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:
- Multiple messages obtained through mediumistic means are presented and compared.
- The philosophy and theories developed are evaluated in light of the body of knowledge already accepted by the Spiritist science.
- 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.”
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.” 
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.” 
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“
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.” 
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!
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.”
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.” 
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.” 
 Kardec, Allan. The Spirits’ Book.
 Kardec, Allan. Spiritist Magazine of 1860.
 Kardec, Allan. Spiritist Magazine of 1865.
 Resende, Izoldino. Planeta Terra em Transição (Planet Earth in Transition). 2012. Dictaded by the spirit Ismael through psychofony.
 Pinheiro, Robson. Aruanda. 204. Dictated by the spirit ângelo Inácio through psycography.