THE SPIRITIST REVIEW - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1858

Allan Kardec

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Mr. Home


The phenomena produced by Mr. Home caused so much sensation as it is certain that they confirm the wonderful reports from overseas, whose truthfulness comes attached to some distrust. He showed us that, letting aside the widest margin due to exaggeration, there was still enough to attest to the reality of the events which took place outside of all known laws.

Much was said and in multiple ways about Mr. Home, and we confess that he was far from captivating the sympathy of everybody, in some due to the spirit of system, in others to ignorance. For the last ones we want even to admit a conscientious opinion, if they could not verify the facts by themselves: but if in such a case there is space for doubt, a systematic and passionate hostility is always out of place. In every causal relationship, judgment without knowledge is lack of logic and slander without proof is the same as to forget good manners.

For a moment let us forget for a moment the intervention of spirits and do not see in the reported facts anything beyond physical phenomena. The stranger they seem the more attention they deserve. They may explain the phenomena as they will, but not with a preconceived idea, if they do not want such a judgment to be put in doubt. What seems astonishing, and even more abnormal than the phenomena in question, is to see those same people who incessantly rant against the opposition of certain scientific groups to the new ideas; that continually throw on their faces - and this with a less restrained language - the troubles experienced by the authors of the most important discoveries; who mention Fulton, Galileo and Jenner all the time, slipping themselves into similar error, which they say, and rightly so, that not long ago anyone who had talked about communication from one extreme to the other of our planet, in a few seconds, would have been considered foolish. If they do believe in progress to which they claim to be apostles, they should then be consistent with themselves, not enticing the reproach they throw onto others, by denying what they do not understand.

But let us go back to Mr. Home. Coming to Paris in October 1855, he was thrown, on his arrival, into the world of high society, a circumstance that should have imposed more discretion in the judgment made of him, as the higher and more educated that world is, the lesser suspicious it is of graciously falling in the hands of an adventurer, as a toy.

That same position has prompted comments. Who is Mr. Home, they ask! To live in this society and make expensive trips, they say, one needs fortune. If that is not the case then powerful people must support him. A thousand hypotheses were raised with that regard, each more ridiculous than the other. What was not said about his sister who he brought with him about a year ago! It was said that she was a medium even more powerful than him, that the two should perform wonders that would blanch those of Moses. Questions were addressed to us, more than once, with that respect. Here is our answer.

Coming to France, Mr. Home was not directed to the public. He does not like or seek publicity. Had he come with the purpose of speculation, he would have traveled the country making propaganda; he would have sought every opportunity for manifestation; however, he avoids them; he would have established a price for the events, but he asks nothing of anybody. Despite his reputation Mr. Home is not what one might call a public man. His private life belongs only to him. Since he asks for nothing, no one has the right to question how he makes his living, without committing an indiscretion. Is he maintained by powerful people? This is not of our concern. All we can say is that in this elitist society he has conquered sympathy and made devoted friends, whereas with a playful conjuror, we pay, have fun and that is all that is.

In Mr. Home, we see only a man with an outstanding faculty. The study of that ability is all that we are interested in and all that should interest those who are not only driven by curiosity. History has not yet opened the book of his secrets. Until then he belongs to science.

As for his sister, here is the truth. She is an eleven-year-old girl, brought to Paris for her education, assigned to an illustrious figure. She hardly knows about her brother’s faculty. Hence that is all too simplistic and prosaic to the lovers of wonders.

Now, why would Mr. Home have come to France? It was not to seek fortune, as we just demonstrated. Would that be to get to know the country? But he does not travel; he rarely goes out and has absolutely no touristic habits. The actual reason being his doctors’ advice, who considers the climate in Europe necessary for his health, but the natural facts are sometimes providential. We therefore think that if he has come it is because he should have done so.

France, still in doubt about the spiritual manifestations, needed a big blow; it was Mr. Home who had that mission; the bigger the blow, the greater its impact. The position, credit, the lights of those who welcomed him and were convinced by the evidence of the facts, shook the convictions of many people, even among those who were not eyewitnesses.

The presence of Mr. Home was thus a powerful aid in the propagation of the spiritist ideas. If it did not convince everyone, it threw the seeds that will be more fruitful as the number of mediums multiplies. That faculty, as we have said elsewhere, is not an exclusive privilege; it exists in a latent state and in various degrees in a lot of people, just waiting for the opportunity to develop. The principle lies within us, effect of our own organization. It is part of nature thus it is present in a germinal state in all of us. It is not far the day when we shall see mediums emerging from all sides, in our environment, our families, among the poor as well as the rich, so that truth may be known by all, because, as it has been announced, it is a new era, a new phase that begins for humanity. The evidence and the popularization of the spiritist phenomena will provide a new path to the moral ideas as steam has done to the industries.

If the private life of Mr. Home should be closed to the investigations of an indiscreet curiosity, there are certain details which, rightfully so, may be of interest to the public and the assessment of the facts, so that its knowledge may be even useful.

Mr. Daniel Dunglas Home was born on March 15th, 1833, near Edinburgh. He is now therefore 24 years old. He descends from the ancient and noble Scottish family of Dunglas, formerly sovereign. He is a blond young man of medium height, whose melancholic looks has nothing of eccentric; he has a very delicate body structure, showing kind and simple habits, amiable and benevolent character, from which his contact with wealth did not produce arrogance or ostentation. Gifted with excessive modesty, never shows off his wonderful faculty, never speaks of himself and, even if in an intimate expansion he tells personal stories, he does that with simplicity and never with the emphasis typical of the creatures with whom the malevolence seeks to compare him. Many intimate facts of our personal knowledge prove his noble feelings as well as the elevation of his soul. We attest with such more pleasure the more it is known about the influence of the moral dispositions over the nature of the manifestations.

Zealous friends with an exaggerated enthusiasm, conveniently used by malevolence, have sometimes told of the phenomena to which Mr. Home is an involuntary instrument. Being as they are, these do not require further amplification, which bring more harm than help to the cause. As our purpose is the serious study of everything related to the Spiritist Science, we will strictly attain to the reality of the facts attested by ourselves or by trustworthy eyewitnesses. We can therefore comment on them, knowing that we are not speculating about fantastic things.

Mr. Home is a kind of medium that produces ostensive manifestations, not excluding the intelligent communications, but his natural predispositions give him a special aptitude to the first ones. Under his influence the strangest sounds can be heard, the air agitates; solid bodies move, stand up, displace from one side to another in the air; musical instruments produce melodious sounds; beings from the extracorporeal world materialize, speak, write and sometimes embrace us, to the point of pain. Several times, in the presence of witnesses, he found himself lifted in the air, without support, several meters high.

From what we have been taught about the class of spirits who usually produce such manifestations, one should not conclude that Mr. Home has only been in contact with the lowest class of the spiritual world. His character and distinguished moral qualities, on the contrary, should attract the sympathies of superior spirits. For the inferior spirits, he is merely an instrument to energetically open the eyes of the blind, without subtracting him from communications of a higher order. It is a mission that he has accepted, mission not exempt of trials nor dangers, but which he performs with resignation and patience, under the aegis of the spirit of his mother, his genuine guardian angel.

The causes of Mr. Home’s manifestations are innate to him, his soul seems to hold to the body only by weak bonds; he has more affinity with the spiritual world than with the corporeal world. This is why he unties them so effortlessly, and more easily than others enters into communication with the invisible beings.
His faculty was revealed at an early age. He was six month old when his cradle rocked alone, in the absence of the nanny, and changed its place. In his early years he was still so fragile that he could barely stand; sitting on the carpet, his toys would come to him when he could not reach them. At the age of three he had his first visions whose memory he has not retained. He was nine years old when the family moved to the United States; there the phenomena proceeded with increasing intensity as the years passed, but his reputation as a medium was only established in 1855, at a time when the spiritist manifestations began to popularize in that country. In 1854 he came to Italy, as we said, for health reasons. He amazed Florence and Rome with his prodigies.

Converted to Catholicism in the latter city, he pledged to break relations with the world of spirits. Indeed, for a whole year he seemed to have been abandoned by his occult power, but as such power is beyond his will, at the end of that time, as announced by the spirit of his mother, the manifestations resurfaced with renewed strength. His mission was assigned; he should stand out among those who the Providence had chosen to reveal, though patent signs, the power that overshadows all human greatness. If Mr. Home were, as intended by those who judge without seeing, only a skilled conjurer, he would always have, no doubt, hidden tricks in his bag. However, he cannot produce them at will. It would be impossible to promote regular sessions since many times, just when he had necessity of his faculty that could fail him. Sometimes the phenomena manifest spontaneously, when they are least expected, while on other occasions they cannot be provoked, which is an unfavorable circumstance for those wanting to make scheduled exhibitions.

We have proof of the following fact, taken from hundreds of others. It was over fifteen days that Mr. Home was not having any manifestation when, having lunch at a friend's house with two or three acquaintances, they suddenly heard knocks on the walls, furniture and ceiling. It seems that they are back, he said. At this time Mr. Home was sitting on a sofa with a friend. A servant brought a tray of tea, getting ready to place it on the table in the middle of the room. Although heavy, the table suddenly rose from the floor, lifting to about 20 to 30 cm in the air, as if attracted by the tray. Terrified, the servant dropped the tray down. In one leap, the table moved towards the sofa, coming to a rest in front of Mr. Home and his friend, not disarranging anything that was on its top. Unquestionably, this fact is not the most curious of so many we have heard, but it has this peculiarity which is worth mentioning: it was spontaneously produced, without provocation, in an inner circle, where none of the assistants, having witnessed identical facts one hundred times, needed new evidences. It was certainly not the case for Mr. Home to show his skills, if skills do exist.

In a next article we will describe other events.

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