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What Makes Physical Mediumship Possible ?

So, how are these kinds of phenomena made possible? Well, the general explanation is that for these phenomena to occur, it is necessary to have the presence of a medium of physical effects, whose perispirit projects outward a nervous-fluidic emission.  The discarnate spirit then makes use of these animalistic fluids from the medium (also called ectoplasm), combining them with its own magnetic fluids to acquire the force that produces the phenomena. 

This explanation summarizes the answers and clarifications given by the spirits in response to the inquiries made by Kardec and his colleagues.  For more details on the basic principles behind this explanation, the following is Kardec's synopsis of the spirits' answers (in the "Mediums' Book" item #s 75-76). Kardec writes:

"The universal fluid, in which resides the principle of life, is the chief agent of spirit-manifestation, and this agent receives its impulse from the spirit, whether the latter be incarnate or discarnate.  This fluid, condensed, constitutes the perispirit or, in other words, the semi-material envelope of the spirit.  In the state of incarnation, the perispirit is united to the matter of the body; in the erratic state, it is free.  When the spirit is incarnated, the substance of the perispirit is more or less bound, more or less adherent, if we may be allowed the expression.  With certain persons, a sort of emanation of this fluid takes place, as the result of their organization, and it is this fact, strictly speaking, which explains the peculiar qualities of physical mediums.  The emission of this animalized fluid may be more or less abundant, its combination more or less easy, and mediums will, accordingly, be more or less powerful.  There is nothing to guarantee the permanence of the medianimic faculty, and the occasional loss of power by mediums is thus explained.

Let us here call in the aid of comparison.  When we desire to act physically upon a given point at a distance, it is our thought which determines the action, but thought cannot of itself strike the blow; it must have an intermediary which it directs, such as a stick, a projectile, a current of air, etc.  Observe, too , that thought does not act directly upon the stick, for if the stick is not touched, it will not act.  The source of thought, which is nothing more than the spirit incarnated within us, is united to the body by the perispirit. However, thought can no more act upon the body without the perispirit, than it can act upon the stick without the body.  Thought acts upon the perispirit because the perispirit acts upon the muscles, the muscles seize the stick, and the stick strikes the mark.  When the spirit is not incarnated, an extraneous auxiliary is required; this auxiliary is the vital fluid, by the aid of which the spirit renders the object apt to obey the impulsion of his will.

When an object is set in motion, carried away, or raised into the air, the spirit does not seize it, push it, or lift it, as we do with our hands; the spirit, so to speak, saturates it with his own fluid combined with that of the medium, so that the object, being thus vivified for the moment, acts as a living being would act, with this difference, that not having a will of its own, it follows the impulsion communicated to it by the will of the spirit."

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