THE SPIRITIST REVIEW - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1858

Allan Kardec

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Mr. Home, 3rd article
(see February and March issues)

To the best of our knowledge, Mr. Home has not made appear any other body parts besides the hands. It has been reported, however, that a general who had died in Crimea appeared to his widow, visible only to her. We have not been able to confirm the authenticity of that report, since Mr. Home was involved with this case. As such, we limit ourselves only to what we can prove.

Why hands, instead of feet or head? This is what we ignore, as does Mr. Home.

Questioned about that, the spirits answered that other mediums could make the whole body appear. By the way, this is not the most important aspect: if the hands show up the other parts of the body are not less important, as we shall have the opportunity to see below.

Generally, the appearance of the hand happens initially under the table cloth, by ripples which run over the whole surface. Then it shows on the edges of the cloth which is raised by the hand; at times it comes to rest on the cloth, at the center of the table. On other occasions it grabs an object and takes it under the cloth. This hand, visible to all, is neither airy nor translucent. It has the natural color and opacity; it shows an indefinite termination towards the fist. If someone touches it with precaution, confidence and without a hostile second intention, it offers the resistance, solidity and impression of a live hand; it produces a soft heat comparable to that of a pigeon which may have died about thirty minutes ago. It is not absolutely inert, as it acts, produces movements which are imposed to them or resists, strokes or grabs us. If, on the contrary, we abruptly and by surprise try to grab it, we only find the emptiness.

A visual witness told us the following fact that happened to him:

He held a handbell between his fingers; an invisible hand, in the beginning, and visible later, came to try to take it away; as it was unsuccessful, it tried to pull it to make it slip through the fingers. The traction effort was noticeable, as it would be the one of any human hand. Having tried to violently grab that hand, his hand only found air; on opening the fingers, the handbell remained suspended in the air, slowing going down to rest on the floor.

Sometimes there are multiple hands.

The same witness described the following fact to us:

Several people are sitting down around one of the folding dining tables. Some raps are heard; the table agitates, opens up by itself and through the crease of the table three hands show up: one of normal size, another very large and a third very hairy. They touch and poke each other, shake hands with those around the table and then dissolve.

In the house of one of our friends who had lost a child at an early age, a hand of a newly born baby shows up. Everyone can see and touch it. That child sits on her mom’s lap who distinctly feels the impression of the whole body on her knees.

The hand frequently comes to rest on you. Then you see it and if not, it feels the pressure of the fingers. At times it strokes you; on other occasions it pinches you to the point of pain. In the presence of several people, Mr. Home felt that his fist was grabbed and the audience could see that his skin was stretched. An instant later, he felt someone biting him; the impression of the teeth remained for over an hour.

The hand that shows up can also write. Sometimes it stops at the center of the table, takes up a pencil and writes on a piece of paper previously prepared. Most of the time, however, it takes the paper under the table and returns it completely written. If the hand turns invisible the text seems to be produced by itself. Answers to multiple questions can be obtained in such a way.

Another not less notable kind of manifestation, explained by what we have just described, is that of the musical instruments which play by themselves. These are, in general, pianos or accordions. In such cases one can see the keyboard as well as the bellows moving. The hand that plays is sometimes visible, sometimes invisible. The aria that is played can be known and even requested. If the invisible artist is left alone, he produces harmonious tunes which resemble the smooth melody of a wind harp.

In the house of one of our members, where these phenomena were produced many times, the manifesting spirit was that of a young man who died some time ago, a friend of the family, who revealed an outstanding musical talent when alive. The nature of the arias he used to play left no doubt about his identity in all of those who knew him.

The most extraordinary fact, in such kind of manifestation, is not, in our opinion, the apparition. If it were always airy it would be compatible with the nature we attribute to the spirits. Well, nothing would oppose to the idea of having that kind of matter perceptible to our sight, by some sort of condensation, without losing its airy property. What is really strange is the solidification of that very matter, sufficiently resistant to leave a visible impression in our organs. In the next issue we will give an explanation about this singular phenomenon, according to the teachings of the spirits. Today we shall limit ourselves to the deduction of a consequence relatively to the spontaneous playing of musical instruments. In fact, since the eventual tangibility of that ethereal matter is an attested fact and, since the hand, visible or not, offers sufficient resistance to exert pressure over the solid bodies, it is not surprising that it can apply sufficient pressure to touch the keyboard of a musical instrument. Besides, not less positive facts demonstrate that the hand belongs to an intelligent being. It is not strange than the fact that such an intelligence manifest itself by the means of musical notes, since it can manifest by writing or drawing.

Once entering into such an order of ideas, the raps, the motion of the objects and all spiritist phenomena of the material type, are explained very naturally.

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