8. In order to comprehend spiritual things – that is to say, to form as distinct an idea as that we make of a landscape before our eyes – there truly fails us a sense, exactly as the necessary sense is wanting to the blind man to comprehend the effects of light, of colors, and of sight, without contact with them. Thus it is only by an effort of the imagination we attain to it, and by the aid of comparisons drawn from familiar things. But some material things can give only very imperfect ideas of spiritual ones. On this account it is best not to take the comparisons which have been drawn too literally, and believe, for example, that the spirit is held at such an elevation as has been stated in one comparison, or that they are obliged to be upon mountains, or above the clouds, in order to see into time and space.
This faculty is inherent to a state of spiritualization or of dematerialization: that is to say, that spiritualization produces an effect which can be compared, though very imperfectly, with that view of the whole which a man has on the mountain-top. The object of this comparison was simply to show that some events, which are in the future to some, are in the present for others, and thus can be predicted which does not imply that the effect is produced in the same manner.
In order to enjoy this perception it is not necessary that the spirit should transport himself to any point in space whatever. He who is on Earth at our side can possess it in its plentitude as well as if he were a thousand miles away, although we see nothing beyond the horizon of our material vision. Sight, with spirits, not being produced in the same manner or with the same elements as with man, their visual horizon is entirely different; this is something that we have not the sense to conceive. The spirit beside the incarnated one is a person with good eyes beside a blind man.