Allan Kardec

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19. Spiritism is accused by some to be in alliance with magic and sorcery; but men forget that astronomy has for her elder sister astrology, which is not totally discarded from among the beliefs of today; that chemistry is the daughter of alchemy, with which no scientific man would dare to occupy himself today. No one denies, however, that there were in astrology and alchemy the germs of truth, from which have sprung actual sciences; and, that, notwithstanding its ridiculous formulas, alchemy has revealed the law of affinity between material bodies. Astrology was supported by its knowledge of the position and movement of the stars it had studied, but, owing to ignorance of the true laws which ruled the mechanism of the universe, the stars were, for ordinary people, mysterious beings ruling the destinies of men, superstition lending to them a moral influence and prophetic meaning. When Galileo, Newton, and Kepler had demonstrated the laws from which the telescope had withdrawn the veil, and given to men that glance into the depths of space which certain people considered so indiscreet, the planets appeared to us as simple worlds, similar to our own; and all the lattice-work of the marvelous crumbled away.

It is the same with Spiritism in regard to magic and sorcery; the two latter were supported truly by spiritual manifestations, as astrology was upon the movement of the stars. In the ignorance of the laws which rule the spiritual world, however there were joined to these communications ridiculous practices and beliefs, to which modern Spiritism, the fruit of experience and observation, has done justice. Assuredly the distance which separates Spiritism from magic and sorcery is greater than that which divides astronomy from astrology, and chemistry from alchemy. The desire to confound them proves that one knows not the first thing about them.

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