The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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Mr. Humboldt

Deceased on May 6th, 1859; evoked at the Parisian Society of Spiritist th th Studies on the 13 and 20 of the same month.

To St. Louis: Could we call the spirit of Mr. Alexander Humboldt who has just died?

If you wish so my friend.

1. Evocation
- I am here. This is amazing.

2. Why are you amazed?
- I am far away from what I was just a few days ago.

3. If we could see you, how would we see you?

- As a man.

4. Does our call bother you?
- No, no.

5. Were you aware of your new condition just after death?
- I waited for that for a long time.

NOTE: People like Mr. Humboldt who die of natural causes, and by the gradual extinction of the vital forces, recognize themselves in spirit much more promptly than those whose life is abruptly interrupted by an accident or some sort of vio- lence, since there is already the initiation of the detachment before the organic life is over. The superiority of the spirit and the elevation of Mr. Humboldt thoughts eased the separa- tion, always slower and more painful in those whose lives are exclusively material.

6. Do you miss your Earthly life?
- No, absolutely not. I feel happy. I no longer feel in prison. My spirit is free... What a pleasure! And how nice the moment that brought me such a grace from God!

7. What is your opinion about the statue that will be erected to you in France, despite the fact that you are foreign?
- I am thankful to the honor addressed to me. What I do appreciate is the feeling of union and the desire to extinguish all hatred, through that fact.

8. Have your beliefs changed?
- Yes, a lot. However, I have not revised everything. Wait a little before you talk to me with more depth.

NOTE: This answer and the word “revise” are characteristic of the actual state of the spirit. Despite the quick separation of his spirit there still exists a certain confusion of ideas. Since he left his body only eight days ago, he did not have time yet to compare his worldly ideas with those that he may have now.

9. Are you happy with the way you lived your last existence?
- Yes. I have more or less accomplished the objective proposed by myself. I served humanity; that is why I am happy now.

10. When did you propose that objective?
- When I came to Earth.

NOTE: Since he proposed the objective when he came to Earth it means that he had achieved a prior progress and his soul was not born at the same time as the body. This sponta- neous answer couldn’t have been provoked by the nature of the question or by the thought of the interlocutor.

11. Have you chosen this worldly existence?
- There were many candidates for this mission. I begged the Being by Excellence to concede it to me and I got it.

12. Do you remember your existence prior to the one that you have just left?
- Yes. It happened far from Earth, in a world very different from yours.

13. Is that world equal, inferior or superior to Earth?
- I am sorry. It is superior.

14. We know that our world is far from perfection and hence we don’t feel humiliated by the fact that there are other worlds above us. However, how would you have come to a world inferior to yours? - One does not give to the rich. I wanted to give therefore I came to the poor’s shanty.

15. Could you give us a description of the living beings that inhabit the world where you lived?
- A little while ago I wanted to tell you that but then I un- derstood that I would have great difficulty in perfectly ex- plaining it to you. The beings are good, very good there. You already know that point, the basis of the whole moral sys- tem of those worlds. Nothing blocks the development of the good thoughts there; nothing stimulates the recollection of bad thoughts; it is complete happiness since everyone is con- tent with oneself and with those who surround them. With respect to the matter and to the senses any description would be useless. How much of a simplification in the engines of so- ciety! Now that I am capable of comparing the two; I am sur- prised by the distance. Do not think that I say so in order to discourage you. No. Much to the contrary. It is necessary that your spirit be very much convinced of the existence of those worlds. You will then feel an ardent desire to reach them and your work will pave the way.

16. Is that world part of our planetary system?
- Yes. It is very close to you. However, you cannot see it since it has no light of its own and does not receive nor reflects the light from other stars that surround it.

17. A short while ago you said that your prior existence was far away from us and now you say that world is very close. How can these two things be conciliated?
- It is far from you if you take into account your distances, the worldly measures. However, it is close if you use God’s ruler and if from a single gaze you try to embrace the whole creation.

NOTE: Evidently if we take by comparison the dimensions of our globe we can then consider it far away but it is close with respect to other globes that are located at unimaginable distances.

18. Can you be specific about the region in the sky where it is located?
- It would be useless. The astronomers will never find it.

19. Is the density of that planet the same as ours?
- The ratio is of a thousand to ten.

20. Is that planet of the same nature as the comets?
- No, absolutely.

21. If it hasn’t got its own light and if it does not reflect solar light then it is in eternal obscurity?
- The beings that inhabit it do not absolutely need light. There is no obscurity to them; they don’t understand it. Since you are blind you think that nobody else may have the sense of vision.

22. According to certain spirits, planet Jupiter is much superior to Earth. Is that true?
- Yes. Everything you were told is true.

23. Have you ever seen Arago again, after you returned to the spirits’ world?
- It was him who reached out to me when I left your world.

24. Have you known Spiritism during your life?
- Not Spiritism. Magnetism, yes.

25. What is your opinion about the future of Spiritism among the scientific organizations?
- Grandiose. But its path will be rough.

26. Do you think that the scientific institutes will one day accept it?
- Certainly. However, do you see that as indispensable? You must first endeavor to implant its principles in the hearts of the unfortunate ones that are plentiful in your world. It is the balsam that mitigates despair and gives hope.

NOTE: François Arago, evoked on May 27th, through another medium, gave the following answers to similar questions:

Q – When alive, what was your opinion about Spiritism?

A – I hardly knew it and thus did not give it much importance. You yourself can now judge if I have changed opinion.

Q – Do you think that it may one day be accepted and recognized by the scientific organizations, that is, by the official science, since many scholars do personally accept it?

A – I not only think but I am sure. It will follow the fate of all discoveries that are useful to humanity. Mocked in the beginning by the proud scholars and by the silly ignorant, it will be acknowledged by everyone in the end.

27. What is your opinion about the sun that illuminates us?
- I have not learned much here yet in the field of Science. However, I continue to think that the Sun is no more than a vast electrical center.

28. Is such opinion the result of the ideas you had as a man or is it your opinion as a spirit? - It is my opinion since I was alive, reinforced by what I feel now.

29. Considering that you came from a world superior to Earth, how come you did not acquire accurate knowledge about these things, before your last existence, which you could remember now?
- I certainly had them. Nevertheless, what you have just asked me has no relationship with all that I was able to learn in my existences prior to this one that I have just left, so different from the others. Astronomy, for example, was a completely new science to me.

30. Many spirits have told us that they inhabited or had inhabited other planets. None, however, said to have inhabited the Sun. Why?
- The Sun is an electrical center, not a world. It is an instrument, not a dwelling. - Then it has no inhabitants? - Permanent inhabitants, no. Visitors, yes.

31. Is it possible that after some time, when you have been able to carry out new observations, you may give us better information about the nature of the Sun?
- Yes, perhaps and with pleasure. However, do not count much on me since I will not remain roaming for long.

32. Where do you think you are going to when you leave your current state? - God allows me to rest for a while. I will take the opportunity to review very dear friends who wait for me. Then, I know nothing else.

33. With your permission, we would still like to ask you a few questions that your knowledge of Natural History will no doubt allow you to respond.
- The mimosa pudica (sensitive) and the Venus flytrap show movements that indicate a great sensitivity, and in certain cases a certain will, like in the last one whose leaves catch the insects that land on them, seeking their juice. It seems that the plant prepares a trap to later kill the insect. Our question is that if such plants are endowed by any ability to think; if they have a will; if they form an intermediary class between the vegetable and the animal state. In one word, do they represent a transition from one to the other? - Everything in nature is transition by the simple fact that nothing is the same, despite the fact that it is all interconnected. Those plants do not think and consequently do not have a will. The oyster that opens up as well as all zoophytes absolutely does not think. All they have is a natural instinct.

34. When the plant is hurt does it feel any pain?
- No.

NOTE: One member of the Society voices an opinion that the movements of the sensitive plants are similar to those produced by the digestive and circulatory systems of the animal organism that occur involuntarily. In fact, don’t we see the pylorus contracting in the presence of certain bodies, denying entry? The same must happen with the sensitive and the Venus flytrap plants in which the movements do not imply the need for a perception and even less the need for a will.

35. Are there fossils of humans?
- Time has gradually destroyed them.

36. Do you admit the fact that there were humans on Earth before the geological floodwaters?
- It would be better if you had clearer explanations about this subject before framing the question. There were humans on Earth before several floods.

37. Adam then was not the first man?
- Adam is a myth. Where do you place Adam?
38. Myth or non-myth I speak about the period that history assigns to him. - It is hard for you to assess. It is actually impossible for you to evaluate the number of years over which the first human being lived in a savage and animal state, which did not end but after a long time since their first appearance on Earth.

39. Will Geology one day find the material traces of the existence of humans on Earth before Adam’s times? - Not Geology, but common sense.

40. The evolution of the organic kingdom on Earth is marked by the successive appearance of the acotyledons, the monocotyledons, and the dicotyledons. Did human beings exist before the dicotyledons?
- No, their phase followed that.

41. We thank you for your kindness in attending our call, as well as the teachings.
- It was a pleasure. Good-bye. So long.

NOTE: This communication is distinguished by a general character of goodness, benevolence and great modesty, a sign of undeniable superiority of the spirit. There is not one single trace of vanity, swagger, desire to dominate, to impose, typically present in the answer of the pseudo-wise spirits, always driven by preconceived ideas and systems that they try to impose. Everything and even the most beautiful thoughts breathe simplicity and absence of pretension in the spirit of Mr. Humboldt.



1. Evocation
- I am with you.

2. What is your situation as a spirit: errant or reincarnate?
- Errant.

3. Are you happier than when you were alive?
- Yes, since I am separated from the dense body and I can now see what I could not before.

4. It seems to me that you were not in an unfortunate condition when alive. Where thus the superiority of your present situation?
- I have just said that. You, the followers of Spiritism, must understand such a situation.

5. What is your current opinion about the Faust? - It is a piece of work whose objective was to show the vanity and emptiness of human Science and, on another hand, exalt the feeling of love in its beauty and purity, condemning what it showed as immoral and evil.

6. Was it a kind of intuition of Spiritism that led you to describe the influence of the bad spirits over human beings? How could you have made such a description?
- I had an almost perfect memory of a world where I saw the spirits exercising their influence over the material beings.

7. Did you then have the recollection of a preceding existence?
- Yes, certainly.

8. Can you tell us if that existence was on Earth?
- No, since one cannot see the spirits in action here. It was really in another world.

9. However, since you could see the spirits in action it should be in a world superior to Earth. How come you ended up in an inferior planet? Have you fallen? Kindly explain.
- It was a superior world to a certain extent, but not as you understand it. Not all worlds have the same organization and yet there is no great superiority just because of that. Furthermore, you know that I had a mission among you that you cannot ignore, since you still play my works. There was no falling down considering that I served and still serve to help your moralization. I applied what I had of superior from that preceding world, in order to improve the passions of my heroes.

10. Yes, your work is still played. Just recently The Faust was adapted to an opera. Have you seen that?
- Yes.

11. Can you give us your opinion about the way Mr. Gounod interpreted your thoughts through music? - Gounod evoked me, without knowing it. He understood me very well. As a German musician I would not have done better. Perhaps he thinks as a French musician.

12. What do you think about the Werther?
- I now reproach the end part.

13. Wouldn’t such a work have caused a lot of harm, exalting passions?
- It did and caused disgraces.

14. It was the cause of many suicides. Would you be responsible for that?
- Since there was a wicked influence spread by me, it is exactly for what I suffer and regret.

15. It seems to me that when alive you showed great aversion towards the French. Do you still have it today?
- I am very patriotic.

16. Are you still more connected to a country than to the others?
- I love Germany for its thoughts and for its almost patriarchal tradition.

17. Do you want to give your opinion about Schiller?
- We are brothers in spirit and through our missions. Schiller had a great and noble soul, reflected in his works. He did less harm than I did. He is my superior for he was simpler and truer.

18. Could you give us your opinion about the French poets in general, comparing them to the German ones? This is not a vain feeling of curiosity but the search for our instruction. We consider your feelings really elevated thus needless to ask for your impartiality, leaving aside any national prejudice.
- You are curious but I want to satisfy this curiosity. The modern French frequently write beautiful poems but employ more nice words than good ideas. They should dedicate more to the feelings than to the minds. I speak in general but make exceptions to some: a great poor poet, among others.

19. A name was whispered in the audience. Is that the one you talk about?
- Poor or that simulates poverty.

20. We would like to obtain a dissertation from you about a subject of your choice, for our instruction. Could you kindly dictate something to us?
- I will do it later, through other mediums. Evoke me on another occasion.

Black Father Cesar

Father Cesar was a black free man, deceased on February 8th, 1859, at the age of 138 years, near the town of Covington, in the USA, born in Africa and taken to Louisiana at the age of 15. The remains of that patriarch of the black race were carried to the cemetery by a certain number of Covington’s inhabitants and a large number of black people.
Parisian Society, March 25th, 1859

1. (to St. Louis) – Could you kindly tell us if we could evoke Father Cesar that we have just mentioned?
- Yes. I will help him to respond.

NOTE: This start leads to a supposition about the condition of the spirit that we wanted to interrogate.
2. (Evocation).
- What do you want from me? What can a poor spirit like me do in a meeting like yours?

3. Are you happier now than when you were alive?
- Yes, because my situation on Earth was not good.

4. However you were free. In which sense you feel happier now?
- Because my spirit is no longer black. NOTE: This answer is more sensible than it seems at first sight. The spirit is certainly never black. He means that as a spirit he no longer suffers the humiliations to which the black race is submitted.

5. You lived a long life. Did you take advantage of that for your progress? - I felt upset while on Earth but at a certain age I did not suffer enough to be fortunate to progress.

6. How do you employ your time now?
- I try to enlighten myself and find out in which body I can achieve that.

7. What did you think of the white men when alive?
- They are good but lighthearted and proud of a “whiteness” that is not their call.

8. Do you eventually consider the whiteness as superiority?
- Yes, since I was neglected for being black.

9. (to St. Louis) – Is the black race really inferior?
- The black race will disappear from Earth. It was made for latitude that is different from yours.

10. (to father Cesar)
– You said that you are looking for a body with which you could advance. Will you pick a white or black body?
- A white one since the abandonment would hurt me.

11. Did you really live up to the age attributed to you, of 138 years?
- I don’t know exactly for the reason that you mentioned.
NOTE: We had just made considerations about the age of the black people that could only be calculated approximately since there was no civil registration, especially for those born in Africa.

12. (to St. Louis) – Is it true that the whites sometimes reincarnate in black bodies?
- Yes. When, for example, a master has mistreated a slave, he may ask to live in the body of a black person, as atonement, so as to suffer the same that he had made suffer, then advancing and obtaining God’s forgiveness through that.

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