Allan Kardec

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A new photographic discovery

Several newspapers have reported the following:

“Mr. Badet, deceased on the last November 12th, after a three month long illness, used to be by the window of the first floor, according to the Union Bourguignonne of Dijon, whenever he had the needed strength, always facing the street, distracted by the passersby. A few days ago Mrs. Peltret, whose house is located just across the road to the Badet’s widow, noticed on one of the glass windows Mr. Badet himself, with his cotton cap, showing his emaciated face, etc, like she had actually seen him during the period of his disease. It was a great emotion, to say the least.”

“She not only called the neighbors, whose testimony could be suspicious, but also some reputable men who distinctly saw Mr. Badet’s image in the glass window, where he used to be. The image was then shown to the family and they immediately got rid of the glass.”

“It was demonstrated, however, that the image of the ill man was reproduced in the glass, as if daguerreotyped, phenomenon which could only be explained if on the opposite side of the window there was another one, through which the solar beams could have gotten through to Mr. Badet. But there wasn’t such a window. The room has only one. This is the naked truth about this admirable case, whose explanation must be requested to the scholars.”

We confess that since we read the news our first impulse was to consider it vulgar, as we do with apocryphal news. We did not give any importance to that. A few days later Mr. Jobard, from Brussels, wrote the following to us:

“On reading the following fact (the one just described), which happened in my homeland with one of my relatives, I shrugged after seeing the coverage of the newspaper referring this matter to the scientists and attested that this good family had removed the glass window, through which Badet observed the passersby. Call upon him to see what he thinks.”

Such a confirmation of the fact by a man of character like Mr. Jobard, whose merits and honorability everybody knows, and the special circumstance of having one of his relatives by hero, could not leave us with any doubt with respect to the truthfulness of the event.

As a consequence of that we then evoked Mr. Badet in the session of the Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies, on Tuesday, June 15th, 1858. Here are the explanations that we obtained:

1 – I request the Almighty God to allow the spirit of Mr. Badet, who died in Dijon, on the last November 11th, to may come to communicate with us.
- I am here.

2 – Is the matter related to you and that we have just recalled true?
- Yes, it is true.

3 – Could you give us your explanation?
- There are physical agents still unknown but which later will become common. It is a very simple phenomenon, similar to a photography produced by forces that you have not discovered yet.

4 – Could you precipitate such discovery through your explanations?- I would like to but this is the task of other spirits and human work.

5 – Could you reproduce the phenomenon once again?
- It was not I who produced it. It was the physical conditions, independent of me.

6 – By whose will and with which objective the fact was produced?
- It was produced when I was alive, independently of my will. A particular state of the atmosphere revealed it later.

A discussion was established among the audience, relatively to the likely causes of the phenomenon, having several opinions been issued, without any other question addressed to the spirit, who then spontaneously said:

“And don’t you take into account electricity and galvanoplasty that also act on the perispirit?”

7 – We have been told lately that the spirits have no eyes. Well, if such an image is the reproduction of the perispirit, how was it possible to reproduce the organs of sight?
- The perispirit is not the spirit. The appearance, or perispirit, has eyes but the spirit doesn’t. Indeed I told you, when talking about the perispirit, that I was alive.

OBSERVATION: While we wait until that new discovery takes place we will give it the provisional name “spontaneous photography”. Everyone will regret that he glass in which the image of Mr. Badet had been reproduced was destroyed. Such a curious monument would have facilitated the research and observations for the adequate study of the subject. Perhaps they saw the art of the devil in that image. In any case, if by any means the devil is involved in this it is, no doubt, in the destruction of the glass, because he is the enemy of progress.

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