Speech given at the closing of the social year 1858-59
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the time of expiration of your social year, allow me to present a
short summary of the status and works of the Society.
You know its origin. It was formed without a pre-established design,
without a preconceived project. A few friends gathered at my house in
a small group; step-by-step those friends asked me for permission to introduce
their friends. There was no president then. Those were intimate
gatherings, of eight to ten people, as there are to the hundreds in Paris and
elsewhere. It was natural that I had the direction of what happened at my
house, as a consequence of being the owner and of the studies that I had
carried out, which gave me certain experience in the matter.
The interest produced by those meetings increased, although we did
not get involved but with serious things. The number of attendees grew
gradually, one by one, and my modest living room was no longer adequate
to an assembly, becoming insufficient. It was then that some among you
proposed that we should look for another place, a more adequate, and that
we should pool resources in order to cover for the expenses, since they did not think that it was fair that I would take care of everything as of up
until that moment.
However, in order to gather regularly, beyond a certain number of
persons and in a different place, it was necessary to comply with the legal
requirements, have regulations, and consequently, a formal president.
Finally, it was necessary to constitute a society. It was what happened,
with the agreement of the authorities whose benevolence has not failed
us. It was also necessary to give a methodic and uniform direction to the
works, so that you thought appropriate to assign to me the work I was
already doing in my house, in our private sessions.
I dedicated to my functions, that I can call laborious, all the accuracy
and devotement that I was capable of doing. From the administrative
point of view I endeavored to maintain the sessions in a rigorous order,
ensuring a serious character, without which the prestige of the serious
assembly would have soon disappeared. Now that my task is over and
that the kickoff has been given, I must communicate to you the resolution
I have made to resign, for the future, to any function in the Society,
even the one of director of studies. I don’t ambition any title but that of
a simple regular member, with which I will always feel happy and honored.
The reason for my decision resides in the multiplicity of my duties
which increase daily, given the size of my network of contacts and also
because, besides the work you know, I prepare other more considerable
publications that require laborious studies, which will take no less than
Well, the Society’s activities take a lot of my time in the preparation,
coordination and final editing of the material. Furthermore, they also
require an assiduity that sometimes interferes with my personal activities,
making it indispensable an almost exclusive dedication to what you have
assigned me. That is the reason, ladies and gentlemen, that made me take
the word so often, in several of those occasions regretting the fact we were
deprived from the lights of distinguished and enlightened members. It has
been since some time now that I wanted to resign from my functions. On several occasions I have explicitly indicated such desire here, as well as in
private, to several colleagues, notably to Mr. Ledoyen.
I would have done it earlier, not afraid of causing inconvenience to
the Society by leaving in the middle of the year, but that could give the
impression of defection. We needed not to give that pleasure to our critics.
I then had to carry my task to the end. However, now that such motives
no longer exist, I promptly communicate my resolution to you, so as not
to preclude you from making the choice you must. It is only fair that each
one may share the honors and duties.
The Society has seen its importance grow rapidly in one year. The
number of regular members tripled in a few months. You have multiple
corresponding members in the two continents and the number of inperson
observers is beyond the possible limit, had we not established the
strict observation of the regulations as a threshold. You have noticed the
presence of the highest social dignitaries and many distinguished figures
among the latter ones. The hurry in requesting admission to your sessions
demonstrates the interest there is on attending them, despite the absence
of any experimentation aiming at satisfying curiosity, and even perhaps
due to its simplicity. If not all of them leave here convinced, what would
actually be wishing for the impossible, the serious persons, those who
do not come with a preconceived demeaning idea, those take home such
an impression about the seriousness of your works that predisposes them
to study these questions even further. As a matter of fact, we should not
but applaud the restriction in the admission of strangers. Thus, we avoid
a crowd of inconvenient curiosity. The steps you have taken to limit the
admission of strangers to certain meetings, saving the others exclusively
to the members of the Society, resulted in more freedom to your studies,
which could have been impaired by the presence of non-initiated persons
of uncertain sympathy.
Such restrictions will seem very natural to those who know the objective
of our institution and who know that we are, before anything, a
Society of studies and research and not a vehicle of propaganda. That is
why we do not admit in our ranks those who would make us waste our time in endlessly repeated elemental demonstrations, for not having the
first notions of the science.
No doubt we all wish the propagation of the ideas that we profess
since we all consider them useful and each one of us contributes towards
that. We know, however, that conviction can only be acquired through
continuous observation and never by some isolated facts, without continuity
and reasoning, against which incredulity may always raise objections.
One will say that a fact is always a fact. It is an unbreakable argument,
no doubt, as long as it is not disputed or disputable. When the fact is
beyond the limits of our own ideas and knowledge, at first sight it seems
impossible. The more extraordinary the fact is, the more objections it
raises. That is why they are contested. The person who probes the causes
and finds them also finds the basis and the very reason for the existence
of the fact; understands its possibility and since then no longer rejects it.
Many times a fact is only intelligible through its connection to other facts.
Taken in isolation it may seem strange, incredible and even absurd. But if
it is one link of the chain, if it has a rational basis, if it can be explained,
all anomalies will disappear.
Well, in order to understand such connection, to comprehend the
whole to which we are led from consequence to consequence, it is necessary
with all things – and perhaps even more with Spiritism – a series of
rational observations. Reason is thus a powerful element of conviction,
today more than ever, since the positive ideas lead us to know the why and
the how of each and everything.
We are impressed by the persistence of the incredulity in matters of
Spiritism, from people who have witnessed facts, whereas others who have
not seen are firm believers. Should we say that these are superficial, who
accept everything they are told without examination? It is much to the
contrary. The former have seen but do not understand; the latter have not
seen but understand, and understand because they reason.
The suite of reasons on which the facts are supported constitutes the
science, a still imperfect science, that is true, whose apex nobody pretends
to have been reached, but nevertheless it is a science in its beginning and your studies support the research on everything which can broaden and
establish that science.
This is what is important to be well known outside this room, making
no mistake with respect to our objectives so that when people come here
they do not expect to see a spectacle given by the spirits. Curiosity has a
limit. When it is satisfied it looks for another distraction. The one who
does not stop at the surface, who sees beyond the material effect, always
finds something to learn. Reason is an endless, boundless source to them.
Our line of conduct could not be better delineated than by the remarkable
words addressed to us by the spirit of St. Louis, words which we should
“They mocked the turning tables but will never mock the philosophy,
the wisdom and the charity that shine from the serious communications.
May it be seen somewhere else, may it be heard somewhere else, but may
there be understanding and love among you.
The expression “may there be understanding among you” contains a
whole teaching. We need to understand and we endeavor to understand since
we don’t want to believe like the blind. Reasoning is the light that guides
us. But reason of an individual only may divert. That is why we wanted to
gather in a Society so that we can mutually clarify one another through the
reciprocal support of our ideas and observations. From that point of view
we are similar to all other scientific institutions and our works will produce
more serious proselytes than if we spent our time making the tables turn and
rap. We would soon be fed up with that. Our thought requires a more solid
food. That is why we try to penetrate the mysteries of the invisible world,
whose first signs are those elemental phenomena. Do people who can read
have fun by endlessly repeating the alphabet? It is possible that we might
have more influx of curious people, succeeding in our sessions like images
from a dynamic scenery. But those curious people who could not acquire
an improvised conviction by seeing phenomena inexplicable to them, who
would judge without investigating further, would rather be an obstacle to
our works. That is why, not wishing to deviate from our scientific character,
we keep away anyone who come to us without a serious objective.
Spiritism has so grave consequences; it touches questions of such a
reach; gives the key to so many problems; it finally offers such a profound
philosophical teaching that compared to it all, a turning table is a purely
The observation of facts, without thought, we were saying, is insufficient
to lead to a complete conviction. We could call lighthearted
anybody who would declare to be convinced by a fact that was not understood.
Such a system, however, has another inconvenience which must be
pointed out and that each one of us may testify: it is the experimentation
mania, as a natural consequence of the above.
Whoever observes a spiritist fact without having studied all its implications
generally does not see more than the material fact. Then assess it
from the standpoint of their own ideas, not considering that outside of the
common laws there might be unknown laws. Judge to be able to maneuver
with the fact at will; imposes conditions and will not be convinced,
as they say, if the fact does not repeat in a given fashion, rather than in
another one. Imagine that one can carry out experiences with the spirits as
one does with the electrical battery. By not knowing their nature and how
they react, since those were not studied, thinks that one can impose their
will on those phenomena, imagining that they must act responding to a
simple signal, for the simple pleasure of having them convinced. Because
one is prepared to listen to them for fifteen minutes, one supposes that
they should remain at their services.
These are mistakes not incurred by those who take the time to investigate
further. They know the obstacles and do not ask for the impossible.
Instead of trying to convince the spirits from their own point of view,
something to which the spirits do not voluntarily submit to, they position
themselves on the standpoint of the spirits, with which the phenomena
change their aspects. In order to get there, one needs patience, perseverance
and strong will power, without which nothing is achieved.
The one who really wants to know does need to submit oneself to the
thing itself, not otherwise wanting it to submit to his conditions.
That is why the Society is not given to experimentations that would
not yield result, since it is aware from experience that Spiritism, as any
other Science, cannot be understood in a flash and in a few hours. As
a serious Society, it does not wish to deal but with serious persons, who
understand the duties imposed by such study, as long as one consciously
wishes to do that. The Society does not recognize as serious those who
say: Let me see a fact and I will be convinced.
Does it mean that we neglect the facts?
It is much to the contrary, since our whole science is based on facts.
We investigate with interest every fact that offers matter for study or confirms
the admitted principles. The only thing I want to say is that we
waste no time in reproducing the facts that we already know, in the same
way that a physicist does not enjoy repeating endlessly the experiments
which teach him nothing new. We focus our investigations on everything
that may illuminate our paths, preferring the intelligent communications,
source of the Spiritist Philosophy and whose boundless field is much ampler
than the purely material manifestations, which are of momentary
Two equally publically announced and practiced systems are presented
regarding the mode by which the spiritist communications are received:
some prefer to wait for the spontaneous communications; others
provoke them through a direct appeal to this or that spirit. The former
pretend that in the absence of control to establish the identity of the spirits,
then waiting for their good will, we are less exposed to be led to err.
Since the spirit speaks it is because he is present and wants to talk, whereas
we would not be certain that the one we evoke could come and respond.
The latter object, allowing the first one who shows up to speak, would
be the same as opening the door to the good as well as to the bad spirits.
The uncertainty in the identity is not a serious objection, since we frequently
dispose of means of ensuring that, and such a confirmation, besides,
is object of a study related to the principles of the science. The spirit
who communicates spontaneously is almost always limited to generalities whereas the framed questions establish a more positive and constructive
As for ourselves, we only condemn the exclusivity of systems. We
know that excellent things are obtained in a way or another. If we prefer
the second it is due to the fact that experience teaches us that the mystifying
spirits do not refrain from painting themselves with respectable
names, as much as in the evocations. They even have more room for maneuvering
whilst with the questions we easily dominate them, not counting
on the fact that the questions have an invaluable utility in the studies.
It is to this mode of investigation that we owe the amount of observations
collected daily, allowing us to penetrate more deeply into these extraordinary
mysteries. The more we advance, the more the horizons open up,
thus showing how vast is the field that we must harvest.
The numerous evocations that we made allowed an investigative eye
over the invisible world, from one end to the other, from what there is of
most insignificant to the most sublime. The uncountable variety of facts
and characters that sprouted from those studies, carried out in profound
calmness, with continuous attention and prudent circumspection of serious
observers, opened up the arcane of this new world to us.
The order and the method applied into all of your researches were
indispensable elements to the success.
In fact, you know from experience that it is not enough to call the
spirit of this or that person, at random. The spirits do not come like
that, at our will or caprice, and do not answer to everything that we are
led to ask them by our own fantasies. In order to deal with the beings
from beyond the grave, one needs skills and language adequate to their
nature; to their moral qualities; to their degree of intelligence; to the position
they occupy. We must be dominant or be submissive with them,
according to the circumstances; show compassion to those who suffer;
be humble and respectable with the superior ones; firm with the bad
and stubborn ones that only dominate those who complacently listen
to them. Finally, it is necessary to know how to methodically formulate
and structure the questions, so as to obtain more explicit answers; capture from the answers the nuances that sometimes are characteristic
traces, important revelations, escaping the superficial, inexperienced or
The mode of conversation with the spirits is thus a true art that requires
tact, knowledge about the terrain where we step onto, somehow
constituting the practical Spiritism. Conveniently guided, the evocations
may teach a lot. They offer a powerful element of interest, morality and
conviction. Element of interest since they allow us to know the state of the
world which awaits for us all, from which sometimes we have an extravagant
idea; morality since we can see, by analogy, our future condition;
conviction since we have in these private conversations the manifesting
proof of the existence and individuality of the spirits, which are nothing
else but our own souls, detached from the dense matter.
As long as your general opinion about Spiritism is formed, you have
no need to found your convictions on the material proof of the physical
manifestations. On another hand, advised by the spirits, you wanted to
limit yourselves to the study of the principles and moral issues, without
neglecting, however, the examination of the phenomena that may support
the search for the truth.
The systematic criticism condemned upon us for accepting too easily
the doctrines of certain spirits, particularly those related to scientific questions.
Those persons show, for that very reason, that they do not know the
true scope of the Spiritist science, nor the one to which we proposed, thus
giving us the right of returning their criticism for the lightheartedness in
One cannot certainly teach you the reservation with which we must
receive everything that comes from the spirits. We are far from accepting
all that they say as articles of faith. We know that there are all nuances of
knowledge and moral among them. For us they form a whole population
which presents varieties a hundred times greater than the one we notice
among men. What we want is to study that population; to get to know
and understand it. For that we study the individualities; we observe the
subtle differences; we try to identify the distinct traces of their customs, culture, habits and characters. Finally, we want to identify ourselves, as
much as possible, with the state of that world.
Before we move into a dwelling we like to know how it is; if we will be
comfortable there. We want to know the habits of the neighbors; the kind
of society that we will participate. Well then! It is our future dwelling.
The spirits allow us to know the habits of the people in whose environment
we are going to live.
However, as among us there are ignorant and shortsighted people
that have an incomplete idea about our material world and its environment,
all strange to them, so are the spirits of limited moral horizon, who
cannot comprehend the broad picture and are still under the domain of
prejudices and systems. Those cannot, as a consequence, instruct us about
everything that is related to the spiritual world, in the same way that a
peasant could not do it with respect to the high society of Paris or to the
scientific world. It would then be a sad assessment of our reason if thought
that we listen to every spirit as if they were oracles.
The spirits are what they are and we cannot alter the order of things.
As not all of them are perfect we do not accept their words but with reservation
and never with a childish. We assess, compare and derive conclusions
from what we observe. Even the mistakes of the spirits are teachings
to us, since we do not resign to our own discernment.
These observations equally apply to all scientific theories that the spirits
may give. It would be too easy if all we needed were to interrogate them
to find the complete science and discover all technological secrets. We do
conquer science but after hard work and research. The mission of the spirits
is not to free us from that obligation. We do know, besides, that not all
spirits know everything and that among them there are also pseudo-wise
spirits, as there are among us, who think to know what they don’t, talking
about what they ignore with the most unperturbed audacity.
A spirit could then say that it is the Sun and not the Earth that turns.
His theory would not be more exact just because it came from a spirit.
Thus, may those who attribute to us such a puerile credulity know that
we take the opinion issued by a spirit as a personal opinion; that we do not accept it but after having submitted it to the control of logic and the
means of investigation offered by the Spiritist science itself, means known
by all of you!
Such is, ladies and gentlemen, the aim proposed by the Society. It is
not up to me, for sure, to tell you, although it pleases me to recall it here,
so that if my words have a repercussion out there, may anybody make
no mistake with respect to its true meaning. As for myself, I feel happy
having only had to follow you in this serious path that elevates Spiritism
to the heights of the philosophical sciences. Your works have already produced
fruits, however, those which will still be produced later are incalculable,
as long as – and I have no doubts about that – you keep the adequate
conditions in order to attract the good spirits to your environment.
The support of the good spirits, this is in effect the condition without
which one cannot expect the truth. Well, that support depends on us. The
first of all conditions to deserve their sympathy is privacy and purity of
intentions. The serious spirits go wherever they are seriously called, with
faith, fervor and trust. They do not like to be used in experiments, or to
provide spectacles. On the contrary, they like to instruct those who interrogate
them without preconceived ideas. The frivolous spirits, who make
fun of everything, go everywhere and preferably to places where they have
the opportunity to mystify. The bad ones are attracted by evil thoughts,
and by evil thoughts we must understand all those that do not comply
with the principles of the evangelical charity. Thus, whoever may bring to
a meeting feelings which are contrary to those precepts, carry along spirits
who wish to spread perturbation, disagreement and hostility.
The communion of thoughts and feelings towards the good is thus a
crucial condition and it is not possible to find that communion in a heterogeneous
environment, where inferior passions have access, like pride,
envy and jealousy, passions always revealed by the malevolence and acrimony
of the language, however thick the hiding veil may be, with which
one attempts to disguise them.
This is the Spiritist Science 101. If we want to close the door of this
room to the evil spirits, than we need to start by closing the door of our hearts and let us avoid anything that may empower them against us. Had
the Society one day become a toy in the hands of the deceiving spirits it
would be for the fact that they were attracted to it! Attracted by whom? By
those in whom they find echo, since they only go where they know they
are going to be heard. We all know the proverb: “Show me your company
and I will tell you who you are.” We can parody it with respect to our
sympathetic spirits, by saying: “Tell me what you think and I will tell who
your spiritual companies are.”
Well, thoughts are translated into actions. If we admit that discord,
pride, envy and jealousy cannot be inspired but by bad spirits, those
who would bring elements of disharmony here would attract obstacles,
with which they would indicate the nature of their hidden satellites.
Then we could only regret their presence in the heart of the Society.
God willing – so I hope – this will never happen, and also supported
by the good spirits, if we make ourselves favorable to them, the Society
will consolidate by both the deserved consideration and by the utility
of its works.
If we were only aiming at experiences for the satisfaction of our curiosity,
the nature of the communications would be more or less indifferent,
considering that we would only see in them what they are. However, since
we are not looking for entertainment to us or to the public, but true communications
is what we really want, we do need the sympathy of the good
spirits for that, a sympathy that can only be conquered by those who keep
the bad spirits away by the sincerity of their hearts.
Saying that the frivolous spirits have never meddled among us, in order
to cover for any vulnerability from our side, it would be too much presumption
of perfection. The superior spirits can even allow that to happen
in order to test our perspicacity and our zeal in the search for the truth.
Our reasoning, however, must keep us on guard against the traps that can
be set against us, providing the means of avoiding them in all cases.
The objective of the Society is not only the research on the principles
of the Spiritist science. It goes further. It also studies their moral consequences since it is particularly on those consequences that its true
Our studies teach us that the invisible world that surrounds us
interacts constantly with the visible world, being one of the forces of
nature. Wouldn’t that be the key to many problems to get to know
the effects of such an occult force, which dominates and subjugates
us, irrespective of our will; the explanation of a number of facts that
go unnoticed? If those effects can be dismal, knowing the cause of
the problem wouldn’t be a means of avoiding them, as the knowledge
about the properties of electricity has given us the means of mitigating
the disastrous effects of lightning? If we then succumb we cannot
complain but about ourselves, once ignorance will not serve us as an
excuse. The danger lies with the empire that the bad spirits exert onto
people, which is not only a bleak thing from the point of view of the
mistaken principles that they can propagate, but also from the point
of view of the interests of the material life. Experience tells that we
are never left unpunished under the domination of the bad spirits,
for their intentions can never be good. One of their tactics to achieve
their aim is discord since they know well that they can easily dominate
whoever has no support. Thus, their first action when they want to
control someone is to inspire mistrust and isolation, so that nobody
can unmask them by clarifying the person giving sound advices. Once
in control, they can fascinate the person with seducing promises; subjugate
by flattering their inclinations, taking advantage of any weak
spot which they may find, making that person feel the bitterness of
deception later; hurt in their relationships; humiliated in their pride
and, many times, elevate that person for a split second, only to be left
alone on a free fall from a higher position.
Those are, ladies and gentlemen, the things that we learned from the
examples that unfolds every time before our eyes, both in the world of
the spirits and in the corporeal world, circumstance that we can use to
ourselves, at the same time trying to make it useful to others.
Nevertheless, some will ask if we are not going to attract the bad spirits
by the evocation of people who were the scum of society.
No, because we never suffer their influence. There will only be danger
when it is the spirit that imposes itself; never when we impose to the spirit,
though. Know this that such spirits do not attend your call unless they are
constrained and forced; that generally feel so much awkward in your environment
that are always in a hurry to leave. Their presence is a study to us, for it
is necessary to see everything in order to know. The doctor cannot reach the
summit of knowledge without probing the most difficult situations.
The doctor comparison is so appropriate when you consider what we
have done to cure the suffering and alleviated pain from a spiritual perspective
Our duty is to present ourselves charitable and benevolent towards the
beings from beyond the grave as we do our fellow human beings.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would personally feel extraordinarily privileged
had I been exempted from criticism. We cannot be in this situation
without being exposed to the darts of those who do not think as we do.
There are, however, two kinds of criticism: one that is malevolent, acerbic,
poisoned, in which jealousy betrays itself in every word; the other that
aims at the sincere search for the truth, has absolutely diverse characteristics.
The first one only deserves disdain. I have never bothered with that.
It is only the other one that is arguable.
Some people said that I was too precipitated with the spiritist theories;
that time was not right to establish them, since the observations were not
Allow me a few words about the subject.
There are two things to consider with respect to Spiritism: the experimental
part and the philosophical or theoretical part.
Abstraction made of the teachings of the spirits; I ask if I don’t have
the right to imagine, as many others do, a philosophical system. Isn’t the
field of opinions open to everyone? Why then I cannot bring about my
own ideas? It is up to the public to judge if it makes sense or does not.
But that theory, instead of conferring me any merit, if any, I declare
that it comes entirely from the spirits.
Q - Be it, some will say, but that is too much.
A - Those who pretend to give the key to the mysteries of
creation; unveil the principles of all things and the infinite nature
of God do not go further than I do, I who declare, in the
name of the spirits, that it is not given to man the investigation
of such things about which we can only make more or less likely
Q - You are moving too fast.
A - But would it be a mistake to be ahead of certain persons?
As a matter of fact, who is holding them back, preventing them
Q - The facts are not sufficiently observed yet.
A - How come? Right or wrong I believe having observed
them sufficiently. Must I wait for the good will of those who are
behind? My publications block the way to nobody.
Q - Since the spirits may be wrong how can you be certain
that the spirits who gave you the instructions are not mistaken?
A - In fact, the whole question resides in that point, once the
objection of precipitation is too puerile. Well! I must say that my
confidence is founded on the truthfulness and superiority of the
spirits that instructed me. To begin with I will say that according
to their advice I accept nothing without control and examination.
I only adopt an idea when it seems logical, rational and in
agreement with the facts and observations, and as long as nothing
may seriously contradict it. My judgment, however, could not be
an infallible criterion. The approval I got from people that are
more enlightened than I am give me the first guarantee. But I
find another one not less preponderant in the character of the
communications, since I have been involved with Spiritism. It has
never – I can say – escaped a single of those words, of those signs
through which the inferior spirits always betray themselves, even
the smartest ones. They never intend domination; never wrong
advices or advices contrary to charity and benevolence; never ridiculous prescriptions. Far from that, I have only found great,
noble, sublime thoughts, exempt from greed and petty feelings.
In one word, their relationship with me, both in small as well as
in great things, have always been such that had it been a man who
was talking to me I would consider him the best, the wisest, the
most prudent, the most moralized and enlightened person.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are the reasons for my confidence, reinforced
by the identity of the teachings given to a large number of other people,
before and after the publication of my books. The future will tell if I
am right or wrong. Meanwhile I believe to have helped the progress of
Spiritism, by carrying some bricks to the building. By showing that the
facts may be based on reason I would have contributed to make it leave
the path of frivolous curiosity, making it enter the serious road of demonstration,
the only one capable of satisfying people who think and who do
not stay on the surface of things.
I finish, ladies and gentlemen, by the quick scrutiny of a current issue.
It is about other societies that would supposedly wish to rival with
Some say that one of them already counts on 300 members and that
it has considerable financial resources. I want to believe it is not swaggering,
so much not commendable to the spirits who may have given rise to
that as to those who echoed it. If it is a reality we sincerely congratulate
them, as long as it obtains the required unity of feelings to frustrate the
influence of the bad spirits and consolidate its existence.
I completely ignore the elements of the society or societies that they
say are forming. I will only make a general observation.
There are in Paris, as elsewhere, a number of private meetings, as
ours once was, where the spiritist manifestations are treated more or less
seriously, not to mention the United States where they happen in the
thousands. I know some in which the evocations occur under the best
conditions and where remarkable things are obtained. It is the natural
consequence of the increase in the number of mediums that develop everywhere, despite the sarcasm. The more we advance, the more such
Spontaneously formed by a small number of elements and variables,
these centers have nothing of fixed or regular and do not constitute proper
societies. A regularly organized society requires conditions of vitality that
are completely diverse, as a consequence of the number of people which
form it, their stability and permanence. The first of those conditions is
the homogeneity of principles and the way of seeing things. Every society
that is formed by heterogeneous elements has the germen of dissolution.
We can consider it born-dead, whatever its objective: political, religious,
scientific or economical.
A spiritist society requires another condition – the assistance of the
good spirits – if we want to obtain serious communications, since from
the bad spirits, if we allow them to stand, we will not obtain but lies, deceptions
and mystification. That is the price of its own existence, because
the bad spirits will be the first agents of its destruction. They will gradually
undermine it, in case they do not destroy it up front.
Without homogeneity there will not be communion of thoughts thus
calmness and seclusion will not be possible. Well, the good spirits only present
themselves under those conditions. How can we find them in a meeting
where the beliefs are divergent, in which some do not even believe and, as
a consequence, the spirit of opposition and controversy incessantly dominates?
They only assist the ones who ardently wish to be instructed toward
the good, without second intentions, and not to satisfy a vain curiosity.
Wishing to form a spiritist society outside of those conditions would
be the same as giving proof of the most absolute ignorance regarding the
elemental principles of Spiritism.
Would we then be the only ones capable of forming them? It would
be very impertinent and even ridiculous for us to think so. Others can
certainly do what we have done. May other societies then deal with works
similar to ours, may they prosper and multiply. The more the better since
it will be a sign of progress of the moral ideas. This is even better if they
are supported and receiving good communications, a condition that we cannot pretend to have the sole privilege. As we aim at our personal instruction
and at the interest of the Spiritist science, may our society hide
no idea, no direct or indirect speculation, no ambition and may its existence
do not rest on questions of money. May other societies be considered
our sisters and not competitors! If we are envious then we will give
indication that bad spirits support us. If one of them is formed to rival
against us, with the preconceived idea of overcoming us, from its objective
it would be revealing the very nature of the spirits presiding over its
formation, since such a thought would not be good, nor charitable, and
the good spirits do not sympathize with the feelings of hatred, envy and
As a matter of fact, we have an infallible means of not been afraid of
any rivalry. It has been given to us by St. Louis: May there be understanding
and love among you, he said. Let us then work in order to understand
one another. Let us fight the others but with charity and abnegation. May
the love to the neighbor be written in our flag and may it be our slogan.
With that we will dare the mockery and the influence of the bad spirits.
They may equal us with that respect and that will be better since they
are brothers that come close to us. It is up to us, however, to never be
But some may say: you have a way of seeing things that is not ours.
We cannot sympathize with principles that we do not admit because
nothing demonstrates that you are with the truth. I will then respond:
nothing demonstrates that you are more right than we are once you still
doubt and the doubt is not a doctrine. We can diverge in opinion about
certain points of the science without biting or stoning one another, which
would be unworthy and not much scientific. Do your research then, from
your side, as we have done from ours. The future will tell who is right. If
we are wrong we will not have the silly self-love of persisting on false ideas.
There are, however, principles about which we have the certainty of not
been mistaken: the love of righteousness, the abnegation, and the abjuration
of every feeling of envy and jealousy.
These are our principles with
which is always possible to sympathize without compromising. It is the bond that must unite all good individuals, whatever their divergence of
opinion. Only selfishness creates an unsurpassable barrier between them.
These are, ladies and gentlemen, the observations that I believed I
had to present when leaving the functions that you have assigned to me.
From the bottom of my heart I thank all of those who have given me their
testimonies of sympathy. Whatever happens, my life is dedicated to the
work that we have undertaken and I will feel happy if my efforts may help
it enter the serious path that is its essence, the only one that may safeguard
The objective of Spiritism is to improve those who understand it. Let
us try to set the example and show that the Doctrine is not a dead letter
to us. In one word, let us be worthy of the good spirits if we want their assistance.
The good is an armor against which all weapons of malevolence
will always break.