I honour Bragdon's great respect for other cultural approaches and can quite clearly see a new spirituality coming from Brazil that will lead our world towards deep healing through a renewal of the teachings of the Christ."
Kay Sandberg, CEO/ Executive Director Health Medicine Institute/Forum, Lafayette,
" Dr. Bragdon's book offers a refreshing solution for transforming healthcare in a way that builds community and supports the individual in a holistic manner. The United States healthcare establishment would do well to apply and adapt the winning strategies and altruistic values employed by Brazilian Spiritists.
Dr. Bragdon has illuminated a revolutionary phenomenon little known outside Brazil, and has elevated Spiritism to its rightful place mong major spiritual movements based on universal love, wisdom, and compassion. Kardec's Spiritism illustrates both what the human community, in partnership with the Spirit world can accomplish, and the overall role of enegy medicine in healing at all levels.
I highly recommend this book to students of those social movements which actively contribute to mind/body/spirit/emotional integration of individuals, families, communities, and quite possibly, the planet. I am proud to have personally experienced some of the healing phenomena Dr.Bragdon is bringing to international audiences and am convinced of their power to effect real transformation through love."
Toby Symington, Executive Director of the Lloyd Symington Foundation :
"A superb and timely introduction to the spiritual philosophy of Alan Kardec and its practical application to several Spiritist centers in Brazil."
Jeffrey D. Rediger, M.D., M.Div. Medical Director, McLean Hospital SE Harvard
Medical School, Cambridge, MA:
" Dr. Bragdon is on the leading edge of issues of issues that must be addressed if we going to realize a transformation in the ways in which health care is currently conceptualized and delivered. The future lies in the development of capacities which lie latent within all of us, and in technology which is more commensurate with recent scientific developments. Dr. Bragdon's book is an important step in that direction."
Bob Dinga and Diana Rose, tour leaders from USA taking groups to the Casa
de Dom Inacio:
"As fellow tour leaders who guide people in their experiences at the Casa de Dom Inacio in Abadiania, Brazil, we appreciate Emma's thorough research and compelling perspective. Her book succinctly offers the reader a clear look at a new option beyond the conventional standard of current healthcare, and one that's long overdue for our country."
Heather Cumming, a translator for John of God:
"Reading this book enhances appreciation and understanding of our role as mediums. We have recognition of palpable interaction with the Compassionate Spirits. This spiritual collaboration opens our hearts to limitless healing potential. Great book - beautifully written, a wonderful asset for anyone planning visiting John of God."
Alan Bolotin, guide to the Casa de Dom Inacio:
"The work, the thought, the research, the writing, and the relationships Dr. Bragdon has created are tremendously important in the world today...We live in a world where science is god and yet science is as political as government elections and rarely is any scientist, or corporate executive, who is a leader in his or her field interested in knowing anything about any other field. Specialization has become the norm, and there is rarely any integrity of thought or action as befits all concerned. Kardec's Spiritism: A Home for Healing and Spiritual Evolution is the first practical attempt Im aware of that will change the short-sightedness of most of our culture, and do so at an accelerated pace."