Allan Kardec

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551. Can a malicious person cause harm to a neighbor with the assistance of a bad spirit?
“No, God would not permit it.”

552. What should we think of the belief that certain people can cast spells over others?
“Some people possess a very strong magnetic power, which they may use for base purposes if their spirit is bad. In that case, other bad spirits may encourage them. However do not take stock in any imagined magical power, which exists only in the imagination of superstitious people who are uneducated in regards to the true laws of nature. The facts presented to prove its existence are really due to natural causes that have been incorrectly observed and understood.”

553. What is the effect of the potions and practices that some people claim have helped them to control spirits?
“If they really put faith in them, these potions and practices make them ridiculous. If they do not, they are frauds who deserve to be punished. This is all deceit and hocus-pocus. There is no special word, cabalistic sign, or talisman that has any power over spirits because they are attracted by thought and not by anything material.”

a) Haven’t certain spirits sometimes dictate cabalistic formulas?
“Yes, there are spirits who give you strange signs and words, and prescribe certain acts to perform plots, but you can rest assured that these spirits are mocking you and your gullibility.”

554. Could those who believe in talismans attract spirits by their belief alone? Here the talisman would be a sign that helps direct their thoughts, which then are the true cause of the actions that take place.
“This is true, but the nature of the spirit attracted would depend on the purity of intent and the elevation of the party attracting it. One who is simple enough to believe in a talisman rarely has anything more than material motives. In any event, such practices imply a narrowness and a weakness of mind that would naturally pave the way for inferior and mocking spirits.”

555. How should we understand the word sorcerer?
“Sorcerers are individuals who are gifted, when they are honest, with exceptional abilities like magnetic power or second sight. These individuals can do things that you do not understand; therefore, you think that they are gifted with supernatural powers. If we take a look at history, how many ignorant people have accused educated persons of being sorcerers?”

Spiritism and magnetism give us the key to phenomena that ignorance has explained by exaggerated fables. The enlightened knowledge of these two sciences, which are actually one, show the reality of things and their true cause, which is the best protection against superstition and misconception. It shows what is possible and what is impossible, what is written in natural law and what is simply an outrageous belief.

556. Do some individuals really possess the gift of healing by touch?
“Magnetic power may act to that extent when it is supported by a purity of intent and the fervent desire to do good. In such a case, good spirits render their services. You must be cautious of exaggerated stories recounted by individuals who, overly gullible or enthusiastic, can discover something spectacular in even the most ordinary and natural occurrences. Likewise, be cautious of individuals who exploit gullibility for their own beneft.”

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