Allan Kardec

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104. Sometimes a spirit, who desires or who is able to appear, assumes a form still more defined, and having all the appearance of a solid body, so as to produce a complete illusion, causing us to believe that we have a corporeal body before us. In some cases, and tinder certain circumstances, this apparent tangibility becomes a reality; that is to say, we can touch the spirit, handle it, and feel the same resistance, the same warmth, as we should feel in a fleshly body; but this does not hinder it from vanishing with the celerity of lightning. In such cases, it is not the eye alone which attests the reality of their presence, but also the sense of touch; and though we might attribute a merely visual apparition to illusion, or to a sort of fascination, we cannot do so when we are able to seize and handle the apparition, or when the latter seizes and touches us. The phenomena of tangible apparitions are the rarest of all; but those which have appeared, in these latter days, through the influence of certain powerful mediums, confirm and explain many historical statements in regard to persons who, in former days, have shown themselves, after death, with all the appearances of reality. For the rest, as we have said however extraordinary such phenomena may be, their marvellousness disappears when we know the means by which they are produced ; for we then see that, so far from being a derogation from the laws of nature, they are only another application of those laws.

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