32. A preliminary study of the theory of spiritism is also useful, by showing the
grandeur of its scope and aim he who begins by seeing a table move, or hearing it rap,
is the more inclined to raillery, because he cannot imagine that such manifestations lead
up to a doctrine that is destined to regenerate humanity. We have always remarked that
those who have believed before seeing, because they had read and comprehended, so
far from being superficial, were, on the contrary, the most intelligent and thoughtful.
Intent on the substance rather than the form, and the philosophical aspect of spiritism
being the chief consideration with minds of this character, the phenomena are to them
only accessories. They see that, even if the phenomena did not exist, the philosophy
would still remain as the sole solution of problems insoluble up to the present time, the
most rational theory yet propounded of the past and of the future. The manifestations
are invaluable as corroboration and confirmation of this theory, but they are not its
basis. And proof of this view of the subject is found in the fact that thousands, before
they had ever heard of the manifestations, had an intuitive perception of the doctrine,
which has only served to give form and coherence to ideas that had, previously, been
vaguely held by them.