A Proposal for Spiritists Within and Outside Brazil

spiritism

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!

CODE OF ETHICS FOR SPIRITUAL WORKERS

Your attitudes in everyday life exert direct influence in the type of companies you develop and the projects entrusted to you, supporting or compromising your spiritual work. The idea that you are special or superior places you and your work at significant risk.

Are you ever late for an important business meeting? Have you ever been hired for a job you’re not prepared? There is no “skipping steps” in the process of spiritual realization.

Can we drive out darkness with darkness? Hate with hate? This post is for all the light workers out there! Every point can be largely expanded. Think about them and don’t hesitate to share any questions or comments. It is by the fruit that we judge the tree. Much is asked from those to which much is given.

Stay in peace!

CODE OF ETHICS FOR LIGHT WORKERS

Psychic Self-Defense in Multiple Relationship Domains

psychic domains

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.

Is Karma the Same as Cause and Effect as Presented in the Spiritist Codification?

scales_of_justice_scott

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.

We should also indicate our intention to demonstrate that the paradigm that the Law of Karma as typically presented by common Eastern religions is not quite the same as the Law of Cause and Effect as presented by the Spiritist codification. This is often a source of confusion among Spiritists themselves, hence justifying the comparisons and explanations made here.

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.

The Law of Karma

Karma is a key concept in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Taoism. According to Wikipedia (We value the use of primary sources, but have opted to resort of a wikipedia reference this time as no better primary source has been found that summarizes the concepts we aim to convey as well as the reference below):

“karma means action, work or deed. It also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. Karma is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in many schools of Asian religions. In these schools, karma in the present affects one’s future in the current life, as well as the nature and quality of future lives – one’s Samsara.” [1]

We should make it clear that the author of this article has limited knowledge of Eastern religions based mostly on common sense knowledge. It is possible that the common sense idea of karma is actually not in accordance to its original teaching and someone truly knowledgeable on this topic would be easily able to clarify any misconception. It is also not the intention of this text to make a reading or interpretation of any scripture or religious knowledge, but simply to compare the popular idea of karma with the law of Action and Reaction as presented in the Spiritist codification.

In this sense, we can define karma as the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. This supposes that future conditions are determined by past actions – a concept we intend to demonstrate not to be the Spiritist understanding.

The Law of Cause and Effect

Now we will present the Law of Cause and Effect from a Spiritist perspective. This matter has been extensively covered by Allan Kardec in the section “Penal Code of Life to Come” of his book “Heaven and Hell”. There, Kardec indicates that:

“Notwithstanding the diversity of the kinds and degrees of suffering which imperfect spirits undergoes, the penal code of the future life may be summed up in the three following propositions:

  1. Suffering is a condition of imperfection.
  2.  All our imperfections and all our misdeeds (which are the practical outcome of those imperfections) find their appropriate and necessary adjustment in their own natural and inevitable consequences – just as every excess is corrected by the malady which is caused by it, and as idleness is corrected by the disgust of life to which it leads – without the need of any special sentence being passed on each particular fault of each individual.
  3. All human beings have the power of freeing themselves from their imperfections through the exertion of their individual wills; all human beings, therefore, are able to avoid the sufferings that are the consequence of those imperfections and to ensure their future happiness.” [2]

We see then a subtle but strikingly different perspective than that offered by the popular view of the Law of Karma. Karma can be understood as the belief that past actions (facts) determine future conditions (states or circumstances). The Law of Cause and Effect as proposed by Allan Kardec based on the teaching of virtuous spirits do not assume this same logical relationship. Instead it proposes that our actions are a reflection of our imperfections and it is the imperfections (not the facts themselves) not corrected in the past that are the cause of future unfortunate conditions (states or circumstances). In other words, a person’s flaws of character caused him/her to make poor choices, actions that simply reflect moral elements of his/her consciousness. As this person dies and reviews his/her life (here understood as a series of choices and actions) from the broader point of view of the non-physical realm, this spirit will understand that certain imperfections of character led it to make certain poor and unfortunate choices. The actions simply evidence the imperfections. Well then, in designing a future existence, this spirit may include physical conditions, certain life circumstances, among other factors that will require it to confront the same moral imperfections which it knows to need betterment. This logic is strikingly different than that of the Law of Karma as it eliminates the element of punishment (for past deeds) and shifts the focus from actions (facts) to states of consciousness. From a rational perspective it also makes more sense as now we have moral conditions (consciousness) determining physical/emotional conditions (circumstances).

The question of number 975 of “The Spirits’ Book” confirms the rationale provided above.

“975. Do inferior spirits understand the happiness of the virtuous?

‘Yes and that happiness is a source of torment for them. They understand that their own deeds deprive them of it. It also leads them to seek a new physical existence to shorten the duration of that torment when death frees them from matter, if good use is made of this existence. It is on this basis that they choose the appropriate trials to atone for their faults. It must be remembered that spirits suffer for all the wrongdoing they have done or which they have been the voluntary cause, all the good that they might have done and did not do, and all the evil that has resulted from failing to do the good they might have done.’ When errant, it is as though a spirit emerges from a fog and sees the obstacles that stand between it and ultimate happiness. Therefore, it suffers more because it understands the full extent of its culpability. There are no more illusions for it. It sees things as they really are.’ ” [3]

 And in the same question, Kardec provides the following comments:

“When errant, a spirit sees all its past lives at a glance and foresees the future promised to it. It understands what it still needs to do to reach that future. It is like a traveler who having reached the top of a hill sees both the road it traveled, and what it still has to travel to reach the end of the journey.” [3]

But these are not the only references that demonstrate the Spiritist understanding of the Law of Cause and Effect, the Spiritist codification contains several references from which a few have been selected  from Kardec’s “Heaven and Hell” to further support the explanations provided to this point:

Every imperfection of the soul produces its own inevitable share of suffering; and every good quality produces, in virtue of the same law, its own natural, certain, share of happiness. The amount of a spirit’s suffering is thus exactly proportioned to the degree of its imperfection; and the amount of a spirit’s happiness is exactly proportioned to the degree of its intellectual and moral advancement.” [2]

“The good, or the evil, that we do is the result of the good or evil qualities possessed by our spirit. Not to do all the good which we have the power to do is evidently the result of imperfection on our part; and, consequently, as every imperfection is a source of suffering, a spirit suffers, not only for all the evil it has done, but also for the good which it might have done, but did not do, during its earthly life.” [2]

“A spirit suffers through the evil that it has done, in order that, its attention being concentrated on the consequences of that evil, the spirit may better understand its imperfections, and be led to amend itself.” [2]

“The duration of a spirit’s correction depending solely on its own delay in working out its own inner reform.” [2]

Now, when things start getting clear and comfortable, it is time to learn some more, right? That’s why  the spirits offer us the following information as further teaching on the “Penal Code of Life to Come”:

“Repentance is the first step towards improvement; but repentance, alone, is not sufficient to deliver the wrongdoer from the consequences of his or her wrongdoing; to effect this result, atonement and reparation are also necessary.  Repentance, atonement, and  reparation are the three conditions necessary for the effacing of a fault and the suppression of its consequences.” [2]

This passage demands additional explanations in light of what has been presented earlier in this article, so let’s cover these new terms in light of what has been described thus far.

What is Repentance

“1002. What happens when individuals acknowledge their faults on their deathbed, however, they do not have time to make amends? Is repentance alone enough in such a case?

‘Repentance accelerates rehabilitation, but it does not absolve it. Don’t they have the whole future ahead, and new opportunities to make amends will always be open to them?’ ” [3]

Repentance is simply a sincere regret. This step then is simply a spirit’s realization of a moral flaw it still needs to rid of. It is an important step towards moral progress, but not the only one. We can understand repentance as the phase when the spirit finally opens its eyes to something neglected until then. We can infer that it starts at the point when a spirit first gain awareness of a moral flaw (leaving the state of  simple and immature regarding the imperfection in question) and is likely to evolve through multiple “iterations” (lives) by which the spirit slowly improves itself. The following passages further clarify this matter:

“Repentance mitigates the sufferings of atonement, because it opens the door to hope and paves the way to rehabilitation; but it is only reparation that, by destroying the cause of our suffering, can annul the suffering which is its effect; the granting of a free pardon to the wrong-doer would be merely the granting of a favor and not an annulling of the cause and consequences of the person’s wrong-doing.

Repentance may begin in the spirit-life or in the life of the flesh, and at any period; if a spirit’s repentance is tardy, it suffers for a longer time.” [2]

“991. What is the consequence of repentance in the spiritual state?

‘The desire for a new incarnation in order to become purified. The spirit perceives the imperfections that deprive it of happiness, and seeks a new existence to be able to make amends for its faults.’ ” (See nos. 332, 975) [3]

“The individual is not simply subordinate to the criterion adopted by the world’s magistrates, who may be seen as skilled surgeons in the treatment or extirpation of social gangrene. Both on and off the earth, the more enlightened the individual, the more responsible he or she becomes through the shackles of his or her own conscience for falling into the thorn bushes of guilt.” [4]

Before we move on, it is worth sharing a passage of Chico Xavier’s book “Thought and Life” which indicates an important complicating factor of the atonement process – we are interconnected and constantly exercising our creative powers.

“The fault committed operates in our mind a state of perturbation which do not simply gather the mad forces of our repentance, but also the waves of grief and accusation of the victim and all of those who associate with the feeling, instituting disharmonies of vast proportions in the centers of the soul, to reverberate on our own instrumentation.” [5]

What is Atonement

“Atonement consists in the sufferings, both physical and moral, that are the results of a spirit’s wrong-doing – whether in the course of the same earthly life in which it has done wrong, or in the phase of spirit-life succeeding it, or in a new earthly life – until all traces of the spirit’s wrong-doing have been effaced.” [2]

Although the term atonement might suggest the idea of punishment, in reality, no punishment understood as the infliction of a penalty as retribution for an offense is involved. Repentance alone doesn’t free up the spirit from a moral flaw; it simply “opens its eyes”. The spirit is still pray of its own imperfections and will naturally suffer its consequences. At this state, the spirit will demonstrate ill tendencies relative to the imperfection(s) in question. It may still make mistakes (wrong-doing, sin, miss the mark, etc.), although sensitive to them – it now knows better, even if intuitively. A classic passage of the bible illustrates what we are talking about here.

“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” [6]

 No wonder the spirit suffers for its present state. It feels regret, perhaps remorse even.  It may wish to go back in time and make different choices. It longs to make amends. We all have been there! And here we must say that no one gets everything right the first time. We first crawl, then we walk, then we run… Nature do not evolve in big loops and this is how we progress as well. So forgive yourself and forgive others. Remorse is never necessary.

“Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning, anyone can start over and make a new ending.” [7]

If in the repentance phase the spirit learned about a flaw of character, it is in the atonement phase that it effects changes to its own moral values by confronting situations in new reincarnations that puts it in direct contact with the moral elements it aims to revise. As it still have imperfections, confusion, suffering and perhaps errors may still certainly come true. However, through its own will and effort, its moral dispositions are slowly perfected; a process Spiritists call inner-reform. The understanding of this broader reality allows us to appreciate the vicissitudes of life, instead of complain about them. No one should consent to suffer, hoping to “resolve” past debts and acting as if it deserves to suffer. The value of atonement is not on itself, but on the direction it provides the spirit to implement inner transformation. The appreciation of vicissitudes we mentioned should be understood as the possibility to face life’s “problems” simply as opportunities to demonstrate solid learning in the realms of justice and charity. In fact, a life without such opportunities might be desirable by some individuals when in the physical realm. However, from the perspective of the spirit, such life would be unproductive and meaningless. “The Spirits’ Book question 988 indicates what we are talking about:

“988. There are individuals whose lives are perfectly calm, who have nothing to do for themselves and are exempt from all worries. Is their good fortune proof that they have nothing to repent from any former existence?

‘Do you know many such people? If you think you do, you are mistaken. Such lives are often only calm on the surface. A spirit may have chosen such a life, but after leaving it, it realizes that it has not helped it move forward, and it regrets the time it has wasted in idleness.’

‘Bear in mind that a spirit can only acquire knowledge and elevation through activity, so if it sleeps without a care in the world, it does not advance. It is as though it (according to your world) needs to work, but goes off for a stroll or goes to bed with the intention of doing nothing. Bear in mind that each of you must answer for voluntary uselessness, and that such uselessness is always lethal to your future happiness. The sum of that happiness is exactly proportionate to the sum of the good that you have done, while the sum of your unhappiness is always proportionate to the sum of the wrongs you have done, and how many you have made unhappy.’ ” [3]

What is Reparation

Reparation consists in doing good to those whom we have wronged. Those who, through lack of power or of will, do not make reparation, in a given life, for the wrongs they have done in that life, will be brought again, in a new earthly life, into contact with the parties they have wronged in that former life, and under conditions which they will themselves have chosen beforehand, and which will have been contrived in such a way as to give them the opportunity of proving their devotion to them, and of enabling them to do them as much good as they formerly did them harm.” [2]

Inserted in a historical religious context that for centuries has overemphasized values of meekness, patience and charity, we might not be used to seeing justice as a regulating factor of cosmic balance. Well, it is through reparation that a spirit finds its enduring freedom and glory. Reparation does not entail suffering, but redemption. A former thief or corrupt man may be a generous medical doctor who brings health to many. This is what we see through the following final excerpt from “Heaven and Hell”:

There are faults of which individuals may be guilty, but which do not cause any direct and personal injury to other people; in such cases, the reparation of a fault is accomplished in one or other of the following ways: – by doing, in a subsequent incarnation, what they ought to have done, but did not do, in a former one, whether by discharging duties which they neglected or did not see to be incumbent on them, or by fulfilling missions which they failed to fulfill in that former life, or by practicing the virtues which are the opposites of the vice in which they then indulged; that is to say, by being humble if they have been haughty; gentle, if they have been harsh; kindly, if they have been unkind; hardworking, if they have been idle; helpful, if they have been useless; temperate, if they have been dissolute; setting a good example, if they have set a bad one; and so on. It is thus that a spirit progresses by turning to profitable account the experiences and the lessons of his past existences.” [2]

References

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma

[2] Kardec, Allan. Heaven and Hell.

[3] Kardec, Allan. The Spirits’ Book.

[4] Xavier, Francisco Candido. Action and Reaction.

[5] Xavier, Francisco Candido. Thought and Life.

[6]Holly Bible, Romans 7:19, New international Version.

[7] Quote from Xavier, Francisco Candido.

 

Awakening for a Future Society

dawn-700x300

While philosophers such as Karl Marx imagined to reform the world through bloody class fights as to arrive at a new social structure, both Rousseau and Kant recognized that a renewed and better world could only come from a different and morally superior humankind, able to revert the state of submission of a vast majority of unprivileged men and women to a small elite. This exploration has been maintained since the beginning of civilization, thousands of years ago, and is to this date sustained by rigid social structures, political systems and religious doctrines. But how could (and can) this powerful and privileged minority keep the largest portion of the world’s population suffering in poverty and disgrace for so long?

The major religious traditions of the past were all founded on the concept of heteronomy (research this word!), as if god acted through punishments and rewards, and the principle of the degradation of souls – with obvious differences from religion to religion. For instance, Adam and Eve were reprehended for eating the forbidden fruit and punished with expulsion from heaven, conception with pain, mortality, etc.; transferring the original sin to all of their offspring. According to this tradition, to escape eternal condemnation, it is required to blindly surrender to god’s will. Those laws called divine are all external to the individual. In this conception, the greatest human virtue are obedience, loyalty and meekness; values that are conditionally maintained for fear of sin and condemnation. In many Eastern reincarnationist doctrines, the mythology is different, but the intrinsic values are mostly the same. In their narratives of traditional religious texts, the soul is originally good when conceived by god, but contaminates itself through multiple failures and errors made over a physical life. Such failures render the soul deserving of punishment through successive reincarnations as a plant, an animal, an insect, etc. depending on the severity of the crime.

But it wasn’t only the religious traditions that propagated the heteronomous moral. The materialist theories emerging on the 19th century abandoned mysticism and superstitions to some degree, but maintained the concept of heteronomy by keeping men submissive to the external laws of society – more precisely, the law of the survival of the fittest (also known as the might is right) determined by biologic and circumstantial differences. According to Auguste Comte, for example, the great masses of workers and all women didn’t have adequate brain development and were therefore organically prevented, by nature, to make adequate use of their intellectual faculties. They should therefore surrender to the command and dominance of the minority of men privileged with a better nervous system able to make them scientists, leaders, commanders, etc. Those sickly fantasies of the positivism of Comte were well accepted on his time and still persist in our present society even if disguised in other more modern and politically correct formats.

But what are the ideas that could revolutionize the world and build a better society? The Swiss philosopher and psychologist Jean Piaget can give us a clue. Piaget, studying the moral judgment of children, established an association between  – heteronomous morality, coercion and submission – and – autonomous morality, cooperation and mutual respect. According to Piaget, it is possible to apply to society this natural psychological process observed in children, fostering, generation after generation, a natural (although complex) change from coercion to solidarity; from a heteronomous morality to an autonomous morality. As he indicated, in conformist societies, where the population is vastly explored, coercion determine submission and passivity. Where freedom is embraced and promoted, fraternal attitude arises and the individual assume responsibility for the well-being of the collectivity (and vice-versa).

Now, if well understood, isn’t the autonomous morality the cornerstone of the original teachings of Jesus (before being manipulated and misrepresented over the centuries)? If you pay attention, words such as “you are gods”, “you can do all I can do and much more”, “I didn’t come to bring peace, but a sword” and “my kingdom is not of this world” doesn’t quite fit the merciful Jesus the churches sell you today. Indeed, if studying his words, as well as those of other morally distinguished men, it is possible to observe their moral autonomy, the presence of compassion but also a sense of unbreakable justice. Perhaps this is the last teaching the master of the Galilee left us before dying – do not surrender your will, your reason and your morals  to others. Socrates was arrested and murdered for being loyal to his moral values. Giordano Bruno was burned for not surrendering to the church’s authority. Countless examples of those luminaries that changed our world for better indicate the clear presence of an autonomous morality and freedom of thought. To bring a contemporary example (and I hope you agree with me), wasn’t Edward Snowden acting from a moral autonomous perspective when getting involved in the NSA spying scandal?

                Freedom of thought, acting morally according to the values of one’s own consciousness (even in detriment of self interests and independent of conventional rules and religions); this is the sign of the awakened man ready to build the society of the future. When we have enough of them, we will have a new world as the external projection of their moral and spiritual values. A sustainable future society invariably require individuals capable of mutual collaboration, founded from the autonomous fraternity they feel for each other. So, it is not through scientific development, economic growth, politics or wars that we will build a new society. It is through our own inner reform, arriving at a true and innate understanding of the law of love, preached by way too many and practiced by way too few, that we will be able to find peace and happiness. As noted Allan Kardec on his Posthumous Works, “The social matter doesn’t have, therefore, as a starting point the form of this or that institution; it is completely related to the moral betterment of individuals and their collectivities. There is where one can find the beginnings, the true key to the happiness of humankind. Because then, men will no longer conceive mutually harming each other. It is not enough to cover corruption with varnish, it is indispensable for it to be extinguished” (free translation).

If you enjoyed this post, keep up with us through our site and social media:
 http://www.oregonspiritistsociety.com 
https://www.facebook.com/OregonSpiritistSociety/.
Leave your comments below and feel free to ask us to write about any topic of your interest!