In the Opinion of Friends


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Mr. Levent[1] vice president of the Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies: 

The Master possessed a physiognomy that was at the same time benevolent and austere, a perfect tact, a just appreciation, a superior and incomparable logic which seemed to us to be inspired.

His labors were continuous; his correspondences with the four corners of the world, whence serious documents were sent to him, were immediately classified in his memory and carefully gathered in order to be submitted to the crucible of his superior logic and to form, after a scrupulous work of elaboration, the elements of these precious works of which everyone knows.

Oh! If you were given the opportunity as we were to see this mass of accumulated material in the work office of this tireless thinker; if, with us, you had penetrated the sanctuary of his meditations, you would see these manuscripts, some almost finished, some in the course of being executed, others, at last, only in drafts, scattered here and there, seeming to proclaim: “Where is our master now, always an early riser concerning work?”

Alexandre Delanne[2] – friend of Allan Kardec: 

No one would know, better than I would, how to recognize the rare qualities of Allan Kardec and give him justice.

Often times, in my long journeys, I saw how beloved he was, esteemed and understood by all adherents.  All desired to personally meet him in order to thank him for having provided them a spark through his works and to testify their gratitude and complete devotement.  They still love him to this day, like a true father.  All proclaimed him a genius and recognized him as the most profound of modern philosophers.  However, will they be in a condition to appreciate him in his private life, that is, in his actions?

Could they evaluate the goodness of his heart, his character which was as firm as it was just, the benevolence which he used in his relations, the real charity that flooded his soul, his prudence and his extreme politeness? – No!

I often had the honor to be received by him in private.  Seeing as how I witnessed some of his good deeds, I do not believe it unjust to make some citations here.

A friend of mine from Joinville, Mr. P…, came to see me one day.  Together we went to the village of Ségur, in order to visit the Master.  During the conversation, Mr. P… narrated the life of privations through which one of his compatriots endured, already of advanced age and to whom everything lacked, including clothes with which to cover himself in winter, and forced to protect his naked feet in crude clogs.  This man of good, however, far be it for him to lament, and above all, to ask for help: he was a shameful pauper.

It is that a spiritist brochure fell upon his eyes, allowing him to draw from the Doctrine the resignation for his trials and the hope for a better future.

I then saw, a compassionate tear fall from the eyes of Allan Kardec, and entrusting to my friend some gold coins, he said: “Take these so that you may provide for the most pressing material necessities of your protected.  And, since he is spiritist and his conditions do not allow him to learn as much as he wishes, come back tomorrow.  I shall be the bearer of all of the works which I can afford to give, in order to deliver them to him.”  Allan Kardec made good on his promise and today the old man blesses the name of the benefactor who, not satisfied in helping to alleviate his misery, still provided him the bread of life, the richness of intelligence and of morality.

Some years ago, I was recommended to a person who was reduced to extreme poverty, violently evicted from his home with no resources out on the street, with his wife and sons.  Together with the master I made myself an interpreter of these unfortunate people.  At the same instant, without wanting to meet them, without inquiring about their beliefs (they were not spiritists), Allan Kardec provided the means with which to remove them from poverty, an act which prevented suicide, for they had already decided to free themselves from the burden of life, too great for their discouraged souls, in case they had to renounce the assistance of men.

Allow me to yet narrate the following fact, in which the generosity of Kardec rivals his courtesy.

A spiritist, resident of a hamlet situated twenty leagues from Paris, had asked Allan Kardec to grant him the honor of a visit, with the purpose of watching the spiritist manifestations which were produced with him.  Always solicitous, whenever it came to offering a service, and attentive to the principle that Spiritism and spiritists must aid the humble and small, he soon left, accompanied by some friends and Mrs. Allan Kardec, his esteemed companion.

He had no reason to regret his decision, since the manifestation which he witnessed were truly notable.  But, during his short time there, his host was cruelly afflicted by the sudden loss of part of his resources.  Consternated, the poor man disguised the weight of this burden as much as possible.  However, the disastrous news reached Allan Kardec and, upon the moment of departure, having been informed of the approximate figure lost, he remitted to the city’s administrator a sum that was more than sufficient to re-establish the financial equilibrium of his host’s situation.  The peasant only became aware of his benefactor’s intervention after his departure.

Before I finish, it is impossible to resist the wish to reveal this last fact.  One afternoon, a certain person of my relations, who endured cruel trials, but who concealed to all his misery, found at the entrance to his residence a sealed letter, restricted to these simple words: “From the part of the good Spirits,” containing sufficient resources to help him leave this critical situation in which he found himself.  In the same way that the goodness of the Master discovered the misfortune, my friend, guided by some indications and the voice of his heart, soon recognized his anonymous benefactor.

I would not stop talking, if I was to remember the thousands of facts of this kind, known only by those whom he helped; because he did not only alleviate the material poverty, but also lifted, with comforting words, the disheartened morale, and all of this without his left hand knowing what his right hand was doing.

Here is the heart of this philosopher, so unknown during his life!  Despite everything, who more than him, so good, so noble, as great in his words as in his actions, was more a target of indignity and calumny? Nevertheless, he had no enemies except in those who did not know him; because, when they better appreciated him, even without sharing his philosophical opinions, were forced to render tribute towards his good faith.

His critics, who knew nothing of him except for the flag, tried to turn him against public opinion, without ascertaining if the rumors that they produced did not contain the least basis.  But he grasped this flag so proudly and firmly that no stain was capable of reaching it, and the mud with which they wanted to cover it only dirtied the hands of the pamphleteers.

Dear Master, noble and great Spirit, hover, in your majesty, above all those who love and respect you!  Observe those that are entirely devoted!  Continue your charitable and protective intervention over them!  Transmit to their souls the sacred fire that animates you, so that they, profoundly convinced of the immortal principles which you professed, may march on top of your footprints, imitating your virtues!  Make it so that harmony, love and peace reign among us, so that we may reunite ourselves with you, when you sound the hour of liberation for us!

Mr. E. Muller: 

Absolute tolerance was the rule of Allan Kardec.  His friends, his disciples belonged to all religions: Israelis, Mohammedan, Catholics and Protestants of all sects; belonged to all classes: rich, poor, scientists, free-thinkers, artists, laborer etc.  All could come here, thanks to this measure that does not compromise any conscience and will constitute a good example.

But next to this tolerance that unites us, is it necessary to cite one intolerance that I admire? I will say why, before all, it should legitimize this title of Master, which many among us attribute to him.  This intolerance is one of the most remarkable characters of his noble existence.  He was horrified of laziness and idleness: and this great worker died standing up, after an immense labor, that ended up exceeding the strength of his organs, but not that of the Spirit and of the heart.

Educated in Switzerland, in that patriotic school in which one breathes an open and vivifying air, he occupied his leisure time, since the age of fourteen, by giving courses to his mates that knew less than he did.

Coming to Paris, and knowing how to speak and write German as well as French, he translated to German the French books that touched his heart the most.  He chose Fénelon in order to make him well known, and this choice denotes the benevolent and elevated nature of the translator.  Later, he surrendered himself to education.  His vocation was to instruct.  His successes were great and the works which he published, grammar, arithmetic and others, became popular in his real name, of Rivail.

Not content in utilizing his notable faculties in a profession that secured him a tranquil well-being, he wanted those that could not afford to pay to also take advantage of his knowledge and was one of the first to organize, at this point in his life, gratuitous courses, maintained at Sèvres St., nº 35, where he taught Chemistry, Physics, comparative Anatomy, Astronomy, etc…

Because he had touched upon all sciences, having immersed himself well into them, he knew how to transmit his knowledge to others, with a rare and always appreciated talent.

For this dedicated scholar, work seemed to be the true essence of life.  Thus, more than anyone, he could not support an idea of death as it had been presented then, having as its end an eternal suffering or a selfish and eternal happiness, but with no use, neither for himself or others.

It was as if he was predestined, it seems, to spread and vulgarize this admirable Philosophy that makes us wait for work in the after-life and the indefinite progress of our individuality, which conserves itself, improving itself.

Allan Kardec
Allan Kardec

[1] The talks from Messrs. Levent and E. Muller were extracted from the Spiritist Magazine of 1869, EDICEL.

[2] A talk extracted from the book, Spiritism in its simplest expression, and other opuscules of Kardec, Ed.


Source: (Instituto de Pesquisas Espíritas Allan Kardec)