Definition | Formation | Nature |
Union w/ Physical Body | Functions


"The Spirits' Book" Question 150:a
How does the soul assert its individuality, since it no longer has a material body? 
"It still has a semi-material body peculiar to itself, which it draws from the atmosphere of its planet and which represents the appearance of its last incarnation  ̶   its perispirit."

Question 135 and 135:a
Is there anything in human beings besides a soul and a body?

"Yes, there is the link by which the soul and the body are connected." 

Can you describe this link?
"It is semi-material.  In other words, it is, by nature, midway between soul and body.  Without it, soul and body could not communicate with each other.  This is, in fact, the purpose of the link; it enables the spirit to act on matter and matter to act on the spirit."


If you have read the subsection on What Are Spirits (see link on menu bar at left), you will recall that the human being is formed of three essential elements. As Kardec writes¹, "The first element is the body, which humans have in common with animals. As such, the body is animated by the same vital principle that exists in animals.  The second element is the soul or incarnate spirit, of which the body is the habitation and through which it acts.  The third element is a semi-material form called the perispirit; it constitutes the spirit's innermost envelope and unites the spirit with the body."

The perispirit is the spiritual body  ̶  the spirit's fluidic, vaporous, quintessential, semi-material envelope, having both flexibility and expandability.  Under the command and direction of such spiritual body, which accompanies the spirit throughout its entire existence², the spirit exercises important functions.  It is this spiritual body that allows the spirit to act upon matter, and for matter to act upon it.

in comments to the answer to question 135 of "The Spirits' Book"
² surviving even, the death of the material/human body


* Please note that to better understand the discussion of the perispirit to follow, it would be extremely helpful ,and is strongly advised, to first read our subsection on the Fundamental Principles in the Science of Spiritism, found in our web section on the scientific aspect of Spiritism.