The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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In our article about the hurdles to overcome as a medium we placed greed on the list of the flaws that can provide entry to the imperfect spirits. It will not be useless to elaborate on this subject. The medium

that could turn their faculties into a profession is in the first row of the self-serving mediums, offering what is typically called sessions or paid consultations. We don’t know them, at least in France. Since everything can become the subject of speculation, it would not come as a surprise to us if one day they wanted to exploit the spirits. One still needs to know how the spirits would handle this matter in case such speculation was introduced. Even without any initiation in Spiritism one can understand how shameful this is.

However, those who only know, even if a little, the difficult condi- tions required by the communication of the good spirits with us, and the little which is needed to send them away, as well as their rejection towards anything representing a selfish interest, will never be able to admit that the superior spirits may serve the caprices of the first one to evoke them at some sort of hourly rate.

The simplest common sense repeals such hypothesis. The evocation of your father, your mother, your children and your friends through simi- lar means, wouldn’t that also be sacrilege? There is no doubt that one can obtain communications through such a mode but God knows from which source! The frivolous, liars, naughty, jester spirits and the whole crowd of inferior spirits always come. They are always ready to answer to anything. St. Louis was telling us the other day at the Society: “Evoke a stone and it will respond to you.”

Those who want serious communications must, before anything, be informed about the nature of the sympathies between the medium and the beings from beyond the grave. The communications fed by the ambi- tion of profit can only inspire a really mediocre confidence.

Self-serving mediums are not the only ones that could demand a given payment. Self-serving is not only translated as the expectation of a material profit but also by greedy thoughts of any kind, through which personal hope may be founded. Furthermore, it is an anomaly which the jester spirits know how to use very well, taking advantage of that with a really remarkable skill and insolence, feeding with deceptive illusions those who position themselves under their dependence.

In summary, mediumship is a faculty given for the good and the good spirits stay away from whoever intends to transform it into a ladder to reach any goal that is not in the designs of the Providence. Selfishness is the ulcer of Society. The good spirits fight it, therefore, it is not possible to suppose that they may come to stimulate it. This is so rational that it is useless to insist on that point.

The mediums of physical effects are not in the same category; un- scrupulous inferior spirits who are not concerned about moral sentiments produce these effects. This type of medium, who wanted to exploit his faculty, could very easily find spirits who would assist him. However, we would still have another inconvenience. As with the medium of intelligent communications, the one of physical effects has not received his faculty for his own pleasure. It has been given to him on the condition that it is used properly. If it is abused it can be taken away from the medium or converted into a loss, as, in reality, the inferior spirits are under the com- mand of the superior ones.

The inferior spirits like to mystify but they do not like to be mysti- fied. If they willingly agree to respond to jokes and questions of curiosity on one hand, on the other hand, like the other spirits, they do not like to be exploited and constantly prove that they have their own free will; that they act when and how they wish to do so, implying that the medium of physical effects becomes even more insecure with respect to the regularity of the manifestations than the writing mediums. Pretending to produce them at will on given days and at predetermined times would be a demon- stration of profound ignorance. What can then be done to make money? Simulate the phenomena. That is what can happen not only to those who have openly turned this into a profession but also to the apparently simple persons who had reduced themselves to receiving any retribution from the visitors. If the spirits don’t produce anything then the mediums produce it. Imagination is really fertile when there is money involved. It is a thesis that we will develop in a special article to help to preclude fraud.

We conclude from all the above that the most absolute disinterest is the best guarantee against charlatanism, since there is no uninterested charlatan.

If disinterest does not always ensure the good quality of the intelligent communications it does, however, subtracts from the bad spirits a power- ful means of action, shutting up the mouth of certain detractors.

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