254. We close this chapter with the answers given by the spirits to some questions supporting what we have said.
1. " Why cannot certain mediums rid themselves of bad spirits who are with them, and how is it that the good spirits they call are not powerful enough to remove the bad spirits, and communicate directly ? "
" It is not power that is wanting to the good spirits, it is often the medium who is not strong enough to second them ; his nature adapts itself better to certain relations, or rather his fluid identifies itself sooner with one spirit than with another ; this ig what gives such great sway to those who wish to take advantage of it."
2. " Nevertheless, it seems to us that there are very many meritorious persons, of irreproachable morality, who yet are prevented from communicating with good spirits."
" It is a trial ; and, besides, who can tell if the heart is not stained with an evil thought ? if pride does not a little govern the appearance of goodness ? These trials, by showing to the obsessed his weakness, should turn him to humility.
" Is there any one on the earth who can say he is perfect ? and he who has all the appearances of virtue may still have hidden defects, an old leaven of imper fection. Thus, for instance, you say of him who does no wrong, who is loyal in his social relations, This is a true and worthy man : but do you know if his good qualities are not tarnished by pride ; if there is not within him a fund of egotism ; if he is not avaricious, jealous, spiteful, slanderous, and a hundred other things you do not perceive, because your relations with him have not developed them ? The most powerful means of striving against the influence of bad spirits is to make yourself as much as possible like the good."
3. " Is the obsession which prevents a medium's obtaining the communications he desires always a sign of unworthiness on his part ? "
" I did not say it was a sign of unworthiness, but that an obstacle might be there to oppose certain com munications ; it is to remove the obstacle within him that all attention should be given ; without that all his prayers, his supplications, will be of no avail. It is not enough for a sick person to say to his doctor, Give me health ; I want to be well : the doctor can do nothing if the patient does not do what is necessary."
4. " Would the privation, then, be a kind of pun ishment ? "
" In some cases, this may be a real punishment, as the possibility of communicating with them is a recom pense you should endeavor to deserve." (See Loss and Suspension of Mediumship, No. 220.)
5. " Cannot the influence of bad spirits be also over come by giving them moral instruction ? "
" Yes ; this is what no one does, but it is what should not be neglected ; for it is often a task given to you, and one that you should accomplish charitably and religiously. By wise counsel they may be incited to repentance, and their advancement hastened."
" How can a man have more influence in this respect than the spirits themselves ? "
"The perverse spirits are allied rather to men whom they seek to torment, than to spirits from whom they withdraw as far as possible. In this' approach to man, when they find one who talks to them trying to im prove their morals, they do not listen at first ; they laugh at it ; then, if you know how to take them, they will eventually allow themselves to be affected. The elevated spirits can speak to them only in the name of God, and that frightens them. Man, certainly, has not more power than the superior spirits, but his language is better identified with their nature, and in seeing the ascendency he can exercise over the inferior spirits, he comprehends better the solidarity existing between the heavens and the earth.
"Then, too, the ascendency that man can exercise over the spirits is by reason of his moral superiority. He cannot master the superior spirits, nor even those who, without being superior, are good and benevolent, but he can master the spirits who are morally inferior to him."
6. " Can corporeal subjugation carried to a certain length induce insanity ? "
" Yes ; a kind of insanity whose cause is unknown to the world, but which has no relation to ordinary insanity. Among those treated as insane, there are many who are only subjugated ; a moral treatment is necessary for them, while they make them really insane by their corporeal treatments. When doctors understand Spiritism, they will know how to make a distinction, and will cure more patients than they are now curing with their shower-baths." (221.)
7. "What may be thought of those who, seeing danger in Spiritism, think to prevent it by interdicting spirit communications ? "
" If they can prevent some persons from communi cating with spirits, they cannot prevent the sponta neous manifestations made to these same persons, for they cannot suppress the spirits, nor hinder their secret influence. It is like children shutting their eyes and thinking no one can see them. It would be folly to suppress a thing that offers great advantages because some imprudent persons might abuse it ; the way to prevent these abuses is, on the contrary, to search the thing to the bottom."