Allan Kardec

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14. “The souls of the dead, whom God has forbidden us to consult, are in the realm of sojourn assigned to them by God’s justice, and cannot without God’s permission place themselves at the order of the living.”

Spiritism fully admits that they cannot come without the permission of God; but it goes still further, for – while the Church attributes to the demons the power of doing without that permission – it asserts that no spirit, whether good or bad, can come without having received it, and that, even when spirits are thus permitted to respond to the call of the living, it is not “to place themselves at their orders.”

When a spirit is evoked, does it come voluntarily, or is it constrained to do so? It obeys the will of God, that is to say, the general laws that govern the universe; it judges whether it is useful to come, and, in so doing, exercises its free will. A superior spirit always comes when it is called for a useful purpose; it only refuses to answer those who evoke it as an amusement. (“The Mediums’ Book,” Part Second, chap. XXV)

Can a spirit refuse to come when evoked? Certainly it can; where would be its freewill if it could not? Do you suppose that all the beings of the universe are at your orders? Would you consider yourself bound to reply to everyone who should pronounce your name? When I say that a spirit can refuse to come, I mean, at the demand of the evoker; for an inferior spirit may be constrained by a superior spirit to present itself. (Idem, No. 9)

Spiritists are so fully convinced that they have no direct power over spirits and can obtain nothing from them without the divine permission, that when they desire to make a general evocation, they do so in some such terms as the following: – “I pray Almighty God to permit a good spirit to communicate with me by writing (or otherwise, as the case may be), and I also beg my Guardian- Angel to assist me, and to keep away evil or troublesome spirits;” or, if they wished to evoke a given spirit, fixed on beforehand, they employ some such words as these: – “In the name of Almighty God, I beg the spirit of So-and-so to communicate with me;” or, “I pray Almighty God to permit the Spirit of So-and-so to communicate with me.” (Idem, Part Second, chap. XVII. 203)

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