The Phenomena That Sparked Modern Spiritualism and 
Lead to the Codification of Spiritism

Spirit Phenomena in the Late 1800s  |  Theories about the Manifestations |
Kardec Witnesses the Phenomena

Spirit Phenomena in the Late 1800s

Following the communication with rapping spirits, by the Fox sisters and others, communication through the phenomena of moving objects, particularly tables, became much more common.  The intelligent force was made apparent by the belief, as expressed by Kardec, that "if every effect has a cause, then every intelligent effect must have an intelligent cause.” 

The theories that the nature of such a force was a reflection of the medium’s or the participants’ intelligence were soon dispelled, because some of the communications given were of ideas or information completely unknown to anyone present, and sometimes were even in plain contradiction with their beliefs or wishes.

The entities that they communicated with always identified themselves as spirits, belonging to the invisible world, and these kinds of results were obtained at many different locations by different individuals. 

The phenomenon of “talking tables” spread from the United States to France and to the rest of Europe, where for several years it became a popular, and even fashionable form of entertainment for many curious observers.

Despite its popularity, however, Spiritualism was not without its many critics.  Materialists, who believed only in the visible and tangible, and had no belief in life after death, would not even consider the idea of invisible spirits and mocked those who did believe, calling them madmen.  Some critics admitted the physical effects, but attributed them to the devil, which had the effect of scaring some and exiting others. Others still, simply could not believe in such a thing and published writings that offered only personal opinions, empty of any proof of the impossibility of the phenomena.   

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