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.