101. General Characteristics – Matter has a predominant infuence over the spirit. The spirit has a propensity to do wrong and is marked by ignorance, pride, selfshness, and all the related vile passions.
They intuitively realize the existence of God, but they do not understand God.
They are not all entirely bad. Many of these spirits are more frivolous, lacking reasoning power, and love mischief, rather than being downright malicious. Some do neither good nor bad, but the very fact that they do not do good is a glaring indication of their subservience. In contrast, others take immense pleasure in doing wrong, and are thrilled when they discover an opportunity to do wrong.
A certain amount of intelligence is often associated with malice and the love of mischief in these spirits. However, regardless of their intellectual development, their ideas lack elevation, and their sentiments are inferior, overall.
Their knowledge of the spirit world is narrow, and what they do know is muddled with the prejudices of the physical life. They give false and incomplete notions of the spirit world, but an intent observer may always fnd the validation of great truths proclaimed by higher spirits, no matter how imperfect their communication may be.
Their language reveals their character. Every spirit who betrays malicious intentions may be ranked in the third order. Every bad thought suggested to our minds comes from a spirit of this order.
The happiness enjoyed by good spirits causes everlasting torment on spirits of the third order. It stems from the anguish produced by envy and jealousy.
They retain the memory and perception of physical suffering, and this impression is often more painful than reality. They suffer both from the misfortunes they have themselves endured, and those that they have caused to others. As this torture persists for a very long time, they feel that they are destined to suffer for eternity. God allows them to believe in this eternal suffering as a form of atonement.
They may be further divided into fve main classes.