The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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FRIDAY, JULY 29th 1859 (GENERAL SESSION)

Reading of the minutes and works of the previous session.

Communications:

Curious facts of death predictions and warnings from beyond the grave which took place one with Mr. Chamissot and Mr. de Brunoy, emigrants who resided in Koblenz in 1794; another with Countess C… (it will be published).

Microscopic and analytical observations of direct writing (see the August 1859 issue of the Review).

Reading of a letter in response to material sent regarding the evocation of Mr. J… (de La Sarthe), carried out on July 22nd. Studies:

Complementary questions regarding the spirits’ rest. The answers do not seem to correspond to the elevation of the evoked spirit since one cannot recognize the habitual clarity and precision. As they do not provide a satisfactory solution, the Society does not take them into account.

Questions addressed to François Arago with respect to the mistaken answers mentioned above. He says that the spirit who answered was not the evoked spirit. This spirit, he says, is not bad, but not very elevated and incapable of solving certain questions. We allowed him to answer to exercise your assessment and, at the same time, give him a lesson.
Questions addressed to the same spirit regarding the chemical analysis of the matter related to the direct writing.
Questions, still to the same spirit, about the storms and the role of the spirits in the natural phenomena (published in the September issue of the Review).
Second evocation of Mr. J… (de La Sarthe), after the letter mentioned above (published in the September issue, Death of a Spiritist).
Evocation of Jacques Arago (will be published).

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd, 1859
(PRIVATE SESSION)
Reading of the minutes and works of previous session.
Administrative businesses:
Introduction and admission of two new regular members and a corresponding member from Madrid.
Communications:
Letter from Mr. D…, member of the Society, citing a remarkable passage extracted from the Tableau de Paris, from Mercier, 1788 edition, vol. 12, entitled Spiritualists. The text attests the existence of a Society in Paris, in those days, having the communication with spirits as its objective. It thus provides an additional proof that Spiritism is not a new creation and that it was accepted by the most distinguished people (to be published next).
With that respect Mr. S… observes that in those days a Mr. Martinez Pascalis had founded the Martinists sect, which also intended to enter into communication with the spirits through the initiated, who were supposed to keep it as a secret.
A letter from Mr. B…, from New York, thanking the Society for the title of corresponding member which was awarded to him, giving interesting details about the commercial exploitation of Spiritism in America.
Several letters from Mr. Dumas were read; active member of the Society in Sétif, Algeria, containing a large number of evocations, many of which of great interest from the point of view of the study. They inform about the development of several mediums in that country and that Spiritism is a matter of great concern. Among the cited facts the following one sticks out: an uneducated coalman tried to write as a medium, only producing some doodles in the beginning with which he filled out six pages. Then he had the idea of putting those pages side by side and had the impression that the traces combined, forming a whole picture. Later the same person wrote entire pages with great facility. However, the abundance, prolixity and nature of certain communications give reason to fear for an obsession.
Mr. Allan Kardec points out a fact of spontaneous manifestation, occurring during a session at his house, under remarkable circumstances. Princess S… was present, manifesting her interest in the evocation of Dr. Beaufils, her doctor, deceased around seven or eight months earlier. Three mediums, including the Princess’ daughter, who is also a very good medium, were taken by convulsive, violent jerky movements, breaking the pencil and tearing the paper. Summoned to let her identity to be known, the spirit ended up revealing his name, after some hesitation. Pressed by the questions he said that his name was known from the newspapers; that he was a miserable, who had murdered, and was a butcher’s assistant, assassin from the Rue de la Roquette, recently executed. He was questioned about the reason for his presence once he was not invited, then saying that he was sent by other spirits so as to convince that the mediums do not write from their own thoughts… He finishes by asking for prayers since he regrets his actions and suffers. He left after the promise that his desire would be granted and some advices were given to him.
Next came Dr. Beaufils who calmly and lucidly answered several questions that were addressed to him.
In fact that communication is absolute proof of the independence of the mediums, for every member of the gathering was concerned with the evocation of the doctor, and nobody thought of that man that came to surprise everybody, manifesting by identical signs through three different mediums, who did not have cards or planchettes.
Reading of a spontaneous communication obtained by Mr. R…, member of the Society, about the antique spiritist beliefs and their vestige left in all religions (to be published next).
Study:
Evocation of Privat d’Anglemont (will be published).
Evocation of the stingy millionaire from Lyon, known by the nickname Père Crépin (will be published).

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th 1859
(GENERAL SESSION)

Reading of the minutes and works of previous session.
Communications:
Reading of a spontaneous communication received by Viscount H…, recently developed medium, and transmitted by Mr. D…, member of the Society, who lives in Lille (it will be published).
Reading of a spontaneous communication of Lamennais, obtained by Mr. R…, member of the Society (it will be published).
Another spontaneous communication obtained by the same, from Dr. Olivier, who showed up without being invoked. This communication has the following notable aspect: shows that spirit in a situation identical to that of Voltaire, as described by the latter in his confessions, published in the September issue of the Review. He doubts everything, including God. He is errant, not finding anybody to help him, deepening him into an anxious state even more painful for the reason that he cannot see the end of it. The words of consolation addressed to him by the medium are a beam of light, giving him relief. It will be published.
Mr. Allan Kardec reports a remarkable fact of obsession by a brutal spirit, a former coachman, over the person of Mr. C…, an excellent medium. Besides, the fact confirms the possibility of haunted places by certain spirits. (It will be published).
About the noisy spirits of Madrid. Report of a fact published by a newspaper from Madrid, without comments, related to a house from that city, which was inhabitable, given the noise and nightly mess, having the police investigate and try to take measures that were ineffective.
Studies:
Questions about avarice, regarding the evocation of Père Crépin from Lyon (it will be published following the publication of that evocation).
Evocation of Privat d’Anglemont, second conversation (it will be published).
Evocation of Mr. Julien S…, carried out at the request of Mr. B… from Bouxhors.
Evocation of Mr. Adrien de S…, carried out by a visitor who was attending the session. This evocation, although of a purely personal interest, offers a characteristic trace with respect to the influence exerted by the errant spirits over the incarnate ones.
The tomb of Saint-Leu. Searching for the grave of the great chancellor Pasquier at the Church of Saint-Leu, in Paris, on July 27th 1859, the workers excavated a whole in one wall, finding below the church choir a five meters long by four meters high by two meters wide tomb, hermetically sealed by a slab. There were about fifteen to twenty skeletons in the tomb, without coffins and in different positions, indicating that they were not buried there. A sticky instrument was used to write the following names on the wall: Marvé, 1733; Chenest, 1733; Marx, altar boy, 1727; Charles Remy, 1721; Gabriel, 1727; Thiévan, 1723; Maupain, 1728 and several other illegible names.
The spirit of St. Louis was questioned about the possibility of the evocation of one of the spirits whose names were found in the tomb, in order to clarify that discovery. He answered: “I advise you to leave it aside. There are crimes in the case, too recent to exhume things with that respect.”
Verteuil, former drama author and actor from the la Cité Theater. He was an intelligent young man, handsome, and successful man. He soon lost all his assets in a bankruptcy, then his speaking, hearing and vision. He died in Bicêtre, where he lived deaf, dumb and blind for twenty years. He was only communicated with through characters drawn on the palm of his hand. He would then respond in writing. Such exceptional situation seemed to offer an interesting theme for a psychological study. Consulted about it St. Louis responded: “Do not evoke him, for his is incarnate”. Then he offered a number of information about the antecedents of that young man and the causes and circumstances of his illness. The details of this touching story may be read in the La Patrie of July 26th, 1859.
Evocation of the former coachman whose communications we have already mentioned. He manifests through signs of violence, breaking the pencil, forcing it on the paper; through a rough, irregular and not much legible writing. This evocation presents a remarkable trace, particularly with respect to the influence that man may exert on certain inferior spirits, through prayer and good advices (it will be published).

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th 1859
(PRIVATE SESSION)
Reading of the minutes and works of the previous session (September, 9th).
Communications:
Reading of an article from d’Illustration, 1853, sent by Mr. R…, under the title The Driving Tables. This article demonstrates, according to the Russian newspaper Sjevernava Plschela, from April 27th, 1853 and according to documents provided by Mr. Tscherepanoff, that the phenomenon of the turning tables is known and practiced in China, Siberia and among the Kalmoucks from meridional Russia, since immemorial times (published next).
Mr. Dorgeval sent a poem to the Society entitled Uranie, from Mr. de Porry of Marseille, in which the fundamental points of the Spiritist Doctrine are clearly enunciated, although at the time of its composition the author had no notion about this Science. Not less worthy of note is the fact that Mr. de Porry seems to have written his poem through some sort of mediumistic faculty. It is early evening, he feels sleepy, the verses are formed in his mind and he writes hem on waking up in the morning. Several fragments of the poem that will be published in this Review were read.
Letter from Mr. P… of Marseille, containing the communication of a spirit identifying himself by the name of Paul, remarkable by several answers of great profundity.
Reading about a spontaneous communication given to Mr. R…, member of the Society, by the murdered butcher from Rue de la Roquette, which we mentioned in our September 2nd session, and who came to a session held at Mr. Allan Kardec’s house. The spirit came to thank the prayers said in his favor, as he had requested. This communication is remarkable, given the good thoughts it contains, and sheds a new light on the assistance that can be given to the suffering spirits (it will be published).
Studies:
The spirit of St. Louis was asked if, irrespective of the subjects prepared in advance, the spirits could give us spontaneous communications about a theme of their choice. He answered positively and said that next time Cesar would write through Mr. R…, with the agreement of the latter.
Attending the session as an observer, Mr. C… asks if he is allowed to evoke his son, whose death is to his mother a cause of pain that nothing can attenuate. He would like to report to her on the very next day a conversation as an instrument of consolation. This evocation will not be published at it is personal in nature.
Exam of Mr. Brasseur’s theory about the mediums. He considers the boxes, planchettes and other instruments as the only true mediums, which he calls inert mediums, since, he says, in the animated mediums there always are a participation of personal opinions in a greater or lesser degree. Several members take part in the discussion and agree to combat Mr. Brasseur’s opinion, founded on an incomplete observation, as they say, for the absolute independence of the medium is demonstrated by undeniable facts. One of the arguments opposed to Mr. Brasseur’s opinion is that the cards and planchettes never speak on their own, but are only instruments or, as already said, dispensable appendices; they are the accessories rather than the main component. The planchette fitted with a pencil and influenced by the person is not any more a medium than the pencil directly in the hand of the person.
Mr. Sanson reads some verses he wrote as a tribute to St. Louis and as thanks to the cure to which he experienced. Since he does not consider himself a poet he asks who would be the spirit that inspired him. The answer was that it was his own spirit taken by the appreciation for what had alleviated his pains.
Evocation of Swedenborg. He responded to the evocation of Mr. Allan Kardec as:
• Speak my old friend.
• You honor me with the title of your old friend. However, we are far from being contemporary since I only know you from your writings.
• It is true but I do know you since long ago.
• We wish to make several questions about many points of your doctrine, but it is late now and our only objective is to ask you if we can frame these questions in our next session.
• With pleasure. Allow me already to make a correction in my writing that is important to me. When I wrote my doctrine I affirmed, under the inspiration of the heavenly counselors who dictated it to me, that each people were in a separated sphere in the heavens, and that the distinct character of each nation was preserved, not by individuals but in large families. Experience has convinced me that that is not the case.
• Aren’t other points subject to dispute?
• Yes, many others, but this is one of the most important.
• We have here several mediums. Do you have preference to communicate with us?
• No… or better, yes. I would choose a mechanical medium, as you call them, and fast as well.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd, 1859
(GENERAL SESSION)
Reading of the minutes of the previous session (September, 16th).
Introduction of four candidates to regular membership. Their admission to be discussed in the next private session on October 7th, when the acceptance will be pronounced, if that is the case.
Communications:
Reading of a letter from Rouen, reporting a fact that took place with the family of the person who writes the letter. It references the apparition of his grandmother at the time of her death.
Another recent fact of apparition and warning from beyond the grave. Mr. D…, from Paris, doctor in Medicine, had for some time treated a young lady that suffered from an incurable disease and who no longer lived in Paris. About 15 days ago Mr. D… was awakened by knocks on his bedroom door. He assumed that someone had been sent to him to help a patient, and then asked: “Who is that?” He immediately saw that lady standing before him, saying in a clear voice: “It is me, Mr. D… I come to tell you that I have died.” He was later informed that the lady had actually died on that very evening of the apparition.
A curious fact concerning temporary separation between the soul and the body that happened some days ago to a medium of the Society, Mr. C… (It will be published with the explanation given by the spirits).
Reading of a remarkable communication from the spirit of Privat d’Anglemont to Mr. C…, medium of the Society (it will be published together with other communications from the same spirit).
Studies:
Three spontaneous communications had been promised to this session: one from Cesar, one from Swedenborg and one from Privat d’Anglemont. They were written simultaneously, by three mediums, all mechanical.
Next, several questions were addressed to Swedenborg about some points of his doctrine, which he acknowledge were wrong. A previous reading of a biographic note about Swedenborg prepared by Mrs. P…, member of the Society, was carried out (it will be published).
Mr. D…, member of the Society, had prepared a series of very intelligent questions about Cesar but the spontaneous explanations given by the spirit made the majority of them superfluous. Yet, they will be examined and those considered convenient will be used in a future proposition.
Mr. Dumas, from Sétif, regular member of the Society, present at the session, requested that some spirits who have appeared to him be evoked, in order to have control over the communications from Algeria. The result of these evocations is identical and confirms the answers that were given to him earlier. When he wanted to know if he could efficiently cooperate with the propagation of Spiritism in Africa, he was not answered that he can but also that he should.

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