The Spiritist Review - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1861

Allan Kardec

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Year 1860

(Medium, Mrs. Costel)


I will speak of the philosophical need that the spirits have of making frequent memory regressions on themselves; of giving to the condition of their minds the same care given to their own bodies. Here we are at year end; what progress has it brought to the intellectual world? It has brought a lot, with serious results particularly to the scientific field. The less fortunate literature only received some fragments, although some charming details. However, like the mutilated statue that is found buried underground and that one admires, while regretting the lost integrity of its beauty, literature does not offer any serious piece of work.

In France it ordinarily moves ahead of the other arts. This year it was overtaken by paintings that gloriously flourished over rival schools. Why such a slow pace from our young writers? The explanation is easy. They lack the breath of fresh air generally inspired by their struggles. Indifference has fallen upon them. They are browsed over, criticized but not discussed with passion as in my time, when the literary disputes dominated all other concerns. Besides, one cannot improvise a writer and there is some improvisation in each and every one of them. Long and profound studies are necessary to write. Your generation absolutely lacks that, impatiently seeking the quick and easy success. I finish by admiring the ascending progress of the sciences and arts, regretting the absence of generous impulses inside the spirits and hearts.

J. J. Rousseau

OBSERVATION: This spontaneously given communication proves that the spirits who have left Earth are still concerned with what happens here with respect to their interests, following the movement of moral and intellectual progress. It is not from the infinite depths of space that they could do this; it requires that they are amongst us, in our midst and an invisible witness to what is going on. The above communication and the one following were given in our December 28th session, in which we had discussed the end of the year and the new year that was about to begin. It was then by consequence, appropriately a good fit.

Year 1861

(Medium, Mrs. Costel)


The year that ends has seen a substantial progress in the belief in Spiritism. It is a reason for great happiness to humankind since it moves humanity away from the border of the abyss that threatens to drag the human spirit. The New Year will be even better as it will see serious material changes and a revolution of ideas, and Spiritism will not be forgotten, believe me; on the contrary, people will cling to it as a stone of salvation. I will pray that God may bless your work and make it advance. St. Louis

OBSERVATION: In an intimate session another medium spontaneously received the following communication about the same subject: The year will begin and it contains folds of the greatest things. Head first; the reaction will fall into its own tender trap. Why do you think Earth is covered by railroads and the seas are open to electricity if it was not for the spread of the good news? The truth, the good and the beautiful will finally be understood by all. So, do not get weary, true spiritists, for your task is marked in the work of regeneration. Happy will be those capable of accomplishing it!

Leon J… (Medium’s brother)

About the same subject (through another medium)

Change is absolutely necessary. Progress is the divine law and it seems that it has advanced more in recent years than before. The year 1861 will be magnificent when compared to 1860, but still uninspiring when compared to 1862, because you want to get going, dear brothers and sisters, and once the divine breath makes the locomotive move, no derailment is possible.

Leon X


Awakening of a Spirit


(Comments about the dissertation published under this title)


In a communication dictated by the spirit Georges to Mrs. Costel, published in the October 1860 issue of The Review, under the title “The awakening of a spirit”, it was said that there is no friendly relationship among errant spirits; that even those who loved one another don’t exchange signs of affection. This theory caused a painful impression to many people, particularly due to the fact that the readers of The Review consider the spirit who wrote it to be an elevated spirit, admiring most of his communications. If this theory were absolute it would be in contradiction with what has been said so many times, that the friendly spirits come to welcome the newly arrived at the time of death; help them to free them from the earthly links and, to a certain degree, initiate them into their new life. On another hand, if the inferior spirits did not communicate with the more advanced ones they could not advance. We tried to refute those objections by an article in the November 1860 issue of The Review under the title: Loving relationships of the spirits, but here are the comments from George himself, responding to our request: “When someone is surprised by death, in the materialistic habits of a life in which there was no time for God; when the person gets to the world of the spirits still shaken by anguish and the earthly fears, it is like a traveler that ignores the language and habits of the visited land. Drowned by the confusion, the person is incapable of communicating and to even understand their own feelings or the feelings of others, for that matter; they are in an errant state, surrounded by silence. The person then slowly feels the germination, the development of new thoughts, and a new soul flourishes from the inside. At that point the enslaved soul feels the untying shackles and like a freed bird, throws oneself into God’s arms, with a cry of joy and love. Then, the spirits of their relatives swarm around them, the purified friends who silently welcome their return. It is only a small number of spirits that can communicate with their friends, just after the separation of the body. Merit is required and only those who have gloriously accomplished their tasks are dematerialized enough to enjoy such a favor from God, who allows it as a reward. I presented one of the phases of the spiritual life. I did not mean to generalize, and as it can be seen, I only spoke of the first instants that follow death, that can be more or less prolonged, according to the nature of the spirit. It is up to everyone to abbreviate it, breaking the earthly links already in the corporeal life, since it is only the attachment to material things that preclude the spirit from enjoying the happiness of the spiritual life.

Georges”

OBSERVATION: There is nothing more moral than this doctrine since it shows that there is no enjoyment of future promises without merit; that the very joy of meeting loved ones again and communicating with them may be postponed. In short, that the situation in the spiritual life is totally dependent on what we have done in this corporeal life.

The Three Characters
(Continuation)

NOTE: In the three following dissertations the spirit develops each of the three characters outlined in his first communication (see the January 1861 issue)

I

“Here in this inferior world of yours self-serving interest, selfishness and pride stifle generosity, charity and simplicity. Self-serving interest and egotism are the two bad characteristics of the investor and the new-rich; pride is the vice of those who have knowledge and is especially true for those who have power. When a heart that truly thinks examines these three horrible vices, it suffers; rest assured that anyone who gives serious thoughts to the nothingness and the evilness in this world is generally someone endowed by kind and charitable instincts. And as you very well know, the kind ones are unhappy, as La Fontaine said and that I forgot to place side by side with Molière. The gentle ones are unhappy because they feel. Hamlet is the personification of that unfortunate part of humanity, that is always crying and suffering, avenging God and the moral. Hamlet had to punish shameful sins in his family: pride and lust that is egotism. That subtle, melancholic and truth seeking soul was clouded by the world’s breath, like a mirror that can no longer reflect what is good and fair. And that pure soul shed his mother’s blood, avenging his honor. Hamlet is the powerless intelligence, a profound thought fighting the stupid pride and maternal perversion. A thoughtful man that avenges a sin on Earth, whatever it may be, is guilty before men’s laws but he is frequently not before God. You must not think that I want to fantasize despair! I have been punished a lot, but there is a lot of fog before the eyes of the world!”

Note: The spirit was then asked to give his opinion about La Fontaine, who he had just mentioned, then responding:

“La Fontaine is not more renowned than Corneille and Racine. You don’t know much about your scholars while the Germans know both Shakespeare and Goethe. Returning to the subject, La Fontaine is the Frenchman by excellence who hides his originality and sensibility under the name Aesop, a happy thinker. But make no mistake; La Fontaine was a kind person as I said before. Once he noticed that he was not understood, he introduced that simplicity that you say is false. In your days he would be enlisted among the pseudo-modest. True intelligence is not false, but we often have to howl with the wolves and that is exactly what had lost La Fontaine in the opinion of a large number of people. I don’t speak about his genius: it is equal, if not superior to Molière’s.

II

Returning to our very familiar little course of literature, Don Juan is, as I already had the honor of telling you, the best representation of a kind, corrupted and blasphemous man. Molière elevated him to a dramatic event because in reality his punishment should not be of a human kind, but divine. It is through the unexpected strikes of the celestial vengeance that knocks down heads of pride. The more unexpected it is, the more dramatic the effect becomes. I said that Don Juan was a character but in reality a rare character because there are a few men only of that kind, since almost all of them are cowards. I refer to the class of indifferent and corrupt. Many say blasphemy but I assure you that only a few dare to do so without fear. Their conscience is an echo that reflects their blasphemies and they listen shivering with fear, but laughing before the world. These are the ones you call the braggers of vice these days. This kind of libertine person counts in large numbers today but they are far from being the children of Voltaire. And back to the subject, Molière as a wiser and more profound observer not only condemned the vices that attack humanity but also those who dared to address God.

III

We have seen two characters so far: one generous and unhappy, another one happy to the world but miserable before God. We still miss the uglier, more ignoble, more repulsive one. I refer to Tartuffe.

The mask of virtue was already hideous in antiquity because paganism, not yet purified by Christian morality, also had their wise men and virtues. However, that mask is even uglier before the altar of Christ, since it is plentiful of selfishness and hypocrisy. Paganism may perhaps have had less Tartuffe’s than Christianity. Exploiting the heart of a wise and good man; praising all of their actions; deceiving trustful people through an apparent piety; carrying profanation until the Eucharist is received with pride and blasphemy in their hearts, that is what Tartuffe does, what he did and will always do.

Oh! You, imperfect and mundane people who condemn a divine principle and a super human moral, because you want to abuse it! You are blind when you confuse people with that God like principle with humanity. Tartuffe is horrible and disgusting because he hides his wickedness under a sacred cloak. Curse on him because he cursed when he was forgiven and plotted treason while preaching charity.”

Gérard de Nerval

Harmony
(Medium Mr. Alfred Didier)

You have seen many times in certain regions, especially in Provence, the ruins of great castles; sometimes a turret rises amidst the immense solitude and its sad and quiet remains remind us of a time when faith was perhaps ignorant, but when Art and Poetry were raised by that same pure and innocent faith. Notice that this is The Middle Ages. You often don’t think that around those dismantled walls the elegant whim of the lady of the castle vibrated the harmonious strings of the once called Aeolian harps. Well then! The turrets, the ladies of the castle and the harmonies disappeared with the speed of the wind that played them! The Aeolus harps soothed the thoughts of the minstrels and the ladies. They were heard with a religious devotion.

Everything ends on your Earth; poetry rarely reaches the heavens and immediately dissipates; on the contrary, in other worlds, harmony is eternal, and regardless of what human imagination can create here it cannot be compared to that constant poetry that is not only in the heart of pure spirits but also in all of nature.

Réné de Provence

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