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.

Boundary-less Spiritism and the Spiritual Practice of the New Millennia

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God is not adept of any religion. Nature, both physical and non-physical, is independent of our beliefs and opinions about it. Science and religion are only human interpretations of the laws that govern the universe and our relationship with it as individual consciousnesses. Every law of physics reflect an attempt to interpret the mechanisms of the four-dimensional (3 of space and 1 of time) physical universe, but doesn’t change those mechanisms themselves, neither explore their relation with other neglected dimensions. Similarly, every religion reflect an attempt to interpret the moral and intellectual laws that govern our connection with the creator and (perhaps) with the universe, but such mechanisms are also independent of our interpretations. This has very important consequences that are often ignored or even denied by our society; that is, we must be very careful not to fall into dogmatism.

Now, allow me a parenthesis before I continue discoursing about religion. This parenthesis is about the dogmatism of our sciences. I am not picking on sciences. The point is that when we talk about dogmatism, it is common for people to think it is only something applicable to religion. However, simply put, dogmatism is the imposition (moral or even physically) of a specific belief system as an unquestionable truth. So, when we think about science, we often think about the application of methods or research, checks and balances that guarantee trustworthy results, right? That’s why questioning science is typically a sign of ignorance, lack of education or both. Science can’t be questioned because it works with verifiable results. Well, it happens that as we go down this path we walk a fine line between exploration and dogmatism. For instance, does it follow that verifiable results must always be physical and positivist? In this case, should we even consider psychology and philosophy fields of science? What about all para-psychological phenomena (ESP, materialization,  telekinesis, etc.) which have already been demonstrated multiple (repeated) times under controlled conditions, by multiple people and everywhere in the globe.  Should we simply deny the veracity of observable phenomena as rulers of what is possible and what is not possible in the universe? Shouldn’t we question whether significant scientific advancements cannot be made through research in areas that, for their own non-material nature, cannot be researched through traditional positivist means? Does science really cannot accommodate any flexibility, any adaptability that proves to be adequate for the study of a given subject matter, or natural events happening in dimensions beyond the three-dimensional space and one-dimensional time? With so many signs that indicate the survival of consciousness after physical death, the reality of reincarnation, among others; should we really reject all studies in those areas? With science coming to the conclusion, through its own means, that the observer consciousness can affect the results of an experiment, that there is a non-local space-time reality (entanglement), that matter is just a condensed energy state, etc.; should we really marginalize those research fields likely to drive potential groundbreaking revolutions and place the burden of proving them right (to a large audience already convinced they are wrong) on anyone who with no funding or support decides to study them? Could this be one of the most disguised forms of dogmatism of our present society?

There is a difference between rejection and denial, the latter being the state of our sciences when opting not to honestly and unbiasedly research certain topics. Then, isn’t this denial evidencing a plain and simple dogmatism? Isn’t it what dogmatic people do, to deny anything different than their own viewpoints? Isn’t it a state of mind where anything opposed to a particular paradigm is ruled out? Dogmatism is a state where out of pride and selfishness we want the universe to function according to our own interpretations of it. Therefore, there is a particular way to connect with God, my way! There are particular natural phenomena that can be accepted; those which can currently be “naturally” explained. Anything else should be classified as paranormal, supernatural or simply charlatanism or delusion. Yet, as Allan Kardec, the codifier of Spiritism, pointed out over 150 years ago, if there is an effect, there must be a cause. The talk below from Rupert Sheldrake brilliantly and clearly demonstrates dogmatism in our sciences.

But, going back to religion, it is of utmost importance that we start freeing ourselves up from the boundaries of any particular paradigm for our connection with God and the universe. Every strict religious belief is dogmatic and restrictive by nature. All religions are a step in our spiritual journey towards perfection and communion with God, but at some point we must free our minds of any particular interpretation. A new consciousness level is achieved when we become genuine explorers of the truth, aware of our current inability to grasp all of the laws of the cosmos and operate at a level of perfection that is in full harmony with the divine love. In other words, Earth humanity will raise to a whole new consciousness level when it free itself up from the walls of religions; when it absorb the universal truths contained in every religion and rid them from everything else. Then, all of us will truly be one. We will not be connected by belief-systems or laws that promote mutual respect and good behavior; we will be connected by divine love. We will be immersed in a love that transcends this planet and connects us with God and all of its creation. We will be awake to what we truly are. Then, as Chico Xavier, one of the most remarkable mediums of recent times noted brilliantly in 1971, at the live Brazilian TV audience program Pinga Fogo, “(…) we will understand that we are part of a universal family”. Indeed, we will then understand the true meaning of the bible passage which notes that God’s kingdom has many dwellings (see John 14:2).

In our development process to this new consciousness level, the Spiritist science codified by Allan Kardec, offers a remarkable new paradigm for the study and practice of spirituality in this new millennia. As Kardec himself noted, “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. A demonstration of that is the fact that its most enthusiastic followers are among the most devoted Catholics as among Protestant, Jews and Muslims. Spiritism has never advised anyone to change religion or sacrifice their beliefs. It does not really belong to any religion or better still, it is present in all of them.” (Kardec, October of 1861)

The passage above indicates the framework for a conscious spiritual practice which I consider to be in high demand in our world nowadays. It is a framework of curious, unbiased and unpretentious exploration of our relationship with the divine and the universe.  It is critical that we forge adequate perspectives for the advancement of spiritualist sciences; one that do not create boundaries, but eliminate them; one that free our consciousness from the many incarnations in contact with dogmatic belief systems. As a free-thinker and admirer of the Spiritist sciences, among other spiritualist bodies of knowledge, I believe that it is time for us to understand the smallness of all of our religions. In a universe of trillions of stars, all of them with dozens of planets, it is fair for us to ask: how many religions are out there? Do they have a leader, a pope? Then how many popes are out there? Is there a single religion that actually got everything right? Where is it and how can we know? Our communion with ourselves and, in consequence, with our divine nature requires us to free ourselves from the boundaries of paradigms that cannot be confirmed by reason and felt within our hearts. I see a future where religions will be faced as a step in our history towards true spirituality. I see a future where the boundaries between our four-dimensional reality and other unknown time-space dimensions are finally overcome by many. It is with this vision in mind that I write this text inviting my reader to tap into all of the spiritual knowledge at our disposal. The knowledge contained by all religions of all times as well as that which we can access through further exploration. It is in such way that Spiritism becomes a special step for humanity. Rather than think about it as just another religion, we must deeply understand its purpose, from design to its current state, as an anchor for the birth of a renovated humanity in a renovated Earth. In the words of its founder, “Spiritism proclaims freedom of thought as a natural law; calls it to his followers, in the same way for everyone. It respects all sincere faiths and requests reciprocity. From freedom of thought derives the right to self-examination in matters of faith. Spiritism rejects any form of blind faith, because they require men to surrender their own reason; it considers rootless all faiths imposed: Unshakable faith is only one which can confront reason face to face in all epochs of humanity.” (Kardec, Posthumous Works)

We must then, allow it to grow as we grow with it. At the risk of chocking many, I see a future when all religions will be obsolete as we practice not religion, but a true spiritual communion and connection with all there is. I see a future when the word Spiritism will also be obsolete as we no longer need to protect its ideas from foreign ones (which was the initial intention of the neologism). This is because living true spiritual communion and connection with all there is, the truths brought by Spiritism will be known and practiced by all, beyond its boundaries. Could this be a framework for spiritual practice in the New Millennia? It is certain that time will show.

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POINT #2: We are spiritual beings having an incarnated experience on earth, not living bodies having (or not) spiritual experiences.

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For Point #1, click here!

This point #2 is all about perspective. Think about every person that stood out from the crowds for their moral values. We have had many of these personalities across all centuries and geographies, among which we can cite Aristotle, Plato, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Chico Xavier among many others. Regardless of their religion or nationality, all of them sacrificed themselves at different degrees and created progress. Think about what it means and you will understand what distinguish them from ordinary people – which are us.

To a large extent, we still live our lives trapped on selfish patterns of behavior, ego-centrism and apathy towards others. We are concerned about what people think of us and how we can influence others, usually to our own benefit. If this does not apply to you, then congratulations, you are above Earth humanity average. Now, as a rule, those are the general consciousness level I typically observe (and that I consider responsible for making the world the way it is at the present time). In addition to what I mentioned above, I also observe that most people lack self-esteem and confidence. They live in fear of rejection and uncertainty of who they are. A simple example that demonstrates this point is the fact that most people take criticism very personally (as a personal attack that jeopardizes their integrity and honor) or are easily offended. This lack of self-esteem and confidence makes most people worry about their social status and comply with standards of living that are far from conducive to happiness. But the order of the day is not to cause commotion… just live your life, workday in workday out, spend a great deal of time, effort and financial resources purchasing things you were convinced to be a desperate need and continue unquestioning everything. Most people can’t see we’re trapped on the mindset that life is short and we must enjoy it. Live life fully, some say. Well, in my opinion, this is simply short-sighted. I will expand on this topic a great deal in a different text, when talking more specifically about ethics, or what I call cosmo-ethics. Here, however, we will focus on developing the point that we are spiritual beings, although we will not extinguish it yet.

Do you think the personalities mentioned in the first paragraph operate according to the paradigms noted on the second paragraph of this text? The answer is NO. Regardless of their nationality, religion, education, whatever… they have seen their lives from a different perspective. They used it to make changes in the world in detriment of their own pleasure. They operate not from a selfish, egocentric and fearful standpoint, but one of confidence, charity and universalism. Now this is perhaps the most important detail here – if you ask them, my guess is that they would tell you they have lived their lives fully – that you, reader, ponder about it and come to your own conclusions. For as harsh as it might have been, they enjoyed their life from a spiritual perspective, which provided them incredibly superior delight and comfort. They have effectively contributed to a better world. Note that for going against pre-established norms does not mean they have been anarchists, against all notions of order and common living. It simply means they would not bend their personal moral values and convictions for unjust norms of their society. In fact, being morally more evolved than their society in some regard, they have incited much needed reformations. They have reminded us that laws are designed to bring order and peace, but when they also bring injustice, changes are needed.

I have covered this difference in mindset between those we celebrate and honor as examples to be followed and ordinary people because this simple comparison might provide you some detachment from the illusion of reality created by our incarnated condition and limited senses. Some of us have already effected this detachment, although not changed our behavior. Others, not only realize our spiritual condition, but also are true to it on our daily lives – making positive changes in the world to the limit of our abilities. This does not depend on religion, because religious dogmas are also an illusion. We must realize that the more we awake to our true spiritual nature and are true to it, the more we practice the single and uniform religion of love.

If you are not as religious, maybe you believe in the power of intention, in setting your thought into motion, creating your own reality. The power of intention has gained significant momentum, at least in the United States, after the books and teachings of Ernst Holmes. Holmes teachings have been continued by many organizations and somewhat expanded and popularized through books such as Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret”. People all over the United States, if not within the entire globe, are setting themselves up for “manifesting” things in their lives. Now, think about how the realization of our true nature and purpose in life are critical for the intentions and thoughts we create. We are spiritual beings having an incarnated experience on earth, not living bodies having, or not, spiritual experiences.

Think about the lifestyle of most of our society as I have described earlier in this chapter: Spending a great deal of time, effort and financial resources purchasing things that will grant us a certain status and social approval. Trapped on the mindset that life is short and we must enjoy it while there’s still time. Corrupting our moral values to different extents in order to conform to various forms of injustice. Rending ourselves to greed, prejudice, avarice, pride, anger and so many other vices. Now, think about what we are creating with our own thoughts! At this point, I should say that, regardless of whether or not you believe in the power of intention, your thoughts reverberate through the universe. Your thoughts are your identity in the cosmos; they reveal that you currently are without your temporary body, your true spiritual nature. With this in mind, think about how many times we are loyal to manifestations of “inferior” nature.

Speaking for myself, I see people trying to “manifest” (a word commonly used by some and meaning “consciously create”) those very same things that will provide them greater social status and comfort most of the time. They visualize mansions, whooping paychecks and all other sorts of material things. Accordingly, books align their messages to what most people want to hear: how to become a millionaire, how to prosper financially, etc. It seems that talking about “manifesting” peace, love or the end of war and hunger in the world does not sell very well. Meanwhile, despite all books, techniques and efforts, few achieve their desires and the great minority who could not “manifest” their objectives wonders what they are doing incorrectly – constantly reminding themselves that many have reached their goals. Now, let me say it again: We are spiritual beings having an incarnated experience on earth, not living bodies having, or not, spiritual experiences. Logic should tell us that if an approach isn’t working, maybe we should consider changes. But what should we change? My clue is… who is manifesting your soul or your personality? What is your soul and what does it desire? Does it extend beyond your conscious mind? If you like this point, read our post “Inner light to a brighter future” and wait for our point #3.