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386. Could two beings, who have already known and loved each other, meet again and recognise one another, in another corporeal existence?

“They could not recognise one another; but they might be attracted to each other. The attraction resulting from the ties of a former existence is often the cause of the most intimate affectional unions of a subsequent existence. It often happens in your world that two persons are drawn together by circumstances which appear to be merely fortuitous, but which are really due to the attraction exercised upon one another by two spirits who are unconsciously seeking each other amidst the crowds by whom they are surrounded.”

-Would it not be more agreeable for them to recognise each other?

“Not always; the remembrance of past existences would be attended with greater disadvantages than you suppose. After death they would recognise one another, and would then remember the periods they had passed together.” (392.)

387. Is sympathy always the result of anterior acquaintanceship?

“No; two spirits who are in harmony naturally seek one another, without their having been previously acquainted with each other as men.”

388. May it not be that the meetings which sometimes take place between two persons, and which are attributed to chance, are really due to the action of some sort of sympathetic relationship?

“There are, among thinking beings, orders of relationship with ‘which you are not yet acquainted. Magnetism is the pilot of the science that will enable you to understand them at a future period.”

389. What is the cause of the instinctive repulsion sometimes excited in us by persons whom we see for the first time?

“The latent antipathy of two spirits who divine each other’s nature, and recognise one another, without the need of speaking together.”

390. Is instinctive antipathy allays the sign of an evil nature on the part of one or both of the parties who feel it?

“Two spirits are not necessarily evil because the)’ are not sympathetic; for antipathy may spring from a want of similarity in their way of thinking. But in proportion as they ascend, these shades of difference are effaced, and their antipathy disappears.”

391. Does the antipathy of two persons take its first beginning on the part of the better or the worse one of the two?

“It may begin simultaneously on the part of both; but, in such a case, its causes and effects are different. A bad spirit feels antipathy against whoever is able to judge and to unmask him. On seeing such a person for the first time, he knows that he will be disapproved by him; his repulsion changes into hatred or jealousy, and inspires him with the desire of doing harm to the object of his antipathy. A good spirit feels repulsion for a had one, because he knows that he will not be understood by him, and that they do not share the same sentiments; but, strong in his own superiority, he feels neither hatred nor jealousy towards him, and contents himself with avoiding and pitying him.”

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Spirit’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

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For more information, please check out these links:

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

– Questions & Answers section

– The version of “The Spirit’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here.

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

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400. Does the incarnated spirit reside willingly in his corporeal envelope?

 

“You might as well ask whether a prisoner willingly remains locked up in prison. The incarnated spirit aspires incessantly after his deliverance; and the grosser his envelope, the more desirous is be to be rid of it.”

 

401. Does the soul take rest, like tile body, during sleep?

 

“No; a spirit is never inactive. The bonds which unite him to the body are relaxed during sleep; and as the body does not then need his presence, he travels through space, and enters into more direct relation with other spirits.”

 

402. How can we ascertain the fact of a spirit’s liberty during sleep?

 

“By dreams. Be very sure that, when his body is asleep, a spirit enjoys the use of faculties of which he is unconscious while his body is awake. He remembers the past, and sometimes foresees the future: he acquires more power, and is able to enter into communication with other spirits, either in this world or in some other.

 

 

“You often say, ‘I have had a strange dream, a frightful dream, without any likeness to reality’.

 

 

You are mistaken in thinking it to be so; for it is often a reminiscence of places and things which you have seen in the past, or a foresight of those which you will see in another existence, or in this one at some future time. The body being torpid, the spirit tries to break his chain, and seeks, in the past or in the future, for the means of doing so.

 

 

“Poor human beings! how little do you know of the commonest phenomena of your life! You fancy yourselves to be very learned, and you are puzzled by the most ordinary things. To questions that any child might ask, ‘What do we do when we are asleep?’ ‘What are dreams?’ you are incapable of replying.

 

 

“Sleep effects a partial freeing of the soul from the body. When you sleep, your spirit is, for the time being, in the state in which you will be after your death. The spirits who at death are promptly freed from matter are those who, during their life, have had what may be called intelligent sleep. Such persons, when they sleep, regain the society of other spirits superior to themselves. They go about with them, conversing with them, and gaining instruction from them; they even work, in the spirit-world, at undertakings which, on dying, they find already begun or completed. From this you see how little death should be dreaded, since, according to the saying of St. Paul, you ‘die daily.’

 

 

“What we have just stated refers to spirits of an elevated degree of advancement. As for those of the common mass of men, who, after their death, remain for long hours in the state of confusion and uncertainty of which you have been told by such, they go, during sleep, into worlds of lower rank than the earth, to which they are drawn back by old affections, or by the attraction of pleasures still baser than those to which they are addicted in your world; visits in which they gather ideas still viler, more ignoble, and more mischievous than those which they had professed during their waking hours. And that which engenders sympathy in the earthly life is nothing else than the fact that you feel yourselves, on waking, affectionately attracted towards those with whom you have passed eight or nine hours of happiness or pleasure.

 

On the other hand, the explanation of the invincible antipathies you sometimes feel for certain persons is also to be found in the intuitive knowledge you have thus acquired of the fact that those persons have another conscience than yours, because you know them without having previously seen them with your bodily eyes. It is this same fact, moreover, that explains the indifference of some people for others; they do not care to make new friends, because they know that they have others by whom they are loved and cherished. In a word, sleep has more influence than you think upon your life.

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Spirit’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– Questions & Answers section

 

– The version of “The Spirit’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

 

                        As everything may be made a source of pecuniary profit, it would not be strange if attempts were made to turn Spiritism to that purpose; but the spirits would probably be at no loss to show their opinion of such a speculation, should it be attempted, for it is evident that nothing could be more easily abused by charlatans than such a trade.

 

                        On the other hand, it is to be remarked that, although the turning of the medianimic faculty into a source of gain must lay its genuineness open to suspicion, it would not be a proof that such suspicion is founded; for a medium may possess real medianimic aptitude, and employ it with perfect honesty, while receiving payment. Let us see, then, what are the results that may be reasonably hoped for under such circumstances.

 

                        If our readers have carefully weighed what we have said of the conditions necessary for inducing superior spirits to communicate, of the causes which repel them, and of the circumstances independent of their will that are often an obstacle to their coming, they will see that no medium, whatever his faculty or moral worth, could pretend to have them constantly at his beck and call; while, on the other hand, the repugnance of the higher spirits to everything connected with terrestrial aims and interests would indispose them towards any attempt to make a traffic of their manifestations.

 

                        The same considerations are applicable, not only to mediums who receive payment in money, but to all who turn their faculty to the furtherance of their worldly affairs; for self-interest does not always take the form of seeking pecuniary gain, but is shown as certainly by every sort of contrivance for the furtherance of ambition or of any other personal aim. To sum up: medianimity is a faculty given for a high and holy purpose, and spirits of high advancement withdraw from those who make it a steppingstone to any other ends than those marked out for it by Providence.

 

                        Physical mediums are not in the same category as those who habitually receive intelligent communications. The physical phenomena are usually produced by lower and less scrupulous spirits; and mediums of this category, desirous to turn their faculty to pecuniary account, may therefore find willing assistants among the spirits with whom they are habitually connected. But the medium for physical effects, like the medium for intelligent manifestations, has not been endowed with this faculty for Isis own pleasure merely. It has been given him in order that he may make a good use of it; should he do otherwise, it may be taken from him, or it may turn to his disadvantage, the lower spirits being always under the orders of the higher ones, who sometimes use them for the punishment of unfaithful mediums.

 

                        From the preceding considerations we conclude that the most entire disinterestedness, on the part of evokers and of mediums, is the best guarantee against deception; for, although it does not always suffice to insure the intellectual superiority of the communications received, it deprives evil spirits of a powerful means of action and shuts the mouths of detractors.

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Medium’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora). Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– Questions & Answers section

 

– The version of “The Medium’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

 

 

(Please click here for Physical and Moral Likeness, part I)

 

 

212. In children whose bodies are joined together, and who have some of their organs in common, are there two spirits, that is to say, two souls?

 

“Yes; but their resemblance to one another often makes them seem to you as though there were but one.”

 

213. Since spirits incarnate themselves in twins from sympathy whence comes the aversion that is sometimes felt by twins for one another?

 

“It is not a rule that only sympathetic spirits are incarnated as twins. Bad spirits may have been brought into this relation by their desire to struggle against each other on the stage of corporeal life.”

 

214. In what way should we interpret the stories of children fighting in their mother’s womb?

 

“As a figurative representation of their hatred to one another, which, to indicate its inveteracy, is made to date from before their birth. You rarely make sufficient allowance for the figurative and poetic element in certain statements.”

 

215. What is the cause of the distinctive character which we observe in each people?

 

“Spirits constitute different families, formed by the similarity of their tendencies, which are more or less purified according to their elevation. Each people is a great family formed by the assembling together of sympathetic spirits. The tendency of the members of these families to unite together is the source of the resemblance which constitutes the distinctive character of each people. Do you suppose that good and benevolent spirits would seek to incarnate themselves among a rude and brutal people ? No; spirits sympathise with masses of men as they sympathise with individuals. They go to the region of the earth with which they are most in harmony.”

 

216. Does a spirit, in his new existence, retain any traces of the moral character of his former existences?

 

“Yes, he may do so; but, as he improves, he changes. His social position, also, may be greatly changed in his successive lives. If, having been a master in one existence, he becomes a slave in another, his tastes will be altogether different, and it would be difficult for you to recognise him. A spirit being the same in his various incarnations, there may be certain analogies between the manifestations of character in his successive lives; but these manifestations will, nevertheless, be modified by the change of conditions and habits incident to each of his new corporeal existences, until, through the ameliorations thus gradually effected, his character has been completely changed, he who was proud and cruel becoming humble and humane through repentance and effort.”

 

217. Does a man, in his different incarnations, retain any traces of the physical character of his preceding existences?

 

“The body is destroyed, and the new one has no connection with the old one. Nevertheless, the spirit is reflected in the body; and although the body is only matter, yet, being modelled on the capacities of the spirit, the latter impresses upon it a certain character that is more particularly visible in the face, and especially in the eyes, which have been truly declared to be the mirror of the soul-that is to say, that the face reflects the soul more especially than does the rest of the body. And this is so true that a very ugly face may please when it forms part of the envelope of a good, wise, and humane spirit; while, on the other hand, very handsome faces may cause you no pleasurable emotion, or may even excite a movement of repulsion. It might seem, at first sight, that only well-made bodies could be the envelopes of good spirits, and yet you see every day virtuous and superior men with deformed bodies. Without there being any very marked resemblance between them, the similarity of tastes and tendencies may, therefore, give what is commonly called a family-likeness to the corporeal bodies successively assumed by the same spirit.”

 

The body with which the soul is clothed in a new incarnation not having any necessary connection with the one which it has quitted (since it may belong to quite another race), it would be absurd to infer a succession of existences from a resemblance which may be only fortuitous but, nevertheless, the qualities of the spirit often modify the organs which serve for their manifestations, and impress upon the countenance, and even on the general manner, a distinctive stamp. It is thus that an expression of nobility and dignity may be found under the humblest exterior, while the fine clothes of the grandee are often unable to hide the baseness and ignominy of their wearer. Some persons, who have risen from the lowest position, adopt without effort the habits and manners of the higher ranks, and seem to have returned to their native element while others, notwithstanding their advantages of birth and education, always seem to be out of their proper place in refined society. How can these facts be explained unless as a reflex of what the spirit has been in his former existences?

 

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Spirit’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– Questions & Answers section

 

– The version of “The Spirit’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

 

207. Parents often transmit physical resemblance to their children; do they also transmit to them moral resemblance?

 

“No; because they have different souls or spirits. The body proceeds from the body, but the spirit does not proceed from any other spirit. Between the descendants of the same race there is no other relationship than that of consanguinity.”

 

– What is the cause of the moral resemblance that sometimes exists between parents and children?

 

“The attractive influence of moral sympathy, which brings together spirits who are animated by similar sentiments and tendencies.”

 

208. Are the spirits of the parents without influence upon the spirit of their child after its birth?

 

“They exercise, on the contrary, a very great influence upon it. As we have already told you, spirits are made to conduce to one another’s progress. To the spirits of the parents is confided the mission of developing those of their children by the training they give to them; it is a task which is appointed to them, and which they cannot without guilt fail to fulfil.”

 

209. How is it that good and virtuous parents often give birth to children of perverse and evil nature? In other words, how is it that the good qualities of tile parents do not always attract to them, through sympathy, a good spirit to animate their child?

 

“A wicked spirit may ask to be allowed to have virtuous parents, in the hope that their counsels may help him to amend his ways; and God often confides such an one to the care of virtuous persons, in order that he may be benefited by their affection and care.”

 

210. Can parents, by their intentions and their prayers, attract a good spirit into the body of their child, instead of an inferior spirit?

 

“No; but they can improve the spirit of the child whom they have brought into the world, and is confided to them for that purpose. It is their duty to do this; but bad children are often sent as a trial for the improvement of the parents also.”

 

211. What is the cause of the similarity of character so often existing among brothers, especially between twins?

 

“The sympathy of two spirits who are attracted by the similarity of their sentiments, and who are happy to be together.”

 

 

(Please click here to read Physical and Moral Likeness, part II)

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Spirit’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– Questions & Answers section

 

– The version of “The Spirit’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

See also Spiritist Vocabulary, part I

 

PERISPIRIT (from the Greek peri roundabout, and the Latin spiritus, breath, spirit). – The semi-material envelope of the soul. During incarnation, it serves as the link or intermediary between the incarnated spirit and the matter of his fleshly body; during erraticity, it constitutes the spirit’s fluidic body, inseparable from the personality of the spirit.

 

PNEUMATOGRAPHY (from the Greek pneuma, air, breath, wind, spirit, and grapho, I write). – This word denotes the direct writing of spirits, without the use of the medium’s hand.

 

PSYCHOGRAPHER (from the Greek psuké butterfly, soul, and grapho, I write). – A person who writes by psychography; a writing medium.

 

PSYCHOGRAPHY – The writing of spirits by a medium’s hand.

 

PSYCHOPHONY – The communication of spirits by the voice of a speaking medium.

 

REINCARNATION – The return of a spirit to corporeal life; plurality of existences, in this planet and in other material worlds.

 

SEMATOLOGY (from the Greek sema, a sign, and logos, a discourse). – The language of signs. The communications of spirits by the movements of inert bodies.

 

SPIRITIST – That which has to do with spiritism ; a partisan of spiritism; one who believes in the fact of spirit-manifestations.

 

SPIRITUALISM -The opposite of materialism; a belief in the existence of the spiritual and immaterial soul. We say, Spiritualism is the basis of all religions.

 

SPIRITUALIST – One who occupies himself with spiritualism; a partisan of spiritualism. Whoever believes that there is in the universe something which is not matter is a spiritualist, but spiritualism does not necessarily imply a belief in the manifestations of spirits. Every spiritist is necessarily a spiritualist, but every spiritualist is not necessarily a spiritist; the materialist is neither the one nor the other.

 

We say, “the spiritualist philosophy,” as the antithesis of “theoretic materialism;” “A work embodying spiritualist ideas,” as the opposite of “a work embodying materialistic ideas.” We say, “Spiritist manifestations are produced by the action of spirits on matter;” “spiritist morality is the result of teachings given by spirits.” “There are spiritualists who ridicule the spiritist belief.” In these examples, the employment of the word spiritualist for spiritist would produce confusion.

 

TYPTER (from the Greek tupto, I strike). – One who has the power of producing typtology; a rapping or tipping medium.

 

TYPTOLOGY – Language of raps or tilts; a mode of spirit-communication. Alphabetical typtology; the designation of letters (or cyphers) by raps or tilts.

 

 

See also Spiritist Vocabulary, part I

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Medium’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora). Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– Questions & Answers section

 

– The version of “The Medium’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

 

 

AGENERATE (from the Greek primitive a, and géine, géinomai, to engender; that which has not been engendered). – This term expresses a variety of tangible apparitions; the state of certain spirits who can momentarily assume the form of a living person, so as to produce a complete illusion.

 

ERRATICITY – The state of errant or wandering spirits; that is to say, of such as are not incarnate; the state of a spirit during the intervals between two successive corporeal existences.

 

EVOCATION – The act of evoking or calling the spirit or spirits with whom we desire to enter into communication, as distinguished from invocation, which is the act of addressing ourselves to a spirit or spirits for help or assistance.

 

SPIRIT – According to the spiritist theory, spirits are the intelligent beings of the creation; they people the universe beyond the limits of the visible world, and constitute the population of the invisible world; they are the souls of men who have lived upon the earth, or in other globes, and who have quitted their corporeal envelope.

 

SPIRIT-RAPPERS – A class of spirits who reveal their presence and their quality by raps and noises of different kinds.

 

MEDIANIMIC (from the Latin words medium (see below), and anima, soul). – Appertaining to the special faculty or action of intermediacy between souls in flesh and souls in the spirit-world. We say “A medianimic communication;” “Possession of the medianimic faculty constitutes a medium.”

 

MEDIANIMITY (from the Latin medium, and anima; middle-man, intermediary). – A person who serves as a go-between, or intermediary, between the souls of spirits and of men.

 

MEDIUMISTIC – Synonymous with Medianimic.

 

MEDIUMSHIP – The exercise of the medianimic faculty. The calling, work, mission, or action, of a medium.

 

 

Next week: Spiritist Vocabulary, part II

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Medium’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora). Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– Questions & Answers section

 

– The version of “The Medium’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

 

693. Are the human laws and customs that have been established for the purpose of placing obstacles in the way of reproduction contrary to the laws of nature?

 

“Whatever hinders the operations of nature is contrary to the general law.”

 

– But there are many species of living beings, animal and vegetable, the unlimited reproduction of which would be hurtful to other species, and would soon be destructive of the human race. Is it wrong for man to arrest their reproduction?

 

“God has given to man, over all the other living beings of his globe, a power which he ought to use for the general good, hut not to abuse. He may regulate reproduction according to his needs; hut he ought not to hinder it unnecessarily. The intelligent action of mankind is a counterpoise established by God for restoring the equilibrium of the forces of nature; and herein, again, man is distinguished from the animals, because he does this understandingly, while the animals, that also concur in maintaining this equilibrium, do so unconsciously, through the instinct of destruction which has been given to them, and which causes them, while providing for their own preservation only, to arrest the excessive development of the animal and vegetable species on which they feed, and which would otherwise become a source of danger.”

 

694. What is to be thought of usages intended to arrest reproduction in the interest of sensuality?

 

“They prove the predominance of the body over the soul. and show how deeply man has plunged himself in matter.”

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Spirit’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– Questions & Answers section

 

– The version of “The Spirit’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

525. Do spirits exercise an influence over the events of our lives?

 

“Assuredly they do; since they give you advice.”

 

– Do they exercise this influence in any other way. than by means of the thoughts they suggest to us; that is. to say, have they any direct action on the course of earthly events?

 

“Yes; but their action never oversteps the laws of nature.”

 

We erroneously imagine that the action of spirits can only be manifested by extraordinary phenomena we would have spirits come to our aid by means of miracles, and we imagine them to be always armed ‘with a sort of magic wand. Such is not the case; all that is done through their help being accomplished by natural means, their intervention usually takes place without our being aware of it. Thus, for instance, they bring about the meeting of two persons who seem to have been brought together by chance they suggest to the mind of some one the idea of going in a particular direction. They call your attention to some special point, if the action on your part thus led up to by their suggestion, unperceived by you, will bring about the result they seek to obtain. In this way, each man supposes himself to be obeying only his own impulse, and thus always preserves the freedom of his will.

 

526. As spirits possess the power of acting upon matter, can they bring about the incidents that will ensure tile accomplishment of a given event? For example, a man is destined to perish in a certain way, at a certain time. He mounts a ladder; the ladder breaks, and he is killed. Have spirits caused the ladder to break, in order to accomplish the destiny previously accepted by or imposed upon this man?

 

“It is very certain that spirits have the power of acting upon matter, but for the carrying out of the laws of nature, and not for derogating from them. by causing the production at a given moment of some unforeseen event, in Opposition to those laws. In such a case as the one you have just supposed, the ladder breaks because it is rotten, or is not strong enough to bear the man’s weight. But, as it was the destiny of this man to be killed in this way, the spirits about him will have put into his mind the idea of getting upon a ladder that will break down under his weight, and his death will thus have taken place naturally, and without any miracle having been required, to bring it ‘about.”

 

527. Let us take another example; one in which the ordinary conditions of matter would seem, to be insufficient to account for the occurrence of a given event. A man ‘is destined to be killed by lightning. He is overtaken by a storm, and seeks refuge under a tree; the lightning strikes the tree, and he is killed. Is it by spirits that the thunderbolt has been made to fall, and to fall upon this particular man?

 

“The explanation of this case is the same as that of the former one. The lightning has fallen on the tree at this particular moment, because it was in accordance with the laws of nature that it should do so. The lightning was not made to fall upon the tree because the man was under it, but the man was inspired with the idea of taking refuge under a tree upon which the lightning was about to fall; for the tree would have been struck all the same, whether the man had been under it or not.”

 

528. An ill-intentioned person hurls against some one a projectile which passes close by him, but does not touch him. Has the missile, in such a case, been turned aside by some friendly spirit?

 

“If the individual aimed at were not destined to be struck, a friendly spirit would have suggested to him the thought of turning aside from the path of the missile, or would have acted on his enemy’s sight in such a way as to make him take a bad aim; for a projectile, when once impelled on its way, necessarily follows the line of its projection.”

 

529. What is to be thought of the magic bullets which figure in certain legends, and which, by a mysterious fatality, infallibly reach their mark?

 

“They are purely imaginary. Man delights in the marvellous, and is not contented with the marvels of nature.”

 

– May the spirits who direct the events of our lives be thwarted by other spirits who desire to give to’ our lives a different direction?

 

“What God has willed must needs take place. If delay or hindrance occur, it can only be by His appointment.”

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Spirit’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– Questions & Answers section

 

– The version of “The Spirit’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

 

 

 

The spontaneous manifestations which have occurred in all times, and the persistence of some spirits in giving ostensible evidence of their presence in certain localities, are the source of the belief in haunted places. The following spirit-answers were elicited by our questions on this subject.

 

1. Do spirits attach themselves to persons only, or do they also attach themselves to things?

 

“That depends upon their elevation. Certain spirits may attach themselves to terrestrial objects ; misers, for instance, who have hidden their hoards, and who are not sufficiently dematerialised, may still watch over and guard them.”

 

2. Are there any places for which errant spirits have a predilection ?

 

“Spirits who are no longer earth-bound go where they find those whom they love, for they are attracted rather by persons than by material things. Some of them may, for a time, retain a preference for certain places; but those who do so are spirits of inferior advancement.”

 

3. Since the attachment of spirits for localities is a sign of inferiority, is it also a proof that they are evil spirits ?

 

“Assuredly not; a spirit may be but little advanced, and yet not be a bad spirit; is it not so among men?”

 

4. Is there any foundation for the belief that spirits frequent ruins by preference?

 

“No; spirits go to such places, just as they go everywhere else; but the lugubrious aspect of certain places strikes the human imagination, and leads you to attribute, to the presence of spirits, what is often merely a natural effect. How often does fear turn the shadow of a tree into a phantom, or mistake the cry of an animal, or the murmuring of the wind, for the wail of a ghost! Spirits like the presence of men, and usually seek out inhabited places rather than solitary ones.”

 

– Nevertheless, knowing what we do of the diversity of character among spirits, may we not suppose that there are misanthropes among them, preferring solitude to society?

 

“Have I not already answered you on this point, by saying that spirits may seek out desolate places, as well as all other places? If some of them live alone, they do so because it pleases them, but this is no reason why spirits should necessarily prefer ruins; and, assuredly, there are many more spirits in cities and inhabited dwellings than in solitary places.”

 

5. Popular beliefs have generally a foundation of truth; what is the origin of the belief in haunted places?

 

“It has grown out of men’s instinctive belief in spirit manifestations, a belief that has prevailed in all ages of the world; but, as I said just now, the aspect of lugubrious places strikes the imagination, and men have naturally located, in such places, the beings whom they have regarded as supernatural. This superstitious belief is upheld by the fanciful imaginings of your poets, as well as by the nonsensical stories told to you in the nursery.”

 

6. Spirits who assemble together, have they any preferences in regard to days and hours of meeting?

 

“No; days and hours are measurements of time for the use of men, and for the needs of corporeal life; spirits have no need of any such measurements, and take very little heed of them.”

 

7. What is the origin of the idea that spirits come by preference at night?

 

“The impression produced on the imagination by darkness and silence. All such ideas are superstitions that a rational knowledge of Spiritism will destroy. It is the same with respect to the notion, held by some people, that certain days and hours are more propitious than others; the influence of midnight has no existence except in story-books.”

 

– If this be the case, how is it that many spirits announce their arrival and manifestations for midnight, or for certain pre-determined days, as Fridays, for example?

 

“Such spirits only trifle with your credulity. In the same way, there are spirits who declare themselves to be the devil, or give themselves some other diabolical or fantastic name. Show them that you are not to be taken in by them, and you will hear no more of such absurdities.”

 

8. Do spirits come back by preference to the burial-place of their body?

 

“The body was but a garment; they care no more for their fleshly envelope, in which they have had to suffer, than the prisoner cares for his chains. The memory of those they love is the only thing they value.”

 

– Are prayers offered up at their graves especially pleasing to them, and do they attract them more than prayers would do elsewhere?

 

“Prayer is an evocation which attracts a spirit, as you know. The more fervent and sincere the prayer, the greater the effect it produces; and therefore, the sight of a venerated tomb may serve to concentrate the thought of him who prays, while the interest attached to it, as to any other treasured relic, being a testimony of affection offered to the spirit, he is always attracted and touched thereby. But, in all such cases, it is the thought which acts on a spirit, and not any material objects; for these have less influence on the spirit who is prayed for than on the person who prays, and whose attention they serve to concentrate and intensify.”

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Medium’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora). Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– Questions & Answers section

 

– The version of “The Medium’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.

 

 

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