Summary of the minutes
Friday, December 21st, 1860
Admission of two new members.
1st – Multiple communications obtained outside the session were
2nd – Mr. Allan Kardec reads a letter from Bordeaux with
a proposal to evoke Ms. H… who died a short time ago. The
Society accepted the proposal.
WORKS CARRIED OUT DURING THE SESSION:
1st – Spontaneous dissertation signed by Lazarus, obtained by
Ms. Costel; another signed by Gerard de Nerval, obtained by
Mr. A. Didier. The spirit develops the thesis based on the communication
about the Three Characters: Hamlet, Don Juan and Tartuffe, on December 14th. The spirit elaborates about
Hamlet’s character. He is requested to provide his opinion about
La Fontaine. Another dissertation signed by Torquato Tasso, received
by Ms. H… The spirit also gives his opinion about La
2nd – Evocation of Lady Esther Stanhope, who spent most of
her life in the mountains of Lebanon, amidst Arabic peoples who
had named her The Queen of Palmyra.
Friday, December 28th, 1860
1st – Several communications obtained outside the Society were
read, among them a tale signed by Hoffmann, received by Mrs.
Costel, and the evocation of an African American person in New
Orleans, carried out by Mrs. B… This is remarkable by the ingenuity
of the ideas and the reproduction of the language typically
employed by that particular group.
2nd – Letter received from Mrs. T. D…, from Krakow attesting
the progress of Spiritism in Poland and Ukraine. This lady
has been a medium for seven years. She adds another four communications
clearly indicating the superiority of the spirit who
gave them and also requests to take part in the Society.
3rd – Mr. Allan Kardec addresses the spirits with the speech
below, thanking them for their contribution during the year that
is about to end:
“We don’t want to finish the year without giving our thanks
to the good spirits who have kindly enlightened us. We thank
particularly St. Louis, our spiritual leader, whose protection of
the Society he has taken under his support is so evident, and
hopefully, that he will kindly continue to do so, praying that he continues to inspire in all of us the sentiments which can make
us dignified. We equally thank those who came spontaneously to
give their advice and instructions in our sessions, as well as in the
private communications given to our mediums, later transmitted
to us. Among them, we cannot forget Lamennais who dictated
pages of great eloquence to Mr. Didier; Channing, Georges,
whose communications have been admired by all readers of The
Review; Mrs. Delphine de Girardin, Charles Nodier, Gérard de
Nerval, Lazarus, Tasso, Alfred de Musset, Rousseau and others.
The year 1860 was eminently prosperous to the spiritist ideas. We
hope that with the support of the good spirits the New Year that
is about to begin will not be different. As for the spirits in suffering
that came to us, spontaneously or evoked, we will continue to
pray for them, asking for God’s mercy and for His protection to
those who are in the path of repentance and clarification to those
still in the dark avenue of evilness.”
WORKS CARRIED OUT DURING THE SESSION:
1st – Spontaneous dissertation about the year 1860 signed by J. J.
Rousseau, through Mrs. Costel. Another signed by Necker, received
by Ms. H… and another one about 1861 signed by St.
2nd – Evocation of Lady Stanhope, Hoffmann and the African
American from New Orleans.
3rd – Several questions raised: - About the memory of previous
existences in Jupiter and about the multiple apparitions to
Mr. Pr… mother-in-law, present at the meeting.
Friday, January 4th, 1861
Admission of Mr. W…, painter, as a member.
1st – Letter from Mr. Kond…, doctor in Medicine, from Vaucluse,
complaining that the minutes of the Society are not entirely published
in The Review. “The followers of Spiritism, he says, “that
cannot attend the sessions feel awkward with respect to the issues
that are studied and solved in such scientific assembly. Every
month we eagerly expect the arrival of The Review. When we
receive it we waste no time to read it all. We read and read again
and then we discover a number of problems that will always remain
without an answer.” He asks if there wouldn’t be a way of
solving such an issue. Mrs. Costel informs us that she has also
received letters with the same issue.
Mr. Allan Kardec says that this alone demonstrates something
that must give us great satisfaction: the value attributed to the
works of the Society and the credit given by the true spiritists.
The publication of the summary of the minutes show those who
don’t belong to the Society that it only deals with important things
and serious studies. The reputation that the Society has conquered
outside is due to its moderation and its cautious movement on this
new path, the order and seriousness that presides over our meetings,
as well as to the essentially moral and scientific character of
its works. It is then an encouragement to the Society to remain
within the guidelines that grant it consideration and respect, taking
the example of people that write asking to take part in the
Society, from abroad and even from Poland. Responding to Mr.
K… a very special complaint that has flattered all of us for starters,
for the complete publication of everything that is dealt with by the
Society would require multiple volumes. Among the evocations
that are carried out, there are many that don’t correspond to the expectation
or don’t offer enough interest to be published. These are
maintained in the archives so that they can be consulted and just
mentioned in the Bulletin. The same applies to the spontaneous communications: only the educating ones are published. Mr. K…
is mistaken if he thinks that the external spiritists are deprived
from the multiple questions and moral problems that sometimes
are of general interest. He is led to believe so by the fact that the
abundance of subjects and the need to consolidate them rarely allows
the publication of all issues in the number of The Reviews
mentioned in the Bulletin. Sooner or later they will have their
place. Besides, that material is one of the fundamental elements of
the books about Spiritism: they were used in The Spirits’ Book and
in The Mediums’ Book where they were classified according to the
subjects and none of the essential ones were omitted. Thus, Mr.
K… and the other spiritists may rest assured. If they cannot attend
the sessions of the Society remotely and would not like to miss a
single word that is said during the meetings they must understand
that nothing considered important is hidden behind the curtains.
Nonetheless, The Review will strive to correspond to the wishes
expressed by the worthy corresponding member.
2nd – Following the report given by a New York businessman
attending the session, Mr. Allan Kardec points out the progress
achieved by the spiritists principles contained in The Spirits’ Book
in the United States of America. Several fragments of the book
were translated into English and the doctrine of reincarnation
now counts many supporters there.
3rd – An elegant and charming communication in a medieval
style and received by Ms. S… was read. Another one about the
immateriality of the spirits, received by Mrs. Costel.
WORKS CARRIED OUT DURING THE SESSION:
1st – Critical analysis of the dissertation given by the spirit of
Necker in our last session. The spirit of Madam Staël manifests
spontaneously, explaining the meaning of the message and justifying
her father’s words.
2nd – Evocation of Leo X who had spontaneously manifested
in the session of December 14th. He responds to several questions
and explains the comparative analysis he did about the character
of the Americans, French and English; about the way each of
those peoples see Spiritism; about the unavoidable advances of
that doctrine, etc.
3rd – Spontaneous conversation between Monsignor Sibour
and his murderer.
4th – Questions addressed to St. Louis about the African
American evoked on December 28th, his character and his origin.
5th – Evocation of Ms. J.B. carried out by her mother who was
at the meeting. The communication of an essentially private interest
offers a touching image of the affection that certain spirits
devout to their loved ones on Earth.