What is Spiritism?

Allan Kardec

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14. The union of the soul, perispirit and physical body comprise the human being; the soul and perispirit apart from the body comprise the being called the spirit.

Note: The soul is thus a simple being; the spirit, a two-fold being and the human being, a three-fold being. Hence, it would be more precise to keep the word soul to designate the intelligent principle, and the word spirit to refer to the semi-material being formed from this principle plus the fluidic body. However, since one cannot conceive of the intelligent principle separate from all matter, or the perispirit not being animated by the intelligent principle, the terms soul and spirit are usually employed interchangeably. It is the appearance only that consists in taking the part for the whole, in the same way that one says that a town is populated by so many souls, or a settlement by so many houses. Philosophically, however, it is essential to differentiate between them.

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