To live simply is to exist within the basic needs we all have. Food and shelter is required. Spirit messengers add to this list – family and study. Family, because we are born into the world with support. A structure that is usually designed to mold us into better people, before the character of our past lives begin to intrude during our late teens. And study, because we are put on earth to acquire the attributes we sorely need and to break down the flaws in our personality. Read More.
Allan Kardec in the book, The Gospel According to Spiritism, lays out the philosophy of Socrates as recorded by Plato. The basic doctrine of Socrates is very similar to what Jesus preached and Spiritism codified. Which should not be surprising, since all had their headwaters in the same place; the spirit world. Read More.
I was reading Saint Augustine’s book, City of God, he wrote the book after the Visigoths, under King Alaric, sacked Rome in the year 410. In many of the chapters he wrote about the complaints of the pagans against the Christians. A sense of the decline of the Roman Empire permeated the book. One chapter stood out, it described what St. Augustine felt the Roman citizens of the day really wanted. The type of culture and society, the leading Romans of the day desired to live in and wished to remain free to continue until their dying days.
The parallel with our current situation is uncanny. Rome, a once great Republic, had sunk into an Empire that cared only for its own luxuries, not for any notion of honor or fraternity. St. Augustine, in Chapter 20, titled, “Of the Kind of Happiness and Life Truly Delighted in by Those Who Inveigh Against the Christian Religion”, writes of what the Romans of the time truly desire:
“Only let it remain undefeated, they say, only let it flourish and abound in resources; let it be glorious by its victories, or still better, secure in peace; and what matters it to us? This is our concern, that every man be able to increase his wealth so as to supply his daily prodigalities, and so that the powerful may subject the weak for their own purposes. Let the poor court the rich for a living, and that under their protection they may enjoy a sluggish tranquility; and let the rich abuse the poor as their dependents, to minister to their pride. Let the people applaud not those who protect their interests, but those who provide them with pleasure. Let no severe duty be commanded, no impurity forbidden. Let kings estimate their prosperity, not by the righteousness, but by the servility of their subjects.”
I thought the line, “Let the poor court the rich for a living, and that under their protection they may enjoy a sluggish tranquility”, was particularly true today. I equate that with the rich CEO’s and moguls who amassed wealth by exploiting others and have a ready army of eager executives striving to outdo each other in how profit may be increased on the backs of their employees and customers. Rome in the 5th century, as the majority of the world is in the 21st century, a quest for material wealth at the expense of all else.
There is more, which speaks to our consumer society and the media which promotes unbridled political correctness, by attacking anyone who disagrees with the party line.
“Let there be erected houses of the largest and most ornate description: in these let there be provided the most sumptuous banquets, were everyone who please may, by day or night, play, drink, vomit, dissipate. Let there be everywhere heard the rustling of dancers, the loud, immodest laughter of the theatre; let a succession of the most cruel and the most voluptuous pleasures maintain a perpetual excitement. If such happiness is distasteful to any, let him be branded as a public enemy; and if any attempt to modify or put an end to it let him be silenced, banished, put an end to. Let these be reckoned the true gods, who procure for the people this condition of things, and preserve it when once possessed. Let them be worshipped as they wish; let them demand whatever games they please, from or with their own worshippers; only let them secure that such felicity be not imperiled by foe, plague, or disaster of any kind. “
I am not saying we should return to the rampant discrimination of people because of different races, preferences, or other criteria, or to a religious atmosphere of intolerance and exclusion. Spiritism tells us that all should be respected. I am speaking of a culture gone too far in hedonistic pursuits, of which, I have played my part! Where wearing the latest tennis shoes is something that can get you killed. Where there are no rules in the game of accumulating more and more.
I am speaking of moral rules, guidelines that people voluntarily follow because they are the right thing to do. The usual answer to pile on more government regulations is a chimera; the rich and powerful will always find a way around any written code. Only when society shuns, instead of glorifies rapacious behavior will the pendulum start to swing back to a more normal position.
Find out what Spiritism tells us; how we are on earth to improve and help others, by making progress within each life, in my book, The Case for Reincarnation – Your Path to Perfection.
It’s hard sometimes to keep up the discipline to truly improve in this life. One has to release the material pull of the newest goods for sale, lower the priority to make and save money. And even more difficult is to train our thoughts, so we remain positive, support colleagues at work, refrain from gossip. The hardest part for me is to tone done my sarcasm and my self-pride.
I have read where we are rewarded one hundredfold for any sacrifice we make while on earth and I know the powers of a high spirit are such that no one in their right mind would wish for someone at my level to possess a force without successfully finishing my training. Even with those wonderful objectives in mind, I still get weak and self-pitying at times.
Also, I realize I should be loving, charitable, and fraternal without any promised reward whatsoever. But I am weak and thinking of a goal in the future helps me motivate myself.
So when I read a passage in Francisco (Chico) C. Xavier’s book, And Life Goes On, it intrigued me. The main characters in the book are at a temple in a celestial city. Many if not most of the audience are recent arrivals and are in the process of getting acquainted with the spirit realm. A spirit is giving a lecture of what it means for those who have just left their body.
Here is part of his speech;
“Do not deceive yourselves!
Just as was the case for we who have inhabited the spirit realm for many decades, you have brought here only what you made of yourselves … You have learned what you studied, you show what you did, you possess what you gave away!
In short, after having crossed the Great Boundary, we are simply what we are!
Thus, you will realize day by day in this place of blessed reality that all the disguises that used to hide our true individuality in the world are erased naturally, exposing our inner realm.
Without the constraints of the body, each spirit reveals who it really is.
In the ancestral home of the soul, we mechanically imprint our attitudes and words with sentiments and thoughts that are particular to us; we can no longer fake it.” [And Life Goes On, 2009, pp. 95-96]
In short, we are what we are inside, the thoughts that stream around our mind as we walk through life. Whereas, on earth, we are able to conceal our inner meanness toward others, as a spirit everything is revealed. Hence, working on our thoughts is an important step.
What comes next, is a hint at a future that I have not noticed before:
“Displaying everything we are and everything we have in the recesses of our being, the time for judgment has arrived, because the Divine Mercy of the Lord still offers to us, as in other colonies in the spirit world, this city-home as the antechamber for study and service. It gives us the invaluable potential to prepare our ascension to the Greater Life, in whose provinces we will apply ourselves in the acquisition of as-yet indescribable aptitudes as we continue the blessed struggle for our spiritual growth.”[And Life Goes On, 2009, p. 96]
The underling is mine. What are these “as-yet indescribable aptitudes”, what super powers could be waiting for us in our future. Who knows, as we improve ourselves, what will be given so that we may be a force for good.
Read my book, Explore Your Destiny – Since Your Life Path is (mostly) Predetermined, to learn more about the spirit world and what awaits us. What lies ahead in spirit worlds higher than ours. It is a universe, that someday all of us will be able to discover first hand.
One of the worrying aspects of our culture today is the advance of moral relativism. Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others.( Definition of Moral Relativism)
This philosophy lends people the crutch to rationalize bad behavior. There are a set of Divine Laws that are placed into our conscience and those are the rules we should follow. If one culture has a history of female circumcision, that doesn’t make it right to mutilated a person’s body against their will. Or take the example of China, in the past where they would bind women’s feet. Again, it violated the easily deciphered rule to not do unto others what you wouldn’t want done to you.
While I was disheartened about this phenomenon in our world today, I came across Question 780, in The Spirits Book:
Question 780 – Does moral progress always follow intellectual progress?
“It is a consequence of the latter, but does not always follow it immediately”
– How can intellectual progress lead to moral progress?
“By making man comprehend good and evil: he can then choose between. The development of free-will follows the development of the intelligence and increases the responsibility of human action.”
One can almost imagine this answer to be indicative of our times. While we are intellectually and technically progressing at a great rate, the collective morals of our society have seen no corresponding collective forward movement.
Within the arena of philosophy and morals, we are undergoing a decoupling or an unraveling of formally accepted morals. This is a necessary step, to remove provisions against homosexuality or same-sex marriage for instance, which is contrary to the loving Doctrine of Spiritism. This seemingly chaotic swirl of worldwide disagreement of what is fundamentally right or wrong will not last forever, but will coalesce as more advanced spirits come into the world and the lack of spirituality in a background of rampant materialism will be an unbearable state.
One can see the seeds germinating today. While there is an increasing amount of people not actively involved in organized religion, there is a growing legion of souls seeking spiritual fulfillment. They may not know exactly what they are looking for, but they are certain that key elements are missing in the ritual of dressing up and going to church every Sunday. Spiritism is waiting to be discovered. The answers are present and sooner or later each seeker will find them.
Discover what the spirit realm has in mind for us and why we are on earth. Read about your personal journey to become a pure spirit and how you are guided in that endeavor with Explore Your Destiny – Since Your Life’s Path is (mostly) Predetermined.
In medieval Europe the path to heaven was straight forward. You went to confession and a priest absolved you of your sins. If your crime was particularly horrendous, you paid the church a fee and walked away a blameless pure soul. The Catholic Church was the sole conduit to God. In other areas of the world there were pockets of greater enlightenment, but still the general inclination was for the priestly class to control their domain tightly.
In one of the books psychographed by Francisco (Chico) C. Xavier, Andre Luiz, the spirit who wrote a series of books about life in the spirit world, tells of an encounter with a woman dressed as if she was a wealthy landowner from the 18th century. She meets Andre, after she had been wandering in the Lower Zone for, what seems to her to be countless years, and complains about her experiences. She tells Andre that she had given regularly to the church and in her will she instructed her son to continue the gifts to insure a speedy path to heaven. She couldn’t understand her current predicament; after all she had been kinder than most to her slaves.
The poor soul had been misled. Her pastor had encourage her in believing that all will be made right with a little greasing of the palm of the person supposedly close to God. She had paid her dues, shown up on time every Sunday, sang the right songs, read the appointed words, and hated the people who all of her cohort of other upper class families also despised. What could have possibly gone wrong?
In one word, everything. She had the criteria for evaluation turned around. She concentrated on the outside. Dress, wealth, rituals, class and eating restrictions were the primary considerations. She did not understand that she could have dressed how she wished, loved who she wanted to love, and eaten what she desired, and never show up on Sundays and still ascend to a heavenly city. Outside accouterments are nothing compared to what is in inside.
Form is not good enough. Substance is what counts. The façade that most of us construct is transparent to the spiritual world. Whereas we feel safe if we maintain the appearance of respectability, secure in the knowledge that our thoughts are hidden to the outside world. This isn’t true to our spirit mentors. To them we aren’t automatons of actions, but radio towers of constant transmissions of thoughts.
In the spirit realm, thought is action and that is what we are being prepared for. As a spirit rises they become less dense, less composed of physical matter and more and more pure energy. Hence, the purpose of successive reincarnation is to modify our ratiocination processes. To put it simply, our objective is to learn to think good constructive thoughts in every circumstance and to maintain our spiritual harmony at all times.
On paper it sounds easy, in practice, with a multitude of external factors assaulting you at once, your job, your spouse is not well, the credit card that is overdue the task is daunting. Throw in emotional bursts such as a cheating boyfriend or girlfriend, office gossip and worse, the ability to control your balance is ruthlessly tested. Imagine the scenes of World War II movies of young men in boot camp, crawling under barbwire with the sadistic drill sergeant firing live ammo from his machine gun and you get an idea of the scope of training that we are in, right at this moment.
Nevertheless, you are expected to keep your head down and to keep crawling forward. Leaving prematurely is extremely frowned upon. Therefore, what are you slogging through the mud for? In a word, heaven. No, not the heaven of eternal bliss and never-ending life of luxury where nothing is ever demanded of you, but of a place you have frequently dreamed about.
Have you ever worked in an atmosphere with co-workers who care about the job they are performing and all energy is expended on providing good service? Where managers are caring individuals who are committed to excellence and to your welfare. A place in which your health is never in doubt and growing old is not a concern. And you are working at what you are passionate about is what heaven really is.
There are many levels of heaven in the spirit realm and I am presenting to you just the first, the lowest level of life in a celestial city. Hate, envy and avarice are absent. Colors are brighter and the architecture is blissful. It is a place where the main aim is to help the souls on earth, incarnates and discarnates (spirits who roam around earth in an errant state) to achieve the state of mind where they to may ascend.
Spirits in this stage of heaven continue to work to improve themselves and to prepare to return to earth to carry on the long march to become a pure spirit. Not only do they seek to climb up the ladder in spirituality but to also help move the entire planet to the next level.
Someday, the earth will truly be a paradise. War, hunger and social discord will gradually disappear as more and more good souls populate our blue planet. Reincarnation on earth will be a pleasure, a chance to take on more complicated assignments in a positive atmosphere.
What does this mean to us, attempting to survive in our dog eat dog culture? The spirit world is telling us, that sacrificing the dictates of your conscience, acting dishonorable, taking advantage of others is never, I will repeat, never worth the temporary gain against the failure to ascend.
Living in the penthouse, drinking thousand dollar bottles of wine and cruising the Mediterranean in a private yacht are mere moments compared to the infinite life span of a spirit. Therefore, analyze your behavior and contemplate how you can improve to increase the love in your heart, your willingness to assist others and your capacity for charity and understanding. I promise this will be time well spent.
Find out how to live the life presented to us by the spirit world by reading my book about my own discovery of Spiritism. I learn the basic principles upon which we live our daily routines and how much love and care goes into our eventual success. My book is called 7 Tenets of Spiritism – How They Impact Your Daily Life.
The above was found at The Spiritist Magazine 1858, on page 136.
There is an interesting article at The Gospel Coalition about why Christianity grew. It holds some lessons for Spiritism. After all, one of the tenets of Spiritism is to return to the days when Christian churches served its members.
Here is the list:
“1. Christianity drew from the worldly, accommodated religious communities of the time. It is hardest to find converts among the serious religious, easiest to get them from those who are most secular or nominal in their commitment.
2. Christianity probably drew its converts, in large part, from the upper class. Privileged classes tend to be the most skeptical about God and most unaffiliated. Thus there are more of them to be won to new religions. If, that is, they are dissatisfied with what they have found in the world.
3. Christianity spread because the Christians cared for each other in times of sickness and disease. Their communal compassion both staved off death and served as an example to outsiders of the transforming power of the Christian faith.
4. The first Christians also cared for outsiders, which won them a hearing with unbelievers.
5. Women were honored in Christianity. Baby girls were not killed. Females of all ages were to be protected. Husbands, not just wives, were expected to be chaste.
6. Christians had more babies than non-Christians, and abortions were considered anathema. The early Christians simply out-birthed the pagans.
7. Christianity grew when it remained an “open network” with connections into the lives of non-Christians.
8. Christians were over-represented in cities, which made them more influential than their numbers because culture tends to flow from cities to the countryside.
9. Christianity gave much needed dignity to human beings. They welcomed strangers, provided community, and offered a refuge from a brutal world.
10. Christian martyrs galvanized and inspired the faith of the early Christians.
11. Christianity in the first few centuries required great sacrifice and entailed a significant stigma. This process of sacrifice and stigma scared off free-riders and made Christianity a more virulent, vibrant faith.
12. Membership in the church was “expensive” and a “bargain” at the same time. That is, following Christ cost you something, but by becoming a Christian you also gained physical support, relational attachments, and shared emotional satisfaction with other believers.
13. Christianity promised rewards to its followers, the reward of being virtuous and the reward of eternal life.” [location of article]
Food for thought. I particularly like the last two. Isn’t this is what Spiritism is all about. The Doctrine could be considered “expensive” because it entails the de-prioritization of your material side while the “bargain” is supplying you a foundation to handle life’s vicissitudes with greater understanding, since you realize the process by which we are assigned each life. The reward is to know how to climb the path to become a pure spirit
“To a good man happiness in this world is of no importance, and no reality. This is not our home. A good man can find happiness only in God and in the contemplation of Him, even in this world. Even then, it is a happiness over-laid with sadness, for the soul cannot truly be happy separated by its flesh from its God.” [Taylor Caldwell, 1968 3rd edition, p. 80]
The passage above, was told to Cicero by his father, who in one paragraph explains the feeling of our existence on earth.
In our physical forms we are only capable of fleeting moments of real joy or happiness. It is extremely difficult to maintain a constant positive outlook, much less a high level of love and contentment.
I believe this is deliberate. We are meant to be here to work and learn. Our true reward is back home in the spirit world. Where we shall be enveloped in joy when we once more see our friends and family.
Not to say, we shouldn’t seek out moments of happiness and feel the warmth of satisfaction with our families, just that for some of us, less advanced, less sure of ourselves, this is a complex task.
Why am I reading this book? Because in a lecture by Geraldo Lemos Neto, he said that the book was reputed to have actually been psychographed, but the author felt that at the time, in 1965, no one would believe her. Although the concept of psychographing a book was accepted in Brazil during the sixties, in the United States, it would have been a new concept and Taylor’s book would. Most likely, not have been successful.
It may be my imagination, but the prose reminds me of Emmanuel’s writing. Or it could just be that now I deliberately look for Spiritist concepts in everything I read, hence I find similarities in different Spiritist influenced books.
“Our rational ability is opened at the first level by means of civic truths, at the second by moral truths, and at the third level by spiritual truths.”
He goes on to say, that knowing the truths is not enough, you must live them. Not only live them, but spiritually love them.
Civic Truths – Love what is fair and equitable.
Moral Truths – Love what is honest and upright.
Spiritual Truths – Love what is good and true in regard to heaven and the church.
Swedenborg extols us to not love them because they make us feel better or superior to our fellow humans, but because of our affection for the truths. Truths that become part of our conscience, embedded in us so we may retain these feelings in subsequent lives and build upon them.