Spontaneity – some have it in abundance and others lack it. Spontaneity is required to spot opportunities to assist others. The spirit Andre Luiz says we should have the gift to recognize those who need our help as we go about our natural daily lives.
I am one who lacks it. In my daily life I am usually lost in a haze of thought. I will walk to work, deep in contemplation, passing by those with hands out. Only after I reach the next block, do I even think about what I saw.
I castigate myself for the lost chance and vow to do better. But I never do, the next day I am preoccupied once again as I make my way. I realize that I dwell on future possibilities to the detriment of the present.
The spirit Joanna de Angelis tells us why we shouldn’t enslave ourselves to worrying about tomorrow:
“Jesus, the unique Psychotherapist, proposed an excellent prescription of peace: ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’
It is important to have in mind that the experience results in living. In addition, badness and wrongdoings converge into the search for the best. Like this, every single moment deserves the investment of attention and care that one intends to direct for future occurrences. Acting with precision today eliminates mistakes now and avoids them later on.”[i]
One must be careful not to read Jesus’ advice to not worry about tomorrow as a rule to cease working for advancement. The spirit world doesn’t, even for one moment, wish us to sit passive and wait for the next event.
In fact, what is being told us, that events will happen, but we have to do our part and participant. If you are apprehensive about getting that job you have always desired – don’t. It was decided long before you were born if you are to attain that employment. But, you should still strive for it, you should interview and talk to friends who could give you help to get in the door. But, bear in mind, the actual decision has already been made.
You may ask, then why should I even try anything? I should just sit and do nothing. The answer is would you do that if you were in a classroom? After all, you know the class will be fifty minutes long. You know the bell will ring and you shall leave. And you know the class will terminate at the end of the semester. Why bother?
Because you are in the class to learn, to accumulate knowledge. Your life is the same, you are on earth to learn from experiences, good and bad – they all teach you something. Each episode in your life is one more lesson.
Therefore, as you tell your children, pay attention!
When Joanna says “acting with precision today” she is telling us the other important rule for living on earth. While we shouldn’t over think future events, we should concentrate on improving our character. Acting with precision implies a conscience that is paramount. We don’t make decisions without checking it first. Any choice which causes alarms to go off in our body – a feeling of stress or disharmony – should be reconsidered.
Joanna points out that we should instill habits in the mind. To always attempt to do better, to love better. She knows this is a constant battle with all of our primitive emotions, stored up from previous lives:
“It is not sufficient, therefore, to wish for this or that conquest. It is indispensable to insist and persevere, so that the power of the unusual idea predominates above those that were previously stored commanding the events.”[ii]
Hence, it is the dedication and repetition to instill higher ideals into the wiring of your consciousness that is the real work, the unscripted work for your life. Events will occur, but it is entirely up to you to grow from them. It is your decision to make a real change in your outlook and attitude. The spirit world isn’t going to force you to become a nicer person – that is entirely your choice.
Therefore, as I walk to work, instead of thinking about the places I want to go on vacation, or how to get the raise I desire, I should tell myself to radiate love to those I pass by. I should think with kindness about those I dismissed yesterday. I should be constructing a new attitude of benevolence.
The Present – Be Awake
“As long as it is still day, I must do the work of him who sent me. – Jesus (Jn. 9:4)
We know that the Master’s divine work is incessant and that it takes place in a perennial and resplendent day of opportunities; however, in order for us to grasp the real meaning of our stay on the earth, Jesus tells us that he had to take advantage of the opportunity to directly interact with human beings.
If such an attitude was enough of a reason for the Master’s concern, what can we say about ourselves as we live in the physical realm or in the spheres closest to it and fulfill our obligations in the sacred realization of the eternal good?
Christ is not referring to the need of preaching about the works of God. He is referring to accomplishing them at the right time.”[iii]
Interacting with people at the right time is the key message presented by the spirit Emmanuel. It is through the laid out blueprint of our life, in which we intersect with a variety of people, all put there for a purpose, that we are buffeted by the highs and lows of life to cause us to reexamine the foundations of our character.
It is via the millstone of conversations, actions, and dramas with our fellow humans that we grind away our imperfections. Hence, we should heed what Emmanuel tells us:
“So, never disdain the situation you find yourself in. Try to use it to the best of your ability so that your efforts may be a fount of blessings for others and for those closest to you. Never forget to take advantage of the time to acquire more enlightenment while it is still day.”[iv]
The spirit Emmanuel has told us that we must be awake to whatever opportunities which may arise, but the next question is to how to maintain that ability to seize the moment, while simultaneously deeply concentrate on altering the structure of your mind.
The spirit Joanna, in the book Times of Health and Conscientiousness, provides the structure to make progress:
“The mind’s function is to think.
The habit of thinking expands the potential to discern.
Laziness regarding thinking is responsible for limiting one’s discernment, one’s reason.
Conforming to narrow and superficial analysis of life and its manifestations, individuals remain at a lower stage, squandering time and opportunities.
The endeavor to maintain attention – which observes; concentration – which assimilates; and deep reflections – which completes the psychophysical balance becomes the bridge of union between the surface conscious and the deep Self, thus unifying the activities of the two brain hemispheres, which become harmonized and develop in tandem.
The repetition of acts generates habits and these become memories that begin to function automatically.
If you choose mental habits of discernment for what is correct, you will act with confidence, and those memories will function automatically, maturing you intellectually and emotionally, and this behavior will give you self-awareness, oneness with your deep Self.”[v]
Joanna lays out the three legs of the stool to rest upon our ability for retrospection and spontaneity. Attention, concentration, and deep reflection must exist and spark in your mind simultaneously. All three processes must be enhanced, with the priority of any one of the three, for any particular moment, is controlled by discernment.
Most of us, I in particular, have the habit to give all of myself to one of these, and ignore all else until I have finished what I wanted to do. I have been told that people will come up to me and speak and I will not notice, hear, or recognize their existence. Or, even more rude on my part, is to make eye contact, but ignore everything that is said.
All of this is because many of us have the habit to latch onto one of the processes and not allow any outside stimuli to engage one of the others. For instance, while a person is giving their entire attention to a child, but across the park there is a woman acting like she is in pain. Your discernment, should disengage from the child for a moment and turn your concentration upon the woman in trouble. If you have satisfied yourself that everything is ok, then you could return to paying attention to the child.
I believe most of us are masters at any one of the processes at any one time – attention, concentration, and deep reflection – but it is the rapid fire movement between the three that requires strengthening.
To bolster this aptitude, Joanna tells us to know what is correct – by keeping our conscience as the signaler – to switch between processes. The more we practice, the better we shall be. We will establish patterns of discernment, which will quickly call up whatever attribute is required for the occasion.
The more we exercise this new found talent, the more at ease and confident we shall be. Our words and actions will flow from deep inside us to be of the same character as our true deep self. Once this occurs, the causes for stress and dis-harmonization are removed and we become healthier individuals.
With a heightened discernment, we become more able to react spontaneously to situations. And, in listening to our conscience we will act correctly … with love and fraternity.
How to Start Thinking Rightly
How does one begin the steps to reprogram one’s brain? The spirit Joanna, in the book Life: Challenges and Solutions, tells us how to accomplish this task:
“Since all expressions of evolution depend on thought, from whence they come, it is easy to think differently by replacing an incorrect thought with one that seems favorable. People may claim not to know the difference, but all they have to do is evaluate what comprises their crutch – the thing that sustains their dysfunction – and then proceed to a new endeavor of a different sort.
At first, inertia will ensure the repetition of the old pattern and will breed disbelief in the success of the new undertaking. In this case, they must persist and preserver, opening up new space in the corrupted mental field to plant the new seeds of optimism and hope in order to exit the unhealthy state. Right afterward, it is imperative that they begin to value everything around them and establish new patterns of comprehension, thus freeing themselves from their old negative constructs.
The new habit will be slowly instilled in the subconscious until it becomes an integral part of the behavior.
Thinking rightly or wrongly is a matter of habit. Every time there is a demeaning, negative, perverse or unjust thought, it must be immediately replaced with a dignified, positive, loving, trusting, and fair one. Subsequently, it must be further sustained by the force or wave of one’s desire. That which is thought about certainly does become a reality. This is so because thinking and acting are terms of the same existential equation. Think first and then act, rather than act first and then regret it after having thought about it.
Lofty mental constructions – those that produce healthy habits – are renewable and grow in the individual. They originate in the spirit, which receives them from the Divine Thought, whence come all the forces of spiritual growth and complete fulfillment.”[vi]
Joanna is not only illustrating the path to alter our mindset, she is also revealing the method for true spiritual ascension. Spiritism notifies us that we are who we were on earth when we pass over from the physical to the spirit universe. Hence, while our bodies and possessions are separated from us, we still retain our mind, our character, our memories, and our personality.
In the spirit realm, thought is action, to ascend requires thought control … self-control of your mind. The higher the spirit the more complete control a spirit possesses. And as a spirit rises, the more power of creation with their mind. Therefore, to ascend means to discipline one-self – to control one’s thoughts, to guide one’s thoughts to the light.
As you attempt to make fundamental changes to your thought patterns, the spirit world will notice your endeavors. As you prove yourself resilient and persist in the face of obstacles – gossip from friends, social pressure to fit in, etc. – your guardian spirit will send you power to resist temptation and bolster your will-power to continue your progress.
Do not underestimate the close proximity of the spirit realm. Your mentor spirits are ever alert of your activities, and like good teachers everywhere, when they detect positive behavior, they desire to reinforce it.
Once we begin to follow Joanna’s advice and march with vigor toward attention, concentration, and deep reflection – by rewiring our brains through elimination of negative attributes and instilling positive feelings, we shall awaken.
Being awake means a mind that is active and listening. Able to discern what is the truth, even in a sea of counter-productive propaganda. Joanna talks about the need to be alert:
“Humankind, in general, lives in a sleep state, in lethargy, and that is why people suffer the worst sickness possible; ignorance of themselves, their destiny, and the meaning of their existence.
Comfortable with their situation, people may complain, but they do almost nothing to change society’s ills, ills that are often characteristic of themselves as well; due to their masochistic need to inspire pity, they bemoan themselves. They yield to circumstances out of self-indulgence and make no real effort to overcome any obstacle that may pose a threat or hindrance to their progress.
Unconsciousness prevails in the modern world because it gives in to immediate gratification, with no follow-up plan for attaining liberating emotions. Thus, society is divided into surreptitious, mutually hostile groups that grow further apart each day, whereas they should work together to eliminate separatist barriers and become aware of their infinite potential for self-realization and spiritual awakening.
But the moment inevitably arrives when individuals are induced to either awaken or remain dead to reality. In order to awaken from their heavy sleep, they must make every effort possible to break the chains of self-pity and unhappiness, self-deprecation and self-disrespect.
Being awake means self-fulfillment, being aware of one’s inner reality and the infinite possibilities for growth that are within one’s reach. It means freeing oneself from the fears that keep one immobilized in uselessness, rediscovering the joy of living and acting, broadening one’s communication with nature and all living beings, multiplying the means of human dignification and making them available to everybody; and submitting oneself to the eloquent purpose of enlightenment found everywhere.”[vii]
To be awake is to be spontaneous, to react with confidence to any situation. And your reaction will be tinted with love and kindness, because, via your self-inspection you realize that love is the path to the higher levels of heaven, the way to the light.
Joanna helps to draw our attention to those in need. Invariably they will be the people asleep – full of self-pity and unhappiness, with no understanding how to break free of the materialistic bonds that tie them to their current circumstances.
Help them discover their seldom used deep reflection to explore what is actually important to their inner selves and happiness. So often people only require a sounding board, a sympathetic ear to cite their grievances. Spirit authors caution against acting condescendingly, as if we know the solution to another’s problem. Instead, ask questions and guide them to explore their motivation and feelings. If they ask for advice, gently explain the primacy of spiritual wellness and how to attain it. Let them figure out if that is a good idea or not.
Retooling our ratiocination pathways will enable us to be better providers of assistance to friends, family, and colleagues. In addition, our inner selves will be improved and readier to enter heaven to work productively.
The Spiritist Doctrine, brought to you and continually updated by spirits, is there to simply light the path to spiritual enhancement. By revealing your purpose in life, it lets you determine if and how you will either facilitate your ascendency or hinder it. You and your free-will is always in charge.
I will end with this story. Francisco (Chico) C. Xavier was talking to the spirit of his mother, after his sister died. Chico was a famous Spiritist medium in Brazil, but his sister was a devout Catholic her entire life. Chico’s mother told him that she told her daughter to rest after the arduous transformation from physical life to spirit life. That she should take some time to rest in a celestial community designed to help Catholics reenter heavenly life. Chico’s sister asked her mother, “But what happens to Spiritist after they die? Where do they go?” Chico’s mother replied, “They are put to work right away!”
Learn about the spirit realm, your place in it and how we are guided to the path of learning. Read my series of three books.
[i] Franco, Divaldo, Self-Discovery – An Inner Search, Leal Publishing, p. 116
[ii] France, Divaldo, Self-Discovery – An Inner Search, Leal Publishing, p. 101
[iii] Xavier, Francisco C., The Way, the Truth, and the Life, EDICEI, p. 267
[iv] Xavier, Francisco C., The Way, the Truth, and the Life, EDICEI, p. 268
[v] Franco, Divaldo, Times of Health and Conscientiousness, Leal Publisher, pp. 140-141
[vi] Franco, Divaldo, Life: Challenges and Solution, Leal Publishing, pp.49-50
[vii] Franco, Divaldo, Life: Challenges and Solution, Leal Publishing, pp. 77-78