7. Progress, among spirits, is only achieved as the fruit of their own labor; but, as they have their free will, they labor more or less actively for their own advancement, according to their will; they thus hasten or retard their own progress, and, consequently, their own happiness. While some of them advance quickly, others stagnate for long ages in the lower ranks. Thus, spirits are always the artisans of their own situation, whether happy or unhappy, according to the words of Christ, “to each according to his works.” Spirits who remain behind have, therefore, only themselves to thank for their backwardness; in the same way, those who advance have all the merit of their advancement and the happiness they have conquered appears to them all the greater in consequence.
Perfect happiness is the lot only of the spirits who have attained to perfect purity, in other words, of those whom we designate as Pure-Spirits.3 Happiness is only obtained by spirits in proportion as they progress in intelligence and morality. Intellectual progress and moral progress are rarely achieved together, and at the same time; but what a spirit fails to accomplish in one lifetime it accomplishes in another, so that its advancement in each of those two branches of progress is equalized in the long run. It is for this reason that we so often find highly intelligent human beings who are but slightly advanced in morality, and vice versa.