Allan Kardec

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Mrs. Bertrand (Haute Saône)
Deceased on February 7th, 1881 and evoked at the Society on the 15th of the same month

Note: Mrs. Bertrand was a serious student of Spiritism, acknowledged the doctrine and understood all its philosophical implications.

1. Evocation. – A. I am here.

2. Having learned to admire you from your correspondence and knowing your sympathy towards the Society, we thought you may not mind, if we evoked you at such an early date. – A. As you see, I am here.

3. There is another personal reason that leads me to do so. I intend to write to your daughter regarding the event that has just hurt her and I am sure that she would feel very happy to know about this conversation. – A. She certainly expects that since I had promised her to communicate as soon as I was evoked.

4. Enlightened as you were about Spiritism and impregnated by the principles of this Doctrine, your answers will have double the educational effect. To begin with, will you tell us if it took you long to recognize yourself and if you have already recovered the plenitude of your faculties? – A. The plenitude of my old faculties, yes; the plenitude of my new ones, no.

5. It is usual to ask people how they are doing. However, we ask the spirits if they are happy. We ask that question with a profound feeling of sympathy. – A. Thank you my friends. I am not happy yet in the spiritualist meaning of the word. However, I am happy for the renovation of my spirit, overwhelmed by the ecstasy; by the sight of things that are revealed to us, but that we still don’t understand completely, however good medium or spiritist we may be.

6. You had an idea about the spiritual world from the study of the Doctrine. Could you tell us if you found things as you had imagined them? – A. More or less, as when we see things in the vagueness of twilight. However, how different they become when revealed by the brightness of daylight!

7. Thus, the image that we are given about the spiritual life has no exaggeration, no illusion! – A. It is diminished by your spirit that you cannot understand divine things but only when tweaked and veiled. We behave towards you as you do with children to whom you only show part of what is available for them to learn.

8. Have you witnessed the time of death of your body? – A. Worn out after a long suffering period my body did not have to go through a difficult struggle. My soul detached from the body like the ripe fruit that falls from the tree. The complete annihilation of my being precluded me from feeling the last agony of the torment.

9. Could you describe your sensations at the first moments of your wakening? – A. There is no wakening, or I should say, it seemed like a continuation to me. Like when you get back home after a short absence, it seemed as if it was just a few minutes after I left it all behind. Wandering around my bed, I saw myself stretched out lying there, transfigured, incapable of moving away, at least as it seemed to be and attached by the last link to that corporeal wrapping that had made me suffer so much.

10. Were you immediately aware of other spirits around you? – A. They soon came to welcome me. I then veered my thoughts off my earthly self, and my transported spiritual self was overwhelmed by the exquisite pleasure of new things and known things that I met again.

11. Were you around your family members during your funeral? – A. I saw my body taken away but I left soon after. Spiritism dematerializes in anticipation and makes the transition from the terrestrial to the spiritual world subtler. I had not brought any useless sorrow or vain curiosity from my passage on Earth.

12. Would you like to say anything in particular to your daughter, who shared your beliefs and wrote to me several times in your name? – A. I recommend her to take her studies more seriously; to transform her sterile pain into a compassionate and productive memory; to not forget that life moves on uninterruptedly and that the world’s frivolous interests fade away before the great word eternity! As a matter of fact, my kind and intimate memory will be transmitted to her soon.

13. In January I sent you a picture-card. Since you had never seen me, can you tell me if you recognize me? – A. No, I don’t recognize you. I see you. - You did not receive that card? – A. I don’t remember.

14. I would still have several important questions to ask you about extraordinary events that took place in your house and that you told us about. I believe that you could give us interesting explanations about them. However, the late hour and the fatigue of the medium advise me to adjourn. I will limit myself to just a few questions before stopping. Although your death is recent have you had the chance to travel open spaces and visit other worlds? – A. The word visit doesn’t correspond to the very fast movement that allows us to discover other sites with the speed of thought. Distance is only a word, like time for us is only a moment.

15. When we prepare the questions to be addressed to a spirit we generally have an anticipated evocation. Thus, could you tell us if you were forewarned of our intention and if you were by my side yesterday when I formulated the questions? – A. Yes, I knew everything that you would say today and will easily answer those questions which are reserved.

16. You would have made us very happy if you were among us in life but since it was not possible we are equally happy for having you in spirit, and we thank you for the consideration in responding to our questions. – A. My friends, I followed your studies with interest and now that I can live with you as a spirit I advise you to give more importance to the “spirit than to the letter”. Good bye.

The letter below was sent to us regarding this evocation.

“Dear Sir,

It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I want to thank you on behalf of my father and me, for anticipating our desire to receive news from the one that we cry for through your intermediary.

The multiple moral and physical trials that my dear mother had to endure during her life, her patience to bear with them, her devotion, her complete abnegation of herself, gave me the hopes that she was happy. However, the assurance that you have just given us, Sir, is a great consolation to those who loved her so much and who wish her happiness more than our own.

My mother was the soul of the house, Sir. Needless to tell you the emptiness that she left; we suffer for no longer seeing her, more than I could express and yet we feel some sort of quietness since we no longer see her suffering the atrocious pains. My poor mother was a martyr. She must have found a great reward for the patience and kindness with which she supported all the anguishes. Her life was nothing more than a long torture of spirit and body. Her elevated feelings and faith in another existence sustained her. She had a kind of presentiment and a hidden memory of the spiritual world; I saw her often looking at the worldly things with compassion, saying: nothing down here can suffice me; I feel the nostalgia of another world.

We recognize my dear and adorable mother in the answers that she gave you, Sir, her way of thinking and expressing herself. She liked to employ images. I am just surprised that she could not remember your picture-card that had given her so much pleasure. I should have thanked you on her behalf. My busy days during the last days of my venerable mother did not allow me to. I believe that she will remember later. Right now she is overwhelmed by the splendors of the new life. The life that has just finished for her seems to be just a bad dream, already far away from her. We also hope my father and I that she may come to bring us a few affectionate words, which we badly need. Would it be an indiscretion, Sir, to ask you to please let us know when she will speak to you again? It was so good that you brought us news about her and that she is no longer suffering! Thank you once again, Sir! I pray to God that you may be recompensed for that, from the bottom of my heart and my soul.

By leaving me, my mother deprives me from the best of all mothers, the kindest friend. I need the assurance of knowing that she is happy and also need my belief in Spiritism to gain some strength. God sustained her. My courage was greater than I thought.

Observation: May the disbelievers laugh as much as they wish at Spiritism. May the more or less interested adversaries ridicule it! May they even say vulgarities, but none of that will remove its consoling power that brings happiness to the unfortunate, making them triumph over the illfaith of the indifferent, despite their effort to abate it. Human beings are thirsty for happiness; when it is not found on Earth, isn’t that a great relief to have the certainty of finding it in the next life, once they did what is needed to deserve it? What is it that offers more relief to the evils of Earth? Is it materialism, with the horrible perspective of the nothingness? Is it the expectation of the eternal flames, to which not one in a million can escape? Make no mistake. Such a perspective is even more terrible than the emptiness, and that is why those whose reason refuses to believe are led to materialism. When the future is presented to the individual in a rational way, there will no longer be materialists. Don’t be surprised by seeing the spiritist ideas welcomed with so much enthusiasm by the crowds, because these ideas give more courage instead of diminishing them. The example of happiness is contagious. When everyone sees happy people around them because of Spiritism they will throw themselves into its arms as a salvation since they would rather have a doctrine that smiles and speaks to reason than those that terrify them.

The example that we have just mentioned is not one of a kind; they are offered to thousands and the great joy that God has reserved to us here is to testify the benefits and progresses of a belief that we help to propagate with our efforts. The people of goodwill, those that come here to draw the consolations are so numerous that we could not take our time from them, dealing with those who are indifferent and have no desire to be convinced. Those who come to us are sufficient to absorb all of our time and that is why we don’t seek anybody else. That is also why we don’t spend that time sowing on sterile land. Their time will come when God decides to remove the veil that blinds their eyes, and that time will come sooner than thought, for the glory of some and shame of others.

Yours sincerely, etc.

Miss Pauline M. (Sent by M. Pichon, a medium from Sens)

1. Evocation – A. I am here, my good friends.

2. We have a request from your parents to ask you if you are happier in your current existence than you were in your earthly life. – A. Oh yes, I am happier than they are.

3. Do you frequently assist your mother? – A. I almost never leave her but she cannot understand all the encouragement that I give her. She wouldn’t otherwise be feeling so bad. She cries for me but I am happy! God called me back. It is a favor. How reassured all mothers would be had they all be blessed by the lights of Spiritism! Tell my poor mother to resign or else she will stay away from her dear daughter. Those who do not resign to the will of their Creator fail the objective of their trials. May her understand it very well or she will not be able to see me any time soon. She lost me materially speaking but she will meet me in Spirit. May she recover promptly to attend your sessions! I will then be able to better console her and I will be happier myself.

4. Would you be able to manifest to her in a more particular way? Could she operate as your medium? She could then feel more consolation than through our intermediation. – A. She shall hold a pen like you do and I will try to dictate something to her. That is very difficult to us when we don’t find the necessary dispositions for that.

5. Could you tell us why has God at such an early age taken you from the heart of your family where you were joy and reassurance? – A. Read again. *

6. Could you tell us about your feelings at the time of death? – A. A disturbance. I did not believe to be dead. It made me feel very sorry for leaving my mother behind! I did not recognize myself. It changed when I understood though.

7. Are you completely dematerialized now? – A. Yes.

8. Could you tell us how long has that disturbance lasted? – A. It lasted six of your weeks.

9. Where were you when you recognized yourself? – A. By my body. I saw the cemetery and realized it. Mom, I am always by your side. I see you and understand you much better than when I had a body. Hence you must stop suffering because you have only lost the poor body that you had given me. Your daughter is always there. No more crying. On the contrary, rejoice for this is the only attitude that will be good to you and to me too. We will better understand one another; I will tell you many pleasant things. God will allow me to; we will pray together. I will be among these persons that work for the benefit of humanity; I will take part in their work and I will help you. That will help us both in our advancement.

Your daughter who loves you,

PS – You will give this to my mother. I shall be grateful.

10. Do you believe that your mother’s recovery will still take long? – A. That will depend on the consolation that she receives and her resignation.

11. Do you remember all of your previous incarnations? – A. No; not all of them.

12. Was the one before the last one on Earth? – A. Yes, I was in a large commercial house.

13. When was that? – A. During the kingdom of Louis XIV; in the beginning.

14. Do you remember some characters of that time? – A. I met Mr. Duke of Orleans who used to buy supplies in our store. I also knew Mazarin and part of his family.

15. Has your latest existence served much to the advancement of your Spirit? – A. It did not serve me much because I did not endure any trial. More than to me it was a trial to my parents.

16. How about the one before the last one was it more beneficial? – A. Yes because I was much tested in that one. Loss of fortune; death of all of those who were dear to me; I was left alone. However, I trusted my Creator and supported everything with resignation. Tell my mother to do as I did. May the one who will take my consolation to her shake hands with all of my good relatives. Good-bye.

* The Spirit requests the reader to read again the essential points of the Doctrine. (TN).

Henry Murger

NOTE: In a private session at the house of one of our colleagues from the Society, the medium spontaneously wrote the following, on February 6th, 1861:

“The skies are ampler, the atmosphere larger, the flowers more beautiful, the fruits sweeter and the aspirations go even beyond imagination. Greetings, new homeland! Greetings, new dwelling! Greetings love, greetings happiness! How pale is the brief passage on Earth, and how happy is the one who sighed of relief for having left Tartarus and gone to the heavens! Greetings, true bohemia! Greetings, true separation! Greetings, dreams that have come true! I was glad when I fell asleep because I knew that the awakening would be happy. Ah! Thank you my friends for your kind remembrance!
M. Murger

The following Q&A were carried out at the Society on February 8th:

1. You spontaneously came last Wednesday to communicate at the house of one of our colleagues, and there you wrote a nice message. However, there wasn’t anybody there who knew you. Can you please tell us what has prompted you to give us the honor of your visit? – A. I came to demonstrate that I was alive so that I could be evoked today.

2. Were you sympathetic to the spiritist ideas? – A. Two things: First, I suspected then I was easily driven by my own inspirations.

3. It seems that your confusion did not last long considering that you express yourself so easily and so clearly! – A. I died with a perfect awareness of myself, hence I only had to open the eyes of the spirit as soon as the eyes of the flesh were shut.

4. That communication may be considered as a report of your first impressions about the world where you are now. Could you describe with more accuracy what happened to you since the moment when the soul left the body? – A. I was overwhelmed with joy; I saw dear faces again, faces that I supposed were lost forever. I have just been dematerialized and my sensations are still almost earthly sensations.

5. Could you give us your impressions about your main book: ‘La vie de bohème’, from your current stand point? – A. Stunned as I am by the unknown splendors of resurrection, how do you want me to go back to that poor book, a pale reflex of a painful youth?

6. One of your friends, Mr. Théodore Pelloquet, published a bibliographic article about you in the Le Siècle on the 6th of this month. Could you address him with a few words as well as other writers who are friends and comrades of yours, some of whom may not exactly be believers in a future life? – A. I will tell them that the worldly success is like gold transformed into dry leaves. What we all believe in, what we all expect is success, always success, we the hungry harvesters of the Parisian soil, never looking up and above, to the skies, never thinking of the one who always judges us based on our deeds. Will my words change them? No. Dragged through the scorching life that blemishes belief and youth, they will hear lightheartedly, they will forget and move on.

7. Do you see Gérard de Nerval here, the one that has just spoke of you? – A. I see him, and Musset and the lovely and great Delphine. I see them all. They help me; they give me encouragement and teach me to communicate.

Observation: This last question was triggered by the following communication spontaneously received by a medium at the Society, at the beginning of the session:

“A brother has arrived to our world, he is happy and doing well. He thanks heaven for his somewhat late liberation, as you heard him saying a short while ago. Goodbye to sadness, tears and the bitter smile, because we now know that the smile among you is never honest. Something really regrettable and painful on Earth is the need to smile; forced smile or smile at nothing, particularly in France when someone is prepared to dream in solitude. Disenchantment is terrible to a long waiting heart, disillusion a terrible skeleton whose contour one tries to unsuccessfully touch. The uneasy and trembling hand can only find bones. What a horror! For someone who believed in love, religion, family, friendship; those who can face that horrible and petrifying mask, and go unpunished. Ah! Those living, although petrified, but those who sing like bohemians those die very quickly. They turn Medusa’s head. My brother was one of those. As you see my friends from now on we no longer live only in our books, and we will promptly attend your calls. Far from being proud of this happy environment that surrounds us, we shall come to you as if we were still on Earth, and Murger will still sing.”
Gérard de Nerval

The Spirit and the Roses
(Sent by Mrs. B… from New Orleans)

Emma D… was a 7 year old beautiful girl who died after having suffered for six months, hardly eating anything during the last six weeks before her death.

1. Evocation – A. I am here Ma’am, what is it that you want?

2. I want to know where you are; if you are happy and why has God inflicted such a heavy burden of losing you onto your mother and your sisters. – A. I am among good spirits that love me and instruct me; I am happy, very happy. My passage with you was the remains of a physical trial. I suffered but that suffering was nothing; it purified my soul while it destroyed my poor body. I now learn about the life of the soul. I am incarnate but now as a conservative spirit. I live in a world where none of us stays longer than necessary to learn the teachings of the great spirits. Beyond that I travel, preventing disgraces, sending temptations away. I am frequently here. There are so many poor African Americans! I always complained but now I love them. Yes, I do love them, poor souls! Many of them are good, better than their masters, and we must feel sorry even for the lazy ones. Many times I visited my dear mother. Whenever she feels her heart invigorating that is me casting the divine balm on her. She does need to suffer, though! Later it will all be forgotten. And Lucia, my beloved Lucia, shall be with me before long. But the others will come. It is nothing more than dying to be this way: we change bodies, and that is all. I no longer suffer the illness that upset others. I am happier now and at night I lean over my mom and kiss her. She feels nothing but she dreams of me and sees me like I was before the terrible disease. Do understand Ma’am that I am happy. I wish I could have some roses at the corner of the garden where I used to sleep in the past. You could suggest that to Lucia to have some roses there. I loved roses and I still go there so often! I have roses there but Lucia sleeps every day in my little place and I am also by her side every day. I love her so much!

3. My dear little girl, could I see you? – A. No. You still cannot see me, but look at the beam of sun light on the table. I will cross it. Thank you for having evoked me. Be indulgent towards my sisters. Good-bye. The spirit disappeared, for a moment shadowing the light beam that was still there. As soon as the flowers were placed on her dear spot at the garden the medium wrote the word thanks three days later, with the signature of the child. She then wrote: “Start your letter over again; I don’t mind. I am so happy to have a medium. I will come back. Thank you for the roses. Good bye!”

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