THE SPIRITS’ BOOK

Allan Kardec

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71. Is intelligence an attribute of the vital principle?
“No, since plants live and do not think they only possess organic life. Intelligence and matter are independent of one another. A body may live without intelligence, but intelligence can only manifest itself through physical organs. Living matter can only be made intelligent when united with a spirit.”


Intelligence is a special faculty belonging only to certain classes of organic beings that gives these beings the power to think, the will to act, the consciousness of their existence and individuality, and the means of establishing relations with the external world and fulflling their unique needs.


We may therefore distinguish the following:
Inanimate beings, solely matter, without life or intelligence---the bodies of the mineral world;
Non-thinking living beings, made up of matter and endowed with vitality, but not intelligence;
Living and thinking beings, made up of matter, endowed with vitality, and possessing an intelligent principle that gives them the faculty of thought.

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