(Spiritist Society of Paris; spontaneous communication.)
My friends, how magnificent is this new life! Like a luminous torrent, it draws with it, on its way, the souls who are athirst for the infinite! After the rupture of the fleshly links that held me to the Earth, my eyes opened upon the magnificent horizons that surrounded me and I reveled in the splendid wonders of boundless space. I passed from the shadows of matter to the resplendent dawn that heralds the Almighty. I am in a state of bliss, not through any merit of my deeds, but through the knowledge of the eternal principle which enabled me to avoid the stains which the hapless members of the human race contract through ignorance. My death was most peaceful. My biographers will regard it as premature; blind judges! They will regret a few writings born of dust, and they will not understand how useful, to the holy cause of Spiritism, will be the attention excited by my death! My work was done; those who are destined to outstrip me were already pressing forward upon the road; I had reached the culminating point at which a man has produced his best, and, after which, whatever he does is but the repetition of what he has already done. My death will re-awaken the attention of the learned and bring them back to my principal work, which touches upon the great spiritist question,67 and which they affect to ignore. Nevertheless, it will soon catch them in its net. Glory to God! Aided by the spirits of high degree who are directing the propagation of the new doctrine, I shall be one of the torchbearers stationed at intervals along your road, to light and to guide you on your way. JEAN REYNAUD
(Paris; at a family party of relatives of the deceased. Another spontaneous communication)
The spirit is replying to a remark made by those present concerning his early death, which had caused such general surprise.
“How do you know that my death will not be an advantage to the future of Spiritism, to the development of the consequences to which it leads? Have you considered the path that is being taken by Providence for the establishment of the spiritist faith? God has given physical proof of the action of an invisible force, “the turning tables,” raps, and all sorts of physical phenomena; this was done to excite inquiry; it was an amusing preface, intended to attract attention to the book. At present, it is quite another thing! After striking the senses of humankind by physical facts, Providence addresses their intelligence, their common sense, their judgment; it no longer appeals to them by feats and prodigies, but by trains of reasoning that should convince the most skeptical and rally to the new doctrine the most obstinate unbelievers. And all this is only the beginning of the movement. Remember what I now tell you; viz., that an entire series of intelligent facts, absolutely undeniable, are about to follow one another, and that the number of followers of the spiritist philosophy, already so numerous, will be greatly increased. The Divine action will be brought to bear on the noblest intellects, on the highest minds, on those who are most eminent for talent and knowledge. It will be a flood of light that will spread over the Earth with the irresistible force of the magnetic fluid, compelling the most reluctant to seek after the infinite, to study this admirable unfolding which furnishes us with principles of action so sublime. All the masterminds of the Earth will join your group, and, indifferent to the honors paid to their genius, will become as little children in their desire to acquire knowledge of the truths of the spiritist faith. And when, with the humility of the sage, they have acquired this knowledge, they will employ their science and the authority of their name in carrying on, still further, the inquiry upon which you have entered, and the endeavor to reach the aim set before you by Spiritism, that is to say, the regeneration of the human race through the rational and enlightened explanation of the reality of our past and future existences.”
(In answer to evocation) – I come with pleasure, responding to your call. You are right; the mental confusion of the passage scarcely existed in my case (this remark was in answer to the medium’s thought.) A voluntary exile upon your Earth, in which I had undertaken to scatter abroad the first seeds of the great truths that are overshadowing the world at the present day, I had always preserved the remembrance of the country I had left, and I speedily felt myself at home on arriving in the midst of my brothers and sisters.
Q. Thanks for your kindness in coming to me; I hardly ventured to hope that my desire to converse with you could have any influence upon you. There must necessarily be so great a difference between us that I can only think of you with reverence!
A. Whatever the distance created between spirits by the greater or less degree of promptitude and of success with which they accomplish their series of trials, there is always a link that unites them; that of sympathy: and this sympathy, in our case, has been rendered all the closer by your constant thought of me.
Q. A good many spirits have already described to us their first sensations on awakening in the other life; will you have the kindness to tell me what you felt on regaining your consciousness, and how the separation of your soul and body was effected?
A. As it is in all cases, I felt that the moment of deliverance was approaching; but happier in this respect than most others, that approach caused me no uneasiness, because I knew what would be the results of my deliverance, although these were still greater than I had anticipated. The body is an obstacle upon the action of the soul; and, no matter what may be the faculties it has brought with it; they are always more or less stifled by contact with matter. I fell asleep, hoping for a happy awakening; my sleep was short; my admiration, on awaking, was immense! The celestial splendors, spread out in all their majesty before me, were shining in all their brightness. My sight, with wondering admiration, was drawn into this immensity, filled with the worlds that I had affirmed to be not only infinite in number but also inhabited. It seemed as though I was gazing upon a mirage, and yet it confirmed the truth of the convictions I had proclaimed when upon the Earth. However sure a man may think himself, when he speaks, there are moments when, in his heart, he is conscious of doubt, of uncertainty; he has misgivings, if not in regard to the truth he proclaims, at least, in regard to the imperfection of the demonstration he is obliged to employ for proving it. Convinced of the truth of the doctrine I was endeavoring to inculcate, I often had to fight against myself, against the discouragement of seeing and touching the truth, so to say, without being able to render it palpable for those who have so great a need of believing it, in order to walk steadily upon the path that has been appointed to them.
Q. Did you, during your life, profess yourself a spiritist?
A. There is a wide difference between professing and practicing. Many profess a doctrine and yet do not practice it. I, on the other hand, practiced it without professing it. Just as every man is a Christian who follows the law of Christ, even though he knows not of its existence, so all human beings may be said to be spiritists, if they believe in the immortality of the soul, its pre-existences, its incessant progression, and the disciplinary nature of the earthly life, as ablutions necessary to their purification; I believed all this; and I may therefore be said to have been a spiritist. I had an intuitive comprehension of the state of erraticity, the intermediate link between our incarnations, the purgatory in which guilty spirits divest themselves of their soiled garments in order to put on others, and in which progressing spirits weave with care the robe they will have to wear, and which they desire to keep clean for the next stage of their journey. As I have already told you, I had an intuitive comprehension of all this, and, without professing Spiritism, I constantly practiced it.
Remark. – These three communications were obtained by three different mediums entirely unknown to one another. From the similarity of the thoughts expressed in them and of their style, we may fairly admit the strong probability of their having been dictated by the illustrious thinker whose name they bear. The expression, “weave with care the robe that they will have to wear,” is a charming figure that well depicts the solicitude with which advanced spirits prepare, beforehand, the conditions of the new existence that is to lead them yet farther on their upward way. Backward spirits take fewer precautions for their return to the earthly life, and they consequently make, too often, an unfortunate choice of their new trial, and have to begin that trial over again.