Allan Kardec

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21. Like God, has matter existed for all eternity, or was it created at some fxed point in time?
“Only God knows. However, one fact that reason should point out is that God, the ultimate paradigm of love and charity, is never inactive, no matter how far back in time you may imagine the beginning of God’s action started. Can you deduce that God is ever idle, even for a single moment?”

22. Matter is generally defned as being “that which makes an impression on our senses,” or “that which is impenetrable.” Are these defnitions accurate?
“From your point of view they are accurate because you can only provide a defnition according to what you know. Matter exists in states that are unfamiliar to you. It may be, for instance, so ethereal and subtle that it makes no impression on your senses. It is still matter, even though it would not be such for you.”

a) What defnition can you give of matter?
“Matter is the link that bonds the spirit. It is the instrument that serves it and at the same time it carries out its action.” From this point of view, one could say that matter is the agent or intermediary through and upon which the spirit acts.

23. What is the spirit?
“The intelligent principle of the universe.”

a) What is the essential nature of the spirit?
“Your language is incapable of properly defning the spirit. It is nothing to you because it is not a tangible thing, but for us it is something. Remember this, nothing is nothingness, and nothingness does not exist.”

24. Is spirit synonymous with intelligence?
“Intelligence is an essential attribute of the spirit. In your world they are used interchangeably as a common principle, so much so that for you they are the same thing.”

25. Is the spirit independent of matter, or is it only a property, as colors are a property of light and sound is a property of air? “They are distinct from one another, but the union of the spirit and matter is vital to give intelligent activity to matter.”

a) Is this union also necessary for the manifestation of the spirit? (Spirit here refers to the principle of intelligence, rather than the spiritual individualities usually designated by that term.)
“For you, yes, because your physical makeup is not designed to perceive the spirit apart from matter. Your senses are not designed for that.”

26. Can a spirit be conceptualized without matter, and vice versa?
“Of course, by thought.”

27. Therefore, are there two general elements of the universe: matter and the spirit?
“Yes, and God, the Creator of all things is above them. These three elements are the principle of all that exists – the universal trinity. However, the universal fuid must be added to the material elements, it acts as the intermediary between spirit and matter, as the body is too crude for the spirit to be able to act directly on it. Although this fuid may be classifed as part of the material element from another perspective, it is distinguished by certain special properties. If it were simply classifed as matter, there would be no reason why the spirit could not also be classifed as matter. It is something placed between the spirit and matter. It is fuid, just as matter is material, and through countless combinations under the action of the spirit, it can produce an infnite variety of things of which you only know a very small portion. Without this universal, primitive or elementary fuid, the agent employed by the spirit, matter would permanently remain divided, and would never acquire the properties given to it by gravity.”

a) Is this fuid what we call electricity?
“We have said that it is open to countless blends or arrangements. What you call electric fuid, magnetic fuid, and so on, are modifcations of the universal fuid, which is only matter of a more perfect and subtle nature. It may be regarded as being independent.”

28. Since the spirit itself is something, would it be more accurate and less confusing to call these two general elements inert matter and intelligent matter? “Words are of little importance to us. You must formulate your expressions so that you may understand one another. Your disputes almost always arise from the lack of a common agreement over the use of words, because your language is incapable of describing that which transcends your senses.”

One obvious fact governs all our hypotheses. Matter in and of itself is not intelligent. Therefore, we see an intelligent principle independent of matter. The origin and connection of these two elements are unknown to us. As to whether they have a common source, or the necessary points of contact, whether intelligence has an independent existence, or is only a property or an effect, or even whether it is an emanation of the Divinity, we have no answers for these questions. They appear to be distinct to us, and we therefore consider them to be two crucial elements of the universe. We see a supreme intelligence above all this that governs all things and is distinguished from them by essential attributes. This supreme intelligence is what we call God.

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