THE SPIRITIST REVIEW - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1858

Allan Kardec

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Physical manifestations


We read the following in the “Le Spiritualiste de la Nouvelle-Orléans”, from February 1857:

“Lately we asked if all spirits, irrespective of their level,, make the tables move, produce noises, etc, and grab the hand of a lady, serious enough not to joke with these things. In response, they violently sketched these words: ‘Who makes the monkeys dance in the streets? Would that be the superior men?’”

“A spiritualist friend, of Spanish origin, who died last summer, gave us several communications, having one of those the following passage: The manifestations you are looking for are not among those more pleasant to the serious and elevated spirits. Nevertheless, we agree that they have their utility, as they can perhaps serve more than any other to convince contemporary men.’

“In order to obtain such manifestations it is absolutely necessary to develop certain mediums whose physical constitution is in harmony with the spirits who produce them. We do not doubt that you will see them developing among us, then, they will not be these little knocks which you hear but noises similarly to the shot of the musket intertwined by the roar of the cannon.”

“In a corner of the city there is a house inhabited by a German family. One can hear strange noises in the house, while certain objects are displaced. This is what we were told as we did not verify it. Thinking that the owner of the house might be able to clarify it to us, we invited him to participate in some sessions dedicated to this kind of manifestations and, later, the wife of this honorable gentleman did not want him around us, he said, as the noise had increased in his house. About this subject this is what was written by the hand of Mrs.....:”

“We cannot deter imperfect spirits from making noise or other upsetting or even scary things; the fact that they are in contact with us, who have good intent, does not diminish the influence they exert on the medium in question.”

We call your attention to the perfect agreement between what was said by the spirits in New Orleans, regarding the source of physical manifestations, and what was said to us. With effect, nothing would color this origin with more vigor than this answer, at the same time spiritual and profound: “Who make the monkeys dance in the streets? Would that be the superior men?”

We will have the occasion to transcribe numerous examples of that type of manifestations from American journals, even more extraordinary than those we have just cited. No doubt we shall be responded with the proverb: “The good lie comes from far away”. When such marvelous things come to us from 2,000 leagues away but that we cannot verify them, the doubt is admissible; however, these phenomena have crossed the oceans with Mr. Home, who gave us proof of them. It is true that Mr. Home did not go to a theater to show his prodigies and not everybody, having paid for a ticket, could see them. Hence, many see him as a clever conjuror, not considering that the top notch of society, who witnessed these phenomena, would not willingly serve him as partners. If Mr. Home were a charlatan, he would not have refused the magnificent offers from many public playhouses and would have accumulated fortunes. His disinterest is the strongest answer that one can give to his detractors. An uninterested charlatanism would be unwise and a monstrosity. Later we will talk in detail about Mr. Home and the mission that brought him to France. Meanwhile here is a fact of spontaneous manifestation, reported to us by a trustworthy and distinct physician, even more authentic as he was the personal witness to those manifestations.

A distinct family had a fourteen-year-old orphan maid whose character, naturally good and delicate, granted her the affection of her masters. In the same neighborhood lived a family whose lady of the house, nobody knows why, had created aversion against the young maid, turning her into an object of all sorts of harassments. One day, as she was getting home, the neighbor lady showed up infuriated at her doorstep, holding a broom in her hands, wanting to spank her. Terrified the young maid ran to the door, trying to ring the doorbell but, unfortunately, the bell cord was broken so that she could not reach it.

Behold that the doorbell rang by itself and people came from inside to attend the door. In the heat of the situation she did not realize what had happened but later the bell continued to ring, from time to time, without a known cause, during the day as well as at night. When someone attended the door, there was nobody there. The next-door neighbors were accused of perpetrating bad taste frolics. The complaint was taken to the police commissioner who opened an inquiry and tried to establish if a secret cord would communicate with the exterior, but nothing was found. However, things continued to happen more insistently, interfering with everyone’s rest and particularly with the young maid who was accused of generating the noise. Having being advised, the employers laid her off, moving her into a friend’s house, in the countryside. Since that happened the doorbell went quiet and nothing similar happened in the new home of the young orphan.

This, as many other facts that we have to report, did not happen at the Missouri river banks or in Ohio, but in Paris, at “Passage des Panoramas”. An explanation is now suitable. The young lady, of course, was not ringing the bell. She was terrified with the facts to think about a joke where she would be the first victim. No less positive is the fact that the bell ringing was due to her presence, as the effect ceased when she left. The doctor who witnessed the fact explains it as a powerful magnetic force unconsciously exerted by the young lady. This explanation by no means seems conclusive to us: why would she have lost such a power after leaving the house?

He argues that the terror generated by the neighbor produced a super excitation on the young maid and that the effect would have ceased with the cause when these two connections were severed. We confess that the argument is not convincing to us. If the intervention of an occult power is not clearly demonstrated, at least it is likely, according to similar cases of that we have experienced.

Thus, admitting such an intervention, we will say that under the circumstances of the facts, since its first occurrence, a protector spirit wanted to probably protect the young lady from harm’s way. As such, by leaving the house, despite the affection granted by her employers, could perhaps have been in her own interest. Once the lady had left, the spirit protecting this young orphan was no longer required to continue with the noise.

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