24. As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” “How then were your eyes opened?” they demanded. He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said. They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner do such miraculous signs?” So they were divided. Finally they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God,” they said.” We know this man is a sinner.” He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen.
Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out. (John, 9: 1 to 34).
25. This recital, so simple and artless, carries in itself an evident character of truth. There is nothing marvelous or fantastic about it; it is a scene from real life. The language of this blind man is that of one in which good, natural common sense supplies the place of knowledge, and who combats the arguments of his adversaries with simplicity, yet with an ability which is not wanting in justice. Is not the speech of the Pharisee like that of proud men who think there is no knowledge outside of their own, and that a man of the people is unworthy of a single thought or remonstrance? Barring the name, we have the same kind of people in our day.
To be expelled from the synagogue was equivalent to being excommunicated from the Church. The Spiritists, whose doctrines are those of Christ, interpreted according to the progress of the present light, are treated as the Jews who recognized Jesus as the Messiah. By excommunicating them, they place them outside of the Church, as the scribes and the Pharisees did in regard to the followers of Jesus. In this narrative the man is expelled because he can believe only in him who has cured him, whether he be a sinner or one possessed by a demon, and because he glorifies God for his cure! Is not the same thing done to Spiritists? Because they obtain wise counsel from spirits, have returned to goodness and God, and perform cures, it is said to be the work of the Devil, and anathema is cast at them. Have we not heard priests from the high altar say, “It is better to remain an incredulous than to return to the faith by Spiritism?” Have we not heard them tell the sick ones that they must not be cured by Spiritists who possess this gift, because it is a gift from Satan? Have we not heard them telling the sick to reject the bread given by Spiritists, for it is the bread of the devil? What did and said the Jewish priests and Pharisees more than that? Moreover, it is written that the same unbelief must be felt by some at this epoch of the world’s history, as in the time of Christ.
This question of the disciples — viz., “Is this man blind because of sin?” — indicates the knowledge of an anterior existence; otherwise no sense could be made of it; for the sin which would be the cause of an infirmity, which is born with a person, must have been committed before this birth, and consequently in an anterior existence. If Jesus had recognized a false idea in the question, he would have said to them, “How could this man have sinned before birth?” Instead of that, he replies, that, if this man is blind, it is not because he has sinned, but that the glory of God may be shown in him; i.e., that he must be the instrument of a manifestation of the power of God. If it were not an expiation of the past, it was an experience which must have advanced him towards perfection; for God’s laws are just, we have no suffering without compensation.
As to the means employed to cure him, it is evident that the clay formed of soil and saliva obtained its healing properties from the healing fluid with which it was impregnated. Thus the most simple agents — water, for example — can acquire powerful and effective qualities under the action of the spiritual or magnetic fluid, to which they serve as vehicle, or reservoir.