The Spiritist Review - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1861

Allan Kardec

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We received the following letter from Mr. Jobard of Brussels, with the answers he has obtained to several questions.

“My dear Mr. President,
Since Brussels is as far away from Paris as the Moon is from the Sun, the rays of light from Spiritism have not brought warmth to us yet. However Mr. Nicolas B… has been with us for two days, and he indicated a first class intuitive writing medium that delights us here, so much so that he is surprised himself with the magnificent essays given by the spirit of Tertullian who wants him to write a book with explanations about the creation of the worlds, from chaos to God. Yesterday I read them to Wiertz, the great painter, who got the message and wants to dedicate a 100 ft. painting to it. I cannot send you these sublime essays before you can provide proof of identity. I have enclosed a few passages extracted from the mediumistic drafts that I keep with great care.

We evoked Cabanis, the materialist, who is as unhappy as your atheist and all other pencil breakers. Then we evoked Henri Mondeux to learn about the long line of mathematicians that he may have inhabited. Everybody wants to have Jud revealed, the assassin of Mr. Poinsot. The reediting of Gaete was announced eight days in advance. I was also asked to write a book but don’t know where to start from, since I am not a medium and cannot use a medium under the pretext that it is no longer necessary. Your Lyon speech is remarkable. I had it read to the more advanced humanimals of our Moon. There aren’t many over here. What a pity! When might I be able to warm myself from your sun? Farewell my dear Master.

Jobard

Weren’t the wizards, wise men and great philosophers of ancient times, actually mediums? – A. Yes, evidently. The link connecting them to superior intelligences acted upon them giving them inspiration of noble thoughts, not to mention their own superiority that allowed them more accurate assessments. They transmitted prophecy-like ideas to the incarnate spirits because prophecies are nothing more than inspiration from great spirits. Since these spirits enjoyed some divine attributes their proclaimed ideas were like premonitions and were necessarily carried out for those indicated times and periods.

Is mediumship then a favor to those who have it? – A. The true medium that does not turn that sublime gift into a profession must evidently become better. How could it be different if at every moment he can receive such favorable impressions to his advancement on the good path? The philosophical ideas produced not only by his own spirit but more importantly by us are corrected in every aspect where his limited and weak intelligence may not understand completely.

OBSERVATION BY MR. JOBARD: These just answers lead to the natural consequence that as the numbers of mediums multiply the human race improves by that and at a given point in time it will bring the kingdom of God to Earth.

The statistics of criminality rarely show workers from the iron industry. Would iron have any influence upon them? – A. Yes because in that manual labor of transformation of matter there is something that must elevate the spirits, even the least gifted ones. There is a magnetic influence on them. Iron is the father of all minerals; it is the most useful to man always present in his daily life while the so called rich minerals represent the source of all human passions to the least evolved spirits. They are the instruments of the evil spirit. Can all metals recombine into others as certain experts indicate? – A. Yes but such transformation will only happen with time.

How about the diamond? – A. It is Carbon separated from its original source in a gaseous state, crystallized under pressure that you cannot appreciate. But that is enough with questions. I can no longer answer them.

Tertullian

OBSERVATION BY MR. JOBARD: The spirits generally refuse to answer questions that could bring wealth to idle people. Those must seek that wealth and research is part of the trials that must be endured in the penitentiary that we have to experience. It is likely that the spirits don’t know better than we do regarding the discoveries that still have to come; nonetheless, they can foresee them as we also can; they can guide us in our researches but cannot spare us from the pleasure or the actual work of doing research. It is not less enjoyable though when we believe to have found a solution, seeking approval as a sign of confirmation.

NOTE: See The Spirits’ Book question #532 and thereafter; The Mediums’ Book, chapter about Evocations – questions that can be addressed to the spirits, #78 and following questions.

OBSERVATION BY MR. ALLAN KARDEC: The letter from our honorable comrade is prior to our March issue of The Review in which we included an article from Mr. Poinsot. As for Henri Mondeux there were several explanations given at the Society but the circumstances have not allowed us to finalize his evocation and that is the reason why we have not yet manifested anything about it. Regarding Mr. Jobard’s request for us to ensure the identity of the spirit that communicated using the name Tertullian, we have already answered to him what we have also published in The Mediums’ Book.

There could not be proof of identity of spirits from personalities of the past. Especially when it is about a superior teaching, most of the time the name is just a support to get the message across considering that among the spirits that come to enlighten us the great majority are undoubtedly formed by unfamiliar spirits. The name is more a sign of analogy than identity. It only has a secondary importance. The first thing to take into account is the benevolence and wisdom of the teaching. If in any way it does not contradict the character of the person whose name is used, if it is worthy of that name, then this is the essential part. If it is inferior, then the origin is suspicious since a spirit can do better but not worse than when he was alive considering that the spirit may gain but not lose what has been acquired.

The following answers, seen from that standpoint, seem to be okay to be attributed to Tertullian, from what we conclude that yes it can be him, although we cannot affirm positively so, or even if a spirit at his level who has taken that name in order to indicate his category. The questions and answers below were received from one of our corresponding members from St. Petersburg.

1. I would like to understand the objective of the beauty of the Universe. Isn’t that a trying obstacle? – A. One believes in everything that is expected; one expects everything that is beloved; one loves everything that is beautiful. Thus, beauty contributes to the strengthening of faith. If it frequently turns into temptation it is not because of beauty itself which is an attribute of God’s creation, but due to the passions that destroy everything in their way like the foul mythological harpies.

2. And what can you say about love? – A. It is a gift from God when it germinates in a non-corrupted, chaste and pure heart; it is calamity when mixed with passions. It elevates and purifies in the former case as much as it disturbs and agitates in the latter. It is always the same and remarkable law of the Eternal: beauty, love, and memory from another existence, talents that you bring since birth. All gifts from the Creator may become poisonous by the contaminated breath of passions that free-will can restrain or develop.

3. I would like to have some questions from The Mediums’ Book answered by a good spirit, starting from page 223, about the transfiguration. – A. You may ask.

4. In the case of the young lady from the Saint-Étienne area, if the phenomenon was produced by the increase in density of her perispirit, combined with that of her brother, with an increase in her body weight and volume, how come her eyes, which must had been in the same place, could see through the thick layer of a new body that was forming before them? – A. As the somnambulists see with their eyelids closed: through the eyes of the soul.

5. The body was enlarged in the phenomenon above. At the end of Chapter VIII one reads that it is likely that if the transfiguration had happened with the appearance of a child the weight would have diminished in proportion. I cannot understand from the theory of radiation and transfiguration of the perispirit that the size of a solid body can diminish. It seems to me that the size of the body should surpass that of the two bodies combined. – A. Since the body may become invisible by the will of a superior spirit, the body of the young lady becomes invisible by the action of a force independent of her will. At the same time, combined with that of the child, her perispirit may form the image of the child. The theory about changing the specific weight is known to you.

6. After having dissipated my doubts and reaffirmed my faith in its foundation, Spiritism still leaves an unsolved question to me. How come the new spirits that are still created by God and that are destined to become pure spirits after going through the sieve of many existences and trials, how come they leave the Creator’s hands, source of the whole perfection, in such an imperfect state, and can only improve gradually, distancing themselves from their own origin? – A. That mystery is one of those that the Eternal don’t allow us to penetrate while both, errant and incarnate spirits, who haven’t yet achieved the perfection that is our destiny thanks to God’s benevolence, perfection that will take us back to our origin thus closing the circle of eternity.

OBSERVATION: Our correspondent does not say who was the spirit that answered the questions above but the wisdom in the answers demonstrates that they don’t come from a common spirit and this is the important thing since and as it is already known the name means nothing. We have nothing to say about his first answers that are totally in agreement with what we have been taught, demonstrating once more that the theory provided about the spiritist phenomena are not a product of our imagination, given by the spirits at different times and places and beyond the limits of our personal influence. It is only the last answer that doesn’t resolve the proposed question; we will try to supply the answer here.

To begin with let us say that the solution to the issue may be easily deduced with some development from what is given in The Spirits’ Book question #114 and the following questions about the progression of the spirits. We don’t have much to add. The spirits leave the hands of the Creator, simple and ignorant, but not good or bad, otherwise God would have created some spirits to good and happiness and others to evil and disgrace from the beginning, something neither in agreement with his benevolence nor justice. At the time of their creation, the spirits are only imperfect as far as their intellectual and moral developments are concerned, like the child at birth or the germ inside the seed of the tree. However, they are not naturally bad. Simultaneously to the development of reason, the free-will leads some to choose the good path and others to choose the bad one, and that is why some achieve the objective faster than others. But all of them, without exception, have to go through the trials of the corporeal life in order to acquire experience and have the merit of winning the fight. Some win and others don’t but the losers can always stand up again and recover their losses. This discussion raises an even more serious issue that has already been presented several times. Since God knows everything, past, present and future, he must know that a given spirit will take the wrong path, will fail and become unhappy. In that case, why has he been created then?

Yes. God certainly knows well the direction that a given spirit will take otherwise he would not be sovereignly omniscient. If a bad move by the spirit were supposed to lead to an absolute eternity of penalties and sufferings; if there were no possibility of recovery after a failure, then the objection above would have the power of an incontestable logic and this is perhaps the most powerful argument against the eternal penalties since in that case it is impossible to solve the dilemma: either God does not know the fate reserved to His creature and then He is not infinitely omniscient or if He does know, then He created someone to be forever unhappy and then God is not infinitely good. With the Spiritist Doctrine there is thorough agreement and no contradiction: God knows that a given spirit will take a bad path; God knows every single danger that shall exist in that path but God also knows that the spirit will come out of this and that it is just a delay. Out of benevolence and in order to facilitate the spirit’s journey God provides many warnings along the way, warnings that the spirit unfortunately does not always observe. It is the tale of two travelers who want to get to a beautiful place where they are going to lead a happy life. One knows how to avoid the obstacles and temptations that would hold him back; the other one carelessly crashes against the same obstacles, frequently falling behind but his time will come. If good people warn him against the danger during his journey and if he doesn’t listen to them, out of pride, it will be all the more reprehensible.

The dogma of the absolute eternity of penalties has multiple flaws, not only based on the teachings of the spirits but also based on the simple logic of common sense. Any attempt to sustain it ignores the most essential attributes of the divinity; it shows contradiction when trying to state something on one side while negating the same thing on the other; such dogma falls apart and the ranks of its supporters become enlightened every day so that if it is absolutely necessary to believe in such a dogma to be a Catholic then soon there will be no true Catholics, as there would not be if the Church had decided to impose the belief in the movement of the Sun and the six days of creation. Persisting on a thesis that is rejected by reason is the same as throwing a fatal blow against religion thus feeding materialism with weapons. Contrary to that, Spiritism comes to revive religious feelings that diminish under attacks of disbelief, providing solutions to issues related to a future life acceptable by even the sternest reason. Rejecting it would be the same as refusing an anchor of salvation.

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