Allan Kardec

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203. The desire of all who aspire to be mediums is, naturally, to be able to converse with the spirits of persons who are dear to them ; but they must moderate their impatience, for communication with an especial spirit frequently offers material difficulties that render it impossible for the beginner. In order that a spirit may communicate, there must be between him and the medium nuidic relations, which are not always instantly established ; it is only as the faculty is developed that the medium acquires, little by little, the fitness to enter into relation with the first comer. It may be, then, that the one with whom communication is desired may not be in propitious condition to make it, notwithstanding his presence, as it may also be that he has neither the possibility nor the permission to come at the call that is made. This is why it is best, in the beginning, not to persist in asking for one spirit to the exclusion of all others; for it often happens that fluidic relations are not established with that one most easily, whatever may be the sympathy for him. So, before expecting to obtain communications from such or such a spirit, it is necessary to press the development of the faculty, and for that purpose make a general appeal, and, above all, address yourself to your guardian angel.

There is no particular form to be used; whoever pretends to give one may boldly be taxed with jug- glery, because, for spirits, form is nothing. The in- vocation should always be made in the name of God ; it may be made in the following terms, or in something equivalent: / pray Almighty God to permit a good spirit to communicate with me, and make me write; I

pray, also, my guardian angel kindly to lielp me, and drive away bad spirits. Then wait until a spirit mani- fests himself by writing something. It may be that it will be the one desired, or it may be the spirit of a stranger, or the guardian angel; in any case he gen- erally makes himself known by writing his name; but then comes the question of identity, one that requires the most experience, for- there are few beginners who are not liable to be deceived. We treat of this after- ward in a special chapter.

When it is desired to call certain spirits, it is very essential, in the beginning, to address only those known to be good and sympathetic, and who might have a motive for coming, as relations or friends. In this case the invocation might be thus expressed: In the name of Almighty God I pray the spirit of such a one, to communicate with me: or, I pray Almighty God to permit the spirit of so and so to communicate with me: or any other form answering to the same thought. It is not the less necessary that the first questions should be so contrived that the answer may be simply

yes or no, as, for instance, Are you there ? Will you answer me ? Can you make me write ? &c. Later this precaution will be useless: we are speaking only of the beginning, when the relation is to be established: the essential thing is, that the question be not useless; that it does not pertain to things of private interest; and. above all, that it be the expression of a benevolent and sympathetic sentiment for the spirit addressed. (See, later, the special chapter on Invocations.)

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