Marquis de Saint-Paul
It is a mistake to believe that there is nothing to gain from conversations
with the spirits of common people and that it is only the nobility
that offers useful teachings. There are certainly many useless lessons
among them but sometimes a serious observer obtains unforeseen revelations
from those when one least expects it. As a matter of fact, there is a
point that is of great interest to us for it touches us closely: the passage,
the transition from the current to the future life, a feared passage that
only Spiritism can help us face it fearlessly, and that we can only know by
studying the current cases, that is, from those who have just made that
transition, famous or not famous.
Marquis de Saint-Paul was a member of the Society, deceased in 1860
and evoked following a request from his sister on May 16th, 1861.
1. Evocation. – A. I am here.
2. Your sister has asked us to evoke you, and although she is a medium
she does not feel confident enough in the current development
of her mediumship. – A. I will do my best to respond.
3. First, she would like to know if you are happy. – A. I am still in
an errant state and in this transient state there is no absolute happiness
4. Has it taken you long to become aware of yourself? – A. I spent
a long time in a confused state and only emerged from it to bless
those who had not forgotten me and who prayed for me.
5. Can you estimate the time you spent in this confused state? – A.
6. Which relatives did you promptly recognize? – A. I recognized
my mother and my father who welcomed me when I woke up.
They were the ones who initiated me in my new life.
7. How could it be that towards the end of your illness it looked like
you were speaking with your loved ones from Earth? – A. Because
I had the revelation of the world I was about to enter before I died.
I became clairvoyant before I died and my eyes were veiled during
the definitive transition and separation from the body, because
the corporeal links were still very strong.
OBSERVATION: The phenomenon of early separation of the
soul is quite frequent. Many people foresee the world of the
spirits before they die. That certainly happens to smooth out
the pain of leaving life behind through hope. But here the spirit
adds that his eyes were veiled at the time of separation. It is a
common occurrence; at that very moment when the spirit loses
consciousness. The spirit never witnesses the last breath of the
body and the actual separation occurs unsuspectingly. The agonizing
convulsions are purely physical whose sensation is almost
never experienced by the spirit. We say almost because it may
happen that the suffering may be imposed onto the spirit as a
8. Why were your memories mainly of your childhood? – A. Because
the beginning is closer to the end than is the center of life.
9. What do you mean? – A. I mean that those in agony remember
and see the pure and young years as a reassuring mirage.
OBSERVATION: It is likely that seniors usually have more accurate
and detailed memories of their early days for the same providential
10. Why did you always use the third person when referring to your
own body? – A. Because, as I said, I was clairvoyant and clearly
felt the differences between the physical and the spiritual. Those
differences, interconnected by the fluid of life, become very distinct
to the eyes of the agonizing visionary.
OBSERVATION: Here we have a singular particularity presented
by the death of this gentleman. In his last moments he used to
say: - ‘He is thirsty, he needs to drink something, he is feeling cold,
one needs to warm him up; he suffers this or that, etc.’ - When asked:
But is that you who are thirsty? He replied: - ‘No, it is him.’ – Here
the two lives are perfectly drawn: the thinking self is in the spirit
and not in the body; once feeling separated, the spirit considered
his body as another person, as if it were not him. Hence, it was his
body that needed attending to and not him, the spirit.
11. What you just said above about your errant state and the duration
of your confusion would lead us to believe that you are not happy.
However, your character must lead us to a contrary opinion. As a
matter of fact there are errant spirits who are very happy as there
are others very unhappy. – A. I am in a transient state. Human
virtues acquire their true value here. There is no doubt that my
current condition is a thousand times preferable than that of my
Earthly incarnation, but I have always carried the aspiration of
true good and true beauty and my soul will only be satisfied when
it has reached the feet of our Creator.
(Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies, April 26th, 1861)
Last February the newspapers announced the sudden death of the
shepherd Henri Mondeux, the renowned calculator who passed in the
early days of February 1861, victimized by a stroke at the age of 34, in the
Condom Commune (Gers). He was born in Touraine and since the age of
10, he was recognized for his prodigious capacity of resolving complicated
problems of Arithmetic, in his head, although he was completely illiterate
and did not have any formal education. He soon captured people’s
attention and many used to go and see him while he was taking care of
his herd. He made some additional cash while entertaining the visitors
who came to asking him to solve mathematical equations. The phenomenon
reminded them of Vito Mangiamele, a shepherd from Napoli who
had also presented the same prodigy a few years back. A college Math
professor from Tours thought that such a remarkable gift should produce
even more remarkable results with some additional help. He then started
to educate the young man only to discover, that he was dealing with an
incredibly rebellious mind. In fact he could barely read and write at the age of 16 and – a remarkable thing – the professor could not get him to
remember the names of elementary geometrical shapes, indicating that
his skills were limited to the ability of numerical combinations alone. He
was then a calculator but not a Mathematician.
Another important fact was that he could never absorb our conventional
methods of calculation. He did not even understand them. He
had his own way of doing things and he did not know how he did it;
he did not understand the phenomenon himself, a phenomenon limited
to a prodigious memory of numbers. We say numbers instead of totals
because the vision of numerical totals confused him more than helped.
He preferred to have the problems formulated verbally rather than in
In short this is the result of our own observations carried out with the
young Mondeux that gave us material for a lecture given at the Parisian
Society of Phrenology. Such a special gift, although taken to the limit,
could not help him to start in any career, even as an accountant to a
commercial establishment, something that concerned his teacher and was
rightly so. He was sorry for having taken the young man away from his
herd, asking himself what would become of that youngster once he was
deprived from the common interest that brought them together, particularly
considering his age. We lost contact with him for eighteen years. As it
seems he found ways of surviving giving presentations from town to town.
1. Evocation. – A. 4 plus 3 is 7 in the other worlds as it is here.
2. We thought of evoking you just after your death but we were told
that you were not ready yet. It seems that you are now. – A. I was
waiting for you.
3. You may not perhaps remember me but I had the occasion of
meeting you in private in Prussia and even attend your sessions.
As for myself, it seems that I still see you and the Math teacher
that followed you and gave me valuable information about you
and your skills. – A. That is all I can tell you that I remember
about you, but it is only today that my ideas are clearer.
4. What was the origin of that strange skill that gifted you? – A. Ah!
That is the question that I was sure you would ask me. You started
by saying: I knew you, I saw you, you were skilled, and finally
you ask for an explanation. Well then! I had the ability of reading
in my own spirit the immediate calculation of a given problem.
You could say that the solution was unfolded by a spirit before my
eyes and all I had to do was to read it. I was a kind of clairvoyant
and calculating medium, and it must be said as if carrying a little
book of calculus, prepared beforehand.
5. As far as I remember you did not have this sort of sarcastic wit
when alive. You were actually somewhat circumspect. – A. Well,
my skills were thoroughly used for the calculations; there was
nothing left for other things.
6. How could you have developed such a skill for calculation and be
so poor on other elemental parts of Math? – A. Bottom line is that
I was stupid, right? You can say the word, I understand. Here,
however, I no longer have to develop a faculty to handle numbers
and my skills now develop faster on other things.
7. You no longer have to develop that skill for the numbers… (the
spirit writes not waiting for the end of the question) – A. That
means that God has assigned a mission to all of us. You, he said,
will scare away the wise Mathematicians. I will make you look
like dumb so that they will be even more astonished; beat them in
all calculations and make them say: How can he do it better than
us? What is it that he has that is stronger than education? God
wanted them to look beyond the body since what it is that exists
and is more material than a numeral?
8. What did you do in your previous existences? – A. I was sent to
show other things.
9. Were they always related to Math? – A. No doubt since that is
10. I had formulated a few problems to check if you still had the
same ability but according to what you have just said it seems pointless. – A. I no longer have solutions to give you. I cannot do
that. The instrument is bad since it is not a mathematician.
11. Can’t you overcome that limitation? – A. Ah! Nothing is impossible.
Even Sebastopol was taken over. But what a difference!
12. What do you do now? – A. Do you want to know my occupation?
I wonder and wait a little bit before restarting my career as a
medium that must go on.
13. What do you believe is going to be that mediumistic skill? – A.
Always the same but more developed and remarkable.
14. (A member makes the following reflection): From the answers it
appears that he acted as a medium on Earth, leading to the supposition
that he had the support of another spirit, thus explaining
why he does not enjoy the same skills today. – A. I was wired in
such a way that I could see those numbers provided by other spirits
to me. I captured them better than you would; I had the skills
of calculation because that is what I was prepared for. All means
of convincing are sought. They are all good, great or small, and
the spirits capture them all.
15. Did you make a fortune with your skills, going around the world
with your sessions? – A. Oh! You ask a medium if he made a fortune!
Wrong direction. Of course not!
16. But you did not see yourself as a medium! You did not even know
what that was. – A. No. It surprised me also that I received so
little financially. That served me morally and I prefer my equity
duly registered in the great book of God to the income obtained
from the State.
17. We thank you for your kindness in responding to our appeal. – A.
You changed your opinion about me.
18. I did not change because I always liked you. – A. I am glad I
solved the problems otherwise you would not have noticed me.
OBSERVATION: As everyone knows, the identity of the spirits is
the most difficult thing to determine. It is generally revealed through unforeseen circumstances and details; by subtle nuances only captured by
a very careful examination, often demonstrating more than the material
signs that can be easily imitated by deceiving spirits, while these cannot
simulate the intellectual capacity or the moral qualities that they lack.
One could doubt the identity in this case without a much logical explanation
about the difference of the current personality and the other when
alive, because the numerical answer that he gives at the beginning of the
evocation cannot be considered as an authentic proof. Whatever the opinion
that one may form about the communication above we must acknowledge
that besides the witty remarks it contains some profound thoughts.
The answers given to questions 7 and 16 are notable with that respect. It
results from those answers, like from answers given by other spirits, that
the spirit Mondeux has a predisposition for Math; that he likely had that
skill in previous existences, but he was no scientific celebrity. It would be
hard to understand that a true wise man would be restricted to do calculations
to entertain the public, without any other reach or scientific utility.
There would be much more reason for doubt if he tried to pretend to have
been Newton or Laplace.
Mrs. Anais Gourdon
A young lady, remarkable for her kind disposition and by the most
eminent moral qualities, died in November 1860. She was evoked
after a request from her father and her husband. She belonged to a family
of miners near Saint-Étienne, an important aspect to be taken into account
for the analysis of the evocation.
1. Evocation. – A. Here I am.
2. Your father and your husband asked me to evoke you and will be
very happy for receiving your communication. – A. I am also very
happy for being able to communicate with them.
3. Why have you been taken away so soon from the warmth of your
loving family? – A. Because my Earthly trials were over.
4. Do you see them from time to time? – A. Oh! I am always with
5. Are you happy as a spirit? – A. I am happy, I serve and I love.
Heaven does not frighten me and I wait confidently and with love
so that my white wings may grow.
6. What do you mean by those wings? – A. I mean I should turn into
a pure spirit and shine like the celestial messengers that dazzle me.
OBSERVATION: The wings of angels, archangels and seraphs,
the pure spirits, are evidently attributes imagined by human beings
to portray the speed of their dislocation, since their ethereal
nature excuses them from any obstacle when covering spaces.
However, they may show themselves to people using that accessory,
responding to people’s thoughts, like others who take
the appearance they had on Earth in order to make themselves
7. Do you see your brother-in-law who died some time ago, and
who was evoked last year? – A. I saw him when I arrived to the
spiritual world. I don’t see him now.
8. Why don’t you see him anymore? – A. I know nothing about that.
9. Can your relatives do anything to please you? – A. My beloved
ones should no longer be sad, despite their grief, since they know
that I am not gone forever. May my memory be kind, light and
fragrant to them! I passed away like a flower and there is nothing
sad about my passage.
10. Where does your poetic language come from, considering the position
you had when on Earth? – A. It is my soul that speaks. Yes,
I had acquired knowledge and God often allows refined spirits to
incarnate amidst the roughest people to make them foresee the
kindness that they will one day understand and conquer.
OBSERVATION: Without such explanation that is both so logical
and so in agreement with God’s solicitude to his children, we
would hardly understand, at first sight, what could in principle
seem like an anomaly. In fact, what can be more gracious and
poetic than the language of the spirit of this young lady, raised in the middle of a very tough environment? The opposite is also
frequently seen: inferior spirits incarnate among more advanced
people, but with the opposite objective. God puts them in touch
with a more enlightened world for their own advancement, while
serving as trials to that world. Which other philosophy can solve
11. (Evocation of Mr. Gourdon, the oldest son, already evoked in
1860) – A. I am here.
12. Do you remember that you were evoked by us? – A. Yes, perfectly.
13. How come your sister-in-law no longer sees you? – A. She has
OBSERVATION: She had responded to the same question: “I
know nothing about it”; it was certainly out of modesty. It is now
explained: with her superior nature she belongs to a more elevated
order of spirits, while he is still attached to Earth. They follow
14. What have you been doing since that occasion? – A. I made progresses
in terms of the acquisition of knowledge, listening to the
instructions of our guides.
15. Please, I ask you to provide a communication to your father who
would be very happy with that. – A. My dear father, you must not
think that your children are lost and don’t suffer by seeing their
empty places. I also wait and don’t be impatient because I know
that the passing days are other steps that need to be overcome,
taking us closer to one another. Be grave but not sad since sadness
is a mute criticism addressed to God, who wishes to be glorified
in his work. In reality, why suffer in this sad life where everything
vanishes, except our good or bad deeds? Dear father, be confident
and have courage!
OBSERVATION: The first evocation of this young man was
marked by the same feelings of filial piety and elevation. It was a
huge consolation to his parents who could not get over his loss.
That is totally understandable, as it is with the young lady.