228. All moral imperfections are so many open doors which give access to evil spirits ; but the one they can play upon most skillfully is pride, because it is the one people are least willing to confess, even to themselves : pride has ruined numberless mediums endowed with the finest faculties, and who, but for that, might have become remarkable and very useful subjects ; but, become the prey of lying spirits, their faculties have been first perverted, then annihilated, and more than one have been humiliated by the most bitter deceptions.
Pride betrays itself in mediums by unequivocal signs, to which it is so much the more necessary to call attention, as it is one of the things which should soonest inspire a distrust of their communications, This is, first, a blind confidence in the superiority of these same communications, and in the infallibility of the spirit who gives them ; from thence a certain dis dain for all that does not come to them, for they be lieve that they have the privilege of the truth. The prestige of great names, borrowed by the spirits whom they account as their protectors, dazzles them, and as their self-love would suffer in confessing themselves to be dupes, they repulse every kind of advice ; they even avoid it by withdrawing from their friends, and from whoever might be the means of opening their eyes : if they condescend to listen to them, they scorn their advice ; for to doubt the superiority of their spirit is almost a profanation. They are offended at the least contradiction, at a simple criticism, and even almost begin to hate the persons who have done them the service. Under cover of this isolation, brought about by spirits who want no contradictions, these have fine sport in keeping them in their illusions, and easily make them take the grossest absurdities for sub limities. Thus, absolute confidence in the superiority of what they obtain, contempt for what does not come from them, undue importance attached to great names, rejection of 'counsel, all criticism taken in ill part, withdrawal from those who might give disinterested advice, a belief in their skill in spite of their want of experience, — such are the characteristics of proud and vain mediums.
It is proper to say that pride is often excited in a medium by his surroundings. If he has greater faculties than ordinary, he is sought after and praised ; he considers himself indispensable, and soon affects airs of self-sufficiency and disdain when he lends his assistance. We have, more than once, had to regret the eulogiums we had given to certain mediums in order to encourage them.