The Spirits' Book
Book Two - The Spirit World
Chapter VI - Spirit Life
Choice of Trials
267. Can a spirit make its choice while in the physical state?
“Its desire may have a certain amount of influence, depending on its intention, but it often views things very differently when it returns to the spiritual life. It is only as a spirit that it chooses. However, some decisions may be made during the material life, because a spirit, even while incarnated, has occasional moments in which it is independent of the matter that it inhabits.”
a) Are there many cases where people desire greatness and wealth on Earth, but not as atonement or a trial?
"Absolutely, in such cases it is their material instinct that desires to enjoy material greatness. The spirit could only want it to understand its fluctuations.”