As everything may be made a source of pecuniary profit, it would not be strange if attempts were made to turn Spiritism to that purpose; but the spirits would probably be at no loss to show their opinion of such a speculation, should it be attempted, for it is evident that nothing could be more easily abused by charlatans than such a trade.

 

                        On the other hand, it is to be remarked that, although the turning of the medianimic faculty into a source of gain must lay its genuineness open to suspicion, it would not be a proof that such suspicion is founded; for a medium may possess real medianimic aptitude, and employ it with perfect honesty, while receiving payment. Let us see, then, what are the results that may be reasonably hoped for under such circumstances.

 

                        If our readers have carefully weighed what we have said of the conditions necessary for inducing superior spirits to communicate, of the causes which repel them, and of the circumstances independent of their will that are often an obstacle to their coming, they will see that no medium, whatever his faculty or moral worth, could pretend to have them constantly at his beck and call; while, on the other hand, the repugnance of the higher spirits to everything connected with terrestrial aims and interests would indispose them towards any attempt to make a traffic of their manifestations.

 

                        The same considerations are applicable, not only to mediums who receive payment in money, but to all who turn their faculty to the furtherance of their worldly affairs; for self-interest does not always take the form of seeking pecuniary gain, but is shown as certainly by every sort of contrivance for the furtherance of ambition or of any other personal aim. To sum up: medianimity is a faculty given for a high and holy purpose, and spirits of high advancement withdraw from those who make it a steppingstone to any other ends than those marked out for it by Providence.

 

                        Physical mediums are not in the same category as those who habitually receive intelligent communications. The physical phenomena are usually produced by lower and less scrupulous spirits; and mediums of this category, desirous to turn their faculty to pecuniary account, may therefore find willing assistants among the spirits with whom they are habitually connected. But the medium for physical effects, like the medium for intelligent manifestations, has not been endowed with this faculty for Isis own pleasure merely. It has been given him in order that he may make a good use of it; should he do otherwise, it may be taken from him, or it may turn to his disadvantage, the lower spirits being always under the orders of the higher ones, who sometimes use them for the punishment of unfaithful mediums.

 

                        From the preceding considerations we conclude that the most entire disinterestedness, on the part of evokers and of mediums, is the best guarantee against deception; for, although it does not always suffice to insure the intellectual superiority of the communications received, it deprives evil spirits of a powerful means of action and shuts the mouths of detractors.

 

 

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

 

 

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