137. Instructive communications are those which are not only serious, but also
convey the teachings of superior spirits on points of science, morality, philosophy, &c.
They are more or less profound, in proportion to the elevation and dematerialisation of
the communicating spirit. In order to reap benefit from such communications, they
must be followed up with regularity and perseverance. Serious spirits attach
themselves to those who desire instruction, and assist them; but those who only see in
these manifestations a source of passing amusement are left by them to the com-
panionship of spirits as frivolous as themselves. It is only by the regularity and
frequency of such communications that we can appreciate the moral and intellectual
worth of the spirits with whom we thus hold converse, and the degree of confidence
which they deserve. If experience is necessary in order to form a true estimate of men,
it is, if possible, still more necessary in forming a true estimate of spirits.
In applying to these communications the qualification of instructive, we imply
that they are true; for what is not true can never be instructive, though expressed in the
most imposing language. We therefore do not include in this category certain teachings
which have nothing serious about them but their high-flown and pretentious style, by
which spirits possessed of more presumption than philosophy endeavour to mislead.
But such spirits, being unable to disguise their shallowness, are incapable of keeping up
their false assumptions for any length of time; they soon betray their weak side, if we
continue to converse with them, and ply them with questions which compel them to
show their incompetency.