An Exchange Between Two Worlds |
Physical vs. Intellectual Mediumship | Organic and Spiritual Causes

Physical vs. Intellectual Mediumship

The functionality of the mediumistic faculty depends upon its manifestation as one of two major types of mediumship: the mediumship of physical effects and the mediumship of intellectual effects.

Part 1 of 2:  Physical Effects:

The mediumship of physical effects is that which produces material manifestations that appeal to our material senses and can be heard, seen, or perceived by all present.  Such effects include the movement of inert objects, the levitation and transport of objects and bodies, sounds, direct writing, direct sound, the materialization of spirits, healing, etc.  Some varieties of this faculty are common, while others are extremely rare (see the table in "Physical Mediums"- on the menu bar at left).

For these phenomena to occur, it is necessary to have the presence of a medium capable of producing physical effects. The perispirit of this medium projects outward a nervous-fluidic emission.  The spirit then makes use of these animalistic fluids of the medium (also known as ectoplasm), combining them with its own magnetic fluids to acquire the force that produces the phenomena.¹

Physical mediums may be classified as voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary physical mediums, which are very rare, are those who exert their power consciously and provoke the phenomena by the act of their will, though always in cooperation of the collaborating spirit. Natural, or involuntary physical mediums are those who are influenced without their knowing it; the abnormal occurrences which tend to take place around them may or may not appear to them to be extraordinary.  The faculty, in itself, is not an indication of disease or poor health of the medium, nor is it a cause of such, unless of course used excessively, thus causing fatigue and weakness.  A spontaneous development of the involuntary sort, when it reaches proportions that are disturbing and fatiguing to the medium, and all who are in contact with him or her, can be controlled by working to  exercise a moral ascendancy over the disturbing spirits, the latter of which are nearly always of an inferior class². 

Physical effects, such as sounds and the movement or transportation of objects, are normally produced by spirits of a lower order and mediums of a less developed mode of mediumistic action. Still, all mediumship has its utility and is intended for some beneficial purpose. These types of physical phenomena serve more to awaken the dormant faith of skeptics and others of a materialistic mindset  ̶  those who must "see to believe", or hear, as the case may be.  Such was the case during the early days of Spiritism when rappings, table-turnings and other similar effects were used to call our attention so that we would eventually discover the intelligent force behind the phenomena.  To a certain degree, such phenomena can be educational, but, as Kardec says, "they rarely exist in connection with the more advanced means of communication, such as involuntary writing or inspirational speaking." Different from the sounds and dazzling visuals mentioned above, the physical phenomena of the healing mediumship are executed by spirits of a higher order and have a very noble and charitable application.

¹ For more information, please see "The Mediums' Book": Ch IV Theory of Physical Manifestations, CH V Spontaneous Physical Manifestations, Ch 126). 

² See more in the "Mediums' Book", Ch XIV #162. 


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