283. Invocation of Animals.
36. " Can the spirit of an animal be invoked ?"
"After the death of the animal, the intelligent principle that was in him is in a latent state; he is immediately utilized, by spirits charged with such cares, to animate new beings, in whom he continues the work of his elaboration. Thus, in the spirit world there are no spirits of wandering animals, but only human spirits. This answers your question."
" How is it, then, that some persons have invoked animals and received answers ?" •
" Invoke a stone and it will answer you. There is always a crowd of spirits ready to speak for anything."
Remark. Just the same if you invoke a myth, or an allegorical personage, it will answer; that is, it will be answered for, and the spirit who would* present himself would take its character and appearance. One day, a person took a fancy to invoke Tartufe, and Tartufe came immediately ; still more, he talked of Orgon, of Elmire, of Damis, and of Valire, of whom he gave news ; as to himself, he counterfeited the hypocrite with as much art as if Tartufe had been a real personage. Afterward, he said he was the spirit of an actor who had played that character.
Trifling-spirits always profit by the inexperience of interrogators, but they take good care never to address those who they know are enlightened enough to discover their impostures, and who would give no credit to their stories.
It is the same among men.
A gentleman had in his garden a nest of goldfinches, in which he was much interested ; one day the nest disappeared ; being certain that no one about the house had been guilty of its destruction, he thought of invoking the mother of the little ones ; she came, and said, in very good French, " Do not accuse any one, and be easy about my little ones ; the cat overthrew the nest by jumping; you will find, under the grass, all the little ones that have not been eaten." He looked, and found it so. Must he conclude that the bird had answered him ? No, assuredly; but simply that a spirit knew the history of it. This proves how much appearances should be distrusted, and how just the above reply: Invoke a stone, and it will answer you. (See, further the chapter on Mediumship among Animals, No. 234.)