Friday, February 24th, 1860
1st – Letter from Dieppe confirming all points of the spontaneous
manifestations which took place in the house of a baker from
Grandes-Ventes, near Dieppe, and reported in La Vigie (published
in our March issue);
2nd – Letter from Mr. M. from Teil d’Ardèche, providing
new information about manifestations which took place at Fons
Castle, near Aubenas;
3rd – Letter from Baron Tscherkassoff, containing circumstantial
and authentic details about a very extraordinary fact
of spontaneous manifestation by a rapping spirit, which took
place at the beginning of the century, with a manufacturer in St.
Petersburg (to be published below);
4th – A report was given of an event of tangible apparition,
having all the characteristics of an agénère (temporarily materialized
spirit), which occurred last January 15th, in the village of Brix, near Valognes. The fact was transmitted to Mr. Ledoyen
by someone acquainted with him and that verified its accuracy
5th – A text was read about a Muslim tradition regarding
prophet Esdras, extracted from the “Moniteur” on February 15th
1860, based on a fact of mediumship.
1st – Spontaneous essay by Charlet, received by Mr. Didier Junior,
confirming the work already initiated;
2nd – Evocation of Mr. Jules-Louis C…, deceased on January
30th last, in the Val-de-Grâce hospital, as a consequence of a cancer
which had destroyed part of his face and jaw;
This evocation was carried out following the wishes of one
of his friends who was attending the session and another person
who was a family friend. It is educational, above all, regarding the
changes in our way of thinking after death, since Mr. C… was
openly materialistic when alive.
3rd – St. Louis is asked if it would be possible to call the spirit
that manifested in the house of the baker of Dieppe. He responds
that he cannot, for reasons that would be understood later.
Friday, March 2nd, 1860
Several administrative matters are analyzed and discussed.
Study and appreciation of several spiritist communications obtained
at the Society and outside of the sessions.
Once asked to provide a spontaneous essay, St. Louis writes the following
through Ms. Huet:
“Here I am my friends, ready to give you my advices as I have been doing
so far. Beware of the bad spirits who may mingle among you, seeking to disseminate disunion. Unfortunately those who wish to become useful
for the accomplishment of a task always find obstacles. They don’t
find a generous person but someone willing to achieve a given intent.
Have no fear. You shall triumph over all obstacles through patience and
a firm attitude against voices that want to impose themselves. Regarding
the multiple communications attributed to me, these are sometimes from
another spirit that uses my name. I give few communications outside of
the Society that I have taken under my sponsorship. I do appreciate these
meetings, particularly devoted to me. It is only here that I like to give
warnings and advices. Thus, beware of other spirits that sometimes use
my name. May peace and union be among you! This is my wish in the
name of God who created good.
A member of the Society makes the following observation: “How
come an inferior spirit may take over the name of a superior spirit without
the latter’s consent? This can only happen with an evil intent. Then, why
would the good spirits allow it to happen? If they cannot oppose that,
does it mean that they are less powerful than the evil ones?
This was answered as follows: There is something more powerful than
the good spirits: God. God may allow the bad spirits to manifest in order
to help them to advance, and even more, to test our patience, our faith,
our confidence, our resolve to resist to temptation, and above all to exercise
our perspicacity in distinguishing between the true and false. It is up
to us to have the will of keeping them away, proving to them that we are
not toys in their hands. If they have authority over us, that is only due to
our own weakness. Pride, jealousy and all human evil passions constitute
their strength, giving them domination. We know out of experience that
their obsession ends when they don’t succeed and tire of trying. Then, it is
up to us to show them that they are wasting their time. If God wishes to
test us, then no spirit can oppose that. Thus, the obsession of malevolent
or mischievous spirits neither stems from their power nor from the weakness
of the good ones, but from a will that is above them all. The greater
the fight, the more merit we have, if we win.
Friday, March 9th, 1860
The project containing proposed changes to the regulations of the Society
are to be introduced as such.
Mr. Allan Kardec presents the following observations with that
“Considerations about the objective and character of the Society
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Some people seem mistaken with respect to the true objective and
character of the Society; allow me to remind you of that, in a few words.
The objective of the Society is clearly defined in its own title and in
the preamble of the existing bylaws; that objective is essentially, and one
may say, exclusively, the study of the Spiritist Science. What we want, before
anything else, is not to convince ourselves, since we are already convinced,
but to get instructed and learn what we still don’t know. In order
to get there we need to position ourselves in the most favorable way; since
those studies require calmness and reverence we want to avoid anything
that may cause disruption. Such is the consideration that must prevail in
the appreciation of the measures that we adopt.
Starting from that principle, the Society then is in no way a vehicle of
propaganda. There is no doubt that each one of us wishes the dissemination
of the ideas that are considered useful; in order to achieve that each
one contributes in the circle of their relationships and according to their
own capacities. Yet it would be false to believe that it is necessary to gather
in society, and even more false to believe that the Society is the pillar
without which Spiritism would be in jeopardy.
Since the Society is regularly established, it proceeds with more order
and method than if marching serendipitously; but, besides all that,
the Society is not more preponderant than thousands of free societies
or private gatherings that do take place in France and abroad. Still
once more, what it wants is instruction; that is why it does not admit in its heart but serious persons, animated by the same desire, considering
that the antagonism of principles is a cause of disturbance. I
mean a systematic antagonism about the fundamental basis, since the
Society would not be able to put away the discussion of details without
contradicting itself. If it has adopted certain general principles it
is not due to a narrow spirit of exclusivism; the Society has seen it all,
studied and compared it all, and only after all that that an opinion
was formed based on experience and reason; only future can tell if the
Society is right or wrong.
Meanwhile it seeks no supremacy and only those who don’t know
the Society may suppose a ridicule pretension of absorbing all adepts of
Spiritism or to be positioned as the universal regulator. If it did not exist,
each one of us could learn independently, and instead of one meeting
only we could perhaps have ten or twenty, that is the whole difference. We
don’t impose our ideas to anyone; those who adopt them, it is because they
find them fair; those who come to us believe that there is an opportunity
to learn here but this is not like affiliation, since we neither form a sect nor
a party; we gather for the study of Spiritism like others do for the study
of Phrenology, History and other Sciences; and as our gatherings are not
based on any material interest, we don’t mind that others are formed right
beside us; truly, it would be the same as attributing us with very petty,
narrow and puerile ideas if thought that we would see them with jealous
eyes, and those who wanted to create rivalries would be showing for that
very reason how little they understand the true spirit of the Doctrine;
we would regret one thing only: that they don’t know us well enough to
suppose that we are accessible to the ignoble feeling of envy. It is understandable
that mercenary and rival companies which may be harmed by
competition see each other with suspicious eyes; however, if these gatherings
only aim at, as they should, an exclusively moral interest, if there is
no commercial consideration intermingled with them, I then ask how
they can be harmed by multiplicity. Some will certainly say that if there is
no material interest on one side, there is self-love on the other, the desire to
destroy the neighbor’s moral credit; but such a drive would be even more ignoble. If that were the case – certainly contrary to God’s wishes – we
would only have to feel sorry for those moved by such thoughts. Do you
want to overtake your neighbor? Do better than him; that is a noble and
dignified fight, when it is not stained by envy and jealousy.
That is, ladies and gentlemen, an essential point which should not
be out of sight, that we neither form a sect nor a society of propaganda,
or a corporation with a common interest; if we ceased existing, Spiritism
would suffer no damage and other twenty societies would be formed from
our remains. One must understand that the roots of Spiritism are not in
our Society but in the whole world. There is something more powerful
than them, more influential than all societies: it is the Doctrine which
reaches the heart and reason of those who understand it; and particularly
of those who practice it.
These principles, ladies and gentlemen, tell us the true character of
our regulations, which have nothing in common with the bylaws of a corporation;
there is no contract bonding one to the others; outside our sessions
we have no reciprocal obligation but to behave as educated people.
Those who don’t find in these meetings what they expected to find have
total freedom to leave, and I would not even conceive the idea of having
them around since what we do here is not suitable to them. It would not
be logical that they would come here to waste their time.
In every meeting one needs rules to maintain the good order; our
regulation is then nothing but a word of order with the objective of establishing
the organization of our sessions, keeping the relationship among
the attendees civil and adequate, necessary to preside over every assembly
of people of good manners, abstraction made of the conditions which are
inherent to the specialty of our activities, since we don’t deal exclusively
with human beings but also with the spirits that, as you know, are not
all good spirits and that one must be on guard against the falsehood of
some. Among them there are some very astute ones who can even push us
towards a dangerous avenue, just for the hatred of good; it is up to us to
exercise prudence and perspicacity to frustrate them, a fact that forces us
to take special precautions.
Keep in mind, ladies and gentlemen, the way by which the Society
was formed. I used to receive in my house people in “petit comité” (small
groups); as that number grew, people said: a larger place is in order. In
order to have a larger place it will be necessary to pay for it and we then
had to share the costs. It was also said: one needs order with the séances;
we cannot admit the first one who shows up; then we need rules; and that
is the whole story of the Society. It is very simple, as you see. The idea of
founding an institution had not crossed anybody’s mind, or the occupation
with any other business outside the studies, and I even declare very
formally that if in any case the Society wanted to go beyond that objective
I would not follow it.
What I have done, others are equally free to do the same on their side
and at will, following their own tastes, ideas and particular viewpoints;
and these different groups may understand each other perfectly well and
coexist like good neighbors. As it is physically impossible to gather all
adepts of Spiritism in the same place, unless a public area was used for the
assemblies, those different groups must be fractions of a larger whole but
not rival sects; and a given group, if becoming too large, may be subdivided
like the swarms of bees. These groups already exist in large numbers
and multiply every day. Well, it is precisely against such multiplicity that
the ill faith of the enemies of Spiritism shall breakdown, for the obstacles
would have the unavoidable effect, and by the force of things, of multiplying
the private gatherings. By that, one must acknowledge that there
is among certain groups a kind of rivalry, or even antagonism; what is the
cause of that? Oh my god! That cause is in human fragility, in the spirit
of pride that one wishes to impose; it is above all in the still incomplete
knowledge of the true principles of Spiritism. Each one defending their
principles like the Greek cities defended their gods in the former times
who, one must recognize, were no one else but the more or less good spirits.
Those dissidences only exist because there are people ready to judge
before they have seen the whole picture or who judge from the standpoint
of their restrict personalities; they shall fade away as many have already
done so, while the Science is being formulated; truth is definitely one and it shall come out of the impartial assessment of the different opinions.
Under the expectation that light will shine upon all points, who shall be
the judge? Reason, you will say; but when two persons contradict one
another, each one invokes their reason; what will be the superior reason to
decide between those two reasons?
Without discussing the more or less pompous language, a form which
the imposter and pseudo-clever spirits know well how to use in order to
seduce by appearances, we start from the principle that good spirits give
only good advices, those of union and concord; that their language is
always simple, modest and full of benevolence, exempt of acrimony, arrogance
and presumption, in short, that everything in them breathes the
purest charity. Charity - that is the true criterion to judge the spirits and
to judge oneself. Whoever finds a germ of rancor against their brother or
sister when digging up their most inner soul, even a simple bad wish, may
say to oneself that a bad spirit is soliciting them, since the maxim of Christ
is forgotten: “you will be forgiven as you have forgiven.”
Thus, if there is rivalry between two spiritist groups the truly good
spirits could not take the side of the one who had said anathema against
the other since a sensible person could never believe that envy, rancor,
malevolence, in short, every feeling against charity could stem from a
pure source. Look and find the side in which there is more practical charity
and not in words and you shall recognize effortlessly on which side
the good spirits are, and consequently from whom one is more likely to
expect the truth.
Such considerations, ladies and gentlemen, far from keeping us away
from our subject, they place us on the right terrain. The regulations, seen
from that perspective, totally lose their character of contract, assuming a
much more modest one, that of simple disciplinary rule.
Every meeting, whatever their objective, must forearm against an obstacle
which is the disordered characters that seem to have been born
to spread disturbance and fissure everywhere; disorder and contradiction
are their element. The spiritist sessions, more than the others, must fear
them since the best communications are only obtained in calmness and reverence, incompatible with their presence and that of the sympathetic
spirits that they bring along.
In summary, we must strive to remove all causes of disorder and interruption;
keeping good relationships among us, which the sincere spiritists
should give the example, more than others; we must oppose to any movement
of the Society away from its objective, by not dealing with questions
which are not in its scope, or paying the price to degenerate into an
arena of personalism and controversy. Furthermore, we need to look for
simplification in our procedures, facilitating the execution of the works.
The more complicated the procedures the more we will have causes for
disturbance; relaxation will come in by the sheer force of things and from
relaxation to anarchy is only one step away.”
Friday, March 16th, 1860
Regulations are discussed and modified.
Friday, March 23rd, 1860
The persons are indicated and the whole Committee nominated.
Two spontaneous essays were obtained, the first one from the spirit of
Charlet, through Mr. Didier Jr.; the second through Mrs. Boyer, from
a spirit who said to have been forced to come, accused for having tried
to break the harmony, spreading disruption, provoking envy and rivalry
among those who should be united. The spirit acknowledges his guilt on
some of the charges. Such spontaneous confession, he says, is part of the
punishment imposed on him.