Tolerance – it sounds so easy. Love all, smile upon everyone, and be kind to those you meet. Simple in theory and harder in practice. Not difficult as far as controlling your speech or gestures, but the challenging part is your emotions welling up inside you. The spirit Andre Luiz specifically mentioned this because he knows full well, that as a human we have built up within our instincts a predilection to strongly desire conformity.
This urge was beneficial once upon a time, when we were huddled together in tribal groups and were forced to defend our territory and lives at a moment’s notice. As time went on, civilization had a warrior class, which also promoted conformity. Those armies which possessed the most discipline, usually emerged victorious.
Hence, our instincts, which are brought over with us in life after life, just like our conscience, are a powerful force. As with any power, it can be used for good or bad. It all depends upon how we shape it.
This is precisely why we are on earth at this moment. Our job is to break down the old accumulated habits, which made us successful in a primitive world, and develop new habits which will enable success in a true civilized planet – where hate, envy, war, and inequality is greatly diminished or completely eradicated.
In this new globe, which, according to Spiritism, the planet earth is aiming to arrive in the future – only those who have transformed themselves into mature and civilized beings will be allowed entry. Everyone else will be sent, in their subsequent lives, to a planet similar to earth as it is now, a planet of atonement. Where one lives paying for past debts and attempting to cast off detrimental attributes.
On the other hand, those who have learned how to foster tolerance, be more loving, charitable, and honest, will graduate to a planet of regeneration. A place where our lives will be a paradise as compared to our present circumstances. Why? Because, on a planet of regeneration, we no longer need to repair our past mistakes, we are sent to a physical experience to learn and to keep improving ourselves, but we no longer require the deep suffering to cause fundamental changes in our personality.
Spiritism tells us that the earth is destined to become a planet of regeneration, and it is up to us, as a collective human race, to either speed up this journey or slow it down, by our shared deeds.
What is Tolerance?
The spirit Emmanuel explains the importance of tolerance and the being of tolerance:
“Tolerance is the foundation of all true progress. Just as all parts of a machine work together so that there may be the production of certain benefits. So all blessings of Nature are a series of manifestations of this blessed virtue that inspires true brotherhood.
Tolerance, however, is not a superficial concept but a living reflection of understanding, a purity of the soul. It conjures the feelings of hope, patience and a letting go of all evil.
To insist that others think as we do would be to demand that the world adapt itself to our whims. Our obligation is to adapt ourselves with dignity to the world, with the firm purpose of helping it.
Divine Providence reflects wise and active tolerance everywhere. God does not require that the seed immediately produce after its kind. God gave it time to germinate and grow, to bloom, and bear fruit. God does not ask the stream to quickly blend its course towards the awaiting ocean; He offers the stream pathways through the soil and the time needed to finish its course.
Likewise tolerance is needed between one soul and another; it is important that we do not assume any attitude of violence.
The roughness of an impulsive person, the irritation of an uneducated patient, the claw of an animal, the thorns of a rose, all represent the natural signs of the evolutionary stage in which they are found.
To fight with hatred is to bring about destruction. He who commits an offence attracts evil to himself. This being the case, evil is only really evil to the one who commits it. To retaliate on the same irrelevant principle is to assimilate its poison.
It is essential to treat ignorance with the same loving care that is employed with treating a wound. If we bruise it without mercy, it would be like transforming a curable case into a hopeless one for lack of adequate treatment.
Therefore, above all else tolerance is a complete release of all evil and a continuous service in goodness.”[i]
Being aware of performing good in as many avenues as possible is a notable goal. To get there one’s mind must be expanded. Attention must be raised for opportunities for service. And predilections built up from past and current life should be analyzed if they present barriers.
The spirit Neio Lucio recounts a story from his book (psychographed by Francisco C. Xavier), Jesus in the Home. The book contains many stories of the conversations that Jesus held with his disciples. One story in particular is pertinent to tolerance and acceptance.
Jesus told the gathering about a time when the earth was in deep ignorance. God sent a messenger of knowledge. The goal of this person was to spread the reality of the spirit realm, to bring purpose and a path of behavior to the populace. When he arrived on earth, he became intrigued with the literature he read and in discourse with other wise men. He became so focused upon his preferred intellectual pursuit that he ignored everything else. In fact, he deliberately distanced himself from the common people, thinking they were too ignorant to even begin to understand his message.
Seeing that His first messenger did not perform the duty assigned to him, God sent another. This time He selected a doctor. Someone who would directly help the poor and downtrodden. When the doctor arrived, he became fascinated with his storeroom of herbs and medicines and he sought to only treat those who could pay handsomely for his services.
Next God sent another wise man, but he became a warrior, who only used the meek and poor for his own purposes. Another was sent who became a musician, who only wished to play for important audiences. Only those who could afford to pay for his concerts.
Finally the Almighty sent a messenger of love to the human race:
“With great mercy this messenger was able to reach the four corners of the world. He felt compassion for the teacher, the doctor, the warrior and the musician to the same extent that he felt mercy for the misfortune and primitiveness of the crowds. Determined to work in God’s name, he became the diligent servant to all. He began to work for the common good, and identifying with the people to whom he had come to serve, he forgave infinitely and repeated the same effort or the same lesson a thousand times over. If he was humiliated or persecuted, he tried to see the offense as a beneficial challenge to his ability to perform regenerating deeds so that he could bear witness to his trust in the Father who had sent him. In order to love his brothers and sisters in struggle without holding back, many times he was compelled to pray for help from Heaven when faced with the claws of slander and sarcasm; nonetheless, he found in the lowest of manifestations of human nature even more reasons to dedicate himself with more fervor to better his fellow beings, who had yet to come to know the grandeur and sublimity of the Benevolent Father who had given them life.”[ii]
This is the true meaning of why Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. He sought to convey that he who serves must think of themselves as the most humble, the most tolerant.
To be tolerant doesn’t mean to put up with people. It goes further than that … it means to love them, even in the face of unrealistic views, ideas, and preconceptions. It means to be patient with the lack of learning and progress. It means that one must be willing to keep trying even in the face of repeated failures. For the truth may be, that some people will only be cognizant of reality after several or more lives. But fear not, those seemingly inconsequential encounters will lay dormant as seeds, which will sprout unexpectedly at the right moment.
The Difficulty of Tolerance
If there weren’t any people, being tolerant would be easy. But, this is not the case, for we must learn to live with younger, less mature souls. It is part of our required training.
Many spiritually and psychologically immature humans are unsure of their conduct, belief systems, and even basic civilized interactions between people. They lack knowledge and certainty of who they are and their approach to life. Hence they are insecure and vulnerable to bad and ignorant influences.
Unfortunately, the most pervasively negative influences are all around us … media, television and internet. Our current culture looks up to no defining moral authority or code of conduct. The only badge of distinction is who yells the loudest or who can define themselves as the greatest victim – all totally unproductive behaviors in a quest to ascend spiritually.
The spirit Joanna de Angelis succinctly describes this vast group:
“Such individuals do not really know what they want, where they are headed or how to behave, for they are in a somnambulistic state, which has flashes of lucidity but soon returns to numbness.
Since they are so concerned about others, they forget themselves, disparaging themselves or being aggressive, whereas they should simply awaken to their own reality and that of their environment. However, they become robot-like in their torpor and let themselves be led by the rules imposed on them, even though these do not meet their personal demands and needs; or they follow traditions that are irrelevant to their objectives, affected by conditionings that are the results of previous inheritances that have no connection with their way of being. Thus, they let themselves be influenced by sensationalism of mass media or suffocated by their social group.
They would like to be active members of their group, which rejects them, or they exile themselves by not grasping their existential role. Real awakening thus becomes indispensable for them by reflecting on their own aspirations and what is happening around them, so they may be at peace within the human context and be free, without narcissistic exhibitionism or depressive timidity.”[iii]
Hence, most of the type of people that we find it hard to be tolerant of are locked into the situation described by Joanna. They have hitched themselves to a set of false values and strive to find a familiar acceptance to make themselves feel worthy.
Understand that their convoluted belief system is not built upon logic, but upon emotion. They are slaves to their own insecurity and seek freedom in groupthink. They believe they are deeply introspective, but, in reality, they live in a shadow world, full of the lessons and experiences of past lives.
We have all been there. It is part of the great trek of spiritual maturity – to learn what self-realization really is, to question the precepts of society and to be brave enough to follow the reasoning of our own logic. To discover the full panorama of the spiritual and physical universes.
To be forbearing means that we identify with those in doubt and we lend what wisdom we can to help their journey. All the while, keeping in mind, the spirit world will supply the stimuli necessary for them to grow. We only need to lend what small assistance we are able to.
Enabling Tolerance in Your Family
Acquiring the tendency towards tolerance is most effective when one is young. Hence, the Spiritist Doctrine should be introduced to those young pliable minds, so that as they grow they will understand the true condition of life on earth.
The spirit Joanna explains how to foster the propensity for compassion and love for our offspring:
“So, it is the duty of all parents to enlighten their children about the vicissitudes present in our evolutionary path.
Edifying conversations about the Divine Justice, about the moral commitments that have been taken by all who find themselves reincarnated and, also, the trials and testimonies that everyone must go through are of high moral and spiritual significance for the healthy formation of the children’s personalities.
To demonstrate that such occurrences are perfectly normal, and never to suggest that they are punishments established by a God, who would find pleasure in seeing His creatures suffer merely because they are still unequipped to act correctly, that is the paramount duty of every parent.
When, by any chance, in the family constellation there is an example of atonement, it must be transformed in precious teaching, not only to that spirit who is undergoing it, but also to all other members, who must join their hearts in order to attenuate the suffering of the one who is in need of help. Such measure develops in everyone involved in courage and respect to life, erasing fears and diluting illusions about life in the body, which is nothing but fragile.”[iv]
This same approach, with a wider circle of family and friends, helps to establish the broader view of life. That life and the arc of multiple lives must be seen in context, as stepping stones from one platform of knowledge to the next. We never stop learning, we are always given tasks and homework through the trials awaiting us.
Each one of us is at a different level of maturity and knowledge. Therefore, disparity exists between humans, some are born with great wisdom ready to sprout forth and others are just beginning to learn right from wrong. All will eventually reach their destination of perfection. But in the meantime, each will experience vastly different sets of tribulations – each according to their educational needs.
Hence the call for toleration by the spirit realm. Andre Luiz reminds us of the disparity of humans on earth. While the spirit world loves us all equally, each of us has been assigned a customized curriculum intended to promote our transformation from a primitive spirit to one who will ascend to the highest spheres of heaven.
Christ understood the need to reach out to everyone. His disciples and the populace of his time were amazed that he dined and fraternized with publicans and known sinners. Publicans, according to the definition at the time, were hated tax collectors – the worst of the worst – for they forcibly gathered money from people in every manner. What was even more notable is that Jesus accepted Matthew, a publican, into his tight circle of disciples.
The Inner Platform for Tolerance
Setting the stage for tolerance is a constant battle. To appear calm and benevolent to the world we must be peaceful internally. The spirit Emmanuel gives us insight to this problem:
“Educating the sight, hearing, taste and impulses represents the primordial foundation for constructive peacefulness.
We usually hear, see and feel according to our inclinations and not according to what is real. We interpret certain pieces of information according to our inner disharmony rather than the good intentions in which they were initially sent. We observe situations and events with the light or darkness that infuses our mind. We feel with the reflection or chaos we have instilled in our own understanding.
For this reason, serenity must envelop our steps as much as possible as we face the conflicts that surround us in our present circumstance.
Without calmness, it is impossible to discern and to work for the good.
Without peace inside of us, we will never reach the realms of true peace.”[v]
Achieving inner peace can’t be bought and is not a rote prayer or chant. It is a climb of dedicated study and gradual inner transformation. And it must be accomplished on your own terms. No one can describe you with perfection – only you. No one knows what are the hidden corridors of primitive impulses that need to be swept away – only you.
Therefore, the need to fully understand why you are on earth, where you are spiritually and materially, and where do you wish to go are all questions that must be answered. Even starting on this journey will bring real benefits.
Stress will be reduced and harmony restored. Where darkness and foreboding reigned, light will cleanse. Events on the physical plane won’t hold the importance they once had. For you will understand the transitory nature of life on the campus of the earth.
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] Xavier, F. C., Thought & Life, EDICEI, pp. 91-92
[ii] Xavier, F.C., Jesus in the Home, EDICEI, p. 38
[iii] Franco, Divaldo, Life: Challenges and Solution, Leal Publishing, p. 129
[iv] Franco, Divaldo, Family Constellation, Leal Publishing, p. 128
[v] Xavier, F. C., Our Daily Bread, EDICEI, pp. 143-144