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We have been animals by Pierre-Emile Cornillier


March 31, 1913

Reine sleeps easily, grows cold from the very beginning of the passes, and then, to my surprise, returns to an almost normal temperature. Later on I learn that Vettellini, finding her in bad health, has arrested the chilling of the body.

At the end of an hour I question her. No reply. Reiterating my call after a few moments, and her silence still persisting, I then gently formulate an order. Placing in her hands a letter and some sleeve links coming from my friend C., who died several years ago, I told her, without comment or explanation, to find the Spirit whose fluid impregnates these objects.

We wait some time. Then Reine stirs and seems to be speaking with the invisible. She shows the sleeve links, holds them out to someone, points to me, handles the letter, and finally addresses me directly: “It is very difficult, Monsieur Cornillier; the fluid vibration left in these things is so feeble that I cannot perceive it. But Vettellini came to help me and he has gone now to find the Spirit. There is not a particle of fluid in the letter ... and very little in the buttons.” Here Reine is evidently interrupted by some invisible person, for after listening she turns back to me again: “Vettellini comes to say that there is no trace left of this Spirit. Nothing remains by which to find him. What was done with his body, then?”

This is interesting. As a matter of fact C. was cremated. ‘‘Ah, well, that explains it—that is why it is so difficult!” exclaims Reine, ‘‘Vettellini will start again. Oh, he will make out all right; but I never would have been able to.”

More moments of waiting, then the same scene over again. Vettellini returns again to ask how long ago C. died. He has looked first amongst the inferior Spirits, my friend is not there; nor is he amongst the blue. Then Vettellini addressed himself to the white Spirits and was told that the one whom he was seeking had reincarnated. “It is strange,” he adds, “and rare, after so short a period in the Astral” (six years).

He is going back, he wants to find out all about it, to please me. But it is not easy.

Again we wait, talking a little, expecting Vettellini’s return at any moment, but he does not come, and we begin to find the time long. Reine is visibly bored and jerks out crossly, “But what on earth is he doing?”

My wife is shivering, and I am not so very amused myself.

As a distraction I propose an experiment. Reine will tell me how much change I have in my purse. After a mistake she says six francs, which is correct, but without value, because she took the purse in her hands. I place my pocket- book in her lap. She sees in it a photograph of Madame Cornillier and some visiting cards: exact, but probable also. She then discovers “a paper with little drawings on it—figures of women;” exact—a fifty-franc bank note.

And still Vettellini does not come. Reine grows more and more enervated: “But where do you suppose he is? What can he be doing all this time?”

We wait three-quarters of an hour. My wife, worn out, leaves the room.

Suddenly he is here. “Ah well, my Vettellini, you certainly take your time!” cries Reine, all joyful again. “It is difficult to find a Spirit in such circumstances. I wanted to be sure and I am now.” And he explains that he has not himself seen the one who has reincarnated, but he has obtained the details from Superior Spirits. C. reincarnated about eighteen months ago, but not for a long life. He will die soon now. It was he himself who chose his fate in order to hasten his evolution which was already of a good degree; but he had still to live once more in the flesh, and he had preferred to do it at once, and with suffering, to gain a corresponding benefit. He is actually an infant nearly a year old.
I ask if Vettellini can tell me where he is, and in what family.

“Here in Paris—yes.” Reine begins to hesitate, her face grows sad.

“Monsieur Cornillier, he is not very happy.”
‘ ‘You mean that he is amongst poor people?”

“Oh, yes!”

“In a miserable family—bad?”

“Worse than that. He hasn’t any family at all. He was abandoned by his mother. He is in the Foundling Asylum. But he will die soon now—and he will have gained much!”

After some talk about the way in which Vettellini obtained this information, we change the subject.

‘‘The portrait, Vettellini!” says Reine suddenly, “what do you think of the portrait?” He makes some legitimate criticism, very charmingly ... ‘‘for I have two eyes that are alike—or at least they were alike when I was on earth.”

“Well, upon my word,” exclaims Reine sarcastically, ‘‘he proposes to be handsome!” Vettellini says that, unknown to me, he has helped, and will still help me in the execution of the portrait. He will try to show himself to me in a dream which will rest in my memory.

The long absence of Vettellini in his search today leads me to ask how Spirits perceive time. What is the notion, the sensation, of time for them? The reply is long: Time does not exist for Spirits; they do not perceive its duration; the past, the present, and the future co-exist, etc. After the spending of many words on one side and the other, we are obliged to recognize that the conception of the non-existence of time is beyond our powers, necessarily inexplicable in terms of our language, and vain to discuss.

I prefer to know if inferior Spirits can have an influence on their superiors—if not individually, then by uniting their vibratory force, for example. “Were all of them to unite together,” replies Vettellini, “it would avail nothing. Superiority is effective the instant that it is conscious.”

Referring to the Elementals, I ask if they are the Spirits of animals. “Yes, they are the Spirits of animals. They sometimes hover about you, and may be used as instruments by Spirits of low order.” What is their evolutive possibility? The reply interests me, particularly because of its conformity to cosmosophical teaching. Summed up, it is as follows:—Animals evolve the same as we do. Everything in nature evolves. We have been animals. But a cat or a horse does not become a man on our Earth. After successive reincarnations, by means of which an animal has gained all that can be gained in his class, he migrates to another planet, where he will acquire the vibratory condition that is necessary before he can incarnate in the higher form, and thus continue indefinitely the march of evolution.

The question of water diviners (dowsers) has been much agitated of late, and while we were waiting for Vettellini’s return today, I spoke to Reine about it and was surprised to find that she seemed quite sure of the importance of the hazel-rod in the experiment. I said nothing at the time, but now tell her to ask her Guide what a water diviner really is. She listens attentively, and immediately says that she was altogether mistaken: “Vettellini says that it is a special sensitiveness in the man himself, that the hazel-rod has nothing to do with it. Substances throw out radiations; the spring-finder is a being specially sensitive to these radiations, which affect him differently according to the difference of their nature—running water, metals,” etc.

I then speak about the propagation of our convictions. What is Vettellini’s opinion in the matter? His opinion is that it is perfectly useless to try to convince people: “When they are ready, they come to the question of themselves. Otherwise, it is a waste of effort. Even positive proofs have no weight. Nothing is ever proved to those who do not understand. Time will do the work.”

Before waking Reine, I give her the order to go to bed early tomorrow evening, and, during her natural sleep, her astral body must disengage itself and come here—not to make a manifestation this time, but to observe. And on Wednesday at our séance, she will tell me what she has found here. We will have some friends dining with us. She must observe closely and tell me exactly all about it. She seems to hesitate: “But ... then I must come in ... and listen? I’d never dare to!”

“Reine, you will come, and you will come and sit next to me. I invite you. You will be a guest.” Her face lights up with joy: “Oh ... a guest? Ah, yes, I’ll come!”

“FORTY-FIRST SÉANCE” is an extract from The Survival Of The Soul And Its Evolution After Death by Pierre-Emile Cornillier.


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