The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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Paul Gaimard


Navy physician and naturalist traveler died on December 11th, 1858 at the age of 64. He was evoked on the 24 of the same month, by one of his friends, Mr. Sardou.


1. Evocation
- I am here. What do you want?

2. What is your current state?
- I am errant like the spirits who leave Earth and feel the desire to advance through the good path. We seek enlightenment and later we choose.

3. Have your ideas about the nature of human beings modified?
- Very much. You can assess that well.

4. What do you think now about the kind of life that you led in the existence that you have just left on Earth?
- I am happy since I have worked.

5. You thought that everything ends at the grave. Thus the Epicureanism and the desire that you sometime expressed of living for centuries, in order to enjoy life well. What do you think about those who have that philosophy?
- I am sorry for them. However, that thinking is useful to them.

With such a philosophy they can coldly appreciate everything that excites others. This allows them to judge in a sound way many things that easily fascinate the credulous.

OBSERVATION: This is a personal opinion of the spirit that we give as such and not as a maxim.

6. A person that endeavors morally, more than intellectually, does better than the one that is bonded to the intellectual progress, above all, and neglects the moral?
- Yes. The moral aspect is more important. God gives spirit as a reward to the good ones, whereas the moral must be acquired.

7. What do you understand by the spirit given by God?
- A vast intelligence.

8. However, there are many evil ones that have a vast intelligence.
- I told you already. You asked what would be better to endeavor to acquire, and I said that the moral would be preferable. But the one who works for the betterment of their spirit may ac- quire a high degree of intelligence. When will you understand it?

9. Are you completely detached from the material influence of the body?
- Yes. What you have been told about it only encompasses a small portion of humanity.


NOTE: It happened sometimes that evoked spirits, even a few months after their death, declared to be still under the influence of matter. All of them, though, were people that have not progressed moral or intellectually. It is to this part of humanity that the spirit of Paul Gaimard refers.


10. Have you had other existences on Earth, besides the last one?
- Yes.

11. Was the latest one a consequence of the preceding one?
- No. There was a large interval between them.

12. Despite the interval, however, couldn’t there be a relationship be- tween those two existences?
- If you understand me well, each minute of our lives is a consequence of the preceding minute.


NOTE: Attending this meeting, Dr. B. gave his opinion that certain instincts sometimes awake in us could well be the reflex of a preceding existence. He mentioned several cases perfectly verified in young ladies who, during their pregnancy, were led to erratic behavior, like for example the one that grabbed the arm of a young butcher, biting him ferociously; another one that beheaded a child and the lady herself took the child to the police commissioner; a third one that killed her husband, sliced him into pieces, salted him, feeding herself from him for several days. That doctor then asked if in previous existences wouldn’t those ladies have been anthropophagous.

13. You heard what Dr. B. has just mentioned. Would these instincts, which go by the name of desire in pregnant ladies, be a conse- quence of habits held on a previous existence?
- No. These are a transient madness; a passion in its highest degree. The spirit becomes eclipsed by the will.

NOTE: Dr. B. indicates that the physicians really consider these acts as transient madness. We share such opinion, but for other reasons, since persons not familiar with the spiritist phe- nomena are led to attribute them to exclusive causes that are known to them. We are persuaded that we must have reminis- cences of certain previous moral dispositions. We will even say that it is impossible that things occur differently, since progress only takes place gradually. But this is not the case here because the persons gave no signs of ferocity, before that pathological state. There was evidently only a temporary perturbation of the moral faculties. The reflex of previous dispositions is recog- nized through other signs, unequivocal in a way, which we will develop in a special article supported by facts.

14. Have you accomplished simultaneous moral as well as intellectual progress in your latest existence?
- Yes. Mainly intellectual.

15. Could you tell us what was the kind of life you had in your life before the last one?
- Oh! I was obscure. I had a family that I made unhappy. Later

I had to expiate in a hard way. But, why do you ask me? That is over and now I am in a new phase.

NOTE: Paul Gaimard died single, at the age of 64. More than once he regretted not having had a family.

16. Do you expect to reincarnate soon?
- No. I want to study first. We like this errant state because the soul is more its own self; the spirit has more consciousness of its strength. The flesh weighs, darkens and hinders.

NOTE: All spirits say that they study, do research and ob- serve in the errant state, in order to make a choice. Isn’t that the counterpart of the corporeal life? Don’t we make mis- takes, sometimes for years, before we select a career that we consider more adequate to our progress? Don’t we sometimes change it as we get more mature? Don’t we go about everyday trying to establish what to do next? Well, what do the several corporeal existences represent to the spirit other than periods, days of the spiritual life that is, as we know, the normal life, for the corporeal life is only transient and passing? Nothing more sublime than this theory. Isn’t that in perfect agreement with the harmonious grandiosity of the universe? Still once more, it was not us who invented that and we are sorry for not having that merit. Nevertheless, the more we go deep into that theory the more we find it productive in solving the problems that were inexplicable hitherto.

17. In which planet do you plan or wish to reincarnate?
- I don’t know. Give me time to search.

18. Which kind of existence would you ask God for?
- The continuation of the last one; the greatest possible development of the intellectual faculties.

19. It seems that you place the intellectual development in the first line, leaving the moral faculties in second place, contrary to what you said before.
- My heart is not sufficiently well formed to be able to appreciate the others.

20. Do you see the other spirits and have a relationship with them?
- Yes.

21. Are there some among them with whom you were acquainted on Earth?
- Yes. Dumont-d’Urville.

22. Do you also see the spirit of Jacques Arago, with whom you traveled?
- Yes.

23. Are those spirits in the same condition as yours?
- No. Some are more elevated, others less.

24. We refer to the spirits of Dumont-d’Urville and Jacques Arago.
- I don’t want to specify.

25. Are you happy that we have evoked you?
- Yes, particularly for one person.

26. Can we do anything for you?
- Yes.

27. If we evoked you within a few months, would you still kindly answer our questions?
- With pleasure. Good-bye.

28. You say good-bye. Can you please tell us where you are going to?
- Without any waste of time (to express myself as I would have done a few days ago), I will cross a space a thousand times longer than the itinerary that I followed in my journeys on Earth, which I considered so long, and that in less than a second, out of a thought. I am going to a meeting of spirits where I will take lessons and where I will be able to learn my new Science, my new life. Good-bye.

OBSERVATION: Who had known Mr. Paul Gaimard perfectly well would attest that this communication is highlighted by the hallmark of his individuality. Learn, see and get to know things were his domi- nant passion. That is what explains his trips around the world and to the regions of the North Pole, as well as his excursions to Russia and Poland, during the first breakout of cholera in Europe. Dominated by his passion and by the need of satisfying it, he exhibited a rare cold blood before the greatest dangers. That is how, thanks to his calmness and determination, he was able to free himself from an anthropopha- gus tribe that had surprised him in a Pacific island.

One statement of his characterizes well his avidity for seeing new things, for watching the spectacle of unexpected accidents. One day, during the most dramatic period of 1848, he said: “What a happiness to live during a period so fertile of extraordinary and unpredictable events!”

Almost uniquely dedicated to the sciences that deal with the orga- nized matter, his spirit had substantially neglected the philosophical sciences. Thus, one could say that his ideas lacked elevation. However, not a single act of his life demonstrates that he had ignored the great moral laws imposed on humanity. In short, Mr. Paul Gaimard had a beautiful intelligence. Essentially worthy and honest, naturally kind, he was incapable of causing any loss to anybody. We can only criticize his perhaps excessive friendship with the pleasures; but neither the world nor the pleasures corrupted his reason or his heart. Thus, Mr. Paul Gaimard was worthy of the friend who misses him and everyone that knew him. SARDOU


Mrs. Reynaud

Somnambulist, deceased in Annonay, about a year ago. Although illit- erate, she had a remarkable lucidity, particularly with respect to medi- cal issues.

One of our corresponding members that knew her when she was alive, thinking that some useful teachings might be obtained, sent us a few questions to be addressed to her in case we thought it would be ad- equate to evoke her. It was what we did in the session of the Society, on January 28th, 1859.

1. Evocation.
- I am here. What do you want from me?

2. Do you have an exact memory of your corporeal existence? - Yes, very precise.

3. Can you describe your current situation to us?
- It is the same as every spirit that inhabits Earth. Generally have the intuition of the good and, nonetheless, cannot meet perfect happiness, only reserved to a higher degree of perfection.


4. When alive, you were a lucid somnambulist. Could you tell us if the lucidity of those days was analogous to the present one, as spirit?
- No. It was different since I did not have the timeliness and sharpness that my spirit has now.

5. Is the somnambulistic lucidity an anticipation of the spiritual life, that is, a separation between the spirit and matter?
- It is one of the phases of the Earthly life; but the Earthly life is the same as the celestial life.

6. What do you mean by saying that the Earthly life is the same as the celestial life?
- That the chain of existences if formed by rings, in a continuous sequence. No interruption can preclude its course. One can then say that Earthly life is the continuation of the pre- ceding celestial life and the prelude of the future celestial life, and so on, for all incarnations of the spirit. This means that between two incarnations there is not an absolute separation as you think.

OBSERVATION: During the terrestrial life the spirit or soul may act independently of matter and, at certain times, the human being enjoys the spiritual life, during the sleep or even in the state of vigil. Considering that the faculties of the spirit are exercised, despite the presence of the body, there is be- tween the Earthly life and life beyond the grave a constant correlation that led Mrs. Reynaud to say the same thing. The following question clarified her thought.

7. Why then not everybody is a somnambulist?
- The fact is that you still ignore that all of you are but in differing degrees, not only when you sleep but awake as well.

8. We understand that all of us are more or less somnambu- lists, during the sleep, since the dream is a kind of imperfect somnambulism. But what do you mean by saying that we are also even in the state of vigil?
- Don’t you have intuitions that you are not aware of and that are nothing but a faculty of the spirit? The poet is a medium, a somnambulist.

9. Has your somnambulistic faculty contributed to the development of your spirit after your death?
- A little.

10. At the time of your death did you remain perturbed for a long time?
- No. I immediately recognized myself. I was surrounded by friends.

11. Do you attribute your prompt detachment to your lucid somnambulism?
- Yes, a little. I already knew about the fate of the agonizing, but that would not do me any good if I did not have a soul capable of conquering a better life, thanks to a higher number of good faculties.

12. Is it possible to be a good somnambulist not having a spirit of an elevated order?
- Yes. The faculties are always in agreement. You are really mis- taken when you think that these faculties require a certain disposition. No, what you think is good is actually, at times, bad. If you don’t understand it I will elaborate on this idea.

There are somnambulists who know the future and tell things that are facts of the past completely ignored in their normal state. There are others who perfectly describe the character of the persons that interrogate them; they tell their age as well as the amount of money they have in their pockets, and so forth. That does not require any real superiority. It is only the exer- cise of the faculty that the spirit has and that is manifested in the sleeping somnambulists. What requires a real superiority is the employment of that faculty for the good; it is the con- sciousness of good and evil; understanding God better than people do; it is the ability of giving advices capable of making others advance in the path of good and happiness.

13. Does the employment of their faculty influence the state of the somnambulist’s spirits after their death?
- Yes, and a lot, as with the bad or good employment of all faculties given by God.

14. Can you explain to us how come you have medical knowledge without having had any formal education?
- It is always a faculty of the spirit. Other spirits advised me. I was a medium: it is the state of all somnambulists.

15. The medications prescribed by a somnambulist are always indi- cated by another spirit or are they also given from instinct, simi- larly to what happens with the animals that look for the herb that is healthy to them?
- They are indicated, if the somnambulist asks for advice, in case his experience is not sufficient. He knows them by their qualities.
16. Is the magnetic fluid the agent of the somnambulistic lucidity?
- No. It is the agent of sleep.

17. Is the magnetic fluid the agent of vision, in the state of spirit?
- No.
18. Do you see us here as clearly as when alive, and with your body?
- Now I see even better. I see further into the inner individual.

19. Could you see us in the same way if we were in the dark?
- Yes, the same way.

20. Do you see us better, worse or as well as when you were alive, in the somnambulistic state?
- Even better.

21. What is the agent or the intermediary that allows you to see?
- My spirit. I have no eyes or pupils; I have no retina or lashes; however, I see better than any of you see your neighbor. You see through your eyes but it is your spirit that sees.

22. Are you aware of darkness?
- I know it exists to you, not to me.

OBSERVATION: This confirms what we have always been told: that the faculty of vision is a property inherent to the own nature of the spirit and that resides in the whole being. In the body, it is localized.

23. May the second sight or remote viewing be compared to the som- nambulistic state?
- Yes. The faculty does not come from the body.

24. Does the magnetic fluid emanate from the nervous system or it is spread into atmosphere?
- From the nervous system but the nervous system takes it from the atmosphere, which is its main source. The atmosphere itself does not have it. It comes from the beings that populate the universe. It is not the nothingness that produces it. It is, on the contrary, an accumulation of life and electricity ex- tracted from that crowd of beings.

25. Is the nervous system fluid its own fluid or would that be the result of the combination of all other imponderable fluids that penetrate the bodies, like heat, light and electricity?
- Yes and no. You don’t know the phenomena sufficiently to say that. Your words cannot express what you want to say.

26. What is the cause of the numbness produced by the magnetic action? - The agitation produced by the overload of the fluid that the magnetized person accumulates.

27. Does the magnetic power of the magnetizer depend on his physi- cal organization?
- Yes, but it also depends much on his character. In a word: depends on him.

28. What are the moral qualities that can help the somnambulist in the development of their faculty?
- The good ones. You asked about the ones that can help.


29. What are the defects that can mostly harm it?
- The ill faith.

30. What are the most essential qualities of the magnetizer?
- The heart; the always-firm good intentions; the disinterest.

31. What are the defects that mostly harm them?
- The bad inclinations, or even worse, the desire to cause harm.

32. When alive, did you use to see the spirits in the somnambulistic state?
- Yes.
33. Why don’t all somnambulists see them?
- They all see at times and on several degrees of clarity.

34. Where does the faculty of seeing the spirits come from, in certain non-somnambulistic persons?
- That is a gift from God, as intelligence and benevolence to others is a gift from God.

35. Does such a faculty result from a special physical organization?
- No.
36. Can it be lost?
- Yes, as much as it can be acquired.

37. What are the causes that may determine its loss?
- We have said that already: the malevolent intentions. As a first condition it is necessary the intent of making good use of that faculty. Given that, one needs to verify if such a favor is deserved, since it is not given uselessly. The difficulty to those who have that faculty is that it meddles with the unfortunate human passion that you know well – pride – even when there is the desire of seeking the best results. They brag about what is really God’s work and many times want to take advantage of that. Good-bye now.

38. Where are you going from here?
- To my occupations.


39. Could you tell us more about your occupations?
- I have some, like you do. I try to learn and for that I take part in a society of those who are better than me. While rest- ing, I do the good deeds. My life moves on with the hope of reaching a greater happiness. We have no material need to satisfy and, consequently, our whole activity aims at our moral progress.



Hitoti, a Tahitian chef

A Navy Officer present in the Session of the Society on February 4th last, showed his wishes to have a Tahitian chef called Hitoti evoked, who he met when visiting the Oceania.

1. Evocation
- What do you want?

2. Could you tell us why you preferred to embrace the French cause in the Oceania?
- I liked that nation. Besides, my interest obliged me to that.

3. Were you happy with the trip to France that we provided to your grandson and with the care given to him?
- Yes and no. The trip might perhaps have improved his spirit a lot but that made him completely alien to his homeland, for it gave him ideas that he should never have entertained.

4. What were the rewards from the French government that pleased you the most?
- The decorations.


5. What was your preferred decoration?
- The Legion of Honor

OBSERVATION: The medium and all of those attending the meet- ing ignored this circumstance. The person who made the evocation confirmed it. Although the medium was intuitive and not mechani- cal, how could such a thought have been attributed to him? It could be admitted in the case of an ordinary question, but this would be inadmissible since dealing with a positive fact from which nobody could have given him any idea about.

6. Are you happier now than when you were when alive?
- Yes, much more.

7. What is the state of your spirit?
- Errant, but I must reincarnate.

8. What do you do in this errant life?
- I enlighten myself.

OBSERVATION: This answer is almost general among the errant spirits. The more morally advanced they are the more they add the practice of good and assistance to those who need their advices.

9. How do you get instructed since you don’t do that in the same way you did when alive?
- I work my spirit and travel. I understand that this is not very clear. Later you will know.

10. Which regions do you visit with more satisfaction?
- Regions? Rest assured that I do not travel over your Earth. I move up and down; I go from one side to the other, moral and physically. I have seen and examined worlds with great care at your sunrise as well as your sunset; some which are still in terrible states of barbarism and others well above yours.

11. You said that you would be incarnate soon. Do you know in which world?
- Yes. I have been there many times.

12. Can you designate it?
- No.

13. Why do you neglect Earth in your travels?
- Because I already know it.

14. Although you don’t travel around Earth any longer, do you still think of some persons that you loved?
- A little.

15. Aren’t you concerned with the persons who gave you affection?
- A little.

16. Do you remember them?
- Very well. But we will meet again and then I hope to pay them everything back. I was asked if I do not worry about them. No, but it does not mean that I forgot them.

17. Haven’t you seen again that friend I referred to earlier on and that, like you, is also dead?
- Yes but we will see one another more physically. We will incarnate in the same sphere and our paths will cross.

18. We are thankful to you for attending our appeal.
- Good-bye. Work and think.

OBSERVATION: The person that did the evocation and knows the habits of those people declares that the last statement is in agreement with their practices. It is a usual expression among them, kind of vulgar, and which the medium could not guess. It is also acknowledged that the whole conversation is in agreement with the character of the evoked spirit and that his identification is evident.

The answer to question 17 offers remarkable insight: we will incarnate in the same sphere and our paths will cross. It is dem- onstrated that the beings that loved each other meet in the world of the spirits. However, as it seems also from many analogous an- swers, one may also follow the other in their corporeal existences. Then, unnoticeably, the circumstances lead them closer through physical relationships or through friendships. This gives us the reason for certain sympathies.



An Elf

Mr. J..., one of our comrades at the Society, had seen blue flames fly- ing around several times, over his bed. Certain that it was a kind of manifestation, we had the idea of evoking one of those spirits in the session of January 20th last, in order to learn about their nature.


1. Evocation.
- But what is it that you want from me?

2. What was the objective of your manifestation at Mr. J...’ house?
- Why does it matter to you?

3. In reality it is not important to me but to Mr. J... is different.
- Ah! What a good reason!

NOTE: Mr. Kardec framed the initial questions. Mr. J... contin- ued the interview.

4. The fact is that I do not receive anyone in my house just out of good will.
- You are wrong. I am very good.

5. Can you then do me a favor and let me know what are you doing in my house?
- Do you really believe that because I am good I must obey you?

6. I was told that you are a frivolous spirit.
- Then I was very badly judged.

7. If it is a calumny than prove it.
- I don’t care.
8. I could well use means of making you state whom you really are.
- My word that I would have some fun with that.
9. I demand that you say what you have come to do in my house.
- I had only one objective: have fun.
10. This is not in agreement with what I was told by the superior spirits.
- I was sent to your house and you know the reason. Are you happy?

11. You lied then?
- No.

12. Didn’t you then have ill intentions?
- You were told the same as I did.

13. Can you tell us what your category among the spirits is?
- Your curiosity amuses me.

14. Since you pretend to be good, why don’t you respond to the questions in a more convenient way?
- Have I eventually insulted you?

15. No but why do you respond evasively and refuse to give me the explanations that I require?
- I have the freedom to do what I want, under the command of certain spirits though.

16. That is good! I see with pleasure that you begin to be more reasonable hence I foresee that we will have a friendly relationship.
- Stop the useless talk! It will be much better

17. Under which form are you here?
- I have no form.


18. Do you know what the perispirit is?
- No, unless it is the wind.

19. What can I do to please you?
- I told you already. Shut up.

20. The mission that was assigned to you in my house, has it made you improve as a spirit?
- That is another subject. Do not ask me such questions. You know that I obey certain spirits. Talk to them. As for me, let me go.

21. Have we eventually had a bad relationship in another existence that would be the cause of your bad humor?
- Don’t you remember how badly you spoke of me to whoever wanted to hear? Shut up, I tell you.


22. I only speak of you what the superior spirits has said about you.
- You also said that I had obsessed you.

23. Were you happy with the end result?
- That is my problem.

24. Do you then want me to keep an unfavorable opinion of you?
- It is possible. I am leaving.

OBSERVATION: From the reported conversations we can see the extreme diversity in the language of the spirits, according to their degree of elevation. The language of spirits of this nature is character- ized by rudeness and impatience. When invited to serious meetings it is noticeable that they do not come willingly and are in a hurry to leave, for they do not feel comfortable among their superior spirits and among people that put pressure on them with questions. The same does not happen in frivolous meeting where people enjoy their mockery. There, these spirits are in their element and rejoice.

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