The opposition from scientific community is one of the arguments in-
cessantly used by the adversaries of Spiritism. Why haven’t they dealt
with the phenomena of the “turning tables”? Had they seen anything seri-
ous in them, they say, they would not be on guard against such extraor-
dinary facts nor would they treat them with disdain, whereas now they
are all against you. Aren’t the scientists the light of nations, and isn’t their
duty to spread light? Why would you want to diminish that just when the
occasion was so great for them to reveal a new force to the world?
It is a serious mistake to think that all scientists are against us, to
begin with, since Spiritism propagates precisely within the educated class.
The wise individuals are not exclusively in the official Science and offi-
cial organizations. Can the issue be prejudged by the fact that Spiritism
does not enjoy the status of citizenship with the official science? The
circumspection of that official science with respect to new ideas is well
known. If science had never been wrong then its opinion could weigh in.
Unfortunately, experience shows the opposite.
Hasn’t science repealed as pure illusion a number of discoveries that
have later distinguished the memories of their authors? Should we then
say that the scholars are ignorant? Does it justify the trivial epithets used
by some bad taste people to call them names? Certainly not! There isn’t
any sensible person who wouldn’t make justice to the scientists, acknowl-
edging though that they are not infallible and, for that very reason, their
judgment is not the last resort. Their mistake is to resolve certain ques-
tions a little lightheartedly, putting too much trust in their own lights,
before the judgment of time, thus exposing them to the contradiction of
Nobody is a good judge but on the subject of their expertise. Wanting
to build a house should we look for a musician? If we were sick would we
prefer to be treated by the architect? If we faced a lawsuit should we be
advised by a dancer? Finally, if it is a question of theology should we seek
the solution by a chemist or an astronomer? No. Each one will stick to
one’s own profession. Traditional sciences cover the properties of matter
that we can manipulate at will. The produced phenomena have material
forces as their agents.
The phenomena produced in Spiritism have intelligences as their
agents, intelligences that are independent, have free will, and in no way
submit to our caprices. They therefore escape from our anatomic or labo-
ratory methods, as well as from our calculations, hence they are not in the
scope of science, per se. Thus, science was wrong by trying to experiment
with the spirits like it does with an electric battery.
Science started from a single, restricted and preconceived idea, want-
ing to forcibly associate to the new idea. It failed, as it should, since it used
a nonexistent analogy from the beginning. Then, without investigating
further, it concluded by the negative: weak judgment, daily repaired by
time, as time has done to so many others, and those responsible will in
turn be sentenced to the shame of having so hastily taken a false position
against the infinite power of the Creator.
Thus, the scientific organizations should not, now and in the future,
pronounce about the subject, considering that it is not more in their scope
than it is the right of attesting God’s existence. It is then a mistake to take
them by judges. However, who will be the judge? Do the spiritists boast
about their rights of imposing their own ideas? No. The great judge, the
sovereign judge is public opinion, and when that opinion is formed by
the approval of the masses and the educated people, the official scientists
will accept it as individuals, submitting to the force of the circumstances.
Let us allow a generation to pass and with that the obstinate prejudices
of self-love. Then we will see what occurs to Spiritism in the same way
to what has happened to so many others who fought against injustices.
Today the believers are called crazy, tomorrow crazy will be those who do
not believe, exactly like in the past those who believed that Earth turned
were considered mad. But this believe did not preclude the Earth from
Nevertheless, not all wise individuals thought in the same way. Some
used the following train of thoughts:
There is no effect without a cause and the most vulgar effects may
yield the greatest discoveries. Had Newton not paid any attention to the
falling apple; had Galvani repelled the maid, calling her crazy and quix-
otic, when she talked to him about the frogs dancing on the plate, maybe
we might not have discovered the remarkable laws of gravitation or the
fecund properties of the battery. The phenomenon designated by the bur-
lesque name “dancing tables” is not more ridiculous than the dancing
frogs, and may contain some secrets of nature that will revolutionize hu-
manity, when we have their key.
They went further: since so many people are involved with those facts;
since careful people have investigated them, there must be something. An
illusion, madness, if you will, cannot have such a character of generality.
It could seduce a circle, a group, but it could never take the world.
Here is in excerpt what a doctor in medicine used to tell me, then a
non-believer, now a fervent expert:
“They say that the invisible beings communicate with us. Why not?
Before the invention of the microscope did we suspect the existence of
those thousands of microscopic animals that caused so much devastation
to our economy? Where is the material impossibility of the existence of
beings in space that escape our senses? Would we, by any means, have the
ridiculous pretension of knowing everything, telling God that we have
nothing else to learn from Him? If those invisible beings that surround us
are intelligent, why wouldn’t they communicate with us? If they maintain
a relationship with human beings it is because they must play a role in
their destinies and events. Who knows they are not one of the powers of
nature, one of those occult forces that we do not suspect? What new hori-
zons are open to our thoughts! What a vast field of observation!
The discovery of the invisible world would be very different from
that of the infinitely small. It would be more than a discovery: it would
be a thorough revolution of ideas. How much light can shine from that!
How many mysterious things would be explained! Those who believe in
these things are ridiculed, but what does it demonstrate? Hasn’t the same
happened to all discoveries? Wasn’t Christopher Columbus sent off, cov-
ered in sadness and considered insensible? These ideas, he was told, are
so strange that reason denies them. We would had laughed only half a
century ago if we were told that we would communicate from one end to
the other of the world in a few minutes; that we would travel across France
in a few hours; that a ship would navigate against the winds driven by the
steam of some boiling water; that the means of illumination and heating
would come from water. If a man had proposed to illuminate the entire
city of Paris with only one source of an invisible substance, he would have
been taken to the hospital. Would it then be more prodigious if space were
inhabited by intelligent beings that, after having lived on Earth, left their
material envelope behind? Don’t we find in that fact the explanation to
a number of beliefs that goes back to the remotest eras of antiquity? Isn’t
that the confirmation of the existence of the soul, of its individuality after
death? Isn’t that the proof of the very foundations of religion? However,
religion only vaguely tells us what happens to the souls. Spiritism defines
it. What can the materialists and atheist object to? It is worth investigat-
ing these things further.”
Such were the reflections of a scientist but of an unpretentious sci-
entist. These are also the thoughts of a large number of educated people,
who have thought about it, who have seriously investigated it, without
preconceived ideas, having had the modesty of not saying: I don’t under-
stand it, thus it does not exist.
Their conviction came after observation and meditation. If these ideas
were illusions, would it be possible that so many distinguished persons
had embraced them? Would it be possible that they would have being
victims of an illusion for such a long time? Hence, there is no material
impossibility for the existence of beings who are invisible to us and that
inhabit space. Such simple consideration should instigate more thoughts
in some. Not long ago, who would have thought that a single drop of wa-
ter could contain thousands of living creatures, of such a small size that
defies imagination? Well then, the acknowledgement of such minuscule
beings would be more difficult to be accepted by reason than those that
we call spirits.
The adversaries of Spiritism ask why the spirits, who should be con-
cerned about proselytizing, why wouldn’t they be more positively dedi-
cated to the task of convincing certain persons whose opinion could have
huge influence. They add that we accuse them for showing lack of faith,
then responding, and rightly so, that faith cannot come in anticipation.
It is a mistake to think that faith is necessary; however, good faith is
something else. There are skeptics that deny even the evidence and that
even miracles would not convince them. There are even those who would
be really upset if they were obliged to believe, since their self-love would
suffer by confessing that they were wrong.
How do you respond to people that can only see illusion and charla-
tanism everywhere? Say nothing. It is necessary to leave them alone, say-
ing that they saw nothing, for however long they wish, and that we were
unable to make them see anything. Side by side with these tough skeptics
there are those who wish to see things their own way. Once they form an
opinion, they want to submit everything to that belief, not recognizing
that there are certain phenomena that are not submitted to their will.
They either know nothing or do not wish to bow before the necessary
conditions. If the spirits do not seem as interested in convincing them
through exceptions it is due to the fact that, at that point in time, there is
little interest in convincing certain people, whose importance the spirits
do not measure as these individuals measure themselves. It is really not
very flattering, but we do not govern their opinion. The spirits have a
way of assessing things that are not always in agreement with ours. They
see, think and act based on other elements. While our life is constrained
by matter, limited by the narrow circle in which we find ourselves, they
see the whole picture. Time, that seems so lengthy to us, is an instant to
them, and distance is only a step. Certain details that seem of extreme
importance to us are nothing but childish things to them. On the other
hand, they consider to be important certain things whose reach we hardly
comprehend. In order to understand them it is necessary that we elevate
our thoughts above our material and moral horizon so as to be positioned
from their standpoint. It is not up to them to come down to ours. We
are the ones who must elevate to them, achieving that by the study and
observation. The spirits like the assiduous and conscientious observers to
whom they multiply the sources of enlightenment.
It is not the doubt originated by ignorance that sends them away.
It is the fatuity of the pretense observers who observe nothing, keeping
them under pressure and wanting to maneuver with them as they do with
puppets; it is the feelings of hostility and criticism that they bear in their
minds, above all, or in their words, despite the protests against it. The
spirits do nothing to these ones, showing little or no concern with respect
to what they may think or do, for their time will come. That is why we
say it is not faith that is needed, but good faith.
Well then, we question if our wise adversaries are always in such con-
ditions. They want to control the phenomena but the spirits do not obey
their orders. It is necessary to wait for their good will. It is not enough to
say: show me a given fact and I will believe. It is necessary to persevere;
allow the facts to be spontaneously produced, not willing to force or drive
them. That very thing that you wish for is exactly what you will not ob-
tain, but others will take place and maybe what you wanted will come
when you expect the least.
The phenomena multiply to the eyes of the attentive and assiduous
observer, reciprocally confirming one another, but the one who thinks
that the only requirement is to move the lever to crank up the engine
is completely wrong. What does the naturalist who wishes to study the
habits of a given animal do? Does he command the animal to do this or
that in order to have the opportunity to freely observe it, according to his
conveniences? No. He knows perfectly well that the animal will not obey
him. However, he watches the spontaneous manifestations of the animal’s
instinct; he waits for them and observes as they happen.
The simple common sense shows, with more reason, that it is how it
must be with the spirits, who are intelligences much more independent
than that of the animals.