Allan Kardec

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17. Among the facts of spiritism, we must give a prominent place to apparitions, because they are of such frequent occurrence. That of La Salette, which sets the clergy themselves at loggerheads, is no new thing for us. We cannot affirm that the fact asserted really took place, because we have no sufficient proof of its having done so; but we regard it as possible, because thousands of recent facts of a similar character are known to us, and because we can perfectly explain how such a phenomenon might take place. Let the reader only refer to the theory that we give, further on, concerning apparitions, and he will see that the phenomenon referred to is as simple and as probable as are a great number of other physical phenomena which are only regarded as prodigies because no key has yet been found to them. The identity of the personage said to have been seen at La Salette is another question; for that identity is by no means proved. We simply aver that such an apparition may have presented itself; more than this we are not competent to allege, and we leave every one free to form his own judgement. Spiritism has not to occupy itself with the matter. All we say is, that tile facts of spiritism reveal to us new laws, and give us the key to a multitude of things which used to be considered supernatural; and that, as many things, which used to pass for miraculous, find a logical solution in spiritism, we need be in no haste to deny what we do not understand.

Spirit-phenomena are sometimes contested because they appear to contradict known laws, and people therefore cannot see how they are to be accounted for. Give them a rational explanation of these things, and their doubt ceases. Explanation is the true means of conviction; and we constantly see those who have never witnessed any spirit-phenomena as fully convinced of the reality of those phenomena as we are ourselves, because they have read, and have comprehended their possibility. Were we to believe nothing that we had not beheld with our own eyes, the sum of our convictions would be reduced to a minimum.

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