The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

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Friday, July 27th, 1860
(General Session)

Committee meeting. The works and minutes of the July 20th session were read.

MULTIPLE COMMUNICATIONS: 1st – Report given by Ms. P… about the poem sent to the Society by Mr. Pory from Marseille, with the title Linda, Gallic legend. Ms. P… analyzes the subject of the work and acknowledges the presence of thoughts of great elevation and expressed very well; however, with the exception of the Christian ideas, she does not see much or she sees very little that is related to Spiritism. To her the author seems to be more spiritualist than spiritist. That does not make his work less remarkable, she says, and every poetry lover shall read it with great interest.

2nd – A letter from Mr. X… with a summarized analysis of Mr. Rigolot’s doctrine, from Saint-Étienne. According to that doctrine the spiritual world does not exist; the spirits are immediately reunited with God after death of the body. Only three spirits may communicate with human beings through mediums, they are: Jesus, mentor and protector of our globe; Mary, his mother and Socrates. Every communication, whatever their nature, comes from them. They are the only ones, he says that they manifest to him and when they tell him coarse things he thinks that it is a test. A discussion was established about it that can be summarized as follows:

The Society unanimously declares that reason refuses to admit that the Spirit of good, by excellence, model of the most sublime virtues, may dictate bad things and that there is a kind of profanation in the supposition that communications with revolting nastiness and even obscenities, as seen sometimes, may come from such a pure source. On another hand, the admission that every soul reunites with God after death is the same as denying punishment to the guilty ones since one could not admit that by God’s side we are taught to envisage as the supreme reward, there could simultaneously be a focus of pain to those who led a bad life. If in such divine fusion where the spirit loses its individuality, we then have a variation of pantheism. In either case, according to this doctrine, the sinner has no reason to stop in the avenue of errors since the efforts to do good are superfluous. That is at least what sticks out from the general principles that seem to constitute its foundation. The Society does not know Mr. Rigolot’s system well enough to assess it in details.

The Society ignores how he explains a number of patent facts, such as: the apparitions, for example, through which the evoked spirit of a relative gives material demonstration of identity. Would it be Jesus then taking all these roles? Would it still be Jesus to play the drums or the rhythmic arias, in the case of the rapping spirits? After having played the hateful role of tempter, would he come to serve as an entertainer? There is moral incompatibility between the trivial and the sublime, between the absolute evil and the absolute good.

Mr. Rigolot has always kept himself isolated from other spiritists, which is a mistake. In order to get to know something well, it is necessary to see everything, to study everything, comparing opinions, hear the pros and cons, hear all objections and finally only accept what the strictest logic may admit.

That is what the spirits that guide us incessantly recommend; and that is the reason why the Society has taken the name Society of Studies, a name that implies the idea of analysis and research. It is licit to think that if Mr. Rigolot had followed this path he would have acknowledged in his theory the existence of points in manifest contradiction with the facts. His separation from the other spirits only allow him communications of the same kind, naturally impeding him from seeing what could clarify him about the insufficiency of those spirits to solve all these questions. That is what happens with the majority of the mediums who isolate themselves: they are in the position of someone that by hearing the bell ring only hear a sound. Such is the impression that the Society has about that doctrine that seems incapable of explaining the reason for all those facts.

3rd – Reference is made to a letter from Dr. Morhéry, bringing new details about Ms. Godu and with the continuation of his observations about the obtained cures. Another letter is also mentioned, this time from Dr. de Grand-Boulogne, about the role of the rapping spirits. Given the extension of the letter the reading was postponed to the next session.

4th – Mr. Allan Kardec reports an interesting fact that took place in a private session, in his house. The excellent medium Mr. Rabache was present in that session, through which Adam Smith had spontaneously communicated in a London café. Having been evoked through another medium, Mrs. Costel, Adam Smith responded simultaneously in French, through that lady, and in English, through Mr. Rabache. Several answers showed perfect identity and even the literal translation of each other.

5th –Facts showing a connection to several physical manifestations that occurred with Mr. B…, were presented to the meeting. Among other facts, the transport of a cap thrown into a bedroom and a flask of magnetized water with a strong musky smell, so strong that it impregnated the whole apartment.

STUDIES:

1st – Evocation of the Muslim Séih-ben-Moloka, deceased at the age of 100 years, in Tunisia, and whose life was characterized by acts of benevolence and generosity. His answers reveal an elevated spirit but who was not exempt from sectarian prejudices when alive.

2nd – Two spontaneous essays were received, the first through Mr. Didier, about the conscience, signed by Lamennais; the second by Mrs. Lu…, with multiple advices, signed by Paul.

Friday, August 3rd, 1860
(Private Session)

Committee meeting.

Reading of the minutes and works of the July 27th session.

A letter from Mr. Darcol is read, in which he proposes to the Society a subscription to the Christians from Syria. He bases his proposal on the principles of humanity, charity and tolerance, which are the very essence of Spiritism and must guide the Society.

Having examined the proposal and in all fairness to Mr. Darcol’s good intentions, the Committee thinks that the Society must abstain from any manifestation strange to the objective of its studies and that it must allow each member to freely act on an individual basis.

The Society does not see anything harmful in the proposal, much to the contrary. However, given the absence of the majority of the members in the vacation period, it postpones the analysis of the subject to a session after the current season.

By suggestion of the Committee, the Society decides to go on vacation during the month of September.

MULTIPLE COMMUNICATIONS:

1st – Letter received from Dr. Morhéry.

2nd – Letter received from Mr. Indermuhle, member of the Society, speaking about the good reception given to the spiritist ideas among persons in the rural areas. He mentions the case of a German brochure under the title Die Ewigkeit kein geheimniss mehr (No more secrets about eternity) that he proposes to send to the Society.

3rd – Letter from Dr. de Grand-Boulogne about physical manifestations as a means of conviction. He thinks that it would not be correct to consider every rapping spirit as from an inferior order, since he has received himself communications from a very elevated order through raps.

Mr. Allan Kardec responds that typtology is a means of communication like any other and which can be used by the most elevated spirits, when there is no availability of a faster means. Not all spirits that communicate through raps are rapping spirits and most of them repudiate such classification, only adequate to those who could be called professional rapping spirits.

Common sense rejects the idea that superior spirits would come to spend their time entertaining an assembly by the exhibition of their skills. As for the physical manifestations themselves, he has never denied their utility but persists in the opinion that those are incapable of leading to conviction on their own. Furthermore, he says, the more extraordinary the facts the more they excite disbelief. What is needed, before anything else, is the understanding of the principle behind the phenomena. To someone that knows those principles, the phenomena have nothing of supernatural, and come to support the theory.

Dr. de Grand-Boulogne says that the letter that was just read is a little bit old and that his ideas have changed significantly since then. He agrees entirely with Mr. Allan Kardec since experience has showed him how important it is to understand the principle before seeing things. Hence he only admits in his house persons who are familiar with the theory, thus avoiding objections and useless questions. He acknowledges that he has made more proselytes by such a system than by the exhibition of facts that are not understood.


STUDIES:

1st – Evocation of James Coyle, alienated, deceased at the age of 106 years, in the Saint-Patrick hospital of Dublin, where he was since 1802. The evocation offers an interesting subject for study about the condition of the spirit during mental alienation.

2nd – Appeal, without a special evocation, to the spirits what have requested assistance. Two of them manifested spontaneously: the Great Françoise and the spirit of Castelnaudary, who thank those who have prayed in their favor.

3rd – A spontaneous essay is obtained by Mr. D…, signed by Sister Jeanne, one of the victims of the Syrian massacres.

Friday, August 10th, 1860
(General Session)

Committee meeting.

Reading of the minutes and works of the previous session.

Mr. Allan Kardec announces that a lady member of the Society has sent the amount of 10 francs to be used in favor of the Syrian Christians or towards any other charity that the Society finds adequate to apply.

MULTIPLE COMMUNICATIONS:

1st – A letter from Mr. Jobard, from Brussels, about Thilorier, his former friend, who was evoked on June 15th, 1860. He provides interesting details about his discovery, his life and habits, and rectifies several statements given in the news coverage about him, published in the newspaper la Patrie. Among other particulars he tells the story of how his hearing was reestablished through magnetism. To be published in the sequence.

2nd – Mr. B…, foreign observer, mentions several cases of spontaneous physical manifestations that took place with one of his friends. Since that person could not come to the session, that person will report the facts in more details in a future session.

STUDIES:

1st – Several questions and moral issues addressed to St. Louis, regarding the death of Jean Luizerolle that substituted and saved his son’s life, who was condemned to the death penalty in 1793.

2nd – Evocation of Alfred de Marignac, who transmitted a message to Mr. Darcol about penury, using the name Bossuet.

3rd – Evocation of Bossuet regarding the above and several other questions. He finishes by a spontaneous dissertation about the dangers of religious quarrels.

4th – Evocation of Sister Jeanne, victim of the Syrian massacres, who came spontaneously to the last session, having asked to be called again.

5th – Appeal in favor of the suffering spirits that requested assistance. A new spirit shows up by the name of Fortune Privat, giving details about his condition and his penalties. This communication gives rise to several interesting explanations regarding the condition of the suffering spirits.

6th – Spontaneous essay about the Nothingness of Life, signed by Sophie Swetchine, received by Ms. Huet.

Friday, August 17th, 1860
(Private Session)

Committee meeting.

Reading of the minutes and works of the August 10th session.

By suggestion of the Committee and after a verbal report, the Society accepts Mr. Jules R… from Brussels and residing in Paris as a member.

MULTIPLE COMMUNICATIONS:

1st – In a letter sent by Countess D…, from Milan, to Mr. Allan Kardec, there is the following passage: “I recently searched old magazines from Paris and I found a little story by a charming writer, Charles Nodier, entitled: Lidia or the resurrection. I found myself inside The Spiritist Review; it is an intuition of The Spirits’ Book, though written in 1839. Was Nodier a believer? Was Spiritism discussed in those days? If possible I would like to have him evoked. He was a pure heart and a loving soul. I ask you to please, if you can evoke him. If his moral was so smooth, kind, attractive, how should he be now that his spirit is unraveled from matter!”

For a long time the Society had wanted to call Charles Nodier. It shall be done in the next session.

2nd – Two essays obtained by Dr. de Grand-Boulogne are read, signed by Zenon, the first one about the doubt raised regarding Bossuet’s identity in the previous session and the second about the reincarnation, where the spirit demonstrates the need to view from a moral point and its consistency with religious ideas.

3rd – Two communications received by Mrs. Costel and signed by Georges are read, the first about the spirits’ progress; the second about the spirit’s awakening.

4th – Reading of the evocation of Louis XIV, done by Ms. Huet, and a spontaneous essay received by her about the benefit to be extracted from the advices given by the spirits, signed by Marie, a familiar spirit.

STUDIES:

1st – Mr. Ledoyen reminds us that some time ago St. Louis had initiated a series of essays about capital sins. He asks if St. Louis would like to continue that work. St. Louis responds that he shall gladly do that and that next time he will speak about Envy, since it is too late to do it tonight.

2nd – St. Louis is asked if the Queen of Ouda could be called again in the next session, the one that was already evoked in January 1858, so that we can assess the eventual progress that she might have made. He answers: “It would be charitable to evoke her, speaking to her in a friendly way and at the same time instructing her a little bit, since she still falls well behind.”

3rd – Charles Nodier is evoked. After having responded with extreme benevolence the questions addressed to him he promises to start a new continuous work in the next session.

4th – Spontaneous essay obtained by Mr. Didier about hypocrisy, signed by Lamennais. The spirit then responds to several questions about his situation and the character that is reflected out of his communications.

Friday, August 24th, 1860
(General Session)

Committee meeting.

Reading of the minutes and works of the previous session.

The President reads the following instruction regarding individuals outside of the Society, in order to forearm them against false ideas that they may have about the Society’s objectives.

“We believe it is important to remind those persons who are foreign to the Society and not informed about our activities, that we don’t carry out any experimentations and that they would be mistaken if they thought that this is a place where they would find such distractions. We are utterly involved with very serious things, but of little interest and not much intelligible to whomever ignores the Spiritist Science. Since the presence of such persons would be useless to them and cause of disruption to us, we refuse to grant admission to those who don’t know at least its basic principles and particularly those who are not sympathetic to the Doctrine. We are, first of all, a society of scientific studies, and not a teaching society; we have never invited the public because we know from experience that true conviction is only formed after a long series of observations and not for having attended a few sessions that do not present any methodic continuation. That is why we make no demonstrations that would repeat every time, hindering the continuation of our works. If, irrespective of all that, there are persons here only attracted by curiosity or who don’t share our way of seeing things, we would remind them that they were not invited and that we expect from them respect to our convictions, as we respect theirs. All we ask for is silence and deference. Since respect is one of the most expressed recommendations from the part of the spirits that in good will communicate with us, we insistently invite those who are present to abstain from any private conversation.”

The Committee decided that, although there is a 5th Friday on the 31st of this month, this current session will be the last one before the holidays, and that the first one will take place on the first Friday in October.

The Committee was informed about a letter with a request for admission as a member from Mr. B…, from Paris. However, given the fact that the present session is general, the decision is adjourned to the session after the period of vacation.

MULTIPLE COMMUNICATIONS:

1st – Reading of a particular evocation of Père Leroy carried out by Mr. Jules Rob…, who died not long ago in Beirut. The evocation is remarkable by the elevation of the spirit who confirms in absolutely everything the character that he had when alive, that of a true Christian. He manifests his intent of being evoked at the Society.

2nd – Reading of a spontaneous essay received by Mr. Dacol, about the mediums and signed by Salles. This essay was delivered in the previous session and not read yet because there was not time to have it previously analyzed, an imperiously established formality by the regulations of the Society.

3rd – Another spontaneous essay received by Mrs. B… about Moral Charity, signed by Sister Rosalie.

4th – Two other spontaneous essays received by Mrs. Costel, one about the multiple categories of errant spirits and the other about the punishments, signed by Georges. Both communications are regarded amongst the most remarkable by the elevation of the expressed thoughts, by the truthfulness of the images and the eloquence in style. To be published along with the other more important communications.

Mr. President reinforces that the Society is necessarily limited in time but everything that is received in private by the members must be considered as a complement of their work, as long as they wish to bring it over. The Society must not consider as part of its archives only what is received in its sessions, but also everything that comes from outside and may be useful to everyone’s enlightenment. It is the center to which the private studies converge, to the benefit of all. It is a means of control to the mediums by helping them to understand the nature of the received communications, protecting them against deception. Besides, the spirits frequently prefer to communicate in the intimacy where there is necessarily more reverence than in sessions with a large number of people, by the instruments of their choice, at the time of their convenience and under circumstances that we cannot always appreciate. By concentrating those communications, everybody makes use of the advantages that they can offer.

STUDIES:

1st – St. Louis is asked about the spirit of Georges. He was a painter when alive and used to teach painting to the person who serves him as a medium. His life does not offer any special particularity, but the fact that he was always good and benevolent. As spirit, his communications always show such an elevation that we would like to know the position that he occupies in the spiritual world. St. Louis responds: “He was a fair spirit on Earth; his whole greatness consists on his benevolence, charity and faith in God that he professed; hence, today he is among the superior spirits.”

2nd – Evocation of Charles Nodier, by Ms. Huet. He starts the work that he promised in the previous session.

3rd – Evocation of Pere Leroy. Since the choice of medium was left open, we preferred that he did not use the previous medium in order to avoid any influence and for us to be able to better assess his identity through his answers. These are in agreement with the previously expressed feelings, in all points, and are worthy of an elevated spirit. He finishes with advice of the highest wisdom through which Christian humility, tolerance of the evangelical charity and a superiority of intelligence are revealed.

4th – Evocation of the Queen of Ouda, already evoked in January 1858 (see the March 1858 issue of the Review). Medium Mr. Rob… A slight disposition towards progress is detected but in reality her character has not changed much.

OBSERVATION: A lady that had lived in India for a long time and has known her personally was present at the session. She says that all her answers are in perfect agreement with her character and that it is impossible not to acknowledge a proof of identity in those answers.

5th – Three spontaneous essays are obtained: the first through Ms. Huet, about Envy and signed by St. Louis; the second received by Mr. Didier about the Original Sin, signed by Ronsard; the third by Ms. Stephanie, signed by Gustave Lenormand.

During these last communications Ms. L. J…, a drawing medium, obtained two pieces of work signed by Jules Romain.

After a few nice thoughts written by an anonymous spirit, another spirit who had already communicated through Ms. L.J… interferes, breaking the pencil and making doodles indicative of rage. The spirits communicates through Mr. Jules Rob… at the same time, arrogantly responding the questions addressed to him.

It is the spirit of a foreign sovereign, known by his violent character. Once invited to sign his name he does so in two ways. One of the attendees, connected to the government of his country and has frequent access to documents signed by him, recognizes one as from official documents and the other from private letters.

Once the general session is over the members were invited to stay a little bit longer for one communication.

In a very warm address, Mr. Sanson exposes the recognition that he owes St. Louis for his intervention in the instantaneous cure of a illness in his leg, which had resisted to every treatment and would likely lead to amputation. He continues saying that he owes his truly miraculous cure to his knowledge of Spiritism and his trust in God’s mercy and power, all that he gave almost no attention to before. Since he owes the Society for his initiation in the truth taught here he adds the Society into his recognition. Since then he offers flowers to the spirit of St. Louis on the very day consecrated to him, in memory of the received favor. That tribute is renewed today, August 24th and the eve of St. Louis’ day.

The Society adds to the testimony of gratitude from Mr. Sanson, thanking St. Louis for his benevolence and requesting his continual protection. St. Louis responds:

“I feel three times happy my beloved brothers by what I see and hear tonight. Your emotion and recognition are still the best tribute that you could address to me. May the God of benevolence keep you with those good and generous feelings! I shall continue to watch over the Society united by the feelings of charity and a true fraternity.”
Louis

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