The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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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.

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