244. In the face of this danger of obsession it may be asked if it is not a pity to be a medium ; is it not this faculty that induces it, and is it not a proof of the inexpediency of spirit communications ? Our an swer is easy, and we beg it may be carefully con sidered. .
Neither mediums nor spiritists created the spirits, but the spirits have been the cause of there being spiritists and mediums : spirits being only the souls of men, there have been spirits as long as there have been men ; and, consequently, they have, in all time, exercised their salutary or pernicious influence on humanity. The medianimic faculty is for them only a means of manifesting themselves ; in default of this faculty, they do it in a thousand other ways, more or less occult. It would be an error to believe that spir its exercise their influence only by written or verbal communications ; their influence is incessant, and those who do not concern themselves about spirits, or who do not even believe in them, are as exposed to it as others, and more than others, because they have no counterpoise. Mediumship is for the spirit a means of making himself known ; if he is bad he always betrays himself, however hypocritical he may be ; thus it may be said that mediumship allows one to see his enemy face to face, if it may be so expressed, and to fight him with his own weapons ; without this faculty he acts in the dark, and, under cover of his invisibility, can do, and does, much harm. To how many actions have not people been urged, to their misfortune, and which they might have avoided had they possessed the means of being enlightened ! The incredulous know not how truly they speak, when they say of a man who obstinately goes astray, " It is his evil genius urging him on to his destruction." Thus the knowledge of Spiritism, far from giving dominion to bad spirits, must, sooner or later, when it shall be widely spread, result in the destruction of that domination by giving to every one the means of being on his guard against their suggestions, and then he who yields will have no one to blame but himself.
General rule : whoever has bad spirit communica tions, written or verbal, is under an evil influence ; this influence is exercised on him, whether he writes or whether he does not write ; that is; whether he be a medium or not ; whether he believe or disbelieve. Writing gives a person the means of knowing the nature of the spirits who act on him, and of fighting against them if they are evil, which can be done with much greater success when the motive which makes them act is known. If he is too much blinded to understand it, others can open his eyes. To recapitulate : the danger is not so much in Spir itism itself, since it can, on the contrary, serve as a rontrolling influence, and save from him who incessantly pursues us against our will ; it is in the haughty propensity of some mediums to believe too easily that they are the exclusive instruments of superior spirits, and in the kind of fascination that prevents them from understanding the foolish things of which they are the interpreters. Those, even, who are not mediums, may be exposed to it. Let us make a comparison. A man has a secret enemy, who disseminates all kinds of calumnious reports that the blackest wickedness can invent ; he sees his fortune lost, his friends alienated, his internal happiness destroyed ; not being able to discover the hand that strikes him, he cannot defend himself, and yields ; but one day this secret enemy writes to him, and, in spite of his strategy, betrays himself. Now he faces the discovered foe, can put him to confusion, and recover himself. Such is the r6le of the evil spirits, whom Spiritism makes it possi ble to know and unmask.