Allan Kardec

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Spiritism has just lost one of its most fervent and enlightened supporters. Mr. Jobard, Director of the Royal Museum of Industry in Brussels, officer of the Legion of Honor, member of the Academy of Dijon and the Promotional Society of Paris, died in Brussels from a stroke on October 27th, 1861 at the age of 69 years old. He was born in Baissey, Haute-Marne, on May 14th, 1792. He had worked successively as a land Surveyor and was also the founder of the first lithographic company in Belgium; Director of the Industrial and of the Courrier Belge; Editor of the Bulletin de I’Industrie Belge, Editor of the Presse and lately of the Progrès International. He was awarded with the title of Honorary President of the Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies. Here is what was published in the Siècle:

“Original, prolific spirit, unhesitatingly responsive to paradox and the system, Mr. Jobard delivered genuine services to industrial technology and the long abandoned cause of Intellectual Property of which he was a stubborn and perhaps excessive defender. His theories about the subject were formulated in a term he called “Maunotopole” based on his book published in 1844. We owe to this tireless lithographer, several writings and brochures about all sorts of subjects from oriental psychics to the utility of fools in the social order. He has left as well, some pungent tables and fables. Among his many inventions was the ingenious lamp, which was shown at the Universal Expo of Paris in 1855.”

As far as we know not a single paper spoke about the most remarkable characteristic of his late years: his total adhesion to the Spiritist Doctrine, whose cause he had embraced enthusiastically for it is painful to the adversaries of Spiritism to admit that men of genius adopt these new ideas, men that cannot be called mad without raising doubts about the sanity of the accuser. This is in fact one of the most embarrassing points to them and for which they have never been able to give a satisfactory explanation, that is the fact that the propagation of these ideas have been initiated in the most enlightened class of society. Therefore they hide behind the banal axiom saying that the genius is a cousinbrother of madness. Some even affirm, in good faith and without a smile, that Socrates, Plato and all the wise philosophers that professed similar ideas were nothing but crazy people, particularly Socrates with his familiar demon.

Now, is it possible to be a person of common sense and still believe that there is a genius at his service? Then, Mr. Jobard could not find mercy before this learned assembly that looms as the supreme judge of reason and of which it intends to be the ideal model.

We were told that they ignored this phase of his spirit to spare Mr. Jobard’s reputation and as a sign of respect for his memory. Obstinacy with false ideas has never been a sign of common sense. Besides, it shows narrow-mindedness when related to pride, and this is more common. Mr. Jobard demonstrated that he was simultaneously a man of common sense and spirit when he renounced and without hesitation his first theories about Spiritism as soon as it was demonstrated to him that he was mistaken.

Everybody knows that in the early days and before experience had clarified the issue, there were several systems and that each one explained the new phenomena in their own way. Mr. Jobard was a supporter of the collective soul system. According to that system “only the soul of the medium manifests but it identifies with several other living creatures, present or absent, so that if forms a collective whole, gathering aptitudes, intelligence and knowledge of each one.” From all systems created at that time how many still stand today? We don’t know if this one still has followers but what we know for a fact is that Mr. Jobard advocated and amplified it, was one of the first to abandon it when The Spirits’ Book appeared, to a Doctrine that he openly embraced as demonstrated by his several letters published by us. In particular the doctrine of reincarnation which struck him like a beam of light. One day he said: “If I were so much entangled in the maze of the philosophical systems the reason is that I lacked a compass. All I found were dead-end paths that led me nowhere. None took me to a concluding solution of the most important problems. I racked my brain; I felt I was missing a key to get to the truth. Well then! That key is reincarnation, it explains everything in a logical way, according to God’s justice and for that we say naturally: Yes, it must be so.”

After his death Mr. Jobard neglected certain scientific theories that he sustained in his life. In our next issue we will talk about it, where we will then publish some conversations that we had with him. We will say, in the meantime, that he was very quickly disengaged from his body and that his disorientation lasted a very short time. Like every spiritist that preceded him, he confirms every point that was brought to us from the spiritual world where he is now much better than on Earth but from where he nonetheless leaves behind sincere sorrow in all those that were able to admire his eminent knowledge, benevolence and affability. He was not one of those jealous scholars who stood in the way of newcomers whose merit they overshadow. On the contrary, all of those are to whom he reached out to and opened the way would have been sufficient enough to form a beautiful procession. In summary, Mr. Jobard was a man of progress, tireless worker and supporter of every grand idea, generous and capable of advancing humanity. If his loss is regrettable to Spiritism it is no less to the Arts and Industry that will have his name inscribed in their archives.

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