52. It is well to observe further, that nowhere has spiritual teaching been given in a complete manner. It touches upon so great a number of observations, upon subjects so diverse, requiring knowledge and special mediumistic aptitudes, that it is simply impossible to unite at the same point all the necessary conditions. Teaching having become collective, and not individual, the spirits have divided the labor by disseminating the subjects of study and observation, as in certain factories different parts of the object manufactured are divided among different workman.
Revelation is thus partially given in diverse places and by a multitude of intermediaries; and it is in this manner still to be followed up, for all is not revealed. Every center finds in the other centers the complement of that which obtains, and it is only the joining together of all the instructions which can constitute the doctrine of Spiritism.
It is, moreover, necessary to group the facts gleaned, in order to see their corresponding similarity, to gather the different documents, instructions given by spirits upon all points and all subjects, in order to compare them and analyze them by studying their analogy and difference. Communications being given by spirits of all orders more or less clearly, it is necessary to learn the degree of confidence reason would accord to them; to distinguish the systematic, individual, and isolated ideas from those which had the sanction of the general teaching of the spirits; to separate the utopian from the practical; to cut away those which were notoriously contradictory, judged by positive science and healthy logic; to utilize the errors even the information given by spirits of the lowest sphere, for a knowledge of the invisible world; and to form of it a homogeneous whole. In a word, a center of elaboration is necessary, independent of all preconceived ideas, of all prejudice of sect, resolved to accept a self-evident truth, though it be contrary to one’s personal opinion. This center forms itself by the force of things, and without premeditated design.*
* The first work which took a philosophical view of the doctrine was “The Spirits’ Book.” It deduced moral sequences from facts, which had approached all parts of the belief, in touching upon the most important question that it raised, has been since its appearance, the rallying-point towards which the individual works have spontaneously converged. It is worthy of note that from the publication of this book dates the era of the Spiritist philosophy, previously coming under the head of curiosities of experience. If this book (“The Spirits’ Book”) has gained the sympathies of the majority, it is because it was the expression of the sentiments of this same majority, and that it responded to its aspirations. It is also because each one found there the confirmation, and a rational explanation of that which he in particular obtained. If it had disagreed with the general teachings of the spirits, it would have received no favor, and would have promptly fallen into oblivion. Now, around whom is one to rally? It is not man, who is nothing by himself, only a master-workman, who dies and disappears, but around an idea which perishes not when it emanates from a source superior to man.
This spontaneous concentration of scattered forces has given place to an immense connection, a unique monument to the world, a living picture of the true history of modern Spiritism; reflecting, at the same time, partial works, the multiplication of sentiments which has developed the doctrine, the moral results, the devotion and the weakness, - precious archives for posterity, who will be able to judge men and things by authentic documents. In the presence of these unexceptional testimonies, what will become in the time of all false allegations, defamations of envy and jealousy?