The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

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We received the letter below regarding a fact reported in the May issue of The Spiritist Review, in the article entitled “Pneumatography or Direct Writing”:

“Dear Sir,
It was only today that I read the May issue of The Review, finding the report of an experience of direct writing, carried out in my presence at Ms. Huet’s house. It is a pleasure to confirm the report with the exception of a small inaccuracy that escaped the storyteller. What we found in the piece of paper was not God loves you but God love you, that is to say, the verb love without the s, which was not in the third person. Thus, it should not be translated as God loves you (in French) unless presumed the existence of a particle “what” giving the phrase an imperative or subjunctive form. This observation was made in the following session to the spirit Channing (considering that it was Channing since you know me and please excuse me for keeping my doubts about the absolute identity of the spirits); the spirit did not explain it very categorically and even criticized us a little, if I remember well, for giving importance to one letter “s” as compared to a more or less remarkable experience. “Regarding that friendly criticism by the spirit of Channing, I thought it was my duty to inform you about my observation about the way the word love was written. The honorable Mr. E. de B… that kept the piece of paper can show it to you and he will show it to many people and among those there could be some who would have read the article from The Review. Well then, it is important – and I am sure you agree with my opinion – that the highest fidelity be given to the report of the so strange and marvelous facts that we obtain.”
Yours sincerely…
Mathieu

We had noticed perfectly well the mistake indicated by Mr. Mathieu and promptly corrected it, knowing from experience that the spirits give little importance to these typos, with which the more enlightened have no qualms about; or are we not surprised at all by Channing’s observation to something, as he said, a fact far more crucial. The accuracy in the reproduction of facts is, no doubt, something essential. But the importance of such facts is relative and we must confess that if we were supposed to always follow the French orthography of the invisible ones then the grammarians on duty would have fun, treating them as cooks, even if the mediums had passed those subjects. We have a lady medium at the Society full of academic titles, and whose communications, sometimes written very calmly, have several of those mistakes. The spirits always tell us: “Pay attention to the message not the form; the actual thought is everything to us; the form is nothing. Modify the form, if you like. We leave that to you.”

If the form is mistaken we don’t maintain it unless it can provide a teaching. Well, that was not the case in the situation above, in our opinion, because the meaning of the statement was obvious.

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