Dr. P. was a physician from Moscow, equally remarkable for his eminent virtues and for his knowledge. The person who evoked him had known him only by reputation, and had never had any direct communication with him. The following communication was made in Russian:
Q. (After the evocation) Are you there?
A. Yes. On the day of my death, I pursued you with my presence, but you resisted all my attempts to make you write. I had heard what you said about me, and this had made me acquainted with you, and had given me a wish to speak with you, and to be of use to you.
Q. Why was it that you, who were so good, had to undergo so much suffering during your life?
A. My suffering was a favor granted to me by Providence, in order that I might the more fully appreciate my deliverance, and also to make me advance as much as possible while on Earth.
Q. Did the thought of death cause you any terror?
A. No;I had too much faith in God for that.
Q. Was the separation painful?
A. No. What you call “the last moment” is nothing at all; I felt only a very short crack, and
then, very soon afterwards, I found myself, to my great joy, delivered from my miserable carcass.
Q. What happened then?
A. I saw, to my delight, a great number of friends who had come to meet and to welcome me; among them were many of those whom I had had the satisfaction of helping on Earth.
Q. What region do you inhabit? Is it on a planet?
A. Whatever is not a planet is what you call “space;” it is there that I am. But how many degrees are there in this immensity of which human beings can form no idea! How many rungs to this “Jacob’s ladder,” that reaches from the Earth to heaven, that is to say, from the debasement of incarnation on a low Earth like yours, to the complete purification of the soul! Where I am, we only arrive after many trials; in other words, after many incarnations.
Q. In that case, you must have had many existences?
A. How could it be otherwise? Nothing is exceptional in the immutable order established by God. The reward can only be given after the victory has been won through struggle; therefore, when the reward is great, the struggle must necessarily have been severe. The lives of human beings are so short that the struggle is only fulfilled in stages with intervals, and these intervals are the different successive existences; and as I have already reached a rung that is a good way up, it is certain that I must have attained to this happiness through a succession of struggles in which, with the help of God, I have succeeded in gaining the victory.
Q. In what does your happiness consist?
A. That is something that would be very difficult to make you understand. The happiness I enjoy may be described as a sense of intimate satisfaction with myself; not with my own merits, for that would be pride, which is characteristic of reprobate spirits, but, rather, a self-contentment merged, so to say, with love of God, in gratitude for God’s infinite goodness; it is the profound joy of seeing myself to be in unison with what is good and right; of saying to myself, “Perhaps I have contributed to the elevation of some of those who have raised themselves towards the Lord.” It is the feeling of having identified one’s self with the current of the Divine Order; it is a sort of conscious fusion of the mind with the Divine Goodness. We have also the gift of seeing the fully purified spirits above us, of comprehending them in the missions they discharge, and of knowing that we shall reach the same elevation; we obtain glimpses, in the incommensurableness of infinity, of regions so effulgent with the divine fire, that we are dazzled by the contemplation of them, even through the veil with which they are still covered. But what am I telling you? Can you understand my words? Do you imagine, for instance, that this fire of which I speak to you is similar to the sun? No, no; it is something absolutely indescribable to humankind, because words express only objects, things, physical or metaphysical, of which human beings have knowledge from memory or from soul-intuition; but, as they cannot have this remembrance of what is absolutely unknown to them, there are no terms that can give them a perception of it. But, remember that there is an immensity of happiness merely in knowing that we can raise ourselves higher and higher forever.
Q. You have been so kind as to say that you wished to be of use to me; please tell me, in what way can you help me?
A. I can aid you in your moments of discouragement, sustain you in your hours of weakness, and console you in your hours of grief. If your faith, shaken by some shock, should waver, call me; the inspiration from on high will enable me to suggest to your mind the train of thought that will lead you back to the calmness of an assured belief. If you feel the danger of succumbing to tendencies that you know are incorrect, call me; I will assist you to bear your cross, just as Jesus was assisted in carrying His, the one he bore with such dignity, and through which he proclaimed his message of truth and charity. If you stagger under the weight of your troubles, if despair takes hold of you, call me; I will draw you from the abyss by speaking to your spirit, and will recall you to the duties that are laid upon you, not by social considerations, but by the attraction of the love which you will feel in me, and which will rekindle the flame of the divine life in you.
You have, without a doubt, friends on Earth. Perhaps they share your pains and perhaps they have been able to help you. During your afflictions you will communicate your tears and laments to them, and they will offer you in return the proof of their affection and their good advice, their attention and their help. Well then, don’t you think that a friend from here will be equally loving and supportive? Is it not a consolation to be able to say: “when I die, my friends from Earth will be crying and praying for me, but my friends from space will be on the other side of life, joyfully celebrating our reunion and happily conducting me to the place that I may have merited due to my virtues?
Q. How can I have deserved the protection you are kind enough to offer me?
A. I will tell you how it came to pass that I have felt an attachment to you since the day of my death. I saw that you were a sincere and enlightened spiritist and a good medium; among those I have left below, you were the first whom I perceived; and I at once resolved to come to you and to help you to advance, for your own sake, and, still more, for the sake of the many whom you will help to bring to the truth. You can see the depth of God’s love for having conferred upon you the rank of missionary; little by little, you are leading all about you to share your belief. Do not weary in the good work; in time, the most obstinate will be with you. Go forward steadily, unmindful of the stones in the road; and when you grow tired, take me as a staff to help you on your way.
Q. I cannot venture to think that I deserve so great a favor?
A. You are still, undoubtedly, far from perfection; but your ardor in propagating the truth, in sustaining the faith of those who listen to you, and in proclaiming the necessity of charity, kindness, benevolence, even in return for ill usage; – your resistance to indulging in the anger which is natural to you, and which you could so easily gratify against those who afflict you or misunderstand you – form a counterpoise to the defects of which you have not yet rid yourself; for the forgiveness of others is the first condition of forgiveness for one’s self.
God enfolds you with divine graces through the faculties with which God endowed you. It is now up to you to develop them through focusing your efforts on working efficiently for the salvation of your fellow human beings. I leave you now; but you may count upon my help. Try to live each and every moment less for the things of the earthly life, and more and more for the interests of the life to come.