QUESTIONS THAT MAY BE ADDRESSED
Preliminary Observations. •— Questions sympathetic or
antipathetic to the Spirits. —Questions on the Future.
— On Past and Future Existences. — On Moral and
Material Interests. — On the Fate of Spirits. — On
the Health. — On Inventions and Discoveries. — On
Hidden Treasures. — On the other World.
286.. Too much importance cannot be attached to the
manner of putting questions, and still more to their
nature. Two things are to be considered in those ad
dressed to spirits —the form and the subject. As to
the form, they should be compiled with clearness and
precision, avoiding complexity. But there is another
point not less important —the order that should pre
side in their arrangement. When a subject requires
a series of questions, it is essential that they be
put together with method, so as to flow naturally into
each other ; the spirits then answer much more readily
and clearly than when they are put by chance, passing
abruptly from one object to another. For this reason
it is always best to prepare them in advance, intercalat
ing those which, during a seance, are brought out by
circumstances. The compiling is better done with the head quiet ; and this preparatory work is, as we have
already said, a kind of anticipated invocation at which
the spirit may have assisted, and be prepared to an
swer. It will be remarked that, very often, the spirit
answers by anticipation to certain questions, which
proves him to have already known them.
The subject-matter of the question requires a still
more serious attention, for it is often the nature of the
request that draws forth a true or false reply ; there are
those to which the spirits cannot or ought not to reply,
from motives unknown to us : it is, therefore, useless
to insist ; but what we should especially avoid are
questions calculated to put their perspicacity to the
proof. When a thing is, it is said they ought to know
it ; but it is precisely because the thing is known to
you, or that you have the means of verifying it for
yourselves, that they do not give themselves the
trouble of answering ; this suspicion annoys them, and
nothing satisfactory is obtained.
Have you not daily examples of this with yourselves ?
Would superior men, who are conscious of their value,
answer all the foolish questions calculated to subject
them to examination like scholars ? The desire of
making a believer of such or such a person is not, for
spirits, a motive for satisfying a vain curiosity ; they
know that conviction will come sooner or later, and the
means they employ to lead to it are not always those
you think. Suppose a grave man, occupied with use
ful and serious matters, incessantly harassed by the
puerile questions of a child, and you will have an idea
of what the superior spirits think of all the nonsense
with which they are credited. It does not follow that
very useful teachings and excellent advice may not be
obtained from spirits ; but they answer according to the knowledge they themselves possess, according to
the interest you deserve on their part and the affection
they have for you, and according to the end proposed
and the usefulness they see in the thing ; but if all our
thoughts are limited to thinking them better fitted to
teach us of the things of this world, they cannot have
a very profound sympathy for us ; then they make
visits very short or very often, according to the degree
of their imperfection, evincing their annoyance for hav
ing been uselessly troubled.
287. Some persons think it preferable to abstain
from asking questions, and that it is best to wait the
teaching of the spirits without calling it forth ; that is
an error. Spirits, certainly, give spontaneous instruc
tions of a very high bearing, which it would be wrong
to neglect ; but there are explanations we should often
await a long time were they not solicited. Without
the questions we have asked, the Book on Spirits and
the Book on Mediums would be still to make, or, at
least, would have been much less complete, and a
crowd of problems of great importance would be still
to solve. Questions, far from having the least danger
attending them, are of great utility as to instruction,
when we know how to keep them within the prescribed
limits. They have another advantage ; they help to
unmask deceiving spirits, who, being more vain than
learned, rarely undergo to their advantage the trial
of questions of close logic, by which they are driven „
to their last intrenchments. As spirits truly superior
have nothing to dread from such a censorship, they
are the first to offer explanations on obscure points ;
the others, on the contrary, fearing to meet a stronger
party, take great care to avoid them ; thus, in general,
they recommend to the mediums they wish to govern, and to make accept their theories, to abstain from all
controversy at the place of their teachings.
If what we have already said in this work has been
thoroughly understood, some idea can be formed of the
circle in which it is best to confine the questions to be
addressed to spirits ; yet, for greater certainty, we give
below the answers that have been made on the princi
pal subjects on which persons of slight experience are
usually disposed to interrogate them.
288. Questions sympathetic or antipathetic to Spirits.
1. " Do spirits answer willingly to questions that are
addressed to them ? "
" That is according to the questions. Serious spirits
always answer with pleasure to those which have for
their end good, and the means, to advance you. They
do not listen to futile questions."
2. " Is it sufficient that a question be serious to ob
tain a serious answer ? "
" No ; that depends on the spirit who answers."
— " But does not a serious question drive away
trifling spirits ? "
" It is not the question that drives away trifling spir
its ; it is the character of him zvho asks it."
3. " What are the questions especially antipathetic
to good spirits ? "
" All those that are useless, or are asked from a mo
tive of curiosity or test ; then they do not answer, but.
—" Are there any questions antipathetic to imper
fect spirits ? "
" Only those that might unmask their ignorance or
their fraud when they try to deceive; otherwise they answer all, without troubling themselves about the
4. " What is to be thought of persons who see in
spirit communications only a distraction or a pastime,
or a means of obtaining revelations on what interests
them ? "
" These persons are very pleasing to inferior spirits,
who, like them, wish to be amused, and are content
when they have mystified them."
5. " Where spirits do not answer certain questions,
is it the effect of their own will, or, rather, that a supe
rior power is opposed to certain revelations ? "
" Both ; there are things that cannot be revealed,
and others that the spirit does not know."
—" By strongly insisting, would the spirit end by an
swering ? "
" No ; the spirit who does not wish to answer can
always leave. It is, therefore, necessary to wait when
you are told to do so ; and do not be obstinate in wish
ing to make us answer. To insist upon having an
answer when we do not wish to give one, is a certain
means of being deceived."
6. " Can all spirits understand the questions put to
them ? "
" Very far from it ; the inferior spirits are incapable
of comprehending some questions, which does not,
however, prevent them from answering well or ill, just
as it happens among yourselves."
Remark. In some cases, and when the thing is use
ful, it frequently happens that a more enlightened spirit
comes to the assistance of the ignorant spirit, and
breathes to him what he ought to say.
The contrast between the answers is easily recog
nized ; and, besides, the spirit often acknowledges it him self. This happens only for spirits really ignorant, never
for those who make a parade of false knowledge.
289. Questions on the Future.
7. " Can spirits tell us of the future ? "
" If man should know the future* he would neglect
the present. And there is where you always insist
upon having a precise answer; it is a great wrong, for
the manifestation of spirits is not a means of divina
tion. If you will, absolutely, have an answer, it will
be given to you by a foolish spirit ; we tell you so
always." (See Book on Spirits —Knowledge of the
Future, No. 868.)
8. "Are there not future events sometimes spon
taneously and truly announced by spirits ? "
" It may happen that the spirit may foresee things
he thinks it useful to make known, or that he has a
mission to make known ; but there is greater cause for
suspecting it to be deceiving spirits, who are amusing
themselves by making predictions. Only by taking all
the circumstances together can we ascertain the degree
of confidence they merit."
9. " What kind of predictions should we most mis
trust ? "
" All that have no motive of general utility. Per
sonal predictions may almost always be considered
10. " What is the motive of spirits who announce
spontaneously events that do not come to pass ? "
" Most often it is to be amused by the credulity, the
terror, or the joy they cause ; then they laugh at the
disappointment. Yet these lying predictions have
sometimes a more serious aim —that of putting to the
test him to whom they are made, to see how he takes them, the nature of the sentiments, good or bad, they
may awaken in him."
Remark. Such, for instance, as the announcement
of what might excite cupidity or ambition, the death
of a person, or a prospective inheritance, &c.
11. "Why do serious spirits, when they predict an
event, ordinarily fix no date ; is it because they cannot,
or will not ? "
" Both ; they may, in some cases, predict an event ;
then it is a warning they give you. As to giving a
precise date, often they ought not ; often, also, they
cannot, because they do not know themselves. The
spirit may foresee that a thing will take place, but the
precise moment may depend on events not yet accom
plished, and which God alone knows. Trifling spirits,
who make no scruple of deceiving you, indicate the
days and the hours, without troubling themselves with
the issue. For this reason, all circumstantial predic
tions should be distrusted.
Once again, our mission is to make you progress ;
we aid you as much as we can. He who asks wisdom
of the superior spirits will never be deceived ; but do
not believe that we lose our time listening to your
nonsense, and telling your fortunes ; we leave that to
frivolous spirits, whom it amuses, like mischievous
" Providence has imposed limits to the revelations
that may be made to man. Serious spirits keep silence
on everything forbidden to be made known. By in
sisting on an answer, you are exposed to the impos
tures of inferior spirits, always ready to seize every
occasion to lay snares for your credulity."
Remark. Spirits see, or foresee, by induction, future
events ; they see them fulfilled in a space of time which they do not measure as we do ; in order to give the
exact date, they must identify themselves with our
method of computing duration, which they do not
always judge necessary ; this is often a cause of appar
12. "Are there not men endowed with a special
faculty, which makes them foresee the future ? "
" Yes ; those whose souls are disengaged from mat
ter ; then it is the spirit who sees ; and when it is use
ful, God permits them to reveal some things for good ;
but there are more impostors and charlatans. This
faculty will be more common in the future."
13. What must be thought of spirits who predict a
person's death at a certain day or hour ? "
" These are malicious jesters, — very malicious, —
who have no other motive than to enjoy the fears they
cause. Never believe them."
14. " How is it that some persons are warned by
presentiment of the time of their death ? "
" Most often it is their own spirit, who knows it in
his moments of liberty, and preserves an intuition of it
on awakening. These persons, being prepared, are not
frightened nor moved. They see in this separation of
the body and soul only a change of situation, or, if you
like better, and to be more common, the change from a
thick coat to a silk one. The fear of death will dimin
ish as spirit belief is extended."
290. Questions on Past and Future Existences.
15. "Can the spirits acquaint us with our past
existences ? "
" God sometimes permits them to be revealed ac
cording to the end ; if for your edification and instruc
tion, they will be true, and in such case the revelation is almost always made spontaneously, and in a totally
unforeseen manner ; but He never permits it to sat
isfy a vain curiosity."
—"Why do some spirits never refuse to give such
revelations ? "
" They arc bantering spirits, who amuse themselves
at your expense. In general, you should regard as
false, or, at least, suspicious, all revelations of this na
ture that have not one eminently serious and useful
aim. Mocking spirits please themselves in flattering
self-love, by pretended origins. There are mediums
and believers, who accept for current coin all that is
said on this subject, and who do not see that the ac
tual state of their spirit justifies in nothing the rank
they pretend to have occupied ; a small vanity, with
which the bantering spirits are as much amused as
men. It would be more logical and more in conform
ity with the progression of beings, that they should
ascend, not have descended ; it would be more honor
able to them. In order that these revelations should
be worthy of confidence, they should have been made
spontaneously by various mediums, strangers to each
other, to whom they should have been anteriorly
revealed : then there would be evident reason for
—" If we may not know our anterior individuality, is
it the same as to the kind of existence we have had,
the social position we have occupied, the qualities and
defects that have predominated in us ? "
" No ; that may be revealed, because you may profit
by it, for your advancement ; but in studying your
present, you can yourselves deduce your past." (See
Book on Spirits — Forgetfulness of the Past, No.
16. " Can anything be revealed to us of our future
existences ? "
" No ; all that some spirits tell you on this subject is
simply a jest, —easily understood to be so ; your future
existence is not decreed in advance, for it will be what
you yourself have made it, by your' conduct in the
world, and by the resolutions you will have made
when you shall have become spirits. The less you
have to expiate, the happier you will be ; but to know
where and how this existence will be, is impossible,
except in the special and rare cases of spirits who are
on the earth only to accomplish an important mission,
because then their way is in some sort traced in
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
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.)
292. Questions on the Fate of Spirits.
21. "May we ask of spirits information of their situ
ation in the world of spirits ? "
" Yes ; and they give it willingly, when the question
is dictated by sympathy or the desire of being useful,
and not by curiosity."
22. " Can spirits describe the nature of their suffer
ings, or their happiness ? "
" Perfectly ; and these revelations are of great in
struction for you, for they initiate you into the true
nature of future pains and recompenses, destroying
the false ideas you have had on this subject ; they tend
to reanimate faith and your confidence in the goodness
of God. The good spirits are glad to describe to you
the happiness of the chosen ; the bad can be con
strained to describe their sufferings to incite them to
repentance ; they sometimes find a comfort in it ; the
unhappy pour out their complaint in the hope of com
Do not forget that the essential, exclusive end of
Spiritism is your advancement, and it is to attain it
that the spirits are permitted to initiate you into the
future life, offering you examples by which you may
profit. The more you identify yourself with the world
that awaits you, the less you will regret the one in
which you now are. This is, in short, the actual end
of the revelation."
23. " In invoking a person whose fate is unknown,
may we know from himself if he is still living ? "
" Yes, if the uncertainty concerning his death is not
a necessity, or a trial for those w.ho are interested in
" If he is dead, can he give us the circumstances of
his death, so that they can be verified ? "
" If he attaches any importance to it, he will do it ;
otherwise he cares little about it."
Remark. Experience proves that, in such case, the
spirit is not impressed by the motives of interest there
may be to know the circumstances of his death ; if he
chooses to reveal them, he does it of himself, either
through a medium or by visions or apparitions, and
can then give more exact indications ; if he does not
desire it, a deceiving spirit may perfectly counterfeit
him, and be amused by the vain search he causes.
It frequently happens that the disappearance of a
person, whose death cannot be officially confirmed,
creates confusion in family affairs. It is only in very
rare and exceptional cases that we have known the
spirits show the way of getting at the truth, after being
asked to do so ; if they wish to do it, doubtless they
can, but often it is not permitted if the embarrassments
are trials for those who might be interested in disen
It is, therefore, but a chimerical hope we follow,
when we take such means of recovering an inherit
ance ; the most certain thing about it will be the
money spent in the effort.
There are not wanting spirits well disposed to flatter
such hopes, who make no scruples of inciting to pro
ceedings of which one is often very happy to be re
lieved at the expense of a little ridicule.
293. Questions on the Health.
24. " Can spirits give us advice for our health ?"
" Health is a condition necessary for the work one
should accomplish in the world ; for this reason they willingly attend to it ; but as there are ignorant and
learned among them, it is not proper for that, any
more than for anything else, to address yourself to the
25. " In addressing one's self to the spirit of a med
ical celebrity, is one more certain of obtaining good
advice ? "
" Terrestrial celebrities are not infallible, and have,
often, systematic ideas which are not always true, and
from which death does not immediately deliver them.
Terrestrial science is a very small thing compared with
celestial science ; the superior spirits alone have this
last science ; without having names known among you,
they may know much more than your learned men
about everything. Science alone does not make spirits
superior, and you would be very much astonished at
the rank certain learned men occupy among us. The
spirit of a learned man may not know more than
when he was in the world, if he has not progressed as
26. " Cannot the learned, after becoming a spirit,
recognize his scientific errors ? "
" If he have reached a sufficiently high degree to be
rid of his vanity, and to understand that his develop
ment is not complete, he recognizes and avows them
without shame ; but .if he is not sufficiently dematerialized,
he may preserve some of the prejudices with
which he was imbued in the world."
27. " Could a doctor, by invoking those of his pa
tients who are dead, obtain from them some enlight
enment on the cause of their death, the faults he may
have committed in the treatment, and thus acquire an
addition to his knowledge ? "
" He can ; and that would be very useful should he have the assistance of enlightened spirits, who could
supply the defects in the knowledge of some of the
patients. But for that he must make this study in a
serious and assiduous manner, with a humanitary
design, and not as a means of easily acquiring knowl
edge and fortune."
294. Questions on Inventions and Discoveries.
28. "Can spirits guide in scientific researches and
discoveries ? "
" Science is the work of genius ; it must be acquired
only by labor ; for by labor alone is man advanced on
his road. What merit would there be if he had only
to question the spirits in order to know everything ?
Any simpleton could become learned at that price.
Industry alone can give us inventions and discoveries.
Then there is another consideration ; everything must
come in its time, when ideas are ripe 'to receive it : if
man had this power I13 would overturn the order of
things, pushing forward fruit before its season.
" God has said to man, Thou shalt draw thy nourish
ment from the earth by the sweat of thy face : admi
rable figure ! which pictures his condition here below.
He must progress in everything by the effort of labor ;
if we give him things already made, of what use would
be his intelligence? He would.be like the scholar
whose duty another person performs."
29. " Are the ' savant ' and the inventor never assist
ed by spirits in their researches ? "
" O, that is very different. When the time has come
for a discovery, the spirits charged with its direction
seek the man capable of conducting it to a good end,
and inspire him with the necessary ideas, in such a
way as to leave him all the merit of it ; for these ideas he must elaborate and work out. It is thus with all
the grand achievements of human intelligence. The
spirits leave each man in his sphere ; of him who is
fit only to cultivate the earth, they will not make a
confidant of God's secrets ; but they know how to
draw from obscurity the man capable of seconding His
designs. Do not allow yourselves to be carried away,
by curiosity or ambition, into a path which is not the
end of Spiritism, and which will lead only to the most
Remark. A more enlightened knowledge of Spirit
ism has calmed the fever for discoveries which, in its
incipiency, were expected to be reached by this means.
It was supposed persons had only to ask of the spirits
recipes to color the hair or to make it grow, to cure
.corns on the feet, &c. We have seen many persons
who thought their fortunes made, and who received
only more or less ridiculous processes for it. It is the
same when persons desire, by the aid of spirits, to pry
into the mysteries of the origin of things ; some spirits
having, on such subjects, systems often worth no more
than those of men, and which it is prudent to receive
with the utmost reserve.
295. Questions on Hidden Treasures.
30. " Can spirits discover to us hidden treasures ? "
" The superior spirits are not engaged in such mat
ters ; but mocking spirits often indicate treasures that
do not exist, or can make you fancy one in a spot in a
directly contrary direction from where it is ; and that
has its usefulness in order to show that tfue fortune is
in labor. If Providence destines hidden riches for
some one, he will find them naturally ; otherwise
31. "What are we to think of the belief of spirit
guardians for hidden treasures ?"
" Spirits who are not dematerialized are attached to
things. Misers who have hidden their treasures might
still watch over and guard them after their death, and
the trouble of seeing them carried away is one of their
punishments, until they understand how useless they
are to them. There are also spirits of the earth,
charged to direct its interior transformations, who
have been allegorically made the guardians of natural
Remark. The question of hidden treasures is in
the same category as that of unknown inheritances ;
very silly would he be who should reckon upon the
pretended revelations that might be made to him by
the jokers of the invisible world. We have said that
when spirits will or can make such revelations, they
do it spontaneously, and have no need of mediums for
that. We give an example. A lady lost her husband,
after thirty years of married life, and found herself on
the brink of being expelled from her home, without
any resource, by her step-son, to whom she had been
as a mother. Her despair was at its height, when,
one evening, her husband appeared to her, told her to
follow him into his study ; there he showed her his
writing desk, which was still under seal, and by a kind
of second sight he made her see its interior ; he
pointed out a secret drawer that she had not known,
explained to her its mechanism, and added, " I fore
saw what would happen, and wished to make sure of
your comfort : in this drawer is my last will ; I have
given you the use of this house, and a yearly income :"
then he disappeared. When the day came to remove
the seals, no one could open the drawer ; then the lady related what had happened to her. She opened
it as her husband had told her, and there found the
will, in terms exactly as he had mentioned.
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.