The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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(2nd Article)

Since the publication of our article about Mr. Adrien, the clairvoyant medium, a large number of facts have been communicated to us confirming our opinion that this faculty, as well as other mediumistic facul- ties, is more common than previously thought. We had already observed it in a large number of private cases and, notably, in the somnambulistic state. The phenomenon of the apparition is now a demonstrated fact and occurs frequently. In addition, there are numerous examples offered by throughout history and within Sacred Scriptures.

Many of the reported facts are of a personal nature, happening to those that reported them to us. These are, however, almost always seren- dipitous and accidental. We had not yet seen someone who would have such a faculty in a normal state. With Mr. Adrien that faculty is perma- nent. Wherever he is, the occult population that surrounds us is visible to him, without any evocation. He plays with us the role of the person that can see in the middle of a population of blind people; he sees the beings that we could call the doublets of the human kind, mingled with us and with our actions, while attending their own businesses, if we can say so.

The incredulous will say that it is all hallucination, a misguided word that one uses to explain what one cannot understand. We wish we had the explanation about what hallucination is and, most importantly, what is its cause.

Nevertheless, it has an absolutely remarkable character in Mr. Adrien: the permanence. Up until now what has been conventionally called hallu- cination is an abnormal fact and almost always the result of a pathological state. But that is not the case.

And we who have been studying and observing the phenomenon in its minimum details, we can even attest to its reality. It is not an object of doubt to us, and as we will see, it has provided an outstanding support to our spiritist studies. It has allowed us to introduce the scalpel of the inves- tigation into the extra corporeal life. It is a torch in the darkness.

Mr. Home, endowed by a notable faculty of physical effects, produced surprising results. Mr. Adrien initiates us into the causes of such effects, because he sees them as they are produced and he goes much beyond those things that affect our senses.

The reality of Mr. Adrien’s clairvoyance is demonstrated by the de- scription that he makes of persons that he has never seen before and whose description is acknowledged as exact. For sure, when he describes with rigorous minutia the minimum details of a relative or a friend that we evoke through him, we are positive that he sees, since it could not be something created by his imagination, although there are people whose prevention leads them to deny their own evidence. What is even more awkward is that in order to refute what they don’t want to admit, they explain those facts with causes even more difficulty to understand than the ones we offer.

The descriptions provided by Mr. Adrien, however, are not always in- fallible. With that, as with any other Science, when an anomaly is present- ed, it is necessary to search for the cause since the cause of an exception frequently does confirm the general rule. In order to understand this fact we must not lose sight of what we have already said about the apparent form of the spirits. Such a form depends on the perispirit whose nature, essentially flexible, is subjected to all changes that the spirit may wish to implement. Leaving the material envelope the spirit carries along its ethe- real envelope which constitutes another kind of body. In it’s a normal state that body bears a human shape but not exactly mirrored, trace by trace, particularly from someone deceased for some time already. In the initial moments following death, when there still is a bond between the two existences, the similarity is greater. Such similarity, however, fades away while the separation takes place and the spirit becomes stranger to its last corporeal envelope. However, the spirit can always recover that initial ap- pearance both in its looks as well as with respect to its outfit, whenever the spirit considers useful to be recognized. In general, however, this requires a great effort and will power. Thus, it is not surprising that in certain cases there isn’t similarity in every detail: the main features are sufficient.

Also to the medium such investigation is not carried out effortlessly, becoming painful if repeated several times. The common visions aren’t a cause of any fatigue to the medium because he is not involved except with the general aspects. It is the same that happens when we observe a crowd: we see everything; all individuals stick out to our eyes, with their distinc- tive traces, but without those traces impressing our senses to the point of describing everybody. In order to precisely describe them we would need to concentrate, paying attention to the smallest details that we want to analyze, only with the difference that under ordinary circumstances we concentrate our eyes onto a material and invariable form, whereas in the case of the vision the eyes rest on an essentially fluid-like form, which can change by the simplest action of the will.

Then, we must learn to consider things as they are; let us consider them in themselves and as a function of their properties. Let us not forget that with Spiritism we do not handle the inert matter but with intel- ligences that have their free will and, consequently, we cannot submit to our caprices nor force them to act according to our own will, as if we were displacing a pendulum. We will deviate whenever we want to take our exact Sciences as a starting point to the spiritist observations. That is why the common Science is incompetent with such a subject; it is exactly like the musician who wanted to judge Architecture from a musical point of view.

Spiritism reveals to us a new order of ideas, of new forces, new ele- ments, of phenomena which are not absolutely based on what we know. In order to judge them it is necessary to understand that we need to lib- erate ourselves from all prejudices and preconceived ideas. Above all, we need to enroot this truth: outside those things that we know there may be something else, if we don’t want to be ridiculed by the absurd idea, which is the child of our pride, of believing that God keeps no more secrets from us.

From the above, it is understandable that delicate influences may act upon the production of the spiritist phenomena. There are others, how- ever, which deserve a not less serious attention.

As we said, once the spirit is undressed from its material body, it keeps all its will and freedom of thought that is even greater than when alive; the spirit has susceptibilities that we would hardly understand; something that frequently seems simple and natural to us may hurt and displeases the spirit; an inadequate question may shock and hurt them; they show us their independence by not doing what we want them to do, whereas sometimes they do things that we would not even remember having asked. That is why the requests for proofs and out of curios- ity that they rarely respond satisfactorily are essentially antipathetic to them. The serious spirits do not respond to that and under no circum- stance they would serve as motive of entertainment.

It is then comprehensible that the intention may strongly influence over the spirits mood to present themselves under this or that appearance, to the eyes of the clairvoyant medium; and finally, as they do not have a given appearance unless it is convenient to them, they only do that when there is a serious and useful reason.

There is another reason that somehow is connected to what we could call Spiritist Physiology. The vision of the spirit by the medium occurs through a kind of fluid-like radiation that comes from the spirit towards the medium; the latter one absorbs, so to speak, and assimilates the rays.


If the medium is alone or surrounded by sympathetic persons, united by intention and thoughts, those rays concentrate on him; then the vi- sion is clear and precise and in such a way that the appearances show a remarkable accuracy. If, on the contrary, the medium is surrounded by antipathetic influences and divergent and hostile thoughts; if there is no worshiping, the fluid-like radiation disperses and is absorbed by the environment; hence there is a kind of cloud, projected over the spirit, not allowing a distinction of details. The same would happen to a light beam with or without a reflector.

Another less material comparison can help us to understand the phe- nomenon. We all know that the enthusiasm of a speaker is stimulated by the sympathy and attention received from the audience and if the speaker is otherwise distracted by the rumors, by a lack of attention and ill man- ners, its thoughts will no longer be free: they disperse and the resources scarce out. A spirit that is influenced by an absorbent environment finds itself in the same condition: instead of having the radiations focused onto one point they spread out, losing strength.

We must add one consideration to the preceding ones, one whose importance will be easily understood by everyone who knows the progress of the spiritist phenomena. It is a known fact that there are several causes which may preclude a given spirit from attending our appeal at the time of the evocation: the spirit may be reincarnate or busy somewhere else.

Well, the medium must distinguish, among the spirits that show up almost always simultaneously, the one who is wanted; in case the spirit is not there, the medium may confuse with another spirit, equally sympathetic to the person who is evoking. The medium then describes the spirit, not being able to ensure that it is the evoked spirit or another one. However, if the spirit who showed up is serious the identity will be revealed. Once questioned about this the spirit may explain the cause of error and tell us who in fact is speaking.

A less obvious evocation can also be harmful for a different reason. Each one of us has companions, spirits that sympathize with our defects and our qualities. Such spirits are good or bad according to the individuals.

The larger the number of people gathered the larger the variety of spirits and the higher the possibilities of finding antipathies. Then, if there are hostile persons in the meeting, be it through malicious thoughts or by frivolous character, or even from systematic incredulity, these will attract non-benevolent spirits who occasionally hinder manifestations of every kind, both written and visual. Hence the need to position ourselves in the most favorable conditions if we want serious manifestations: the results justify the means. The spiritist manifestations are not something with which we can amuse ourselves and go unpunished. If you want serious things, be serious then, in the strictest meaning of the word, otherwise you will be toys in the hands of frivolous spirits who will make fun of you.

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