The Spiritist Review - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1861

Allan Kardec

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Mediums’ Role in the Communications
(Obtained by Mr. D’Ambel, a medium at the Society)

Regardless of the type of writing medium, mechanical, semi-mechanical or simply intuitive, in essence our methods of communication with them don’t vary much. In fact, our communication both with the incarnate and disincarnate spirits occurs through our thoughts. These thoughts don’t need to be coated by words to be understood by the spirits; they all perceive the thoughts that we want to communicate to them, as long as we address those thoughts to them, and because of their intellectual faculties; that is to say, that such thinking can be understood by this or that according to their development, while in others, these thoughts do not awaken by any memories or any knowledge in the depths of their hearts or brain, it is not perceptible for them. In this case, the incarnate spirit that serves as a medium to us is more adequate to transmit our thoughts to other incarnate spirits, although he might not understand them, than a not much advanced disincarnate spirit in case we needed his intervention, because the Earthly person serves us physically with his body as an instrument, something that a disincarnate and wandering spirit cannot do.

When we are able to find a medium that is well equipped with knowledge acquired in his present life and also with a wealth of knowledge acquired in previous existences in a latent state that facilitates our communications and we prefer that since our communication is much easier than using a medium whose intelligence is limited and of insufficient previous knowledge. We will clarify this through some precise and clear explanations.

Our spirit to spirit communication is instantaneous with a medium that has a current or previous intelligence well developed and the phenomenon happens by a skill that is in the very nature of the spirit. In that case we find the necessary conditions in the brain of the medium that allows us to cover our thoughts with words that are acknowledged by the medium, and that is in the case of intuitive, semi-mechanical and purely mechanical medium. That is why whatever the diversity of spirits that communicates through a given medium, the dictations thus obtained always have some personal contribution from that particular medium.

Yes, although the thought may be completely foreign to the medium; although the subject may be derived from the usual circumstances of the medium; and although what we want to say does not come from the medium absolutely; he still influences the communication by the skills and capabilities that are inherent to that person. It is the same as observing a scenery through different lenses and filters, say green, white and blue. Although the landscape or the observed objects are entirely independent from one another they still keep a common shade that comes from the lens filter.

Even better, the mediums may be compared to those glass bottles filled with colored and transparent liquids found in pharmacies. We, from our side, are like the rays of light that enlighten you about certain moral, philosophical and intimate points of view, through the blue, green or red mediums, so that our radiant rays of light are obliged to pass through the more or less transparent glasses, of better or inferior quality, that is, through more or less intelligent mediums, and those light beams cannot reach their objectives but by coloring with the shades or the specific forms and characteristics of those mediums.

Finally, and to end the comparison, we the spirits are like composers of our own music or a musician that wants to improvise an aria but has only a piano or a violin or flute or a bass or even a cheap whistle at hand. It is undisputable that the piece will be better understood by the audience with the piano, the flute or the violin. Although the sounds of the piano, the violin and the bass are essentially different, our composition will still be the same except for the nuances of the sound. However, if we only have a whistle at our disposal, with only two holes below for funneling the air; for us, there lies the difficulty.

In fact when we are obliged to use less advanced mediums, our work is more tedious, more painful, for we are forced to employ inadequate means and that is more complicated for us, because we are then forced to breakdown our thoughts and conduct, word for word, letter by letter, which is annoying and tiresome and real obstacle to the speed and development of our manifestations.

That is why we are so glad when we find suitable mediums, well equipped, endowed with the necessary materials to be promptly used, in a word, good instruments because then our perispirit acting upon the perispirit of that medium, only needs to give the first impulse to the serving hand that holds the pencil or the pen; while with the limited mediums we are obliged to do similar work as when we communicate by rapping, that is, pointing out, letter by letter, word by word, for each phrase that translates every thought that we wish to communicate.

These are the reasons that lead us preferably to the more educated and enlightened classes for the propagation of Spiritism and the development of mediumistic writing faculties, although it is exactly in that social class that we find the greatest numbers of doubters, rebellious and immoral individuals. But it is the same as we leave to you today, the less advanced spirits produce tangible communications; the raps and movements of objects, the same applies to those individuals among you who are less serious and prefer phenomenon that impresses their eyes or their ears to those that are purely spiritual and psychological.

When we wish to provide spontaneous dictations, we act with our minds upon the brain of the medium, assembling our material with the elements that we provide and all of it is unconsciously done to the medium. It happens as if we were to take all the money from your pocket and then arrange all the coins accordingly, to how we would feel the most useful.

When the medium wishes to question us directly it is advisable that he gives a lot of thought to that and proceeds in a methodical manner, thus facilitating our work in providing the answers. For as Erastus told you in the preceding instruction, your brain may often be in a state of inextricable disorder and that for us it is a hard and painful process to penetrate the labyrinth of your thoughts.

When the questions are to be asked by others, it is advisable and useful that they be read to the medium first, so that it can be identified with the evoked spirit, becoming permeated by it, so to speak; because that then makes it much easier for us to respond by the affinity which now exists between our perispirit and the medium that serves as our interpreter.

We can certainly talk about Math through a medium that knows nothing about it. However, the medium may often have that knowledge in a latent state, that is, characteristic of the invisible creature and not to the incarnated one, because his current body may be a rebellious instrument to that kind of knowledge. The same may be said of Astronomy, Poetry, Medicine and the multiple languages, as with everything else related to human knowledge. Finally there is the laborious work of putting together letters and words, like in typography, utilized with mediums that are completely unaware of the subject that is presented.

As we said before, the spirits don’t need to paint their thoughts. They detect and transmit their thoughts just by the simple fact that they have them. The corporeal beings, on the contrary, need the thoughts to be coated. While you need the letter, the word, the noun, the verb, and the full statement to understand something, even mentally, we do not need any visible or tangible form.

Erastus and Timothy, spiritual guides of the medium

The Hospital
(Received by Mr. Didier, a medium at the Society)

I was strolling around the docks near Notre-Dame on a wintery evening; a neighborhood of death and despair; as known by most poets; this neighborhood, from the Court of Miracles to the Morgue, has always been the receptacle of all human misery. Now that it is all in ruins, these huge monuments of agony, that people called hospitals of l’Hôtel-Dieu (Christian hospitals of The Hotel (house) of God) may collapse as well. I watched the pale lights that pierced the dark walls and thought: How many desperate deaths! What a common grave of thoughts which engulfs us each day by changed hearts, so many have fallen innocent! It was then that I thought, so many died as dreamers, poets, artists and scholars! There is a narrow bridge-like corridor over the river that splashes loudly below; that is the path of those who live no more. The dead then enter through another building which on the front of it should be written as the Doorway to Hell: This is the end of hope. It is there, in fact, that the body is sliced up by Science but it is also there, that Science steals the last breath of hope from faith.

No sooner than having taken a few steps, as I was absorbed by these thoughts; as our thoughts travel faster than we do, I was approached by a young man with a yellow appearance who was shivering and unceremoniously asked me for a light for his pipe. He was a medical student. No sooner said than done; I also smoked and established a conversation with the stranger. Pale, emaciated and weakened by vigils, with a wide forehead and sad eyes, these were my impressions of him. He seemed thoughtful and we read each other’s mind.

• I have just come from doing a dissection, he said, but all I found was matter. Oh! My God, he added in a cold blooded tone, if you want to get rid of that strange disease called belief in the immortality of the soul, come with me and see the daily dissolution of that matter that we call the body, come and see how to turn off these enthusiastic brains, the generous hearts that deteriorate; come and see that they all find the same void. What foolishness to believe!

I then asked him his age.

• I am twenty-four years old. I leave you now because it is too cold.

I saw him leaving and asked myself: Is this the result of Science?

To be continued.
Gérard de Nerval

NOTE: A few days later Mrs. Costel received the following communication in private, whose analogy with the preceding one carries a special meaning.

One evening I strolled around the deserted docks. It was sunny and warm and the golden stars stood out against the dark blue sky. The elegantly rounded moon and its white ray shone like a smile upon the deep water. The poplars, silent guardians of the banks, launched their slender forms, while I passed by slowly, looking at the reflection of the stars in the water and God’s reflection in the vastness of the vaulted blue. A woman walked ahead of me and I followed her steps out of pure curiosity, my steps seemingly regulated by hers. We walked like that for a long time. When we then approached the façade of Hôtel-Dieu (Christian Hospital, House of God) with its illuminated holes here and there the woman stopped, then looked at me and said, as if I were her companion:

• My friend, do you believe that those who suffer here feel more pain in their souls than in their bodies? Or do you believe that physical pain extinguishes the divine spark?

• I believe, I said profoundly surprised, that for the majority of the unfortunate people that suffer and agonize at this very moment, the physical pain is their rest hence they forget their usual misfortune.

• You are mistaken, friend, she said with a compassionate smile. The illness is a supreme anguish to the disowned of this Earth, to the poor, to the ignorant and to the abandoned ones. It does not bring obliviousness but to those like you who only suffer the nostalgia of the dreams and whose pains are crowned with violets.

I tried to respond but with a gesture she stopped me, and pointing her hand towards the hospital she said:

• Unfortunate people struggle there, calculating the number of hours that the disease stole from their paychecks; anguished women think of the cabarets that stuns the pain and the husbands who leave their hungry children behind; there, beyond, and everywhere the earthly concerns muffle and diminish the weak spark of hope that finds no dwelling in those desolated souls. God is even more forgotten by these miserable people torn apart by their sufferings than he is in their normal toil. This happens because God is too far away, too high in the skies, and misery is very close. What to do then to allow those men and women to leave their corporeal lives with dignity, instead of falling like insects; or even, to help them mitigate their sorrow and desperation when facing the battles of life and death? You, dreamer, you that writes verses about the Moon, haven’t you given any thought to this formidable problem than can only be resolved by two things: charity and love?

That woman seemed to grow bigger and I felt divine goose bumps running all over my body. She continued to speak and her great voice seemed to fill the city with harmony:

• Listen up! She said. Go all of you, the powerful, the wealthy, the intelligent ones, go and spread the good news. Tell the unfortunate ones that God, their father, is no longer hidden in the inaccessible heavens and that God is sending them back the spirits of their lost loved ones, to console them and to help them out; that their parents, mothers, children, sees them at their bedside, communicating with them in a well-known language, telling them that there is a new dawn beyond the grave that dissipates like the clouds; the Earthly evils. The angel opened the eyes of Tobias; may the angel of love in turn open the closed souls of those who suffer hopelessly!

Having said that, this woman gently touched my eyes and I could see the spirits through the walls of the hospital, like pure flames illuminating the desolated rooms. Their union with humanity was consumed; the wounds of the soul and the body were healed and soothed with a balm of hope. Legions of spirits, more numerous and brighter than the stars, cleared the way before the suffering ones, chasing away the impure vapors of despair, doubt and of the air and the Earth, like a raging river that escaped with only one word: love.

I remained motionless for a long time and as if transported out of my body; then darkness invaded Earth once more and the space was empty again. I looked around but the woman was gone. I was scared and oblivious to everything around me. Since that evening I have been called the dreamer, the mad one. Oh! What a gentle and sublime madness is the belief in life after the grave! And how depressing and stupid the crazy idea that shows the void as the only reward to our miseries and to our modest and obscure virtues! Who is the mad one here: the one that has hope or the one who despairs?

Alfred de Musset

After this last communication was read Gérard de Nerval then spontaneously writes the following, through another medium, Mr. Didier:

“My honorable friend Musset finished for me. We agreed to that. All we needed was that his continuation would give precisely the answer to the first part that I gave you, and it was also necessary to have a different style and more comforting images.”

Prayer
(Sent by Mr. Sabò, from Bordeaux)

Storm of human passions, you that asphyxiate all good feelings of every incarnate spirit who only has a vague memory of them deep down in their consciences, who shall abate your fury?

It is prayer; prayer is the one that can protect people against that ocean of horrible monsters like pride, envy, rage, hypocrisy, lies, impurity, materialism and blasphemy! Prayer is the strongest levee you can build, made of rock and cement, bearing with you in the bloody fight against those monsters which will hopelessly fall over the cliff to the abyss!

Oh! Heartily prayer, unstoppable invocation of the Creator by its creature, if they only knew your strength, how many hearts would have reached out to you in their weaknesses! You are the precious antidote that cures the almost always fatal ulcers forced by matter onto the spirit, carrying in their veins the poison of brutality.

However, how small is the number of those who pray well! Do you really believe that you deserve a lot from God just because you spent a long time reciting formulas and reading books? Make no mistake! The real good prayer is the one that comes out of your heart. It is all clarity. It may even show some anguish or the desire for forgiveness and the good spirits take that prayer along and deposit it at the feet of our just and kind Father, and God feels that incense as a pleasant aroma.

God then sends back the large numbers of troops needed to fortify those who pray well against the spirit of evil. They become strong as immovable rocks; they break against the waves of human passions, and when they have found pleasure within these struggles, of which must be filled with merit, they build, like the halcyon, their nests amid the storms.

Fenelon


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