This question was addressed to us by one of our corresponding members.
We answer that as below:
Would that be good to publish everything that men say and think?
Those who may have a notion of Spiritism, however superficial it may
be, know that the spiritual world is composed of all those who have left
their visible envelope on Earth. By having undressed the carnal person not
all of them have, for that reason, dressed the mantle of the angels. Thus,
there are spirits of all degrees of knowledge and ignorance, morality and
immorality. That is what we cannot lose sight of. Let us not forget that
among the spirits, as with human beings, there are frivolous, reckless,
joking spirits; pseudo wise, vain and proud of an incomplete knowledge;
hypocritical, malevolent and what would seem inexplicable to us, had we
not known the physiology of this world, there are sensual, villain and
perverse spirits who drag in the mud. Besides, as there is on Earth, there
are good creatures, humane, benevolent, enlightened and endowed by supreme
virtues. However, since our world is not in first place nor last, although
closer to the last than to the first, it then results that the world of
the spirits encompasses beings more advanced intellectually and morally
than our most enlightened individuals and others in situation inferior to
the most inferior people.
Since these beings have a patent mean of communicating with human
beings and expressing their thoughts through intelligible signs, their communications
must effectively be the reflex of their feelings, qualities and
vices. The communications could be, pending on the character and elevation
of the spirits, frivolous, trivial, gross, and even obscene or marked by
the intellectual elevation, wisdom and sublimity. They reveal themselves
by their own language. That is why one should not blindly accept everything
that comes from the occult world, submitting everything to a
strict control. A not very constructive collection could be built up from
the communications of certain spirits, in the same way that it could be
built from the speeches of certain people. We have before our eyes a small
English book, published in the USA, which demonstrates that fact. One
can say that a lady would not recommend it as a reading to her daughter.
For the same reason we do not recommend to our readers.
There are people who find it funny and entertaining. May they enjoy
it in their intimacy but keep it to themselves. What is even less conceivable
is the fact that they brag about receiving such inappropriate communications.
This is always a sign of sympathies that should not be a reason
for pride, particularly when these communications are spontaneous and
persistent, as happens to certain persons. This does not absolutely allow
us to pass hasty judgment on their current morality for we know persons
afflicted by that kind of obsession that by no means represent their character.
However, as all effects, this one may also have a cause and if we
cannot find it in the present, we must look for it in a previous existence.
If that cause is not in us, it is outside. However, there is always a reason
for us to be in that situation, even if that reason is only a weak character.
Once the cause is known, it is up to us to stop it.
Besides these frankly bad communications, which harm any delicate
ear, there are others that are simply trivial or ridiculous. Would there
be any inconvenience in publishing them? If they are published for their
worth there would be a lesser evil. If done so for the study of that kind of
communication, with the adequate precautions, necessary comments and
restrictions, they can even be instructive, as they may contribute to the knowledge of the spiritual world in all its nuances. With prudence and
skill, everything can be said. The harm is in presenting as serious things
that shock common sense, reason and conveniences. In such case the danger
is greater than thought.
To begin with, those publications have the inconvenience of leading
to mistakes persons who are not in a position to examine them, discerning
between true and false, particularly in such a new subject as Spiritism.
Second, these are weapons provided to the adversaries of Spiritism that
don’t miss the opportunity of taking advantage of that fact, giving them
argument against the high morality of the spirits’ teachings, because, let
us repeat once again, the harm is in presenting as serious something that
is notoriously absurd. Some may even see a profanation in the ridiculous
role that we may attribute to certain venerable characters, attributing to
them an unworthy language. Those who have profoundly studied the
Spiritist Doctrine know well which position to adopt in similar cases.
They know that the mocking spirits have no scrupulous in taking over
respectable names, but they also know that these spirits only abuse those
who enjoy the abuse and who do not know or do not wish to destroy
their traps through the means of already known controls. The public who
ignores this can only see one thing: an absurd, offered to their imagination
as if a serious thing, and because of that, they tell themselves that if
all spiritists are like that, then they all deserve the epithet given to them.
There is no doubt that such a judgment is hastily. You justly accuse the authors
of levity, telling them: study the subject and do not examine one side
of the coin only. There are so many people, however, that judge a priori,
not taking the burden of moving one hay straw, particularly when there is
no good will, that it is necessary to avoid everything which can give them
reason for censorship, having in mind that if malevolence adds up to the
lack of good will, which is very common, they will be very happy to find
what to criticize.
Later, when Spiritism is vulgarized, more widely known and understood
by the masses, such publications will not have more influence than a
book of scientific heresies would have today. Up until then, circumspection would never be too much for there are communications which may essentially
harm the cause which they intend to promote, in a much greater
scale than that of gross attacks and injuries from certain persons. If some
were carried out with that objective, they would not be successful. The
mistake of certain authors is to write about a subject before having sufficiently
studied it in depth, thus giving place to a founded criticism. They
complain about the frightening judgment of their antagonists, not aware
of the fact that many times they are the ones who give away their weak
spot. As a matter of fact, despite all precautions, it would be presumptuous
to consider oneself shielded from all kinds of criticism, in principle
because it is impossible to please everyone; then, because there are those
who laugh at everything, even at the most serious things, some for their
condition, others for their character. They laugh a lot at religion. There is
no surprise then that they laugh at the spirits, who they ignore. If those
jokes were at least witty there would be compensation. Unfortunately in
general they neither shine for their finesse nor for their good taste, nor for
their urbanity nor for their logic. Let us then do the best we can, bringing
reason and convenience to our side, and then bringing the teasers also.
Everybody will easily understand these considerations, but there is
another one no less important, as it refers to the own nature of the spiritist
communications, and because of that we cannot omit it. The spirits go
where they find sympathies and where they know that they will be heard.
The gross and inconvenient communications, or simply false, absurd and
ridiculous, can only derive from inferior spirits. Simple common sense indicates
that. These spirits do what people who are complacently heard do.
They bond to those who admire their silliness and take them over, to the
point of fascination and subjugation. The importance given to their communications,
through publicity, attracts, excites and encourages them.
The only true means of keeping them away is to demonstrate to them that
we do not allow ourselves to be deceived, pitilessly rejecting as suspect and
apocryphal everything that is not rational; everything that betrayals the
superiority attributed to the manifesting spirit and whose name he uses.
Then, when he notices that it is a waste of time, he leaves.
We believe to have responded satisfactorily to the question of our corresponding
member about the convenience and opportunity of certain
spiritist communications. Publishing everything that comes from that
source without examination or correction, in our opinion is to give proof
of a lack of discernment. That is at least our personal opinion that we will
submit to the appreciation of those who, uninterestedly by the question,
can impartially judge, keeping aside any personal consideration. As everyone
else, we have the right of expressing our thoughts about the Science
which is object of our studies, treating it our own way, not pretending
to impose our ideas, to whoever it may be, nor treating them as bylaws.
Those who share our opinion do so because they believe, as we do, that
we are with the truth. The future will tell who is right and who is wrong.