49. The multispiritist or polyspiritist theory. All the explanations we have
passed in review, not excepting those of the negative order, are grounded on the
observation of certain facts; but of facts that have been seen isolatedly and interpreted
wrongly. If a house is red on one side and white on the other, those who have only seen
one side will affirm it to be red, or white, according to the side they have seen. Both
will be right, and both wrong; but he who has seen the house on both sides will say that
it is red and white, and he alone will be right. So it is with spiritism; what is said of it
may be true in certain respects, and may yet be false if we generalise what is only
partial, if we take for a rule what is only an exception, or regard as a whole what is only
a part. It is for this reason we say that whoever would study spiritism seriously must
see much of it, and for a long time together; time alone will give him opportunities for
seizing upon details, for remarking delicate shadings, and for observing a multitude of
characteristic facts which will be for him so many rays of light; but, if he stops at the
surface, he exposes himself to the danger of forming an opinion that will be premature,
and consequently erroneous. Let us now proceed to sum up the general principles that
have been deduced from the widest observation and study of the phenomena we are
considering, and that may be regarded as forming the general basis of spiritist belief; all
other interpretations being merely the expression of individual opinions: -
1st. Spirit-phenomena are produced by extra-corporeal intelligences ; that is to
say, by spirits.
2nd. Spirits constitute the invisible world ; they are everywhere; the infinity of
space is peopled by them; they are always around us, and we are always in intimate union with some of them.
3rd. Spirits act incessantly upon the physical world, and upon the moral world, and are one of the powers of nature.
4th. Spirits are not beings of a different order from ourselves ; they are the souls
of those who have lived upon the earth or in other worlds, and who have thrown off
their corporeal body : whence it follows that the souls of men are spirits in flesh, and
that we, on dying, become spirits.
5th. Spirits are of every degree of goodness and of badness, of knowledge and of
6th. Spirits are submitted to the law of progress, and all will arrive at perfection
; but, as they possess free-will, they arrive at perfection more or less rapidly, according
to the amount of effort and determination put forth by them.
7th. Spirits are happy or Unhappy, in proportion to the good or the evil which
they have done during their earthly life, and the amount of progress they have made.
Perfect, unmixed felicity is the heritage of those spirits alone who have arrived at the
supreme degree of perfection.
8th. All spirits, under certain conditions, can manifest themselves to men; the
number of those able to communicate with us is unlimited.
9th. Spirits communicate through the agency of mediums, who serve them as
instruments and interpreters.
10th. The superiority or inferiority of Spirits is shown by their language; the
good give only good Counsels, and say only what is good: everything about them attests
their elevation. Bad Spirits deceive, and their statements usually bear the stamp of
ignorance and imperfection.
A knowledge of the different degrees passed through by spirits is indispensable
to the comprehension of the nature of those who manifest themselves, with their good
or evil qualities. *
Vide The Spirits' Book, 100; Spirit-Hierarchy.