291. Questions on Moral and Material Interests.
17. " Can one ask advice of spirits ? " " Yes, certainly ; good spirits never refuse to aid those who invoke them with confidence, principally on what concerns the soul ; but they repulse hypocrites, those who seem to ask for light, and yet delight in darkness?
18. "Can the spirits give advice on things of private interest ? "
"Sometimes, according to the motive. It depends, also, upon those to whom you address yourself. Ad vice concerning your private life is given with more certainty by the familiar spirit, because he attaches himself to a person, and interests himself in what con cerns him. This is the friend, the confidant of your most secret thoughts ; but often you tire him with questions so little to the purpose that he leaves you. It would be as absurd to ask about your private affairs of spirits who are strangers to you, as to address your self, for that purpose, to the first person you might meet on your road. You should never forget that puerility of questions is incompatible with the superi ority of the spirits. You must also take into account the qualities of the familiar spirit, who may be good or bad, according to his sympathies for the person to whom he attaches himself. The familiar -spirit of a wicked man is a wicked spirit, whose advice may be pernicious, but who removes and yields his place to a better spirit if the man himself becomes better. Like to like."
19. "Can the familiar spirits favor material interests by revelations ? "
" They can and do sometimes, accbrding to circum stances ; but be assured that good spirits never lend themselves to serve cupidity. The bad will display to your eyes a thousand attractions, to incite it, and mys tify you, at last, by deception. Be very sure, also, that if your lot is to undergo a certain vicissitude, your protecting spirits may aid you to support it with more resignation, may sometimes soften it ; but in the inter est of your future, it is not permitted them to deliver you from it ; as a good father does not give to his child all he may desire."
Remark. Our spirit protectors can, in many cases, indicate to us the better way, without, at the same time, leading us in a leash ; otherwise we should lose all initiative, and would not dare to take a step with out having recourse to them, and this to the prejudice of our perfecting. To progress, man often has to gain experience at his own expense ; for this reason wise spirits, even while advising us, leave us to our own energy, as a skillful teacher does for his pupils. In the ordinary circumstances of life, they counsel us by inspiration, and thus leave us all the merit of the good, as they leave us all the responsibility of the bad choice. It would be an abuse of the condescension of the familiar spirits, and a mistake as to their mis sion, to question them every instant about the most ordinary things, as do some mediums. There are those who, for a yes or no, take the pencil, and ask advice for the most simple action. This habit denotes poverty of ideas ; at the same time, it is a presumption to suppose we have always a spirit at our command, having nothing else to do but to be occupied with us and our small interests. It will also serve to destroy one's own judgment, and reduce one's self to a passive part, profitless for the present life, and most surely prejudicial to future advancement. If it is childish to interrogate the spirits for trifling things, it is not less so on the part of the spirits who occupy themselves spontaneously with what one. might call the details of the household : they may be good, but assuredly they are very terrestrial.
20. " If a person, in dying, leaves his affairs embarrasseJ, can one ask his spirit to aid - in disentangling them, and can one also question him upon the real estate he has left, in a case where the estate may not be known, if such questioning be in the interests of justice ? "
" You forget that death is a deliverance from the cares of the world ; do you think that the spirit who is happy in his liberty willingly returns to take up his chains, and occupy himself with things he no longer cares for, to satisfy the cupidity of those who, perhaps, are re joiced at his death, in the hope that it will be profitable to them ? You speak of justice, but the justice is in cheating their covetousness ; it is the beginning of the punishment which God reserves for their greediness for the goods of the world. Besides, the confusion which the death of a person sometimes leaves, makes a part of the trials of life, and it is not in the power of any spirit to deliver you from them, because they are in the decrees of God "
Remark. The above answer will, doubtless, disap point those wh6 imagine that spirits have nothing bet ter to do than to serve us as auxiliary clairvoyants, to guide us, not toward heaven, but on the earth. Another consideration comes to the support of this answer. If a man, during his life, has left his affairs in disorder from negligence, it is not likely that, afterhis death, he will take more care, for he would be happy to be freed from the trouble they caused him, and however little he may be elevated, he will attach less importance to them as spirit than as man. As to the unknown goods he may have left, he has no reason to interest himself for greedy heirs, who would prob ably think no more of him if they did not hope to gain something ; and if he is still imbued with human pas sions he may take a malign pleasure in their disap pointment. If, in the interest of justice and of persons he loves, a spirit deems it useful to make revelations of this kind, he makes them spontaneously, and for that there is no need of being a medium, or of having recourse to one ; he leads to the knowledge of the things by apparently accidental circumstances, but never on a question put to him about it ; inasmuch as this question cannot change the trials to be suffered, it would rather tend to increase them, because it is almost always an indication of cupidity, and proves to the spirits that they think of him only from interested motives. (See No. 295.