12. The spiritual phenomena are most often spontaneous, and are produced without any preparation through persons who bestow the least thought upon them; at other times they are provoked by agents known as mediums. In the first case the medium is unconscious of his mediumistic powers; in the second he acts by a knowledge of cause; hence the distinction between conscious and unconscious mediums. The latter are the more numerous, and are frequently found among obstinate and skeptical persons, who are made good witnesses in defense of Spiritism without their own knowledge or desire. The spontaneous phenomena constitute an important capital for Spiritism; for one cannot suspect the good faith of the parties through whom they are obtained, like somnambulism, which with some individuals is purely natural and involuntary, and with others induced by magnetic action. *
But let these phenomena be, or not be, the result of mental volition, the first cause is exactly the same in either instance, and detracts nothing from natural laws. Mediums, then, produce nothing absolutely supernatural; consequently they perform no miracle. The instantaneous cures often effected are no more miraculous than other effects; for they are due to the action of a fluidic agent performing the office of therapeutic agent, whose properties are no less natural because unknown until today. The title thaumaturgist, given to certain mediums by ignorant critics of the principles of Spiritism, is then altogether improper. The qualification of miraculous given to these kinds of phenomena can only give an erroneous idea of their true character.
* “The Mediums’ Book,” chap. 5 – “Revue Spirite:” examples: December, 1865, p. 370; August, 1865, p. 231.