The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

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Impressions of a Spirit
(Medium Mrs. Costel)

I will speak about the strange alterations that take place in the spirit just after their liberation. The spirit dissipates from the body left behind, like a flame disengaging from the fire it has produced; then arrives the moment of great confusion and strange doubt: am I dead or alive? The absence of the ordinary sensations of the body surprises and immobilizes; so to speak, as a person that used to carry a heavy weight, our suddenly light soul knows what to do with its freedom; and the infinity of space; the countless wonders of the stars in a succeeding harmonious rhythm; eager spirits floating in the air, and bursting with the subtle light that seems to pierce them, the sudden feeling of freedom that takes over all at once, with the need to soar into open space like birds who want to try their wings, such are the first impressions that all of us feel. I cannot tell you about all phases of this life. I will add only that as soon as the soul has had enough of that feeling it becomes eager to climb even higher, searching for the regions of true beauty, true good, and such aspiration is the torment of the thirsty spirits, aiming at infinity.

Like the chrysalis, they expect to get rid of their skin, feeling the sprouting wings that shall radiantly take them to the blessed blue skies.

However, still retained by wicked bonds, they must glide between Earth and Heaven, not belonging to one or another. What are all the earthly aspirations compared to the unquenchable ardor of one who has glimpsed a corner of eternity! Thus, you shall suffer a lot to become pure among us. Spiritism will help you since it is a blessed work. It connects the spirits and the living, forming the rings of an invisible chain that leads to God.
Delphine de Girardin

The Orphans
(Medium Mrs. Schmidt)

Brothers, love the orphans. If you only knew how sad it is to be alone and abandoned, particularly at an early age! God allows the orphans to induce us to become parents. What a divine charity helping a pure little abandoned creature, avoiding their cold and hunger, directing his soul, so it does not get lost to vice! Anyone that reaches out to an abandoned child pleases God because he understands and practices His law. Consider also that often the child that you help now has been very dear to you in another life; and that if you could remember, this would not be an act of charity but of duty. Thus my dear friend, every suffering soul is your brother or sister and deserves your charity; not that charity that hurts the heart; not the alms that burns the receiving hand, because your offering is often bitter. How many times, these sufferers would have rather refused, if hunger and disease were not looming! Give kindly and add to the benefits the most valuable of all: a good word, kindness, a friendly smile. Refrain from an air of pity and protection which return a spear into a heart that is already wounded, and consider that the good deeds you do, work on your behalf and that of your loved ones.
Jules Morin

OBSERVATION: The spirit that signs off is completely unknown. We can see from the communication above as for many others of the kind, that it is not always necessary to have a prestigious name to obtain beautiful things. It is puerile to become attached to a name. Good must be well received from whatever source. As a matter of fact, the number of illustrious names is very limited; the number of spirits is infinite. Why then would there not exist capable ones among the unknown? We make this reflection because there are people who believe to be able to obtain sublime messages only from the so-called celebrities. Experience demonstrates the opposite every day and shows that we can always learn something from every spirit if we know how to take advantage of the opportunities.

From a Dead Brother to her Sister
(Medium Mrs. Schmidt)

My sister, you don’t evoke me frequently but that does not preclude me to come to see you every day. I know your concerns: your life is painful, I know that, but it is necessary to endure the not always happy fate. However, there is sometimes a relief in your penalties. For example, someone that does good to the expense of their own happiness may mitigate the rigor of their own trials or those of others.

It is rare to do good with such abnegation in this world. It is difficult, no doubt, but it is not impossible, and the ones who have that sublime virtue are the real elected of the Lord. If we were aware of that poor peregrination on Earth we would understand that. That is not the case though: people remain in the permanent search for material things, as if they would stay in this exile forever. Nevertheless, common sense and the simplest logic daily demonstrates that we are no more than migrating birds here and those who have lighter wings are the ones who arrive sooner. My good sister, what good does all that wealth do to the rich? Tomorrow there will be no jewels helping them to step down into the tomb, where there is nothing to carry along! It is true that it has been a beautiful journey to them; nothing was missed; there was nothing else to be desired and the niceties of life were all experienced. It is also true that they have sometimes thrown the alms in the hands of their brothers with a smile in their faces. Has it deprived them from anything in life? No, not a single pleasure was missed, not a single fantasy. However, that brother is also a son of God, father of all of us, to whom everything belongs. Do you understand, my sister, that a good father does not deprive one of his sons to enrich the other? That is why he will compensate the one that was without in this life.

Thus, those who consider themselves disinherited, abandoned and forgotten will soon reach the blessed side where there is justice and happiness. However, unfortunate are the ones who have made bad use of the means entrusted by our Father. Unfortunate is also the person endowed by the precious gift of intelligence if he has abused it! Believe me, Maria, when there is belief in God there is nothing on Earth to be envy about but the blessings of practicing His laws.
Your brother, Wilhelm

(Medium Mr. Didier Jr)

Christian moral is what does need to be observed in Spiritism. Many religions have been around for centuries, many splits and many supposed truths. Everything that was erected outside Christianity has fallen because it was not animated by the Holy Spirit. Christ sums up what is the most pure and divine moral, his teachings to the human being touch on his duties in this life and in the next. In the ancient world, where the teachings were the most sublime, it is still poor before such a rich and fertile moral. Plato’s halo fades away before that of Christ and Socrates’ cup is too little when compared to the immense chalice of the Son of the Man. Is that you, oh Sesotris, tyrant of the immobile Egypt, did you want to measure the height of the colossal pyramids compared to the birth of Christ in a manger? Is that you Solon? Is that you Lycurgus, whose barbarian law condemned the ill born children, will you be able to compare to the one who face pride by saying: “Let the children come to me”? Will that be you sacred priests of Numa, whose moral wanted the death of the guilty vestals32, to compare to the one who said to the adulterous woman: “Stand up woman, and sin no more”? No, no more of those terrible mysteries of your practices, oh ancient priests, with these Christian mysteries that you have based this sublime religion on in the name of Christianity; You will bow before him, all legislators and human priests, bow down for it is God who spoke through the mouth of this privileged being who is called Christ.

Waste of Time
(Medium Ms. Huet)

If you could, for a moment, think about time wasted, but think seriously and calculate the immense mistake you make, you will see how much this very hour, this minute that has just passed uselessly and that you cannot recover, and that would have helped your future life. Not even all treasures of Earth could return it to you, and had you utilized it badly you will have to repair it through atonement, and perhaps in a terrible way! What wouldn’t you do then to recover that wasted time? Useless vows; superfluous sorrows! Thus, give a serious thought to that. It is of your own future as well as present interest because sorrow may often reach us in this life on Earth. When God comes to make the adjustments regarding the life you were given, the mission that was assigned to you, what will you answer? You will be like the messenger of a sovereign that far from following the orders of his superior has spent the time having fun, not doing the actual work for which he has the credentials. What wouldn’t be your liability on your return? God sent you here and you shall have to respond to him about the time spent with your brothers and sisters. I do recommend that you meditate about it.

Wise People
(Medium Ms. Huet)

Since you have called a spirit, God has allowed me to come. I will give you good advice, particularly to Mr. …

You that are worried about the wise people, because that is your concern, leave them alone. What could their power be over religious beliefs, and in particular the spiritist beliefs? Haven’t they repelled the truths presented to them at all times? Haven’t they rejected all inventions, treating them as illusions? Weren’t those who presented those truths treated as mad people, hence incarcerated; others thrown into the dungeons of the inquisition; others still murdered or burnt at the stake?

Much later the truth did not shine less intensively to the eyes of the surprised wise people, who had kept it a secret. By turning your attention constantly to them do you want, a new Galileo to suffer the moral torture of ridicule and to be forced to retreat? Has Jesus addressed the Academies of his time? No. He preached the divine moral to everyone and to his people in particular.

He chose fishermen to be the apostles and promoters of his homecoming, people of simple heart, very ignorant, who did not know the laws of nature and who did not know if a miracle could breach them, but who believed ingenuously. “Go, Jesus said, and say what you have seen.”

He has never made a miracle that was not in favor of those who had asked in good faith and conviction. He refused them to the Pharisees and to the Sadducees, who came to tempt him, calling them hypocrites. Do the same and address intelligent people who are prepared to believe. Leave the wise ones and the incredulous.

As a matter of fact, what is a wise person? A person with better instruction than others, because he has studied more, but has lost the former prestige, a fatal halo that sometimes gave him the reward of being burned at the stake. But as the popular intelligence developed their shine has faded. A person of genius is no longer afraid of being accused of sorcery; he is no longer allied to the Devil.

An enlightened humanity appreciates the fair value of someone that knows a lot and works a lot; humanity knows how to raise the genius who produces beautiful works to an adequate pedestal. Humanity is no longer tormented by his science that is understood now; it bows before him since it knows the origin of the creative genius. On the other hand humanity wishes the freedom to believe in those truths that bring consolation. It is no longer acceptable that the one who knows more or less Chemistry, or Linguistic, or produces beautiful operas may come to deny their beliefs, throwing ridicule on their faces and treating their ideas as madness. Humanity will veer off that path and will quietly continue in its way. One day truth shall cover the whole world and those who had repelled it will be forced to believe. I myself who have dealt with Spiritism until my last day have always practiced it in private.

I couldn’t care less about the Academy. Believe me: it will come to you later.
Delphine de Girardin

The Human Being

The human being is a composite of greatness and misery, science and ignorance. He is the true representative of God on Earth because his great intelligence encompasses the universe. He found ways of discovering the secrets of nature; knows how to use the elements; travels long distances by means of steam; can talk to his fellow human beings from one corner to the other of the world using electricity that he can control. His is highly intelligent. When he is able to place all that before God’s feet and pay tribute to God he is god-like! However, how miserable and petty he can be when dominated by pride! He can’t see his misery; he can’t see that his existence, this life that he cannot understand, is taken from him sometimes instantaneously, just by the will of that divinity unknown to him, since he cannot defend against such a power; he has to follow his fate!

The one who has studied and analyzed everything; who knows the movement of the stars; does he know the creative power that germinated the grain of wheat on the earth? Can he create a flower however simple and modest it may be? No. His power stops there. He should then acknowledge a power much superior than his. Humility should take his heart over and he would then practice one act of adoration by admiring the works of God.
St. Therese

Determination in the Spiritist Work

I will talk about the determination that you need in your spiritist work. A warning was given to you with that regard. I advise you to study it wholeheartedly and apply it to yourselves because like St. Paul, you shall be persecuted, not in flesh and blood, but in spirit. The incredulous, the Pharisees of our time, will criticize and ridicule you. But have no fear. It shall be a trial to strengthen you if you know to offer that to God. You will see your efforts crowned by success later on. It will be a great triumph to you before the light of eternity, not forgetting that it is already a consolation in this world to those who have lost their relatives and friends. It is a true happiness to know that they are okay and that it is possible to communicate with them. Then, march forward. Accomplish your God given mission and it shall be taken into account the day you appear before the Almighty.

The Enemies of Progress
(Medium Mr. R…)

The enemies of progress, of light and truth, work in the shadows. They prepare a crusade against our manifestations. Don’t bother with that. You are powerfully supported. Let them agitate in their impotence. However, dedicate yourselves to combat, annihilate by all means at your disposal the idea of eternal penalties, that blasphemy against God’s justice and benevolence, constituting the most fecund source of incredulity, materialism and indifference that invades the masses since their intelligence started to develop. The spirit has quickly learned the monstrous injustice as soon as it was freed from the gross primitivism and just prior to becoming enlightened. Human beings’ reason repels it and rarely confuses it in the same ostracism of the revolting penalty and the God to whom it is attributed.

Thus the innumerable evils that have precipitated upon you and to which we bring the remedy. The more the authorities that support the defenders of that belief avoid a formal declaration, the easier is the task that we have assigned to you. Neither the Councils nor the priests of the Church have brought this grave question to a closure. If, according to the Evangelists themselves and taking Christ’s emblematic words literally, he has threatened the guilty ones with an endless fire, an eternal fire, there is absolutely nothing in his words which demonstrates that he has condemned the wicked for eternity. Poor lost sheep, you must understand the Good Shepherd that comes from far away and instead of willing to banish you forever from his presence he comes himself to meet you and bring you back to the flock. Lost sheep leave you voluntary exile. Drive your steps towards the paternal dwelling. The Father embraces you and is always ready to celebrate your return to the family.

Distinctive Nature of the Spirits
(Medium Mrs. Costel)

I want to talk about the great truths of Spiritism. They are tightly connected to those of morality thus they must not be separated. To begin with, the point that attracts the attention of intelligent people is the doubt they have about the validity of spiritist communications. The truth is the first dignifying mark of the soul and is contained in this starting point. Let us then establish it.

There is no infallible way to distinguish the nature of the spirits if we renounce to reason, to comparison and reflection. These three faculties are more than enough to safely distinguish the diverse spirits. Free-will is the shaft that supports the pivot of human intelligence; the equilibrium would be broken if the spirits had only to speak in order to dominate people. Their power would then equal God’s power and that cannot be the case. The interchange between human beings and the invisible beings is like Jacob’s ladder: some are allowed to step up; others are allowed to step down. And all of them, interacting with one another before God’s eyes, must march towards God, with the same love and intelligent submission. I have touched the subject only superficially, advising you to study it in-depth, in all its aspects.

(Medium Ms. Huet)

My friends, I was very unhappy on Earth because my spirit was equal and sometimes superior to the persons that surrounded me but my body was inferior. Thus, my heart was wounded by moral sufferings and by the physical limitations that had reduced my earthly body to a disgraceful and miserable state.

I became a bitter person due to my diseases and the upsetting relationships that I had with my friends. I allowed myself to be dragged to the most outrageous evilness. I was apparently cheerful and unhurt, however I suffered from the bottom of my heart and when I was alone, taken by the most secretive thoughts of my soul, I groaned in the fight between good and evil. The most beautiful day of my life was the day when my spirit separated from my body, when then illuminated by a divine ray my spirit was taken to celestial regions! I felt like being reborn and I was taken by a state of happiness. I finally rested.

My conscience woke up later. I acknowledge my mistakes against the Creator, experienced remorse and begged the Almighty for forgiveness. Since then I strive to learn within the good path; I try to become useful to people and I advance daily. However, I feel the need for prayers and I ask the true believers to elevate their thoughts to God on my behalf. If evoked I will always try to answer your questions as much as I can. That is how charity can be practiced.
Paul Scarron

The Nothingness of Life
(Medium Ms. Huet)

My good adopted friends, allow me to give you a few words of advice. God allows me to come to you. Unfortunately I cannot transfer to you all the emotion that was in my heart and what inspired me to do good! Believe in God, author of all things; love God; be good and charitable. Charity is the key to the heavens. In order to become good, give sometimes some thought to death; it is a thought that elevates the soul and makes it better, bringing humbleness to the soul. What are we on Earth? We are an atom thrown in space; very little in the whole universe. The human being is nothing. His time is numbered. Looking forward or behind there is always infinity. His life, however long it may be, is a mere dot in eternity. Then, think of your soul. Think of the new life that awaits you since you cannot doubt that it does exist, even more so if you think about the desires of your soul, never satisfied, demonstrating that they must exist in a better world. Goodbye.
S. Swetchine

To the Mediums
(Medium Mrs. Darcol)

When you wish to receive communications from the good spirits, it is necessary to be prepared for that through prayer and inner silence, through good intentions and the true desire to do good, aiming at the general progress. Keep in mind that selfishness is a cause of delay in every path. Remember that if God allows some among you to receive the breath of some of his children that deserved the happiness of understanding God’s infinite benevolence through their actions, the reason is that from our request and in lieu of your good intentions, God wants to give you the means of advancing in your journey.

Hence, oh mediums! Take advantage of that faculty that God wants to give you. Have faith in the kindness of our Teacher; always practice charity; don’t ever stop practicing this sublime virtue, as well as tolerance. May your actions always resonate with your conscience! It is a sure means of multiplying your happiness a hundred times in this short and transient life and even prepare you for an existence a thousand times smoother.

The medium among you that does not feel strong enough to persevere with the spiritist teaching should abstain, because if he does not take advantage of the light that clarifies him, he will be less pardonable than another and would only have to atone for his blindness.
François de Salles

Relative Honesty
(Medium Mrs. Costel)

Today we will comment the morality of those who don’t have it, that is, the relative honesty that is found in the most corrupted hearts. A thief does not steal the handkerchief of his comrade, even when his comrade has two. The trader does not overcharge his friend; the traitor, despite everything, is loyal to someone. The divine light is never absolutely absent from the human heart; thus it must be preserved with extreme care, or even developed. The strict and brutal judgment by people, given its severity, makes recovery much more difficult than the practice of bad deeds. Once developed, Spiritism should be and will be the consolation and hope of those hearts hurt by human justice.

Full of sublime teachings, religion glides too high for the ignorant. It does not reach them with sufficient objectivity, as it should, the sterile imagination of the illiterate, who wishes to see in order to believe. Enlightened by the mediums, perhaps medium themselves, the belief shall flourish in their withered hearts. Hence, the true spiritist must address the people in particular, like the apostles did in former times, so as to propagate the consoling doctrine.

As pioneers, they must dive into the swamps of ignorance, filled with defects; they clean and prepare the terrain of lost souls, so they can receive the beautiful knowledge of Christ.

Taking Advantage of the Advices
(Medium Ms. Huet)

Do you take advantage of our advice and what we tell you every day? No. Not much. When you leave one of our sessions you talk about the curiosity of the fact; you discuss the greater or lesser interest it has caused in the audience. However, is there at least one among you who asks how to apply the morality, the advice that we have just given you can be adopted, with the intention of doing that? A communication was requested and it was received. That is all. You go back to your daily occupations promising to return to see again such an interesting show. You tell your friends about the facts, exciting their curiosity and only to demonstrate that the wise individuals can be confused. Very few do it with the sincere objective of preaching morality. Very few really try to improve themselves.

My lesson is strict. However, I don’t want to discourage you. You always bring the good will, now add a little bit more of good feelings towards God and less desire to annihilate those who don’t want to believe. Those belong to God and to time.
Marie (familiar spirit)

Select Thoughts

Oh People! How arrogantly proud you are! Your pretensions are truly comic. You want to know everything and your fundamental ideas, you must know, oppose the faculty of universal comprehension. You will only come to understand this wonderful nature through persevering work. You will only have the joy of exploring these treasures and foreseeing glimpse of the inifinty of God, but through your own betterment and charity, and doing everything for the common good and reporting that faculty to God who in His singular generosity will reward you beyond any expectation.

The human being is at the mercy of events, as they frequently say; which event are they talking about? What would be their cause and objective? God’s finger has never been associated to that. Such vague and materialistic thought, the mother of fatality has sent many great spirits and beautiful minds astray. This is what Balzac said: “There are no principles; there are only events.” It means that, according to him, the human being has no free will; he is taken over by fatality since birth and fatality leads him to the tomb. Monstrous invention of the human spirit! Such a thought abates freedom; that is to say progress, the elevation of the human soul, evident demonstration of God’s existence.

Thus, would people be led like that, slave of men and oneself? Oh brothers and sisters! Analyze yourself. Were you born to be a slave? No. You were born for freedom.

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