The Justice, Heaven, and Hell
section introduced the idea that when a person influences someone else, the spirit of the one enters the other. This has many implications, and taken together, they form a very powerful and very useful idea, which deserves elaboration here.
First, we cannot realistically consider ourselves to be individuals in the most fundamental of senses. Rather, we are all collections. To whatever extent all of the influences merge within us, creating a unique homogenous blend, we become individuals. But to whatever extent we still have dichotomies within us, we are mixtures instead of compounds (to use a chemical analogy for it). Once we consciously acknowledge this, we can more deliberately search for conflicts, and more effectively resolve them. The spirits that cannot play nice with the rest have to be asked to leave. Then we become whole people, and fully possess the attribute of integrity.
Second, we all have direct, internal access to the wisdom of the ages, because all of those influences are members in our collections. So we can ask, "What would Jesus have done?" and we can let Jesus do the talking, because he lives within us.
Third, we quickly realize that good spirits will naturally last longer than bad spirits. Good spirits bring joy to their hosts, and encourage them to be healthy. As such, the hosts will live longer, and will influence more people, thus spreading the good spirits further. Bad spirits destroy their hosts, and then fail to propagate. So most spirits are good. If we want for our spirits to live on, and to enjoy themselves inside other hosts, we have to make sure that we influence people in a positive way. There is no sense in bringing sorrow to someone else, because then the spirit that enters that host will have to endure that sorrow as well.
Fourth, if we really want our spirits to be accepted by other hosts, we have to consider what sort of goodness would sit well with the spirits already there. We can't just be nice — we have to be the right kind of nice, in order to contribute something meaningful, which will persist. In other words, it has to be targeted kindness, adapted to suit the one who is to receive it. We have to give people what they need, not what they think they want (which sometimes actually brings them more sorrow than joy). So we have to step outside of ourselves, and consider what will make people healthier and happier, preferably for the long term. To the extent that we succeed at this, they will remember us fondly for a long time to come. But misdirected kindness is easily forgotten.
Fifth, if we want our spirits to propagate from one host to the next, we have to consider how the influence will evolve after going into circulation. If we are kind to others, but they don't understand the nature of the kindness, and they fail to pass on the essential ingredient in it, the kindness won't propagate. For a good spirit to thrive in a community, people have to understand it.
Sixth, after influencing people, we "might" become connected to them, since our spirits are inside them, and of course inside us. Thus it is possible that every time we influence somebody, we gain another set of eyes and ears. This sounds mystical, and here we run the risk of thinking that we can cheat physics, teleporting ourselves into other bodies at will. But such is not the intent. Rather, the point here is just that after having stepped outside of ourselves to truly consider someone else's needs, we find that afterwards, we still think of them, and we feel for them. This is especially true if we know that our influence persists in them. Thinking that our spirits are conscious inside of them then represents that lingering connection, and clarifies our thoughts about them.
So we can tap into historical sources for information and inspiration. And we can enjoy the pleasures of others once we have influenced them, if the influence led to pleasure. This is true during life, and after death. And our spirits will survive as long as our influence is good. That's a powerful idea if there ever was one.