The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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An Officer from the Italian Army (2ND CONVERSATION)
Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies July 1st, 1859 (see July 1859 issue)

1. (Evocation) - I am here.

2. You promised to come to us again and we will take the opportunity to request a few complementary explanations from you. - With pleasure.

3. Have you watched some battles after your death? - Yes, the last one.

4. When you witness a combat as a spirit, watching men killing one another, do you have any feeling of horror as we would, if we watched similar images? - Yes, I experienced that, even as a man, but then human respect was based on a feeling not worthy of a soldier.
5. Are there spirits that feel pleasure by watching such blood shedding? - A few.
6. What do the spirits of a superior order feel when witnessing that? - Great compassion; almost disdain. The same that you feel when you see the animals killing one another.
7. When you see a combat and people dying, do you see the separation between the soul and the body? - Yes.
8. At that moment do you then see two individuals, the spirit and the body? - No. What is the body then? - But the body is still there. It must be distinct from the spirit. - A cadaver, yes, but no longer a human being.
9. What is then the appearance of the spirit? - Light.
10. Does the spirit move away immediately from the body? I ask you to kindly explain things as explicitly as possible and how we would see them in case we witnessed them. - There are only a few really instantaneous deaths. The spirit who was hit by a bullet or a grenade, tells oneself most of the time: “I am going to die, let us think of God and heavens. Good-bye beloved land.” After that first feeling the pain extracts him from the body and it is when we can distinguish the spirit, moving around the cadaver. This seems so natural that the sight of the dead body does not produce an unpleasant effect. Since life has been totally transported to the spirit, it is the spirit that calls our attention; it is with the spirit that we talk and command.
OBSERVATION: We can compare this effect to the one that is produced by a group of swimmers. The spectator does not give attention to the clothes that were left at the beach.
11. Generally, when surprised by a violent death, the individual does not consider oneself dead, for some time. How can we explain one’s situation and how can the person has illusions, since one must feel all to well that one’s body is no longer material and resistant? - One knows and has no illusions.

OBSERVATION: This is not exact. We know that there are spirits that in some cases keep that illusion and think that they are not dead.

12. There was a huge thunderstorm at the end of the Battle of Solferino. Was it due to a serendipitous cause or a providential design? - Every serendipitous cause is the result of God’s will.
13. Such a storm had an objective then? What was that? - Yes, for sure: to cease the battle.
14. Was it provoked in the interest of any of the belligerent parts? Which one? - Yes, particularly in the interest of our enemies. - Why? Can you elaborate on that? - You ask me why? Don’t you know that without that storm our artillery would have annihilated the Austrians?
15. If the storm was provoked it must have been done by agents that provoked it. What were those agents? - Electricity.
16. Those is the material agent but are there spirits whose attribution is to drive the elements? - No. God’s will is enough. He does not need such common auxiliaries. (See an article later about the storms)

General Hoche
Society July 22nd, 1859

1. (Evocation) - I am with you.

2. Mrs. J… told us that you have spontaneously communicated with her. Why did you do that since she had not called you? - She is the one that brings me here. I wanted to be evoked by you and I knew that going to her house you would be informed and would likely call me.

3. You told her that you were following the military operations in Italy. That is natural. Can you tell us what you think about that? - They produced great results. In my time we would fight longer.

4. Do you have an active role by watching that war? - No, a simple spectator.
5. Have other generals from your time been there with you? - Yes, as you can figure out.
6. Could you let us know who some of them are? - It would be useless.
7. They say that Napoleon I was present, a fact that is not difficult to believe. During the first wars of Italy he was a simple general. Could you tell us if in this war he saw things from the point of view of a general or an Emperor? - From both, besides a third one: the diplomat.
8. When alive you held a similar position as his. Since he moved up the ranks a lot from the time of your death, could you tell us if you consider him as your superior, as a spirit? - Equality reigns here. What do you want to know about that?
OBSERVATION: No doubt that he understands that the spirits do not carry their Earthly distinction over, with which they are not much concerned, meaning nothing among them; however, moral equality it is far from existing there. There is a hierarchy and subordination among them, based on the acquired qualities and no one can avoid the ascendency of those who are more elevated and pure.
9. Did you foresee the near peace when following the events of war? - Yes.
10. Was it a simple prediction or did you have a previous and certain knowledge? - No; I was told so.
11. Are you sensitive to the memories we have of you? - Yes, but I did so little.
12. Your widow has just died. Have you immediately met her? - I waited for her. I will leave her now. The existence calls me.
13. Is it on Earth that you will have another existence? - No.
14. Do we know the world where you are going? - Yes. Mercury.
15. Is that world morally superior or inferior to Earth? - Inferior. I will elevate it. I will contribute to improve its classification.
16. Do you already know that world? - Yes, very well. Perhaps even better than I will know it when I inhabit it.
OBSERVATION: This answer is perfectly logical. As a spirit he sees the world in its wholeness. As an incarnate spirit he sees from a restrict point of view, limited to his personality and the social position that he occupies.
17. From a physical point of view, are the inhabitants of that world as material as those from Earth? - Yes, completely and even more.
18. Was it you who chose that world for your next existence? - No, no. I would have preferred a calm and happy land. I will find streams of evil there and the furors of crime to punish.
OBSERVATION: When our Christian missionaries travel to places where the barbarians live, sowing the germens of civilization on them, don’t they exert a similar function? Why then should we be surprised by the fact that an elevated spirit goes to an inferior world to make it advance?
19. Was such an existence imposed on you by constraint? - No. It was advised to me. I was led to understand that destiny, the Providence if you will, called me there. It is like death before heavens. One needs to suffer and I did not suffer enough.
20. Are you happy as a spirit? - Yes, without any issue.
21. What were your occupations as a spirit, since the time when you left Earth? - I visited the world, the whole planet Earth. That required a few years. I learned about the laws employed by God to drive all phenomena which contribute to the Earthly life. Then I did the same in several other spheres.
22. We thank you for having willingly accepted our appeal. - Good-bye. You will not see me again.

Death of a Spiritist
Society, July 8th 1859
Mr. J…, a businessman from the department of La Sarthe, deceased on July 15th, 1859, was a righteous man, of a boundless charity in every aspect. He had carried out a serious study of Spiritism and was one of its followers. He was in indirect contact with us as a subscriber to the Spiritist Review, although we had not met him in person. By evoking him we aim at not only satisfying his relatives and friends wishes but also to give him our personal testimony of sympathy, thanking him for the kindness of his thoughts and words about us. Besides, it would be an interesting object of study for us from the point of view of the influence that a deep knowledge about Spiritism may have on the state of the soul after death.
1. (Evocation) - I am here already for a long time.
2. I never had the pleasure of meeting you. However, do you recognize me? - I recognize you very well, since I frequently visited you and had more than one conversation with you in spirit, during my life.
OBSERVATION: This confirms the very important fact from that we have numerous examples about the communications among human beings, without knowing, during their lives. Thus, during the sleep of the body, the spirits reciprocally travel and visit one another. Awakening, they keep the intuition of the ideas that they acquired during those occult conversations, and whose source they ignore. Therefore we have a double existence during our life: the corporeal, which gives us the life of exterior relationships and the spiritual one, which gives us the life of occult relationships.
3. Are you happier than you were when on Earth? - And that is you who is asking?
4. I understand. However, you enjoyed a fortune that was honestly acquired, which allowed you the pleasures of life. You were granted with affection and consideration attained by your goodness and benevolence. Can you tell us what is the latitude of your current superiority? - It naturally consists of the satisfaction I have from the memory of the little good I have done and in the certainty of the future that it promises me. Besides, don’t you take into account the absence of the uncertainty and difficulties of life; the corporeal sufferings and all those torments that we create to satisfy the bodily needs? During life the agitation, the anxiety, the endless anguishes, even when wealthy. Here we find tranquility and rest. It is calm after the storm.
5. Six weeks before you died you said that you still had five years to live. Where did that illusion come from considering that so many people foresee the nearing death? - A benevolent spirit wanted to keep that idea away from my mind; although I knew the future of the spirit, I had the unconfessed weakness of fearing death.
6. You did an in depth study of the Spiritist Science. Could you tell us if you found things as expected when you entered the spiritual world? - Almost exactly the same except for a few areas of detail that I had misunderstood.
7. Have the careful reading of the Spiritist Review and The Spirits’ Book helped you there? - Undoubtedly. That was what really prepared me for my entry in this true life.
8. Were you afraid in any way when you got to the spiritual world? - Impossible to be otherwise. However, afraid is not a good word. It would be better to say awe. You are far from having an idea about the meaning of that!
OBSERVATION: Someone that before moving to a region had studied it from the books; familiarized with the customs and culture of its inhabitants; analyzed its topology and appearance through drawings, designs and descriptions, will certainly be less surprised than another one who had no idea. However, reality shows him a number of details that he had not foreseen, impressing him. The same must happen in the world of the spirits, whose wonders we cannot completely understand, for there are things beyond our understanding.
9. Once you left the body did you immediately recognize some spirits near you? - Yes, dear spirits.
10. How do you see now the future of Spiritism? - A more brilliant future than you think, despite your faith and wishes.
11. Your knowledge with respect to the spiritist subjects will undoubtedly allow you to respond to a few questions with precision. Can you clearly describe what happened to you at the time when your body exhaled its final breath and your spirit was free? Personally I find it very difficult to explain in a different way than what has already been done, that is, comparing the sensation we have when waking up from a heavy sleep. Such awakening is more or less slow and difficult in direct proportion to the moral situation of the spirit, always strongly influenced by the circumstances of death.
OBSERVATION: This is in agreement with every observation carried out about the status of the spirit at the time of separation from the body. We have always seen the moral and material circumstances of death powerfully influencing the condition of the spirit at the initial moments.
12. Has your spirit maintained the awareness of its own existence up to the last minute, immediately recovering it? Was there any moment in which there was a lack of awareness? What was its duration? - There was a time of perturbation, almost unnoticeable to me.
13. Was there anything painful in the awakening? - No, on the contrary. I felt, if I can say so, happy and fresh, as if I was breathing pure air after leaving a smoky room. OBSERVATION: Ingenuous clever comparison which can only be the pure expression of truth.
14. Do you remember the existence prior to this one that you have just left? How was that? - I remember that very well. I was a servant working for a good man who has, together with others, welcomed me on my arrival into this blessed world.
15. I believe your brother is less involved with the spiritist things than you were. - Yes, I will do something so that he may have more interest, if I am allowed to. If he only knew what we gain from that he would give more importance.
16. Your brother asked Mr. D… to communicate your death to me. Both wait anxiously the result of our dialogue. However, they will be more touched by a direct message from you, in case you wish to send them a few words through us, or even to other persons who miss you. - I will tell them through your intermediary what I would have told them directly, but I am afraid I no longer have influence over some of them as I had before. However, in my name and in the name of their friends, who I can see well, I urge them to seriously reflect and study this grave question of Spiritism, even if it is only for the help that it brings to go through this so much feared transition, feared by the majority of people, and so little feared by the one that has previously prepared himself by the study of the future and the practice of the good deeds. Tell them that I am always with them, in their environment; that I see them and that I will be happy if their determination may grant them a place which will make them always congratulate themselves, in the world where I am. Tell my brother in particular whose happiness is my profound wish, brother that I never forget although I am happier than he is.
17. The sympathy that you have kindly showed towards me during your life, even not knowing me personally, gives me the hope that we will easily meet when I am in your world. Until then I will be happy if you want to assist me with my work in order to conclude my mission. - You judge me with great benevolence. Yet, be sure that if I can be of any utility I will always help, even unsuspectedly.
18. We thank you for having kindly attended our call and by the instructive explanation you have given us. - At your services. I will be with you many times.
OBSERVATION: This communication is undoubtedly one of those that describe the spiritual life with more clarity. It offers a powerful teaching with respect to the influence that the spiritist ideas have upon our condition after death. The dialogue, however, seems to have missed something to the friend who has participated us the death of Mr. J…, who said: “He has not preserved in his language the original traits he used with us. He maintained a reservation never shown to anybody. His incorrect, subtle style, used to reveal inspiration; he dared it all; he used to win over any argumentation about his beliefs, reducing us to nothing in order to convince us. In his psychological profile he does not show any particularity regarding the numerous relationships he had with a number of people close to him. We all would like to see our names mentioned by him, not to satisfy our curiosity but for our instruction. We wished he had clearly spoken about some ideas that we expressed before him, during our dialogues. He could have told me personally if I was right or wrong when insisting with this or that consideration; if what I had told him was right or wrong. He has not absolutely mentioned his sister who is still alive and so much worth of his interest.”
After this letter we evoked Mr. J… again and addressed him with the following questions:
19. Are you aware of the letter that I received in response to the communication you gave? - Yes, I saw when they wrote it.
20. Could you kindly give us some explanations about certain passages of that letter with an educational objective, uniquely to provide us with elements to give an answer? - Yes, if you consider that useful.
21. They find it strange that your language has not maintained its original trait. It seems that you showed an overwhelming argumentation when alive. - Yes but Earth and heavens are very different and here I have found masters. What do you want? They made me impatient with their absurd objections. I showed them the Sun and they did not want to see it. How to keep a cold blood? There is no need to discuss here. We all understand things.
22. Those gentlemen are surprised that you have not mentioned them by their names to refute them, as you did when alive. - Let them be surprised! I wait for them. When they join me they will see who is right. It is necessary that they come to this side, willing or not, some sooner than they think. Their arrogance will fall like the dust abated by the rain. Their swagger… (the spirit stops here, refusing to finish the sentence).
23. They infer that you don’t demonstrate all the attention they were rightfully supposed to get from you. - I wish them well but I will do nothing against their own will.
24. They are also surprised that you said nothing about your sister. - Are they in any way between her and me?
25. Mr. B… wished you had mentioned something that he confided to you. It would have been a means of clarification to him and the others. - What is the benefit of repeating what he already knows? Does he think that I have nothing else to do? Don’t they have the same means of enlightenment that I had? May they take advantage of that! I guarantee they will feel well. As for myself, I thank heavens for having sent me the light that opened the path of happiness to me.
26. But it is that light that they wish and which would make them happy had it come from you. - Light shines to all. Blind is the one who refuses to see. That one will fall from the cliff, cursing his blindness.
27. Your language seems very strict to me. - Haven’t they found me too soft?
28. We thank you for having come and for the lessons given to us. - Always at your service since I know it is for the good.

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