Allan Kardec

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58. The peculiar nature of the soul, properly so called, that is to say, of the thinking being, is entirely unknown to us : it only reveals itself by its acts, and these acts cannot strike our material senses, unless through a material intermediary. The spirit, then, has need of matter, in order to act upon matter He has, as his direct instrument, his perispirit, just as a man has his body ; and this perispirit is matter, as we are about to show. He has, as his intermediary agent, the universal fluid ; a sort of vehicle on which he acts, as we act upon the air, in order to produce certain effects, by the aid of expansion, compression, propulsion, or vibration.

The action of a spirit on matter is easily understood when thus explained; and we see that all the effects produced by that action belong to the order of natural pheno- mena, and have nothing of the miraculous about them. They have only appeared to be supernatural, because people were ignorant of their cause ; their cause known, they no longer appear to be prodigies, and that cause is found in the semimaterial properties of the perispirit. All this is only a new order of facts, explained by a new law, and about which, ere long, people will feel no more wonder than they now feel at correspondence by the electric telegraph.

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