3. That inert matter is insensible is a fact of which we are certain; it is only the soul that perceives the sensations of pleasure and pain. During life, the desegregation of any portion of its physical envelope is perceived by the soul, which experiences, as a consequence, an impression more or less painful. It is the soul that suffers, and not the body; the latter is only the instrument of suffering; the soul is the patient. After death, the body, being separated from the soul, may be mutilated with impunity, for it has no feeling; the soul, being isolated from the body, receives no impression from the disorganization of the latter; it has its own perceptions, the source of which is entirely distinct from tangible matter.
The perispirit is the fluidic envelope of the soul, from which it is never separated, either before or after death, and with which it forms, so to say, but a single being, for neither of them can be conceived of without the other. During the earthly life, the perispiritual fluid penetrates every part of the body and constitutes the vehicle by which physical sensations are transmitted to the soul; it is also by means of this intermediary that the soul acts upon the body and directs its movements.