284. Invocation of Living Persons.
37. " Is the incarnation of the spirit an absolute obstacle to his invocation ?"
' No; but the state of the body must be such, at the time, as to permit the spirit to disengage himself. The incarnated spirit comes as much more easily as the world in which he finds himself is of a more elevated order, because the bodies there are less material."
38. " Can the spirit of a living person be invoked ?"
" Of course, as you can invoke an incarnated spirit. The spirit of a living person can also, in his moments of liberty, come without being invoked; that depends on his sympathy for the person with whom he communicates." (See No. 116 — History of the Man and the Snuff-box)
39. " In what state is the body of the person when the spirit is invoked ?"
" He sleeps, or is dozing; it is then the spirit is free."
" Could the body awaken while the spirit is absent ?"
" No; the spirit is obliged to reenter it; if, at the moment, he may be talking to you, he leaves you, and often tells you the reason for so doing "
40. " How is the spirit, when absent from the body, warned of the necessity of its return ? "
" The spirit of a living body is never completely separated ; to whatever distance it may transport itself, it is held to the body by a fluidic bond, which serves to recall it when necessary ; this tie is broken only by death."
Remark. This fluidic tie has often been noticed by seeing mediums. It is a kind of phosphorescent train, which is lost in space in the direction of the body. Some spirits say it is by that they recognize those who arc still boumd to the corporeal world.
41. "What would happen, if, during sleep, and in the absence of the spirit, the body should be mortally wounded ?"
"The spirit would be warned, and would reenter before death."
— " So it could not happen that the body could die in the absence of the spirit, and that on his return he could not reenter it ?"
" No ; it would be contrary to the law regulating the union of the soul and body."
— "But if the blow was struck suddenly, and without premeditation ?"
" The spirit would be warned before the mortal blow could be given."
Remark. The spirit of a living person interrogated on this point, answered, —
" If the body could die in the absence of the spirit, it would be too convenient a method of committing hypocritical suicides."
42. " Is the spirit of a person invoked during sleep as free to communicate as that of a dead person ?"
" No ; matter always influences it more or less."
Remark. A person in this state, to whom this question was addressed, answered,—
" I am always chained to the ball I drag after me."
— "In this state, could the spirit be hindered from coming because of its being elsewhere ?"
" Yes ; the spirit might be in a place where it pleased him to remain ; then he would not come at the invocation, especially if it were made by some one in whom he felt no interest."
43. " Is it absolutely impossible to invoke the spirit of a person who is awake ?"
" Though difficult, it is not absolutely impossible; for if the invocation carries, it may produce sleep in the person ; but the spirit can communicate, as spirit, only in those moments when its presence is not necessary to the intelligent activity of the body."
Remark. Experience proves that invocation madeduring a waking state may produce sleep, or, at least an absorption bordering on sleep; but this can take place only through a very' energetic will, and when the ties of sympathy exist between the two persons; otherwise the invocation does not cany. Even in a case where the invocation causes sleep, if the moment is inopportune, the person not wishing to sleep will resist, and, if he yield, his spirit will be troubled, and answer with difficulty. It thus results that the most favorable moment for the invocation of a living person is during his natural sleep, because his spirit, being free, can as well come toward the one who calls him as- to go elsewhere.
When the invocation is made with the consent of the person, and he seeks to sleep for the purpose, this very desire may retard the sleep and trouble the spirit; an unforced sleep is preferable.
44. " Has a living person, on waking, a consciousness of having been invoked ? "
" No ; you are yourselves invoked more often than you think. The spirit alone knows it, and may sometimes leave with him a vague impression, like a dream."
— " Who can invoke us if we are but obscure beings ?"
" In other existences you may have been known either in this world or in others, and have had your relations and friends the same in this world or in others. Suppose your spirit may have animated the body of the father of another person: well, then, he invokes his father ; it is your spirit who is invoked, and who answers."
45. "Would the invoked spirit of a living person answer as spirit, or with the ideas pertaining to a waking state ?"
" That depends on his elevation ; but his judgment is more healthy, and he has fewer prejudices, exactly like somnambulists ; it is a nearly similar state."
46. " If the spirit of a somnambulist in a state of magnetic sleep were invoked, would he be more lucid than that of other persons?"
" He would, doubtless, answer more lucidly, because more disinthralled ; all depends on the degree of the spirit's independence of the body."
— "Could the spirit of a somnambulist answer a person at a distance, who might invoke him, at the same time that he is verbally answering another person ?"
"The faculty of communicating simultaneously at two different points pertains only to spirits completely disengaged from matter."
47. " Can the ideas of a. person in a waking state be modified by acting upon his spirit during sleep ?"
" Yes, sometimes ; the ties that bind the spirit to matter are not then so close ; he is more accessible to moral impressions, and these impressions may influence his mode of seeing in the ordinary state."
48. " Is the spirit of a living person free to say or not to say what he will ? "
" He has his faculties of spirit, and consequently his free will ; and as he has more perspicacity, he is even more circumspect than when in a waking state."
49. " In invoking a person, can he be constrained to speak when he wishes to be silent ? "
" I have said that the spirit has his free will; but it can very well be that, as spirit, he attaches less importance to certain things than in the ordinary state; his conscience may speak more freely. Besides, if he does not wish to speak, he can easily escape importunities by leaving, for a spirit cannot be retained as you can retain his body."
50. •'Can the spirit of a living person be forced by another spirit to come and speak, as can be done among wandering spirits ?"
" Among spirits, whether of the dead or the living, there is no supremacy, save from moral superiority; and you may well believe that a superior spirit will never lend his support to a cowardly indiscretion."
Remark. This abuse of confidence would, in fact, be a bad action, which, however, would have no result, since you cannot tear from a spirit a secret he desires to keep, at least unless, influenced by a sentiment of justice, he avows what, under other circumstances, he would withhold. A person, by this means, desired to know of one of his relatives if his will was in her favor. The spirit answered, " Yes, my dear niece, and you shall soon have the proof of it."
The thing was true; but a few days afterward the relative destroyed his will, and was mischievous enough to let her know of it, though he did not know he had been invoked. An instinctive feeling, doubtless, urged him to execute the resolution his spirit had taken at the time of his having been questioned. It is cowardly to ask of a spirit, either of the dead or living, what you would not have dared to ask him in person, and this cowardice is not even compensated by the expected result.
51. " Can one invoke a spirit whose body is still in the mother's womb ?"
" No; you know that, at such time, the spirit is in utter trouble."
Remark. The incarnation takes place actually only at the moment of the child's first breath ; but from the conception the spirit designated to animate it is seized with a trouble, which increases as the birth approaches, and takes from him his self-consciousness, and consequently the faculty of answering. (See Book on Spirits— Return to the Corporeal Life, Union of the Soul and Body, No. 344.)
52. " Could a deceiving spirit take the place of a living invoked person ?"
" That is not doubtful, and it very often happens, particularly when the intention of the invocator is not pure. But the invocation of living persons is interesting only as a psychological study : it is necessary to abstain always when it can have no instructive result."
Remark. If the invocation of wandering spirits does not always carry, — to use their own expression, — it must be much more frequent for those who are incarnated ; then, especially, do deceiving spirits take their place.
53. "Are there dangers in the invocation of a living person ?"
" It is not always without danger ; that depends on the person's position, for if he is sick, it might add to his sufferings."
54. " In what case could the invocation of a living person have most dangers ?"
" You should abstain from invoking children of a very tender age, persons seriously ill, infirm old men ; indeed, there are dangers in all cases when the body is very much enfeebled."
Remark. The sudden suspension of the intellectual faculties during a waking state might also be dangerous, if the person at the moment should find himself in need of his presence of mind.
55. " During the invocation of a living person, does the body experience fatigue by reason of the work his absent spirit performs ?"
"A person in this state, who said his body was fatigued, answered this question: ' My spirit is like a balloon tied to a post; my body is the post, which is shaken by the strugglings of the balloon.' "
56. " As the invocation of living persons may be dangerous when made without precaution, does not the danger exist when we invoke a spirit we do not know to be incarnated, and who might not find himself in favorable conditions ?"
" No ; the circumstances are not the same: he will come only if in a position to do so ; and besides, have I not told you to ask, before making an invocation, if it be possible ?"
57. " When, at the most inopportune moments, we experience an irresistible desire to sleep, does it warn us that we are invoked by some one ?"
" It may occur, but most often it is a purely physical effect; either the body or the spirit has need of its liberty."
Remark. A lady of our acquaintance, a medium, one day invoked the spirit of her grandson, who was sleeping in the same room. His identity was confirmed by the language, by the familiar expressions of the child, and by the exact recital of several things that had happened at his boarding-school; but one especial circumstance confirmed it. Suddenly the hand of the medium paused in the middle of a sentence, and it was impossible to obtain anything further: at this moment, the child, half awake, moved in his bed. Some moments after, he again slept; the hand went on anew, continuing the interrupted talk.
The invocation of living persons, made under good conditions, proves, in the least contestable manner, the distinct action of the spirit and the body, and consequently, the existence of an intelligent principle independent of matter. (See Revue Spirite of i860, pages 11 and 18, several remarkable examples of invocation of living persons.)