THE SPIRITIST REVIEW - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1858

Allan Kardec

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Family Conversations from Beyond the Grave

Lemaire, the murderer

Sentenced to maximum penalty by the Court of Aisne, and executed on December 31st, 1857

Spirit evoked on January 29th, 1858.


1. I ask Almighty God to allow Lemaire the murderer, executed on December 31st, 1857 to come to us.

- I am here.
2. How could you so promptly attend our appeal?

- Raquel said so.11

  1. What do you feel in our presence?

    - Shame.

  2. How can a young lady, kind like a lamb, serve as intermediary to you, a slaughterer?

- God allows so.
5. Were you lucid up to the last moment?

11 Ms. Raquel, evoked a few days earlier, through the same medium, manifested instantly. The following questions were addressed to her with respect to this subject:
Q – How could you come so promptly, at the very instant of your evocation? One would say that you were ready?

A – When Ermance (medium) calls us, we come immediately.
Q – You thus have a lot of sympathy for Ms. Ermance?
A – There is a link between us. She would come to us. We come to her.
Q – Is there a similarity of characters between you? How come there is sympathy?A – She has never entirely left the spiritual world.
- Yes.
Immediately after your execution, were you aware of your new existence?

- I was immersed in great perturbation, which I have not left yet. I felt a great pain; it seems that my heart felt it. I saw something rolling at the bottom of the gallows. I saw the blood running and my pain was pungent.

Was it a physical pain, similarly to that caused by a serious injury, like for example the amputation of a limb?

- No. Imagine remorse, a great moral pain. When have you started to feel that pain?

- Since I became free.
The physical pain caused by the execution was felt by the body or by the spirit?

- The moral pain was in my spirit. The body felt the physical pain but, separated, the spirit still resented.

Did you see the mutilated body?

- I saw something formless, which I had apparently left, however I felt whole. I was myself.

Which impression has such a sight caused on you? - I felt too much pain. I was dominated by it.

Is it true that a few moments after decapitation the body still lives and that the executed is conscious of their ideas?

- The spirit leaves gradually. The tighter the ties with matter, the longer the separation. How long does it take?

- It varies. (see previous answer)

They say that an expression of rage, beyond the movements, has been noticed in the face of certain executed people, as if they wanted to speak. Is it the effect of a nervous contraction or there is participation of the will?

- The will because the spirit had not left yet.

What was the first feeling that you experienced on entering the new existence? - An intolerable suffering. A kind of pungent remorse whose cause I ignored.
16. Are you with your accomplices with whom you were simultaneously executed?
- Most unfortunately. Seeing each other is a continuous suffering. Each condemns the other’s crimes.

17. Do you meet your victims?

- I see them... They are happy... Their eyes pursue me and I feel them in the depth of my being... I hopelessly try to escape.

18. What is your feeling in their presence?
- Shame and remorse. I elevated them with my own hands and still hate them.

19. What is the feeling they have when they see you? - Pity!

20. Do they show hate or the desire of vengeance?

- No. Their prayers attract expiation to me. You cannot imagine the suffering one has by owing everything to those that one hates.

21. Do you regret your Earthly life?
- I only regret my crimes. If the fact still depended on me I would not have succumbed.

22. How were you led to such a criminal life?
- Listen! I thought I was strong; I chose a tough trial and gave in to evil temptations.

23. Was the tendency towards crime in your nature or were you dragged by the environment in which you lived?

- The tendency towards crime was in my nature as I was an inferior spirit. I wanted to rise rapidly but I requested more than proportioned to my strengths.

24. Had you been given good educational principles could you have deviated from the life of crime?

- Yes, but I chose the position in which I was born. 25. Could you have acted as a good man?

- As a weak man, as incapable of good as of evil. I could have slowed down, during my existence, the progress of evil, which was in my nature but I could not have elevated to a point as to practice good.

26. When alive, did you believe in God?
- No.
27. It is said that you repented at the moment of your death. Is it true? - I believed in a vindictive God... and feared His justice.

28. Is your regret more sincere now? - Ah! I see what I have done!

29. What do you think about God now?
- I feel him but do not understand him.

30. Do you find it fair, the punishment inflicted on you when on Earth? - Yes.

31. Do you hope for forgiveness of your crimes? - I don’t know.

32. How do you intend to redeem your crimes?
- By new trials but it seems that eternity is between us.

33. How could you atone for your faults in a new existence if you do not keep memory of those?

- I will have their intuition.
34. Are those trials experienced on Earth or on another world?

- I don’t know.

35. Where are you now? - In my suffering. -

36. I ask about the place where you are now... - Near Ermance.

37. Are you incarnate or errant (see note 6)?
- Errant. If I were incarnate I would have hope. As I said: it seems that eternity is between

me and the expiation.

38. Considering that you are here, if we were able to see you, how would you present yourself? - Under my corporeal form, with the head separated from the body.
39. Can you show up to us? - No. Leave me!

40. Can you tell us how you escaped from Montdidier prison?

- I no longer know... I suffer so much that only the memory of the crime remains... Leave me!

41. Can we provide any relief to your suffering?

- Vow that I reach expiation.


Family Conversations from Beyond the Grave - The Queen of Oude



Note: From now on we shall remove the formula of evocation from these conversations which is always the same, unless its answer presents any particularity.

1. Which sensations did you experience on leaving this Earthly life? - I couldn’t tell. I still experience a perturbation.

  1. Are you happy? - No.

  2. Why aren’t you happy?

- I miss life... I don’t know. I experience a pungent pain. Life would have released me from this... I wish my body would rise from the grave.

4. Do you regret not have been buried in your country, but among the Christians? - Yes. Indian soil would weigh less over my body.

5. What do you think about the eulogies given to your mortal remains?

- They were too stingy: I was the Queen and not everyone bent their knees before me... Leave me... I am forced to speak... I do not want you to know what I became... Behold, I was Queen.

6. We respect your hierarchy and ask you to respond to instruct us. Do you think that one day your son will recover the paternal domains?

- My blood will certainly reign as it is worthy of that.
7. Do you give the same importance to the reintegration of your son to the throne of Oude as

when you were alive?
- My blood cannot be confused with the crowd.

8. What is your opinion about the true cause of the Indian uprise? - The Indian was made to be the master in their house.

9. What do you think about the future of that country? - India will be great among the nations.

10. It was not possible to attest your place of birth in the death certificate. Can you say it now? - I was born out of the noblest blood in India. I believe I was born in Delhi.

11. You who always lived in the splendors of luxury and surrounded by honors, what are your thoughts now?

- They were owned to me.
12. Does your Earthly position confer you a more elevated position in the world where you are

today?

- I am always Queen.... May they send me slaves to serve me! I don’t know, it seems that they are not concerned with me here... Nevertheless, I am always myself.

13. Were you an adept of the Muslim religion or an Indian religion? - Muslim; but I was too great to worry about God.

14. Which difference you observe between your religion and the Christian religion, regarding man’s future happiness?

- Christian religion is absurd as it considers all men brothers. 15. What is your opinion about Mohamed?

- He was not the son of a King. 16. Did he have a divine mission?

- Why would I care?
17. What is your opinion about Christ?

- The son of the carpenter is not worthy of occupying my thoughts.
18. What do you think about the Muslim custom of subtracting women from men’s eyes?

- I believe women were made to dominate. I was a woman.
19. Have you ever been jealous of the freedom women enjoy in Europe?

- No. Why should I bother with their freedom? Are their servants on their knees? 20. What is your opinion about woman’s condition, in general, in the human species?

- Why bother with women? If you talked about Queens!
21. Do you remember any other existence on Earth, prior to the one you just left?

- I must have always been Queen.
22. Why did you respond so promptly to our appeal?

- I did not want to come; I was forced... Do you think I would bother to answer? Who do you think you are before me?

23. Who forced you to come?
- I don’t know.... However, there may not be anybody greater than me here.

24. Where are you located? - Near Ermance.

25. Under which form are you here?

- I am always Queen... Do you think I am no more? You are not much respectful... Know this that one should address Queens differently.

26. Why can’t we see you? - I don’t want you to.

27. If we could see you would that be with your dresses, ornaments and jewelry? - Certainly!

28. How can that be that having left all that behind, your spirit has kept the appearance, especially with your clothes and jewelry?

- They have not left me... I am always as beautiful as I was.... I don’t know the idea you make of me! It is true that you never saw me.

29. Which impression you experience among us?

- If I could I would not be here. You treat me with such little respect! I don’t want to be treated like this... Call me Majesty; otherwise I will respond no more.

30. Your Majesty knew the French language?
- Why not? I knew everything.

31. Would your Majesty prefer to answer in English?

- No... Won’t you leave me alone? ... I want to leave... Leave me. Do you think I am submitted to your caprices? ... I am a Queen, not a slave.

32. We kindly ask you to answer two or three more questions.

St. Louis’ response, who was present:
Leave the poor astray lady! Have pity on her blindness. May she serve you as an example! You do not know how much her pride suffers.

NOTE: This conversation offers several lessons. Evoking this fallen greatness, now in the grave, we did not expect very profound answers, given the type of education women have in that country. We thought we could find in this spirit, if not philosophy, at least a truer sense of reality and healthier ideas about the vanities and earthly greatness. Far from it, her earthly ideas preserved all their strengths: it is pride, which loses nothing of its illusions, struggling against its own weakness and that, indeed, must suffer a lot from its impotence. Having foreseen responses of an entirely different nature, we had prepared several questions that have lost their meaning. The answers were so different from what we expected, as also the other persons present, that we could not find in them the influence of a strange thought. They have, however, such a characteristic hallmark of personality, which clearly demonstrate the identity of the manifested spirit. We are impressed, and rightly so, to see Lemaire, the man degraded and sullied by all crimes, manifest in his language, from beyond the grave, feelings which denote a certain elevation and a very accurate assessment of the situation, while the Queen of Oude, whose social position could have developed the moral sense in her, worldly ideas have not suffered any change. It seems easy to explain the reason for this anomaly. For more degraded he could be, Lemaire lived in the midst of a civilized and enlightened society, which had reacted over his rude nature; without realizing it, he had absorbed some rays of light which surrounded him and it was that very light that brought up in him thoughts which were muffled by his abjection, but whose germ, nonetheless, subsisted. The situation is completely different with the Queen of Oude: the environment in which she lived, the habits, the absolute lack of intellectual culture, everything should have contributed to maintain the ideas that she acquired since her childhood in all their vigor. Nothing could change that primitive nature maintained by her empire of prejudice.

Family Conversations from Beyond the Grave - Dr. Xavier


A very talented doctor who we shall call Xavier, who died a few months ago, was heavily involved with magnetism, leaving a manuscript which he thought would change Science. Before he died he had read the Spirits’ Book, wishing he could have had a contact with its author. The illness which killed him would not allow it. His evocation followed a request from his family and the eminently instructive answers it contains led us to insert it in this collection, subtracting however everything which was of particular interest.

1. Do you remember the manuscript you left? - I give little importance to that.

2. What is your current opinion about it?
- Vain work of a being who ignored himself
3. Nevertheless you thought that work would revolutionize Science. - Now I see very clearly.
4. As a spirit could you correct and finalize the work?
- I started from a point which I hardly knew. I would have perhaps to redo everything.

5. Are you happy or unhappy? - I wait and suffer.

6. What do you wait for? - New trials.

7. What is the cause of your suffering? - The evil things I have done.

8. However, you have not done evil intentionally. - Do you know human heart well?

9. Are you errant12 or incarnate?
- Errant
10. When you were alive, what was your opinion about Divinity? - I did not believe it.

11. And now?
- I don’t believe enough.

12. You wanted to contact me, do you remember that? - Yes.

13. Do you see me and recognize the person with whom you wanted to establish a relationship?

- Yes.
14. Which impression the Spirits’ Book had on you?

- It unsettled me.
15. What do you think about it now? - It is a great piece of work.

16. What do you think about the future of the Spiritist Doctrine? - It is great but certain disciples cause it harm.

17. Who cause it harm? - Those who attack real things: the religions, the first and simplest beliefs of men.

18. As a doctor and considering your own studies, no doubt you can answer the following questions: Can the body preserve, for a few moments, its organic life after the separation of the soul?
- Yes.

19. For how long?
- There isn’t a time.

20. I ask you to please clarify.
- This only lasts a few moments.

21. How does the separation between soul and body happen?
- Like a fluid which escapes from any container.

22. Is there a real line separating life and death? - Both states touch and confuse each other. Thus, the spirit gradually loosens its ties, but does not break them.

23. This loosening of the soul, does it happen more promptly on some people than on others?
- Yes, on those who elevated above matter when alive, as their souls belong more to the spiritual world than to the Earthly one.

24. When the union between the soul and the body of a child takes place?
- When the child breathes, as if receiving the soul with the exterior air.

OBSERVATION: This opinion is a consequence of the Catholic dogma. In fact, church teaches that the soul will only be saved by baptism; well, as the intrauterine death is very frequent, what would then happen to that soul who, according to the church, was subtracted from the only mean of salvation, in case it existed in the body before birth?
To be consistent it would be necessary that baptism took place, if not in fact, at least intentionally, at the very moment of conception.

25. How do you then explain intrauterine life?
- Like the plant which vegetates. The child lives the animal life.
26. Is there a crime in subtracting life before birth, considering that in such occasions the child has no soul, thus it is not a human being?
- The mother or any other person who would take the life of a child before birth would commit a crime as it would impede the soul from withstanding the trials to which the body would be an instrument.
27. Nevertheless the expiation which the reincarnating soul would have to suffer would take place?
- Yes but God knew that the soul would not bond to that body. Thus, no soul should bond to that corporeal covering: it was the mother’s trial.
28. In case the mother’s life was at risk due to the child’s birth, would it be a crime to sacrifice the latter to save the former?
- No. It is preferable to sacrifice the non-existent being than the existing one.
29. Does the union between the soul and the body take place instantly or gradually, that is, there would be the need for an appreciable time for such a union to be complete?
- The spirit does not suddenly enter the body. To measure that time imagine that the first breath that the child receives is the soul entering the body: the time for the chest to move up and down.
30. Is the union between the soul and this or that body predestined or does the choice only take place at the moment of birth?
- God marked it. This question requires more developments. Choosing their trials, the spirit requests to incarnate. Thus, God who knows and sees everything, previously knew that a given soul would unit to a given body. When a spirit is born in the low social classes, he knows that his life will be of hardship and suffering. The child who will be born has an existence which results, up to a certain degree, from the position of her parents.
31. Why do good and virtuous parents have children of perverse nature? Put differently, why the good qualities of the parents do not always attract, by sympathy, a good spirit to animate their child?
- A bad spirit requests good parents hopping that their good advices guide them through a better path.

32. Can the parents, through their thoughts and prayers, attract to the body of the child a good spirit instead of an inferior one?

- No. They can, however, improve the spirit of the child to which they gave birth. It is their duty. Bad children are a trial to the parents.

33. The maternal love for the conservation of the child’s life is understood but, taking into account that such a love is natural, why there are mothers who hate their children, and many times since birth?

- Bad spirits who try to obstruct the spirit of the child, so that the child succumb the desired trials.

34. We thank you for the explanations you gave us. - I will do everything to instruct you.

NOTE: The theory given by this spirit about the union between soul and body is not that accurate. The union begins since conception, that is, since the moment when the spirit, not yet incarnated, attaches to the body by a fluidic tie which progressively reinforces, up until birth. The incarnation only completes when the child breathes. (See the Spirits’ Book, Q 344 and next).

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