THE MEDIUMS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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13. Spiritism, then, does not accept all facts reputed to be marvellous or supernatural; so far from doing this, it demonstrates the impossibility of a great number of such, and the absurdity of certain beliefs which constitute, strictly speaking, " superstition." It is true that, in what it does admit, there are things which, to the incredulous, appear to belong to the domain of the marvellous, in other words, of what they regard as superstition; but, let them at least confine themselves to the discussion of these, for, in regard to the others, the spiritist has nothing to say, and the sceptic, in denouncing them to us, would be only "carrying coals to Newcastle." Those who attack us, in regard to abuses which we ourselves repudiate, prove their own ignorance of the matter in question ; and their argumentation is simply thrown away. " lout where," cry some of our opponents, " does the belief of Spiritists stop ?" Read, and mark; and you will know. No knowledge is acquired without time and study ; and spiritism, which involves the profoundest questions of philosophy and of social order, which deals at the same time with the physical man and with the moral man, is in itself a science, a philosophy, which can no more be apprehended in a few hours than any other. For those who are not content to rest on the surface, the study of such a subject is a question, not of hours, but of months and of years. Of what value, then, can be the opinion of those who arrogate to themselves the right of pronouncing judgement upon it, because they have witnessed one or two experiments, undertaken, perhaps, rather as an amusement than as a matter of serious inquiry? Such persons will doubtless affirm that they have not the leisure necessary for such a study; but, when people have not time to inform themselves correctly about any matter, they should refrain from talking about it, and especially from committing themselves to any opinion in regard to it and the higher their position in the world of science, the less excusable are they when they talk about what they do not understand.

14. We sum up our preceding remarks in the following propositions: -

1st. All spiritist-phenomena imply, as their principle, the existence of the soul, its survival of the body, and the manifestations which result therefrom.

2d. These phenomena, occurring in virtue of natural law, are neither "marvellous" nor "supernatural," in the ordinary sense of those words.

3d. Many facts are only reputed to be "supernatural" because their cause is unknown; spiritism, by assigning to them a cause, brings them within the domain of natural phenomena.

4th. Among the facts commonly called "supernatural," there are many which spiritism shows to be impossible, and which it therefore relegates into the category of superstitions.

5th. Although spiritism recognises a foundation of truth in many popular beliefs, it by no means accepts all the fantastic stories created by the imagination.

6th. To judge of spiritism by pretended facts, the reality of which it does not admit, is to give proof of ignorance, and to deprive such judgement of all weight.

7th. The explanation of the causes of facts acknowledged by spiritism, and the ascertainment of their moral consequences, constitute a new science and a new philosophy, requiring serious, persevering, and careful study.

8th. Spiritism can only be conclusively disproved by one who should have thoroughly studied it and sounded its deepest mysteries with the patient perseverance of a conscientious observer; one as well versed in every branch of the subject as the most ardent of its adherents; one acquainted with all the facts of the case, and with every argument that could be opposed to him, and which he must refute, not by denials, but by arguments still more conclusive; one, in short, who can give, of admitted facts, a more rational explanation than is given by spiritism. But such a critic has yet to be discovered.

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