The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

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Vanity
(Received by Mrs. L, medium)

I want to talk to you about vanity that is blended into all human activities. It stains every delicate thought; it penetrates the heart and the mind. A bad plant which suffocates the germ of goodness; all qualities are annihilated by its poison. To fight against it, prayer is needed; only prayer can give us strength and humility. You incessantly forget God, ungrateful people! To you God is only the desperate help in affliction, never the friend invited to the feast of joy. God gave you the glorious radiation of the Sun to illuminate the day and the stars, golden flowers, to break the darkness of night. Everywhere, in all elements needed by humanity, God touched the creation with beauty. God has treated you like a generous host would do with his guests. God multiplies the splendor of God’s dwelling and the abundance of the banquet. What do you do in turn; you that only have your heart to offer God? Far from decorating it with happiness and virtues, far from offering God with the premises of your hopes, you deprive God, you don’t invite God into your heart, unless harmed by sorrow and bitter deceptions. Ungrateful! What are you waiting for to love your God? Disgrace and abandonment! Before that, offer God your painless heart; stand up and offer God your fearless love, but not like slaves on their knees, and when the time of danger comes God shall remember you who did not forget Him at the time of happiness.
Georges, a familiar spirit

Human Misery
(Received or read in sessions of the Society)

Human misery is not in the uncertainty of the events that sometimes cheer you up and sometimes knock you down. It is entirely in the greedy and insatiable heart that always wants to receive, complaining of others aridness and never noticing its own drought. That unhappiness, always aspiring above one’s head, is never satisfied by the dearest joys. That unhappiness, I tell you, is what constitutes human misery. Why bother with the brain, with its most brilliant faculties, if it is always overshadowed by the insatiable and bitter desire for things that are always beyond reach? Just as a shadow floats close to the body then happiness floats close to the soul, always unachievable. You must not, however, be sorry or smear your fate for that shadow, that wave-like fleeing and moving happiness by the intensity and anguish confined in your heart as it gives us the proof of divinity imprisoned with humanity. Thus love likes pain and its vivifying poetry that vibrates your spirit through the memory of the eternal homeland. The human heart is a cup full of tears; but the breaking dawn shall drink the water from your hearts; it shall be the amazing life to your eyes, blinded by the darkness of the corporeal prison. Courage! Each day is liberation. March the painful path; march and keep your eyes on the mysterious star of hope.
George, a familiar spirit

Sadness and Sorrow
(Received by Mrs. Lesc…, medium)

I t is wrong to frequently give in to sadness. Make no mistake. Sorrow is a firm and honest feeling that hurts people right in the heart or in their interests, but the vile sadness is no more than the physical manifestation of the slow or the torrent blood that follows its course. A lot of weakness and selfishness is covered up in the name of sadness. It debilitates the yielding spirit. Sorrow, on the contrary, is the bread of the strong; the bitter food that feeds on the faculties of the spirit, reducing the animal influence. Do not seek the martyrdom of the body, but eagerly seek the martyrdom of the soul. People understand that movement is needed to maintain life but don’t understand that suffering is needed to exercise moral qualities. Happiness, or simply joy, is such a brief guest of humanity that you cannot withstand it without having been crushed, however slight it may be. You were cut to suffer and incessantly dream of happiness because you are wingless birds, grounded, looking to the skies and longing for the infinity.
George, a familiar spirit

Observation: These two communications undoubtedly contain beautiful thoughts and images of great elevation, but they seem to have been written under the influence of somewhat somber and pessimistic ideas. They seem to carry the expression of a broken heart. The spirit that dictated them died a few years ago; he was good friends with the medium when alive, becoming a familiar spirit after his death. He was a talented painter, leading a calm and serene life. Who knows if that was also the case in his previous existence? Nonetheless, all of his communications attest depth and wisdom. One could say that they reflect the medium’s character. Mrs. L is undoubtedly a very serious lady, in many aspects above the vulgar, and that is what attracts the sympathy of the good spirits to her, apart from her mediumistic faculties. However, the following message received at the Society demonstrates that she can obtain communications of much varied characters.

The Fantasy
(Medium Mrs. Lesc…)

You want me to talk about fantasy; she was my queen, my mistress, my servant. I served it and I was dominated by it. Nevertheless, although always subjected to her adorable fluctuations, I was never unfaithful. It is her that still drives me to speak or other things: about the easiness, with which one heart may be split between two loves, easily misunderstood and strongly criticized. I consider it absurd, this criticism from the good bourgeois who like their little vices resolved, which is even more annoying than their virtues. They only admit what their pruned brains, fenced by hedges like the garden of a priest, can understand. You are afraid of what I say; relax; Musset has his own fangs; he cannot be asked to show the kindness of little trained dogs. One needs to bear and understand his jokes. There is the truth in their frivolous appearance, saddness in their merriment, and laughing in their tears.
Alfred de Musset

Observation: One person that had only heard this communication when it was first read said in a private session that it seemed of little significance to him. The spirit of Socrates who was taking part in the conversation responded to this observation, spontaneously writing: “No, you are mistaken; read it again; there are good things; it is very smart and it has its good side. They say that this is how one can get to know man. In fact, it is easier to prove the identity of a spirit from your time than from mine. To certain people it is useful to have communications of this kind from time to time.” The other day and in a conversation about mediums, referring to the character of Alfred de Musset accused by one of the participants of being very material, he spontaneously wrote the remarkable communication below, through one of his favorite mediums.

Influence of the Medium onto the Spirit
(Received by the medium Mrs. Schmidt)

I t is only the superior spirits that can irrespectively communicate with all mediums, keeping the same language in all circumstances. But I am not a superior spirit, thus I am sometimes a little bit material. However, I am more advanced than you may think.

When we communicate through a medium the emanation of the medium’s nature reflects more or less upon us. For example, if the medium is of that type in which the heart prevails; of those more advanced creatures capable of suffering for their brothers and sisters; finally, of those devout, great souls, turned strong by unhappiness and purified by the torment, then their reflex does good, in the sense that we are spontaneously corrected and our language interacts. However, if on the contrary, we communicate through one of those mediums of a less elevated nature we are then merely served by a faculty as someone is served by an instrument.

That is when we become what you call a little bit material. We talk about spiritual things, if you want, but we leave the heart aside.
Q – Are the educated, cultured mediums, more apt to receive elevated communications than those who are not?
– A. No, I repeat. It is only the essence of the soul that is reflected upon the spirits, but the superior spirits are the only ones invulnerable.
Alfred de Musset

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