Intro | When and Where | Phases | Affinity and Control |
The Name vs. the Message |  
Training of the Novice Medium  | Constructive Criticism |
A Non-discriminating Faculty | Signs of Ostensive Mediumship
Lack of Ostensive Mediumship

Training of the Novice Medium

Novice mediums should be aware that initially, the spirits who will work with them are very often spirits of an ordinary level of advancement, who work as what may be thought of as "training" spirits.  Just as highly-trained medical surgeons do not typically instruct first-year medical students, the superior spirits who work in mediumship-related tasks normally do not spend their time training novice mediums; instead, they leave that responsibility to the spirits of a lower rank.  For this reason, it is important for the medium to rely on the help of more experienced workers in the analysis of the messages he receives.  These spirits are not necessarily malevolent, but they do not have the level of moral or intellectual advancement that the elevated spirits have acquired. 

This is not to say, however, that novice mediums are not subject to the influence of spirits of an even lower degree.  In fact, they are particularly susceptible and must remember to be vigilant, with regard to their thoughts, in order to use the Law of Affinity to their favor. Allan Kardec writes  ("Mediums' Book", item 211):

The greatest stumbling-block for the majority of beginners is, in fact, their tendency to be drawn in to hold conversation with inferior spirits; and, usually, they may consider themselves fortunate if they only come into contact with spirits who are merely frivolous and not positively wicked.  They should do their utmost to prevent all such spirits from obtaining influence over them, for, once such spirits have been allowed to get hold of a medium, it is not always easy to get rid of them.  It is impossible to insist too strongly on the importance of such precaution, especially in the beginning, for, without it, the finest medianimic faculty may be thrown away.  

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