(The Mediums’ Book Chapter 14, items 160-170

Seeing Mediums:

Seeing mediums are those who are endowed with the faculty of seeing spirits. There are some who possess this faculty in their normal state and when they are perfectly awake, and who preserve an exact recollection of what they have seen. Others only see spirits when they are in a somnambulic state, or one bordering on it. This faculty is rarely permanent ; it is almost always the effect of a momentary and passing crisis. We may place in the category of seeing mediums all persons endowed with second-sight. The possibility of seeing spirits in dreams, results, undoubtedly, from a sort of medianimity; but, properly speaking, it does not constitute the seeing medium.” We have already explained this variety of mediums. (See Chap. VI. Visual Manifestations.)

The seeing medium thinks he sees with his bodily eyes, like those who have second-sight, but it is in reality his soul that sees ; which accounts for the fact that seeing mediums see with their eyes shut just as well as when they are open, and that a blind man can see spirits as well as a man possessed of eyesight.

Hearing Mediums:These mediums hear the voice of spirits: some times, as we have observed when speaking of pneumatophony, it is an inner voice that speaks to the interior consciousness; sometimes it is an exterior voice, clear and distinct as that of a person in the flesh. Hearing mediums are thus enabled to enter into conversation with spirits. When they are in the habit of communicating with certain spirits, they recognise them immediately by the character of their voice. Persons who are not endowed with this faculty can communicate with spirits through the intermediacy of a hearing medium, who thus plays the part of an interpreter. This faculty is a very agreeable one when the medium hears only good spirits, or those whom he evokes; but it Is not so when, as sometimes happens, he is violently assailed by some hostile spirit, or forced, by some backward and troublesome persecutor, to listen to unpleasant or unseemly remarks. In all such cases, it is necessary to get rid of the obsessing spirit by the means which we shall point out in our chapter on Obsession.

Speaking Mediums: Hearing mediums, who only transmit what is said to them by spirits, are not what are properly called speaking mediums (also called psychophony), who very frequently hear nothing; the spirit merely acting upon their organs of speech, as he acts upon the hand of writing mediums. A spirit, when he/she wishes to communicate, makes use of the most flexible organ that he/she finds in the medium; from one, he/she borrows the hand; from another, the voice; from a third, the hearing. The speaking medium generally speaks without knowing what he/she says, and often gives utterance to instructions far above the reach of his/her own ideas, knowledge, and intelligence. Though he/she may be perfectly awake, and in his/her normal state, he/she rarely remembers what he/she has said; in short, his/her voice is only an instrument employed by a spirit, and by means of which a third party can converse with a spirit, as he/she can do through the agency of a hearing medium. The passiveness of speaking mediums is not, however, so complete in all cases; for some of them have an intuition of what they say, at the time they pronounce the words transmitted through them by the spirit. We shall return to this variety when we treat of intuitive mediums.

Somnambulic Mediums: Somnambulism may be regarded as a variety of the medianimic faculty, or rather, we should say, that these two orders of phenomena are found very frequently united. The somnambulist acts under the influence of his/her own spirit; it is his/her own soul which, in its moments of emancipation, sees, hears, and perceives, beyond the limits of the senses what he/she expresses he/she draws from him/herself. His/her ideas are generally more just than in his normal state, and his/her knowledge is more extended, because his/her soul is free; in a word, the somnambulic state is a sort of foretaste of the spirit-life. The medium, on the contrary, is the instrument of an intelligence exterior to him/herself; he/she is passive; and what he/she says does not come from him/herself. In other words, the somnambulist expresses his/her own thoughts, and the medium expresses those of another. But the spirit who communicates through an ordinary medium may do so through a somnambulist; the soulemancipation of somnambulism often rendering spirit-communication even more easy. Many somnambulists see spirits perfectly, and describe them with as much precision as do seeing mediums; they converse with them, and transmit their thoughts to us; and what they say, when beyond the circle of their personal knowledge, is often suggested to them by spirits.

Painting and Drawing mediums: those who paint and draw under the influence of spirits. We are speaking of those whose medianimically-produced works are worthy of attention, for we cannot apply this designation to mediums who, under the influence of mocking spirits, obtain absurd productions that would disgrace the merest schoolboy.

Musical mediums: those who execute, compose, or write music, under the influence of spirits. They are mechanical, semi-mechanical, intuitive, and inspired; as are the mediums for literary communications

Writing Mediums: “Of all our means of communicating with spirits, manual writing (also called psychography) is the simplest, most convenient, and most complete, for it enables us to establish regular and continuous relations with spirits, and thus to ascertain their nature and quality, to learn their thoughts, and to appreciate them at their true value. The faculty of writing, moreover, is the one which is most susceptible of being developed by exercise.”

There are three basic types of psychography (the three types also apply to Speaking Mediums) :

****Intuitive Mediums: A spirit can also transmit his/her thought through the intermediacy of the soul of the medium himself. The disincarnate spirit does not, in this case, cause the medium to write by acting on his/her hand; for he/she neither holds nor guides it, but acts directly upon the incarnate soul, with which he/she temporarily identifies him/herself. The soul of the medium, under this impulsion, directs his/her hand, and the hand moves the pencil. We have, in this place, to take note of a very important point, viz., that the disincarnate spirit does not substitute him/herself for the medium’s soul, for the soul cannot be displaced; but he/she dominates it without the medium’s being aware of his action, and impresses it with his/her will. And yet the part played, in such a case, by the medium’s soul, is not simply passive; for it is the medium’s soul that receives and transmits the thought of the disincarnate spirit, and he/she is therefore aware of what he/she is writing, although the thoughts are not his/hers, and is what we call an intuitive medium.

****Inspired Mediums: Every one who, either in the normal state or in trance, receives an influx of thoughts that are foreign to the action of his/her own mind, may be included in the category of inspirational mediums. They are, in fact, a variety of the intuitive medium, with this difference, that the intervention of an occult power is much less evident in their case; so that, with inspirational mediums, it is even more difficult to distinguish their own thought from that which is suggested, than in the case of the intuitive medium.

****Mechanical Mediums: If we observe the movements of a table, a planchette, etc, we cannot doubt that a direct action is exercised by the communicating spirit on these objects. They are sometimes shaken so violently that they get away from the medium’s hands; they sometimes turn towards, or touch, some particular person or persons in the circle; at other times, their movements testify joy, affection, or anger. In the same way, when a pencil is held in the medium’s hand, it is sometimes thrown forcibly to a distance, or the hand itself is agitated convulsively, and strikes the table angrily, while the medium him/herself is perfectly calm, and surprised at finding that he/she is not master of his/her movements. Occurrences of this kind, however, always denote the presence of imperfect spirits; spirits of high degree are calm, dignified, and gentle; when not met with suitable respect, they retire, and their place is taken by others of lower rank. A spirit, therefore, can express his/her thoughts directly, through an object of the movements of which the hand of the medium is only the fulcrum, or indirectly, by his/her action on the hand itself

When a spirit acts directly on the medium’s hand, he/she gives to it an impulsion altogether independent of its owner’s will, causing it to write on uninterruptedly as long as he/she has anything to say, and to stop when he/she has finished.

The most interesting and valuable characteristic of this mode of medianimity is the unconsciousness of the medium in regard to what his/her is writing, and of which he/she has often not the remotest idea; this absolute unconsciousness constitutes what are called passive or mechanical mediums, and is an exceedingly precious faculty, because it excludes all doubt as to what is written being independent of the medium’s mind.