I had many opportunities to observe that people who had been endowed with the highest positions in the world inevitably took on an air of authority as a result. Consequently they were unable to hide it or cast it off in the other life. In the ones who have received the gift of faith and of love for others, the air of authority combines in a miraculous way with one of benevolence, so that it disturbs no one. In fact well-mannered spirits also offer them a kind of corresponding deference. The atmosphere they give off is not a dictatorial one; it is just an aura natural to them, because they were born that way. Since they are good, and since they work at shedding that aura, after a certain amount of time they succeed.
For several days I had with me the kind of spirits who had not concentrated at all on the good of society when they lived in the world but on themselves. They had been useless, so far as political office goes, and their only goal had been to live sumptuously, wear glamorous clothes, and grow rich. They were used to putting up pretenses; to finding means of worming their way in everywhere by various kinds of flattery; and to vying for office with the sole purpose of making themselves visible and taking charge of their overlord’s resources. Anyone engaged in any serious kind of work they regarded with contempt. They had been courtiers, I perceived.
The effect they had was to sap me of all my energy and to make it burdensome for me to act on or think about anything worthwhile, anything true or good—so terribly burdensome that in the end I hardly knew what to do.
When spirits like this come among other spirits, they infect them with a similar sluggishness. In the other life, they are useless members of society and are rejected wherever they go.
from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 1508, 1509