Allan Kardec

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7. The perispirit, or fluidic body of the spirits, is one of the most important products of the cosmic fluid: it is a condensation of this fluid around a focus of intelligence or soul. It is also seen that the fleshly body has also its origin in this same fluid transformed and condensed into tangible matter. In the perispirit the molecular transformation operates differently, for the fluid preserves its imponderability and its ethereal qualities. The perispiritual and carnal body have, then, their source in the same primitive element; both are of matter, although under two different states of it.

8. Spirits draw their perispirit from the place where they find themselves; that is to say, that this envelop is formed from the ambient fluids. The result is, that the constitutive elements of the perispirit must vary according to worlds. Jupiter, being a very advanced world, in comparison to the Earth, where corporeal life has not the materiality of ours, its perispiritual envelopes must be of a nature infinitely more ethereal than upon our Earth. Now, although we would not be able to exist in that world in our carnal bodies, our spirits would not be able to penetrate there with their terrestrial perispirit. In quitting the Earth the spirit leaves there its fluidic envelop, and is supplied with another appropriate to the world where he must go.

9. The nature of the fluidic envelope is always in accord with the degree of moral advancement of the spirit. Inferior spirits cannot change their inclination, and consequently cannot by desire transport themselves from one world to another. It is they whose fluidic envelope, although ethereal and imponderable as regards tangible matter, is still too heavy, if one can express it thus, in relation to the spiritual world to allow them to leave their place. It is necessary to include in this category those whose perispirit is gross enough to be confounded with their carnal body, which for this reason they believe is still alive. These spirits (and their number is great) remain on the surface of the Earth like the incarnated ones, believing themselves always to be attending to their occupations. Others, a little more dematerialized, are not sufficiently so to elevate themselves above the terrestrial regions. *

Superior spirits, on the contrary, can enter into inferior worlds, and even incarnate themselves there. They draw, from the constitutive elements of the world they enter, the materials for the fluidic and carnal envelopes appropriate to the midst where they find themselves. They, like the great lord who temporarily leaves his gilded garments to assume the peasant’s garb, without being other than the titled character he is on account of the change, will not change thereby their high estate.

It is thus that spirits of the most elevated order can manifest themselves to the inhabitants of Earth, or incarnate themselves for a mission among them. These spirits carry with them, not the envelope, but the remembrance by intuition of the regions whence they came, and which they see in thought. These are people who see among the blind people.

* Examples of spirits believing themselves still in this world: “Revue Spirite,” Dec., 1859, p. 310; Nov., 1864, p. 339; April, 1865, p. 117.

10. The bed of spiritual fluids which surrounds the Earth can be compared to the inferior beds of the atmosphere, heavier, more compact, less pure than the superior beds. These fluids are not homogeneous, they are a mixture of molecules of diverse qualities, amongst which are necessarily found the elementary molecules which form the base, but more or less changed in different states. The effect produced by these fluids will be according to the number of pure parts which they enclose. Such is, by comparison, rectified or mixed alcohol in different proportions of water or of other substances. Its specific weight is augmented by this mixture; while, at the same time, its force and inflammability are diminished, although there may be pure alcohol in all.

The spirits called to live in this midst draw from there their perispirit; but, according as the spirit becomes more or less purified, its perispirit is formed from the purest or grossest fluid of the world in which it is going to incarnate. The spirit produces there, always by comparison and not by assimilation, the effect of a chemical re-agent which attracts to it the molecules assimilable to its nature.

This capital fact results from it: that the inmost constitution of the perispirit is not identical with all incarnated or discarnated spirits which people the Earth or surrounding space. It is not the same with carnal bodies, which, as has been demonstrated, have been formed of the same elements whatever the superiority or inferiority of their spirits may have been. Also with us the effects produced by bodies are the same, they have the same necessities, while they differ by all that which is inherent in the perispirit.

Another result is, that the perispiritual envelope of the same spirit is modified with the moral progress of the latter at each incarnation, although incarnating himself in the same surroundings; that the superior spirits, incarnating themselves exceptionally by a mission into an inferior world, have a perispirit less gross than that of the natives of this world.

11. A place is always in harmony with the nature of the beings who must live there. Fish are in water; winged beings are in the air; spiritual beings are in the spiritual or ethereal fluid, even upon the Earth. The ethereal fluid is for the needs of the spirit, as the atmosphere is for the necessities of the body. Now, as fishes cannot live in the air, and terrestrial animals cannot live in an atmosphere too rarefied for their lungs, inferior spirits cannot support the splendor and impression of the most ethereal fluids. They would not die, because spirit cannot die; but an instinctive force keeps them at a distance, as one keeps away from a fire which is too hot, or from a light which is too strong. This is the reason why they cannot go away from the midst appropriate to their nature. In order to change it, it is necessary first to change their nature, that they be despoiled of the material instincts which retain them in material midst. As they become purified and morally transformed, they gradually become identified with purer surroundings, which become a necessity to them, like the eyes of him who has remained a long time in darkness are habituated imperceptibly to the light of day and the splendor of the sun.

12. Thus all is united, all harmonize in the universe. All is submitted to the great and harmonious law of unity, from the most compact materiality to the purest spirituality. The Earth is like a vase whence escapes a thick smoke, which clears away as it ascends, the rarefied particles of which are lost in infinite space.

Divine power shines in all parts of this great whole. Who would desire that, in order better to attest his power, God, discontented with that which he has made, should disturb this harmony? That he should lower himself to the level of a magician by performing acts worthy of a prestidigitator? And in addition to this they dare to give him as a rival in skill Satan himself! Never, in truth, was divine Majesty more undervalued, and men are astonished at the progress of incredulity!

You are right in saying “Faith is departing!” But it is faith in all that chokes reason and

good sense that is departing, – a faith similar to that which formerly induced persons to exclaim, “the Gods are departing.” But faith in serious things, in God, and in immortality, is always alive in the hearts of men; and, if it has been stifled with the puerile histories with which it has been overloaded, it raises itself stronger as soon as it has been extricated, as the restrained plant rises again in the light of the sun of which it has been deprived.

All is wonderful in nature because all is admirable, and testifies of divine wisdom. These wonders are for all the world, for all those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, and not for the profit of a few. No, there are no miracles in the sense attached to this word, because all is amenable to the eternal laws of creation.

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