THE MEDIUMS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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CHAPTER XXV
ON INVOCATIONS
General Considerations. — Spirits who map be invoked. — Language to hold with Spirits. — Utility of Special Invocations. — Questions on Invocations. — Invocations of Animals.—Invocations of Living Persons: — Human Telegraphy.

General Considerations

269. SPIRITS can communicate spontaneously, or come at our call; that is, on invocation. Some persons think we should abstain from invoking such or such a spirit, and that it is preferable to wait for the one who wishes to communicate. This opinion is founded on the fact that, in calling a designated spirit, we are not certain that it is he who presents himself, while he who comes spontaneously, and of his own impulse, better proves his identity, as he thus announces his desire to converse with us. In our opinion this is an error; firstly, because there are always spirits around us, most often of a low class, who ask no better than to communicate; in the second place, and for this last reason alone, in not calling any one in particular, the door is open to all who wish to enter. In an assembly, not to give the word to any one is to leave it to every one ; and the result of that is well known. The direct appeal, made to a designated spirit, is a bond between him and us ; we call him by our desire, and thus erect a kind of barrier against intruders. Without a direct appeal, a spirit would often have no motive for coming to us, unless it might be our familiar spirit. These two methods have each their advantages, and the difficulty would be only in the absolute exclusion of one of the two. There is no trouble in regard to spontaneous communications where one is master of the spirits, and is certain not to let the bad gain any dominion ; then it is often useful to wait the good pleasure of those who desire to communicate, because their thought is under no restraint; and in this way very admirable things may be obtained, while you cannot be sure that the spirit you call will be disposed to speak, or capable of doing so, in the sense that is desired. The scrupulous examination we have advised is a guarantee against evil communications. In regular reunions, especially in those engaged on a continu- ' ous work, there are always the accustomed spirits, who are at the rendezvous without being called, because, by reason of the regularity of the stances, they are pre-engaged ; they often begin • spontaneously to treat a certain subject, develop a proposition, or prescribe what should be done ; and then they are easily recognized, whether by the form of their language, or by their writing, or by certain habits familiar to them.,
270. When it is wished to communicate with a designated spirit, he must of necessity be invoked. (No. 203.) If he can come, this answer is usually obtained : Yes; or, / am here; or, What do you want of met Sometimes he enters directly into the matter, answering by anticipation the questions it is proposed to address to him.
When a spirit is invoked for the first time, it is best to designate him with some precision. In the questions addressed to him, we should avoid dry, imperative forms ; they might be a reason for his withdrawal. The forms should be affectionate or respectful according to the spirit, and in all cases testify the kindness of the innovator.
271. We are often surprised at the promptitude with which an invoked spirit presents himself, even the first time ; it might be said he has been forewarned ; this is, indeed, what has been done when we are thinking of making an invocation. This thinking is a kind of anticipated invocation, and as we always have our familiar spirits, who are identified with our thoughts, they prepare the way, so that nothing opposes it; the spirit whom we wish to call is already present. When this is not the case, the familiar spirit of the medium, or of the interrogator, or one of the habitues, goes to find him, which does not require much time. If the invoked spirit cannot come instantly, the messenger (the heathens would have said Mercury) asks for a delay, sometimes of five minutes, a quarter of an hour, and even several days, and when he arrives, says, He is there; and then we can begin the questions we want to ask him.
The messenger is not always a necessary intermediary, for the appeal of the invocator may be heard directly by the spirit, as is said, No. 282, Question 5, on the mode of transmitting thought.
When we say, Make the invocation in the name of God, we mean that our recommendation should^ be taken seriously, and not lightly; those who see in it only a formula, and of little consequence, would better abstain from it.
272. Invocations often present more difficulties to mediums than spontaneous dictation, especially when exact answers are wanted to circumstantial questions; For that end special mediums are required at once flexible and positive; and we have seen (No. 193), that these last are quite rare, for, as we have said, the fiuidic relations {rapports) are not always instantaneously established with the first spirit comer. It is, therefore, best that mediums should not attempt special invocations, until assured of the development of their faculty, and of the nature of the spirits who assist them ; for with those who are badly surrounded, the invocations could have no character of authority.
273. Mediums are generally much more sought for invocations of private interest than for communications of general interest; this is explained by the very natural desire we have to converse with those who are dear to us. We consider that we ought to make several important recommendations on this subject to mediums. First, to accede to this desire only with the utmost reserve with persons in whose sincerity they cannot completely trust, and to be on their guard against the snares that malicious persons might set for .them. Secondly, not to lend themselves to it. under any pretext, if they discover motives of curiosity or interest, and not a serious intention on the part of the invocator; to refuse themselves to all idle questions, or those aside from the circle of questions th.it may rationally be addressed to spirits. The suggestions should be put with clearness, perspicuity, and without evasion, if categorical answers are desired.
All those that have an insidious character should be declined, for it is well known that spirits do not like those intended to put them to the proof; to insist on questions of this nature is to wish to be deceived. The invocator should go frankly and openly to the desired end, without subterfuge or windings: if he fears to explain himself, he would better abstain. If invocations are made in the absence of the one who has requested them, it should be done with the greatest prudence ; it is even oftentimes preferable to abstain entirely, those persons alone being fit to criticise the answers, to judge of .the identity, to challenge explanations if there is cause, and to put incidental questions brought up by circumstances. Besides, their presence is a bond which attracts the spirit, often little disposed to communicate with strangers for whom he has no sympathy. In a word, the medium should avoid all that could transform him into a consulting agent, which, in the eyes of many persons, is synonymous with a fortune-teller.

Spirits who may be invoked.

274. All spirits, to whatever degree of the scale they belong, may be invoked — the good, as well as the bad ; those who have left this life but lately, and those who have lived in the most remote times ; illustrious men and the most obscure; our relatives, our friends, and. those who are indifferent to us; but it is not said that they will or can always come at our call: independently of their own will, or of the permission that may be refused them by a superior power, they might be prevented by motives which it is not always given us to penetrate. We would say, there is no absolute hindrance to communications except what we shall presently give ; the obstacles that might hinder the manifestation of a spirit are almost always individual, and pertain to circumstances.
275. Among the causes that might oppose the manifestation of a spirit, some are personal to him, some foreign. We must place among the former his occupations, or the missions in which he is engaged, and from which he cannot turn aside to yield to our wishes; in such case, his visit is only postponed.
There is, again, his own situation. While the state of incarnation may not be an absolute obstacle, it may be a hindrance at certain given, moments, especially when it takes place in inferior worlds, and when the spirit himself is. but little dematerialized. In the superior worlds, in those where the ties of spirit and matter are very feeble, the manifestation is almost as easy as in the wandering state, and in all cases easier than in those where the corporeal matter is more compact.
The foreign causes pertain principally to the nature of the medium, to that of the invoker, to the sphere in which the invocation is made, and, lastly, to the end proposed. Some mediums receive more especially communications from their familiar spirits, who may be more or less elevated ; others are capable of serving as intermediaries to all spirits ; that depends on the sympathy or antipathy, the attraction or repulsion, which the personal spirit of the medium exercises over the foreign spirit, who may take him for interpreter with pleasure or with repugnance. That, again, setting aside the innate qualities of the medium, depends on the development of the medianimic faculty. Spirits come more willingly, are more explicit with a medium who offers them no material obstacle. All things, besides, being equal as to moral conditions, the greater facility a medium has in writing or expressing himself the more his relations with the spirit world may be generalized.
276. The facility with which the habit of communieating with such or such a spirit gives, must also be taken into consideration ; with time the foreign spirit identifies himself with the spirit of the medium, and with him who calls him. The question of sympathy aside, fluidic relations are established between them which render communications more prompt: this is why a first conversation is not always as satisfying as might be desired, and it is also why the spirits themselves often ask to be recalled. The spirit who is in the habit of coming is as if at home ; he is familiarized with his auditors, and with his interpreters ; he speaks and acts more freely.
277. To recapitulate: from what we have just said, it results that the power of invoking any spirit whatever does not imply that the spirit is at our orders ; he can come at one moment, and not at another, with such medium or such invocator as pleases him, and not with such other; say what he pleases, without being constrained to say what he does not wish to say; go when it is agreeable to him ; finally, from causes dependent or not upon his will, after having shown himself assiduously during some time, he may suddenly cease to come. It is from all these motives that when we desire to call a new spirit, it is necessary to ask our guide protector, if the invocation is possible ; in cases where it may not be, he quite generally gives the motives, and then it is useless to insist.
278. An important question presents itself here — that of knowing whether or not there would be disagreeable consequences from invoking a bad spirit. That depends on the end proposed, and the ascendency that can be had over ,them. There is no difficulty when we call them with a serious and instructive aim, or with a view of improving them ; it is very great, onthe contrary, if it is from pure curiosity or pleasantry, or if one puts himself in their power by asking of them any service whatever.
The good spirits, in such case, can very well give them the power to do what is asked of them, safe to punish severely afterward the rash man who dared to invoke their help and believe them more powerful than God. It is vain that he may have promised himself to make a good use of it in the end, and to dismiss the servitor once the service is rendered ; the very service solicited, however minute it may be, is a veritable pact concluded with the bad spirit, and he never lets himself be used easily. (See No. 212.)
279. Ascendency is exercised over the inferior spirits only by moral superiority.
The perverse spirits feel their masters in good men ; with those who oppose to them only strength of will, a kind of brute force, they struggle, and are often the stronger. A person tried in this way to tame a rebellious'spirit, by his will; the spirit answered him, " Let me alone, with your bullying airs, you who are no better than I; they might say, a thief preaching to a thief.'
One is astonished that the name of God invoked against them should often be powerless. St. Louis has given the reason in the following answer: —
"The name of God has influence over imperfect spirits only in the mouth of him who can use it with authority by his virtues; in the mouth of a man who has no moral superiority over the spirit, it is a word the same as another. It is the same with the holy things opposed to them. The most terrible arms are inoffensive in hands unskilled in their use, or incapable of bearing them."

Language to hold with Spirits.

280. The degree of superiority or inferiority of the spirits naturally indicates the tone it is proper to take with them. It is evident that the more elevated they are, the more right they have to our respect, to our regard, and to our submission. We should show them as much deference as we should have done during their lives, but from different motives; on the earth we should have considered their rank and their social position ; in the world of spirits our respect is addressed only to moral superiority. Their very elevation raises them above the puerilities of our adulatory forms. It is not by words that we can secure their kind feeling, but by the sincerity of our sentiments. It would be ridiculous, then, to give them the titles which our usages consecrate to the distinction of ranks, and which, during their lives, might have nattered their vanity; if they are really superior, not only will they not care for them, but to do so will displease them. A good thought is more agreeable to them than the most flattering epithets; if it were otherwise, they would not be above humanity. The spirit of a venerable ecclesiastic, who, in this world, was a prince of the church, a good man, practicing the law of Jesus, answered once to a person who invoked him under the title of "my Lord," " You should at least say, ex-my Lord, for here there is no other Lord but God ; know that I see who on earth knelt before me, and those before whom I myself bowed."
As to the inferior spirits, their character shows us the language proper to use with them. Among the number there are some who, though inoffensive, and even kind, are trifling, ignorant, stupid: to treat themthe same as serious spirits, as some persons do, is about the same as to bow before a schoiar or an ass muffled up in a professor's cap. A tone of familiarity would not be out of place with them, and they do not take offense at it; on the contrary, they willingly receive it.
Among the inferior spirits there are some who are unhappy. Whatever may be the faults they are expiating, their sufferings entitle them to our consideration, so much the more as no one can flatter himself that he does not deserve these words of the Christ: " Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone." The kindness we show them is a comfort to them : in default of sympathy, they should find the indulgence we should wish them to show to us.
The spirits who reveal their inferiority by the cynicism of their language, their lies, the baseness of their sentiments, the perfidy of their counsels, are assuredly less worthy of our interest than those whose words show their repentance; we owe them, at least, the pity we accord the greatest criminals, and the way to reduce them to silence is to show ourselves superior to them : they indulge in their perversity only among persons with whom they think there is nothing to fear ; for the perverse spirits feel their masters in good men as in superior spirits.
To recapitulate: as much as it would be irreverential to treat the superior spirits as equals, just so much would it be ridiculous to extend the same deference to all without exception. Have veneration for those who deserve it, gratitude for those who protect and assist us, for all the others that kindness we may some day need for ourselves. In penetrating into the incorporeal world we learn to know it, and this knowledge should regulate us in our relations with those who inhabit it. The ancients, in their ignorance, elevated altars to them ; for us, they are only creatures more or less perfect, and we raise our altars only to God.

Utility of Special Invocations.

281. The communications obtained from very superior spirits, or from those who have animated the great personages of antiquity, are precious from their exalted teachings. These spirits have acquired a degree of perfection which permits them to embrace a more extended sphere of ideas, to penetrate mysteries beyond the ordinary limits of humanity, and, consequently, to initiate us better than others into certain things. It does not follow that communications from less elevated spirits should' be without utility; the observer may draw more than one instruction. To know the manners of a people, it must be studied in every degree of the scale. He who has seen it under one aspect only, would illy know it. The history of a people is not that of its kings and upper social circles; to judge it, one should see it in its private life and customs.
Now, the superior spirits are the upper circles of the spirit world: their very elevation places them so much above us that we are frightened at the distance that separates us. Spirits more bourgeois (may they excuse the expression) make the circumstances of their new existence more palpable to us. With them; the tie between corporeal life and spirit life is more intimate; we comprehend it better, because it touches us more nearly. In learning from themselves what has become of the men of all conditions and of all characters, what they think, what they experience, good, as well as vicious, the great and the small, the happy and the unhappy of the age, in a word, the men who have lived among us, whom we have seen and known, with whose real life we are acquainted, whose virtues and whims we know, — we comprehend their joys and their sufferings, we are associated with them, and draw therefrom a moral instruction as much more profitable as the relations between them and us are more intimate. We put ourselves more easily in the place of him who has been our equal than of him whom we see only through the mirage of a celestial glory.
Ordinary spirits show us the practical application of the great and sublime truths of which the superior spirits teach us the theory. Besides, in the study of a science nothing is useless ; Newton found his law of the forces of the universe in the simplest phenomena.
The invocation of ordinary spirits has, besides, the advantage of putting us en rapport with suffering spirits who can be comforted, and whose advancement may be facilitated by useful advice, so that we can be useful while, at the same time, instructing ourselves ; there is egotism in seeking only one's own satisfaction in intercourse with the spirits, and he who disdains to extend a helping hand to the unhappy gives proof of pride. Of what use to obtain grand teachings from spirits of the highest order, if it does not make us inwardly better, more charitable, more benevolent for our brothers, both in this world and in the other? What would become of the diseased if the doctors refused to touch their sores ?

282. Questions on Invocations.

I. ." Can we invoke spirits without being mediums?"
" Every one .can invoke spirits, and if those you call cannot manifest themselves materially, they are nevertheless near you, and listen to you."
2. " Does the spirit invoked always come at the call made to him ?"
" That depends on the conditions in which he is, for there are circumstances in which he cannot do so."
3. " What causes might prevent a spirit from coming at our call ?"
" Firstly, his will; then his corporeal state, if he is re-incarnated ; the missions with which he may be charged ; and still further, permission may be refused him. There are spirits who can never communicate — those who, by their nature, belong still to worlds inferior to the earth. Neither can those who are in the spheres of punishment, at least without a superior permission, which is granted only for the general good. That a spirit may be able to communicate, he must have attained the same degree of advancement as that of the world to which he is called; otherwise he is strange to the ideas of that world, and has no point of comparison. It is not the same with those who are sent on missions, or in expiation, to inferior worlds; they have the necessary ideas to reply."
4. " For what motives may the permission to communicate be refused to a spirit ?"
" It may be a trial or a punishment for him, or for the one who calls him."
5. " How can spirits, dispersed in space or in different worlds, hear from all points of the universe the invocations that are made ?"
" They are often forewarned by the familiar spirits that surround you, who go to seek them; but here is a phenomenon difficult to explain to you, because you cannot yet understand the transmission of thought among spirits. All I dan tell you is, that the spirit you invoke, however distant he may be, receives, as it were, the rebound of the thought as a kind of electrical commotion, which calls his attention to the side from whence comes the thought addressed to him. It might be said he hears the thought, as on earth you hear the voice."
" Is the universal fluid the vehicle of thought, as the air is that of sound ?"
" Yes, with, this difference, that sound can be heard only within a very limited radius, while thought attains the infinite. The spirit, in space, is like the traveler in the midst of a vast plain, who, hearing his name suddenly pronounced, directs his attention to the side on which he is called."
6. " We know that distances are but trifles to spirits ; yet one is astonished to see them sometimes respond as promptly to the call as if they had been all ready."
" And so, indeed, they are sometimes. If the invocation is premeditated, the spirit is forewarned, and often finds himself there before he is called."
7. " Is the thought of the invocator more or less easily heard according to circumstances ?"
" Without doubt; the spirit called by a sympathetic and kind sentiment is more quickly touched: it is to him the voice of a friend which he recognizes ; without that it often happens that the invocation miscarries. The thought that springs from the invocation strikes the spirit; if it is not well directed, it strikes in the void. It is with spirits as with men; if he who calls them is indifferent or antipathetic, they may hear, but do not often listen."
8. " Does the spirit invoked come voluntarily, or is he constrained to come ?"
" He obeys the will of God, that is, the general law that rules the universe ;• and yet constraint is not the word; for he judges if it be useful to come , and there still is his free will. A superior spirit always comes when he is called for a useful end ; he refuses to anwer only in circles of persons either not serious, or treating the thing as a joke."
9. " Can the invoked spirit refuse to come at the call made on him ?"
" Perfectly ; or where would be his free will ? Do you think all the beings in the universe are at your orders ? And do you consider yourselves obliged to answer all who pronounce your name ? When I say he can refuse, I mean on the demand of the invocator, for an inferior spirit may be constrained to come by a superior spirit."
10. "Is there any means by which the invocajtor may oblige a spirit to come against his will ?"
" None, if the spirit is your equal or your superior in morality; I say in morality, not in intelligence, because you have no authority over him: if it is your inferior, you can, if it is for his good, for then other spirits will second you." (No. 279.)
11. "Is there any difficulty in invoking inferior spirits ? and is there any danger, in calling them, of putting ourselves in their power ?"
" They rule only those who allow themselves to be ruled. . He who is assisted by good spirits has nothing to fear: he controls the inferior spirits; they do not control him. In isolation, mediums, especially those who are beginning, should abstain from such invocations." (No. 278.)
12. " Is it necessary to be in any particular frame of mind for invocations ?"
" The most essential of all dispositions is concentra tion of thought, when we desire aught of serious spirits. With faith and the desire of good, one is more powerful to invoke superior spirits. In elevating the soul by concentration of thought, at the moment of invocation, we are identified with good spirits, and attract them to us.
13. " Is faith necessary in invocations ?" " Faith in God, yes ; faith will come for .the rest if you desire good, and wish for instruction."
14. " Have men more power to invoke spirits when united by community of thought and intention ?"
" When all are united by charity and for good, they obtain grand things. Nothing is more injurious to the result of invocations than divergence of thought."'
15. "Is making a chain by joining hands for some minutes, at the beginning of reunions, of any use ?"
" The chain is a material means, which does not promote union among you if it exist not in the thought: what is more useful is to be united in one common thought, each one calling to his side good spirits. You do not know all you might obtain in a serious reunion, from whence is banished every sentiment of pride and personality, and where reigns a perfect sentiment of mutual cordiality."
16. "Are invocations for fixed days and hours preferable ?"
" Yes, and, if it be possible, in the same place; the spirits come to it more willingly: it is the constant desire you have that aids the spirits to come and put themselves into communication with you. Spirits have their occupations, which they cannot leave at a moment's warning for your personal satisfaction. I say, in the same place; but do not suppose this to be an absolute obligation, for spirits come everywhere: I mean, a place consecrated to that is preferable, because there concentration of thought is more perfect."
17. " Have certain objects, such as medallions and talismans, the property of attracting or repelling spirits, as some pretend ?"
" This is a useless question, for you know very well that matter has no action on spirits. Be very sure that no good spirit ever advises such absurdities ; the virtue of talismans, of whatever nature they be, has never existed save in the imaginations of credulous people."
18. "What must we think of spirits who give rendezvous in dismal places, and at undue hours ?"
" These spirits amuse themselves at the expense of those who listen to them.- It is always useless, and often dangerous, to yield to such suggestions: useless, because one gains absolutely nothing but to be mysti- . fied ; dangerous, not for the evil the spirits might do, but on account of its influence on weak brains."
19. " Are there days and hours more propitious than others for invocations ? "
" For spirits that is perfectly indifferent, as is everything material, and it is a superstition to believe in the influence of days and hours. The most propitious moments are those in which the invocator can be the least disturbed by his accustomed occupations ; when his body and mind are most calm."
20. "Is invocation an agreeable or a painful thing for spirits ? Do they come voluntarily when they are called?"
" That depends on their character and the motives from which they are called. When the object is praiseworthy, and when the surrounding is sympathetic to them, it is agreeable to them, and even attractive; the spirits are always happy in the affection testified for them. There are those to whom it is a great happiness to communicate with men, and who suffer from the indifference in which they are left. But, as I have said, it depends upon their character ; among spirits there are also misanthropes, who do not like to be disturbed, and whose answers show their ill humor, especially when they are called by indifferent people, in whom they are not at all interested. A spirit has often no motive for coming at the call of an unknown person, who is indifferent to him, and almost always moved by curiosity; if he comes, he usually makes but short visits, unless there may be a serious and instructive end in view in the invocation."
Remark. We see people who invoke their relations only to ask them the most ordinary things of material life ; for instance, one to know if he shall rent or sell his house, another to know what profit he shall have from his merchandise, the place where money is deposited, whether or no a certain business will be advantageous. Our relations from beyond the tomb are interested in us only by reason of the affection we have for them. If all our thought is limited to thinking them sorcerers, if we think of them only to ask favors of them, they cannot have any very great sympathy for us, and we should not be astonished at the little benevolence they sometimes evince.
21. "Is there a difference between good and bad spirits, in regard to their readiness to come at our call."
" There is a very great difference; bad spirits come voluntarily only inasmuch as they hope to govern and make dupes; but they experience a strong contrariety when they are forced to confess their faults, and only ask to go away again, like a pupil called up for correction. They can be constrained to come, by the superior spirits, as a punishment, and for the instruction of the incarnated. Invocation is painful for good spirits when they are called uselessly, for frivolities ; then they do not come at all, or soon withdraw."
" You may take it as a principle, that spirits, whatever they be, like no more than yourselves to serve as amusement for the curious. Often you have no other end, in invoking a spirit, than to see what he will tell you, or to question him on the particulars of his life, which he does not care to tell you, because he has no motive for giving you his confidence ; and think you he is going to put himself at the bar for your good pleasure ? Undeceive yourselves: what he would not have done during his lifetime, he will not do as a spirit."
Remark. Experience proves, in fact, that invocation is always agreeable to spirits, when made with a serious and useful motive ; the good come with pleasure to instruct us ; those who suffer find comfort in the sympathy shown them ; those whom we have known are satisfied with our remembrance. Frivolous spirits like to be invoked by frivolous persons, because that gives them an opportunity to amuse themselves at their expense ; they are ill at ease with grave persons.
22. " In order to manifest themselves, do spirits always need to be invoked ?"
" No; they very often present themselves without being called, and that proves that they come willingly."
23. "When aspirit comes of himself, can we be sure of his identity ?"
" Not at all; for deceiving spirits often employ this means, the better to delude."
24. "When we invoke the spirit of a person by thought, does he come to us even when there are no manifestations by writing or otherwise ?"
"Writing is a material means by which the spirit may attest his presence ; but it is the thought that attracts him, and we show it by writing,"
25. When an inferior spirit manifests himself, can we oblige him to withdraw ?"
"Yes; by not listening to him. But how do you expect him to withdraw when you amuse yourselves with his vileness ? The inferior spirits attach themselves to those who listen to them with complacence, like the fools among you."
26. " Is invocation, made in the name of God, a guarantee against the intermeddling of bad spirits ?"
"The name of God is not a check for all perverse spirits, but it restrains many ; by this means you always remove some, and you would remove many more, if it were made from the bottom of the heart, and not as a common formula."
27. " Could several spirits be invoked by name at the same time ?"
" There is no difficulty in that; and if you had three or four hands to write, three or four spirits could answer you at the same time : this is what does happen when there are several mediums."
28. "When several spirits are simultaneously invoked, and there is but one medium, which one answers ?"
" One answers for all, and he expresses the collective thought."
29. " In a stance, could the same spirit communicate with two mediums at the same time ?"
" As easily as you have men who can dictate several letters at the same time."
Remark. We have seen a spirit answer at the same time by two mediums,— to one in English, to another in French, — and the answers were identical in sense; some were the literal translation of the others. Two spirits, invoked simultaneously by two mediums, might establish a conversation with each other ; this mode of communication not being necessary for them, as they can read each other's thought, they sometimes do it for our instruction. If they are inferior spirits, as they are still imbued with terrestrial passions and corporeal ideas, it might happen that they would dispute and apostrophize each other with big words, upbraid each other with their wrongs, and even throw pencils, baskets, planchettes, &c, at each other.
30. " Can a spirit, invoked at the same time in different places, answer simultaneously to the questions addressed to him ?"
" Yes, if it is an elevated spirit."
—"In this case does the spirit divide himself? or has he the gift of ubiquity ?"
" The sun is one, yet he radiates all around, throwing his rays afar without subdividing himself: it is the same with spirits. The thought of the spirit is like a star that projects its light to a distance, and may be seen from all points of the horizon. The purer the spirit, the more his thought radiates and extends, like the light. The inferior spirits are too material; they can answer only to a single person at once, and cannot come if they are called elsewhere. A superior spirit, called at the same time to two different points, will answer both invocations, if they are equally serious and fervent; if not, he will give his preference to the more serious."
Remark. The same with a man who can, without changing his place, transmit his thought by signals seen from different points.
In a s&ance of the Parisian Society for Spirit Studies, when the question of ubiquity had been discussed, a spirit dictated spontaneously the following communication : " You asked, this evening, what is the hierarchy of spirits as to ubiquity ? Compare us to an aeronaut, who rises little by little in the air. When he leaves the ground, a very small circle can perceive him ; as he rises, the circle enlarges for him ; and when he has reached a certain height, he appears to an infinite number of persons. So with us : a bad spirit, who is still attached to the earth, remains in a very restricted circle, in the midst of persons who see him. If he grows in grace, if he becomes better, he can talk with several persons ; and when he has become a superior spirit, he can radiate like the light of the sun, show himself to many, persons, and in many places, at the same time. CHANNING."
31. "Can the pure spirits be invoked —those who have ended their series of incarnations ?"
" Yes, but very rarely : they communicate only with pure and sincere hearts, and not with the haughty and egotistical: you must be careful to distrust inferior spirits, who take this quality to give themselves more importance in your eyes."
32. " How is it that the spirit of the most illustrious men comes as readily and familiarly at the call of the most obscure ?"
' Men judge spirits by themselves, and that is an error: after the death of the body, terrestrial rank no longer exists ; there is but the distinction of goodness among them; and those who are good go wherever there is good to be done."
33. " At what length of time after death can a spirit be invoked ?"
" It can be done at the very instant of death ; but as, at this moment, the spirit is still in trouble, he answers but imperfectly."
Remark. The duration of the trouble being very variable, there can be no fixed time to make the invocation ; yet it is rare if, at the end of eight days, the spirit has not sufficiently recovered to be able to answer : he can sometimes very well do so two or three days after death; it can, in any case, be tried with care.
34. " Is the invocation at the moment of death more painful for the spirit than if made later ? "
" Sometimes ; it is as if you were torn from sleep before you are fully awakened. There are some, however, who are not at all disturbed by it, and even whom it helps out of their trouble."
35. " How can the spirit of a child, who has died very young, answer with knowledge, when, during rfis life, he had as yet no consciousness of himself?"
" The soul of a child is a spirit still enveloped in the swaddling-clothes of matter; but, disengaged from matter, he enjoys his spirit faculties, for spirits have no age ; which proves that the spirit of the child has already lived. Yet, until he shall have become completely disengaged, he may preserve in his language some traces of the character of childhood."
Remark. The corporeal influence which makes itself felt on the spirit of the child, for a longer or shorter time, is sometimes remarked, in the same way, on the spirit of a person dying in a state of insanity. The spirit himself is not crazy, but we know that some spirits, for a time, believe themselves still in this world: it is, then, not astonishing that the spirit of an insane person should still feel the fetters which, during life, opposed his free manifestation, until he become completely disengaged. This effect varies according to the causes of the insanity, for there are some maniacs who recover the lucidity of their ideas immediately after their death.

283. Invocation of Animals.

36. " Can the spirit of an animal be invoked ?"
"After the death of the animal, the intelligent principle that was in him is in a latent state; he is immediately utilized, by spirits charged with such cares, to animate new beings, in whom he continues the work of his elaboration. Thus, in the spirit world there are no spirits of wandering animals, but only human spirits. This answers your question."
" How is it, then, that some persons have invoked animals and received answers ?" •
" Invoke a stone and it will answer you. There is always a crowd of spirits ready to speak for anything."
Remark. Just the same if you invoke a myth, or an allegorical personage, it will answer; that is, it will be answered for, and the spirit who would* present himself would take its character and appearance. One day, a person took a fancy to invoke Tartufe, and Tartufe came immediately ; still more, he talked of Orgon, of Elmire, of Damis, and of Valire, of whom he gave news ; as to himself, he counterfeited the hypocrite with as much art as if Tartufe had been a real personage. Afterward, he said he was the spirit of an actor who had played that character.
Trifling-spirits always profit by the inexperience of interrogators, but they take good care never to address those who they know are enlightened enough to discover their impostures, and who would give no credit to their stories.
It is the same among men.
A gentleman had in his garden a nest of goldfinches, in which he was much interested ; one day the nest disappeared ; being certain that no one about the house had been guilty of its destruction, he thought of invoking the mother of the little ones ; she came, and said, in very good French, " Do not accuse any one, and be easy about my little ones ; the cat overthrew the nest by jumping; you will find, under the grass, all the little ones that have not been eaten." He looked, and found it so. Must he conclude that the bird had answered him ? No, assuredly; but simply that a spirit knew the history of it. This proves how much appearances should be distrusted, and how just the above reply: Invoke a stone, and it will answer you. (See, further the chapter on Mediumship among Animals, No. 234.)

284. Invocation of Living Persons.

37. " Is the incarnation of the spirit an absolute obstacle to his invocation ?"

' No; but the state of the body must be such, at the time, as to permit the spirit to disengage himself. The incarnated spirit comes as much more easily as the world in which he finds himself is of a more elevated order, because the bodies there are less material."

38. " Can the spirit of a living person be invoked ?"

" Of course, as you can invoke an incarnated spirit. The spirit of a living person can also, in his moments of liberty, come without being invoked; that depends on his sympathy for the person with whom he communicates." (See No. 116 — History of the Man and the Snuff-box)

39. " In what state is the body of the person when the spirit is invoked ?"

" He sleeps, or is dozing; it is then the spirit is free."

" Could the body awaken while the spirit is absent ?"

" No; the spirit is obliged to reenter it; if, at the moment, he may be talking to you, he leaves you, and often tells you the reason for so doing "

40. " How is the spirit, when absent from the body, warned of the necessity of its return ? "

" The spirit of a living body is never completely separated ; to whatever distance it may transport itself, it is held to the body by a fluidic bond, which serves to recall it when necessary ; this tie is broken only by death."

Remark. This fluidic tie has often been noticed by seeing mediums. It is a kind of phosphorescent train, which is lost in space in the direction of the body. Some spirits say it is by that they recognize those who arc still boumd to the corporeal world.

41. "What would happen, if, during sleep, and in the absence of the spirit, the body should be mortally wounded ?"

"The spirit would be warned, and would reenter before death."
— " So it could not happen that the body could die in the absence of the spirit, and that on his return he could not reenter it ?"
" No ; it would be contrary to the law regulating the union of the soul and body."
— "But if the blow was struck suddenly, and without premeditation ?"
" The spirit would be warned before the mortal blow could be given."
Remark. The spirit of a living person interrogated on this point, answered, —
" If the body could die in the absence of the spirit, it would be too convenient a method of committing hypocritical suicides."
42. " Is the spirit of a person invoked during sleep as free to communicate as that of a dead person ?"
" No ; matter always influences it more or less."
Remark. A person in this state, to whom this question was addressed, answered,—
" I am always chained to the ball I drag after me."
— "In this state, could the spirit be hindered from coming because of its being elsewhere ?"
" Yes ; the spirit might be in a place where it pleased him to remain ; then he would not come at the invocation, especially if it were made by some one in whom he felt no interest."
43. " Is it absolutely impossible to invoke the spirit of a person who is awake ?"
" Though difficult, it is not absolutely impossible; for if the invocation carries, it may produce sleep in the person ; but the spirit can communicate, as spirit, only in those moments when its presence is not necessary to the intelligent activity of the body."
Remark. Experience proves that invocation madeduring a waking state may produce sleep, or, at least an absorption bordering on sleep; but this can take place only through a very' energetic will, and when the ties of sympathy exist between the two persons; otherwise the invocation does not cany. Even in a case where the invocation causes sleep, if the moment is inopportune, the person not wishing to sleep will resist, and, if he yield, his spirit will be troubled, and answer with difficulty. It thus results that the most favorable moment for the invocation of a living person is during his natural sleep, because his spirit, being free, can as well come toward the one who calls him as- to go elsewhere.
When the invocation is made with the consent of the person, and he seeks to sleep for the purpose, this very desire may retard the sleep and trouble the spirit; an unforced sleep is preferable.
44. " Has a living person, on waking, a consciousness of having been invoked ? "
" No ; you are yourselves invoked more often than you think. The spirit alone knows it, and may sometimes leave with him a vague impression, like a dream."
— " Who can invoke us if we are but obscure beings ?"
" In other existences you may have been known either in this world or in others, and have had your relations and friends the same in this world or in others. Suppose your spirit may have animated the body of the father of another person: well, then, he invokes his father ; it is your spirit who is invoked, and who answers."
45. "Would the invoked spirit of a living person answer as spirit, or with the ideas pertaining to a waking state ?"
" That depends on his elevation ; but his judgment is more healthy, and he has fewer prejudices, exactly like somnambulists ; it is a nearly similar state."
46. " If the spirit of a somnambulist in a state of magnetic sleep were invoked, would he be more lucid than that of other persons?"
" He would, doubtless, answer more lucidly, because more disinthralled ; all depends on the degree of the spirit's independence of the body."
— "Could the spirit of a somnambulist answer a person at a distance, who might invoke him, at the same time that he is verbally answering another person ?"
"The faculty of communicating simultaneously at two different points pertains only to spirits completely disengaged from matter."
47. " Can the ideas of a. person in a waking state be modified by acting upon his spirit during sleep ?"
" Yes, sometimes ; the ties that bind the spirit to matter are not then so close ; he is more accessible to moral impressions, and these impressions may influence his mode of seeing in the ordinary state."
48. " Is the spirit of a living person free to say or not to say what he will ? "
" He has his faculties of spirit, and consequently his free will ; and as he has more perspicacity, he is even more circumspect than when in a waking state."
49. " In invoking a person, can he be constrained to speak when he wishes to be silent ? "
" I have said that the spirit has his free will; but it can very well be that, as spirit, he attaches less importance to certain things than in the ordinary state; his conscience may speak more freely. Besides, if he does not wish to speak, he can easily escape importunities by leaving, for a spirit cannot be retained as you can retain his body."
50. •'Can the spirit of a living person be forced by another spirit to come and speak, as can be done among wandering spirits ?"
" Among spirits, whether of the dead or the living, there is no supremacy, save from moral superiority; and you may well believe that a superior spirit will never lend his support to a cowardly indiscretion."
Remark. This abuse of confidence would, in fact, be a bad action, which, however, would have no result, since you cannot tear from a spirit a secret he desires to keep, at least unless, influenced by a sentiment of justice, he avows what, under other circumstances, he would withhold. A person, by this means, desired to know of one of his relatives if his will was in her favor. The spirit answered, " Yes, my dear niece, and you shall soon have the proof of it."
The thing was true; but a few days afterward the relative destroyed his will, and was mischievous enough to let her know of it, though he did not know he had been invoked. An instinctive feeling, doubtless, urged him to execute the resolution his spirit had taken at the time of his having been questioned. It is cowardly to ask of a spirit, either of the dead or living, what you would not have dared to ask him in person, and this cowardice is not even compensated by the expected result.
51. " Can one invoke a spirit whose body is still in the mother's womb ?"
" No; you know that, at such time, the spirit is in utter trouble."
Remark. The incarnation takes place actually only at the moment of the child's first breath ; but from the conception the spirit designated to animate it is seized with a trouble, which increases as the birth approaches, and takes from him his self-consciousness, and consequently the faculty of answering. (See Book on Spirits— Return to the Corporeal Life, Union of the Soul and Body, No. 344.)
52. " Could a deceiving spirit take the place of a living invoked person ?"
" That is not doubtful, and it very often happens, particularly when the intention of the invocator is not pure. But the invocation of living persons is interesting only as a psychological study : it is necessary to abstain always when it can have no instructive result."
Remark. If the invocation of wandering spirits does not always carry, — to use their own expression, — it must be much more frequent for those who are incarnated ; then, especially, do deceiving spirits take their place.
53. "Are there dangers in the invocation of a living person ?"
" It is not always without danger ; that depends on the person's position, for if he is sick, it might add to his sufferings."
54. " In what case could the invocation of a living person have most dangers ?"
" You should abstain from invoking children of a very tender age, persons seriously ill, infirm old men ; indeed, there are dangers in all cases when the body is very much enfeebled."
Remark. The sudden suspension of the intellectual faculties during a waking state might also be dangerous, if the person at the moment should find himself in need of his presence of mind.
55. " During the invocation of a living person, does the body experience fatigue by reason of the work his absent spirit performs ?"
"A person in this state, who said his body was fatigued, answered this question: ' My spirit is like a balloon tied to a post; my body is the post, which is shaken by the strugglings of the balloon.' "
56. " As the invocation of living persons may be dangerous when made without precaution, does not the danger exist when we invoke a spirit we do not know to be incarnated, and who might not find himself in favorable conditions ?"
" No ; the circumstances are not the same: he will come only if in a position to do so ; and besides, have I not told you to ask, before making an invocation, if it be possible ?"
57. " When, at the most inopportune moments, we experience an irresistible desire to sleep, does it warn us that we are invoked by some one ?"
" It may occur, but most often it is a purely physical effect; either the body or the spirit has need of its liberty."
Remark. A lady of our acquaintance, a medium, one day invoked the spirit of her grandson, who was sleeping in the same room. His identity was confirmed by the language, by the familiar expressions of the child, and by the exact recital of several things that had happened at his boarding-school; but one especial circumstance confirmed it. Suddenly the hand of the medium paused in the middle of a sentence, and it was impossible to obtain anything further: at this moment, the child, half awake, moved in his bed. Some moments after, he again slept; the hand went on anew, continuing the interrupted talk.
The invocation of living persons, made under good conditions, proves, in the least contestable manner, the distinct action of the spirit and the body, and consequently, the existence of an intelligent principle independent of matter. (See Revue Spirite of i860, pages 11 and 18, several remarkable examples of invocation of living persons.)

285. Human Telegraphy.

58. ''Could two persons, by invoking each other, transmit their thoughts, and thus correspond?"
" Yes ; and this human telegraphy will some day be a universal means of correspondence'.'
" Why should it not be practiced at present ?"
" So it is, with some persons, but not with every one: men must purify themselves, in order that their spirit may be disengaged from matter ; and this is still another reason for making the invocation in the name of God. Until then it is confined to chosen and dematerialized souls, who are rarely met in the actual state of the world's inhabitants."

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