I will tell you a story from the other world, from the one where I am.
Imagine a blue sky, a green and calm ocean, curiously cut rocks; no vegetation
but only pale lichens clinging to the grooves of rocks. That is the
scenery. As a simple romance writer I cannot allow myself to give you the
details. Inhabiting that ocean, the rocks, there was only one seated poet,
a dreamer, thinking to himself, like in a mirror, about the calm beauty of
nature, which spoke to his eyes as much as to his heart. That dream-like
poet was I. Where? When does my story happen? Never mind!
Thus, I heard, I saw, I was moved and thoughtful about the profound
enchantment of the great solitude. I suddenly saw a woman standing on
the summit of the hill. She was tall, brunette, and pale. Her long dark
hair waved over her white dress. She looked straight forward, staring in
a strange way. I stood up in amazement since that woman, blossoming
out of the rock, seemed like a dream to me, the divine dream that had
dragged over me so often. I approached. She stood there and extended
her arm towards the sea, as if inspired, and sang with a smooth and crying
voice. I listened to her, taken by a mortal sadness, mentally repeating
the lyrics that flowed from her lips, as if coming from a lively spring.
She then turned to me and I felt myself wrapped by the shadow of her
• Listen to me, friend, she said. The shaky waters of the sear are
less profound; the rocks are less stiff than love, the cruel love that
shatters the poet’s heart. Pay no attention to its voice which brings
seduction from the waves, from the air, from the Sun, to constrain,
penetrate and burn your soul, a trembling soul that wishes
to suffer the illness of love.
That is how she spoke. I listened and felt my heart melt in a divine
inebriation. I wish I could destroy myself in the pure breath coming out
of her mouth.
• No, she continued. Friend, do not fight against the genius in
you. Let yourself be taken by the wings of fire through the bright
spheres. Forget the passion which shall drag you down to your
knees, you, radiant eagle destined to the highest summits. Listen
to the voices inviting you to the celestial concert. Take off your
flight, sublime bird. The genius is lonely. You are marked by the
divine seal; you cannot become a woman’s slave. She spoke, the
shadow moved on and the green sea became dark; the skies overcast
and the rocks lined up, strangely. She shone even further,
seemingly crowned by twinkling stars, and her dress, white like
the foam that lashed at the shore, unfolding into immense layers.
• Don’t leave me, I finally said. Take me in your arms; let your dark
hair be the bonds that keep me; allow me to live in your light or
die in your shadow.
• Come then, she said in a different voice, which seemed more
distant. Come, since you prefer the dream that keeps the genius
asleep, the genius that enlightens people. Come. I shall not leave
you again and both of us, hurt by the fatal blow, shall follow with
Dante’s entourage. Don’t be afraid that I might abandon you, oh my poet! The dream rewards you with disgrace and with men’s
disdain, people who will only praise your music when no longer
irritated by the shine of your genius.
I then felt a powerful embrace lifting me up from the ground. I saw
nothing else but the white dress that surrounded me like a halo. I was
then consumed by the power of the dream that forever separated me from
Alfred de MussetAbout the Works
of the Society
I will talk about the need for observation of the strictest possible regularity
of your sessions, meaning the avoidance of any confusion and
divergence of ideas. Divergence favors the replacement of the good spirits
by the bad ones, and these almost always respond to the formulated
questions. Besides, how can one avoid contradictory ideas, distractions, or
even worse a vague and reproachable indifference in a meeting composed
by diverse and mutually unknown elements? I wanted to find a certain
and efficient way to avoid that. It is perhaps in the concentration of the
fluids scattered around the mediums. These are the only ones, in particular
those who are loved, that can retain the good spirits in the session
but their influence can barely dispel the horde of mocking spirits. The
work of examining the communications is excellent. It would never be too
much to do an in-depth study of the questions and even more importantly
the answers. It is easy to make mistakes, even to those spirits animated by
the best intentions. The sluggish writing, during which the spirit terminates
a subject as soon as he has initiated it; the mobility and indifference
towards certain conventional forms; all these things and many others are igns for you to trust with caution, always ready for examination, even
when dealing with the most authentic communications.
With that, may God keep under his sacred protection all true spiritists!
Georges, a familiar spirit
The second edition of The Spirits’ Book, published in March 1860, was
sold out in less than four months. A third edition has just been released.