The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

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(Medium Mrs. Costel)

Note: The spirit that signed the three following communications was a woman who was an acquaintance of the medium when alive, and whose conduct and character justify well her ongoing sufferings. She was particularly dominated by an exaggerated selfishness, and by a personality which is reflected in the last communication, given her pretentious desire to have the medium totally dedicated to her, having her quitting her regular studies.


Here I am the unfortunate one. What do you want me to teach you? Your resignation and your hope are just words to someone that knows that your sufferings will last the endless sequence of centuries, like the grains in the sand of a beach. You say that you can smooth them out. Meaningless words! Where would you find the courage, the hope for that? Then, oh simple mind, try to understand what is a never ending day. Is it a day, a year, a century? What do I know? Time does not go by; the seasons are dull; eternal and slow like the water seeping out of a rock, this hated day, that wretched day that weighs on me like an urn made of lead… I suffer!

Nevertheless, I know that above such misery God governs sovereignly, our Father, our Lord, and the aim of everything. I want to think about it. I want to beg for God’s help.

I struggle and drag myself like the mutilated that travels the long journey. I don’t know the power that entices me towards you. Perhaps you are the salvation. I move away from you a little bit soothed, a little bit warm again, like the shivering old man in the sun light beam. My frozen soul draws a new life near you.


My disgrace grows every day; it grows, as I understand eternity. Oh misery! How much I curse you and all the guilty hours, hours of selfishness and forgetfulness, ignoring all charity, all devotion, only thinking to my own well being! Be cursed human arrangements! Vain preoccupations of material interests! Curse you who has blinded me and lost! I am destroyed by the endless regret of lapsed time. What can I tell you, you that are listening to me? Watch yourself incessantly; love the others more than yourself; don’t stay long in the path of easiness; don’t fatten your body up to the price of your soul; be vigilant, as the Lord demanded the disciples to be. Do not thank me for this advice, which was never heard by my heart. Like a chastened dog, fear makes me trudge on but I still don’t know pure love! Its divine dawn breaks slowly. Pray for my withered and wretched soul!


Note: The two essays above were received at the medium’s house. The one below was given spontaneously at the Society, a fact that explains the meaning of the first phrase.

I come to find you here, since you forgot me. Do you believe then that isolated prayers and having my name pronounced will sooth my suffering? No, a hundred times no. I roar of pain; I wander without rest, without shelter, without hope, feeling the eternal spike of punishment penetrating my revolted soul. I laugh when I hear your complaints, when I see you slaughtered. What are your feeble miseries?! What are your tears?! What are your torments that prevent you from sleeping?! Did I sleep, me? I want to, do you hear me? I want you to think of me, leaving behind your philosophical dissertations; make the others also think of me. I cannot find an expression to provide you with the image of this anguish, of this time that goes by in the stationary clock of eternity. I only see a faint ray of hope, and I got that hope from you; don’t leave me.


Note: The communication below is not from the same spirit but from a superior spirit, one of our guides, responding to our request to provide his opinion about the preceding communications.

This picture is very true and it is in no way exaggerated. You may perhaps ask me what this woman has done to be in such a terrible condition! Has she committed any horrible crime? Has she stolen? Was she a murderer? No. She did nothing to deserve man’s justice. On the contrary, she enjoyed what you call earthly happiness: beauty, fortune, pleasures, and adulation. She had everything, lacked nothing and people used to say about her: What a happy woman! She was the cause of envy by others. What did she do then? She was selfish; she had everything but a good heart. She may not have breached man’s law but she did breach God’s law since she ignored charity, the first of all virtues. She only loved herself. Now nobody loves her. She gave nothing; now she gets nothing. She is isolated, tired, abandoned, lost in space, where nobody thinks of her, nobody gives any attention to her and that is her torture. Since she only sought mundane pleasures, and such pleasures no longer exist, the void was created around her. She only sees emptiness and that seems like eternity to her. She feels no physical torture; the demons do not come to torment her, which is not necessary. She torments herself and suffers even more because those demons would still be creatures that would think of her. Egotism was her happiness on Earth; she chased it. Now it is the worm chewing her heart, the true devil.

Ah! If people only knew how much they will pay for their selfishness! However, God teaches you every day, because if God sends so many selfish spirits to Earth, it is that they will punish one another in this very life, and then you will have a better understanding by the contrast that charity is the only antidote to this leprosy of humanity.

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