Allan Kardec

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Next, it was realized that the basket and the planchette merely formed an appendage to the hand. Mediums, directly holding the pencil, found out that they were forced to write under an impulse that was involuntary and often at an intense speed. Not only were the communications carried out more quickly in this manner, but they became easier and more extensive. Today, this method is the most frequently employed and the number of individuals endowed with this gift is substantial, and constantly growing.

Experience gradually revealed several other varieties of the mediumistic faculty, and it was discovered that communications could also be received through speech, hearing, sight, touch, and so on, and even through the direct writing of the spirits themselves, without the assistance of the medium’s hand or a pencil.

After this was established, the role and action taken by the medium in obtaining the replies needed to be determined, both mechanically and morally, and became a crucial point in proving the authenticity of Spiritism. Two points of the utmost importance that could not escape an astute observer answered this question. First is the manner in which the basket moves under the infuence of the medium. The medium simply places his or her fngers on the edge of the basket in such a manner that it would be impossible to guide it in any direction whatsoever. When two or three individuals place their fngers on the same basket at the same time, any sort of control is made even more unfeasible as a truly phenomenal harmony of movements and thoughts would be required to produce the same reply to the question asked. This diffculty is further amplifed by the fact that the handwriting often radically changes with each spirit who communicates, and whenever a given spirit communicates, the same writing is reproduced. A medium would have to train him or herself to change his or her handwriting an infnite number of times, and would also have to memorize the unique penmanship of each spirit.

The second point is the nature of the replies given, which are often beyond the scope of the knowledge or intellectual capacity of the medium, especially when the questions asked are of an abstract or scientifc nature. Mediums are frequently unaware of what they are prompted to write, since the question asked and the reply given may be in a foreign language, or the question may even be asked telepathically. The basket, or the mediums, are often compelled to write spontaneously, without any question being put forward, and regarding a completely random subject.

The replies, in some cases, are marked by such wisdom, depth, and relevance, and convey such elevated and inspiring thoughts, that they could only come from a superior intelligence, instilled with the purest sense of morals and ethics. Other times, they are so banal, shallow, and trivial, that it is impossible to believe they came from the same source. Drastic differences in language can only be explained by the variety of intelligences who communicate with us. Are these intelligences human, or do they transcend humanity? This is the next point to be discussed in this book, the complete explanation of which is provided by the spirits themselves.

These facts, while beyond our usual sphere of observation, do not occur in secret for the beneft of only a single individual. They transpire in broad daylight so that everyone can see them, and are obtained by tens of thousands of individuals every day. These effects have a cause and, as they reveal the action of intelligence and will, they are clearly beyond the realm of merely physical effects.

Many theories have been proposed regarding this subject. We will thoroughly examine these notions at a later time and determine whether they can account for all the phenomena now occurring. For the time being, we will assume that beings distinct from the human race exist, since this is the explanation given by the intelligences communicating with us. Let us see what they say.

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