A Proposal for Spiritists Within and Outside Brazil

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First of all, let me note that in this text I am presenting my personal perspective on Spiritism. Let me also note that this text is addressed to people of all nationalities, although primarily focused on the American public with which I have more direct contact. With these two basic parameters clarified, let me then mention that I consider myself an areligious free-thinker. The practice of rational spirituality based on Christ’s moral values (which are not religious values) and a lucid and disciplined sense of scientific exploration interests me more than the blind adherence to dogmas. It was and still is in this framework that Spiritism presents itself as a divine gift, allowing me to be a scientist of the spirit and understand my place in the universe. By pulling out the roots of materialism, mysticism and dogmatism out of the knowledge once restricted to religions, it creates the base that every spiritualist should know for further exploration. The spirits have multiple times over the centuries told us that knowledge is spread all over the Earth and continue to encourage us to study. It is thus my understanding that by studying this knowledge that has been sowed throughout all lands and cultures we demonstrate our fraternity, lucidity and freedom. It is by advancing the science of the visible and invisible that we honor the legacy of Allan Kardec. It is only when collaboration among all peoples takes place that Spiritism will have fulfilled its mission; uniting us all through true Christian values (and here, I am not talking about adoration of Christ, but the practice of the ethical values he taught and practiced).

In our present state of spiritual and moral development, it is not reasonable we expect to have final answers to complex questions. This also applies to Spiritism. As multiple other Sciences, Spiritism isn’t the end, but only a mean of exploration of our internal and external worlds. Spiritists around the world, then, should not focus only in learning its present Brazilian version – which, by the way, is quite different than the original Spiritism developed in France by Allan Kardec (if you can’t tell the differences, you must study more!). Spiritists around the world then should learn the Spiritist Method, its basic concepts and rationale and use this knowledge to explore new niches of wisdom still untouched. How much has the Spirit of Truth and a multitude of other evolved spirits sowed in your own culture? Did good spirits only inspire Spiritist mediums, scientists, writers, etc.? We need to think Spiritism not as a painting on the wall, showing only one image, created decades or centuries ago, and that now requires constant restoration to continue to show some of its original splendor. No, we need to think Spiritism as a window that allows us to explore the entire cosmos.

So, can we study the works of Edgar Cayce or Barbara Ann Brennan in light of Spiritism? How about Arthur Conan Doyle, William Denton, William Walker Atkinson, Charles Leadbeater, Karl Popper, Rupert Sheldrake, Amit Goswami, and so many others. I have to be very honest at this point. So many Spiritists in the U.S., where I presently live, wish more Spiritist books originally written in Portuguese were translated to English. This is fair and understandable, however, how many American Spiritists (again, arguments and ideas here presented can be extended to all nationalities) have read and understood the basic books of Allan Kardec, all already translated to English? How many have read and understood the books from Chico Xavier dictated by André Luiz, also to the most part already available in English? Just those books are sufficient to provide a solid Spiritist foundation and provide the appropriate tools for further exploration. Then, why shouldn’t Spiritists study the spirit communications, ideas and research developed in their land not necessarily under a Spiritist perspective? Who are the scientists the spirits are inspiring nowadays? Where are them and what is their science? Listen, my friends, Spiritism is not a painting to hang on the wall, but window to explore the universe!

Do you happen to know the work of Edith Fiore, an American psychologist who emphasizes the importance of the aura to good health? She notes that the aura is for the emotional, mental and spiritual dimension of an individual just as the immunologic system is for the physical body. Isn’t it intriguing? So, what led her to arrive at those conclusions? How does this fit with the current Spiritist knowledge? Yes, you have much to learn with Brazilians, but you also have much to teach. In fact, so does the rest of this planet. If Brazil has the potential to be the heart of the world, what is the heart without a brain? More or less the same as a brain without heart, as both would be limited and impaired – therefore the need (and beauty) for collaboration.

To conclude, let me note that the Spiritist method is discussed here (https://oregonspiritistsociety.com/2017/06/10/spiritist-method/) and propose that more Spiritists dedicate their time to make sound analysis of relevant authors, thinkers and researchers in light of Spiritism. What is the objective support of their theories? If correct, what would be the consequences of such ideas to Spiritism? Could and should Spiritist groups work in partnership with research centers? How can we recover the Science that once was the cornerstone of Spiritism? We need scientists of the cosmos (internal and external)! To what extent can you say you contribute to this work?

If you liked this post, watch the youtube video we created with a similar and relater content:

Love, peace and light to all!

From Divine Spark to Free Will and Beyond

Based on article originally published in Portuguese by Paulo Henrique de Figueiredo at: http://revolucaoespirita.com.br/livre-arbitrio-espiritos-superiores. Translated to English and adapted by Rodolfo de Oliveira.

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St. Augustine  officially converted to Christianity on the year 386, when he became a priest in Milan, Italy. After living quietly in a farm, with relatives and some disciples, he suffered with the death of his mother caused by a fulminating disease. While awaiting the arrival of the ship that would take him back to his native land, which currently corresponds to the geographic location of Algeria, North Africa, he wrote the book “De libero arbitrio” (The free will). The concept of “free will”, which in the future would become a fundamental term of the Spiritist doctrine, was then born.

Augustine had in mind his own experience of life, a contrast between a youth filled with earthly excesses, particularly with women and night life; and now his dedication to the life of a monk. He pondered about the fundamental cause of evil. This was for him a key point of meditation.

At first, the manicheist hypothesis seduced him. An ancient idea, born from Zoroaster’s thoughts in the Arab world.  There would be two great forces, one for good and the other for evil, competing in the universe for supremacy and influence. But this current of thought was considered a heresy, false teaching, being opposed fiercely by Augustine himself.

In this period of history the doctrine of the church was in formation, and there was no place for diverse debates and opinion. The aim  was to establish undeniable dogmas. The problem of evil, hence, posed some fundamental points than ought to be observed. Firstly, God cannot be the creator of evil as this would contradict his infinite goodness. Secondly, evil couldn’t be an opposing force either, a power capable of putting at risk the divine supremacy in the universe. The whole of the understanding of reality cannot contain contradictions that would erode it, destroying its logic.

In his work, Augustine established that evil must proceed from the choice of man; a wrongful choice, different from the determination of the divine good – therefore evil. The cause of sin, then, lies in the free will of people, which is the potential to choose. Liberty, in turn, is the right choice. That is the difference between free will and liberty in his book.

The goods to which people are exposed in the world can be divided between superior goods, which are the virtues, and inferior goods, which are the pleasures of the body. Something’s are intermediary, middle goods, so to speak. Free will, for instance, was in this middle category. Augustine built a logic to classify the experiences of human beings, considering it as a union of two substances: the soul and the body.

When we are under divine grace, Augustine proposes, our choice is oriented to the higher goods, hence the good and the happiness, and later the divine rewards. This is the condition of liberty. On the other hand, when we act without grace, we choose inferior goods, exercising free will, and thus creating sin, the cause of misfortunes, sufferings and eternal punishment.

A millennium and a half later, the teachings of superior spirits, in the dialogues with Allan Kardec and other spiritist researchers, led them to a new explanation, adequate to modern times. The key point to comprehend the new understanding is that Augustine analyzed the issue considering that human life is one, and in it will be resolved its destiny. He also believed, as most of the ancient world, that the soul had been created perfect by God, with all virtues, and degenerated by sin. For the church, every human being is born with original sin, degenerating its essence.

Spiritism, however, was founded when mankind lived the awakening of a new era, determined by freedom of thought and freedom from systems and dogmas. It was not believed that the world would be destroyed by God to give way to paradise. Instead, it was believed that united and determined, it would be possible to regenerate humanity, creating a new world, in the path of happiness. The means would be education and acts of duty, which was the determined use of reason and free will. People choose only what they understand, so free will is subordinated to the use of reason. This is the fundamental importance of education in transforming humanity according to rational spiritualists, free-thinkers of the XIX century.

Society, studying morality independent of religious dogmas, was identifying a new place for free will, now associated with rational thought. But other doubts took place in the debate. Physical pleasures being also “good”, why would their pursuit be an evil? Nature could not oppose divine laws, after all God created both the material and the moral worlds. God would not establish a contradiction, a trap, a trick to submit humankind to error by deception. Pleasure is a natural impulse, everyone feels it, even animals.

The answer of the rational spiritualists, who dominated the moral sciences in Kardec’s time, was brilliant, as Paul Janet explains it in his Elementary Treatise of Philosophy (1879): “Pleasures are good, but they are not the principle of good.” It’s an idea to think about carefully! The materialists who regards pleasure as the fundamental impulse of good are confusing things. Pleasure is a natural good, for it leads human beings to their self-preservation, as well as the species. However, it is not the principle of moral good. The individual acts for the moral good when he freely and rationally chooses what is best for all, based on the moral laws present in its consciousness. Interesting, solves a lot, but does not explain everything properly.

An even better solution lies in spiritism. According to Kardec, spiritism is a complement to rational spiritualism, which was a dominant philosophical movement in the university of its time. The spirits teach, solving the question, that the soul is a progressive, evolving being, elaborating its potentials in three phases of its existence: soul (or spirit), intellect-moral and finally co-creator. Let’s explain this better.

The animistic phase goes from the atom to the higher animal. In this period, the spiritual principle is developed naturally by the impulse of the pleasures and pains, then governed by the instincts and passions, elaborating itself through the evolution of species. It passes through trillions of lives, experiencing the mineral, vegetable and animal states, without ever being conscious of this trajectory.

Then comes the human life, when the intellectual-moral evolution occurs. The soul, at this stage, begins simple and unlearned, that is, without morality and intelligence. In the first few lives, not much change is affected, Kardec explains, continuing the spirit under the infallible command of the instincts. After hundreds or thousands of lives, reason starts to bring forth the understanding. Only then does free will develop the capacity for rational choice, that is, with an understanding of the options. Only then the spirit becomes responsible for both the mistakes made and the progress made. It is important to stress: According to Spiritism, free will is a capacity that the spirit achieves progressively, sustained by reason.

 Finally, when the spirit awakens its virtues and overcomes all imperfections contracted over time, it begins to assume missions in the universe. It assists other spirits overcome their difficulties; become the protector spirit of someone; help a family, a group, a nation, a planet. It can then participate in the creation and evolution of the species of a planet, then acquire responsibilities to an entire solar systems, then galaxies and so forth. The co-creative spirits assist God in the establishment of universal harmony, voluntarily and cooperatively.

The reality of free will, thus understood, shows all its logic and purpose in divine creation. All developed spirits have come to this condition by their dedicated effort in thousands of lives, conquering each of their virtues, and overcoming any imperfection they may have experienced in their past. Like them, we are forgers of our own destinies and ability to act in the good.

We have already overcome the almost endless animistic evolution in the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms. We have overcome the thousands of first lives aimed solely to awaken intelligence and free will. We now must make use of these instruments of the soul to overcome attachments and imperfections, facing the challenges of life, and awakening the qualities that will be the tools to act in the universe in favor of universal harmony, our reason for being and source of true happiness.

 

Psychic Self-Defense in Multiple Relationship Domains

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Important preliminary point: People’s minds do not operate on their own, but in network. Our intellectual life takes place in a network that involves multiple intelligences (human being in physical and non-physical forms) in vibrational resonance. We are constantly surrounded and interacting with other intelligences that harmonize with us at some level. They are drawn to us due to common interests, desires, experiences, ties from the past, etc. The invisible world exerts significant influence upon us, good and bad. So common is this influence that we can say we are all mediums, just in different degrees of awareness and intensity of the phenomena. Our virtues, good intentions and efforts in a moral path connect us with intelligences aligned with such energies. Our vices, evil inclinations, flaws of character and rebellious behavior connect us with intelligences that align with such vibrations and allow them to influence us. Therefore, the most important aspect of our spiritual practice is in the moral realm (and any spiritual practice devoid of a moralizing factor can be considered dead and flawed). This is why Jesus advised us to “love our neighbor as we love ourselves”. The depth of such statement can’t be summarized in a few words, but we’d like to highlight the following aspects: 1. Know yourself. 2. Strive to love yourself to your highest potential. 3.  Because you love yourself, strive to rid yourself from all flaws of character you identify within yourself. 4. Love all other God’s creations to the limit of your ability.

“459. Do spirits influence our thoughts and actions? ‘They often direct both; their influence is greater than you suppose, for very frequently it is they who guide you.’ ” [1]

If the elements covered above are clear to you, we can now proceed to exploring our relationship with non-physical intelligences to a higher degree. Where do they come from?  How can they help or harm? How their influence fit in the perspective of inner reform, awakening to a spiritual life and contribution to the development of Earth?

Life exposes us to multiple forms of relationships. Relationships are critical to our development as each person with whom we interact work as a mirror of ourselves. In this sense, healthy relationships reflect our internal harmony and unhealthy relationships reflect our internal conflicts and dissatisfactions. While we are influenced by all relationships to some degree, some of them receive more of our own energy, dedication, time, etc. Our level of involvement, intimacy, vested interest and exposure naturally provide them a characteristic and proportional psychic intensity (strength, lasting effect, probability and nature of multiple psychic influences). In other words, where we spend most of our energy and time is also where we are probably most exposed to psychic influences and where those influences maintain the stronger and more lasting connection with us (psychic intensity). The nature of such influences will depend on our moral inclinations and the direction we give to our though and will – good or bad.

For instance, consider our life in society. We are influenced by our culture, customs, language, etc. In the society where we express ourselves, we have a good idea of what is accepted, rejected, supported or disdained in multiple situations. In many situations, however, we might feel like we don’t really need to care about people’s opinions regarding what we do or think. This is a clear indication that the societal domain typically has a low psychic intensity. Unless we gather their contact information, we might not re-encounter someone we talked to at a park or in a leisurely day at the beach. This is the same from an invisible perspective, so that most likely the intelligences (incarnated or discarnate) we interact with today in the societal relationship domain won’t be seen again tomorrow or ever. Relationships in the societal domain can be described as casual.

“Question 767. Is absolute isolation contrary to the law of nature? ‘Yes, since man instinctively seeks society, and since all men are intended to help forward the work of progress by aiding one another.’

Question 770. What is to be thought of those who live in absolute seclusion in order to escape the pernicious contact of the world? ‘The life of such persons is doubly selfish. In avoiding one evil, they fall into another, since they forget the law of love and charity.’” [1]

Now, consider our professional environment. This is already a much different relationship domain, with stronger psychic strength. In the professional domain, we are typically expected to attend specific physical locations where work takes place and interact regularly with the individuals whom are there. Because of the higher frequency of interaction, time of exposure, vested interest and energy spent in this environment, the relationships we maintain in this domain have a much stronger influence and impact over our psyche. We are more careful on our approach in this domain. Things we just wouldn’t care about in a societal relationship domain, when affecting the professional relationship domain might matter a lot more! For instance, some people might not care about screaming at someone in a traffic jam or being disrespectful somehow – but if we then learn that the person we interacted with is a co-worker, then things get a little different, isn’t it? Some people here in Oregon, for instance, enjoy attending to nudist sites. But how does it sound bumping into a co-worker there? Yeah, chances are it is not that cool! So, if we are clear about those two domains, let’s insert a new one into this picture. Let’s call it friendship circles. In this domain, relationships start getting more personal. We might not spend the same time we do at work with friends, but friends are people we get to know more intimately and that know us more deeply too. We typically have something in common with our true friends. In other words, we are in energetic or vibratory resonance with them – and naturally might harmonize with their invisible influences too. We are more opened to being ourselves around friends. In a professional setting, people are typically careful about the ideas and opinions shared. Among frinds, this is remarkably different. The emotional connection in this relationship domain is stronger, promoting an environment of safety and trust.

Continuing the logic developed thus far, we can now explore the relationship domain here described as the extended family. This domain is composed of those individuals connected by ties of family but that do not participate on the same household. We can change country, state, city, address. We can change jobs and friends, but family will always be family. It is true that the psychic intensity maintain with certain family members might not be as strong as perhaps some of a professional nature, but if a regular relationship is maintained, then there is a lasting factor of the family bonds that shouldn’t be neglected. In any case, the central point we are developing in this text is that different relationships have different psychic intensities. The relationship domains explored here are not supposed to be applicable in all case, but just theoretical frames of references that allow us to understand the logic of spiritual influences. The final relationship domains we’d like to note are the conjugal life and our relationship with ourselves. None of the former relationship domains noted here have the intensity, the lasting factor, the depth of intimacy and the demand of love and moral virtues observed in the conjugal life (assuming this relationship is taken seriously by the partners, of course). But if love partners have a deep bond established among them, no relationship can be as profound as that we have with ourselves. This is why most psychic influences happens within and affect our household environment and our relationship with ourselves – therefore the importance of knowing ourselves cannot be underestimated.

We hope that at this point it is abundantly clear that the multiple relationship domains we maintain have different levels of psychic intensity according to their own nature. This means, we are more likely to suffer spiritual obsessions (or spiritual attacks) coming from our family circles than from that leisurely day at the beach. This also means we will have more conflicts coming from our family circles that from that leisurely day at the beach… We should also not ignore such conflicts and simply focus on peacefully enjoying that leisurely day at the beach. Doing so would be a waste of time and an escape from the urgent need for inner reform. Remember, relationships are mirrors of ourselves and conflicts that are painful to us typically indicate something we have to revise within ourselves. But, just in case, let’s be a little clearer on this point. We are not instigating you to pick fights and engage in conflict. We are simply suggesting that our spiritual development only takes place when we successfully manage the conflicts within them – with love and maturity. A spiritually developed person is only that who can bring peace where there was anger and warmongering; hope where there was only despair and delusion, and light where a blinding darkness prevailed.

In a previous post from our site (“What is the measure of your spiritual wisdom?”), it was mentioned that the measure of our spiritual development is related to the quality and impact of our influence in the environments with which we engage. This influence takes place in all of those relationship domains. So what is your ability to make peace by inspiring others? What is your qualification to manage discordance with empathy, love and honesty? How much light do you bring to the multiple relationship domains you maintain? Are you inspired by a network of intelligences working for the common good of the cosmos or those that simply inspire you to do whatever is best for your own self-interest? Are you defending privileges or promoting a world of freedom and equal access to opportunities?

In order to develop adequate psychic self-defense, it is critical that we understand our personal goals in each of those domains. Where are we doing well, where are we failing. What do we want to achieve in each of them, and why. What to watch for and how/when to contribute. Start with your relationship with yourself and work your thoughts up to your relationship with your spouse, family, workplace and society. Remember that a consequence of operating in a network means that if we don’t know what we want, defend and care about – then other intelligences will fill the void. Therefore, it all starts by knowing who we are and what we stand for. If we don’t have a working compass for our relationship with ourselves, then most likely our other relationship domains won’t be functional either.

If we trust the spiritual realm has plans to bring peace and order to our world, than know that we are right, but they depend on human hands – which actually live in this world to do the job. They do this by inspiring those of us who want to learn to face conflict and transform ourselves. They understand that external changes can only be a natural consequence of internal reforms (see our post “Inner light to a brighter future”). We are their mediums, all of us who seek to change and make change. But, more than ask for change, we must be the change we want to see. Be the change, not forgetting that it starts with us, our relationships with those who are most dear to us, and so on… before impacting the whole of society. So, again, what positive impact are you making to yourself? How about your spouse or significant other? Family? Friends? Are you contributing to their development? Are you learning with your conflicts in those relationship realms? Are you inclined to peace, love, freedom, trust and good on them? Or you seek to dominate, dictate what’s right and wrong, acceptable or not, expected or not. Are you coherent with what you defend? Are your actions coherent with your speech and is your speech coherent with your mind? Are your head and hands occupied? Do you ONLY and ALWAYS employ words for good? How malicious and futile is your mouth? Do you fear silence and need to find ways to distract your mind (with alcohol, narcotic drugs, loud music, work stuff, sports, etc.)? Do you demand from others more than from yourself? Do you suppose the annoyances from others only indicate changes they need to make? Do you take others as ungrateful or evil? Are you easily influenced by money, power, fame or the need for appreciation and recognition? One more: do you know who you are and what you stand for? The following section has been extracted from The Gospel According to Spiritism, from Allan Kardec for being a remarkable good reference for moral development and psychic self-defense. Peace, love and much work to all!

 

Moral Persons [2]

Truly moral persons are those who practice the law of justice, love and charity in its greatest purity. If they question their conscience about their actions, they ask themselves if they have violated this law; if they have done any evil; if they have done all the good they could; if they have willingly disregarded any opportunity to be useful; if anyone might have a complaint about them; and, finally, if they have done unto others everything they would like to have done unto themselves.

They have faith in God, and in God’s goodness, justice and wisdom. They know that nothing happens without God’s permission, so they submit to the Divine Will in everything.

They have faith in the future; thus, they place spiritual possessions above temporal ones.

They know that all the vicissitudes of life, all its sorrows and all its disappointments are trials or expiations, and they accept them without complaining.

Persons imbued with the sentiment of charity and love for their neighbor do the good for its own sake without expecting anything in return, and they repay evil with good, defend the weak against the strong and always sacrifice their own interests to the interests of justice.

                They find their satisfaction in the benefits they spread around, the service they render, the happiness they promote, the tears they dry and the consolation they provide to the afflicted. Their first impulse is to think of others before thinking of themselves and to attend to the interests of others before their own. The selfish, on the other hand, calculate the profits and losses entailed in every generous act.

Moral persons are kind, humane and benevolent toward all regardless of race or creed, because they regard all people as their brothers and sisters.

They respect all sincere convictions that others might hold to and they do not anathematize those who do not think like they do.

In all circumstances charity is their guide; they tell themselves that those who harm others with malevolent words, who hurt others’ feelings with their pride and disdain, who do not recoil from the idea of causing suffering or difficulty, however slight, when it could be avoided, fail in their duty of love for their neighbor and do not deserve the Lord’s clemency.

They hold no hatred or rancor, or desire for vengeance. Following Jesus’ example, they forgive and forget offenses, and remember only good deeds, because they know that they will be forgiven according to how they themselves have forgiven.

They are indulgent toward others’ weaknesses, for they know that they themselves need indulgence, and they recall these words of Christ, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

They never take pleasure in searching for defects in others or in calling attention to them. If necessity forces them to do so, they always look for the good that might mitigate the evil.

They study their own imperfections and strive incessantly to combat them. All their efforts are focused on being able to say to themselves tomorrow that they are better than they were yesterday.

They do not seek to exalt their spirit or talents at the expense of others; instead, they seize every opportunity to point out what is praiseworthy in other people.

They do not gloat over their wealth or their personal advantages, for they know that everything that has been given to them can be taken away.

They use but do not abuse the possessions that have been accorded to them, for they know that they are a trust for which they will have to render an accounting, and that the worst use of them in regard to themselves would be to use them to satisfy their passions.

If the social order has placed others under their tutelage, they treat them with kindness and benevolence, because they are their equals before God. They use their authority to lift their morale and not to squash them with their pride. They avoid anything that could render their subordinates’ position more painful.

Those who are subordinate, on the other hand, understand the duties of their position and are scrupulous in consciously fulfilling them.

Finally, moral persons respect in their fellow beings all the rights arising from the laws of nature, in the same way they wish their own to be respected.

This is not a list of all the qualities that define moral persons, but whoever makes an effort to possess them is on the road that leads to all the others.

References

[1]: Kardec, Allan. The Spirits’ Book.

[2]: Kardec, Allan. The Gospel According to Spiritism.

The Spiritist Method of Study & How to Advance Spiritism Today

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Introduction

In this text, we will study what is the Spiritist Science, its Method of research and how it applies to your belief systems and your possible contributions to the emergence of spirituality free from dogmas and mysticism on Earth. In this process, we hope it will become clear that the antagonism between science and spirituality is only apparent. In our view, such antagonism stems from two factors: 1. The formal sciences reluctance to consider the existence of non-physical dimensions of nature and life, albeit sizable sum of evidence supports this idea. 2. Spiritualist and religious people’s reluctance to question and test their paradigms, entering the real of rational faith instead of blind faith. Both are trapped in their own dogmas and egoistic beliefs. Both are not prepared for the new millennia. So, if you also seek a solution for this dilemma, this text is also for you!

We live at a time when scientific research in fields such as quantum physics indicates the observer’s mind affects the result of the experiment (influence of mind over matter) and theoretical physicists work with models that predict the existence of perhaps even eleven dimensions. We live at a time when psychosomatic illnesses, physical imbalances caused by unhealthy states of mind, are seriously studied and acknowledged by at least part of the medical community. In this context, it becomes illogical, if not irrational, to continue to advocate the reduction of nature to only three dimensions of space and one dimension of time. Likewise, it is inappropriate for this modern humanity, equipped with research methods sufficiently advanced to demystify many of the mystical beliefs of the past, to continue to practice faith without reason. In fact, both science and spirituality reside together in the minds and hearts of the human beings ready for the new millennium. It is primarily for them that we write this text as only they would be able to live and appreciate Spiritism to its full potential. So, let’s start with what is Spiritism!

Spiritism is defined by its founder, Allan Kardec, as “the science that studies the origin, the nature and the destination of the spirits, as well as its relation with the corporeal world. It is at the same time a science of observation and a philosophy of moral consequences.” Compare it with a modern definition of science, such as “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of an object through observation and experiment” and it becomes obvious that two elements are essential for anything that aims to be designated as science: The object and the method of study of such object, which obviously must be adequate to the nature of such object. So, if pipettes are appropriate for the study of chemistry and scalpels to the study of medical anatomy, what are the instruments appropriate for the study of the spirit? Is it impossible to scientifically study realities not observed by our five basic senses? Allan Kardec did not see this impossibility and designed the Spiritist Science applying reasoning and adapted scientific methodologies to study spiritual phenomena and the ideas proposed by multiple spirits. However, before we delve into his Method, let’s clarify a few points about Spiritism itself as to avoid possible misconceptions about it.

“Spiritism is the new Science that comes to reveal to men, through indisputable proofs, the existence and nature of the spiritual world and its relationship with the corporeal world. It shows to us no longer as a super natural thing but, on the contrary, as one of the living and restlessly acting forces of nature, like the source of an immense number of phenomena hitherto misunderstood and thus thrown to the domain of fantastic and marvelous.” (Allan Kardec, The Gospel According to Spiritism, Chap. I, item 5.)

“Spiritism is, no doubt, a Science of observation, but it is perhaps even more a Science of reasoning and reason is the only means that can make it progress and triumph over certain resistances. Such fact is only contested if it is not understood. The explanation removes all of its marvelous character, referring it to the general laws of nature.” (Allan Kardec, The Spiritist Magazine, 1859)

“Spiritism is not a new religion as some people pretend it to be because they don’t know it, or a new sect that is formed by taking advantage of older ones. It is a purely moral doctrine with no dogmas and that allows each person the entire freedom of religion since it imposes none.” (Allan Kardec, The Spiritist Magazine – October 1861)

The Spiritist Method

Kardec was not a typical man of science. Like many of the great personalities who have revolutionized the world throughout history, he allied a rational and curious personality completed by a seemingly incorruptible character. He was not adept to any particular spiritualist line of thought, but a scientist seeking to gain scientific understanding of allegedly spiritual phenomena occurring with certain frequency in multiple parts of the globe (and only for this reason attracting his attention, or curiosity). As an ethical scientist, he remained neutral, observing the phenomena itself as the object of study and drawing conclusions only after careful consideration of relevant facts. Anyone who impartially read his books – especially The Mediums’ Book – would come to this same conclusion. This is important to note because he didn’t resort of science as a way to prove his own points, a practice unfortunately common to scientists and spiritualists. In fact, Kardec’s studies changed to a large degree his own ideas.

“I applied the experimental method to this science [Spiritism], not accepting preconceived theories. I observed carefully, compared and deduced consequences. By the deduction and chaining of the facts, I sought to raise from effects to causes, not admitting an explanation as valuable unless it could solve all the difficulties of the matter. That is how I always proceeded in my previous works since the age of 15.

I soon understood the seriousness of the task I was about to undertake, and saw on those phenomena the key to the so obscure and controversial problem of the past and the future of humankind, to which a solution I lived searching to find. It was therefore a complete revolution in the ideas and beliefs of the world. Hence, it was necessary to proceed with circumspection and not careless, to be positive and not idealistic, as not to let myself be led by illusions.” (Allan Kardec, Posthumous Works)

In developing his Spiritist studies, Kardec proceeded in the same way our “conventional” scientific studies are carried out, adopting a Method that allowed for a rigorous analysis of the reproduction of the phenomena, the logic of the theories proposed and their coherence with what can be objectively observed and with other concepts already proposed and verified. Kardec’s Method, in its thoroughness and simplicity, we venture to say, is probably the most revolutionary aspect of the doctrine itself, since most spiritual ideas proposed by Spiritism were already raised by other fields of human knowledge. Kardec, however, understood well the nature of spirit communications as an object of study and the pitfalls that the lack of a method of study could bring to Spiritist studies.

“One of the first results that I gathered from my observations was that the spirits, being nothing more than the souls of men, possessed neither the full wisdom nor the integral science; That their knowledge was confined to the degree of advance they had obtained, and that their opinion had only the value of a personal opinion. Recognized from the beginning, this truth preserved me from the grave choice to believe in the infallibility of the spirits and prevented me from formulating premature theories, based on what had been said by one or some of them.” (Allan Kardec, Posthumous Works)

If no spirit is infallible and a method of science to study Spiritism should be considered, it is of utmost importance that we explore the Spiritist Method in more detail – and that we ask whether we are preserving its considerations to date. According to J. Herculano Pires, the Spiritist Method can be summarized by:

  1. Selection of unsuspecting medium collaborators, both from a moral standpoint, and from the purity of faculties and spiritual assistance.

  2. Control of communicating Spirits, through the coherence of their communications and the content of their language.
  3. A rigorous analysis of the communications, from the logical point of view, as well as their confrontation with demonstrated scientific truths, putting aside all that cannot be logically justified.
  4. Universal consensus, that is, concordance of the various communications, given by different mediums, at the same time and in several places, on the same subject.

 

Now, let’s see if we can identify the various elements of this Method in action through Kardec’s own description of his Method applied to the analysis of the concept of reincarnation, offered by the spirits themselves:

“We repeat what we have already said about it, that when we were taught the doctrine of the reincarnation by the spirits it was so far off from our thoughts that we had envisioned a completely different system about the antecedents of the soul, system that is in fact shared by several people. Regarding this subject the doctrine of the spirits has surprised us. We go further: it contradicted us, since it knocked our own ideas down. Hence, it is far from being a reflection of those ideas. That is not all. We did not give in at the first clash. We fought back; defended our opinion; raised objections and only surrendered before the evidence and when we noticed the insufficiency of our system to solve all questions related to this issue”. (Allan Kardec, The Spiritist Magazine, 1858)

Kardec himself was initially contrary to the idea of reincarnation. The concept proposed by the spirits forced him to consider two mutually exclusive paradigms, which he analyzed in light of reason:

“If we do not accept the plurality of corporeal existences, it would be necessary to accept that the soul is created at the same time the physical body is being formed since from two, one is correct: either the soul that animates the body at time of birth has already lived before, or it has not. Between those two hypotheses there is no middle ground; Now, from the second hypothesis, that which defends the soul did not live before, a multitude of unsolvable problems arise”. (Allan Kardec, The Spiritist Magazine, 1862)

Among the “problems” faced when rejecting Reincarnation, Kardec pointed out:

  1. Why does the soul show so diverse aptitudes and independent from the ideas acquired by education?
  2. Where does the super-normal aptitudes towards Science and Art, in children of early age come from, while others remain mediocre or inferior their whole life?
  3. Where do the innate ideas that some present and others don’t, come from?
  4. Where do premature instincts of vices or virtues; innate feelings of dignity or inferiority, in certain children come from, contrasting with the environment where they were born?
  5. Abstraction made of education, why certain men are so more advanced than others?
  6. Why are there savages and civilized men? If you take a tribal man in his diapers and educate him in the best colleges, will you turn him into a Laplace or Newton?

 

So, let’s now summarize how Kardec dealt with information provided by the spirits that differed from his own point of view:

  • At first, he did not accept Reincarnation as a reality.
  • The spirits presented the idea of Reincarnation as a reality.
  • Kardec initially objected and argued, defending his own paradigm and collecting arguments, evidence, facts.
  • Then, Kardec considered both hypotheses in light of all evidence collected and exhaustively dialoguing with the greatest diversity of spirits possible.
  • Finally, between the two systems, the most logical and compatible with the observable objective reality prevailed.

 

This example demonstrates well how Spiritism can be understood as a “science for spiritual studies”, based on critical reasoning and logical assessments of information obtained from multiple and independent mediums, in multiple places at different times. At this point, let us be very clear that we do not advocate Spiritism as the only possible venue to study spirituality or non-physical realities.  This text simply advocates that due to its well-developed scientific methodology, Spiritism can offer a path for those who seek peace between their scientific and rational side and their spiritualized nature. Spiritism allows for a “sorting” of concepts that can withstand critical reasoning and those that do not – allowing people to continue to live and practice their spirituality at least relatively free from fantasies, vague concepts of reality, mystical ideas and dogmatism.

To support this claim, consider that the formal sciences only made important progress after their studies were based on controlled experimental methods. Why then should not spiritualist ideas be put to the test through a similar approach, so that advances can also be made in this area of ​​human knowledge? It is clear that the methods must be adapted to suit the nature of the object of study, but, after Kardec’s legacy, how will such studies be carried forward and by whom? This is the question we must address later in this text (after proper understanding of the Spiritist Method).

In the introduction to his first book, The Spirits’ Book, Kardec also notes the comments below, which are relevant to a clear understanding of the Spiritist science and some of the criticism it receives for intending to study non-physical realities under a scientific perspective. Read it considering that some scientific truths of the recent past are often seen as delusions nowadays and some of the present fiction/dreams will be explained truths in the future. Our history involves a constant evolution, with science and spirituality, both, experiencing hits and misses.

“When science goes beyond the tangible observation of facts and attempts to evaluate and explain those facts, the field is opened up to conjecture. Each individual develops a system of his or her own and they must do their utmost to relentlessly defend it. Contradictory systems are suggested and rejected every day, one right after the other, disparaged as absurd errors, and then later proclaimed as incontestable truths. Facts are the sole criterion of our judgment, the sole argument for which there is no retort. In the absence of facts, those who are wise remain skeptical.

For subjects that have been fully explored and studied, the opinions of the educated are fairly authoritative, because their knowledge is more extensive and enlightened than that of an ordinary person. However, with respect to new facts or principles or even the unknown, their opinions should only be considered hypothetical, because they are no freer from prejudice than anyone else. One can even argue that scientists are more likely to be narrow-minded than someone else, because each of them is naturally prone to look at everything from their particular point of view. A mathematician accepts no other proof than that demonstrated by algebra, while a chemist refers everything to the action of the elements, and so on. When individuals select a specialization, they usually dedicate their entire mind and efforts to it. Beyond the scope of this field, such an individual often makes false inferences because of an insistence on treating every subject in the same manner. This is the consequence of human weakness. Therefore, while we should confidently consult a chemist in matters pertaining to analysis, a physicist with regard to electricity, or a mechanical engineer about driving forces, we must grant no more authority to their unfavorable opinion of Spiritism than we should to the opinion of an architect on a matter pertaining to music. This we must do without detracting from the respect due to their special knowledge.

Physical sciences are based on the properties of matter, which may be experimented upon and manipulated as desired. In contrast, phenomena created by spirits are an effect of the action of intelligent beings who have wills of their own, and who continuously show us that they are not subjected to our whims. Therefore, observations cannot be carried out in the same manner because they require special conditions and a different point of departure. Insisting on submitting them to the same methods of investigation is to insist on assuming the existence of analogies that do not in fact exist. As a result, science is incapable of determining the truth of Spiritism. It has nothing to do with it and its conclusion, whether favorable or otherwise, is of no bearing whatsoever.

Spiritism is the result of a personal conviction that scholars may hold as individuals, and is completely independent of their scientific notions. To submit the question to the decision of physical science would be the same as appointing a group of physicists and astronomers to settle the existence of the soul. Spiritism deals exclusively with the existence of the soul and its state after death. It is completely irrational to assume that someone must be a great psychologist simply because they may be a great mathematician or anatomist. When anatomists dissect a human body, they look for the soul, and, because they do not find it through the use of their scalpels, in the same way that they find a nerve, or do not see it evaporate like gas, they conclude that it does not exist. They reach this conclusion because their reasoning stems from an exclusively material point of view.

This by no means signifies that they are right and that the rest of the world is wrong. Following this line of reason, we conclude that the task of determining the truth or fallacy of Spiritism does not fall within the realm of science. When Spiritist beliefs have become widespread and accepted by the masses, which, if estimated by the speed at which they are currently being spread, is a time not very far off, the same will apply as with all new ideas that have encountered opposition. Scholars ultimately yield to the force of evidence. They will individually admit ideas that they now reject and, until that time, it would be premature to distract them from their special studies with something that is foreign to both their school of thought and field of research.

Meanwhile, those who denounce Spiritism without having a thorough understanding of the subject, and expose to ridicule those who do not submit to their way of thinking, forget that such has been done in regard to nearly every great discovery unearthed by humankind. They run the risk of being grouped among the members of the academic assembly who, in 1752, laughed at Benjamin Franklin’s paper on lightning rods and branded it worthless rubbish; or among those who caused France to miss out on the opportunity of pioneering the use of steam in shipping by labeling Robert Fulton’s plans an impracticable dream. And yet, both of these concepts not only proved to be true, but also went on to make great contributions to humanity. If those two assemblies, which included the leading minds of the world among their members, had nothing but disdain and sarcasm for ideas that they did not understand, but which were destined to revolutionize science, industry, and daily life a few years later, how may we expect that another unfamiliar subject should be met with any greater degree of respect?

The errors of some, though unfortunate for the honor of their memory, do not invalidate our esteem in regard to other matters. Common sense is not dictated by an official diploma, and there are fools both inside and outside the walls of academic institutions. We ask our adversaries to simply glance over the supporters of Spiritism and determine whether they see only uneducated and irrational individuals, or whether, despite the immense number of respectable individuals who have accepted it, Spiritism can be regarded as an old wives’ tale. In fact, their character and scientific knowledge should inspire people to think, ‘If these persons believe in this, there must be something to it.'” (Allan Kardec. The Spirits’ Book)

Before concluding this section, it is important we consider one more excerpt, this time from the article “General Control of the Spirits’ Teachings”, published by Kardec in 1864. Here it should be highlighted the importance Kardec attributed to the spontaneity of the communication in different parts of the globe and to different, independent mediums.

“The concordance in the teaching of the spirits is, therefore, the best control; but we still need that it occurs under certain conditions. The least certain of all is when a medium himself/herself interrogates several spirits on a dubious point; it is very evident that if he/she is under the dominion of an obsession, and if he/she has business with a deceiving spirit, this spirit can tell him/her the same thing under different names. There is, no more, a sufficient guarantee of the conformity which can be obtained by the mediums of a single center, because they may suffer the same influence. The only serious guarantee is in agreement that exists among spontaneous revelations, by means of a large number of strange mediums to each other, and in various countries. It is then conceived that such communications are not concerning to secondary interests, but rather to the very principles of the doctrine. Experience proves that when a new principle should receive its solution, it is taught spontaneously on different places at the same time, and in an identical way, if not in form, at least in principle. If, then, a spirit formulate an eccentric system, based solely on its ideas and out of the truth, one can be sure that this system will be circumscribed, and will fail the test of unanimity of the instructions given by all other parties, as has already occurred many times. (Allan Kardec, The Spiritist Magazine, 1864).

For Allan Kardec, the moral character, universality and concordance of spirit revelations confers to the Spiritist Science strength and authority. It is in the universal concord of rational and moral ideas spontaneously offered by the spirits that lies the best proof of safety of new spiritual teachings. Therefore, if adopting the same rationale, for a new concept to be admitted into the Spiritist body of Knowledge, it must be originated from teachings of multiple evolved spirits to various mediums across the world. As to identify this condition, the following criteria is proposed – offering a similar although individually conceived perspective to the criteria noted earlier on in this text and proposed by J. Herculano Pires.

  • Internal Coherence: The concept should not conflict with fundamental elements already incorporated to the Spiritist Science unless it clearly indicates a conceptual flaw admitted previously by mistake.
  • Grounded Rationality: The concept should be analyzed critically and logically in light of all observable evidence (not necessarily of material nature!).
  • Spontaneity & Universality: The concept should be obtained spontaneously by multiple and reliable mediums independent from each other and in multiple places (ideally multiple countries).
  • Verification: The concept should be verified through dialog with the greatest possible number of spirits of all degrees of advancement.

 

A Proposal for the Advancement of the Spiritist Science

The initial sections of this text were devoted to explaining the Spiritist Method and clarifying the necessary conditions that must be observed for new concepts to be assimilated into the Spiritist body of knowledge. We covered a lot of theory, and now should develop practical plans seeking to answer how Spiritism can be safely developed nowadays. Moreover, how can we, me and you – regardless of whether we are ostensible mediums, contribute to the progress of the Spiritist Science (and your spiritual development in the process)? The ideas here presented are not intended to constitute a final work proposal, but a step forward towards a further widespread practice of Spiritist studies, similar to what was maintained by Kardec at his time – and that constituted the Spiritist Science. We argue that recovering this scientific side of Spiritism protects it from natural dissolution by individual misunderstandings, misinterpretations, wrongful associations of ideas, etc. We also consider that recovering this scientific side of Spiritism allows it to continue to make safer steps forward in the human understanding of the physical and non-physical realities of the cosmos (now happening at a global scale), while ignoring it could naturally lead Spiritism to the status of a human religion and the natural consequences that it entails.

“No science exists that has come forth from a single man’s brain. All, without exception, are the result of successive observations, supported by previous observations, as in a known point, to reach the unknown. This is how the spirits proceeded, in relation to Spiritism.” (Allan Kardec, Genesis)

There was a time when religion and spirituality could be practiced through blind faith in a single book or a single person. This practice is destined to fall into shortcomings and excesses of all sorts and in our view, is not suitable for rational minds, ready to reason the causes and consequences of ideas. So, what is the spiritual practice of the awakened minds? We see it as being that of collaboration, of plurality of ideas, of humble and honest search for knowledge and inner development. This practice, however, cannot suit the flaws of character of those locked in their own pride, wishing to impose their beliefs on all and make the world cater to their needs. This practice is inadequate to those who are still constrained by sects of knowledge, closed to new paradigms and our urgent need to recycle ideas and make change. This practice is not adequate to those who do not question their own certainties. It is not adequate to those still attached to syntax rather than meaning. It is also not adequate to those who seek meaning without labor and study. This practice is for those who consciously celebrate freedom and diversity, knowing how to coexist among individuals who express opposing ideas. If alone we are tremendously limited, united we more thoroughly are able to reach the truth.

It is with this spirit of cooperation that we invite all of those inspired by this article, all of those touched by the Spiritist Science, all free thinkers and rational spiritualists to collaborate with this work. It is with the honest intention to promote progress in our understanding of the multiple dimensions of the cosmos and their intrinsic inter-dependency that we convene the rationale here exposed and it is clear to us that with the sum of additional minds this original proposal could be perfected.

Proposal

The spiritual world has offered us vast material for research in the form of thousands of books, let alone uncountable letters and messages, written through independent mediums in different places and different times. Spiritism itself has now spread through multiple countries and the internet can be used to suitably and safely (considering the proper precautions) connect us across multiple geographies. All of this material, allow us to carry out extensive studies of new concepts proposed by the spirits. This work cannot be performed by anybody or any specific group alone; it belongs to all of us and should be carried out according to the principles of collaboration and charity, thought by Jesus and incorporated to the Spiritist Science from its beginnings. No one is better than everyone! Our proposal, therefore, is that individuals and groups of individuals interested in studying the Spiritist Science (particularly those interested in writing about it or teach it) identify topics of interest and conduct studies according to the Method here proposed. It is critical that we look for the harmony of the teaching and use only primary reference sources. It is only though the universal concord of rational and moral ideas spontaneously offered by the spirits that we can safety contribute to the progress of Spiritism.

Considering this, the reader will note with a simple visit to the Oregon Spiritist Society’s website (www.oregonspiritistsociety.com) that such endeavor has been started through the development of articles published in this website. Everyone is encouraged to challenge or support the ideas and concepts there proposed, indicating new reference sources and/or any new relevant facts. Everyone is invited to develop new studies and share them with this group, so we can also contribute to such studies. As this collaborative effort progresses, new interesting ideas might be uncovered and evaluated according to the Spiritist Method, so as to be either demystified or confirmed. Individual errors of judgment can hopefully be compensated by our collective voice and the Spiritist Science can be practiced and studied on a safer landscape, especially when venturing beyond the topics brilliantly covered by Allan Kardec. The goal then is to form a network of scientists of the spirit devoted to studying the spirit communications and non-physical realities utilizing the Spiritist Method as a mean to advance this Science and prevent its loss through the irresponsible sharing of seemingly good ideas that do not pass through all the scientific boundaries established by Kardec himself for the advancement of Spiritism.

Therefore, those interested in conducting Spiritist research following the general parameters noted by this text are encouraged to contact the Oregon Spiritist Society and/or submit research material for this group’s publishing consideration on its website. Articles submitted for consideration will pass through a preliminary review by the group and if needed, other external collaborators, before being published in the group’s website for further collaboration of others. In any case, collaborators can also publish research material in their own websites, blog or any other online platform and invite us to collaborate with their content material on their platform.

We would like to conclude this article asking the reader (especially those working in Spiritist centers or often representing Spiritism in some fashion): how can you be sure you are educating others correctly regarding the Spiritist Science? Are you observing the Spiritist Method when incorporating new knowledge into your own viewpoints of the Doctrine, your texts, speeches and public communications? You are responsible for what you divulge and good intention (especially after reading this article – sorry!) alone might not be good enough. What are the standards you apply to the quality of your work? It is never enough to note that in the Spiritist Magazine of 1867, the following communication was provided as a warning that the strategy of spirits devoted to slowing down the progress of Spiritism (as a way to hamper the progress of humanity) was to dissolve Spiritism from within:

“You will see the consolidation of Spiritist meetings where the confessed aim will be the support of the Doctrine and the secret purpose will be its undoing; Supposed mediums will have the command communications appropriate to their objectives; Publications that, under the cloak of Spiritism, will strive to demolish it; Doctrines that will lend some of their ideas to Spiritism, but with the goal to supplant it. This is the struggle, the real struggle to be overcome, and that will be pursued with obstinacy [by the invisible opposition of Spiritism], but out of which the strongest will be victorious.” (Allan Kardec, Spiritist Magazine, 1867)

Therefore, if not for the development of the Spiritist Science, then for its preservation – be concerned with the quality and trustworthiness of what you share. It was considering all the elements shared in this article that we developed the proposal here presented (and it is for the same reasons that the Oregon Spiritist Society have adjusted the form of the lectures and publications it issues) – however, real progress can only be achieved through collaboration. As a simple example, Chico Xavier, one of the most trusted and celebrated mediums of recent times, has reached the count of 500 books published. Who can read all of them, compare the information with what has been shared with other mediums in other geographies and languages, make a rational analysis of the material in light of reason alone as well as in light of the Spiritist Science and write about the findings? Again, Spiritism can only progress through charity and collaboration! So, let’s talk? How can we contribute to each other?

 References

  • Pires, J Herculano. Ciência Espírita, FEESP.
  • Kardec, Allan. The Spirits’ Book.
  • Kardec, Allan. The Gospel According to Spiritism.
  • Kardec, Allan.
  • Kardec, Allan. Posthumous Works.
  • Kardec, Allan. Spiritist Magazine – multiple articles from multiple years.

 

The Link Between Men and Animals

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Basic Initial Clarifications

The objective of this article is to discuss the title’s subject matter from the standpoint of the research conducted by the author and in light of his own understanding of the Spiritist science. Therefore, all ideas here presented are not intended to reflect the Spiritist consensus on the topic, but instead, and noting again to ensure transparency on this matter, the current perspective of the author(s) of the article based on research conducted and considering the following research model:

  1. Multiple messages obtained through mediumistic means are presented and compared.
  2. The philosophy and theories developed are evaluated in light of the body of knowledge already accepted by the Spiritist science.
  3. The philosophy and theories developed are critiqued from a rational perspective and considering any objective evidence that can be used to reason their validity.

                Anyone who would like to present evidence or logical arguments that either confirm or refute the ideas here presented is highly encouraged to do so (this is how we do Spiritist science!), as to collaborate to elevating the quality of this work. Dire to question, dire to reason your own beliefs – since unshakable truths are only those which can confront reason face to face in all epochs of humanity.

Early Spiritist Studies

To appropriately cover the topic of elementals (or spirits of nature as noted in the Spiritist codification produced by Allan Kardec) and the progress of animals towards human beings, one of the most controversial within Spiritism at Kardec’s time, it is convenient to start with a brief summary of early Spiritist studies on this topic.

Kardec first covered this topic in the first edition of the Spirit’s book, in 1857. After revisions to the Spirit’s Book were implemented t arrive at its final version, in 1858, the topic remained in suspension as no conclusion could be formulated at that time – which is natural as not even the theory of Evolution of Species of Charles Darwin was published at the time. It is thus that we have the following within the Spirit’s Book of 1858:

“(…) all spirits do not think alike with regard to the relations that exist between humans and animals. According to some, the spirit can only incarnate as a human after passing through the different degrees of the lower beings of creation. According to others, people have always belonged to the human race, without passing through the various degrees of the animal world.”[1]

The topic continued to be explored and studied within Spiritist circles. In parallel, Darwin brought about a revolution when introducing the idea of evolutionary biology. In the Spiritist Magazine of 1860, an important message has been received which is strikingly related to a contemporary message to be provided later  in this text. Here I mention this simply as to highlight the progression of ideas that you will be able to observe throughout this text. This progression of ideas will then explain why the spirits talked about animals in Happy worlds, such as Jupiter – which to some extent seem excessively mystical and dubious.

“The world is a huge staircase whose elevation is infinite, but whose base rests on a horrible chaos. What I mean is that the world is nothing else but a constant evolution of creatures. You are very low. Despite that, there are many others below you. That is because, listen well, I don’t speak about your planet only but every planet in the Universe. Don’t be afraid though, since we shall limit ourselves to planet Earth.

Before that, however, a couple of words about a planet called Jupiter, from which the ingenious and immortal Palissy has given you some strange and supernatural insights for your imagination. Remember that in one of those remarkable drawings he depicted some animals from Jupiter. Isn’t there an evident progress in them? Could you deny a level of superiority in them over the Earthly animals? Would you still see only an evolution of the form and not of intelligence, considering that the activities that they execute cannot be performed by the animals from Earth? I only mention that example to you in order to indicate already a superiority of creatures that are well below you. How about if I mentioned every globe that I know, which is about, five or six? Even on Earth, observe the existing difference among them. Then! If the variation in form is so wide, so progressive, that there is an even physical evolution, could you deny the spiritual progress to those creatures? Well then, know this, that if matter evolves, even the lowest, even more so the spirit that animates it. (Message from the spirit Charlet).

Note: In the August 1858 issue we published a plate drawn and engraved by the spirit of Bernard Palissy, representing Mozart’s house in Jupiter, with a description of that planet, which has always been described as one of the most advanced in our planetary system, morally and physically. The same spirit provided a large number of drawings about the same subject. There is one among them which shows a scene with animals, playing in the area reserved for their dwelling, at Zoroaster’s house. It is, no doubt, one of the most interesting of the collection. Among the portrayed animals there are some with a form closely resembling the Earthly human form, at the same time showing something of the ape and of the satyr. Their action indicates intelligence and it is clear that their structure may be adequate to manual labor that they execute to human beings. The animals, as they say, are the servants and the servers, since human beings are only given to intelligent work. That is the reference used by Charlet above, to a drawing made more than three years ago.” [2]

In a later message, the same spirit, Charlet, notes:

“In the more advanced worlds, the animals are so much advanced that the strictest orders are passed to them by the word, whereas among you it is frequently by beating. In Jupiter, for example, one word is enough whereas among you even the whip does not suffice. There is, however, a sensible progress in your Earth which has never been explained: it is the fact that the animal evolves. Thus, in former times the animals were much more rebellious to human beings. There is also progress on your side for having understood their improvement since you forbid yourself of mistreating them. I was saying that there is moral progress in the animal. There is also a progress in their condition. In that way a poor horse, mistreated, hurt by a carter even more than the animal, will be comparatively in a much better condition, happier than its executioner. Isn’t that in all fairness and should we be surprised by the fact that a suffering, beaten animal, be rewarded for having endured a life of torture? God is just before anything else and all creatures are ruled by his laws which states: ‘every weak creature which has suffered shall be rewarded’. Always comparatively, I dare say and add that the animal sometimes has more soul, more heart than humans in many circumstances.” [2]

In 1860, though, Kardec had not drawn any conclusions regarding the evolution of animal souls into human. The topic is only considered resolved in 1865, when he writes:

“This explanation, as we see, concerns the grave question of the future of animals. We will deal with it soon enough, because it seems to us sufficiently elaborated, and we believe that we can, from today, consider it as settled in principle, by the agreement of the teaching“[3]

The explanation, can be summarized by the following excerpt:

“In the lower beings of creation, in those in which the moral sense does not exist and in which the intelligence is not yet but in the state of instinct, the fight could have no other objective but the satisfaction of a material necessity. Now, one of the most imperative material needs is that of nutrition; they struggle only to live, that is to say, to take or defend a prey, because they could not be stimulated by a higher objective. It is in this first period that the soul is elaborated and rehearsed for life. When it reaches the degree of maturity necessary for its transformation, it receives from God new faculties: free will and moral sense, divine spark in a word, which give a new course to its ideas, endow it with new aptitudes and new insights. But the new moral faculties of which it is endowed are only developed gradually, because nothing is abrupt in Nature. there is a transitional period where man is difficult to distinguish from the animal. In these early ages, the animal instinct dominates, and the struggle still has for furniture the satisfaction of material needs; later, animal instinct and moral sentiment counterbalance each other. Man then fight, not to nourish themselves, but to satisfy their ambition, their pride, the need to dominate: for all of those things it is still necessary for man to destroy. But, as the moral sense prevails, sensitivity develops, the need for destruction is reduced to the point it ends up being completely extinguished and turned into a hateful thing: man has horror of blood. However, the fight is always necessary for the development of the spirit, because even this point, which seems to us to be culminating, is far from perfect; it is still through activity that the spirit acquires knowledge, experience, and divest itself of the last vestiges of animality. But then the fight, which was bloody and brutal, becomes purely intellectual; man then fights against its difficulties and not against its peers.” [3]

This is a beautiful summary that shows a logical progression of the spirit in the animal reign towards humans. Consciousness, as we should naturally expect, develops slowly and continually. This is also in full agreement with the perspective that in our initial human existences we are simple and ignorant. It also gives us a good perspective to infer the place of Earth human inhabitants in the larger perspective of the universe’s humankind.

In 1865, then, the controversy observed in the Spirit’s book (back in 1858) is settle and the Spiritist understanding becomes that indeed the spirit can only incarnate as a human after passing through the different degrees of the lower beings of creation.

Here I’d also like to open a parenthesis to make a related point addressed to all of those engaged in understanding the Spiritist science. As you can see by what has been exposed thus far, Spiritism does not have sacred books. The “religious” approach of referring to a sacred book (or a collection thereof) where all philosophical answers can be found does not work for Spiritism because the Spirits’ teachings are progressive, dependent on our ability to understand what is being taught and a myriad of other factors. In any case, Spiritism is to be studied,  carefully and  Constantly. The Spirits’ teachings require comparisons, questions, reasoning and careful consideration against the body of knowledge already incorporated to the doctrine. This means also that the Spirits’ Book, being the first book published by Kardec, is far from being the final or even major reference to Spiritist science as codified by Kardec. Have you studied (not read, but studied, compared, scratching notes, questions, etc.) all books published by Kardec in their order of publishing? How many editions of the Spiritist Magazine have you read? Think about it!

Recent Studies

Now, back to our topic of study, I’d now like to cover how the transition from animal to human takes place according to two different spirit communications and I hope it will make sense why the spirits often mentioned the more evolved state of animals in Happy Worlds when approaching this topic at Kardec’s time – as observed in the message from 1860 we reproduced here.

“We will approach the progress of animals which are in their final phase of transition between the animal and the [human] spirit. (…)

If we make a comparison between the animals of the world Starlight [a world that, according to the spiritual author, was about eighteen thousand and two hundred years ahead of Earth, in evolutionary terms, at the time Jesus was incarnated on Earth] and those of Earth, the evolutionary distance between them is at the same distance as that of the men of today in relation to primates who inhabited caves. (…) The animals nowadays are now domesticated by man and learn so many things that really surprise us. Imagine in a few thousand years! (…) If we did a thorough analysis, these spirits found in those worlds [more evolved, particularly Happy Worlds as per the Spiritist classification of worlds], would not be considered animals in comparison to terrestrial animals, they would be considered hominal spirits.

Explaining better the issue of the missing link [between animals and men], which is a great puzzle to most scholars seeking clarification on Earth, we find no other way to speak about these animal spirits of the blessed worlds. When these intelligent principles inhabit animal bodies in a more perfect form and reach a certain degree of intellectual evolution, they begin to inhabit these worlds where a process of transitioning them to Happy Worlds is carried out. (…)

The animals that inhabit the superior worlds are those that have reached a greater degree of evolution. Those who are in the spiritual plane are more evolved than those of the planet Earth, except for those who have disincarnated there [on Earth] and are waiting for their next reincarnation [on Earth] to continue their evolution. These animals are still attached to the physical world, but you may consider that the animals that are working on the spiritual plane are far more evolved than the others. (…)

In the world Starlight, their sorting is done as follows: The agents of farms that have laboratories conduct intellectual experiments to test the animals’ I.Q.. They place them [the animals] to conduct certain activities and observe those that do well. Those who can do the job better and more quickly are separated from the others. The agents continue t perform this sorting, alternating the animals’ job duties. When they master themselves, they are given the task of guiding those inferiors to them. In this condition, they cease to be commanded and become commanders. Among the Bedouins on planet Earth, the leader takes the lead using brute physical force. In the higher worlds one becomes a leader who is more intelligent. At the moment they begin to command, they also begin to reason because they have the ability to have a continuous thought, to plan what to do to as to effectively carry out the task. Then, animals that are in the condition of command, begin to reason and in that way they are perfecting their work and using attributes that make them faster, more constructive and perfect. (…)

The higher spirits who work in this organization constantly devote to them fraternal feeling and love, so the animals feel as if they were their real children. With the affection that these spirits pass on to them and the great support they receive, they are motivated to continue, more and more, seeking a greater degree of intellectual progress. It’s like a wheel that cannot stop to keep up with the rhythm of the speed. After many millions of years of experience in various sectors of the work of intellectual awakening, the animals also create, by their own efforts, a spiritual atmosphere around them. In this way they give rise to their perispiritual form through the effort of their own labor and their own mind, fed by thoughts and the repetitive moments of elaborating and planning what they have been doing for a long time in the spiritual realm.

When acquiring continuous thought, their perispirit does not disintegrate anymore. The animal has conquered the individuality by his own effort, its work and the help of the spiritual benefactors who intuit them and encourage them to work. Between them and the spiritual friends, there is also a bond of friendship and gratitude. They discarnate. Start to have a spiritual life and change their bodies. In spirituality, they adopt a more sublime and delicate perispirit, being even more opened to receiving help from their spiritual benefactors.

This is the transition point. Animals, with all affection and love, are then taken to primitive worlds. They go through a process of “incarnation”, not in physical body, but in the spiritual dimension of these worlds, so that they may have a new body, a new life; living as elementals [Kardec refer to Elementals as Spirits of nature] who have the role of working in nature, carrying out heavier duties in the preparation of these worlds, so that, one day, they may be able to receive them. Remembering that in the elemental realm these spirits who act in the nature have great intuitive capacity to receive inspirations and orientations of the superior spirits and thus, their works can be executed in perfect harmony. However, the instinct of conservation remains very strong throughout their life trajectory, since they need to develop, more and more, the capacity for reasoning.

These spirits are led by higher spirits. (…) In this trajectory within the elemental kingdom, they will still live for billions and billions of years until it is time to have their first experience reincarnating as a man. In the first few times they will still have severe difficulties, since the spirit, when reincarnated, loses immense potential. So that we can estimate the loss, when the spirit is disincarnated it has its reasoning capacity at one hundred percent. (…) But when it reincarnates, it can only absorb, after much effort and dedication, twenty percent of what it brings in its evolutionary baggage.”[4]

Another reference indicates a similar perspective. Besides the reference to Christ, note the similarities between the animals evolution passing through continuously more evolved worlds until they reach their most evolved state as an animal of a Happy World. Then, they are sent to Primitive worlds where they first work as elementals until they are able to experience their first human incarnations.

“To this date, the scientists on Earth look for the so called “lost link”. They are after concrete evidence, material proof of the union between the animal and the human being and seek to identify the exact moment when this would have occurred. In vain. The spirits of nature, beings that completed their evolutionary process in the previous kingdoms to  the human species, live in the transition phase, which we call elemental. However, the process of humanization, or, more precisely, the sidereal instant in which they acquire the light of reason and become human spirits, only Christ knows. Jesus, as the ultimate representative of the Father on the planet Earth, is the only one who has the science and power to grant these beings the light of reason. And this does not take place on Earth, but in special worlds, prepared for this kind of transition. Kardec himself, whom I was able to study while still incarnated, addresses the existence of these worlds in The Spirits’ Book.

When the right timing comes, these beings are led to transition words in a sleeping state and, under the direct interference of Christ, they will awaken in his presence, possessors of the eternal flame of reason. From then on, they are sent to primitive worlds, where they will experience their first incarnations in the humanities of these orbs. This is the reason for the failure of the scientists search: they seek, on Earth, the connecting link, the missing link between the animal world and the human world. They will never find it. The evidence is not on planet Earth, but belongs exclusively to the cosmic plane, administered by Christ.” [5]

Two messages are still not enough to form definitive conclusions, but it’s interesting to note the logical content of the paradigm presented, indicating that indeed there are many dwellings in the father’s mansion and as human beings we have already lived in many of them. The ideas here presented also show the first human incarnation as a point when the now human spirit is “simple and ignorant”, in harmony with a basic Spiritist understanding. There is a clear harmony with the logical expectation of progressive intellectual development and a beautiful solidarity among beings of different levels of evolution.

Bonus: But what really are Elementals?

Let’s start with two questions from the Spirit’s Book.

Question 537: The mythology of ancient civilizations is entirely based on Spiritist ideas with the difference that they viewed spirits as deities. They represented those gods with special attributes; some controlled the wind, others lightning, while others ruled over plants and vegetation, and so on. Is this belief groundless?

“It is so groundless that it is far from having any semblance of truth.”

a) By the same reason could spirits somehow inhabit the core of the Earth and rule over the development of geological phenomena?

“Those spirits definitely do not live within the Earth, but they direct its developments according to their various terms. One day you will receive an explanation of all these phenomena, and you will then understand them better.Do the spirits who exert power over natural phenomena act intelligently and with conscious intent, or from an instinctive and irrational impulse?

Question 540: Do the spirits who exert power over natural phenomena act intelligently and with conscious intent, or from an instinctive and irrational impulse?

“Some act in one way, and others in another. Let us make a comparison: think of the hosts of animals that gradually formed islands and archipelagos in the ocean. Do you think that the transformation of the Earth’s surface has no Divine purpose and is not necessary to general harmony?”

“All this is accomplished by animals of the lowest degree that are simply providing for their physical needs without being aware that they are God’s instruments. In the same way, spirits of the most rudimentary degrees are useful to the general whole. While preparing for life, and before having full awareness of their acts and of their free will, they act upon certain phenomena in which they are the unwitting agents. They begin by executing the orders of their superiors and when their intelligence is more developed, they direct the processes of the material world. Further along, they are able to direct the effects of the moral world. This is how everything is useful, everything in nature is linked together, from the original atom to the archangel, who began as an atom. This is an admirable law of harmony that your mind is still too narrow to fully comprehend.”

We see that the spirit’s clearly didn’t want to approach the topic in great detail at that time. Now, let’s see some additional information, more contemporary, provided by Robson Pinheiro’s book Aruanda.

“Elementals are beings that have not yet passed through the stage of humanity. Originating from the lower realms of nature and more specifically from the animal kingdom, they have not yet entered the human species. For this reason they bring a very intense instinctive and primary content. For them, man is a god. It is customary, even natural, to obey the human being and, in this process, they bind to man intensely. Therefore, my son, every medium is responsible not only for the communications given through him/her, but also for his/her good or bad use of these powers and beings of nature. (…)

Goblins and gnomes are elementals linked to forests and, many of them, to deserted places. They have a dwarf form, reminiscent of the human aspect. They like to walk through the woods and forests, giving signs of their presence through snakes and birds. (…)

The ondines are linked more specifically to streams, springs, as well as the dew near these places. We cannot fail to also mention their relation to the rain. (…) The nymphs, elementals that resemble the ondines, present themselves with the spiritual form involved in a blue aura and radiate intense luminosity. (…)

We also have elementals that relate to the earth, which we call avissais. They are usually associated with rocks, underground caves, and sometimes come to the surface. They act as transformers, converting material elements into energy. They are also precious helpers in the work of good spirits, especially when there is a need to create clothing and clothing for materialized spirits. As they are connected to the earth, they bring a quota of primary energy essential for the reconstitution of the perispiritual appearance of materialized entities, including at times when they have lost the human form or feel as having their limbs and organs torn apart.” [5]

Reference

[1] Kardec, Allan. The Spirits’ Book.

[2] Kardec, Allan. Spiritist Magazine of 1860.

[3] Kardec, Allan. Spiritist Magazine of 1865.

[4] Resende, Izoldino. Planeta Terra em Transição (Planet Earth in Transition). 2012. Dictaded by the spirit Ismael through psychofony.

[5] Pinheiro, Robson. Aruanda. 204. Dictated by the spirit ângelo Inácio through psycography.