Toulouse, December 17th, 1859
I have just read your response to Mr. Oscar Comettant, whose
article I had also read. If that skeptical editor and gauche teaser
was not convinced by the good arguments you gave him, he could
at least acknowledge the civility of your style, totally absent in
his prose. The vulgar stresses that he used to color the evocations
seems to have come from the red-tailed spirit; the regrets with
which he mentioned the 2 francs paid for the sonata deserved that
the Society reimbursed him for the 2 francs. Have in mind, Mr.
Allan Kardec, that I am too a very passionate spiritist to just let go
an article in which I am cited and questioned without an answer.
As for myself, I also wrote to Mr. Oscar Comettant. On the very
day I got your journal, he received the following letter:
I had the pleasure of reading your feuilleton Varieties, from
Friday. Since you question me, and as I am cited by name, allow
me to make some observations with that regard, which you
will accept as I have accepted your witty parentheses where you
painted the report about the evocations of Mozart and Chopin.
What is it that you want to mock with such a humorous article?
Is it Spiritism? You will make a big mistake in believing that you can harm it. In France, people mock first, later they assess and
confer the honor of the jokes to the truly serious and great things,
with the freedom of doing so after the required analysis.
If Mr. Ledoyen is as greedy as you wish to make believe, he
must appreciate your intention of ensuring the success of one of his
most modest publications in an 11-column editorial. It is the first
time that such an important article is written about Spiritism in a
great journal. I see by this almost luridly article that Spiritism is
already taken seriously by its enemies, and I tell you in confidence,
that the spirits have said that they have used the enemies for the
triumph of their cause. Thus, the best thing to do is to remain on
guard if you do not wish to become an unintentional apostle.
You cannot see in Spiritism anything different from moral
and commercial charlatanism. As for ourselves, future guests of
Charenton, we found in Spiritism the solution to many problems
that have puzzled humanity for many centuries, as follows:
the thoughtful acknowledgment of God in all His material and
spiritual works; the evident individuality and immortality of the
soul, demonstrated by the manifestation of the spirits; the comprehension
of God’s justice, studied in the multiple incarnations
of the spirits, etc…,. Had one taken the burden of carrying out an
in-depth study of these subjects and one could see that they are
above all sarcasms and mockery. However much you take us by
dreamers and hallucinated people, instead of the “eppur si muove”
from Galileo, we say: Yet, God is there!
Please accept …
First bass, Comic Opera,
(ex-employee of Mr. Carvalho)”
OBSERVATION: We are not aware if Mr. Oscar Comettant has published
this answer or ours. Nevertheless, attacking without admitting
defense is not a loyal fight.
“Brussels, December 23rd, 1859
My dear colleague,
I want to submit to you some ethnographic reflections about
the world of the spirits, with the intention of reestablishing a
much generalized opinion, very wrong in my view, regarding the
state of the human being after his transition to the spiritual world.
People mistakenly think that an imbecile, an ignorant, a rude
person, becomes immediately a genius, a wise person, a prophet,
once their material envelope is left behind. It is a similar mistake
to someone who would admit that a criminal will become
an honest person when released from the shackles; a silly person
becomes an expert or a fanatic turns into a rational person just
because the frontier has been transposed.
Not at all! We take every moral accomplishment with us, the
character, the knowledge, the vices and virtues. We do not carry
what is related to the material world. The limping, the cross-eyed
and the hunchbacked are no longer so, but the villains, the stingy
and the superstitious, still are. We should not be impressed by the
fact that we hear spirits asking for prayers; willing that others may
do the peregrinations which they had promised and even that
others find the money that they had hidden with the objective of
giving it to the person to whom they wanted to give, pointing to
that person correctly, as long as they are still alive.
In short, the spirit that had a desire, a plan, an opinion, a
belief when on Earth, wants to see them come true. Therefore,
Hahnemann exclaimed: “Courage my friends, my doctrine triumphs.
What a satisfaction to my soul!”
As for Dr. Gall, you know what he thinks of your Science, as
Lavater, Swedenborg and Fourier, who told me that his students
had truncated his doctrine, willing to skip the phase of guarantee,
which he congratulates me to carry over.
In short, all spirits who profess a religion, idolatry or a
schism, out of conviction, persist on the same beliefs until theyare enlightened by the study and by reflection. That is the subject
of my concerns at this point. It is evidently a logical spirit that
dictates it because one hour ago my only thought was to go to bed
and finish the excellent little book by Mrs. Henry Gaugain about
the Bretons’ prejudices against the new inventions.
By keeping up with your studies you will recognize that the
world beyond the grave is not a photographic image of this world,
which as you know has spirits as perverse as the devil and as bad
as the demons. It will come as no surprise that good people may
be deceived of avoiding any dealings with these spirits. This precludes
people from the presence of the good and great spirits, who
are not so rare up there as they are down here, coming from all
times and all places, willing to give good advice and to do good
On the other hand you know well how irritably and repulsively
the bad ones respond to a forced appeal. Nevertheless, the
greatest and rarest of them all, the one that comes only three
times during the life time of a globe, the Divine Spirit, the Saint
Spirit, he does not attend the evocations of the pneumatography
mediums: he only comes when he wishes to do so – spiritus flat
ubi vult – which does not mean that others are not sent before
him to pave his way.
Hierarchy is a universal law – everything is like everything –
as a matter of fact, similarly to what happens to us. False human
respect is what mostly delays the progress of the good doctrines,
hindered by persecution.
Magnetism would have triumphed long ago if instead of saying:
Mr. X, Mr. N., if one had only given the name and address of
the persons, with reference, as the English say. Instead, they ask:
who is this hidden Mr. M? He is apparently a liar. How about
this Mr. J? He is a scoundrel. What would one say about this Mr.
F.? He is a faker, or even better, someone unworthy of any trust
since he hides himself and he is masked so as to deceive and to do bad things. Now that the academies admit magnetism and
somnambulism, cousin-brothers of Spiritism, it is necessary that
their adepts be prepared to sign off in total agreement. The fear of
what is going to be said is a coward and bad feeling. The action of
testifying to what one has seen, to what one believes, is no longer
considered a trait of courage. Thus you must advise your followers
to do what I always do: sign off.
OBSERVATION: We agree with Mr. Jobard in all points. His initial observations
about the state of the spirits are accurate. Regarding the second
point, like him we wait for the moment when the fear for what is going
to be said will not stop anybody. However, what else to expect? One must
acknowledge human weakness. Some starts, and Mr. Jobard will hold the
merit of having started. Rest assured that others will follow when they
feel that they can expose their feet without the fear of being bitten. Time
is needed for all that. Well, time goes faster than Mr. Jobard may think.
The reservation we keep with respect to the publication of the names
obeys reasons of convenience, for what we so far congratulate ourselves;
but while we wait we attest a fast progress in the courage of opinion.
We daily see people that, not long ago, would hardly declare themselves
spiritists, openly doing it today in social gatherings, sustaining the thesis
of their doctrine, with no concern whatsoever for the rude epithets with
which they are awarded. It is a huge step. The rest will come next. Here
is what I said, to begin with: a few years more and a new change will take
place; very soon the same that happened to magnetism will also happen
to Spiritism. Up until recently one would only acknowledge being a
magnetizer if behind the walls of a closed room. Today it is an honorific
title. When convinced that Spiritism does not burn, people will declare
themselves spiritists with no more fear than those that say they are phrenologists,
homeopaths, etc. We are living in a transient period and the
transitions don’t ever take place suddenly.