Geraldo Goulart

Indirect Suicide

By Geraldo Goulart

Whenever we hear comments about suicide, it comes to mind the picture of an extreme, violent, abrupt death that, in fact, is what characterizes a suicide based on someone’s desire to end immediately their own life. However, the Spiritist Doctrine let us know that this extreme act is a serious error because the only life with which the suicide ends is merely that of his physical body. On this subject, for those who wish to know a little more, we recommend reading the books “THE MARTYRDOM OF SUICIDES” (written by Almerindo Martins de Castro) and also “MEMOIRS OF A SUICIDE” (by Yvonne A. Pereira) both edited by Brazilian Spiritist Federation.

Notwithstanding the false impression that the suicide has gotten rid of what has been tormenting him, suicide has more scope in the Spiritual Plan than that considered here on Earth. Studying the Spiritist Doctrine, we are informed that the unfortunates who commit violent suicide have, in the True Life dimension, a greater burden of suffering, but it is not about this aspect that we wish to reflect, but rather to consider the aspects about indirect suicides (or unconscious suicides) regularly practiced and that may surprise us when we arrive at the Spiritual Fatherland.

In the book “OUR HOME”, André Luiz (Spirit and author of Chico Xavier’s fraternal narrative) tells that as he regained consciousness after his passing, he heard a faint but perfectly noticeable voice calling him: “suicide, suicide… “and he was astonished and wondering if that would be him. After all, he had not committed suicide, and if he had died (he was alive, and very alive, he thought) it would have been because of acquired syphilis. However, sometime later, after a medical visit to a treatment room, he learned that syphilis, associated with other factors such as alcohol use, had generated a cancerous stage that it had damaged his kidneys and liver. Andre, though battered by the evils that caused his discarnation, but lucid enough, acknowledged that by his own fault he had assaulted his physical apparatus by accelerating his physical death. He who had been a doctor on earth had not considered such possibilities!

After careful reading of the Spiritist literature crossed with some biblical passages, we learn that we expose ourselves to daily situations that subject us to the condition of unconscious suicides. Let’s look at some:

  1. Excess of diet and drink (overeating and continued ingestion of alcoholics that make the gastric tract vulnerable and affect the kidneys and liver).
  2. Verbal Intemperance (the feeling of anger, anger, generates negative forces for the one who feeds it and strengthens it in free and repeated aggressions against others and throws excessive doses of adrenaline into the bloodstream).
  3. Nervous imbalance (evidence of poor mental process).
  4. Sexual excesses (degenerating vital energies whose absence can bring the individual closer to madness)
  5. Ingestion of harmful elements such as drugs (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, crack, LSD, heroin, cocaine and derivatives).
  6. Immoderate use of medication – or its abstinence – (excessive doses in relation to the prescription or ignore the prescription by own decision believing that the doctor did not know how to analyze your problem).
  7. Carelessly crossing roads and / or exposing yourself to risky situations such as not using a walkway or waiting for a traffic light, which is considered suicide even by road legislation.
  8. Drive recklessly taking the risk of killing and dying.
  9. Unprotected sex with strangers.

Although most of the described actions may provide pleasure, they should be avoided as they may be – somewhat – contributing to the self-extermination of the person who practices them. Paul’s statement is worth remembering: “Everything is permitted to me, but not everything suits me. Everything is permitted to me but I will not let anything rule” (Corinthians 6:12). In what suits us because it is necessary for the maintenance of material life, we must observe the equilibrium so as not to strike the fine line that isolates us from the moment of death while we still need to remain in physical health.

We end with the warning from our Sublime Master that we pray and watch because through prayer thanking the blessed gift of life that is bestowed on us for the evolution of our Spirit, we will also be watching over our actions avoiding the precipices in the evil that lurks at us at various times. One careless act will include us in the condition of unconscious suicides who may have to reside in the dark valleys of mourning and pain for a set amount of time – until the date of their planned death.

If you would like to learn more about Spiritism and how we live life after life in the pursuit of become a perfect spirit, read my book 7 Tenets of Spiritism – How they Impact your Daily Life. It is available in Kindle, paperback, and audio formats.

The Power of Prayer

Geraldo Goulart

Geraldo Goulart

By Geraldo Goulart

Life in society offers opportunities to analyze how we deal with the people we live with. Moreover, we often find those people who allow themselves to get upset easily. Now some are relatives, friends, and at other times, traveling companions we find at work, at school, which, in any quarrel, get upset and react immediately, and we say that they have a “combative spirit.”

We are not singling out those who fight through adversity with great determination and get upset at obstacles. We refer here to those others who are carried away by the feeling of anger, anger when they feel thwarted or misled. The slightest slip of the tongue, the lack of attention of those who meet them, the unpreparedness of those who intervene, will be enough reason to start a reaction that will hardly be assuaged with a few words.

The problem that one can identify with this irritability, it induces such people to adopt strange and ridiculous attitudes, and they ignore the great harm they cause to themselves. By allowing themselves to change their spiritual vibrations to the pitch of anger – a low vibration feeling –  it injects into your body automatically, unnecessary doses of adrenaline that further unbalance them, as they are blinded by revenge with a desire of taking satisfaction as to what happened that, as a rule, has no basis in fact.

The emotional imbalance affects not only your physical body but also the spiritual body due to the existing natural link between these two vehicles in which intelligence is manifested. Such repercussions are harmful to both.

jealousy_965822For more “hot-blooded” a person is, a person must learn the “good fight” as taught by Paul, the apostle. When exposed to the verbal excesses generated by anger, and fortified by the desire to retaliate, man can commit any barbaric act of which will regret it later, when the return to reason invariable occurs.

The ire evokes the involvement of invisible escorts and always malefic to man. Hence the warning of Jesus, in the Gospel, so that we should watch and pray. If someone close, connected on to them, tries to show them the ridiculous bigotry of which they deliver, they reveal another facet: short patience and then the turning against those who try to help them.

Arrogance and impatience! Terrible combination of bad qualities that some of our fellow-travelersbrothers-argument bring out, and we can not help them because its removal is necessary to be worked, patient and daily, through silent prayer that will serve them to help to disarm and stop seeking the reprisal and helps to pacify themselves inwardly and leave in peace those who love and respect them.

After all, we need each other to carry out our mission along the earthly path. And anger reproduces dissension and so more and more difficulties arise, putting us away from the people who would be a precious help to enrich the fullness of our life.

A dear friend of spirit labors told us once about a personal experience: he was standing inside a crowded bus, as it is common to those seeking public transportation in a normal working day morning, when someone sitting on the bench where he was standing, signaled it would be free at the next stop. At his side, and holding the same handle, a man younger than him, agitated, tensed his arm against our friend’s arm and, looking at him steadily, with angry look, asked him: “- Let’s fight over the seat?“. Understanding that the man wanted to seize the opportunity to sit on the seat that was beginning to be free, as the passenger sitting stood up asking passing to get off the bus, our friend, pacified by their daily prayers, looking at him bluntly replied: “- No, my brother, you are surely tired and deserves to occupy the seat. You can sit“. In addition, he walked back so that the man could occupy the empty seat. Therefore, an unexpected change occurred. The young man lowered his head and backed away, apologizing for his intemperate attitude and offered the seat to my friend. When they left the bus at the final station, they shook hands and started walking to same side of the street. While they went along the sidewalk, my friend heard from that man he had a family trouble. So my friend asked him if he could talk a little about Jesus. While my friend was talking, he saw that the man started thinking and understood that his own problem was not as big as he thought it seemed to be. From that day on, they became friends and once a month that young man goes to a Spirit Center to hear and learn about Jesus’ Gospel.

With a peaceful attitude, without war, but carrying out the “good fight” we referred to above, our friend not only dodged a battle but also helped steady a person who possessed a “combative spirit” that morning. The day ran its course, certainly with peace of mind for both.

Prayer is a powerful tool that everyone should use day-to-day because it acts as if it were a shield, protecting the person who prays from numerous dangers and attacks at times that no one suspected would occur.

The power of prayer causes the person to change his route making her choose one path over another to reach its destination and thus fail to have an accident, for example. How can this occur? It is because, praying, spiritual friends realize the positive vibes that soul and are attracted by the sincere vibrations emanating from it, approaching to give intuitive ideas, in order to stop the person from encounter situations that would not be to their advantage.

Studying the “Gospel According to Spiritism”, which is the interpretation of the Good Spirits of the teachings of Jesus, we learn that:

“The first duty of all human beings, the first act which should mark the return to activity each day, is prayer. Most people pray, but only a very few really know how to pray! Of what importance to God are Jesus-greatLordsentences which are mechanically linked together from habit, a duty to perform which weighs as heavily as any other duty? The prayers of a Christian, of a Spiritist, or of whatever cult, must be made as soon as the Spirit returns to the fleshly yoke; it should be raised up to the feet of the Divine Majesty with humility and profundity, in an impulse of gratitude for all the many benefits received till that day; for the night just past during which it was permitted, although without knowing, to get close to friends and guides so as to be able to absorb new strength and more perseverance through this contact. You should lift yourself up humbly to the feet of the Lord, so as to offer up your weaknesses, plead for help, indulgence and mercy. This prayer should be profound, because it is your soul that should raise itself up to the Creator, and in doing so, it should become transfigured, as was Jesus on the mount when He showed the radiant splendor of His hope and love.

Your prayer should include a request for His blessings for all those things you really need. Therefore it is useless to ask the Lord to shorten your tests and trials, or to give you happiness and riches.” [1]

And also as follows,

Prayer is an invocation through which, by means of thought, Man enters into communication with the being to whom he directed himself. This may be for the purpose of asking for something, giving thanks or as a glorification. We may pray for ourselves or for others, for the living or for the dead. Prayers addressed to God are heard by those Spirits who are charged with the execution of His will. All those addressed to good Spirits are referred to God. When someone prays to beings other than God, these are serving as mediators or intercessors, because nothing can happen without God’s wishes. [2]

It is through prayer that Man obtains the assistance of the good Spirits who come running to sustain him in his good resolutions and inspire wholesome ideas. In this manner he acquires the moral strength necessary to be able to surmount all difficulties, and come back to the straight and narrow path should he at any time stray from it. By these means he can also turn away from himself all the evil which he attracts through his faults. For example: a man loses his health due to his excesses and so leads a life of suffering till the termination of his days. Has he then the right to complain if he does not obtain the cure he so desires? No, because he could have found the strength to resist temptation through the act of prayer.” [3]

 

We understand that we still have much to learn about the teachings that the Lord has given us and especially that we can improve our personal condition so only by the inclusion of prayer exercise in the list of our daily habits.

[1] The Gospel According to Spiritism – Chaper 27, item 22 – “Instructions from the Spirits. The Way to Pray”

[2] The Gospel According to Spiritism – Chaper 27, item 9 – “The Act of Prayer. Transmission of Thought”

[3] The Gospel According to Spiritism – Chaper 27, item 11 – “The Act of Prayer. Transmission of Thought”

Look At Your Present…..

reincarnation1

By Geraldo Goulart

No, we are not here to talk about the goods that you received in the special moments of your material life; let’s not to talk about dolls, cars, jewelry, perfume, electronics or clothing. Let’s talk about current life situation where, occasionally, there are so many “why’s?”.

It is not difficult to find people who go through times of daily pain; not just caused from diseases. Others would like to understand the real motivation of their problems of respiratory deficiencies, digestive, motor functions, constant headaches or other debilitating conditions.

There are also those who, although not currently identifiable ailments, questions the “why” of physical disorders and or physiological brought from cradle.

Sometimes the problem presents itself in unhealthy personality, nervous, impatient, violent people who do not admit, do not allow any contradictions. How to justify or explain such diversity? Some religions advocate the argument that God was testing such creatures, but would that be possible? According to Christianity, the answer is “NO”. Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, assured that “For there is no respect of persons with God” (Rom. 2:11), then it is inconceivable to believe that so many disturbances are trial or punishment from God randomly imposed on His children.

Any student of the Doctrine, making a careful reading of chapter V, “BLESSED ARE THE AFFLICTED” in THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM, will conclude, after a brief analysis of the text in question, that congenital illnesses come from previous lives. Effectively knowing about the justice of effect of previous and current actions which are the root causes of the sufferings, the reader will better understand the mechanisms of Divine Justice. Therefore, it will open also the field of reflections that will carry out more knowledge about other references found in the Gospel, for example, the “eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” (Exodus 21:24)

Not only are diseases of any order brought from the cradle, which stir up the curiosity of some, but also aspects of wealth and poverty. Hence, this is the reality of successive lives … reincarnation; where we pay for past wrongs and gain new experiences.

It is a mistake from who that say if they knew about their past lives everything would be easier. It would not be. Rather it would be more difficult because it would entail painful knowledge of faults committed in previous lives. We would be greatly ashamed by our failures, especially moral lapses.

In some sufferings, the current cause can be stated that they derive from vanity, pride, greed, envy, abandonment of the struggle in the field of family life. From there comes dissatisfaction, addictions, rebellion and intolerance of children and spouses and even relatives. According to Chapter V of The Gospel According to Spiritism, we learn that:

“On going back to the origins of earthly misfortunes it must be recognized that many are natural consequences of character and the behavior of those who suffer them. How many fail through their own fault? How many are the victims of their own thoughtlessness, pride or ambition?

How many destroy themselves through lack of discipline, misconduct or from not knowing how to limit their desires!

How many disastrous marriages are due to the fact that they were built on calculated interest or vanity, in which the heart took no part!

How many disagreements and fatal disputes could have been avoided with the aid of a little moderation and less susceptibility!

How many illnesses and diseases stem from intemperance and excesses of all kinds?

How many parents are unhappy with their children because they did not combat their bad instincts from an early age! Either from weakness or indifference, they allowed the germ of pride, selfishness and stupid vanity to grow in them, so causing their hearts to dry and shrivel. Later on, when reaping what they have sown, they are surprised and afflicted by the lack of gratitude and the indifference with which they are treated.

We ask each one whose heart has been hurt by vicissitudes or deceptions, to study their own conscience closely; to go back, step by step, to the origins of each misfortune which is torturing them. Like as not they will be able to say: if I had done, or not done, such and such a thing, I would not be where I am now.

Who then is responsible for Man’s afflictions if not Man himself? So then in a great number of cases he is the cause of his own misfortunes. But instead of recognizing this fact he finds it easier and less humiliating to his vanity to accuse his bad luck, providence or even his unlucky star, when in actual fact his unlucky star is his own carelessness. (…)” – item 4.

And yet in the same chapter, we read that:

“Sufferings due to causes prior to the present existence, as well as those which originate from present causes, are frequently the consequences of errors which have been committed. That is to say through the action of a rigorously distributive justice, we come to suffer what we have made others suffer. If we have been hard and inhumane we may be treated with harshness and inhumanity; if we were too full of pride we may be born in humble circumstances; if we have been miserly, selfish or made bad use of our riches we may find ourselves deprived of the necessary means of survival; if we have been a bad son or daughter we may suffer from the behavior of our children.

It is only through the plurality of existences and the destiny of the planet as a world of

atonement, which it now is, that we can explain the abnormalities in the distribution of happiness or unhappiness amongst good and bad alike. Nevertheless, these abnormalities exist only in appearance, due to the fact that they are considered solely from the point of view of the present. If we elevate ourselves, by means of thought, in such a way as to see a succession of existences, we will perceive that to each one is given what is deserved, after taking into consideration that which was gained in the spiritual world. Only then does it become apparent that God’s justice is uninterrupted.” – Item 7

That said, it is understood that the answers on the problems of their current life, people must search

Geraldo Goulart

Geraldo Goulart

them through retrospective and introspective analysis of their current existence. Following this route, be sure you will be able by an inspiration and deductions to reach what should be your current response and attitude toward your current situation.

Look at your present and then you will sense your past!


What Geraldo wrote about above explains many of the trials and sufferings we must live through. I write about the types of trials we are given and how to determine the best way to surmount any The Problem is the Solutionobstacle in a manner to learn from the experience and to emerge victorious from the trials assigned to us.

Read my book, The Problem is the Solution – 7 Life Complications Sent to Test and Teach You, so you too can look at your present and see the past and the glorious future awaiting you.

… REST IN PEACE

By Geraldo Goulart

near-deathLarge numbers of people, upon learning about someone’s death, automatically express their feeling saying, “rest in peace”. Such expression is more a cultural attitude than religious one; an act that seems godly, but that does not keep any connection with the reality of the “post-mortem”.

This superficial faith that does not encourage study, no research, and prefers to rely on dogmas, mysteries and symbolism, induces its professed to believe that after disembodiment only what will remain for the righteous is paradise (to the righteous and chosen) or overwhelming flames of hell (to the unrepentant sinners who have not accepted salvation) and thus keep people linked to ignorance about the reality of spiritual life. Most religions says that they shall spend an eternity singing hymns in the Promised Land, if they are a believer, pious and God-fearing. It reveals a total unawareness about how is the Life after life.

They certainly have never heard – or even have read about – that here on Earth we have a faint copy of how the life is in other dimensions. In fact, all the progress made by the earthly man comes from inspiration on the other side of life and, yes, they are achievements that fall far short of the outreach that could have been. If here there are schools, libraries, artistic events, hospitals, places of worship, is because at some point in the past, people were inspired to work those activities and principles for the benefit of earthly society. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that, also on the side, there are institutions – and better ones – developed for the progress of the Spirits.

The first books in the series “Life in the Spirit World” dictated by the Spirit Andre Luiz to the medium Francisco Cândido Xavier, edited by Federação Espírita Brasileira, are rich in surprising revelations

and also in details of life after to what we call on Earth of “death”. From its reading we learn, aboutSONY DSC the organization and administration of the work, rests, entertainments and treatments devoted to the “dead” in some of the cities of beyond. We learn what happens in violent disembodiment caused by traumatic accidents; also those that occur due to serious illness, or by suicide. It is shown to us the spirits are affected by their repeated memories, especially when people were preoccupied with the material goods of earth in their last passage through the planet.

Remember two questions addressed to Emmanuel who is in the CONSOLADOR (FEB), items 147 and 148:

  • Does death provide unexpected changes and some modifications as many desire?

 

       — Death does not lavish miraculous changes to our consciousness.

Disincarnating is simply changing state, you don’t change the infirmities or virtues with the simple release of your body. It is important to observe only the change of the area in which you learn – from the terrestrial to the spirit plane. (…)

 

  •  -What awaits the disembodied man, directly, in the early years of life beyond the grave?

— The disembodied soul naturally seeks the activities that were its favorite in the circles of material life; obeying its similar desires, as it occurs in societies of your world.

Are not your cities replete of associations, of guilds, of whole classes that are joined and that unionize for determined aims, conjugating identical interests of several individuals? There, are not the loan sharks, the politicians, the traders, the priests, aiming at each group to defense of their own interests?

The disembodied, looks for, anxiously, in Space, the similar crowd with his thinking, in order to continue the same kind of life left on Earth, but in the case of passionate and vicious creatures, his mind again will find the materiality obsessions , as money, alcohol, etc., obsessions that become his moral martyrdom of every hour, in the closest spheres of the Earth.

That said, on the other hand, we observe that nature works continuously in the production and reproduction of essential items to the balance of the planet and of material life, then it is easy to deduce that the Creator is also working incessantly. In the Old and New Testament, are about 10 to 12 references to the substantives “rest” and “sleep,” but no one can infer that is “eternal” rest. Both in Psalms as in Deuteronomy and Isaiah, you can read that God works while we sleep. Will it be then that He sleeps or rests while we are woken? But we know that when in one hemisphere is day, in the other is night. So, there is no chance of rest for Him.

The Spiritist Doctrine codified by Allan Kardec, clarifies, in psychographic messages in different countries, the subject that the Supreme Intelligence works incessantly. And with regard to the type work there is also unanimity. In all the books of the Spiritist Pentateuch, there are varied comments on the subject. After analyzing them, it is easy to conclude that the Creator works unceasingly for our progress.

With regard to the “death” it is appropriate that those desiring further information read and reflect on Chapter II of THE BOOK OF SPIRITS where one can find enlightening answers. At the end, readers will understand that there is no “rest in peace” simply because after a necessary short period for the Spirit-101-Front-smallreadapting the Spirit; when one returns to the Spiritual Plan dimension, many surprises and activities await them. Hence death is not the end and the “nothing” does not exist just because life goes on.

Learn more about Spiritism – read Spiritism 101 – The Third Revelation to gain an introduction into the basic questions of your immortal spirit and the spirit realm.

The Value of Money

By Geraldo Goulart

“Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses (…) for the workman is worthy of his meat.”Jesus (Matthew, 10:9).     

Mistaken in their illusion that winning more money, in addition to solving their precarious financial situation, would enable them to do something for themselves, countless people feed their weekly gambling addiction.

The bettors do not understand – usually they are simple people – who are compromising their meager resources in the cultivation of what eventually becomes a desperate hope of obtaining extra income, pursuing at all costs the realization of far-fetched dreams such as: travel around the world; acquisition of new cars and cloths; mansions and even performing aesthetic surgeries, believing that with a new look they would be happier, combining happiness and money under the argument that money is not problem but solution.

It is with the utmost sorrow that we observe such occurrences, because we know luxurious residences and beautiful palaces, contain terrible moral evils and psychic disturbances, whose occupants would not hesitate to exchange their properties for an even grander abode. It is an illusion for anyone who thinks there is full contentment, any real lasting joy, tied to financial achievements.

We are not questioning the value of money. After all, it is sometimes mentioned in the Roadmap of Conduct that makes up the great legacy of the Exalted Master. However, if such a reference occurs, it is always to show a behavior that must be made in which we are called to witness against covetousness and avarice (1) or in favor of obedience to the constituted authorities(2) with the due contribution to the tax burden imposed to preserve public administration.

Even today we find companions on this earthly journey desirous of giving to God the same we give to Caesar – money, frivolities, worldliness. They should be better conditioned to surrender to God what belongs to Him and is in us: love of neighbor according to the second commandment (3). Confused, many of us failed to record the representativeness of the two small coins of which the widow’s mite symbol was composed (4). The offering of Love may well be the two-minute donation of attention to the stranger who solicits us, when they are distressed, we should help through outstretched hands. Let us remember Simon Peter when he passed through the Formosa Gate in the Temple of Jerusalem, when he was called by the lame man who begged for alms, then Peter said: “Silver and gold have I none;  but such as I have give I thee:  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” (5), what did the Apostle give? Love, only Love that represented a hug in the name of Jesus Christ, and that was more than enough to satisfy the neediness of the beggar.

In in order to imitate the widow’s gesture it is necessary that we truly want to SERVE. In addition, to repeat the deed of Peter, we require the ability to LOVE. A great mistake is made by those who relate the condition of serving and the fulfillment of charity to the possession of money. How much can we help even when we do not have material support with us? We know from several examples, let us mention one: so many times Dr. Bezerra de Menezes emptied his wallet, and since not having his graduation’s ring, because he had given it to someone to convert it into money to pay for a burial, and the purchase of provisions, he saw himself one day with no other choice but to bestow an EMBRACE to another person in need who sought his help. But he did so with so much Love and Faith that his embrace, granted in the name of the Blessed Virgin as he said, transferred such formidable energy that it performed wonders, and so the person in need received the resources she was asking for.(6)

The difficulties we often parade in the justification for “not doing” seem to be the residue of the impassivity that, indeed, must have been left to us by the undecided young man who pleaded for eternal life, but remained pensive with the invitation that Jesus gave him (7). In fact, to accomplish the Commandments will not be such an arduous task; but GIVING what we have in exchange for a treasure in Heaven does not seem to us to be a very profitable thing, does it? Therefore, we generally go on a path different from that which the Master treads.

The Spiritist Doctrine has helped us enough in clarifying the necessary reordering of our acts. Embedded in the panoply of Kardec-inspired guidelines – always for our benefit, let us emphasize – lies the chapter on Choice of Trials (8). Moreover, if our life plan includes the struggle for survival with little monetary resources – but always sufficient for the maintenance of our existence, however small – why obsess over obtaining? This is also a facet of “bad suffer” (9).

We are deluded when we believe we justify our gambling addiction for the purpose of building shelters, buying clothes and food for the protection of our needy brothers. This is not how Mercy works because it never leads us to the contemplative life. Those who work, as the Lord assured the Disciples deserve their sustenance. Which sustenance did the Lord refer to: bread for the body? Certainly not only this, but also, and especially, to the bread for the spirit, that can be located in the hopes deposited in the result of serving. This overcoming, as a manna that materializes by the arrival of valiant workers, by overcoming harsh difficulties, represents support from Highest Heaven and is related to our ability to receive such blessings. After all, who promised easy ways? Where is the reward in the Gospels without laborious construction?

Jesus, the Maximum Exemplifier, had nowhere for resting His head (10). Thus, we do not understand the reason for such an unbridled gold rush when the true treasure (11), the incorruptible, requires persevering patience and extreme dedication in its attainment.

Knowing how to multiply the talents (12), let us agree to this, is much better than winning the lottery!

REFERENCES:

  1. Luke 12:13-21
  2. Matthew 22:15-22
  3. Matthew 22:34-40
  4. Luke 21:1-4
  5. Acts 3:6
  6. Lindos Casos de Bezerra de Menezes – Prof. Ramiro Gama – Editora Lake
  7. Matthew 19:16-24
  8. The Spirits’ Book, questions from 258 to 273 e The Gospel According to Spiritism, 16:7-8
  9. The Gospel According to Spiritism, 5:18
  10. Luke 9:58
  11. Matthew 6:19-21
  12. Matthew 25:14-30

(*) Originally published in REFORMADOR (monthly magazine issued by Federação Espírita Brasileira) in April, 1985

 

Pride

pride

By Geraldo Goulart

Several philosophical-spiritual currents affirm that pride is the greatest curse that plagues humankind. It is difficult to understand this statement without reflecting on the effects of pride concerning ourselves.

Very few people admit that they are proud and when they do it, it’s like a justification for what they believe is a virtue rather than a defect. A friend of mine once confessed to me, “I never guessed that I am proud, but when I analyzed my behavior, I immediately realized reactions that even I classified as irrational, I identified myself to be a proud creature that moved in the muddy ground of vanity”.

What is observed is that with some knowledge already acquired on the subject, anyone can identify and modify, if they want to, his or her behavior, distancing themselves as much as possible from that feeling. It is true that one will not achieve immediate success in this endeavor, for we must admit it is very difficult to remove pride.

While we do not realize presence of pride in us, and if we do then we are not willing to fight to smother this from our life, because the satisfaction provided by pride. We feel pleasure in the apparent “victory” that we think we have reached by our own effort. This feeling feeds our ego, as if releasing heady massive doses of corporeal chemistry. In these moments we feel satisfied, happy, fulfilled!

This reaction induces us to be even more and more proud; we boast of our achievements and ability, because the recognition from others make us feel again that emotion and pleasure of a realization that no one else could reach.

On the other hand, when we begin to realize the futility of such recognition just for our pleasure, and when we identify ourselves to be far from deserving the merit we believe we deserve, then the realization begins to affect our self-esteem.

Our conscience, renewed, and bothered by the new knowledge acquired, lights a warning headlight

Geraldo Goulart

Geraldo Goulart

against the old feeling of pride. This awareness promotes an inner struggle because, on the one hand, the ego, remembering the already experienced pleasurable emotions, refuses to not promote another exhibitionist session. Although we realize our achievements should remain anonymous. We need to demonstrate the strength of the Spirit who seeks the path of renewal and growth and that understands the need for help to mastering the threat from the pride.

If we do not allow the still weak voice of our conscience to prevail our pride will strengthen influence of our ego. This would take us off our path to ascend in the spiritual world.

Note that the generation of our “new selves” only by acquiring new spiritual knowledge, is not easy, not even a little. We must eliminate, at every opportunity, physical satisfaction generated by the exaggerated pride, improving the moral tone that will serve as the antidote to nullify the deleterious effects from that consequence in the Spirit.

However, there is an easier and more objective way for the start of the “good fight” against pride: just admit that the origin of any positive momentum that we can show and offer does not belong to us, but – yes! – to the friends from higher. Thus, with so simple way, we learn to set aside our personalityKardec-Jesus that, in fact, is not the author of most of the good deeds that we allow ourselves to undertake.

The Book of Spirits, by Allan Kardec teaches us that pride is a powerful enemy of the spiritual evolution of man because it does not allow him to glimpse the truth but only what is in their own interest.


Below are some of the passages in The Book of Spirits which caution us about excessive pride:

Question 823 in THE BOOK OF SPIRITS:

Whence comes the desire of perpetuating one’s memory by means of funeral monuments?

“It is the last act of pride.”

– But is not the sumptuousness of funeral monuments more frequently due to the action of

relatives desirous to honour the memory of the defunct, than to the defunct himself?

“In such cases it is an act of pride on the part of relatives who desire to glorify themselves; for

assuredly it is not always for the one who is dead that all these demonstrations are made, but

rather to gratify their own vanity by making an impression on others, and to parade their

wealth. Do you imagine that the remembrance of their loved ones is less durable in the hearts

of the poor, because the latter have no flowers to lay upon their graves ? Do you imagine that

marble can save from oblivion the name of him who has led a useless life upon the earth?”

Teaching about natural liberty, in question 828 the instructor says:

How can we reconcile the liberal opinions professed by some persons with the despotism they themselves sometimes exercise in their own houses, and among their subordinates?

“Their intelligence is aware of the law of nature, but this perception is counterbalanced by

their pride and selfishness. When their profession of liberal principles is not hypocrisy, they

know what ought to be done, but do it not.”

Question 929:

There are persons who, being utterly without resources, though surrounded by abundance, have no other prospect than starvation. What course should they take under such circumstances? Ought they to allow themselves to die of hunger?

“No one should ever admit into his mind the idea of allowing himself to die of hunger; a man

could always find the means of obtaining food if pride did not interpose itself between want

and work. It has often been said that ‘No work is dishonorable it honestly done;’ but this is

one of the aphorisms that each man is more prompt to apply to his neighbor than to

himself.”

Here, below, about unhappy marriages, question 940:

Is not the lack of sympathy between persons destined to live together also a source of sorrow, and one that is all the more bitter because it poisons an entire existence?

“Very bitter it is, undoubtedly; but it is usually a misfortune of your own causing. In the first

place, your laws are in fault; for how can you suppose that those who dislike one another can

be intended by God to live together ? In the next place, you yourselves are to blame, for you

often seek, in those unions, the satisfaction of your pride and ambition rather than the

happiness of a mutual affection; and, in such cases, you undergo the natural consequences of

your prejudices.”

The natural consequence is (complementary answer):

– But, in such cases, is there not generally an innocent victim?

“Yes, one for whom it is a heavy expiation; but the responsibility of such unhappiness will,

nevertheless, be brought home to those who caused it. If the light of truth have reached the

soul of the victim, faith in the future will give consolation under present suffering. But the

causes of these private misfortunes will disappear in proportion as your prejudices are dissipated.”

 

About weariness of life, suicide as shown in question 947:

Can we consider as having committed suicide the man who, becoming disheartened in his struggle with adversity, allows himself to die of despair?

“Such self-abandonment is suicide; but those who had caused the crime, or might have

prevented it, would be more to blame for it than the one by whom it had been committed, and

the latter would therefore be judged leniently. But, nevertheless, you must

not suppose that he would be entirely absolved if he had been wanting in firmness and

perseverance, or had failed to make the best use of his intelligence to help himself out of his

difficulties. And it would go still harder with him if he had been one of those whose

intelligence is paralysed by pride, who would blush to earn their living by manual labour, and

would rather die of starvation than derogate from what they call their “social position. (…)”


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Further instructions and explanations about the attitudes derived from pride and that compromise the spiritual evolution of creatures can be found in THE BOOK OF SPIRITS and also in The Gospel According to Spiritism. These two books were compiled by Allan Kardec, the Encoder of Spiritist Doctrine, and deserve to be read. Its contents certainly enlightens the reader’s understanding and facilitates decision-making in many common situations in day-to-day lives.

Get them and have a good reading!

 

Difficult People

By Geraldo Goulart

Let your light so shine before men… (Mt, 5:16)

green-eyes-red-hairUsually we classify as “difficult people” those who, as a rule, do not share our values, desires and expectations. Would that constitute what would really characterize a “difficult person”? Maybe not. Most of us know people, intimate or not, that seem to “run in the same pack” with us or with others who we also know, that’s, are partners in almost all occasions, they tread on the same ground, they go together, they have the same hankerings and desires and … even so, they are hard in personal relationship, yet!

In fact, the parameter used to classify such creatures is the reflections of their temperaments, which we seldom understand, together with their motivations and inconsistencies. These people generally have a highly variable mood. With the same ease with which they smile, frown the brows; sometimes kind, sometimes irritable. They leave us disconcerted because we do not know what we did or what we fail to do, to sow their ever threatening discontent.

Living together with that kind of person whether at home or in a religious or professional environment, in the club, in the gym, requires patience and tolerance. In short, for such companionship we need to have and offer LOVE. When there is love in any relationship, everything is indeed easier.

We need to understand these people who life puts around us with the magnifying glass of spiritualinspiration knowledge. Why do they treated us like this? Why are they like piles of stones in our evolutionary path? Do they cross paths with us in life just to test us? On the other hand, are they people from who we became debtors at some point in the past? The ability to respond with a “yes” or “no” to any of the questions confuses us more than it helps, because there would be valid answers to all of them questions.

“Bad temper” so much suggests a diseased liver as well as an afflicted soul, confused, lacking in enlightenment and protection. Understanding that the Lord of Life always sends us the help in the most unusual ways, we are the “persecuted”, the “tormented”, holders of the medicine for those needy others, as we have overcome these needs and we are living with an elevated sense.

familyproblemsIt behooves us to take the first step and embark on the search for understanding. We are never randomly placed in critical situations with people like that. We must not turn our back on them, relegating them to oblivion because we are “wounded” by what they did or said.

Through repeated examples of fraternal conversation, the temperamental will concede. So, friend reader, if you have someone like that in your day-by-day living, “let your light shine” because it alone, “your light” fueled by clarification oil and unquestioned love, will enable difficult people around you to find the path of well-being and inner peace that will soften their feeling, transmuting them into fraternal brothers who encourage also others “difficult people” to change themselves through the understanding that we need to love one another.


 

The Problem is the SolutionOn earth we are guided to learn that what we have lacked, failed, or have to atone for what we have done in the past. Hence, what we perceive as unfair suffering in our life are actually trials assigned to us for our betterment. Discover how to handle and even thrive during the blackest moments of your life; read The Problem is the Solution – 7 Life Complications Sent to Test and Teach You. The ability to emerge from each dark episode in your life a more loving and caring person is the greatest triumph you can imagine for your life on this shiny blue planet.

 

Life Goes On…

reincarnation2By Geraldo Goulart

Born, die, revive, such is the law.” — Allan Kardec

On the TV screen a young lady responds to reporter, “- That was a brutality. He was a young man with a great future, he shouldn’t have died…” and this phrase brings us to a reflection: Does anyone deserve death? Or was did she mean to say that young people should not die – as they say young people – because they have the whole future ahead?

Whatever it is, we know that many young people disembody in different situations: by disease, by violence, addictions and other ways. And the study of the “Spiritist Doctrine” explains the meaning of death and why it occurs in certain situations, such as violence. Believing that the death of anyone was unfair or early is a clear manifestation of ignorance of Divine Laws and also of spiritual life, being therefore almost an assertion of spirituality abstinence.

At that same line of reasoning developed by that woman newscaster, newborns would not deserve to die; we should not have stillbirths in hospitals. Also pregnant women should not die…

A popular saying affirms that “death has a thousand excuses …” which means that people seek toTomasz Alen Kopera justify death as if it were a supreme need to quiet their hearts and their relatives affected by the “fatality” of the death of a family member or a very close friend.

It is possible that the real motivation of seeking justification is total fear that death inspires. And this fear comes from ignorance and also the fear that an afterlife may actually exist; hell, purgatory and paradise. And the fear of suffering, ignoring which will be our final station, will transform the figure of death in terrific and malefic tormentor.

One of the biggest benefits that the Spiritist Doctrine gives us is the possibility of obtaining this knowledge, the truth that sets us free, but it does not force us to follow the Spiritist Doctrine. It only presents what is there, allowing our free choice in the matter.

Their teachings enable us to develop an understanding by examining the facts and certify, by our own eyes, its full truth through numerous examples that we see parading throughout our existence.

Someone once said that “dying is like taking a leap in the dark” and maybe it is, but it must be said that the sense of “leap in the dark” only lasts for the period in which we remain distanced from knowledge. To the extent that we go down our reasoning by following the facts and their consequences, we no longer fear death. Little by little, as we accumulate knowledge we grow comfortable with returning home to the spirit realm.

Dying, is in fact, is to revive, to live again, to return to a full life, because we are spirits that live as prisoners of a physical body. Sent to earth to learn during our stay on the planet, like the dragonfly cloistered in his little cocoon. By escaping the cocoon after a time of maturation, during which the body of the old caterpillar suffered its metamorphose, making it light, beautiful and colorful, the butterfly takes flight to a new stage with a new nature. It is the same with us. In each material life, with our Spirit trapped in new body-cocoon, we evolved. Moreover, every passage has its necessary duration.

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What terrifies people is the loss of their physical vehicle in which they express themselves, and what is more valued than our own essence: our spirit! Our reality is that, as stated above, we are spirits that are passing through a transitional period on Earth. Being afraid of death expresses the idea that we are just one body that has a spirit and that spirit would be so fragile, temporal and corruptible as is the physical body. And it is not so.

We err when we say that someone “died so young and still had so much to do“. It is true that death does not mean eternal rest. This understanding asserts, then, that what we did not here will be done at another time, in another place.

Over there, on the other side of material life, in the Spiritual World, friends that preceded us to real life, inform that they go on with their work activities, their leisure and studies, attesting that life goes on.

READ KARDEC’S BOOKS!

KNOW THE BASIC BOOKS OF THE SPIRITIST DOCTRINE.


KindleCoverTo discover what Spiritism has presented to us, read 51 Disclosures from Spiritism, The 3rd Revelation. Learn that we are all immortal souls who journey through life after life in a quest to become a pure spirit.

 

The Fall of Man

Kardec-JesusBy Geraldo Goulart

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and He did eat.” — Gen. 3:6

The Catholic and evangelical interpretation about the “fall of spirit” leads us to the understanding that it would have been caused by the disobedience of Adam to eat the “forbidden fruit”, the apple that had been offered by the serpent.

Everyone who has ever read, albeit superficial of THE BOOK OF SPIRITS, knows that the Doctrine does not sponsor such an interpretation.

Indeed, it is difficult to understand why the Creator put something that was forbidden access to man, as if to provoke and challenge his absolute obedience.

When browsing the letters of Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, we see the statement that “everything is permissible for me, but not everything suits me …” (I Cor, 10:23). That means – as we see – that although there are several things we can, at our disposal, we must, for our own good, select only that which is not harmful to us.

Adam-EveAssuming that at the beginning there have been, in the setting of the biblical paradise, Adam and Eve, and the serpent is near apple tree with the fruit of temptation. What you see in that act, where religion see the “fall of man” is actually the first human specimen which had the opportunity to use one of the greatest benefits with which the Creator has endowed us: free will, the power of decision and choice. If so, they were not guilty; neither Eva nor the serpent; the “fall” would have to be attributed to Adam’s personal decision.

In THE BOOK OF SPIRITS, item 262, the question asked by Kardec: As a spirit, at its origin, is simple,

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ignorant, and without experience, how can he make an intelligent choice of an existence, and how can he be responsible for such a choice? We have a crystalline answer from the Entity to the encoder:

“God supplies what is lacking through his inexperience, by tracing out for him the road which

he has to follow, as you do for the infant in its cradle; but he allows him, little by little, to

become the master of his choice, in proportion as his free-will becomes developed; and it is

then that he often loses his way and takes the wrong road, if he do not listen to the advice of

the good spirits, who endeavour to instruct him; it is this which may be called the fall of

man.”

 From this, with detailed information supplied by high spirits to Kardec, it is that the fall of man can occur at any time, and this is very logical!

For every one of us, we are capable of falling at any moment. In various times when we have to decide something, the biggest factor at play in the decision is our own will. Nobody forces us to do or not do this or that. If we do it, or not, it is because we want to or we believe that, we want this way or that differently.

With that, it is obvious that in some of the decisions that we take we expose ourselves to the fall. And how many times have we been already fallen?

The most important for us in the lesson is the reality that our fall will also depend on the use we make of our free will, our sole responsibility depending on choosing the correct course even at the expense of what we wanted.

Nevertheless, always the fault or merit is our own. Never from the Creator.

By: Geraldo Goulart


3D-Explore-Small-coverLearn more about our place in the spirit realm, who we are, where we come from, our personal destiny, by reading; Explore Your Destiny – Your Path to Perfection.

 

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