The Spiritist Review - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1861

Allan Kardec

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This phenomenon, no doubt, constitutes one of the most extraordinary among the spiritist manifestations, and also the rarest. It consists of the transportation of a foreign object to appear at the place where we are. We have heard about it for a long time, but only recently were we able to witness the phenomenon and we can now speak about it from experience. For starters we must say that this is one of those phenomena more prone to mystification and consequently everyone is strongly advised to be on guard against fraud.

The art of deception may travel long ways when considering events of such a nature and someone who is not familiar with people involved in that kind of work could easily fall victim of fraud. The best guarantees is first, the character of the persons involved, their known honesty and the absolute disinterest Of individuals who experiment with similar effects; second, in the careful examination of every detail and circumstances in which the phenomena is produced; and finally, an enlightened knowledge of Spiritism, the only force capable of uncovering if there is anything suspicious about the phenomena.

We said that the phenomenon is one of the rarest and perhaps produced even less than the others according to someone’s wishes or following a given schedule. It can very rarely be provoked but most of the time it is spontaneous and whoever may boast about being able to produce it at will and at a given time could easily be called ignorant and be under the suspicion of fraud; this would be even more reinforced if there would be any material interest behind it. A medium that takes any advantage of their faculty may be truly a medium but since it is subject to intermittences and since the phenomena depends exclusively on the spirits who are not submitted to our caprices, it follows that a greedy medium may easily resource to deception to avoid failure or to produce more effects, according to the circumstances. For this kind of medium, the spirit must always act or it is replaced by deception, sometimes hidden under the simplest disguises. These initial thoughts aim at helping the observers to be on guard, taking us back to our subject. Before that, it is our duty to publish the letter below, sent from Orléans dated February 14th last:

“Dear Sir, The person who writes the letter to you is a credible spiritist. The facts reported herein are rare; they must be beneficial to everyone and have already led several people around us who witnessed them to believe. The first event took place on January 1st, 1861. One of my relatives who unknowingly was endowed by mediumistic powers in its highest degree, only learning about it when I spoke with her about Spiritism, from time to time she saw her mother but considered it to be hallucinations and tried her best to avoid them. On January 1st about 3 pm she saw her again. She and her husband were so scared, although he saw nothing, leaving her really confused. A few minutes later her husband found a ring sitting on a table in their living room, a ring that his wife immediately recognized as her mother’s, that she herself had put on her mother’s finger when she died. A few days later the lady suffered some sort of suffocation and I advised her husband to apply magnetic passes on her, which he did. Three minutes later she was asleep but showed perfect lucidity. She told the husband that her mother was there with them and that she brought the ring to demonstrate that she was taking care of them. The husband then asked if she could see his daughter who had died when she was 2 years old, and that was eight years ago, and if she could bring them a souvenir from her. The somnambulist then responds that yes, she was there, as was the husband’s mother; that tomorrow she would bring a rose to be found on the desk. It did happen like that; a lifeless flower was there, together with a piece of paper containing the following words: ‘to my dear Dad. Laura.’ Two days later in another magnetic sleep, the husband asks if he could get some hair from his own mother. His wishes were satisfied immediately. The hair was on the fireplace. Then two letters were spontaneously written by the two mothers.

Now I will get to the facts that took place in my own house. After a serious study of your books about Spiritism, faith came to me without ever seeing a single fact. The Medium’s Book advised me to try to write but I had no result. Convinced that I would never obtain anything without the person that I mentioned above, I invited her to come to Orléans with her husband. Monday, February 11th, 10 pm – magnetic sleep and ecstasy; she sees the spirits that had promised to follow her around us. I asked if I would become a writing medium. She answered: ‘Yes, in 15 days’, adding that she would write through her mother the next day to convince one of my friends that she asked me to have invited. On the next day, February 12th, at 8 am she falls asleep. We ask if she would like to have a pencil. ‘No’ she says, ‘my mother is near you and she is writing. Her letter is on the fireplace.’ I go there and find a folded piece of paper with the following words: ‘Believe and pray; I am with you; this is to convince you.’ She also said that later that night I could try to write having her hand on top of mine. I dared not to expect any result however I wrote the following: ‘Believe; I will return; don’t forget magnetism; so long.’ My relative was supposed to leave the next day. At night we wrote the following: ‘The spiritist science is not a joke; it is true; magnetism may lead to that. Pray and invoke those called by your hearts. So long Catherine.’ It was her mother’s name.

I was asked many times to write about these facts to you; I was even criticized for not having done so before. Besides, she told us that we could have a proof of what I am telling you and that her mother could confirm these facts if evoked by you. Yours sincerely... ”

This letter reports two remarkable phenomena: apport and direct writing. Here is a fundamental observation about it: when husband and wife got the first results they were alone and could not have any interest in deceiving one another. Second, the transportation of the ring that was buried with the mother was a positive fact, which could not have resulted from deception since no one jokes about these things. Several events of similar nature have been reported to us by trustworthy persons in authentic circumstances. But here is one that we have witnessed ourselves, as well as several other members of the Society.

Ms. V. B… is a 16 to 17 year old lady, an excellent writing medium and also a clairvoyant somnambulist. During her sleep and most of the time she sees the spirit of one of her cousins who had brought her different objects on several occasions, among the items have been: rings, chocolate candies in large quantities and flowers. She must be asleep for about two hours before the phenomenon is produced. The first time we watched a phenomenon of that kind where she had a ring put on her hand. Since we know the young lady and her honest parents there was no reason for doubt. We must confess however that the way it was produced was not very much concluding to strangers. In another session it was different. After two hours of sleep during which the young lady was busy with very interesting things, but strange to our objectives, the spirit appeared to her with a bouquet of flowers, only visible to her. It was only later, that after having being stimulated by endless requests, the spirit dropped a bunch of followers at her feet. The lady was not happy. The spirit was still holding something that she wanted. New requests and about half an hour later a bunch of violets surrounded by moss appeared on the floor. Sometime later a fist size chocolate candy fell by her side. The taste was similar to a handmade pineapple preserve. All that lasted about one hour and during the whole time the somnambulist was always isolated from the public; the person who magnetized her was also at a large distance. We were positioned in such a way that we could not lose sight of a single movement and sincerely declare that there was nothing suspicious at all. On that occasion the communicating spirit by the name Léon promised to come to the Society to provide explanations as requested. He was evoked on March 1st together with the spirit of Ms. Catherine that had manifested in Orléans, and below is the conversation that followed:

1. (Evocation of Ms. Catherine) – A. I am present and ready to respond.

2. You told your daughter and the relative from Orléans that you would come here to confirm the phenomena that they have witnessed. We would be delighted to receive your explanations about it. To begin with, I would ask you why you have insisted so much to have them writing to me reporting those events. – A. What I said I am ready to do now since you are the one who needs to be informed the most. I had asked my children to communicate these proofs to you aiming at the propagation of Spiritism.

3. A few days ago I witnessed similar events and I will request the spirit that produced them to kindly come to us here. Having observed all phases of the phenomenon I have several questions to ask him. I ask you to support him in providing the answers in case it is necessary. – A. I will do as you ask since the two of us together can provide better clarity and accuracy.

4. (Evocation of Léon) – A. I am ready to do as I promised, Sir.

OBSERVATION: The spirits generally utilize a casual yet polite form of speech with us. This one presents the particularity of always using the word “Sir” when evoked.

5. Can you please tell us why these phenomena only happen during the magnetized sleep of the medium? – A. That is due to the nature of the medium. The facts that I produce when that medium is asleep could also be produced in the waking state.

6. Why does it take you so long to produce the transportation of objects and why do you excite the medium’s greed so much and the will to have the promised object? – A. That time is necessary to prepare the fluids that serve the transportation. As for the excitement it is just used to entertain the public and the somnambulist.

7. I thought the excitement could produce a more abundant emission of fluids from the medium, facilitating the necessary combination. – A. You are mistaken, Sir. The fluids we need do not belong to the medium but to the spirit and in certain cases those fluids can even be dismissed and the transportation can occur immediately.

8. Is the production of the phenomenon due to the special nature of the medium and thus could occur with other mediums more easily and more promptly? – A. The production is due to the nature of the medium and could not occur but with other mediums of similar nature. As for the promptness, our habit of communicating several times with the same medium is of great help.

9. Must the nature of the medium correspond to the nature of the fact or that of the spirit? – A. It must correspond to the nature of the fact and not of the spirit.

10. Does the influence of the public that is present to the event serve any purpose? – A. When there is doubt, opposition, it can definitely cause us harm. We prefer to do our tests with believers and persons that are familiar with Spiritism. It doesn’t mean that illfaith can halt us completely.

11. Here there are only believers and very sympathetic persons. Is there any obstacle for the fact to occur? – A. There is since I am neither willing nor prepared.

12. Would you be on another day? – A. Yes.

13. Could you schedule it? – A. One day, when you don’t ask me for anything, I will surprise you with a nice bunch of flowers.

14. Some people would perhaps prefer chocolate candies. – A. If there are gastronomes they can also be satisfied. I believe that the ladies who do not neglect the flowers will like the candies even more.

15. Will Ms. V. B… need to be in a somnambulistic state? – A. I will do the transportation having her awake.

16. Where did you get the flowers and candies transported from? - A. I pick the flowers from a garden that I like.

17. But how about the candies? Doesn’t the storeowner detect that they went missing? – A. I take them from where I wish. The storeowner doesn’t notice because I replace them.

18. However, the ring has a value. Where did you get it from? Won’t it cause a loss to the person from whom you took it? – A. I took them from places unknown to everyone so that nobody has missed them.

19. Is it possible to bring flowers from other planets? – A. No. That is not possible to me. 20. Could other spirits do that? – A. Yes. There are spirits more advanced than me that can do it. As for myself, I cannot. You must be satisfied with what I bring you.

21. Could you bring flowers from another hemisphere, like for example, from the tropics? – A. As long as it is from Earth, I can.

22. How did you introduce those objects considering that the room was locked? – A. I made them come in with me, covered by my substance so to speak. I cannot give you more explanation than this.

23. (to Mrs. Catherine) – Since the ring that you brought to your daughter was buried with you how did you get it? – A. I removed it from the ground and brought it to my daughter.

24. (to Leon) – How did you make those objects visible since moments earlier they were invisible? - A. I removed the matter that covered them.

25. Could you make the transported objects disappear again and take them back? – A. As I brought them in I can take them out at will.

26. Yesterday (the spirit corrects writing Wednesday). Right, on Wednesday the medium saw you using a pair of scissors to cut orange tree flowers from a bouquet in her room. Did you really need a cutting instrument? – A. I had no scissors but I made sure that I was seen like that so they would believe that it was me who was cutting them.

27. But the bouquet was under a glass bowl. – A. Oh! I could have removed the bowl.

28. Have you? – A. No.

29. We cannot understand how that can be so. Do you believe that we will one day understand that phenomenon? – A. It won’t be long; we not only believe but we are sure that it will happen.

30. Who has just answered? Léon or Mrs. Catherine? – A. Both of us.

31. Does the production of the transportation phenomenon cause you any suffering or embarrassment? – A. It is the cause of no suffering when we have the permission but it would cause a lot if we wanted to produce effects without authorization.

32. What would be the difficulties? – A. Nothing more than bad fluid dispositions that can be adverse to us.

33. How do you transport the object? Do you hold it in your hands? – A. No. We cover it ourselves.

34. Would you have the same ability to bring an object of considerable weight, as for example 50 Kg? – A. The weight means nothing to us. We bring flowers because that is more pleasant than a heavier mass.

35. Sometimes objects disappear without a known cause. Could that be something caused by the spirits? – A. That happens many times and more frequently than you imagine but it could be fixed by asking the spirit to return the missing objects.

36. Are there effects that are considered to be natural phenomena and that in fact are due to the action of certain spirits? – A. Your days are full of those facts that you don’t understand because you have not given any thought to that but a little reflection would allow you to see with clarity.

37. Among the transported objects aren’t there some fabricated by the spirits that are spontaneously produced by the modifications that the spirits may produce on the universal element? – A. Not by me since I don’t have the permission. Only an elevated spirit can do that.

38. Could an object produced like that have stability and become an object of common use? For example, if a spirit produced a snuffbox could I make use of that? – A. It could if the spirit wished so but it could also exist only to be seen and disappear after a few hours.

OBSERVATION: The phenomena that took place at Rue des Noyers described in the August 1860 issue of The Spiritist Review may be classified in the category of transportation phenomena. The difference is in the fact that in that case, they were produced by a bad spirit that only wished to cause disruption, while the ones discussed here are produced by benevolent spirits that wish to please and demonstrate sympathy.

NOTE: See The Mediums’ Book about the theory of formation of objects, chapter entitled “Laboratory of the invisible world”.

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