16. The action of spirits upon spiritual fluids has consequences of a direct and capital importance for incarnated beings. From the instant that these fluids are the vehicle of thought, that thought can modify the properties of them. It is evident that they must be impregnated by the good or bad qualities of the thoughts which put them in vibration, modified by the purity or impurity of the sentiments. Bad thoughts corrupt the spiritual fluids, as deleterious miasmas corrupt the air we breathe. The fluids which surround or that project bad spirits are then vitiated, whilst those which receive the influence of good spirits are as pure as the degree of moral perfection to which they have attained.
17. It would be impossible to itemize or classify the good or bad fluids. Neither could we specify their respective qualities, considering that their diversity is as great as that of the thought.
Fluids do not have “sui generis” qualities, except those they acquire whereat they are elaborated; they are modified by the effluviums of the ambient, just as the air is modified by exhalations, and the water by the layers of salt it crosses. Depending on the circumstances, their qualities are, like those of the air and the water, either temporary or permanent, which makes them more suitable for the production of certain specific effects.
Neither do the fluids have special denominations. As with odors, they are designated by their properties, their effects and their original type. On a moral point of view, they bring the impressions of the sentiments of hatred, envy, jealousy, pride, selfishness, violence, hypocrisy, kindness, benevolence, love, charity, sweetness, etc. On a physical point of view, they are excitants, sedating, piercing, coercing, irritant, soothing, soporific, narcotics, toxics, replenishing, and expellants. They also become a means of transmission, propulsion, etc. The overall picture of the fluids would then be that of all passions, virtues and vices of humanity; and that of the properties of matter, corresponding to the effects they produce.
18. Men, being incarnate beings, have in part the attributes of the spiritual life; for they live in this life as well as in a corporeal one, always during sleep, and often in a conscious state. The spirit, incarnating itself, preserves its perispirit with the qualities which are proper to it, and which, as is known, is not circumscribed by the body, but envelops and radiates around it like a fluidic atmosphere.
By its intimate union with the body the perispirit plays a preponderating role with the organism. By its expansion it places the incarnated being more directly in contact with free spirits.
The thought of the incarnated mind acts upon the spiritual fluids as that of the discarnated spirit’s thought acts. It is transmitted from spirit to spirit in the same way, and, according as it is good or bad, it holds a vicious or healthy relation to the surrounding fluids.
Since the fluids of an ambient are modified by the projection of the spirit’s thoughts, his perispiritual body - which is a constituent part of his being, and which receives directly and in a permanent way the impressions of his thoughts - should receive even more so the impressions of his good or bad qualities. The fluids vitiated by the effluviums of the bad spirits can be purified by their removal. The perispirit however will always be that which it is, as long as the spirit does not modify itself.
The perispirit of incarnates, being of a nature identical to that of the spiritual fluids, assimilates itself with them readily, as a sponge absorbs water. These fluids have over the perispirit an action which is the more direct because of its expansion and radiation; it confounds itself with them.
These fluids acting upon the perispirit, the latter, in its turn, reacts upon the material organism with which it is in molecular contact. If the effluvia are of a good nature, the bodies receive a salutary impression; if bad, a painful one. If the bad are permanent and energetic, they can cause physical disorders; certain maladies have no other cause.
The midst where bad spirits abound are then impregnated with bad fluids, which are absorbed through all the perispiritual pores, as by the pores of the body pestilential miasmas are absorbed.
19. It is the same in assemblies of incarnated beings. An assembly of people is a focus whence radiate diverse thoughts. An assembly of persons is, like an orchestra, a choir of thoughts, where each one produces his note. The result is a multitude of fluidic-flowing effluvia, of which each one receives the impression of the sounds by the spiritual sense, like in a music choir each one receives the impression of the sound through the sense of hearing.
But, as there are harmonious or discordant sounds, there are also harmonious or discordant thoughts. If all is harmonious, the impression is agreeable; if otherwise, painful. There is no need for the thought to be formed into words. The fluidic-radiation exists all the same, whether it is expressed or not.
Such is the cause of the sentiment of satisfaction that is experienced in a sympathetic reunion, animated by good and benevolent thoughts. It reigns there like a salubrious moral atmosphere, which one breathes with ease. One is strengthened there, because it is impregnated with salutary fluidic effluvia; but, if some evil thoughts are mingled with it, they produce the effect of a current of icy air in a warm atmosphere or of a wrong key note played in a concert. Thus is explained also the anxiety, the indefinable uneasiness, that one feels in antipathetically surroundings, where malevolent thoughts are called forth like currents of nauseous air.
20. Thought produces, then, a substantial effect, which reacts upon our moral being. Spiritism alone can explain it. Man instinctively feels it, since he seeks homogeneous and sympathetic reunions, where he knows that he can draw new moral forces. One could say that he retrieves there the fluid losses that he makes each day by the radiation of thought, as he makes up the losses of the material body by food. Thought, indeed, is an emission which causes a real loss in the spiritual fluids, and consequently in the material fluids, also in such a way that man has need of strengthening himself by the effluvia which he receives from outside.
When a doctor is said to cure his patient by pleasant words, it is an absolute truth; for the benevolent thought carries with it healing fluids, which act physically as well as morally.
21. It is possible, without doubt, to evade men of well-known malicious intentions; but how can we be preserved from the influence of undeveloped spirits which multiply around us, and glide everywhere without being seen?
The means are very simple; for it depends upon the will of the man himself, who carries within him the necessary instrument of protecting himself. Fluids unite by reason of the similitude of their nature, dissimilar ones repel each other. There is an incompatibility between good and bad fluids, as between oil and water.
What is done when the air becomes vitiated? They purify it by destroying the center of the miasma by chasing out the unhealthy effluvium by currents of salubrious air stronger than it. We need the good fluids in order to counteract the invasion of bad fluids; and, as each one has in his own perispirit a permanent fluidic-source, the remedy is within one’s self. It acts only to purify this source or spring, and to give to it such qualities as are necessary to repel bad influences, in place of being an attractive force. The perispirit is, then, a breastplate to which it is necessary to give the best possible character. Now, as the qualities of the perispirit correspond with the qualities of the soul, it is necessary to work for its own improvement; for it is the imperfections of the soul which attract bad spirits.
Flies go where centers of corruption attract them. Destroy these centers, and the flies will disappear. In the same way bad spirits go where evil attracts them. Destroy the evil, and they will flee. Spirits really good, whether incarnated or discarnated, have nothing to fear from the influence of bad spirits.