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Amazing Afterlife Experiments in Paris

Pierre-Emile Cornillier (1862 – 1933, middle photo) was a French artist who had an interest in psychical research when, in 1912, he realized that Reine, an 18-year-old model (top photo) he had been employing for several months, had psychic abilities of some kind.  He soon began some experiments with her and when she was in a “hypnotic sleep” she was able to go out of body and report on things and happenings in other places. Further experimentation involved communication with some apparently low-level spirits, but a “high spirit” named Vettellini (bottom photo, Corniellier’s conception) emerged in the ninth séance and continued on as Reine’s primary guide through 107 seances documented by Cornillier. 
The usual procedure was that Reine would be “magnetized” and placed in the trance state, then after some wait she would begin communicating with Vettellini and relay what he had to say back to Cornillier.  If Cornillier had questions, he would put them to Reine, who would repeat the question back to Vettellini, then give his response.  When Reine returned to normal consciousness, she had no recollection of what was said or had taken place while she was in the trance state.  On some occasions, Vettellini would take her to distant places, and she would report back to Cornillier on what she had seen or with whom she had met. 

There were several contacts with deceased old friends and acquaintances that were evidential to Cornillier, his wife, and some visitors, but Reine’s mediumship is not about evidence, per se, as it was with most of the pioneering researchers.  Cornillier was more interested in learning how things worked in the spirit world.  They discussed the nature of the spirit body, how spirits awaken on the other side, what they look like, their faculties, grades of consciousness among spirits, activities in the spirit world, spirit influence on humans, God, reincarnation, astral travel, difficulties in communication by high spirits, deception by inferior spirits, premonitions, dreams, time, space, animal spirits, materializations, apparitions, cremation, and other concerns that Cornillier had about how things work in the spirit world. 

“Death is predetermined,” Vettellini communicated in one sitting. “Sickness and accident are means used by the spirit-directors for the accomplishment of destiny. Life sometimes defends itself vigorously against Death, particularly in the case of inferior beings who intuitively dread the mystery.  But spirit-messengers are there, awaiting the release of the soul, and when the hour comes, aid and, if need be, force the escape.  The soul is then conducted before an assembly of high spirits – the white ones – who recognize the degree of evolution.  If the evolution is slight, the soul will wander about in our atmosphere for a longer or shorter period, reviewing his earthly life, taking cognizance of his responsibilities and learning to develop his own conscience by observing, from the other side, the struggle of living beings…”

Cornillier asked Vettellini about the exact moment the spirit is imprisoned in the body.  “Vettellini replied that the complete capture of the spirit by the body occurs generally at the moment of delivery, but that from the moment of conception, and throughout all the time of pregnancy, there has been an intermittent penetration of the spirit into the organism in course of human formation.

Vettellini often responded to Cornillier by telling him that the various modes of life in the spirit world are beyond human comprehension as their concepts do not exist on our plane.  Reine told Cornillier that she understood everything Vettellini said while she was in the trance state, but, even though she recalled some of them upon returning to her body, she had no words to explain them.

As Cornillier came to understand, the more evolved spirits were at too high a vibration to effectively communicate with humans and therefore usually relayed their messages through less evolved spirits – those closer in vibration to the earth vibration.  These lower spirits then relayed the messages through the medium’s subconscious based on her experience or ideas. Because her education was “meager,” and her vocabulary limited, her interpretations were often inexact.  Conscious of her difficulties, Vettellini sometimes gave her precise words, which she then repeated to Cornillier mechanically, without comprehending.  It was clear to Cornillier that the transmission was often imperfect. However, the fact that Reine was a “simple child” with no prior knowledge of the things she related in some detail and without hesitation in the trance state, was convincing to Cornillier.

In his 42nd sitting, Cornillier asked Vettellini whether the individual consciousness becomes absorbed in a universal consciousness as spirit evolves.  The reply was that the opposite was true – individual consciousness grows stronger as evolution progresses.

Vettellini estimated that about one-half of the various circumstances in any given life are determined by the law of Fate, while one-half of the remainder is under the control of the individual and the remaining half is subject to modification of the high spirits.

When Cornillier asked why Reine reported seeing certain spirits with the physical bodies they had on earth and others as tiny flames of light, Vettellini explained that it depended on their degree of evolution as well as their personal tendencies and preoccupations. If they wanted to approach the earth dimension, they learned how to employ the vibrations necessary for materialization.  If, however, they preferred to mount higher in ethereal spheres and further from terrestrial conditions, they took light forms. 

“Do not try to understand what is so far beyond your actual means of comprehension,” Vettellini repeated to Cornellier. “this power of the great Spirits astonishes and terrifies you, and yet it is nothing – or, in any case, little – in comparison with what is ...” —MET

The Survival of the Soul and Its Evolution After Death by Pierre-Emile Cornillier

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