The spiritual fluids, which constitute one of the states of the universal cosmic fluid, are well characterized as the atmosphere of the spiritual beings ̶- the element from which they take the materials upon which they operate and the medium by which special phenomena occur, such phenomena being perceptible to the vision and hearing of the spirit, but escaping the carnal senses which receive impressions only through the tangible matter. These fluids are the medium through which the light of the spiritual world is formed, different in cause and effects from ordinary light. Finally, the spiritual fluids are the vehicle of thought, just as air is the vehicle of sound.
The spirits act upon the spiritual fluids, manipulating them not as men manipulate gases, but through the employment of thought and will. Thought and will are to the spirits what the hand is to man. Through thought, they imprint the fluids in various directions, group them, combine or disperse them, and organize them in a such a way as to create a desired appearance, a certain form or color, etc; they are able to change the fluids’ properties, just as a chemist changes those of gases and other bodies, combining them in agreement with certain laws. It is the great office, or laboratory, of the spiritual world.
Sometimes, those transformations are the result of intention; other times, they are the product of unconscious thought. It is enough for a spirit to think about something for that thing to be produced, just as it is enough to create a melody for it to travel through the atmosphere.
It is in this way, for example, that a spirit presents himself to the view of an incarnate being endowed with spiritual sight, with the same appearance it had when living during the time of their acquaintance, although it may have had many incarnations since then. The spirit presents itself dressed in the same manner and possessing the same exterior characteristics ̶ sicknesses, scars, amputated body parts, etc. ̶ that it had at that time. The spirit of a person who had been beheaded may present itself without a head. This does necessarily mean that it has preserved such an appearance; certainly not, for as a spirit, it is not lame, nor one-legged, nor cross-eyed, nor blind, nor decapitated. What occurs, instead, is that in going back, in thought, to the incarnation time in which it had those defects, its perispirit instantly takes on those appearances, which will also disappear just as quickly as the spirit ceases to focus its thought in that manner. If, then, at one point, it was a black person and another time a white person, it will present itself as white or black, depending on the incarnation associated with the evocation to which its thoughts are directed.
In a similar manner, the thoughts of a spirit create, in fluidic form, the objects that it is accustomed to using. For example, a soldier may appear armed and in uniform, a smoker with his pipe, a farmer with his plow, an older woman with her diamonds. For the discarnate spirit, these fluidic objects are just as real as they were in the material state for the living person. However, because such objects are creations of thought, their existence is just as fleeting as the originating thought.
With the fluids being the vehicle of thought, the latter, then, acts upon the fluids like sound upon air. The fluids, therefore, carry the thoughts just as the air carries sound. It can thus be said, without a doubt, that there are, in these fluids, waves and rays of thoughts, which cross one another without mixing, just as there are diverse sound waves traveling simultaneously through air.
Moreover, in creating fluidic images, thought is then reflected in the perispirit, like an image reflected in a mirror, and there it takes form; in a way, they are photographed. Take a man, for example, who has the idea to kill another person. While his material body remains yet unaffected, his fluidic body (perispirit) is put into action by that thought and reproduces all the matrices of the latter, executing fluidically, the gesture, i.e., the action that the man intended to take. The thought creates an image of the victim and the entire scene is developed as a complete image imprinted on the spirit.
is how the most secret movements of the soul are reflected on the
fluidic envelope, how one soul [or spirit] can read
the other like an open book and see what is imperceptible to the
eyes of the material body. As
such, seeing the intention of the other, a spirit can foresee the
execution of the consequential act, but cannot determine the exact
moment in which the act will be executed or other such details. Nor
can the spirit affirm that the event will actually occur because
a change circumstances could alter one's disposition and lead to a change
in plans. The spirit can not see what is not yet in the thoughts of
the other; what it sees are the other's habitual preoccupations,
desires, and intentions, both good and bad.
Because the fluids are as diverse as the thoughts that affect them, it would be impossible to create an enumeration or classification of all the good and bad fluids, or to specify all their respective qualities.
The fluids do not possess their own, intrinsic qualities, but rather acquire them from the environment in which they are found. Thus, they are modified, like air, by the emissions of that environment, or like water, by the salts of earthly layers over which it passes. Depending on the circumstances, the qualities of the fluids are, like those of air and water, temporary or permanent, which makes each quality particularly appropriate for certain types of effects.
The fluids also do not follow any particular system of classification. They are characterized by their properties, their effects, and their originating types. From a moral standpoint, they hold the nature of sentiments like hate, greed, jealousy, pride, selfishness, violence, hypocrisy, as well as those such as good will, benevolence, love, compassion, tenderness, etc. From a physical standpoint, they can be calming, exciting, penetrating, stringent, irritating, sweetening, soporific [tranquilizing], narcotic, toxic, medicinal, expulsive etc.; they can become a force of transmission, propulsion, etc. The scope of the fluids' characteristics, therefore, includes all of humanity’s passions, virtues, and vices, as well as all the properties of matter, corresponding, then, to the effects that the fluids produce.
Humans beings, who are nothing more than incarnate spirits, take part in the spiritual life, since they live that life just as much as the material one, primarily during sleep and, many times, while awake. The spirit, upon incarnating, preserves its perispirit with all the properties that pertain to it, and this perispirit, as we know, is not restricted to the mere outline of the human body, but rather radiates through and around the material body, enveloping it in its own fluidic atmosphere.
Through its intimate union with the body, the perispirit plays a predominant role in the organism. Through its expansion, the perispirit puts the incarnate spirit in a more direct relationship with free spirits as well as other incarnate spirits.
The thoughts of incarnate and discarnate spirits act directly upon the spiritual fluids of their environment and are transmitted from one spirit to another by these same fluids. Depending on the moral quality of the thoughts, they will either help to cleanse or to pollute the environmental fluids.
As the environmental fluids are modified by a spirit’s thought projections, the spirit’s perispirit, a constructive part of its entire being, receives a direct and permanent impression made by those thoughts, and will retain their good or bad qualities.
Fluids that are polluted by the thoughts of inferior spirits can become purified through the distancing of such spirits from that environment. The perispirits of the latter, however, will remain the same, as long as those spirits do not, by their own initiative, change their thoughts.
Because the nature of the incarnate spirit’s perispirit is identical to that of the spiritual fluids, it assimilates the fluids with ease, like a sponge submerged in liquid. These fluids create an effect on the perispirit, as direct as or even more direct than that of the perispirit’s own expansion and radiation, such that it becomes difficult to differentiate the perispirit from the fluids.
Under the influence of these fluids, the perispirit, in turn, reacts upon the material organism with which it is molecularly attached. If the fluids are of a good nature, the material body will experience the effects of a healthy impression, while fluids of an adverse nature will bring about in a negative impression. If the emanations of the fluids is permanent and vigorous, they can cause physical disorders; some illnesses have no other cause.
Places that are abundant in inferior spirits are, then, impregnated with contaminated fluids that the incarnate spirit absorbs through the pores of its perispirit, just as it absorbs poisonous miasmas through the pores of the material body.
This is how we explain the effects that are produced in meeting places. Such an assembly is a focal point for the radiation of diverse thoughts. It is like a musical ensemble, a chorus of thoughts, in which each individual produces a note. This results in a multiplicity of fluidic emission currents that make an impression on each individual, through their spiritual senses, in the same way that in a musical choir, each individual registers the impressions made by the sounds through their sense of hearing.
In the same way that there are harmonious as well as dissonant sound waves, there are also harmonious and dissonant thought emissions. If the ensemble is harmonious, the impression will be pleasant; likewise, if the ensemble is discordant, the impression will be harmful. However, the mixing in of some negative thoughts, with the positive ensemble, is enough to produce the same effect as that of cold water mixed with tepid water, or of a dissonant note producing during a concert of melodies. This is also how we can explain the anxiety behind inexplicably “bad vibes” that one might feel while attending an antagonistic or hostile meeting, where malevolent thoughts provoke currents of nauseating fluids.
In this way, our thoughts are capable of producing a certain kind of physical effect that reacts upon our moral being. Spiritist principles help us to understand this concept. Man can feel them, instinctively, which can be seen by the way he is drawn to homogeneous and pleasant meeting places, where he knows he can find a renewed moral strength. In other words, we could say that, in these places, he is able to recover the fluids that he has lost throughout the day, just as eating helps him to recover from the losses of the material body. In effect, a man’s thoughts become a fluidic emission that results in an actual loss of spiritual fluids, making it necessary for him to regain his strength from fluidic emissions external to his own.
When it is said that a doctor cures a sick person through the use of positive, uplifting words, this is actually the absolute truth, because a positive thought carries with it reparative fluids that act upon the physical body as much as the spiritual.
You may argue that we can avoid ill-intentioned men, which is undoubtedly true; but how can we escape the influence of evil spirits who are present all around us, but remain unseen?
The answer is very simple because such an influence depends on the will of men who carry within themselves the positives forces necessary to repel the negative ones. Fluids are attracted to, and combine with, one another out of a similarity in their nature; those that are dissimilar repel one another. There is an incompatibility between positive and adverse fluids, similar to that between oil and water.
What do we do when the air is polluted? We seek to clean it; we take care to purify it by destroying the center of decay, expelling the unhealthy emissions through the use of stronger currents of a healthier nature. Opposition from healthy fluids is necessary to neutralize the invasion of unhealthy ones, and since each person has a permanent source of fluids within his or her own perispirit, all people carry within themselves an applicable remedy. It is only a matter of purifying that source of fluids with healthy qualities that will repel, rather than attract, the negative fluids. Furthermore, the perispirit is an outer covering of the soul that should be given the best possible character. Now, as the qualities of the perispirit correspond directly with the qualities of the soul, it is necessary to work toward the character of the perispirit, since the imperfections of the soul are what attract imperfect spirits.
Flies are attracted to sources of corruption; with those sources destroyed, the flies will disappear. Likewise, malevolent spirits will also follow the evil that attracts them; eliminating evil, these spirits will go away. Spirits who are truly good by nature, both incarnate and discarnate, have nothing to fear regarding the influence of those ill-intentioned or inferior spirits.
Kardec, Allan. A Genese [Genesis]. 37th ed. Trans. Guillon Ribeiro (translated from 5th edition in French). Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brazil: Federação Espírita Brasileira [Brazilian Spiritist Federation].1987. 13-20.