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Letters and Articles

Different Orders of Spirits

(From the ‘Spirits' Book’)

FIRST ORDER — PURE SPIRITS

First Class — Pure Spirits

General Characteristics — The influence of matter, null; a superiority, both intellectual and moral, so absolute as to constitute what, in comparison with the spirits of all the other orders, may be termed perfection.

Spirits of this order have passed through every degree of the scale of progress and have freed themselves from all the impurities of materiality. Having attained the sum of perfection of which created beings are susceptible, they no longer have to undergo either trials or expiations. Being no longer subject to reincarnation in perishable bodies, they enter on the life of eternity in the immediate presence of God. They are in the enjoyment of a beatitude which is unalterable, because they are no longer subject to the wants and vicissitudes of material life; but this beatitude is not the monotonous idleness of perpetual contemplation. They are the messengers and ministers of God, the executors of His orders in the maintenance of universal harmony. They exercise a sovereign command over all spirits inferior to themselves, aid them in accomplishing the work of their purification, and assign to each of them a mission proportioned to the progress already made by them. To assist men in their distresses, to excite them to the love of good or to the expiation of the faults which keep them back on the road to the supreme felicity, are for them congenial occupations. They are sometimes spoken of as angels, archangels or seraphim. They can, when they choose to do so, enter into communication with men.

SECOND ORDER — GOOD SPIRITS

Second Class — High Spirits

These unite, in a very high degree, scientific knowledge, wisdom and goodness. Their language, inspired only by the purest benevolence, is always noble and elevated, often sublime. Their superiority renders them more apt than any others to impart to us just and true ideas in relation to the incorporeal world, within the limits of the knowledge permitted to mankind. They willingly enter into communication with those who seek for truth in simplicity and sincerity, and who are sufficiently freed from the bonds of materiality to be capable of understanding it; but they turn from those whose inquiries are prompted only by curiosity, or who are drawn away from the path of rectitude by the attractions of materiality.

When, under exceptional circumstances, they incarnate themselves in this earth, it is always for the accomplishment of a mission of progress; and they thus show us the highest type of perfection to which we can aspire in the present world.

Third Class — Wise Spirits

The most elevated moral qualities form their distinctive characteristics. Without having arrived at the possession of unlimited knowledge, they have reached a development of intellectual capacity that enables them to judge correctly of men and of things.

Fourth Class — Learned Spirits

They are specially distinguished by the extent of their knowledge. They are less interested in moral questions than in scientific investigation, for which they have a greater aptitude; but their scientific studies are always prosecuted with a view to practical utility, and they are entirely free from the base passions common to spirits of the lower degrees of advancement.

Fifth Class — Benevolent Spirits

Their dominant quality is kindness. They take pleasure in rendering service to men and in protecting them, but their knowledge is somewhat narrow. They have progressed in morality rather than in intelligence.

THIRD ORDER — IMPERFECT SPIRITS

Sixth Class — Noisy and Boisterous Spirits

Spirits of this kind do not, strictly speaking, form a distinct class in virtue of their personal qualities; they may belong to all the classes of the third order. They often manifest their presence by the production of phenomena perceptible by the senses, such as raps, the movement and abnormal displacing of solid bodies, the agitation of the air, etc. They appear to be, more than any other class of spirits, attached to matter; they seem to be the principal agents in determining the vicissitudes of the elements of the globe, and to act upon the air, water, fire and the various bodies in the entrails of the earth. Whenever these phenomena present a character of intention and intelligence, it is impossible to attribute them to a mere fortuitous and physical cause. All spirits are able to produce physical phenomena; but spirits of elevated degree usually leave them to those of a lower order, more apt for action upon matter than for the things of intelligence, and when they judge it to be useful to produce physical manifestations, employ spirits of subaltern degree as their auxiliaries.

Seventh Class — Neutral Spirits

They are not sufficiently advanced to take an active part in doing good, nor are they bad enough to be active in doing wrong. They incline sometimes to the one, sometimes to the other; and do not rise above the ordinary level of humanity, either in point of morality or of intelligence. They are strongly attached to the things of this world, whose gross satisfactions they regret.

Eight Class — Spirits Who Pretend to More Science than They Possess

Their knowledge is often considerable, but they imagine themselves to know a good deal more than they know in reality. Having made a certain amount of progress from various points of view, their language has an air of gravity that may easily give a false impression as to their capacities and enlightenment; but their ideas are generally nothing more than the reflection of the prejudices and false reasoning of the terrestrial life. Their statements contain a mixture of truths and absurdities, in the midst of which, traces of presumption, pride, jealousy and obstinacy, from which they have not yet freed themselves, are abundantly perceptible.

Ninth Class — Frivolous Spirits

They are ignorant, mischievous, unreasonable and addicted to mockery. They meddle with everything and reply to every question without paying any attention to truth. They delight in causing petty annoyances, in raising false hopes of petty joys, in misleading people by mystifications and trickery. The spirits vulgarly called hobgoblins, will-o'-the-wisps, gnomes, etc. belong to this class. They are under the orders of spirits of a higher category, who make use of them as we do of servants.

Tenth Class — Impure Spirits

They are inclined to evil, and make it an object of all their thoughts and activities. As spirits, they give to men perfidious counsels, stir up discord and distrust, and assume every sort of mask in order the more effectually to deceive. They beset those whose character is weak enough to lead them to yield to their suggestions, and whom they thus draw aside from the path of progress, rejoicing when they are to retard their advancement by causing them to succumb under the appointed trials of the corporeal life. Spirits of this class may be recognized by their language, for the employment of coarse or trivial expressions by spirits, as by men, is always an indication of moral, if not of intellectual, inferiority. Their communications show the baseness of their inclinations; and though they may try to impose upon us by speaking with an appearance of reason and propriety, they are unable to keep up that false appearance, and end by betraying their real quality. Certain nations have made of them infernal deities; others designate them by the name of demons, evil genii or evil spirits.

The human beings in whom they are incarnated are addicted to all the vices engendered by vile and degrading passions — sensuality, cruelty, roguery, hypocrisy, cupidity, avarice. They do evil for its own sake, without any definite motive; and, from hatred to all that is good, they generally choose their victims from among honest and worthy people. They are the pests of humanity, to whatever rank of society they belong; and the varnish of a civilized education is ineffectual to cure or to hide their degrading defects. 

 
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