PRINCIPLE: THE LIFE GIVING SUBSTANCE Pr
As explained by Spiritism
The vital principle, also referred to as vitality, animal magnetism or animal electricity/energy, is a substance that gives life to all beings that absorb it, whereby life is an effect produced by the action of an agent (vital principle) on matter. This agent, alone, is not the same as matter, just as matter has no life without it.
This life-giving substance is a necessary element in the universe's
structure, but it is not a distinct, primitive agent. It results
from a special modification of the cosmic principle. For
us, it's like oxygen, hydrogen, etc., in other words, a basic
element. However, it is still only a modification of the cosmic principle.
The basic vital principle is
the same for all organic beings and distinguishes them from inert
matter. However, it is modified for each species, giving each its power of movement and activity, and
distinguishing it from inert matter.
Vitality = Matter + Vital Principle
It is important to understand that the movement of matter, itself, is
not life or vitality. Matter is moved; it does not originate
movement. When the vital principle is not united with matter,
we can say that it is latent. Vitality is only developed
in connection with a body. This union brings forth
life. An analogy to this would be a battery united to an
electronic device. A battery contains electricity in a state
of potentiality. When the device is set in motion by a special cause,
such as completion of a circuit, we become aware of electricity's
particular effects. The battery "becomes alive". If
you remove the cause (the battery), the device, like organic beings, becomes
inert. The vital principle acts as a catalyst to
organs; the interaction of organs then develops and keeps up
the vital principle, just like friction develops heat.
What happens at death?
Bodily organs are saturated with vital energy, which communicates
necessary activity to all organs. For example, the body
responds to disease and injury by reestablishing functions
that have been temporarily suspended.
When organs are destroyed or too deeply injured, the vital energy is
powerless to animate them, and the being dies. Upon death, the
inert matter decomposes and becomes part of other
bodies. The vital principle returns to the general mass
of the cosmic principle.
The reserves of vital energy in a given organism, upon or after death:
- can be exhausted and thus become incapable of sustaining life
- can be replenished through absorption and assimilation of substances that contain it
- can be transmitted, for instance, from one individual to another (when one in which it is more abundant passes it to one in which it is lacking)¹
¹ The translator’s note in the A.K.E.S. 1996 edition of "The Spirit’s Book" states "Laboratory evidences of transfer of energy were obtained through use of Kirlian photography- process discovered in Russia. Book, 1970"
Kardec, Allan. "The Vital Principle." The Spirits' Book. Trans. Allan Kardec Educational Society (translated from 2nd edition in French). Philadelphia, PA. Allan Kardec Educational Society. 1996. 23-28.
Kardec, Allan. "Explanatory Notes." The Spirits' Book. Trans. Allan Kardec Educational Society (translated from 2nd edition in French). Philadelphia, PA. Allan Kardec Educational Society. 1996. 369.
Kardec, Allan. "Os Fluidos" [Fluids] 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. 273-288.
Melo, Jacob. "Assuntos Complementares" [Complementary Subjects]. O Passe [Passes]. Rio de Janeiro-RJ, Brazil: Federação Espírita Brasileira [Brazilian Spiritist Federation].1987. Os Fluidos, 53-69.
Melo, Jacob. "Considerações Sobre Os Fluidos" [Considerations Regarding the Fluids]. Cure-se E Cure Pelos Passes [Heal Yourself And Others With Passes]. Sao Paulo, Brazil: Editora Martin Claret. 2002. 41-52