Allan Kardec

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152. The development of the spiritist movement has been unusually rapid; for although we are separated only by a few years from its primitive manifestations, so often contemptuously alluded to as "table-turning," we are already enabled to converse with spirits as easily and rapidly as men converse with each other, and by the very same means, viz., by speech and by writing. Writing has the special advantage of furnishing a permanent evidence of the action of occult power; one which we are able to preserve as we preserve letters received from correspondents in the flesh. As previously remarked, the first method employed was the use of small baskets and planchettes with a pencil attached to them; which method of correspondence we will now briefly describe.

153. We have said that persons endowed with a special aptitude can produce a rotatory movement of a table, or other object. Let us suppose, in lieu of a table, that we employ the small basket or planchette alluded to in the beginning of the present work, with a pencil firmly fixed thereto, in such a manner as that the pencil will write upon a sheet of paper placed beneath it, if the basket or planchette be made to move; the pencil tracing scrawls and unmeaning marks, making attempts at writing, or writing legible and intelligible words. If the spirit evoked is willing to communicate, he will no longer answer by raps, but by written communications.

154. Several other contrivances have been invented, by means of which, communications of many pages may be obtained as rapidly as though written with the hand.

155. The acting intelligence often manifests itself by other signs equally conclusive; as when the pencil, having reached the bottom of the page, makes a spontaneous movement to turn over the leaf, or is moved back, over the same page, or over several pages, to some preceding word or passage, which it then underlines or effaces. Sometimes the pencil points to some one of the Company, to whom a message is especially addressed; sometimes it says "yes," or "no," by signs as expressive as our movements of head or hand; sometimes, in expressing anger or impatience, it strikes repeatedly on the table, and often so violently as to break its point.

156. In using these appliances, it is almost always necessary that two persons should concur; but it is not necessary that the second person should have the median- imic faculty, his concurrence being only needed to maintain the equilibrium of the instrument and to lessen the medium's fatigue.

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