4. The existence of the soul and the existence of God, as consequences of each
other, being the basis of the edifice of spiritism, it is necessary, before entering on the
discussion of this subject, to ascertain whether our reader admits that basis. If to the
Do you believe in God?
Do you believe you have a soul?
Do you believe in the survival of the soul after death? he responds with a
negative, or even if he simply says: -
" I do not know; I should be glad if it were so, but I do not feel sure of it " (a
reply that would be usually equivalent to a polite negation, disguised under a gentler
form to avoid wounding what he may regard as respectable prejudices), it would be as
useless to continue our present argument with such a one, as it would be to demonstrate
the properties of light to a blind man who did not believe in the existence of light:
because, spirit-manifestations being neither more nor less than effects of the soul's
peculiar qualities, it would be useless to reason thereupon with one who denies the
soul's existence, and who would require a totally different line of argument from that of
the present work. We therefore take it for granted that those who read this book admit
the existence and survival of the soul; and if this basis be admitted, not as a mere pro-
bability, but as an acknowledged and incontestable fact, the existence of spirits follows
as a natural consequence.