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.
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.