296. Questions on other Worlds.
32. " What degree of confidence may we place in the descriptions spirits give us of the different worlds ? "
" That depends on the degree of real advancement the spirits who give these descriptions may have reached ; for you understand that ordinary spirits are as incapable of teaching you, in that respect, as an ignoramus in the world is to describe all the countries of the earth. You often ask scientific questions about these worlds that these spirits cannot solve : if they are sincere, they speak according to their personal ideas ; if they are trifling spirits, they amuse them selves by giving you absurd and fantastic descriptions ; inasmuch as these spirits, who are not deprived of imagination in the wandering state, any more than on earth, draw on this faculty for the recital of many things that have no reality. Yet, there is no absolute impossibility of having some enlightenment on these worlds ; good spirits are even pleased in describing to you those who inhabit them, in order to serve as in struction and for your advancement, and to induce you to follow the road that will lead you thither ; it is a means of fixing your ideas of the future, so as not to leave you with a vague impression."
" What certainty can we have of the exactness of these descriptions ? "
" The best is the agreement between them ; but remember, they have your moral advancement for their object, and that, consequently, it is on the moral state of the inhabitants you may receive the best teachings, and not on their physical or geological state. With your actual knowledge you could not even com prehend it ; its study would not serve your progress here below, and you will have every means of making it when you are there."
Remark. Questions on the physical constitution and astronomical elements of the worlds enter into the order of scientific researches, of which the spirits ought not to spare you the trouble ; otherwise an astronomer would find it very convenient to have them make his calculations, which, doubtless, he would not hesitate to do. If spirits could, by revelation, spare the labor of a discovery, it is probable that they would do so in favor of a " savant " modest enough to avow openly the source, rather than to allow those to profit by it who deny them, and for whose self-love, on the - contrary, they often contrive deceptions.