Allan Kardec

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81. We alluded, just now, to the possible augmentation of the weight of bodies; a phenomenon which sometimes occurs, and which is no more anomalous-than the resistance of the receiver under the pressure of the atmospheric column. Under the influence of certain mediums, we 'have seen objects, light in themselves, offer the same sort of resistance, and, immediately afterwards, yield to the slightest effort. In the experiment mentioned above, the receiver does not really weigh more or less, but it appears heavier or lighter, through the action of the exterior agent to which it is submitted; it is probably the same with the table, which has always the same intrinsic weight (for its mass has not increased), but an extraneous agent opposes its movement, and this agent may very well be the surrounding fluids by which it is pene- trated, just as the air is the agent which augments or diminishes the apparent weight of the receiver. Try the experiment of the air-pump in the presence of an ignorant peasant, who does not understand that it is the air (invisible, and therefore incomprehensible by him), which acts, and you would have little difficulty in persuading him that the devil has something to do with it.

It may, perhaps, be said that, the vital fluid being imponderable, its accumulation cannot augment the weight of an object agreed ; but let it be understood that, in using the word accumulation, we did so by way of comparison, and not as implying similarity between that fluid and air. You say it is imponderable. Be it so; nevertheless, nothing proves this to be the case ; its essential nature is unknown to us, and we are far from being cognisant of all its properties. Before experiment had proved the weight of the air, we had no suspicion of the effects of that weight. Electricity is also ranged among the imponderable fluids; nevertheless, a body may be kept down by an electric current, so as to offer very great resistance to any one who would raise it, and will thus appear to have become heavier. Because, in the phenomenon referred to, we cannot see any means of support, it would be very illogical to assert that no support exists; for a spirit may make use of levers

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