61. What is then the utility of these manifestations, or, as we may say, this revelation, if the spirits know no more than ourselves, or if they do not tell us all they know?
Firstly, as we have said, they abstain from giving us that which we can acquire through labor. Secondly, there are facts which they are not permitted to reveal, because we are not sufficiently advanced to receive them. But, aside from this, the conditions of their new existence extend the circle of their perceptions. They see that which they saw not upon Earth, freed from the trammels of matter. Delivered from the cares of the corporeal life, they judge things from a more elevated point, from a healthier one; their perspicuity embraces a broader horizon; they perceive their errors, and rid themselves of human prejudices.
It is in this that the superiority of spirits over incarnates consists; therefore their counsel will be, according to their degree of advancement, more judicious and disinterested than that of the incarnates. Conditions are found by which they can instruct us in principles of which we are ignorant. Until now men had created only suppositions in regard to the future. That is why beliefs upon this point have been divided into systems so numerous and so divergent, - from a belief in nothing to fantastic ideas of hellfire and paradise. Today we have ocular demonstration; the actors themselves from the life beyond the tomb, who alone can give us knowledge of it, come to tell us what it is. These manifestations serve, then, to give us knowledge of the invisible world which surrounds us, of which, without them, we should not be aware of the existence. This knowledge alone should be considered of the highest importance, even supposing that the spirits were incapable of teaching us anything more.
If you should go into a strange country by yourself, would you reject the teachings of the most humble peasant whom you chanced to encounter? Would you refuse to interrogate him about the state of the land because he was only a peasant? You would not expect from him, certainly, intelligence of a very high character; but such as it is, and in his sphere, he will be able, upon certain points, to give you better than a wise man who does not know the country. You will draw from his indications sequences which you could not do of yourself. He will have been at least a useful instrument for your observations, had he served only to make known to you the customs of the peasants. It is the same in connection with the spirits, where the lowest can teach us something.