6. Spirits are created simple and ignorant, but with the aptitude for acquiring all knowledge, and for progressing in every direction, through the exercise of their free will. Through the progress achieved by them, they acquire new knowledge, new faculties, new perceptions, and, as a consequence of these, new enjoyments unknown to spirits of less advancement; they see, hear, feel, and comprehend what more backward spirits can neither see, hear, feel, nor comprehend. The happiness of each spirit is in proportion to the amount of progress accomplished by it; so that, of two spirits, one may be more or less happy than the other, simply as a consequence of its greater or lesser degree of moral and intellectual advancement, and this, without their being in two different places. They may be close to one another, and yet one of them may be in utter darkness, while the other is in the midst of resplendent light; just as a blind man and one who sees may be in the same place, and yet the former will be unconscious of the splendors seen by the latter, who perceives the objects which are invisible for the former. The happiness or unhappiness of spirits being inherent in the qualities possessed by them, they find that happiness or unhappiness wherever they may be, on the surface of the Earth, in the midst of incarnates, or in space.
A commonplace comparison will render this difference of situation more comprehensible. If, of two men who are at a concert, one is a trained musician possessing a good ear for music, while the other knows nothing of music and has only a defective ear, the first will derive enjoyment from the concert, while the other will remain unmoved, simply because one of them perceives and understands that which makes no impression upon the perceptions of the other. It is thus with all the enjoyments experienced by spirits, those enjoyments being proportioned to their aptitude for perceiving them. The spirit-world is full of splendors, harmonies, and sensations that spirits of low degree, who are still under the influence of materiality, do not perceive, and which are only perceptible, and accessible, to spirits of greater purity.