It is usually made a very erroneous idea of the state of the Spirits; they are not, as some believe,vague beings and indefinite, nor flames similar to a vain-fire, nor ghosts as they paint them in the stories of the soulsof the other world. They are beings of our fellow creatures, having like us a body, but fluidic and invisible in thenormal state.
. When the soul is united to the body, during life, it has a double involucre: a heavy, rude anddestructible—the body; the other fluidic, light and indestructible, called perispírit.
. There is, therefore, in man three essential elements:1." The soul or Spirit, intelligent principle in which resides the thought, the will and the moral sense;2." The body, material involucre which puts the Spirit in relationship with the external world;3. ° The perispírit, involucre fluidic, light, imponderable, serving as a link and of intermediary between theSpirit and the body.
When the external involucre is used and cannot work anymore, it tumbles and the Spirit abandons it,as the fruit undresses of its seed, the tree of its peel, the serpent of its skin, in a word, as one leaves out an old dresswhich no longer is useful; it is what is designated by the name of death.
Death is just the destruction of the corporal wrapper, which the soul abandons, as does the butterflywith its chrysalis, conserving however its body fluidic or perispírit.
. The death of the body disentangles the Spirit of the link which arrested it to the Earth and made it tosuffer and once freed from that burden, it doesn't remain in him more than his ethereal body, which allows him totravel the space and to transpose the distances with the speed of the thought.
The union of the soul, of the perispírit and of the material body constitutes the man; the soul and theperispírit separate from the body constitute the being called Spirit.OBSERVATION—the soul is so a simple being; the Spirit a double being and the man a triple being. Itwould be more exact to reserve the word soul to designate the intelligent principle, and the term Spirit for the beingsemi-material formed of that principle and of the fluidic body; but, as one cannot conceive the intelligent principleisolated of the matter, nor the perispírit without being animated by the intelligent principle, the words soul and Spiritare, in the use, indifferently used one for the other; it is the illustration that consists of taking the part for the whole, inthe same way that it is said that a city is populated of so many souls, a town composed of so many families;philosophically, however, it is essential to make the difference.
. The Spirits covered of their material bodies constitute the Humanity or visible corporal world;unwrapped of those bodies, they form the world spiritual or invisible which populates the space and in the middle of which we live, without of that suspecting, as we lived in the middle of the world of the infinitely small ones, that wedidn't suspect, before the invention of the microscope.
. The Spirits are not, therefore, abstract beings, wandered and indefinite, but beings concrete andbounded, to the which it only lacks their being visible for them to assimilate the humans; from where is proceededthat if, at a given moment, it could be lifted up the veil which hides them, they would form a population, surroundingus everywhere.
The Spirits possess all the perceptions which they had in Earth, however in a higher degree,because their mental faculties are not mortified by the matter; they have sensations ignored by us, they see andhear things that our limited senses neither allow us to see nor to hear. For them there is no obscurity, excepting – of those that, for punishment, are temporarily in the darkness. All our thoughts in them are echoed, and they read them as in an open book; so that what e could hidesomebody, during the terrestrial life, we cn no more hide after his disincarnating. (The Spirit’ Book, n.° 237.)
. The Spirits are everywhere, on our side, rubbing shoulders and observing us continually. For their incessant presence among us, they are the agents of several phenomena, they play an important part in the moralworld, and, up to certain point, in the physicist; they constitute, if so we can to say, one of the forces of Nature.