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The Somnambulic Medium 
Related Topics: Ecstatic Trance and Second Sight

The Somnambulic Medium

Now that we have a general idea of what a somnambulist is, we can define the somnambulic medium.  We know that a medium, in general, acts as the instrument of an intelligence exterior to himself.  Likewise, as Kardec writes, "The spirit who communicates through an ordinary medium may do so through a somnambulist, the soul-emancipation of somnambulism often rendering spirit-communication even easier" ("Medium's Book" #172).  When acting as a medium then, the somnambulist is passive, and what he says does not come from himself.   In other words, when speaking to us, the somnambulist reveals his own knowledge and relates the perceptions of his own spirit, while the somnambulic medium expresses the thoughts of another.

To demonstrate the difference between the somnambulist and the somnambulistic medium, we can refer to the example given by Kardec in "The Mediums' Book" (#173).  He writes:

A friend of ours had a somnambulic subject, a lad of about fourteen years of age, of very limited intelligence, and very imperfectly educated.  But, in the somnambulic state, he gave proofs of extraordinary lucidity and great penetration.  He excelled especially in the treatment of disease, and cured a great number of persons who had been regarded as incurable.  One day, he gave a consultation to a sick man, whose malady he described with entire exactness. ̶̶  "That is not enough," said a bystander, "You must now tell us the remedy."  ̶̶   " I cannot do so," he replied, "my angel-doctor is not here."  ̶  ̶   "What do you mean by your angel-doctor?"   "Why! the one who prescribes the remedies."  ̶̶ ̶   "Then it is not you who see the remedies?"  ̶̶  ̶  "No; did I not say that it is my angel-doctor who tells me what I am to prescribe?"

Thus, in the case of this somnambulist, the seeing of the disease was the act of his own spirit, which, for that part of his work, had no need of assistance; but the remedies were dictated by another; so that, when this other was not present, the somnambulist could say nothing about them.  Left to himself, he was only a somnambulist; assisted by him who he called his 'angel-doctor,' he was a somnambulic medium.

The case of medical prescriptions is also a form of somnambulic mediumship used by Spiritist groups, though it is not one of the more common mediumistic practices, since the faculty is rare.   Obviously, though, much caution should be taken when consulting such a medium, and one should not do so without proper knowledge of the medium's mediumistic abilities and moral character, as well as the seriousness of the Center in which the medium works.  Finally, and again, though it is rare, somnambulist mediums can also work as unconscious speaking mediums (see "Speaking Mediums" on menu bar at left).

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