THE MEDIUMS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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157. We may designate writing thus obtained as indirect psychography, in contradistinction to direct or manual psychography, obtained by the hand of the medium himself. In the last-named operation, the communicating spirit acts directly upon the medium; the medium, under this influence, holds the pencil, as though about to write, when his hand will be made to write, and often without his knowing what he is writing.

In all cases of spirit-writing, it is not that the planchette or the pencil becomes intelligent; for they are merely the instruments of an intelligence. Whatever the instrument employed, it is only a pencil-holder; an intermediary between the hand and the pencil. Suppress the intermediary, put the pencil into the medium's hand, and you will have the same result, but much more simply obtained, since the medium will now write as he does in his normal state; thus, every one who writes with a planchette, or other instrument, can obtain direct writing. Of all means of communication, writing with the hand, sometimes designated as involuntary writing, is the simplest, easiest, and most convenient, because it requires no preparation, and is as available as common writing. We shall return to this subject when we treat of mediums.

158. When spirit-manifestations first became known, and while ideas were vague and confused with regard to them, several works were published under the title of Communications of a Basket, of a Planchette, of a Table, &c. We now understand how erroneous were such titles, and how little serious was the character of those communications; for tables, planchettes, &c., are nothing but instruments without intelligence, although vitalised for the moment with an artificial ]life; instruments utterly unable to communicate anything of themselves. The writers alluded to mistook the effect for the cause, the instrument for the agent; an author might just as well state on his title-page that his book was written by a steel pen or by a goose-quill. These instruments, moreover, are not the only ones that can be used; we know a medium, who, instead of the basket or the planchette, used a funnel, in the gullet of which he placed his pencil. Communications, then, can be given through a funnel; we might also get them through a saucepan, or a salad-drainer. If manifestations come by rappings, and these rappings are made by a chair or a walking-stick, it is no longer a question of talking tables, but of talking chairs and talking sticks. What we really want to know, is, not the nature of the instrument employed, but the mode of obtaining communications. If a communication comes by writing, so that all we want is a pencil, we call it psycho- graphy; if it comes by raps, we call it psychography. Spiritism being destined to attain the certainty of a science, requires specific terms for the various orders of phenomena with which it deals.

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