Loss and Suspension of Mediumship.
220. The medianimic faculty is subject to intermis- sions and temporary suspensions, whether for physical manifestations or for writing. We give the answers of the spirits to some questions on this subject;
1. "Can mediums lose their faculty?"
" That very often happens, whatever kind it may be;
but often it is only a temporary interruption, which ceases with the cause that produced it."
2. " Is the cause of this loss the exhaustion of the fluid ?"
"With whatever faculty the medium may be en- dowed, he can do nothing without the sympathetic concurrence of the spirits ; when he obtains nothing, it is not always that the faculty is lacking, but that the spirits will, or can, no longer use him."
3. " F o r what cause would the spirits abandon him?"
" The use he makes of his faculty is the most power-' ful with good spirits. We may abandon him when he uses it for frivolities or for ambition ; when he refuses to impart our words or our facts to the incarnated who call to him, or who need to see in order to be con- vinced. This gift of God is not granted to the medium for his good pleasure, and still less to serve his ambi- tion, but for his own advancement, and to make known the truth to men. If the spirit sees that the medium no longer answers his views, and does not profit by his instructions, and by the warnings he gives him, he retires to find a more worthy protege.
4 " Might not the spirit who withdraws be replaced, and. thus the suspension of the faculty not be understood?"
" Spirits are not wanting who ask nothing better than to communicate, and are ready enough to replace those who withdraw ; but when it is a good spirit who forsakes the medium, it may very well be that he leaves him only temporarily, and deprives him for a certain time of all communication in order to give him a lesson, and prove to him that his faculty depends not on himself, and that he should not be vain of it This temporary impotence is also to give the medium a proof that he writes under a foreign influence; other- wise there would be no intermittence in it.
" Yet the interruption of the faculty is not always in punishment; it is sometimes a proof of the solicitude of the spirit for the medium, whom he loves; he would by that means procure him a material rest, which he sees to be necessary, and in such case he does not permit other spirits to replace him."
5. " Yet we see mediums, very meritorious in a moral point of view, who experience no need of rest, and are annoyed by interruptions, whose motive they cannot understand."
" It is in order to put their patience to the proof, and to judge of their perseverance; this is why the spirits assign no general end to this suspension; they wish to see if the medium will become disheartened. It is often, also, to leave them time to meditate on the in- structions they have given them, and this meditation on our teachings we recommend to all truly serious spiritists ; we cannot give this name to those who, in reality, are only amateurs of communications."
6. " Is it necessary in this case for the medium to continue his attempts to write ?"
"If the spirit so advise him*, yes: if he tells him to abstain, he should do so."
7. " Is there any way to abridge this trial ?"
"Resignation and prayer. It is enough that he make the attempt for a few minutes every day, for it would be useless to lose time in fruitless efforts ; the attempt has no other end but to see if the faculty is recovered."
8. " Does the suspension imply the absence of the spirits who were accustomed to communicate ?"
" Not the least in the world ; the medium is then like a person who has temporarily lost his sight, but is none the less surrounded by his friends, though he cannot see them. The medium can then, and should, continue to converse by thought with his familiar spirits, and feel convinced that he is heard by them. If the lack of mediumship can deprive him of material communications with spirits, it cannot deprive of moral communications."
9. " Then the interruption of the medianimic faculty does not always imply blame on the part of the spirits ?"
" No, doubtless; for it may be a proof of good will."
10. " By what sign can blame be recognized in the interruption ?"
" Let the medium question his conscience ; let him ask himself what use he has made of his faculty ; the good that has resulted from it to others ; the profit he has drawn from the advice that has been given him, and he will have the answer."
11. " Cannot the medium who can no longer write have recourse to another medium ?"
" That depends upon the cause of the interruption; it may often have for a motive to leave you some time without communications, after having given you advice, in order that you may not become accustomed to do nothing without us ; in such case he will be no more satisfied in using another medium ; and in that is still a motive, to prove to you that the spirits are free, and that you cannot make them come and go at your will. It is also for this reason that those who are not mediums do not always have all the communications they desire."
Remark. It must be observed that he who has re- course to a third for communications, notwithstanding the quality of the medium, often obtains nothing satis- factory, while at other times the answers are very explicit That depends so much on the will of the spirit, that you are no further advanced by changing the medium; the spirits even seem in that respect to give each other the word, for if nothing is obtained from one, you get no more from another. We should be careful not to persist or become impatient, if we would not be the dupe of deceiving spirits, who will answer if we wish it with all our strength, and the good will allow them, to punish us for our persist- ence.
12. " F o r what reason has Providence endowed cer- tain individuals with mediumship in a special manner?" " It is a mission with which they are charged, and which they are happy in filling; they are" interpreters between spirits and men."
13. " Yet there are mediums who employ their faculty only with repugnance."
" Those are imperfect, mediums ; they do not know the value of the favor accorded to them."
14. " If it be a mission, how does it happen that it is not the privilege of good men, and that this faculty should be given to people who merit no esteem, and who may abuse it ?"
" It is given to them because they need it for their own advancement, and in order that they may receive good instruction ; if they do not profit by it, they will suffer the consequences. Did not Jesus prefer to give His word to fishermen, saying, He must give to him who has not ?"
15. " Should those who have a great desire to write, and who cannot succeed, conclude there is something against them in the kind feelings of the spirits on this account ?"
" No ; for God may have refused them this faculty, as He may have refused them the gift of poetry or music; but if they have not this favor, they may have others."
16. " How can a man perfect himself by the instruc- tions of spirits, when he has neither by himself, nor by other mediums, the means of directly receiving this teaching ?"
" Has he not books, as the Christian has the Gospel ? To practice the morality of Jesus, the Christian does not need to hear the words from His very mouth."