225. The following dissertation, given spontaneously by a superior spirit who revealed himself by communications of the highest order, recapitulates, in the clearest and most complete manner, the question of the role of mediums : " Whatever may be the nature of writing mediums, whether mechanical, semi-me chanical, or simply intuitive, our processes of com munication with them do not essentially vary. In fact, with the incarnated spirits themselves, as. with the spirits proper, we communicate solely by the radi ating of our thought.
"Our thoughts do not need the clothing of words to be understood by spirits, and all spirits perceive the thought you desire to communicate to them, simply by your .directing the thought toward them, and this by reason of their intellectual faculties ; that is to say, a certain thought can be comprehended by certain ones according to their advancement, while to certain others the thought, awakening no remembrance, no knowledge in the depths of their heart or brain, is not perceptible to them. In such case the incarnated spirit who serves us as medium is more fit to render our thought for other incarnated beings, even should he not comprehend it, than a spirit decarnated and but little advanced could be to do so, were we forced to have recourse to his intervention ; for the terrestrial being puts his body at our disposal, which the wander ing spirit could not do.
"Thus, when we find a medium whose brain is fur nished with knowledge acquired during his actual life, and whose spirit is rich with latent anterior knowledge proper to facilitate our communications, we use him in preference, because with him the phenomenon of com munication is much easier for us than with a medi um whose intelligence is limited, and whose anterior knowledge may be insufficient. We will make our selves understood by a few concise and exact explanations.
"With a medium whose actual or anterior intelli gence is developed, our thought is communicated in stantly, spirit to spirit, by a faculty proper to the spirit himself. In such case we find in the brain of the medium the elements suitable to give to our thought the word-clothing corresponding to the thought, and that whether the medium be intuitive, semi-mechani cal, or mechanical pure. This is the reason that how ever great may be the number of spirits communicating through a medium, the dictations obtained by him, though proceeding from different spirits, bear the seal of form and color personal to the medium. Yes, even though the thought may be altogether strange to him, or the subject be one of the same kind he is accustomed to, or even if what we wish to say proceed in no way from him, he does not the less influence the form by the qualities, the properties belonging to his individu ality. It is absolutely as when you look at different points with colored spectacles —green, white, or blue ; be the point of view or objects looked at entirely opposite, or totally independent of each other, they are not the less always affected by the tint from the color of the spectacles. Or, better, let us compare mediums to those jars full of colored and transparent liquids seen in the windows of druggists ; well, we are as lights that illuminate certain points of view —moral, philo sophic, and internal —through mediums of blue, green, or red, in such a way that our luminous rays, obliged to pass through glasses more or less cut, more or less transparent, —that is to say, through mediums more or less intelligent, —reach the object they wish to en lighten, only with the tint, or rather the form, peculiar and special to these mediums. Finally, to end by a last comparison, we spirits are like composers of music who have composed, or would improvise, an air, and we have at hand only a piano, or a violin, or a flute, or a bassoon, or only a two-penny whistle. It is true that with the piano, the flute, or the violin, we could exe cute our bit in a manner very comprehensible to our auditors ; and though the sounds coming from a piano, bassoon, or clarinet, may differ essentially, our com position will not be less identically the same, save for the shades of sound. But if we have at our disposal only a two-penny whistle — therein lies the difficulty for us.
"When we are obliged to use mediums but little ad vanced, our work becomes longer, much more tedious, because we are obliged to have recourse only to in complete forms, which is a complication for us ; for then we are forced to decompose our thought, word by word, letter by letter, which is an annoyance and fatigue for us, and a real hinderance to the promptitude and de velopment of our manifestations. " This is why we are glad to find mediums well appointed, well furnished, armed with materials ready to work, —in a word, good instruments, —because then our p&risprit, acting on the perisprit of him whom we mediumize, has only to give impulsion to the hand which serves us as a pen-holder ; while with insuffi cient mediums we are obliged to perform a labor anal ogous to that we do when we communicate by rappings, designating letter by letter, word by word, each of the phrases which form the translation of the thoughts we wish to communicate.
"It is for these reasons we address ourselves in preference to the enlightened and instructed classes for the divulgation of Spiritism, and the development of the scriptive medianimic faculties, though it may be among these classes we meet the most skeptical, the most rebellious, and the most immoral individuals. It is for the same reason we now leave to juggling spirits, and those but little advanced, the exercise of tangible communications, of rappings, of materializa tion, as, among you, men but little serious prefer phe nomena that strike their eyes or their ears, to those which are purely spiritual, purely psychological.
"When we wish to work by spontaneous dictations, we act on the brain of the medium, and we mingle our materials with the elements he furnishes us, and that entirely without his will, just as if we should take the money in his purse, and arrange the different kinds in whatever order might seem to us most useful.
"But when the medium himself desires to question us in a special manner, it is well for him to reflect seriously, in order that he may question methodically, thus facilitating our labor in answering. For, as has been told you in a former instruction, your brain is often in inextricable confusion, and it is as painful as it is difficult for us to move in the labyrinth of your thoughts. Where questions involve each other, and should be made in proper succession, it is well, it is useful, that the series of questions should be com municated in advance to the medium, so that he may identify himself with the spirit of the invocator, and be impregnated with it, because we ourselves have then much greater facility to answer, by the affinity existing between our perisprit and that of the medium who serves us as interpreter. '
" Certainly we could talk mathematics by means of a medium who seems to know nothing about it ; but the spirit of this same medium may often possess this knowledge in a latent state, that is to say, personal to the fluidic being, and not to the incarnated, because his actual body is an instrument, rebellious or contrary to this knowledge. It is the same with astronomy, with poetry, with medicine, and the different languages, as well as all other knowledge pertaining to mankind. We still have the means of toilsome elaboration in use with mediums completely ignorant of the subject treated, putting together by words and letters, as in typography.
" As we have said, spirits do not need to clothe their thoughts ; they perceive and communicate thought by the simple fact of its existence in them. Corporeal beings, on the contrary, perceive thought only when clothed. While the letter, the word, the substantive, the verb, the phrase, all are necessary to you in order to perceive even mentally, no visible or tangible form is necessary for us. Erastus and Timotheus."
Remark. This analysis of the role of mediums, and of the processes by help of which the spirits com municate, is as clear as it is logical. From it results this principle —that the spirit draws, not his ideas, but the materials necessary to express them, from the brain of the medium, and that the richer this brain is in materials, the easier is the communication. When the spirit expresses himself in the language familiar to the medium, he finds within him the words all formed with which to clothe the idea ; if it is a language un known to the medium, he does not find the words, but simply the letters ; the spirit then is obliged to dictate, as it were, letter by letter, exactly as you would do if you wished to make a person write German who is totally ignorant of that language. If the medium can neither read nor write, he does not possess even the letters ; it is then necessary to conduct the hand, as you would that of a scholar ; and there is a still greater material difficulty to overcome. These phenomena are possible ; we have numerous examples of them ; but it may readily be comprehended that this mode of procedure accords little with the extent and rapidity of communications, and that the spirits must prefer the most flexible instruments, or, as they express it, the mediums, from their point of view, best furnished with tools.
If those who ask these phenomena as a means of conviction had previously studied the theory, they would know under what exceptional conditions they are produced.