Allan Kardec

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27. Spiritual sight is necessarily incomplete and imperfect with incarnates, therefore subject to aberrations. Having its seat in the soul itself, the state of the soul must sway the perceptions it gives. According to the degree of its development, the circumstances and moral state of the individual, it can give either in sleep or in a waking state:

1st- The perception of certain material, real facts, as the knowledge of events that are happening afar; descriptive details of a locality, the causes of disease, and the proper remedies.

2nd- The perceptions of things equally real in the spirit world, as a sight of spirits.

3rd- Fantastic images created by the imagination, analogous to fluidic creations of thought (see item n° 14 of this chapter).

These creations are always in relation with the moral disposition of the spirit who gives birth to them. Thus, to persons very strongly imbued and preoccupied with religious beliefs, hell is presented with its furnaces, its tortures, its demons, such as they imagine them to be. Sometimes it is an epic poem. The pagans saw Olympus and the Tartarean depths, as the Christians see Paradise and Hell. If, upon awakening of coming out of ecstasy, these persons preserve a distinct remembrance of their visions, they take it for the reality and confirmation of their belief, while it is only a product of their own thoughts. * It is necessary to make a rigorous selection from amongst the visions we see in a state of ecstasy, before accepting them. On this subject, the remedy for an excessive credulity is the study of the laws which govern the spiritual world.

* The visions of sister Elmerich can thus be explained, who, carrying herself back to the time of the passion of Christ, is said to have seen material things which have only existed in the books which she has read; also those of Madame Cantonille (“Revue Spirite,” Aug., 1866, p. 240), and a part of Swedenborg.

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