Author: Joy Living
Date: 01-14-07 10:48
This classification of the progressive development of souls is an excerpt from Book 2 of 4, Chapter 1 of 'THE SPIRITS' BOOK' by Allan Kardec 1804-1869.
Kardec was a French educator who was instructed to publish these revelations under the pseudonym of ALLAN KARDEC. He was a chronicler of his conversations with spirit through mediums, but he himself was not a medium.
There are 3 main groups of souls: low, middle, high.
* Third Order-Imperfect Spirits
* Second Order-Good Spirits
* First Order-Pure Spirits.
Most people belong to the middle group, the Second Order-Good Spirits.
Within these 3 main categories, there are further sub-categories.
Those who may like to read the entire chapter may visit the link below.
"The higher spirits generally admit the existence of three principal categories, or main divisions, among the people of the other world. In the lowest of these, at the bottom of the ladder, are the imperfect spirits who are characterized by the predominance of the instincts of materiality over the moral nature, and by the propensity to evil. Those of the second degree are characterized by the predominance of the moral nature over the material instincts, and by the desire of good. They constitute the category of good spirits. The first or highest category consists of those who have reached the state of pure spirits, and have thus attained to the supreme degree of perfection imaginable by us.
This division of spirits into three well-marked categories appears to us to be perfectly rational; and, having arrived at this general classification, it only remained for us to bring out, through a sufficient number of subdivisions, the principal shades of the three great spirit-categories thus established. And this we have done with the aid of the spirits themselves, whose friendly instructions have never failed us in the carrying out of the work upon which we have been led to enter.
With the aid of the following table it will be easy for us to determine the rank and degree of superiority or inferiority of the spirits with whom we may enter into communication, and, consequently, the degree of esteem and confidence to which they are entitled. The power of determining these points may be said to constitute the key to spiritist investigation; for it alone, by enlightening us in regard to the intellectual and moral inequalities of spirits, can explain the anomalies presented by spirit-communications. We have, however, to remark that spirits do not, in all cases, belong exclusively to such and such a class. Their progress in knowledge and purity being only accomplished gradually, and often, for a time, more in the one than in the other, they may unite the characteristics of several subdivisions; a point which is easily settled by observing their language and their acts.
THIRD ORDER-IMPERFECT SPIRITS
101. General Characteristics.--Predominant influence of matter over spirit. Propensity to evil. Ignorance, pride, selfishness, and all the evil passions which result from these.
They have the intuition of the existence of God, but they have no comprehension of Him.
They are not all of them thoroughly bad; in many of them there is more of frivolity, want of reasoning power, and love of mischief, than of downright wickedness. Some of them do neither good nor evil; but the very fact that they do no good denotes their inferiority. Others, on the contrary, take pleasure in evil, and are gratified when they find an opportunity of doing wrong.
Among spirits of this order, a certain amount of intelligence is often allied with malice and the love of mischief; but, whatever may be their intellectual development, their ideas are wanting in elevation, and their sentiments are more or less abject.
Their knowledge of the things of the spirit-world is narrow, and the little they know about them is confused with the ideas and prejudices of the corporeal life. They can give only false and incomplete notions of the spirit-world; but the attentive observer may always find in their communications, however imperfect, the confirmation of the great truths proclaimed by spirits of the higher orders.
Their character is revealed by their language. Every spirit who, in his communications, betrays an evil intention, may be ranged in the third order; consequently every evil thought suggested to our mind comes to us from a spirit of that order.
They see the happiness enjoyed by good spirits, and this sight causes them perpetual torment; for they experience all the agonies produced by envy and jealousy.
They preserve the remembrance and the perception of the sufferings of corporeal life; and this impression is often more painful than the reality. They suffer, in fact, both from the ills they have themselves endured, and from those which they have caused to be endured by others. And as these sufferings endure for a very long time, they believe themselves to be destined to suffer forever. God, for their punishment, wills that they should believe this.
They may be subdivided into five principal classes:--
102. Tenth Class--Impure Spirits.--They are inclined to evil, and make it the object oŁ all their thoughts and activities. As spirits, they give to men perfidious counsels, stir up discord and distrust, and assume every sort of mask in order the more effectually to deceive. They beset those whose character is weak enough to lead them to yield to their suggestions, and whom they thus draw aside from the path of progress, rejoicing when they are to retard their advancement by causing them to succumb under the appointed trials of the corporeal life Spirits of this class may be recognized by their language, for the employment of coarse or trivial expressions by spirits, as by men, is always an indication of moral, if not of intellectual, inferiority. Their communications show the baseness of their inclinations; and though they may try to impose upon us by speaking with an appearance of reason and propriety, they are unable to keep up that false appearance, and end by betraying their real quality.
Certain nations have made of them infernal deities; others designate them by the name of demons, evil genie evil spirits.
The human beings in whom they are incarnated are addicted to all the vices engendered by vile and degrading passions-sensuality, cruelty, roguery, hypocrisy, cupidity, avarice. They do evil for its own sake, without any definite motive; and, from hatred to all that is good, they generally choose their victims from among honest and worthy people. They are the pests of humanity, to whatever rank of society they belong; and the varnish of a civilized education is ineffectual to cure or to hide their degrading defects.
103. Ninth Class--Frivolous Spirits.--They are ignorant, mischievous, unreasonable, and addicted to mockery. They meddle with everything, and reply to every question without paying any attention to truth. They delight in causing petty annoyances, in raising false hopes of petty joys, in misleading people by mystifications and trickery. The spirits vulgarly called hobgoblins, will-o'-the-wisps, gnomes, etc., belong to this class. They are under the orders of spirits of a higher category, who make use of them as we do of servants.
In their communications with men their language is often witty and facetious, but shallow. They are quick to seize the oddities and absurdities of men and things, on which they comment with sarcastic sharpness. If they borrow distinguished names, as they are fond of doing, it is rather for the fun of the thing than from any intention to deceive by so doing.
104. Eighth Class--Spirits who Pretend to more Science than they Possess.--Their knowledge is often considerable, but they imagine themselves to know a good deal more than they know in reality. Having made a certain amount of progress from various points of view, their language has an air of gravity that may easily give a false impression as to their capacities and enlightenment; but their ideas are generally nothing more than the reflection of the prejudices and false reasoning of their terrestrial life. Their statements contain a mixture of truths and absurdities, in the midst of which traces of presumption, pride, jealousy, and obstinacy, from which they have not yet freed themselves, are abundantly perceptible.
105. Seventh Class--Neutral Spirits.--They are not sufficiently advanced to take an active part in doing good, nor are they bad enough to be active in doing wrong. They incline sometimes to the one, sometimes to the other; and do not rise above the ordinary level of humanity, either in point of morality or of intelligence. They are strongly attached to the things of this world, whose gross satisfactions they regret.
106. Sixth Class--Noisy and Boisterous Spirits.--Spirits of this kind do not, strictly speaking, form a distinct class in virtue of their personal qualities; they may belong to all the classes of the third order. They often manifest their presence by the production of phenomena perceptible by the senses, such as raps, the movement and abnormal displacing of solid bodies, the agitation of the air, etc. They appear to be, more than any other class of spirits, attached to matter; they seem to be the principal agents in determining the vicissitudes of the elements of the globe, and to act upon the air, water, fire, and the various bodies in the entrails of the earth. Whenever these phenomena present a character of intention and intelligence, it is impossible to attribute them to a mere fortuitous and physical cause. All spirits are able to produce physical phenomena; but spirits of elevated degree usually leave them to those of a lower order, more apt for action upon matter than for the things of intelligence, and, when they judge it to be useful to produce physical manifestations, employ spirits of subaltern degree as their auxiliaries.
SECOND ORDER-GOOD SPIRITS
107. General Characteristics.--Predominance of spirit over matter; desire of excellence. Their qualities and their power for good are proportionate to the degree at which they have arrived. Some of them possess scientific knowledge, others have acquired wisdom and charity; the more advanced among them combine knowledge with moral excellence. Not being yet completely dematerialized, they preserve the traces of their corporeal existence, more or less strongly marked, according to their rank-traces which are seen either in their mode of expressing themselves, in their habits, or even, in some cases, in the characteristic eccentricities and hobbies still retained by them. But for these weaknesses and imperfections they would be able to pass into the category of spirits of the first order.
They have acquired the comprehension of the idea of God and of infinity, and already share the felicity of the higher spheres. They find their happiness both in the accomplishment of good and in the prevention of evil. The affection by which they are united affords them ineffable delight, troubled neither by envy, remorse nor any other of the evil passions which make the torment of spirits of lower degree; but they have still to undergo the discipline of trial until they have completed the work of their purification.
As spirits, they infuse good and noble thoughts into the minds of men, turn them from the path of evil, protect those whose course of life renders them worthy of their aid, and neutralize by their suggestions, the influence of lower spirits on the minds of those who do not willingly yield to the evil counsels of the latter.
The human beings in whom they are incarnated are upright and benevolent; they are actuated neither by pride, selfishness, nor ambition; they feel neither hatred, rancor, envy, nor jealousy, and do good for its own sake.
To this order belong the spirits commonly designated in the popular beliefs by the names of good genie protecting genie, good spirits. In periods of ignorance and superstition, men have regarded them as beneficent divinities. They may be divided into four principal groups:-
108. Fifth Class--Benevolent Spirits.--Their dominant quality is kindness. They take pleasure in rendering service to men and in protecting them, but their knowledge is somewhat narrow. They have progressed in morality rather than in intelligence.
109. Fourth Class--Learned Spirits.--They are specially distinguished by the extent of their knowledge. They are less interested in moral questions than in scientific investigation, for which they have a greater aptitude; but their scientific studies are always prosecuted with a view to practical utility, and they are entirely free from the base passions common to spirits of the lower degrees of advancement.
110. Third Class--Wise Spirits.--The most elevated moral qualities form their distinctive characteristics. Without having arrived at the possession of unlimited knowledge, they have reached a development of intellectual capacity that enables them to judge correctly of men and of things.
111. Second Class--High Spirits.--They unite, in a very high degree, scientific knowledge, wisdom, and goodness. Their language, inspired only by the purest benevolence, is always noble and elevated, often sublime. Their superiority renders them more apt than any others to impart to us just and true ideas in relation to the incorporeal world, within the limits of the knowledge permitted to mankind. They willingly enter into communication with those who seek for truth in simplicity and sincerity, and who are sufficiently freed from the bonds of materiality to be capable of understanding it; but they turn from those whose inquiries are prompted only by curiosity, or who are drawn away from the path of rectitude by the attractions of materiality.
When, under exceptional circumstances, they incarnate themselves in this earth, it is always for the accomplishment of a mission of progress; and they thus show us the highest type of perfection to which we can aspire in the present world.
FIRST ORDER-PURE SPIRITS
112. General Characteristics.--The influence of matter null; a superiority, both intellectual and moral, so absolute as to constitute what, in comparison with the spirits of all the other orders, may be termed perfection.
113. First and only Class.--They have passed up through every degree of the scale of progress, and have freed themselves from all the impurities of materiality. Having attained the sum of perfection of which created beings are susceptible, they have no longer to undergo either trials or expiations. Being no longer subject to reincarnation in perishable bodies, they enter on the life of eternity in the immediate presence of God. They are in the enjoyment of a beatitude which is unalterable, because they are no longer subject to the wants or vicissitudes of material life; but this beatitude is not the monotonous idleness of perpetual contemplation. They are the messengers and ministers of God, the executors of His orders in the maintenance of universal harmony. They exercise a sovereign command over all spirits inferior to themselves, aid them in accomplishing the work of their purification, and assign to each of them a mission proportioned to the progress already made by them. To assist men in their distresses, to excite them to the love of good or to the expiation of the faults which keep them back on the road to the supreme felicity, are for them congenial occupations. They are sometimes spoken of as angels, archangels, or seraphim.
They can, when they choose to do so, enter into communication with men; but presumptuous indeed would he be who should pretend to have them at his orders. "