211. The rock on which most debutants split, is having to do with inferior spirits; and they should think themselves happy when they are only trifling spirits. All their attention should be given to not allowing them to take footing; for once anchored it is not always easy to be relieved from them. This is such a special point, particularly in the beginning, that, without the necessary precautions, the fruit of the finest faculties may be lost.
The primary point consists in putting one's self, with a sincere faith, under the protection of God, and imploring the assistance of one's guardian angel, who is always good, while the familiar spirit, sympathizing with the good or bad qualities of the medium, may be trifling, or even bad.
The second point is to ascertain with scrupulous care, by every indication experience furnishes, the nature of the first spirits that communicate, and of whom it is always prudent to beware. If these indications are suspicious, a fervent appeal must be made to the guardian angel, and the bad spirit repulsed with the whole strength, proving to him that you are not his dupe, in order to discourage him. This is why a previous study of the theory is indispensable, if the dangers inseparable from inexperience would be avoided: fully developed instructions on this subject will be found in the chapters on Obsession and Identity of Spirits. We shall limit ourselves at this time to say- ing that, besides the language, all signs, figures, useless or trifling emblems, all absurd writing, jerky, designedly twisted, of exaggerated dimensions, or af- fecting ridiculous or unusual forms, are infallible proofs of the inferiority of the spirits; the writing may be very bad, quite illegible even, which is more the fault of the medium than of the spirit, without being at all unusual. We have seen mediums so deceived that they measure the superiority of the spirits by the dimensions of the characters, and who attached great importance to letters modelled like print — a puerility evidently incompatible with real superiority.