281. The communications obtained from very superior spirits, or from those who have animated the great personages of antiquity, are precious from their exalted teachings. These spirits have acquired a degree of perfection which permits them to embrace a more extended sphere of ideas, to penetrate mysteries beyond the ordinary limits of humanity, and, consequently, to initiate us better than others into certain things. It does not follow that communications from less elevated spirits should' be without utility; the observer may draw more than one instruction. To know the manners of a people, it must be studied in every degree of the scale. He who has seen it under one aspect only, would illy know it. The history of a people is not that of its kings and upper social circles; to judge it, one should see it in its private life and customs.
Now, the superior spirits are the upper circles of the spirit world: their very elevation places them so much above us that we are frightened at the distance that separates us. Spirits more bourgeois (may they excuse the expression) make the circumstances of their new existence more palpable to us. With them; the tie between corporeal life and spirit life is more intimate; we comprehend it better, because it touches us more nearly. In learning from themselves what has become of the men of all conditions and of all characters, what they think, what they experience, good, as well as vicious, the great and the small, the happy and the unhappy of the age, in a word, the men who have lived among us, whom we have seen and known, with whose real life we are acquainted, whose virtues and whims we know, — we comprehend their joys and their sufferings, we are associated with them, and draw therefrom a moral instruction as much more profitable as the relations between them and us are more intimate. We put ourselves more easily in the place of him who has been our equal than of him whom we see only through the mirage of a celestial glory.
Ordinary spirits show us the practical application of the great and sublime truths of which the superior spirits teach us the theory. Besides, in the study of a science nothing is useless ; Newton found his law of the forces of the universe in the simplest phenomena.
The invocation of ordinary spirits has, besides, the advantage of putting us en rapport with suffering spirits who can be comforted, and whose advancement may be facilitated by useful advice, so that we can be useful while, at the same time, instructing ourselves ; there is egotism in seeking only one's own satisfaction in intercourse with the spirits, and he who disdains to extend a helping hand to the unhappy gives proof of pride. Of what use to obtain grand teachings from spirits of the highest order, if it does not make us inwardly better, more charitable, more benevolent for our brothers, both in this world and in the other? What would become of the diseased if the doctors refused to touch their sores ?