THE SPIRITIST REVIEW - JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STUDIES - 1858

Allan Kardec

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Different Types of Communication


The intelligent communications between spirits and men may happen through signs, writings and/or verbal words. The signs consist of significant movement of certain objects and, more frequently, of noises and vibrating raps. When these phenomena have some meaning there is no doubt about the intervention of an occult intelligence thus, if every effect has a cause, then every intelligent effect must have an intelligent cause.

Under the influence of certain persons, designated by the name of mediums, and sometimes spontaneously, any given object may execute agreed movements, strike a number of times and thus respond as yes, no or by a pre-established letter of the alphabet. The raps may be heard without any apparent movement and without a visible cause, on the surface, in the tissues of the inert bodies, on a wall, on a stone, on a piece of furniture or in any other object. From all these objects and for being more comfortable, given its mobility and the facility with which we accommodate around it, the tables are those most frequently utilized, therefore the generic designation of the phenomenon by trivial expressions such as “talking tables”, “dance of the tables”, expressions which should be conveniently banned, first for its ridicule and finally for the possibility of inducing into error, leading to belief that the tables may have any special influence with this respect.

We shall give to this type of communication the name spiritist sematology which is an expression that provides a perfect idea and encompasses all varieties of communications by signs, moving objects, and raps. One of our members proposed that we should designate, especially this last type of communication, by the word typtology.

The second mode of communication is the writing. We shall designate it by the name psychgraphy, also proposed by a member.

In order to communicate through writing, the spirits employ, as intermediaries, certain endowed persons having the ability to write under the influence of the occult force which guides them, obeying a power evidently strange to their control, as they cannot stop neither proceed and, in the majority of the cases, have no clue about their own writings. The hand is agitated by an involuntary movement, almost febrile; they take and dispose of the pencil, irrespective of their own intention. Neither their will nor the desire can force them to continue, in case they were supposed to stop. That is the direct psychgraphy.

Writing is also obtained by the sole superimposition of the hands over an object, conveniently attached to a pencil or any other writing tool. The objects more generally employed are the baskets or planchettes, adequately arranged. The occult force acting on the person transmits itself to the object, which becomes an extension of the hand, yielding a necessary movement to produce the characters. That is the indirect psychgraphy.

The communications transmitted through psychgraphy are more or less extensive, according to the degree of the medianimic faculty. Some obtain only words; with others the faculty is developed through exercise yielding complete written phrases and, sometimes, essays that are developed about proposed subjects or spontaneously produced by the spirits, without the need of any previous enquiry. On occasions the handwriting is clear and legible; some other times it can only be deciphered by the medium who then reads it through a kind of intuition or second-vision. Through the hand of the same person the writing sometimes changes, in general completely, with the occult manifesting intelligence, and the type of writing always replicates for the same communicating entity. This is not, however, absolute.

From time to time the spirits transmit certain written communications without direct intervention. In this case the characters are spontaneously sketched by a super human power, visible or not. As it is useful that all things are properly named, we will call this mode of written communication by the name pneumatography, to distinguish it from psychgraphy or handwriting obtained by a medium. The difference between these two words is easy to understand. In the psychgraphy the medium’s soul performs, necessarily, a role, at least as an intermediary, whereas in the pneumatography it is the spirit who acts directly, on his own.

The third mode of communication is the oral word. Certain persons suffer the influence of an occult power in their vocal cords, similarly to what is felt on the hands of those who write. They transmit by the spoken word everything that others do through the writings. As with the written communications, the oral ones sometimes take place without a corporeal mediation. Spoken words and phrases may reach our ears and brains without an apparent physical cause. The spirits can also show themselves in our dreams or even while awaken and speak to us in order to give us warnings and instructions.

Following the same nomenclature system adopted to the written communications, we should call the voiced word transmitted by the medium by the name “psychology” and those given directly by the spirits by the name “pneumatophony”. However, the word psychology already has a well-known use which we cannot change. We will then name all verbal communications pneumatophony: the first ones constitute the mediated pneumatophony while the last ones form the direct pneumatophony.

The most incomplete type of communication, from all kinds, is sematology. It is too slow and can only be used in a painstaking process of communication.The superior spirits would not willingly employ them due to its slowness or even due to the incompleteness of the “yes” or “no” answers that are subject to error. For the teachings, they prefer the quickest ones: written and oral word. These are certainly the most complete media for the transmission of the spirits’ thoughts due to its precision of answers and the extension of the treated developments.

The writings clearly have the advantage of leaving material traces, being one of the most adequate modes to fight disbelief. Nevertheless, we do not have the freedom of choice: the spirits communicate through the modes they find more adequate and that depends on the aptitudes.

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