Renovation, renewal, and transformation are all words to describe our life on earth. Many have said that life is one of constant re-invention of oneself. We travel through life learning, changing, resetting our priorities, and improving our character. In fact, Spiritism presents a greater arc to this story – that of the process of renovation occurring over multiple life times. And Spiritism supplies the purpose of our journey … the goal of perfection.
Allan Kardec, in The Spirits Book, his codification of the Third Revelation from many high level spirits, led by the Spirit of Truth, tells us why we are incarnated – reborn in a different body for each life:
“132. What is the aim of the incarnation of spirits?
It is a necessity imposed on them by God, as the means of attaining perfection. For some of them it is an expiation; for others, a mission. In order to attain perfection, it is necessary for them to undergo all the vicissitudes of corporeal existence. It is the experience acquired by expiation that constitutes its usefulness. Incarnation has also another aim, namely, that of fitting the spirit to perform his share in the work of creation; for which purpose he is made to assume a corporeal apparatus in harmony with the material state of each world into which he is sent, and by means of which he is enabled to accomplish the special work, in connection with that world which has been appointed to him by the divine ordering. He is thus made to contribute his quota towards the general weal, while achieving his own advancement.”[i]
Hence, the message from the spirit Andre Luiz in his poem Inner Peace, in which he extolled us to have “A spirit of renovation”, as part of our quest in life. The bottom line is that the blueprint devised by the spirit world for each of our lives, will cause deep introspection and changes to our character. This is inescapable. Trials and tribulations will occur which shall pull specific levers to alter our past misconceptions into a more realistic view of ourselves and our life.
This is all part of the process of spiritual maturation. We can either resist it and delay our progress as long as possible, or embrace the need for change and accelerate our ascendance. It is up to each individual. The Supreme Intelligence has granted us free-will to be as open or close minded as we so chose.
Beginning of Renovation
Our fight to improve didn’t start the moment we were deposited into a human body. The spiral of transformation began long before we were primitive spirits. And what applies to the evolution of the human form, applies to all other forms. The Supreme Being continually acts to improve.
Leon Denis, in his book, Life and Destiny, illustrates the larger picture:
“The law of progress does not apply only to man; in every domain of nature, evolution has been recognized by the thinkers of all time. From the green cell, the vague embryo floating upon the waters, through innumerable changes, the chain of the species has unfolded its lengths down to us. (The mono-cellular beings are found today by millions in each human organism. It is not through one cell alone that the chain of species has come, but rather by multitudes of these cells grouped to form more perfect beings, and round upon round converging toward unity.)
Upon this chain every link represents a form of existence which leads to a superior form, to an organism better adapted to the growing needs and manifestations of life. But on the ladder of evolution thought, conscience, and liberty appear only after many degrees; in the plant intelligence sleeps; in the animal it dreams; in man alone it wakens, recognizes itself, and becomes conscious. From this hour progress fatal in some ways in inferior forms of nature can only be realized but with the accord of human will with eternal laws.
It is by this accord and this union of human and divine will that are built the works which prepare for the reign of God – that is to say, the reign of justice, wisdom, and goodness which every reasoning and conscientious being feels intuitively must come.”[ii]
This is the great truth – about us, the earth, and the spirit realm – everything is always in flux, continual progress toward perfection. We are caught in this irresistible tide. We are too weak to swim against it, at best, we can only fight to maintain our position. Only by humbly bowing to a superior power can we use the direction of the great ocean to take us where we need to go.
Hence, we need to see life as transformational. We aren’t meant to become adults and remain at stasis. We are destined to grow. Spiritist literature tells us that we continually mold our character even at the last moments of physical death.
This desire to change, to improve oneself and the world around us is inbred in human nature. It is not an accident of evolution, it is a spark, a connection with the unseen spirit world.
Most, if not all us have desired to be part of a valiant crusade, at one point or another in our lives. We fervently yearn to change the world for the better. This instinct, or intuition as named by Leon Denis, is what makes us thirst for more. We know in our hearts that the earth should be and will be a paradise someday.
What we don’t realize is how connected we are. We aren’t islands of consciousness, untethered and adrift in space. We are tied to other spirits, incarnates and discarnates, to the spirit realm, and to God.
Some people feel this connection. They are called empaths, mediums, psychics, and other names. Some have had near death experiences, which have forever altered their previously cherished ideals. All of them consciously feel the waves wash over them.
For the rest of us, we are motivated by some internal longing, which we can’t identify, but nevertheless we are moved. The waves of thoughts from other intelligent beings (physical and otherwise) is relentless. Like the action of waves upon the rocks, even the hardest stone is eroded over time – so too are we moved – unknowingly and gradually.
Leon Denis sets in place where we stand:
“Such is the complex character of the human being – spirit, force, and matter, in which are contained all the powers of the universe. All that is in us is in the universe; all that is in the universe is in us. By his etheric and his material bodies, man finds himself united to all the worlds invisible and divine. We are made of light and shadow. What is in us is in every other being. Each soul is a projection from the eternal center. It is that which consecrates and assures the fraternity of man. We have in us the instincts of the beast, and we have too, the chrysalis of the angel – of the radiant and pure being that we can become by moral aspirations of the heart and the constant sacrifice of self. We touch depths of the abysses with our feet, and with our brows the high altitude of Heaven, the glorious empire of the spirit. When we listen to what is passing in the depths of our being, we hear the rumbling of hidden and tumultuous waters, the ebb and flow of the stormy sea of personality, with its waves of anger, egotism, and pride.
These are the voices of matter, the appeals of the lower regions, which still influence our actions. But this influence we can dominate by will; upon these voices we can impose silence; and when the murmur of the passions is quieted, then the powerful voice of the Infinite Spirit is heard, the canticle of Life Eternal, whose harmony fills immensity. The more the mind is elevated and purified, the more accessible it becomes to the vibrations and the voices from on high. The divine mind which animates the universe acts upon all minds. It seeks to penetrate, clarify, and fertilize them.”[iii]
Hence, never, for one moment, believe you are alone – detached from all else. We are constantly in contact with the spirit realm. Our guardian angels are watching us for the least inkling of growth from us. Like a parent who observes a child, waiting to positively reinforce good behavior, even if it by accident, so the child can be led onwards to elevated learning.
This is where we stand – unaware and not comprehending our true circumstances – but we have a vague notion of desiring more. While we are easily distracted by our instinct for self-pleasure and for group acceptance, yet there stirs – deep inside – the realization that we should strive for a higher goal than temporary luxury.
Once we embark, we become more fortified, more attuned to the struggle. We change and are resistant to social pressures and primitive emotions. When we are spiritually and intellectually conditioned to great strength, then the ascent begins in earnest. But, first we must start the journey.
The inertia of years of self-indulgence and petty thoughts are difficult to overcome. I know they were hard for me. When I found Spiritism, I thought I had discovered all of the answers. I intellectually knew about the spirit realm and how we are guided through many lives in order to ascend. I could talk about how the entire earth was led and directed by the machinations of a Higher Authority.
The shock that I finally uncovered how my own future could have been foretold with exacting detail was as if I could breathe again. I was reborn … or so I thought.
The more I read books by Spiritist authors, I realized that I had learned about Spiritism as one does from viewing a documentary. I understood and memorized the facts, the time line, and the basic doctrine. I was able to write about Spiritism; and discourse at length about the process of reincarnation. But, I was still the same person – sarcastic, aloof, selfish and prideful.
I had merely exchanged one belief system for another, like changing clothes. Everything was on the outside – nothing altered inside. I was still me … an immature spirit.
The spirit Joanna, in the book Self-Discovery – An Inner Search, put her finger on my problem:
“The human being is constituted of psychological implements that govern one’s life. Human beings need to adapt their goals to spiritual values. The latter should surpass the corporal boundaries in order to help the human being to meet the transcendental conscience.
Naturally, at first, educational goals will form the individual’s wealth of knowledge. Familial goals will induce learning in the domestic laboratory, by developing feelings of love and personal relationship. Social goals will extend the circle of affectivity, favoring the group’s growth. Economic objectives will foment the financial equilibrium and harmony between people. Artistic goals will contribute to beauty, esthetics, and the ideal. However, spiritual objectives will crown the achievements of the individual’s progress leading one to fullness.
When men and women are not aware of their tentative steps towards fullness, they often find themselves saturated and unmotivated, becoming pessimists and frustrated after conquering their goals.”[iv]
I was that person who successfully traversed all of the goals, except the spiritual. And in completion, I was still the same, only more so. My motivation had run out. I was drifting. And this was after I had first found Spiritism.
I feel that I didn’t start to tackle my artistic goals until I began to write and analyze what I had researched about the Doctrine of Spiritism. I was happy and content in my musings, at first. But then as I plunged further into the deeper meanings and the importance of love, I found myself unable to fully empathize with the written word. I could read the sentences, but I couldn’t internalize the meaning.
Only then did I realize the need for self-renovation. Only then did I start to not only keep my speech in line, but I started to control my thoughts. If I thought ill of a person, I tried to stop that immediately and think of them with understanding and love – knowing that they were going through trials every bit as perilous as mine.
Joanna, explains the results of a dedicated effort for spiritual improvement:
“The individual’s incessant renewal of values for one’s improvement becomes a permanent motivation for the settlement of the real being that is victorious over oneself.
The immediate human’s goals are stimulating for one’s terrestrial, corporeal existence. When one adds to one’s goals the identification with Cosmic Conscience, they remain as propellant forces for endless progress.
To the world’s eyes, triumphant men and women are perhaps those who shine on Earth. They step up towards illusory success. However, they carry heavy anguish within their hearts, and their spirit are full of pain.
The only ones who will find real fullness are those who free themselves and love, after traveling through difficulties and surpassing the initial steps of Earth’s process at the social, familial and personal levels. Those individuals remain focused on general wellness and are transformed interiorly, as well as enlightened by the flame of immortality, and immersed in that by causality.”[v]
Joanna is correct. As I have worked to reform myself, I have felt the propellant forces driving me on. I am not saying I have improved much. I am still selfish and prideful and a host of other primitive emotional states, but I feel I am making progress. I am fully aware that it will take more lifetimes to fix my broken personality.
Nevertheless, I am on the right track. Even in my glaring imperfection, I am more relaxed, more accepting of the trials put before me. And I am more loving, even of those who were placed in my life to provide a hard lesson.
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] Kardec, Allan, The Spirits Book, White Crow Publishing, question 132, p. 121
[ii] Denis, Leon, Life and Destiny, Forgotten Books, pp. 99-100
[iii] Denis, Leon, Life and Destiny, Forgotten Books, pp. 103-104
[iv] Franco, Divaldo, Self-Discovery – An Inner Search, Leal Publishing, pp. 96-97
[v] Franco, Divaldo, Self-Discovery – An Inner Search, Leal Publishing, pp. 97-98