347. Circles are often stopped in their very birth from want of mediums. Mediums are, assuredly, one of the essential elements of spirit reunions ; but they are not an indispensable element, and one would be wrong in supposing that, lacking them, there is nothing to do. Doubtless those who come together simply for experimentation, can no more do without mediums than musicians in a concert can do without instru ments ; but those who have serious study in view have a thousand subjects to occupy them, all as useful and profitable as if they could operate them for themselves. Besides, the reunions that have mediums, might be accidentally deprived of them, and it would be a pity should they, for that reason, feel that nothing is left for them but to retire. The spirits themselves may, occasionally, place them in such a condition in order to teach them to do without. We will say, further, that it is necessary, in order to profit by the teach ings, to consecrate a certain time to their meditation. Scientific societies have not always instruments of observation at hand, and yet they are never at a loss for subjects of discussion ; in the absence of poets and orators, literary societies read and comment on ancient and modern authors ; religious societies medi tate on the Scriptures ; spiritist societies should do the same, and they would draw great profit for their advancement by establishing conferences in which they may read and comment upon all that may relate to Spiritism, either for or against. From this discus sion, where each could bring the tribute of his reflec tions, might spring rays of light that might have passed unperceived in an individual reading ; special works, journals swarming with facts, recitals, events, traits of virtue or vice, raising grave moral problems which Spiritism alone can solve —a proof that it is suited to every branch of social order.
We would warrant that a spiritist society that would organize its work in this way, procuring the necessary materials, would scarcely find time to give to the direct communications of spirits ; for this rea son, we call the attention to this point of truly serious circles, those who have self-instruction more at heart than 'pastime. (See No. 207, chapter on the Formation of Mediums)