Allan Kardec

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158. In the beginning of the manifestation, when there were less exact ideas on this subject, several writings were published, headed Communications of a Basket, of a Planchette, of a Table, &c. All that is insufficient and erroneous in these expressions is now understood as a not sufficiently serious view of their character. In fact, as has been seen, tables, plan- chettes, and baskets are only unintelligent instruments, though momentarily animated with a factitious life, which can communicate nothing of themselves ; it is taking the effect for the cause, the instrument for the principal; as well might an author add to the title of his work that it was written with a steel pen or a goose quill.

Besides, these instruments are not absolute; we know one person who, instead of the basket we have described, used a funnel with a neck, through which he put the pencil. It might have been said communica- tions of a funnel, or of a stewpan, or a salad dish. If they were given by rappings, and these rappings were made by a chair or cane, it is no longer a talking table, but a talking chair or cane. What is necessary to know is, not the nature of the instrument, but the method of obtaining. If the communications take place by writing, let the pencil-holder be what it may, for us it is psychography; if by rappings, it is typtology. Spiritism, having taken the proportions of a science, requires a scientific language.

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