Allan Kardec

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148. Direct writing is often obtained, like most of the other non-spontaneous manifestations, through meditation, prayer, and evocation, and has been often produced in churches, on tombs, and at the foot of the statues or images of the personages evoked; but it is evident that observances and localities have no other influence than that of inducing deeper feeling and a more intense concentration of thought on the part of the medium and those about him, for experience has shown that it may be obtained equally well under other circumstances, and in other places, and even on an ordinary table, when sought for by those who combine the requisite moral conditions with the special medianimic faculty required for the production of the phenomenon.

It was at first supposed to be necessary, in order to obtain direct spirit-writing, to place a pencil with the paper on which the spirit was to write; and as it is known that spirits can move, displace, and take hold of objects, it was inferred that they employed the pencil in producing the writing. But the presence of a pencil was soon found to be unnecessary; a blank sheet of paper-whether folded or not is immaterial-has often been found to contain writing executed, in the course of a few minutes or moments, upon its surface. By the abstraction of the pencil, the character of the resulting manifestation is radically changed, and we are introduced to an entirely new order of phenomena; for the words thus produced are written with some sort of sub stance, and this substance, if not provided by us for the spirit, must necessarily be a product of his own, something which he has himself composed or brought. If so, what is it, and whence did he get it? Such is the problem of which we have now to indicate the solution.

If the reader will refer to the explanations give in our eighth chapter (127 and 128), he will find this phenomenon fully explained. With the aid of the principles therein laid down, we see that a spirit, in producing direct writing, does not use either our substances or our implements, but fabricates for himself the substance and the implements which he needs; drawing his materials from the primitive universal element and causing them, by his will, to undergo the necessary modifications for the production of the desired effect. He can therefore fabricate crayons of various colours, printing ink or common ink, or even typographic characters, sufficiently firm in texture to give relief to his imitation of printing; examples of all of which operations have been seen by us. The daughter of a friend of ours, a child of only thirteen years of age, has frequently obtained entire pages of direct writing, produced with a substance resembling pastel.

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