Allan Kardec

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425. Is there any connection between natural somnambulism and dreaming? How can it be explained?
“In somnambulism the soul has more independence and its functions are more developed than when dreaming. It feels perceptions that it does not have while dreaming, which is an imperfect form of somnambulism.”

“In somnambulism, the spirit is in total possession of itself. The physical organs suffer from a type of catalepsy and are no longer receptive to external impressions. This state most frequently occurs during sleep, because the spirit is then able to free itself from the body, which enjoys the repose that is indispensable to matter.”

“Somnambulism occurs when the spirit of the sleeper is determined to do something that requires the body. It uses the body in the same way that spirits use a table or any other material object to produce physical manifestations, or a human hand to produce written communications. When a human being is conscious of a dream, his or her bodily senses related to memory are beginning to wake up. In dreams that we are conscious of, the sensorial organs, including those related to memory, begin to awaken and imperfectly receive the impressions produced by objects or external causes, and communicate them to the spirit. The spirit, also in a resting state, only perceives confused and often disconnected sensations and without any apparent reason, oftentimes further muddled with vague memories of either the present life or previous ones. It is easy to understand why somnambulists do not remember their visions, and why most have no rational meaning. I say most because dreams are sometimes the consequence of a specific memory of events that have occurred in one of your former lives, or even a sort of premonition of the future.”

426. Is there any connection between magnetic and natural somnambulism?
“They are the same thing, only one is artifcially induced.”

427. What is the nature of the agent called magnetic fuid?
“It is the vital fuid, which may be described as animalized electricity. It is a modifcation of the universal fuid.”

428. What is the cause of somnambulistic clairvoyance?
“We have told you that it is the soul that sees.”

429. How can the somnambulist see through dense bodies?
“Bodies are only dense to your rudimentary senses and organs. We have told you that matter is not an obstacle for a spirit, since it can freely pass through it. Somnambulists often tell you that they see through their forehead, knee, and so on, and because you are bound to matter, you do not understand that they can see without their receptor organs. However, when your ideas infuence them, they may be fooled into believing that they actually need those organs. If left to their own devices, they would understand that they see through every part of their bodies, or, rather, that their vision is completely separate from the body.”

430. Since the clairvoyance of somnambulists is derived from their soul or spirit, why do they not see everything, and why do they so often make mistakes?
“First, low-ranking spirits do not see and understand everything, because they still share your faws and prejudices. Second, as long as they remain attached to matter to any degree, they cannot fully enjoy their spiritual faculties. God has given the faculty of clairvoyance to humankind for a serious and useful purpose, not to learn things that human beings are not permitted to know. This is why somnambulists do not know everything.”

431. What is the source of a somnambulist’s innate ideas, and how can they accurately discuss things that they are unaware of when awake, and that transcend their intellectual capacity?
“Somnambulists may possess more knowledge than you give them credit for, but this knowledge is dormant when awake because their envelopes are too fawed to remember everything they know as spirits. However, what are they, essentially? They are spirits who incarnated for a mission, and somnambulism awakens them from their lethargic state. We have repeatedly told you that we are reborn many times. This succession of lives causes somnambulists to lose sight, in a new existence, of what they may have known in a previous life. When a crisis starts, they recall what they knew once, but sometimes only partially. They have knowledge, but they do not know where it comes from or how they came to possess it. When the crisis is over, their memories fade from consciousness as they re-enter the physical life.”

Experience shows us that somnambulists also receive communications from other spirits, who tell them what to say and fll in the blanks of what they are missing. This is often witnessed in medical consultations. The spirit of the somnambulist notes a disease and another spirit indicates the remedy required. This dual action is often obvious to witnesses, and is frequently revealed by the somnambulist through expressions such as, “I am told to say,” or, “I am forbidden to say.” In the event of the latter, it is always dangerous to persist in trying to obtain information from a somnambulist because we then open the door to fippant spirits, who rattle on about everything in complete disregard for the truth.

432. How do you explain the power that some somnambulists possess to see from very far distances?
“Have we not told you that the soul transports itself during sleep? It does the same thing during somnambulism.”

433. Does the degree of somnambulistic clairvoyance depend on the physical makeup of the body or on the nature of the incarnate spirit?
“Both, but there are physical qualities that determine whether the spirit can free itself from matter more or less easily.”

434. Are the faculties enjoyed by the somnambulist the same as those that a spirit possesses after death?
“They are the same up to a certain point. A somnambulist is still attached to matter and you must take its infuence into account.”

435. Can somnambulists see other spirits? “That depends on the nature and level of their abilities. Most of them see other spirits perfectly well, but they do not always recognize them as spirits and mistake them for physical beings. Somnambulists and especially those who know nothing about Spiritism often make this mistake. They do not understand anything pertaining to spirits and are shocked to see them in human form. This leads them to believe that they are living persons.”

The same effect is felt at death in those who believe that they are still alive. Nothing about them appears to have changed. The spirits around them seem to have bodies like ours, and they mistake the appearance of their own body with that of a real body.

436. When somnambulists see objects at a distance, do they see them with their bodies or with their souls? “Why would you ask such a question, since the body does not see? It is the soul.”

437. Since the soul transports itself, how is it that somnambulists feel the heat or cold of the place where their souls are located, which is sometimes very far away from the body?
“Their souls have not entirely left their bodies and are still attached by the link that unites them. This link is the conductor for sensations. When two individuals in two different cities use electricity to correspond with each other, electricity is the link between their thoughts and it enables them to communicate with one another as though they were right next to each other.”

438. After death, do the use somnambulists made of their ability influence them?
“Of course, as is the case for the good or bad use of all the abilities that God has given to human beings.”

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