The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

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Mr. Jobard had given his article the tittle: Advices to the medium. We thought it would be more adequate to give it a less exclusive title, considering that his observations are generally applicable to the way we must assess the spiritist communications. Since the mediums are just instruments of the manifestations, these can be given to everyone, be it directly or through some intermediary. Therefore, all the evokers and the mediums can benefit from them.

We approve his way of assessing the communications because it is rigorously correct and can only contribute to prevent against the illusion that exposes those who accept too easily everything that comes from the world of the spirits as the expression of truth.

However, we think that Mr. Jobard may be a little bit too radical about certain points. In our opinion he is not considering properly the progress achieved by the spirit in the errant state. It is certain that the spirit carries their earthly imperfections beyond the grave, a fact demonstrated by experience. However, and since: the spirit is in a completely diverse environment; their sensations are no longer received from impressions on the material organs; they no longer have a thick veil covering their eyes, confusing their ideas, their sensations, their perceptions and their thinking must experience a significant change. That is why every day we see people who think very differently after death than when alive because their moral horizon has widen up.

Authors criticize their own work; mundane people criticize their behavior; wise people acknowledge their mistakes. If the spirit did not advance in the spiritual life they would return to the corporeal life as they left it, no more advance, no more delayed, a fact that is contradicted by experience. Then, certain spirits may see more clearly and more fairly than when they were on Earth; as a consequence, some are seen giving excellent advices with excellent results. But among the spirits, like among human beings, it is necessary to know whom we are talking to and not to believe that the first one to show up may be the messenger of science or that a wise person may have lost his earthly prejudices just because they are spirits.

Mr. Jobard is entirely correct about it when he says that their theories and systems must only be accepted with extreme reservation. One must act with them as it is done with people, by giving them credit only after they have given irrefutable demonstrations of their superiority, not by the name that they may sometimes falsely use, but for the constant wisdom of their thoughts, by the irrefutable logic of their reasoning and by the unbreakable benevolence of their character. The judicious observations of Mr. Jobard, leaving aside some excesses, will certainly disillusion those who think to have, by communicating with the spirits, an easy way of knowing everything, of making profitable discoveries, etc. In fact, to the eyes of certain people, what is the use of the spirits if they cannot help us to make a fortune? We believe that just a short study of Spiritism is enough to understand that we are taught a number of things which are more useful than knowing if we are going to win in the stock market or lottery. However, even by admitting the most rigorous hypothesis that it would be completely indifferent to address the spirits or people for the things of this world, isn’t that something that they give us proof about life beyond the grave, enlightening us about the happy state or unfortunate condition of those who preceded us? Isn’t that something the proof that our loved ones are not lost and that we will meet again in that world that awaits us, rich or poor, powerful or slaves?

There is definitely a certainty: we will sooner or later make that move. What is there beyond the barrier? What is behind the curtain that hides the future? Is there something or nothing? Behold! The spirits tell us that there is something; that it is not over when we die; far from that, it is when real life begins, the normal life. Even if that was all that we were taught, their communications with us would not be useless. They do better: they teach us what to do here, to be in the best possible position in the other world. Since we are going to stay there for a long time we’d better make sure that we are granted the best possible place. As Mr. Jobard says, generally speaking the spirits don’t bother with the earthly things for a very simple reason: what they have is better. Their objective is to teach us what to do to be happy there. They know that we are attached to the earthly pleasures like children to their toys. They want to makes us think forward. That is their mission. If we are deceived by some, it is for the fact that we want to move them away from their attributions; because we ask them about what they don’t know, cannot or must not tell us. It is then that some people are mystified by the crowds of mocking spirits that make fun of our credulity.

The mistake of certain mediums is to believe in the infallibility of the spirits who communicate with them, seducing them by beautiful phrases, supported by borrowed, generally false names.

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