NATURE OF SPIRIT COMMUNICATIONS
133. We have shown that every effect, implying, as its cause, an act of free will, however insignificant, proves thereby the action of an intelligent cause ; and that, there- fore, the mere movement of a table, if it answers our thoughts, or gives proof of intention, must be regarded as an intelligent manifestation. If all manifestations were confined within such limits, the subject would have but little interest for us ; because, although it would still be something to be assured that the phenomena in question are not merely physical, they would be of little practical value. But it is quite otherwise when the manifestation of intelligence acquires a development which permits of a regular and consecutive exchange of thoughts ; for in such cases, the phenomena elicited can no longer be regarded merely as intelligent manifestations, but assume the far more important character of communications. The means now at our disposal permit of our obtaining, from spirits, communications as extensive, explicit, and rapid, as those which we can obtain from men.
If we bear in mind the infinite variety that exists among spirits, under the double aspect of intelligence and of morality (See The Spirits' Book, No. 100), we perceive that a corresponding diversity must exist in their communications, which necessarily reflect the elevation or the backwardness of the spirits by whom they are made ; and that the quality of their ideas, their degree of knowledge or of ignorance, their virtues and their vices, will be evidenced by the communications which emanate from them, and which will no more resemble each other than do, among men, those of the savage and the most enlightened European. But all the shades presented by spirit-Communications may be grouped into four principal categories ; according to their most salient characteristics, they may be designated as coarse, frivolous, serious, and instructive.