76. How can spirits be defned?
“Spirits may be defned as intelligent beings of the creation. They populate the universe outside the material world.”
NOTE. The word spirit is employed here to designate extra-corporeal beings, and not the universal intelligent element.
77. Are spirits distinct from the Divinity, or are they portions of the Divinity called sons or children of God for that reason?
“Good Gracious! Spirits are the work of God, just like a machine is the work of the person who made it. The machine is the product of the person’s work, but not the person. When human beings have created something useful, they call it their child or creation. Well then, the same applies to us in relation to God. We are God’s children because we are the product of Divine work.”
78. Do spirits have a beginning or birth, or have they existed for all eternity like God?
“If spirits did not have a beginning, they would be equal to God, but they are God’s creation and subject to Divine will. It is indisputable that God is eternal, but we know nothing in regard to when and how we were created. In this sense, we have had no beginning since God is eternal, the Creator must have unceasingly created. As to when and how each of us was made, I will repeat, no one knows. This is a mystery.”
79. Since there are two general elements in the universe, the intelligent element and the material element, is it correct to say that spirits are formed from the intelligent element as inert bodies are formed from the material element?
“Obviously. Spirits are the individualizations of the intelligent principle, as bodies are the individualizations of the material principle. It is the time and mode of this formation that are unknown to us.”
80. Is the creation of spirits continuous, or did it only take place at the beginning of time?
“It is continuous as God has never ceased to create.”
81. Are spirits formed spontaneously, or do they proceed from one another?
“God creates them as all other creatures were created, by Divine will. We repeat that their origin is a mystery.”
82. Is it accurate to say that spirits are immaterial?
“How could something for which no terms of comparison exist, and that your language is unable to express be defned? Can someone born blind defne light? Immaterial is not the right word, perhaps incorporeal would be more accurate, for a spirit, since it is a creation, it must be something real. The spirit is quintessentialized matter existing in a state that has no equivalent within your scope of comprehension, and it is so ethereal that it transcends your senses.”
We say that spirits are immaterial, because their essence differs from everything that we know as matter. A nation of blind people has no way of expressing light and its effects. For someone who is born blind, the only methods of perception are sound, smell, taste, and touch. He does not understand the ideas that would be perceived by a sense that he lacks. Accordingly, with respect to the essence of superhuman beings, we are truly blind. We can only defne them by comparisons that are imperfect or the product of our imagination.
83. Do spirits have an end? We understand that their source is eternal, but we want to know whether their individual existence has a fxed term, and if, after a given period of time, the element from which they are formed is re-distributed. Does it return to the mass from which they were produced, as is the fate of material bodies? It is diffcult to understand the concept that something that has had a beginning does not have an end.
“As humans have limited intelligence, there are many things that you do not understand. Regardless, this does not constitute suffIcient grounds for rejection. Children do not understand all that is understood by their parents, nor does an uneducated person understand all 66 Allan Kardec - The Spirits’ Book that is understood by an educated one. The existence of spirits has no end and that is all that we can reveal at this time.”