Allan Kardec

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42. Theory of physical causes. We now emerge from the sphere of absolute negation. The reality of the phenomena being admitted, the first thought which naturally suggested itself, to those who recognised them as real, was to attribute them to magnetism, to electricity, or to some sort of fluidic action; in a word, to some purely physical cause. In this there was nothing irrational; and that explanation would have been generally adopted, if the phenomena had been limited to purely mechanical effects. A circumstance which even seemed to corroborate this view was the fact, that, in certain cases, the power increased in proportion to the number of the sitters ; each person might thus be considered as constituting one of the elements of a human electric battery. As previously remarked, the characteristic of a true theory is its capability of accounting for all the facts to which it refers ; if contradicted by a single fact, the theory is seen to be erroneous or incomplete and this is just the case with the theory now cited. The phenomena observed were found to give signs of intelligence, by conforming to the will of the sitters and responding to their thought; thus proving that they proceeded from the action of an intelligent cause. This point ascertained, the phe- nomena could no longer be regarded as merely physical, or as being due to the action of a purely physical cause. The theory of the exclusive action of a physical agent as their source was thenceforth necessarily abandoned, and is no longer upheld except by people who argue à priori, and without having investigated. The chief point, therefore, is to obtain proof of intelligence in the phenomena we are about to consider; and this proof will certainly be obtained by all who take the pains to investigate for themselves.

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