The Spiritist Review - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1861

Allan Kardec

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There is a strange phenomenon in the human being, that’s what I call the phenomenon of contrasts; we are speaking here of particularly elite natures; here is a fact: you will find in the spirit world that influential works strangely contrast with the private lives and habits of their authors. Mr. Buffon had said: the style is the man.


Unfortunately the master of style and elegance saw people through his own personal lenses. He saw what could be perfectly applied to him but hardly to other writers. The word style here is used in its broader sense and wider application. In our opinion the style is the more prominent and the purest form which the human being will present his ideas. All human genius is here before us and at a glance we can contemplate all the works of human intelligence: elegance in the Arts, Literature and Sciences. Far from stating like Buffon: The style is the man, we say perhaps a less concise less formulated way that the human being, due to his changing nature which can be vague, maddening and rebellious, often writes unlike his first nature and original inspirations; I would even say, contrary to his beliefs.


Often when we read the great works from one of the great geniuses of this century or another we say: What purity! What sensitivity! What a profound belief in progress! What greatness! We learn later that the author was not actually the moral author but the physical author, full of prejudice and preconceived ideas. That is an example of a grand phenomenon not only human but also spiritist. Hence, it is more common that the human being is not exactly the mirror image of his work. We also say: how many worn out poets, half-wits and disillusioned artists suddenly feel a divine spark illuminating their intelligence! Ah! Fact is that they hear another voice, not theirs. The human being hears what the Prophet Isaiah called the “breath of the lips”, and that we call spirits. Yes, they hear that sacred voice but forget God and His light and attribute the merit to themselves. They receive grace in their art as others receive in their faith, and it sometimes affects those who want to deny it.


Lamennais

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