Union w/ Physical Body | Functions
Part 1 of 2: Degree of Purity
The nature of a
perispirit, meaning its degree of purity or etherealization, depends on:
1) the atmospheric fluids; and
2) the spirit's own level of moral advancement.
The latter is a major factor because the perispirit evolves and progresses, along with the spirit, from one incarnation to the next. At any given moment, the perispirit's nature, relative to its current environment, is the sum result of the spirit's actions and experiences throughout its multiple existences, and with each step forward that the spirit makes in its moral advancement, the perispirit becomes subtler, less material. The result is that the intimate make-up of the perispirit is not identical among the incarnate and discarnate spirits that populate a planet and its surrounding space, a kind of variation that does not happen with the carnal, or material bodies of the same beings.
The two factors above work together, whereby depending on a spirit's level of purification (resulting from its moral evolution), its perispirit will be formed from the fluids of a greater or lesser density, within its present environment.
The fact that the perispirit's nature relates directly to the spirit's degree of evolution means that a spirit can not simply take any form it wishes, nor can a spirit travel, at will, to a region of evolution higher that that which it has personally reached. Kardec explains this in "Genesis"¹. He writes:
"The nature of the fluidic covering always relates directly to the
degree of the spirit's moral advancement. The inferior spirits can not
change their covering as they wish, just as they can not pass, at their
own will, from one world to another. There are some, however, whose
fluidic covering, despite being ethereal and imponderable in reference to
tangible matter, is still so heavy with reference to the spiritual world,
that it does not allow the spirit to leave its own environment. In this
category, we include those spirits whose perispirit is so dense, that they confuse it with the carnal body and continue to
believe that they are still alive. These
spirits, large in number, stay on the Earth's surface, like the incarnate,
believing themselves to be still involved in their Earthly occupations and
activities. Others, slightly less materialized, are not so enough to be
able to rise above the Earthly regions.
¹ Chapter 14, item #9