An Officer from the Italian Army
Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies
July 1st, 1859 (see July 1859 issue)
- I am here.
2. You promised to come to us again and we will take the opportunity
to request a few complementary explanations from you.
- With pleasure.
3. Have you watched some battles after your death?
- Yes, the last one.
4. When you witness a combat as a spirit, watching men killing one
another, do you have any feeling of horror as we would, if we
watched similar images?
- Yes, I experienced that, even as a man, but then human respect
was based on a feeling not worthy of a soldier.
5. Are there spirits that feel pleasure by watching such blood
- A few.
6. What do the spirits of a superior order feel when witnessing that?
- Great compassion; almost disdain. The same that you feel
when you see the animals killing one another.
7. When you see a combat and people dying, do you see the separation
between the soul and the body?
8. At that moment do you then see two individuals, the spirit and
- No. What is the body then?
- But the body is still there. It must be distinct from the spirit.
- A cadaver, yes, but no longer a human being.
9. What is then the appearance of the spirit?
10. Does the spirit move away immediately from the body? I ask
you to kindly explain things as explicitly as possible and how we
would see them in case we witnessed them.
- There are only a few really instantaneous deaths. The spirit who
was hit by a bullet or a grenade, tells oneself most of the time:
“I am going to die, let us think of God and heavens. Good-bye
beloved land.” After that first feeling the pain extracts him from
the body and it is when we can distinguish the spirit, moving
around the cadaver. This seems so natural that the sight of the
dead body does not produce an unpleasant effect. Since life has
been totally transported to the spirit, it is the spirit that calls our
attention; it is with the spirit that we talk and command.
OBSERVATION: We can compare this effect to the one that
is produced by a group of swimmers. The spectator does not
give attention to the clothes that were left at the beach.
11. Generally, when surprised by a violent death, the individual does
not consider oneself dead, for some time. How can we explain
one’s situation and how can the person has illusions, since one
must feel all to well that one’s body is no longer material and
- One knows and has no illusions.
OBSERVATION: This is not exact. We know that there are
spirits that in some cases keep that illusion and think that
they are not dead.
12. There was a huge thunderstorm at the end of the Battle of
Solferino. Was it due to a serendipitous cause or a providential
- Every serendipitous cause is the result of God’s will.
13. Such a storm had an objective then? What was that?
- Yes, for sure: to cease the battle.
14. Was it provoked in the interest of any of the belligerent parts?
- Yes, particularly in the interest of our enemies.
- Why? Can you elaborate on that?
- You ask me why? Don’t you know that without that storm
our artillery would have annihilated the Austrians?
15. If the storm was provoked it must have been done by agents that
provoked it. What were those agents?
16. Those is the material agent but are there spirits whose attribution
is to drive the elements?
- No. God’s will is enough. He does not need such common
(See an article later about the storms)
Society July 22nd, 1859
- I am with you.
2. Mrs. J… told us that you have spontaneously communicated with
her. Why did you do that since she had not called you?
- She is the one that brings me here. I wanted to be evoked by
you and I knew that going to her house you would be informed
and would likely call me.
3. You told her that you were following the military operations in
Italy. That is natural. Can you tell us what you think about that?
- They produced great results. In my time we would fight longer.
4. Do you have an active role by watching that war?
- No, a simple spectator.
5. Have other generals from your time been there with you?
- Yes, as you can figure out.
6. Could you let us know who some of them are?
- It would be useless.
7. They say that Napoleon I was present, a fact that is not difficult
to believe. During the first wars of Italy he was a simple general.
Could you tell us if in this war he saw things from the point of
view of a general or an Emperor?
- From both, besides a third one: the diplomat.
8. When alive you held a similar position as his. Since he moved up
the ranks a lot from the time of your death, could you tell us if
you consider him as your superior, as a spirit?
- Equality reigns here. What do you want to know about that?
OBSERVATION: No doubt that he understands that the
spirits do not carry their Earthly distinction over, with which
they are not much concerned, meaning nothing among them;
however, moral equality it is far from existing there. There is
a hierarchy and subordination among them, based on the acquired
qualities and no one can avoid the ascendency of those
who are more elevated and pure.
9. Did you foresee the near peace when following the events of war?
10. Was it a simple prediction or did you have a previous and certain
- No; I was told so.
11. Are you sensitive to the memories we have of you?
- Yes, but I did so little.
12. Your widow has just died. Have you immediately met her?
- I waited for her. I will leave her now. The existence calls me.
13. Is it on Earth that you will have another existence?
14. Do we know the world where you are going?
- Yes. Mercury.
15. Is that world morally superior or inferior to Earth? - Inferior. I will elevate it. I will contribute to improve its
16. Do you already know that world?
- Yes, very well. Perhaps even better than I will know it when
I inhabit it.
OBSERVATION: This answer is perfectly logical. As a spirit
he sees the world in its wholeness. As an incarnate spirit he
sees from a restrict point of view, limited to his personality
and the social position that he occupies.
17. From a physical point of view, are the inhabitants of that world as
material as those from Earth?
- Yes, completely and even more.
18. Was it you who chose that world for your next existence?
- No, no. I would have preferred a calm and happy land. I will
find streams of evil there and the furors of crime to punish.
OBSERVATION: When our Christian missionaries travel to
places where the barbarians live, sowing the germens of civilization
on them, don’t they exert a similar function? Why then
should we be surprised by the fact that an elevated spirit goes
to an inferior world to make it advance?
19. Was such an existence imposed on you by constraint?
- No. It was advised to me. I was led to understand that destiny,
the Providence if you will, called me there. It is like death before
heavens. One needs to suffer and I did not suffer enough.
20. Are you happy as a spirit?
- Yes, without any issue.
21. What were your occupations as a spirit, since the time when you
left Earth? - I visited the world, the whole planet Earth. That required a
few years. I learned about the laws employed by God to drive
all phenomena which contribute to the Earthly life. Then I
did the same in several other spheres.
22. We thank you for having willingly accepted our appeal.
- Good-bye. You will not see me again.
Death of a Spiritist
Society, July 8th 1859
Mr. J…, a businessman from the department of La Sarthe, deceased on
July 15th, 1859, was a righteous man, of a boundless charity in every
aspect. He had carried out a serious study of Spiritism and was one of its
followers. He was in indirect contact with us as a subscriber to the Spiritist
Review, although we had not met him in person. By evoking him we aim
at not only satisfying his relatives and friends wishes but also to give him
our personal testimony of sympathy, thanking him for the kindness of his
thoughts and words about us. Besides, it would be an interesting object of
study for us from the point of view of the influence that a deep knowledge
about Spiritism may have on the state of the soul after death.
- I am here already for a long time.
2. I never had the pleasure of meeting you. However, do you recognize
- I recognize you very well, since I frequently visited you and had
more than one conversation with you in spirit, during my life.
OBSERVATION: This confirms the very important fact
from that we have numerous examples about the communications
among human beings, without knowing, during their
lives. Thus, during the sleep of the body, the spirits reciprocally
travel and visit one another. Awakening, they keep the
intuition of the ideas that they acquired during those occult
conversations, and whose source they ignore. Therefore we
have a double existence during our life: the corporeal, which
gives us the life of exterior relationships and the spiritual one,
which gives us the life of occult relationships.
3. Are you happier than you were when on Earth?
- And that is you who is asking?
4. I understand. However, you enjoyed a fortune that was honestly
acquired, which allowed you the pleasures of life. You were granted
with affection and consideration attained by your goodness
and benevolence. Can you tell us what is the latitude of your current
- It naturally consists of the satisfaction I have from the
memory of the little good I have done and in the certainty
of the future that it promises me. Besides, don’t you take
into account the absence of the uncertainty and difficulties
of life; the corporeal sufferings and all those torments
that we create to satisfy the bodily needs? During life the
agitation, the anxiety, the endless anguishes, even when
wealthy. Here we find tranquility and rest. It is calm after
5. Six weeks before you died you said that you still had five years to
live. Where did that illusion come from considering that so many
people foresee the nearing death?
- A benevolent spirit wanted to keep that idea away from my
mind; although I knew the future of the spirit, I had the unconfessed
weakness of fearing death.
6. You did an in depth study of the Spiritist Science. Could you tell us
if you found things as expected when you entered the spiritual world?
- Almost exactly the same except for a few areas of detail that I
7. Have the careful reading of the Spiritist Review and The Spirits’
Book helped you there?
- Undoubtedly. That was what really prepared me for my entry
in this true life.
8. Were you afraid in any way when you got to the spiritual world?
- Impossible to be otherwise. However, afraid is not a good
word. It would be better to say awe. You are far from having
an idea about the meaning of that!
OBSERVATION: Someone that before moving to a region
had studied it from the books; familiarized with the customs
and culture of its inhabitants; analyzed its topology and appearance
through drawings, designs and descriptions, will
certainly be less surprised than another one who had no idea.
However, reality shows him a number of details that he had
not foreseen, impressing him. The same must happen in the
world of the spirits, whose wonders we cannot completely understand,
for there are things beyond our understanding.
9. Once you left the body did you immediately recognize some spirits
- Yes, dear spirits.
10. How do you see now the future of Spiritism?
- A more brilliant future than you think, despite your faith and
11. Your knowledge with respect to the spiritist subjects will undoubtedly
allow you to respond to a few questions with precision.
Can you clearly describe what happened to you at the time when
your body exhaled its final breath and your spirit was free? Personally I find it very difficult to explain in a different way
than what has already been done, that is, comparing the sensation
we have when waking up from a heavy sleep. Such
awakening is more or less slow and difficult in direct proportion
to the moral situation of the spirit, always strongly
influenced by the circumstances of death.
OBSERVATION: This is in agreement with every observation
carried out about the status of the spirit at the time of
separation from the body. We have always seen the moral and
material circumstances of death powerfully influencing the
condition of the spirit at the initial moments.
12. Has your spirit maintained the awareness of its own existence up to
the last minute, immediately recovering it? Was there any moment
in which there was a lack of awareness? What was its duration?
- There was a time of perturbation, almost unnoticeable to me.
13. Was there anything painful in the awakening?
- No, on the contrary. I felt, if I can say so, happy and fresh, as
if I was breathing pure air after leaving a smoky room.
OBSERVATION: Ingenuous clever comparison which can
only be the pure expression of truth.
14. Do you remember the existence prior to this one that you have
just left? How was that?
- I remember that very well. I was a servant working for a good
man who has, together with others, welcomed me on my arrival
into this blessed world.
15. I believe your brother is less involved with the spiritist things than
- Yes, I will do something so that he may have more interest, if
I am allowed to. If he only knew what we gain from that he
would give more importance.
16. Your brother asked Mr. D… to communicate your death to me.
Both wait anxiously the result of our dialogue. However, they will
be more touched by a direct message from you, in case you wish
to send them a few words through us, or even to other persons
who miss you.
- I will tell them through your intermediary what I would have
told them directly, but I am afraid I no longer have influence
over some of them as I had before. However, in my name and
in the name of their friends, who I can see well, I urge them
to seriously reflect and study this grave question of Spiritism,
even if it is only for the help that it brings to go through this
so much feared transition, feared by the majority of people,
and so little feared by the one that has previously prepared
himself by the study of the future and the practice of the
good deeds. Tell them that I am always with them, in their
environment; that I see them and that I will be happy if their
determination may grant them a place which will make them
always congratulate themselves, in the world where I am. Tell
my brother in particular whose happiness is my profound
wish, brother that I never forget although I am happier than
17. The sympathy that you have kindly showed towards me during
your life, even not knowing me personally, gives me the hope that
we will easily meet when I am in your world. Until then I will be
happy if you want to assist me with my work in order to conclude
- You judge me with great benevolence. Yet, be sure that if I can
be of any utility I will always help, even unsuspectedly.
18. We thank you for having kindly attended our call and by the
instructive explanation you have given us.
- At your services. I will be with you many times.
OBSERVATION: This communication is undoubtedly
one of those that describe the spiritual life with more clarity. It offers a powerful teaching with respect to the
influence that the spiritist ideas have upon our condition
The dialogue, however, seems to have missed something to
the friend who has participated us the death of Mr. J…,
who said: “He has not preserved in his language the original
traits he used with us. He maintained a reservation never
shown to anybody. His incorrect, subtle style, used to reveal
inspiration; he dared it all; he used to win over any argumentation
about his beliefs, reducing us to nothing in order
to convince us. In his psychological profile he does not show
any particularity regarding the numerous relationships he
had with a number of people close to him. We all would
like to see our names mentioned by him, not to satisfy our
curiosity but for our instruction. We wished he had clearly
spoken about some ideas that we expressed before him, during
our dialogues. He could have told me personally if I was
right or wrong when insisting with this or that consideration;
if what I had told him was right or wrong. He has not
absolutely mentioned his sister who is still alive and so much
worth of his interest.”
After this letter we evoked Mr. J… again and addressed him
with the following questions:
19. Are you aware of the letter that I received in response to the communication
- Yes, I saw when they wrote it.
20. Could you kindly give us some explanations about certain passages
of that letter with an educational objective, uniquely to provide
us with elements to give an answer?
- Yes, if you consider that useful.
21. They find it strange that your language has not maintained its
original trait. It seems that you showed an overwhelming argumentation
- Yes but Earth and heavens are very different and here I have
found masters. What do you want? They made me impatient
with their absurd objections. I showed them the Sun and they
did not want to see it. How to keep a cold blood? There is no
need to discuss here. We all understand things.
22. Those gentlemen are surprised that you have not mentioned them
by their names to refute them, as you did when alive.
- Let them be surprised! I wait for them. When they join me
they will see who is right. It is necessary that they come to this
side, willing or not, some sooner than they think. Their arrogance
will fall like the dust abated by the rain. Their swagger…
(the spirit stops here, refusing to finish the sentence).
23. They infer that you don’t demonstrate all the attention they were
rightfully supposed to get from you.
- I wish them well but I will do nothing against their own will.
24. They are also surprised that you said nothing about your sister.
- Are they in any way between her and me?
25. Mr. B… wished you had mentioned something that he confided
to you. It would have been a means of clarification to him and
- What is the benefit of repeating what he already knows? Does
he think that I have nothing else to do? Don’t they have the
same means of enlightenment that I had? May they take advantage
of that! I guarantee they will feel well. As for myself,
I thank heavens for having sent me the light that opened the
path of happiness to me.
26. But it is that light that they wish and which would make them
happy had it come from you.
- Light shines to all. Blind is the one who refuses to see. That
one will fall from the cliff, cursing his blindness.
27. Your language seems very strict to me.
- Haven’t they found me too soft?
28. We thank you for having come and for the lessons given to us.
- Always at your service since I know it is for the good.