146. Pneumatography is writing produced directly by a spirit, without any
intermediary ; it differs from psychgraphy which is the transmission of a spirit's thought
by the writing of the medium's hand.
Wonderful as is the phenomenon of direct writing, it is, nevertheless, a fully
proved and incontestible fact. If the theoretic teachings of spiritism are required to
enable us to account for the occurrence of spirit-phenomena in general, they are even
more necessary in regard to this particular phenomenon, which may well appear
"supernatural" to those who are unacquainted with those teachings, but which, with
their aid, are easily explicable.
When this phenomenon was first observed, the predominant feeling in regard to
it was that of suspicion; the idea of trickery with the aid of certain inks which, at first
invisible, become subsequently visible, was in everybody's thoughts. We cannot affirm
that such deception has never been practised ; on the contrary, we are convinced that
some persons, from mercenary motives, and others from vanity and to acquire the
reputation of being powerful mediums, have, in too many instances, employed
deceptions of various kinds. (See the chapter on Frauds.)
But it would be absurd to conclude that, because a phenomenon can be imitated,
the phenomenon itself does not occur. Has not ingenuity succeeded in imitating the lucidity of a somnambulist, and
so cleverly as to make deception appear a reality? And because this feat of
charlatanism has had a run at fairs, are we therefore to conclude that there are no real
somnambulists? Because some dealers sell adulterated wine, are we to assert that no
pure wine is to be had? It is the same with direct writing the precautions for making
sure of the reality of the fact are simple and easy; and, thanks to the employment or
those precautions, the reality of this phenomenon is no longer a matter of doubt.