Allan Kardec

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9. “By means of these operations of modern magic, we witness the reproduction among ourselves of the evocations, oracles, consultations, cures, and other prodigies that formerly gave renown to the temples of idols and the dens of sibyls.” What operations of magic are to be found in spiritist evocations? There was a time when certain magical formulae, signs, and modes of proceeding were supposed to possess special efficacy in evoking spirits, but these are now regarded as ridiculous; nobody believes in their supposed power to conjure and control, and Spiritism condemns them. At the period during which magic flourished, the world had but a very imperfect idea of the nature of spirits, who were regarded as beings endowed with superhuman power; they were never evoked excepting by those who wished to obtain from them, were it even at the price of their souls, the favors of fortune, the discovery of hidden treasures, the foreknowledge of future events, or love potions. Magic was supposed to furnish, through its cabalistic signs, formulae, and operations, the means of working prodigies by constraining spirits to put themselves under the orders of human beings and to satisfy their desires. At the present day, we know that spirits are nothing but the souls of men and women; and they are evoked by us only for the sake of obtaining counsel from them, if they are good, for the purpose of moralizing them, if they are ignorant or vicious, or in the interest of continuing our relationship with the souls of those whom we have loved in the earthly life. The following quotations leave no doubt as to the teachings of Spiritism in regard to evocation and the communication between humankind and spirits.

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