Serious mediums: those who only use their faculties for good and really useful ends, and who would regard it as a profanation to use them for the satisfaction of the curious and indifferent, or for any futile purpose.

 

Modest mediums: those who make no merit of the communications they receive, however good they may be they look upon themselves as being only the instruments of others, and do not regard themselves as infallible. Far from shunning disinterested counsel, in regard to the exercise of their medianimity, they seek it.

 

Devoted mediums : those who understand that the true medium has a mission to fulfil, and that he must be ready, when necessary, to sacrifice his tastes, habits, pleasure, time, and even his worldly interests, to the good of others.

 

Safe mediums: those who, in addition to their power, are worthy of confidence on account of their personal excellence and the elevated nature of the spirits who assist them, and who are thus the least likely to be deceived. We shall see hereafter that this security does not depend in any way upon the honourability of the names assumed by the communicating spirits.

 

“You must understand that, by thus classifying mediums according to their good and bad qualities, you are exposing yourself to the animosity of some of them; this, however, is of no importance. The number of mediums is increasing daily, and any who should take offence at these remarks would prove one thing, viz., that they are not good mediums, in other words, that they are influenced by inferior spirits. But, as I have already said, all this is only for a short time; and mediums who misuse their faculties will undergo the painful consequences of their acts, as has already occurred to some of them; they will learn, to their sorrow, the cost of turning, to the satisfaction of their earthly passions, a gift of God, accorded to them only for their moral advancement. If you are unable to bring them back into the right road, pity them, for they will have to undergo a heavier expiation.

 

“‘ERASTES.”

 

“This table is of great importance, not only for the mediums who seek sincerely and honestly, by studying it, to preserve themselves from the stumbling-blocks to which they are exposed, but also for those who make use of mediums, because it will give them the measure of what may be reasonably expected from them. This table should be constantly before the eyes of every one who occupies himself with spirit manifestations; it embodies all the principles of the doctrine, and will contribute, more than you think, to keep Spiritism on its true road.

 

“SOCRATES.”

 

 

All these varieties of medianimity present innumerable degrees of intensity; many of them, strictly speaking, are but different shades of the same colour, but they are nevertheless the result of special aptitudes. Although the faculty of a medium is rarely circumscribed within a single specialty, and although the same medium may possess several aptitudes, he has always one predominant aptitude, and that is the one he should cultivate, provided it be a useful one. It is a serious mistake to endeavour to force a medium to acquire faculties he does not naturally possess. We should cultivate those of which the germ is seen to exist; but the attempt to develop faculties which we do not possess is, in the first place, a loss of time, and, in the second place, the surest way to weaken, and perhaps to lose, those which we do possess.

 

 

“When the germ of a faculty exists, it always shows itself by unequivocal signs. By keeping to his own specialty, a medium is more likely to obtain useful and satisfactory results; he who tries to do everything, does nothing well. The desire to enlarge indefinitely the circle of one’s medianimic faculties is a vainglorious pretension which will not be allowed to go unpunished; good spirits always abandon the presumptuous, who thus become the sport of liars. It is, unfortunately, no rare thing to see mediums discontented with the gifts they possess, and aspiring, from vanity or ambition, to the possession of exceptional faculties, which might bring them into prominence ; a pretension which robs them of their most precious quality, that, viz., of being safe mediums.

 

“SOCRATES.”

 

 

The study of the specialty of mediums is absolutely necessary, not only on their own account, but also for those who make use of them for evocations. According to the nature of the spirits we desire to evoke, and the questions we wish to put to them, should be our choice of the medium whom we employ for the particular requirement we have in view; to take for this purpose the first we meet with is to expose ourselves to get unsatisfactory and erroneous answers. Let us take a couple of illustrations of this point from every-day life. We should not trust the first person we came across to draw up a document, or even to copy one, merely because he knows how to write. A musician desires a song of his to be sung; lie has at his command several singers, all skilful; nevertheless he does not choose at random, but selects, as his interpreter, the one whose voice, expression, and general qualities, are most likely to do justice to his composition. Spirits do the same in regard to their mediums; we cannot do better than follow their example.

 

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Medium’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), page 211. Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.

 

***

 

For more information, please check out these links:

 

– Our Spiritist Studies section – published on Tuesdays

 

– Questions & Answers section

 

– The version of “The Medium’s Book” (that is in public domain) is available for free download here (.pdf format)

 

– Get to know the other basic books of Christian Spiritist Doctrine by clicking here

 

– Download the other basic books of Spiritism here (.pdf format). All of the books are on public domain.