The question of the origin of the human spirit, our soul, the beginning of our immortality has been in the forefront of introspective questioning by humankind since the beginning of time. While some may believe that we are mere material beings who disappear forever upon physical death, many of us understand the presence of God, the Supreme Intelligence of the universe. We have faith that we have a soul. How did we arrive at being a distinct soul, a spirit is the question explored in this article.
In the 1850’s Allan Kardec, wrote a series of questions that he distributed to multiple mediums throughout Europe. He only published the answer if the mediums came back with a similar answer. From this technique The Spirits Book was written.
Allan Kardec, in his questioning of high spirits, didn’t receive a clear answer, therefore he wrote;
“The starting-point of spirit is one of those questions which have reference to the origin of things, and to the secret design of God. It is not given to man to comprehend them completely, and he can only form, in regard to them, suppositions and theoretic systems, more or less probable…
It is thus, for example, that all spirits do not think alike in reference to the relations which exist between man and the animals. According to some, spirit only arrives at the human period after having been elaborated and individualized in the different degrees of the lower beings to creation, According to others, the spirit of man has always belonged to the human race, without passing through the ascensional degrees of the animal world.”
So we could have started off as an animal and after a long and laborious trial of eons, grow into the ranks of humans, or we could have first just entered the physical body of a primitive human and then started our path. The relationship between our souls and the souls of animals was unclear for Allan Kardec, he wrote, “as for the mysterious kinship which exist between man and the animals, that we repeat, is God’s secret.”
Animals and Humans
Allan Kardec was able to answer the question of the transmutability of souls, from animals to humans and back again. In the 1850s and today many people and some religions believe that the souls of humans can be reincarnated into animals and then after some period of atonement, are able to return to human form. According to The Spirits Book, the answer is no.
Here is what The Spirits Book tells us;
- Can a spirit which has animated a human body be incarnated in an animal?
“No; for such an incarnation would be retrograde step; and a spirit never retrogrades. The river does not flow back to its source.”
Hence, we are told with no uncertainty that a human soul can’t transfer to a lesser form. Now, for the question can an animal, at some point, after a series of reincarnation, begin life in a human body. It is answered;
- Do animals follow a law of progress like men?
“Yes; and it is for this reason that, in the higher worlds in which men are further advanced, the animals are more advanced also, and possess more developed means of communication. But they are always inferior to man, and subject to him; they are, for him, intelligent servitors.”
Therefore, according to The Spirits Book, animals progress via their own path and do not intersect with humans. So it would seem that there is no cross over at all between animals and us. But, the origin of a spirit is unknown, even to the spirits themselves. This hole in the knowledge of where a spirit is first created leaves the door open to some sort of progression from lower life forms.
But there is a passage in the book, Between Heaven and Earth, by Francisco C. Xavier, inspired by the spirit Andre Luiz, which discusses reincarnation. In it Andre’s team leader, Clarencio, says:
“We tackle multiple experiences and we recapitulate them as many times as needed on our grand journey to God. Pupae of intelligence in the obscurest sectors of nature evolve toward the realm of fragmentary intelligences inhabited by animals of a higher order, which, in turn, evolve toward the realm of human consciousness, just as human beings, little by little, evolve toward the glorious spheres of the angels.”
One could read the passage above in two ways, one, we start out as a simple speck of rudimentary intelligence and evolve to a human level, by constant reincarnations into the worlds of planets. The other is that animals evolve in a higher state also, but along their own path and do not become a full human type spirit.
The reading of the passage in the light that we start out as non-human spirits is bolstered by what is written in Allan Kardec’s book Genesis – Miracles and Predictions According to Spiritism, which was written after The Spirits Book. In Chapter VI of the book, written by a series of communication with a spirit who signed his messages Galileo, he tells us that his supposition is (for he states quite plainly, he doesn’t know this with certainty):
“The spirit does not receive divine illumination, which gives it, along with free will and consciousness, the awareness of its higher destiny, without having passed through the divinely unavoidable series of lower beings, among which the labor of its individualization is slowly worked out. It is only from the day when the Lord imprints on its brow his august seal that the spirit takes its place in the ranks of humankind.”
I have read in the Rev. G. Vale Owen’s book, The Life Beyond the Vale, published in the 1920s, where he received a message from the spirit world, which points to the case where all creatures start out as very primitive sparks of intelligence and grow from there.
While I have no proof, I am of the belief that similar to the stages that we human souls must pass through to one day become a pure spirit, we must progress by a series of trials from one primitive intelligence to another, until we reach the point where we are worthy of the next step of evolution. Hence, as we are living life after life, paying our debts and acquiring new skills, we have travelled through an even harder road just to reach this state.
To learn more about the entire process of reincarnation and how the spirit world guides us, please read the book, The Case for Reincarnation – Your Path to Perfection
Kardec, A. (2009). Genesis – Miracles and Predictions according to Spiritism. Brasilia (DF), Brasil: International Spiritist Council.
Kardec, A. (2010). The Spirits Book. Guildford, UK: White Crow Books.
Owen, R. G. (2012). The Life Beyond the Veil. Pahrump, NV: Square Circles Publishing.
Xavier, F. C. (2011). Between Heaven and Earth. Brasilia (DF), Brazil: International Spiritist Council.
 Kardec, Allan, The Spirits Book, White Crow Books, p. 336
 Kardec, Allan, The Spirits Book, White Crow Books, p. 337
 Xavier, F. C. Between Heaven and Earth, EDICEI, p. 186
 Kardec, Allan, Genesis – Miracles and Predictions According to Spiritism, EDICEI, p. 125