52. Materialistic opinions being put aside, as condemned at once by reason and
by facts, we have now to inquire whether the soul, after death, can manifest itself to the
Let us begin by considering whether there can be any reason why intelligent
beings, living, as it were, in our midst, although, from their nature, we are unable to see
them, should not be able to manifest themselves in some way or other. Common sense
tells us that there can be no á priori impossibility of their being able to do this; and it is
something that the supposition is seen to be not intrinsicaly unreasonable. On the other
hand, the belief that they can thus manifest themselves is indigenous among all nations,
and has existed everywhere, and at all epochs ; and it is evident that no intuition could
be so general, or manifest such vitality, in all ages, without having some foundation.
Moreover, this belief is sanctioned by the testimony of Holy Writ and by the Fathers of
the Church; and only the materialistic scepticism of our age could have relegated it into
the category of superstitions.
But these are only moral considerations. One cause has Contributed beyond all
others to develop scepticism in a positive age like ours; an age in which a reason must
be given for every statement, and in which people must know the "why" and the "how"
of everything. That cause is the general ignorance of mankind in regard to the nature of
spirits and of the means by which they are able to manifest themselves. Let the world
acquire this knowledge, and the fact of spirit-manifestation will be seen to have nothing
surprising in it, and will take its place with all other natural facts.