The Spiritist Doctrine, in regard to the future punishment of wrongdoing, is no more founded on a pre-conceived theory than are the other elements of that doctrine. Spiritism in all its proportions is based on observation, and it is this fact which constitutes its certainty and its irrefragability. No one had assumed, a priori, that the souls of men, after death, found themselves in such and such a situation; it is those souls themselves, who, having quitted the earthly life, are now entering into communication with us, in order to initiate us into the mysteries of the life beyond the grave, to describe to us the happiness or unhappiness of their present state of existence, their impressions, and the transformation undergone by them at the death of their body; in short, to complete, in regard to this matter, the teachings of Christ.
The information thus arrived at has not been derived from the statements of a single spirit, who might have observed the things of the other life solely from its own point of view under one and the same aspect, or who might still have been under the sway of its earthly prejudices and prepossessions; neither is it derived from a revelation made to a single individual, who might have been deceived by appearances, nor from the visions of an ecstatic which are always more or less illusory, and are often only the mirage of an excited imagination: * It is derived from the observation, and statements, of innumerable spirits, of every category, from the highest to the lowest,32 with the aid of innumerable intermediaries scattered over the entire globe. The new revelation, therefore, is not being made exclusively through any one channel; all inquirers may see, and observe, for themselves; and no one is obliged to base his or her belief on the statements of others.
* Vide chap. VI, No. 7, “The Spirits’ Book,” Nos. 443, 444