Manual espírita by "Bhima" (Francisco
I. Madero), 1911.
English translation by C.M. Mayo, from:
Odyssey Into the Mexican Revolution:
...Francisco I. Madero and His
Secret Book, Spiritist Manual
...By C.M. Mayo (Dancing
Now I beg you to tell me, what is understood by table tipping?
A. This name designates the phenomena produced by small tables,
or similar furniture, in transmitting messages by means of raps,
as at a door.
Q. Of what importance is
A. It was very great
in the mid-19th century, the first days of Spiritism,
and it still serves to confirm the the Spiritist phenomenon in
one of its most interesting phases; but as a means of communication,
it has fallen into disuse as mechanical writing mediumship has
proven both easier and faster.
Q. In innumerating these
phenomena you have mentioned moving objects by means of psychic
powers, together with spirits's powers. Can you tell me something
about this interesting phenomenon?
A. It is the same
as with the little tables.
Movements of objects by means of occult powers (which, for brevity,
we will call psychic or spiritist) serves to demonstrate the
existence of the invisible world which surrounds us and is interested
in and cares about us and takes part in our endeavors.
As materialism was extending its unhealthy influence over the
world's most civilized nations, it was precisely the apparition
of these very natural phenomena and others which were so noisy
in order to gain our attention. In sum, we can say that those
phenomena at the origin of Spiritism were the knocks by which
the spirits called at the door of our material world to announce
their visit. Once we opened the door and admitted them into the
house, in calmness and solmenity, they have revealed the object
of their visit. They have come to tell us that our spirit is
immortal, that life continues after our mortal shell have dissolved,
that this life and space are one, that there is no doubt queebt
that goes unpaid nor agreement that goes unfulfilled; in a word,
they have revealed to us the Spiritist doctrine, as summarized
in this manual.
Q. You have spoken to me of apparitions that can be seen
by a larger or smaller number of people, and of others perceptible
to touch and capable of causing an impression on a photographic
plate. Can you tell me, of what do these differences consist?
A. Essentially, to a greater or smaller degree, these
consist of a phantom's materialization which can be preceived
by a larger or smaller number of people, given that not all have
the gift of clairvoyance, or to the same degree. Some phantoms
are so faint that they can only be seen by very gifted mediums.
On the other hand, on occasion there are apparations that can
be seen by everyone, and they can even touch and photograph them.
Q. Can you cite some notable cases?
A. The apparitions of Jesus after his death before his
disciples are of this character. Thomas could even touch Jesus's
The visions and voices of which Joan of Arc spoke cannot be doubted,
for, if so, how to explain that an ignorant and simple shepherdess
could raise the morale of the French armies and lead them to
a victory that saved France from the foreign yoke?
There are many cases in the Bible, the the New Testament, and
in the lives of the saints. Furthermore, recently, there have
been many very notable materializations which have been photographed
and whose validity have been confirmed by experts, whose testimonies
cannot be doubted.
Q. These phenomena seem to me very striking. Can you tell
me how they are produced?
A. To satisfy your reasonable desire, I must enter into
lengthy explanations, which I will do in the following chapter.