96. Are all spirits equal or is there a spirit hierarchy?
“There are varying degrees according to the level of purifcation that they have attained.”
97. Is there a set number of orders or degrees of purifcation among spirits?
“The number is unlimited, because there is no marked line between the different degrees of elevation. As there are no fxed or arbitrary divisions among spirits, there may be a greater or lesser number of orders, depending on the point of view from which they are contemplated. If we consider the general characteristics of spirits, we may reduce them to three principal orders.”
“The highest rank is held by those who have reached perfection. These are the pure spirits. In the second rank we have those who have reached the middle of the ladder. These spirits are mainly concerned with doing good. The third or lowest rank comprises those who are towards the bottom of the scale: the imperfect spirits. They are characterized by ignorance, a penchant for malevolence, and all the low passions that hinder their progress.”
98. Do second order spirits only desire good or do they also have the power to accomplish it?
“That power is proportionate to their degree of perfection. Some are distinguished by their scientifc knowledge, others by their wisdom and kindness. Despite this, it is still necessary for all of them to experience trials.”
99. Are all third order spirits essentially bad?
“No. Some are neutral, not doing any good or bad. In contrast, others take pleasure in wickedness and are delighted when they fnd an opportunity to do wrong. Others may be fippant or mischievous rather than malicious. They amuse themselves by perplexing the human beings on whom they are able to act and annoying them for their own pleasure.”