If the identity of a spirit is, in many cases, only a secondary question of no great importance, the distinction between good and evil spirits can never be unimportant; for, although their individuality may, under certain circumstances, be indifferent to us, such can never be the case in regard to their quality, because it is their quality alone that can give us the measure of the confidence we should accord to them, whatever may be the name they assume.



As previously remarked, we must judge of spirits as we judge of men, by their language. Supposing a man receives twenty letters from persons unknown to him; by their style, by the thoughts conveyed in them, and by a multitude of other indications, lie will distinguish those which are written by educated persons from those which come from ignorant ones; he will see, by the peculiarities of each letter, whether its writer is well or ill-bred, whether he is shallow or profound, whether he is proud, serious, frivolous, or sentimental. It is just the same with spirits; ‘we must regard them as correspondents, or interlocutors, whom we have never seen, and ask ourselves what we should think of the knowledge and general character of men who should express themselves in the same way. We may lay it down as an invariable rule, admitting of no exception, that the language of spirits is always in, accordance with the degree of their elevation. The communications of really superior spirits are not only excellent, but are always couched in simple and dignified language; and therefore the use of low and unsuitable language, by a spirit, always indicates inferiority on his part, no matter how good may be the intentions implied in it. We need hardly add, that any grossness of language, as of thought, is conclusive proof of a corresponding grossness in the nature of the communicating spirit. The language of a communication always shows its origin, whether by the nature of the thought conveyed, or by the form in which it is given; so that, whenever a spirit tries to deceive us by a pretended superiority, we have only to converse with him a little, in order to appraise him at his true value.



Kindness and benevolence are also essential attributes of purified spirits ; they have no hatred, either for men or for other spirits; they pity the weaknesses of those who are below them, and, though they criticise their errors, they always do so with moderation, and without bitterness or animosity. If we admit that really good spirits can only desire the good of others, and can only give utterance to kind and noble sentiments, we must necessarily conclude that language, evidencing a want of kindness or nobility, cannot emanate from a good spirit.




Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Medium’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), page 302. Printed in Brazil. Version found at Public Domain.





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