Aimée and Juliette see the past lives of Louis Gastin
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
As quoted by Gabriel Delanne - Materials for use in the Study of Reincarnation
I owe the following report to the kindness of Mr. Gastin, the well-known eminent occultist:
DEAR MR. DELANNE,
I am pleased to confirm below the very curious experience I obtained, a number of years ago, in a completely unexpected way.
That was in 1906. I still lived in Avignon and I was already very involved in the systematic study of psychological phenomena, outside any doctrine or theory.
I had not yet managed to form an opinion on the value of the spiritualist hypothesis, and my positive tendencies inclined me rather to find in suggestion and self-suggestion a sufficient explanation of all psychic and parapsychic phenomena. I frequently went to Romans, in the Drôme, where my uncle lived with a family of spiritualists consisting, apart from the father and mother, of two young girls, of whom I had no difficulty in making two subjects for experiments.
In the hope of obtaining more serious control of the phenomenon, I simultaneously put the two girls to sleep and tried to obtain facts of sleepwalking clairvoyance with them, while my uncle, a writer medium, received communications a short distance from there.
Aimée, the younger of the two subjects, had frequent and very interesting manifestations of lucid sleepwalking. I will not talk about it here, although some of these demonstrations were really worthwhile. The elder, Juliette, on the other hand, presented no interesting phenomenon: she remained in a kind of unconscious lethargy from which I pulled her in vain by opening her eyes and looking at her. A cataleptoid state occurred, and she closed her eyes as soon as my eyes, for one reason or another, left them. Apart from this banal fact, nothing, absolutely nothing, had made me hope for any realization in the experimental order, with this mediocre subject. However, the loss of consciousness was obvious.
One day, renewing a futile attempt so many times and without any specific purpose or object, while the two sisters were asleep and my uncle at the table, in front of his paper, I approached Juliet, the mediocre subject, and opened her eyes and looked at her as usual, when she suddenly told me, looking surprised:
"How odd. I don't see you anymore... or rather I see you aged, bald and with a severe look. But no, it's not you... it's your expression, but it's not you; it's an old man who looks like you, and behind that cold, severe face that scares me, I see you, you, as I know you, alive and smiling. As I asked for more details, Juliette added: "Ah! the old man's face has disappeared.... But another one replaces it." And then, in an order that I didn't have time to note, so unexpected and fast had the fact been, the subject described a long series of faces of all ages, men and women, who came, like living but cold masks, to stand before my own living physiognomy, and always it was the same expression of the eyes. This doorway to the soul, according to the physiognomists, which the subject acknowledged to be my own expression, is like the characteristic of my individuality.
Then, suddenly, all vision disappeared and Juliet saw only me now and present.
I then asked the subject what she thought the curious kaleidoscopic visions could represent. Juliette replied clearly that she knew nothing about it. I approached her sister, who was still sleeping a few steps away, and asked her if she had seen too.
Yes, she replied; there were even many more figures than my sister reported, but they passed so quickly that sometimes my sister could not grasp them. - What do you think these visions could mean? - Your previous lives.
At that very moment my uncle wrote mediumically: These are your previous incarnations.
Obviously there was nothing demonstrative in this succession of facts, for me who found myself at that time outside any spiritualist doctrine and quite willing to see everywhere the role of suggestion or self-suggestion, anything demonstrative concerning the possibility of a vision of past incarnations.
I was among spiritualists and I thought it was only natural to receive from Aimée and my uncle in a subconscious connection with Juliet an explanation of the spiritualist order.
To better observe the phenomenon, I resolved to provoke it again, and, approaching Juliet, I asked her to open her eyes again, suggesting that she would see the same visions unfold again.
Despite all my efforts to suggest (I was then in perfect condition as a hypnotist), it was impossible for me to reproduce, even in the early stages, the same vision, and I must add, because the fact is of crucial importance, that Juliet later became the mediocre subject she had been until then, and that no further manifestation ever came to affirm itself. Thus the explanatory argument of suggestion and self-suggestion disappeared. It is not with you, dear Mr Delanne, that I have to elaborate this point of logic; you will do so with more precision and authority than I do, if you believe you must use in your work the account I have just given you, an experience that was the starting point for a series of studies on my part concerning the duality of the intimate being and the fundamental difference that we must establish in their nature as well as in their relations between the living personality and the spiritual individuality that this personality reflects without knowing it and of which it is only the continuation.
Believe, dear Sir and friend, in my very fraternal feelings,