THE MEDIUMS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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91. The phenomena we are considering, although produced by spirits of an inferior order, are often superintended by spirits of higher degree, with the view of convincing us of the existence of incorporeal beings in close connection with mankind The sounds they make, the very fears excited by them, arrest attention, and end by opening the eyes of the incredulous. The question as to the nature of the mysterious beings who take these means of manifesting their presence and their power, is answered by the means which they themselves point out of communicating with them. The explanations which they give us, in regard to themselves and their procedures, teach us also to distinguish between what is real and what is false or exaggerated in statements of these phenomena; a discrimination hardly to be arrived at of ourselves. Whenever anything unusual occurs in our presence, such as an unaccustomed noise, a movement, or even an apparition, our first care should be to ascertain whether it may not be due to some natural cause, because this is most probable; and we must be careful not to admit the intervention of spirits, unless we are sure that the phenomenon is of their producing. In this way we exclude the possibility of illusion. If, for example, at a time when we are sure that no creature in the flesh is near us, we get a box on the ear, or a slap on the back, we can be in no doubt as to whether an invisible being is, or is not, in our vicinity.

We should be very careful in regard, not only to tales which may be more or less exaggerated, but also to our own impressions, and not b in haste to attribute an occult origin to all that is beyond our comprehension. An immense number of very simple natural causes may produce effects that appear strange at first sight; and it would be mere superstition to lay to the account of spirits all the accidents that may happen in the house, or in daily life, and which are usually the result of our awkwardness or want of care.

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