The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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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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