43. When the table is detached from the ground and floats in space without support, the spirit does not raise it by arm-strength, but by enveloping and penetrating it with a sort of fluidic-atmosphere, which neutralizes the effect of gravitation, as the air does for balloons and kites. The fluid with which it is permeated gives a momentarily greater specific lightness. When it is nailed to the ground, it is in a condition analogous to that of the pneumatic receiver under which the air is exhausted. These comparisons here are only to show the analogy of effects, and not the absolute similitude of causes (“The Mediums’ Book,” chap. 4).
One can comprehend, after this, that it is no more difficult to raise a person than a table, to transport an object from one place to another, than to throw it somewhere. These phenomena are produced by the same law. *
When the table pursues a person, it is not the spirit who runs, for he can remain calmly in the same place; but, by the aid of his will, he gives the fluidic-current an impulsion.
When the raps are heard on a table or elsewhere, the spirit does not rap with his hand or with any instrument whatever; he directs upon the point whence the noise proceeds a stream of fluid, which produces the effect of an electric shock. He changes the sound, as sounds produced by air can be modified. **
* Such is the principle of the phenomena of levitation, or the rising of bodies upwards, and suspension in the air, with no visible means of support, – an actual phenomenon, but which must be accepted with extreme reserve; for it is one which lends itself the most to imposture and jugglery. The absolute worthiness of the person who obtains them, his entire material and moral disinterestedness, and the cooperation of accessory circumstances, must be taken into serious consideration. It is necessary to distrust the too great facility with which these effects are produced, and to be doubtful of those who renew them too frequently, as it were, by willpower. The prestidigitators do most extraordinary things.
The raising of a person into mid-air is a fact no less positive, but much more rare, perhaps, because it is more difficult to imitate. It is generally known that Mr. Home has been more than once elevated to the ceiling in this manner, making the tour of the hall. St. Cupertin is said to have had this same power, which is no more miraculous in one than in the other.
** Examples of material manifestations and perturbations by the Spirits: “Revue Spirite,” Young Girl of Panoramas, Jan., 1858, p. 13; Miss Clairon, Feb., 1858, p. 44; Spirit-Rapper of Bergzabern, complete account, May, June, and July of 1858, pp. 125, 153, 184; Dibbelsdorf, Aug., 1858, p. 219; Boulanger of Dieppe, March, 1860, p. 76; Merchant of St. Petersburg, April 1860, p. 115; Noyers St., Aug., 1860, p. 236; Spirit-Rapper of Aube, Jan., 1861, p. 23; id., in the 16th century, Jan., 1864, p. 32; Poitiers, May, 1864, p. 156, and May, 1865, p. 134; Sister Mary, June, 1864, p. 185; Marseilles, April, 1865, p. 121; Fives, Aug., 1865, p. 225; The Rats of Equihem, Feb., 1866, p. 55.