196. Since spirits can only improve by experiencing the tribulations of physical existence, does physical life equate to a type of sieve or flter, through which the beings of the spirit world must pass to reach perfection?
“Precisely. They improve themselves through these trials by avoiding wrongdoing and practicing the good. It is only through many successive incarnations or purifcations and after a longer or shorter lapse of time that they succeed in reaching their goal, in accordance with their efforts.”
a) Does the body infuence the spirit to improve or does the spirit infuence the body?
“Your spirit is everything and your body is nothing but a decaying envelope, that is all.”
There is a material comparison of the purifcation of the soul in the juice of the vine. It contains the liquid called the spirit, or alcohol, but it is weakened by numerous foreign elements that change its nature. It requires several distillations to reach absolute purity, each of which remove a fraction of its impurities. The still is the body into which it must enter for purifcation, and the foreign elements are the perispirit, which gradually purifes itself as the spirit approaches perfection.