THE MEDIUMS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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122. Let us now consider the second phenomenon, that of transfiguration. This consists in the change of aspect of a living body. As an illustration of this phenomenon, we adduce a fact that occurred in the years 1858 and 1859, in the neighbourhood of St Etienne, and for the authenticity of which we can vouch. A young lady, about fifteen years of age, had the singular faculty of transforming herself; that is to say, she could assume, at times, the appearance of persons who were dead : the illusion was so complete that the person simulated appeared to be actually present, so exact was the resemblance of features, expression, voice, and even of peculiarities of speech. This phenomenon occurred hundreds of times, without the girl's will having anything to do with it. She often assumed the appearance of her brother, who had been dead many years, presenting the similitude not only of his face, but his height, and the size of his body. A physician of the place, who had several times witnessed these strange occurrences, made the following experiment, with a view to assuring himself that he was not under an illusion. We have the fact from his own lips, from the girl's father, and from several other ocular witnesses, of most honourable character, and unquestionable veracity. It occurred to the physician to weigh this young lady, first in her normal state, and then in her state of transfiguration, when she had assumed the appearance of her brother, who was more than twenty years of age when he died, and much larger and stronger than his sister. He did so, and found that, in her transfigured state, her weight was almost doubled. This experiment was conclusive, and rendered it impossible to attribute her appearance to an optical illusion. Let us try to explain this fact, which, at one time, would have been called a miracle, but which we may now simply speak of as "a phenomenon."

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