The Spirits' Book
Book Two - The Spirit World
Chapter XI - The Three Kingdoms
Animals and Humans
605. If we consider all the points of contact that exist between humans and animals. Does it not seem as though human beings have two souls, namely, an animal soul and a spiritual soul, and that, if they did not have the latter, they might still live as wild animals? In other words, animals are similar to humans, minus the spiritual soul. Accordingly, the good and bad instincts of human beings are results of the predominance of one of these two souls.
“No, human beings do not have two souls. Their bodies have instincts resulting from the perception of their bodily organs and they have a dual nature – the animal nature and the spiritual nature. Through their bodies they participate in the animal nature and their instincts, while through their souls they participate in the spiritual nature.”
a) So, besides their own flaws that they must discard, do spirits also have to struggle against the influence of matter?
“Yes, the lower the spirit, the tighter the link between spirits and matter. Do you not see? No, humans do not have two souls; there is only one soul in a single being. The souls of animals and those of humans are distinct from one another, so that the soul of the one cannot animate the body created for the other. While human beings do not have animal souls that place them on the same level as the animals, they do have animal bodies, which often drag them down. Their bodies are endowed with life and have instincts that are unintelligent and limited to their survival.”
When they incarnate in human bodies, spirits contribute the intellectual and moral principles that make them superior to animals. The two natures in humans, intellect and morality, constitute two distinct sources of passions, one springing from the instincts of their animal nature and the other due to the impurities of the spirit, which are in sympathy with the rudimentary nature of animal desires. As spirits become purified, they gradually free themselves from the influence of matter. While under that influence, they come close to the nature of animals. When delivered from that influence, they raise to their true destination.