Allan Kardec

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Mechanical.Intuitive. Semi-Mechanical.Inspired or Involuntary Mediums.
Mediums for Presenti- ments.

178. OF all the means of communication, manual writing is the most simple, the most convenient, and the most complete. It is to that all efforts should tend, for it permits us to establish with the spirits as continuous and regular relations as among ourselves. We should cling to it the more, because it is that by which the spirits best reveal their nature, and the degree of their perfection or inferiority. By the ease with which they express themselves, they let us know their secret thoughts, and allow us, at the same time, to judge and appreciate them at their value. The faculty of writing, for a medium, is especially the one that is most susceptible of development by exercise.

Mechanical Mediums.

179. If certain effects produced in the movements of the table, of the basket, or of the planchette that writes, be examined, an action exercised directly by the spirit on these objects cannot be doubted.

The basket is, at times, shaken with so much vio- lence, that it escapes from the hands of the medium ; sometimes, even, it is directed toward certain persons in the circle, to strike them ; at other times, its move- ments testify an affectionate sentiment.

The same thing occurs when the pencil is in the hand ; often it is thrown forcibly to a distance, or the hand, like the basket, is convulsively shaken, and strikes the table with anger even when the medium is perfectly calm, and astonished not to be master of himself. Let us observe, in passing, that these effects always denote the presence of imperfect spirits; those really superior are constantly calm, dignified, and be- nevolent ; if they are not listened to properly, they retire, and others take their place. Thus the spirit can express his thought directly, either by the move- ment of an object in the hand of the medium, or by his action on the hand itself.

When the spirit acts directly on the hand, he gives to it an impulse completely independent of the will. It goes on without interruption, and in spite of the medium, as long as the spirit has anything to say, and stops when he has finished.

What characterizes the phenomenon in this case is, that the medium has no consciousness of what he writes ; absolute unconsciousness constitutes passive or mechanical mediums. This faculty is precious, as it can leave no doubt of its independence of the thought of him who writes.

Intuitive Mediums.

180. The transmission of thought takes place by the intervention of the medium's spirit, or, rather, of his soul; for by this name we designate the incarnated spirit. The foreign spirit, in this case, does not act on the hand to make it write; he does not hold it, does not guide it; he acts on the soul with which he is identified. The soul, under this impulse, directs the hand, and the hand directs the pencil.

Let us remark here one important thing to know ; it is, that the foreign spirit is not substituted for the soul, for he cannot displace it: he controls it at his will, he impresses his will upon it. The part of the soul is not absolutely a passive one; it receives the thought of the foreign spirit, and transmits it. In this case the medi- um' is conscious what he writes, though it is not his own thought; this is what is called intuitive medium.

If this be so, it may be said, nothing proves that it is any more the thought of a foreign spirit than of the medium. The distinction is, in fact, sometimes quite difficult to make, but it may happen that this will be of little consequence. The suggested thought can always be recognized, in that it is never preconceived ; it is born as it is written, and often is contrary to the idea previously formed; it may even be beyond the knowledge and capacity of the medium.

The part of the mechanical medium is that of a machine, the intuitive medium acts as an interpreter. In fact, to transmit the thought, he should understand it; appropriate it in some sort, in order to translate it faithfully; yet this thought is not his — it but passes through his brain. Such is exactly the part of the intuitive medium.

Semi-Mechanical Mediums.

181. In the purely mechanical medium, the move- ment of the hand is independent of the will; in the intuitive medium, the movement is voluntary and optional.

The semi-mechanical medium partakes of both natures ; he feels an impulse given to his hand in spite of himself, but, at the same time, has a consciousness of the words as rapidly as they are formed. With the first, the thought follows the act of writing ; with the second, it precedes it; with the third, it accompanies it. These last mediums are the most numerous.

Inspired Mediums.

182. Every person who, whether in the normal state or in a state of ecstasy, receives, by the thought, com- munications foreign to his preconceived ideas, may be ranked in the category of inspired mediums; which is, as may be seen, a variety of intuitive mediumship, with this difference, that the intervention of an occult power is still less apparent; for, with the inspired, it is more difficult to distinguish between the thought proper and that which is suggested. What peculiarly character- izes this is its spontaneity. Inspiration comes to us from spirits who influence us for good or evil, but it is more especially from those who wish us well, and whose advice we too often wrongly avoid following. It applies to every circumstance in life, in the resolu- tions we make ; as far as this goes, we might say every one in the world is a medium, for there is no person who has not his spirit protectors and familiars, who make every effort to suggest salutary thoughts to their wards.

If every one were thoroughly convinced of this truth, there would be more, frequent recourse to the guardian angel in moments when one knows not what to say or do. Let us, then, invoke him with fervor and confidence in cases of necessity, and we shall be more often astonished by the ideas that will come as by enchantment, whether we may have something to decide or something to compose. If no idea comes, it is because it is necessary for us to wait.

The proof that the idea that comes unexpectedly is one foreign to us, is, that if it had been in us we should always have been master of it, and there would be no reason it could not have manifested itself at will. He who is not blind has only to open his eyes to see when he pleases; so, the same, he who has ideas of his own always has them at his disposal; if they do not come at will, it is because he is obliged to draw them from other sources.

In this category may also be classed persons who, without being endowed with an extraordinary intelli- gence, and without leaving the normal state, have flashes of intellectual lucidity which gives them tem- porarily an unaccustomed facility of conception and elocution, and, in some cases, a presentiment of the future. In these moments, justly called, of inspiration, ideas abound, are continuous, carry us along, as it were of themselves, by an involuntary and almost feverish impulse; it seems to us that a superior intelligence comes to our aid, and that our mind is relieved of a load.

183. Men of genius of all kinds — artists, scientists, men of letters — are doubtless advanced spirits, capable oy themselves of understanding and conceiving great things; but it is precisely because they are considered capable that the spirits who desire the accomplishment of certain work suggest to them the necessary ideas ; and thus they are most frequently mediums without knowing it. Yet they have a vague intuition of a foreign assistance ; for he who appeals to inspiration makes but an invocation ; if he did not hope to be heard, why should he so often cry, " Aid me, my good genius!"

The following answers confirm this assertion: —
" What is the primary cause of inspiration ?"
" Spirits who communicate by the thought."
" Has not inspiration the revelation of great things for its object ?"
" No ; it often has relation to the most ordinary occurrences of life. For example, you wish to go somewhere : a secret voice tells you not to do so, for there is danger for you ; or it tells you to do a thing you had not thought of; that is inspiration. There are very few persons who have not been more or less inspired at certain moments."

" An author, a painter, a musician, for instance, could they, in moments of inspiration, be considered mediums ?"

" Yes, for in these moments the soul is freer and more withdrawn from matter; it recovers a portion of its faculties as spirit, and more easily receives the communications of other spirits who inspire it."

Presentiment Mediums.

184. Presentiment is a vague intuition of future things. Some persons have this faculty more or less developed ; they may owe it to a kind of double sight, which permits them to foresee the consequences of present things and the thread of events; but often, also, it proceeds from occult communications, and, in this case, to those thus endowed may be given this name of presentiment mediums, which is a variety of inspired mediums.

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