Allan Kardec

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139. The first intelligent manifestations were obtained by raps and tiltings, or typtology (from the Greek ... - I strike). This primitive method, indicative of the infancy of the art of communication, was of very narrow application, and those who employed it were restricted, in their communications, to monosyllabical replies, to a mere "yes" or "no," signified by the number of raps previously agreed upon, as the representation of those words. As already observed, this method was subsequently improved upon. Answers were obtained in two ways, with the aid of mediums possessing the aptitude required for physical manifestations; viz., by the movement of a table, and by raps which seem to be produced in the substance of the wood, in the walls, or in the air. The first of these consists in the movement of the table, which tilts itself up on one side, and then falls back, striking the floor with its foot. To obtain this effect, the medium has Only to place his hands on the edge of the table ; but, if he desires to communicate with a particular spirit, he must evoke him, as otherwise he will have the first comer who happens to present himself, or the spirit who is in the habit of coming. It having been agreed, for example, that one tilt shall mean " no," and three tilts " yes " (or any other numbers, this being indifferent), the spirit is asked the desired questions (we shall hereafter allude to the questions which it is wise to abstain from asking). The inconvenience of typtology consists in the brevity of the answers obtained, and the difficulty of forming the questions in such a way as to be answerable by "yes" or "no." Supposing we asked the spirit : What do you want? he could only answer us by an entire sentence. It is therefore necessary to say: Do you desire such and such a thing? - " No." - Do you desire some other thing ? - "Yes." And so on.

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