Allan Kardec

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257. The identity of contemporaneous spirits is much more easily proved, those whose character and habits are known, for it is precisely these habits, which they have not yet had time to throw aside, by which they can be recognized; and let us say here, that in these very individual habits we find one of the most certain signs of identity. Without doubt, the spirit can give the proofs if asked, but he does not always do so unless it is agreeable to him, and generally the asking wounds him ; for this reason it should be avoided. In leaving his body, the spirit has not laid aside his susceptibility ; he is wounded by any question tending to put him to the proof. It is such questions as one would not dare to propose to him, were he living, for fear of overstepping the bounds of propriety; why, then, should there be less regard after his death ? Should a man enter a drawing-room and decline to give his name, should we insist, at all hazards, that he should prove his identity by exhibiting his titles, under the pretext that there are impostors ? Would he not, assuredly, have the right to remind his interrogator of the rules of good breeding ? This is what the spirits do, either by not replying or by withdrawing. Let us make a comparison. Suppose the astronomer, Arago, during his life, had presented himself in a house where no one knew him, and he had been thus addressed: " You say you are Arago; but as we do not know you, please prove it by answering our questions: solve this astronomical problem; tell us your name, your Christian name, those of your children, what you did such and such a day, at such an hour, &c." What would he have answered ? Well, as a spirit, he will do just what he would have done during his lifetime ; and other spirits do the same.

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