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                        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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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.

 

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See also Spiritist Vocabulary, part I

 

PERISPIRIT (from the Greek peri roundabout, and the Latin spiritus, breath, spirit). – The semi-material envelope of the soul. During incarnation, it serves as the link or intermediary between the incarnated spirit and the matter of his fleshly body; during erraticity, it constitutes the spirit’s fluidic body, inseparable from the personality of the spirit.

 

PNEUMATOGRAPHY (from the Greek pneuma, air, breath, wind, spirit, and grapho, I write). – This word denotes the direct writing of spirits, without the use of the medium’s hand.

 

PSYCHOGRAPHER (from the Greek psuké butterfly, soul, and grapho, I write). – A person who writes by psychography; a writing medium.

 

PSYCHOGRAPHY – The writing of spirits by a medium’s hand.

 

PSYCHOPHONY – The communication of spirits by the voice of a speaking medium.

 

REINCARNATION – The return of a spirit to corporeal life; plurality of existences, in this planet and in other material worlds.

 

SEMATOLOGY (from the Greek sema, a sign, and logos, a discourse). – The language of signs. The communications of spirits by the movements of inert bodies.

 

SPIRITIST – That which has to do with spiritism ; a partisan of spiritism; one who believes in the fact of spirit-manifestations.

 

SPIRITUALISM -The opposite of materialism; a belief in the existence of the spiritual and immaterial soul. We say, Spiritualism is the basis of all religions.

 

SPIRITUALIST – One who occupies himself with spiritualism; a partisan of spiritualism. Whoever believes that there is in the universe something which is not matter is a spiritualist, but spiritualism does not necessarily imply a belief in the manifestations of spirits. Every spiritist is necessarily a spiritualist, but every spiritualist is not necessarily a spiritist; the materialist is neither the one nor the other.

 

We say, “the spiritualist philosophy,” as the antithesis of “theoretic materialism;” “A work embodying spiritualist ideas,” as the opposite of “a work embodying materialistic ideas.” We say, “Spiritist manifestations are produced by the action of spirits on matter;” “spiritist morality is the result of teachings given by spirits.” “There are spiritualists who ridicule the spiritist belief.” In these examples, the employment of the word spiritualist for spiritist would produce confusion.

 

TYPTER (from the Greek tupto, I strike). – One who has the power of producing typtology; a rapping or tipping medium.

 

TYPTOLOGY – Language of raps or tilts; a mode of spirit-communication. Alphabetical typtology; the designation of letters (or cyphers) by raps or tilts.

 

 

See also Spiritist Vocabulary, part I

 

 

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.

 

 

***

 

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.

 

 

AGENERATE (from the Greek primitive a, and géine, géinomai, to engender; that which has not been engendered). – This term expresses a variety of tangible apparitions; the state of certain spirits who can momentarily assume the form of a living person, so as to produce a complete illusion.

 

ERRATICITY – The state of errant or wandering spirits; that is to say, of such as are not incarnate; the state of a spirit during the intervals between two successive corporeal existences.

 

EVOCATION – The act of evoking or calling the spirit or spirits with whom we desire to enter into communication, as distinguished from invocation, which is the act of addressing ourselves to a spirit or spirits for help or assistance.

 

SPIRIT – According to the spiritist theory, spirits are the intelligent beings of the creation; they people the universe beyond the limits of the visible world, and constitute the population of the invisible world; they are the souls of men who have lived upon the earth, or in other globes, and who have quitted their corporeal envelope.

 

SPIRIT-RAPPERS – A class of spirits who reveal their presence and their quality by raps and noises of different kinds.

 

MEDIANIMIC (from the Latin words medium (see below), and anima, soul). – Appertaining to the special faculty or action of intermediacy between souls in flesh and souls in the spirit-world. We say “A medianimic communication;” “Possession of the medianimic faculty constitutes a medium.”

 

MEDIANIMITY (from the Latin medium, and anima; middle-man, intermediary). – A person who serves as a go-between, or intermediary, between the souls of spirits and of men.

 

MEDIUMISTIC – Synonymous with Medianimic.

 

MEDIUMSHIP – The exercise of the medianimic faculty. The calling, work, mission, or action, of a medium.

 

 

Next week: Spiritist Vocabulary, part II

 

 

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.

 

 

***

 

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.

                        All men are mediums ; all have a spirit-guide who, if they listen to him, directs them in the right way. It matters little that some men communicate directly with their spirit-guide by means of their own medianimity, while others only receive the counsels of their guide through his occult action on their heart or on their mind; in either case, it is their familiar spirit who gives them counsel. Call it as you will – your familiar spirit, inspiration, reason, intelligence -it is always a voice that answers the inner voice of your soul, and addresses to you wise counsel, though you do not always profit thereby.

 

                        All men are not yet able to follow the suggestions of reason; I refer, not to the reason that grovels and crawls in its devotion to worldly things, and that loses itself in the care of gross material interests, but to the reason which raises a man above himself; the reason which transports him to unknown regions, the sacred flame which inspires the artist and the poet, the divine thought which elevates the mind of the philosopher, the vital impulsion which carries forward not only individuals but peoples, the reason which the vulgar cannot comprehend, but which lifts man ever nearer and nearer to God, the reason which leads him on from the known to the unknown, and enables him to achieve the sublimest results.

 

                        Listen to the monitions which come to you incessantly, and your perceptions will gradually be opened to the voice of your guardian-angel, who holds out to you a helping hand from the celestial heights. The inner voice which speaks to the heart of every man is the voice of the good spirits around him; and, from this point of view, it may be truly said that all men are mediums.”

 

“CHANNING.”

 

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.

 

 

***

 

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.

 

 

The spontaneous manifestations which have occurred in all times, and the persistence of some spirits in giving ostensible evidence of their presence in certain localities, are the source of the belief in haunted places. The following spirit-answers were elicited by our questions on this subject.

 

1. Do spirits attach themselves to persons only, or do they also attach themselves to things?

 

“That depends upon their elevation. Certain spirits may attach themselves to terrestrial objects ; misers, for instance, who have hidden their hoards, and who are not sufficiently dematerialised, may still watch over and guard them.”

 

2. Are there any places for which errant spirits have a predilection ?

 

“Spirits who are no longer earth-bound go where they find those whom they love, for they are attracted rather by persons than by material things. Some of them may, for a time, retain a preference for certain places; but those who do so are spirits of inferior advancement.”

 

3. Since the attachment of spirits for localities is a sign of inferiority, is it also a proof that they are evil spirits ?

 

“Assuredly not; a spirit may be but little advanced, and yet not be a bad spirit; is it not so among men?”

 

4. Is there any foundation for the belief that spirits frequent ruins by preference?

 

“No; spirits go to such places, just as they go everywhere else; but the lugubrious aspect of certain places strikes the human imagination, and leads you to attribute, to the presence of spirits, what is often merely a natural effect. How often does fear turn the shadow of a tree into a phantom, or mistake the cry of an animal, or the murmuring of the wind, for the wail of a ghost! Spirits like the presence of men, and usually seek out inhabited places rather than solitary ones.”

 

– Nevertheless, knowing what we do of the diversity of character among spirits, may we not suppose that there are misanthropes among them, preferring solitude to society?

 

“Have I not already answered you on this point, by saying that spirits may seek out desolate places, as well as all other places? If some of them live alone, they do so because it pleases them, but this is no reason why spirits should necessarily prefer ruins; and, assuredly, there are many more spirits in cities and inhabited dwellings than in solitary places.”

 

5. Popular beliefs have generally a foundation of truth; what is the origin of the belief in haunted places?

 

“It has grown out of men’s instinctive belief in spirit manifestations, a belief that has prevailed in all ages of the world; but, as I said just now, the aspect of lugubrious places strikes the imagination, and men have naturally located, in such places, the beings whom they have regarded as supernatural. This superstitious belief is upheld by the fanciful imaginings of your poets, as well as by the nonsensical stories told to you in the nursery.”

 

6. Spirits who assemble together, have they any preferences in regard to days and hours of meeting?

 

“No; days and hours are measurements of time for the use of men, and for the needs of corporeal life; spirits have no need of any such measurements, and take very little heed of them.”

 

7. What is the origin of the idea that spirits come by preference at night?

 

“The impression produced on the imagination by darkness and silence. All such ideas are superstitions that a rational knowledge of Spiritism will destroy. It is the same with respect to the notion, held by some people, that certain days and hours are more propitious than others; the influence of midnight has no existence except in story-books.”

 

– If this be the case, how is it that many spirits announce their arrival and manifestations for midnight, or for certain pre-determined days, as Fridays, for example?

 

“Such spirits only trifle with your credulity. In the same way, there are spirits who declare themselves to be the devil, or give themselves some other diabolical or fantastic name. Show them that you are not to be taken in by them, and you will hear no more of such absurdities.”

 

8. Do spirits come back by preference to the burial-place of their body?

 

“The body was but a garment; they care no more for their fleshly envelope, in which they have had to suffer, than the prisoner cares for his chains. The memory of those they love is the only thing they value.”

 

– Are prayers offered up at their graves especially pleasing to them, and do they attract them more than prayers would do elsewhere?

 

“Prayer is an evocation which attracts a spirit, as you know. The more fervent and sincere the prayer, the greater the effect it produces; and therefore, the sight of a venerated tomb may serve to concentrate the thought of him who prays, while the interest attached to it, as to any other treasured relic, being a testimony of affection offered to the spirit, he is always attracted and touched thereby. But, in all such cases, it is the thought which acts on a spirit, and not any material objects; for these have less influence on the spirit who is prayed for than on the person who prays, and whose attention they serve to concentrate and intensify.”

 

 

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.

 

 

***

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

***

 

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.

1. Is the medianimic faculty an indication of a morbid state of health, or is it simply abnormal?

 

“It is sometimes abnormal, but not morbid. Some mediums are very robust; those who are weak are so from other causes.”

 

2. Does the exercise of the medianimic faculty cause fatigue?

 

“A too prolonged exercise of any faculty causes fatigue; it is the same with medianimity, especially when employed for the obtaining of physical manifestations, which necessarily occasions fatigue, because it is a loss of fluid that is only to be restored by rest.”

 

3. Is the proper exercise of medianimity (we do not speak of its abuse), injurious to health?

 

“There are cases in which the physical or moral state of a medium may render it prudent, or even necessary, to abstain from exercising it, or, at least, to exercise it with great moderation. A medium is generally warned, when this is the case, by his own feeling; and he should always abstain from using his medianimity when he is conscious of fatigue in so doing.”

 

4. Is the exercise of medianimity more likely to he injurious to some persons than to others?

 

“I have already said that this depends upon the physical and moral state of the medium. There are persons whose temperament renders it necessary to avoid all causes of over-excitement; and mediumship may be of the number”.

 

5. Can the exercise of medianimity produce madness?

 

“No more than anything else may produce it, when there is a predisposition to brain-disease. Mediumship will not produce madness, where the germ of madness does not exist; but, where that germ exists (which is easily known), commonsense should suffice to show you the necessity of avoiding every kind of mental excitement.”

 

6. Is it imprudent to develop the medianimic faculty in children?

 

“It is not only imprudent, but very dangerous to do so: for the frail and delicate organization of childhood would be too much shaken, and the youthful imagination too much excited, by such attempts; parents should therefore keep these ideas from their children, or, at least, should only speak of them in reference to their moral aspect.”

 

7. Yet there are children who are mediums by nature, not only for physical manifestations, but also for writing and for visions ; is there danger for such as these?

 

“No; where a child’s faculty is spontaneous, it belongs to his temperament, and his constitution is prepared for its exercise; it is a very different thing when you attempt to develop medianimity artificially, and thus subject the child’s nervous system to overexcitement. It is also to be remarked that a child who is naturally subject to visions is generally but little impressed by them ; they appear so natural to such a child, that he pays but little heed to them and easily forgets them; and in after years, if these visions recur to his memory, he is not apt to be painfully affected by the remembrance of them.”

 

8. At what age may we attempt to develop the faculty of medianimity without danger?

 

“There is no rule in regard to age; it depends partly on the physical, and still more on the moral, development of the individual; there are children of; say, a dozen years of age, who would be less affected by the attempt than many grown persons. I am now speaking of medianimity in general; but physical medianimity is that which is most likely to cause fatigue to the organism. Writing, however, in the case of a child, has another danger, owing to his inexperience, viz., the mischief which might result to his health, if he took to writing when alone, and should thus make an amusement of it.”

 

 

Excerpt from Allan Kardec‘s “The Medium’s Book”, translated by Anna Blackwell, LAKE (Livraria Allan Kardec Editora), page 234. 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.

 

– Can spirits foretell to us the future?

 

“If men foresaw the future, they would neglect the present; and yet it is about the future that you are always trying to obtain answers. But you are wrong in doing so; for spirit-manifestation is not divination. If you are absolutely determined to obtain answers about the future, or anything else, you will get them; for foolish and deceiving spirits are always ready to answer you. We are perpetually telling you this” (See The SpiritsBook, 868, Foreknowledge).

 

– But are not future events sometimes spontaneously foretold, and truly, by spirits?

 

“A spirit may foresee events which he considers it useful to make known, or of which he may be commissioned to inform you; but announcements respecting the future are generally to be distrusted, because they are more often made by deceptive spirits for their own amusement. It is only by a consideration of all the circumstances of the case that you can judge of the degree of confidence to which any prediction is entitled.”

 

– What kinds of predictions are most to be distrusted?

 

“All that are not of general utility. Predictions about personal matters are almost always deceptive.”

 

– What object have spirits in spontaneously announcing events which are not to take place?

 

“They usually do so to amuse themselves with your credulity and the alarm or satisfaction they occasion. False predictions, however, have sometimes a more serious object; viz., that of testing him to whom they are made, by showing the good or evil sentiments they excite in his mind.”

 

Remark. – Such would he, for example, an announcement that flatters our cupidity or ambition, such as the prospect of an inheritance, &c.

 

– Why do serious spirits, when they predict an event, so rarely fix its date; is it because they cannot, or because they will not, do so?

 

“It may be for either reason. Spirits feel the approach of an event, and may sometimes give you warning of it; but as to predicting exactly the time when it will take place, they are sometimes not permitted to do so, and sometimes they cannot do so, because they do not know it themselves. A spirit may foresee that an event will happen; but the precise moment of its happening may depend upon conditions not yet accomplished, and which are only foreseen by the Almighty.

 

Frivolous spirits, who have no scruple in deceiving you, specify days and hours without troubling themselves about the fulfilment of their predictions. For this reason, circumstantial predictions are usually to be distrusted.

 

“We cannot too often remind you that our mission is to aid your moral progress, and thus to help you forward on your road to perfection. He who seeks only wisdom from his commerce with spirits will never be deceived. But you must not suppose that we waste our time in listening to your foolishness, telling your fortunes, and assisting you to waste your time; we leave all that to the tricksy spirits who amuse themselves with doing so, like mischievous children.

 

“Providence has placed a limit to the revelations that may be made to men. Serious spirits keep silence concerning everything that they are forbidden to reveal. By insisting on receiving answers to questions which it may not be lawful for us to reply to, you expose yourselves to imposition on the part of inferior spirits, ever ready to seize on any pretext for playing with your credulity.”

 

Remark. – Spirits may foresee certain future events as a consequence of other events which they see occurring, or of which they may have a presentiment. They infer the happening of the events thus foreseen, but within a period of time which they do not measure as we do; and, in order to fix the epoch at which those events will occur, they would have to identify themselves with our manner of calculating the duration of time.

 

As spirits are often unwilling to do this, apparent errors are of frequent occurrence in the predictions made by them.

 

– Are not some persons endowed with a special faculty, by which they are enabled to foresee future events?

 

“Yes; those whose souls have the power of disengaging themselves from matters are able; when thus disengaged, to see; and, when such revelations will be useful, they are permitted to reveal certain things. But, of those who make predictions, the majority are impostors and charlatans. The prophetic faculty, however, will be more common hereafter”

 

– What is to be thought of spirits who take pleasure in predicting the death of certain persons at some stated time?

 

“Such spirits are malicious jesters, having no other aim than that of enjoying the alarm they create. You should pay no heed to such absurdities.”

 

– How is it that some persons are warned by a true presentiment of the time of their death?

 

“It is usually because their own spirit, in its moments of liberty, has learned its approaching release; and the intuition of this release is retained by them on waking. Persons thus prepared for such an intuition are neither frightened nor troubled by it. They see, in the separation of body and soul, only a change of condition; or, to employ a commonplace metaphor, they look upon it as the exchanging of a coarse and cumbrous garment for a silken robe. The fear of death will diminish in proportion to the spread of Spiritist belief.

 

 

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.

 

Image: “Fortune Teller”, by Henry Bacour (public domain image).   

 

***

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

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