Allan Kardec

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51. The following is the answer given by a spirit to a question on this subject: -

"What some call 'the perispirit' is the same as what others call the soul's 'fluidic envelope.' It is formed of the fluid which gives perfectibility to our senses, and extension to our view and our ideas. I speak of elevated spirits, for, as regards inferior spirits, the fluids inherent in them are altogether earthly, and therefore material, as you see; hence their sufferings of hunger, cold, etc., sufferings that the higher spirits cannot feel, because, with them, the terrestrial fluids are purified around the seat of their consciousness, that is to say, their soul. The soul, in order to progress, always requires an agent, for the soul without an agent is nothing, or rather, I should say, cannot be conceived of by you. The perispirit, for us, spirits in the state of erraticity, is the agent by which we communicate with you, whether indirectly, by means of your body, or, by means of your perispirit, directly with your soul; hence the infinite diversity of mediums and communications. As for the scientific explanation of the pen spirit, that is to say, the definition of its essence, that is quite another thing. Let the moral aspect of the question suffice to you for the present beyond that, any inquiry would involve disquisitions upon the nature of fluids, inexplicable for you at this time, because your physical sciences are not yet sufficiently advanced. But science will ascertain this point, in time, with the aid of light derived from spiritism. The perispirit can vary and change indefinitely; the soul is thought, and its nature does not change. Do not attempt to go any further in this direction ; for the nature of the soul is a point that cannot be explained. Do you suppose that we are not seeking, just as you are? You are searching after the perispirit; we, meanwhile, are searching after the soul. Therefore, wait.


If spirits who may be considered as advanced have not yet been able to fathom the essential nature of the soul, how, indeed, can we hope to do so? The endeavour to scrutinise the principle of things which, as is remarked in The Spirits' Book (17, 49), are beyond the scope of our present faculties, is but a loss of time. To attempt to pry into things which are nut yet within the reach of humanity, by the aid of spiritism, is to turn it from its true object ; it is to act like the child, who would fain know as much as the man. Let us use spiritism for our moral improvement; that is the essential point ; the rest is too often but sterile Curiosity, prompted by pride, the satisfaction of which would not advance us a single step; for the only true method of advancement is to become better. The spirits who have dictated the book which bears their name have proved their wisdom by restricting their teachings, as regards the principle of things, within limits that we are not yet able to overstep; leaving to presumptuous spirits, with their theorisings, the responsibility of premature and erroneous statements, specious, but hollow, which will one day disappear in the light of reason, as so many merely human lucubrations have already done. Spirits have only given us such information as is necessary to enable us to comprehend the future which awaits us, and thus to encourage us in well-doing.

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