The spirit Andre Luiz states that to achieve harmony and inner peace within yourself, you must possess the fortitude to sacrifice your own desires in pursuit of helping others. The messages from high spirits, via Spiritist mediums, don’t demand life in a hair shirt while exclusively tending to the needs of unfortunate people, only that we examine the situation and at times, think about serving first and ourselves second.
It is a plea to increase our altruistic tendencies. Our guardian angels are seeking an acknowledgement that while we understand the need to better ourselves; that alone, while admirable, isn’t enough. We should also assist others in their spiritual journey – through whatever means they may require it; food, comfort, advice, or shelter.
Spiritism emphatically delivers the message that for every action there is a reaction – and to each according to their deeds. This process is inescapable. It is what enables us to learn through our mistakes and misdeeds. Without the effects of karma we could never hope to become a pure spirit one day.
Karma is usually used in a sentence with negative connotations. Such as a person committed a great wrong and will pay for it in this or their next life. But, turn this around … a person made a great sacrifice for his or her fellow humans, and will reap a reward for it in this life or their next life.
Karma works both ways – it takes and it gives. No service, however small, goes unrecognized. The blueprint of your next life is built upon the acts of your present life.
The spirit Joanna de Angelis defines karma for us:
“Karma is the effect of actions taken at different stages of the current existence as well as those of the past. Fruit of the planted and cultivated tree, karma has the flavor of the species that typifies the plant.
Positive acts produce excellent results, rewarding those responsible with happiness, affectivity, lucidity, progress and new opportunities for moral, spiritual, intellectual and human growth, promoting society as a whole.
But when individuals act with foolishness, vulgarity, perversion, rebelliousness, or hatefulness, they reap suffering down the road, in the form of trials and complex and afflictive expiations meant to set them straight.
Karma is an ever-changing process that depends on a person’s behavior.
On-going misery, exasperating mental strictures, dreadful, maddening diseases, frustrating physical limitations, suffocating loneliness, embittering misfortunes – all these could change if individuals would only resolve to modify their attitudes, enhancing and developing them for the general good, and consequently their own.
In the sovereign Laws of Life, no one is destined for a life of misery and misfortune.
What happens to individuals is the result of what they did of their own free will. It is never something that God does to them, as the pessimists, the defeatists and the indolent would state.
Therefore, improve your life constantly through positive acts.
Create new karmic outcomes, freeing yourself from the painful ones that weigh on your moral economy.”[i]
Hence, to supplement your courage to place yourself second to serving … gaze upon your idealized future life. The more you deem yourself worthy, by your acts, the greater the range of exciting opportunities that will be opened to you in your next life.
In numerous Spiritist literature, I have read that the reward for any sacrifice for the good will be repaid one hundred times over in the spirit world. While, at first glance this may seem an obvious attempt to bribe for good behavior, because at the foundation of our character, we realize that the deed itself is the compensation. Nonetheless, a little part of us responds to the allure of a prize.
This is quite normal. Remember, we are relatively immature spirits, like the four year-old who excitedly responds to bribes of candy, we too can’t help but react to the promise of good tidings. Like parents, who actively train a child through treats to instill a good habit, without the child’s realization of the end game, the spirit realm does the same to us. After all, why not? The allures of self-indulgent behavior is so great, it needs to be counter-balanced by an alternative.
Hence, while we may start out, grudgingly giving of ourselves, overtime, it becomes a habit with its own intrinsic benefits. Eventually, the vision of far off riches recede in our memory and the simple pleasure of a good deed done takes its place.
In Chapter 23, titled “Assistance”, in the book Thought & Life, by the spirit Emmanuel, he tells us what service truly entails:
“Assistance, when given freely, reflects the Divine Nature existing within the human race. Our personality grows in stature and nobility as we yield to the desire of helping others.
Divine Providence is a reservoir of Infinite Love, always giving and looking for channels of expression to distribute it. Whoever accepts to do so, receives with mathematical precision everything they need.
It is necessary however, that we be watchful about the collective thoughts within us, so as not to hinder the eternal giving of Our Father, who is always ready to share the riches He has bestowed upon us.
A look at the principle of electricity show that there must be a complete circuit for the current to flow and produce its desired work. If there were no positive and negative poles, we would not be able to have electric lighting or motion.
By the same principle spring water, to remain pure, must have an outlet. Any obstruction means stagnation and disease. The law of assistance permits one to ask for help, but it demands expansion of the benefits received, so that the help does not become a hindrance. Blood that does not circulate results in necrosis, a ghastly condition inside the living body.
People who know how to handle their many possessions, giving opportunities of work and education to many, are like a water reservoir serving the community. They are emissaries of progress sustained by hope, health, security and happiness according to the laws of life. On the other hand, those who accumulate many possessions without using them to improve the community, are like a murky swamp alongside the road; unhappy misers surrounded by anguish and fear, solitude and emptiness according to the same natural laws.
The assistance we receive corresponds to the assistance we offer. And the assistance we give is always followed by great potential increase, stimulating us to become even more useful.
Remember that when we help our neighbor, we reflect God’s blessing working through us. To work discretely in true service is to reflect God to those around us. Likewise, friends in the spirit world will silently draw near us and give us their total assistance.
Help everyone with feeling, thoughtfulness, kind words and action. By always helping others and constantly improving we invoke in our favor the complete support from life.
Let us not forget, therefore, that the help we offer other people, without demand or payment, is our silent prayer for Divine help, that is always answered with the blessings of cooperation and supply.”[ii]
When my wife and I received a message from the spirit world in July, 2014, we were told to help spread the Doctrine of Spiritism to America. In the communication was the statement, “remember the aid is in proportion to the task.”
I can attest to the unseen hand of the spirit realm in rendering assistance. From little serendipitous happenstances to real tangible help. Small things, like when I write an article and I need a quote to back up a statement; the name of the book comes readily to my mind. And more! I open the book and rapidly find the exact passage I desire. Anyone who has written research or term papers knows the hours usually spent searching for key words in the pages of a book, hence I consider myself blessed to be guided to the words that I had been seeking.
Larger occurrences, such as money coming to me at the right time, just when I needed it. Or that fact that my job has been threatened to be eliminated for years, but somehow, I am still employed, free to spend my leisure time for Spiritism.
Other times the support can appear as a negative. But it really means you are trying to do something that won’t be beneficial to your future. Years ago, my wife and I tried to sell our house. We wanted a newer house, since ours was a bit small and not in good condition. We tried to buy several homes, but we were always just a moment too late. Then we tried to buy a vacant lot to build a house. Again, we always came in second. Eventually, we tore down our house and built a new one on the existing lot. Why, I am not sure. We shall see.
Another time, when during the Great Recession, I lost my job. My wife told me not to worry, I would be employed, by my old company, but with a new name. I couldn’t rest, waiting for that. So I applied for many jobs and had numerous interviews. Again, I always seemed to come up second. Of course, I was rehired by the company, with a new name, which laid me off in the first place.
As you become more in touch with the spirit world, you begin to see the patterns. You will be able to detect when to move ahead, when to stop, and when to be patient and wait for a sign.
The Place Where We Need to Be
Engaging in the habit of service, requires a person to be at ease and confident within themselves. An outlook of the world, the people, and our individual part to play must be in tune with the Spiritist message of our purpose on this planet. One should realize that each of us is a grain of sand in the immense oceans of the universe. That we are being polished by the movement of events and that we are always in contact with other grains and the clear and shining liquid of the Divine Light.
By right placement of ourselves, we can look out at those around us and proceed with our acknowledged duty.
The spirit Joanna in the book Self-Discovery – An Inner Search, speaks about the frame of reference desired to promote self-sacrifice:
“Psychological maturation drives human beings to true humility before life. They might then identify their own possibilities as well as the inexhaustible sources of knowledge to be acquired. Mature individuals perceive their smallness before the universal greatness. They are devoid of conflicts, guilty consciousness and escapes of the ego.
The intellective view of reality and the moral acquisition of inner resources provide them simplicity in the heart and cultural respect towards everyone.
Their lucidity works for the general goodness with naturality, leading them to self-sacrifice and even to sacrifice, whenever necessary, without exhibitionism or arrogance. They realize that the purpose of the existential being is the joy of living that results from meriting thoughts and actions. That propels their self-esteem and constant self-discovery. They work without either fatigue or deception. They do not stop in drudgery to examine imperfections, because they elaborate plans for their incessant improvement. They are thirsty for new conquests that do not cease.
Self-sacrifice prompts the individual to sacrificial actions, which, despite its heavy and less magnificent features, one performs without either embarrassment or boastfulness.
Self-sacrifice and humility are independent of religious convictions, although the latter ones could influence their conquest by becoming accessible to all that achieve self-consciousness.
These two psychological conquests are of high importance in the progress of society because they dignify the individual and promote the social group by making it more human.”[iii]
Humility and self-sacrifice could be the definition of what it takes to truly serve others without condescension or arrogance. The tearing down of one’s own ego is a complex and arduous effort.
The culture of immediate gratification and celebrity examples of amazingly self-centered individuals who have an almost complete lack of self-awareness that pervade the media are high barriers to complete the journey. The forces of materialism and self-aggrandizement seem to be at a zenith.
But, the world has been at this spot before. The spirit realm has always created a solution. The answer lies in the collective spirit of mankind. Even now, in the face of unprecedented and rapid communications, there is a sense of emptiness. A longing for a spiritual renewal.
While the extremely wealthy foresee a future of total control over a docile population, who’s only desire is to be entertained and to consume, the waves of change will not be held back.
The effort to retreat to a simpler life, the quest for a closeness to nature and a desire to do no harm are all small signs that a change is coming. While still nascent, the spirit realm, who controls the rebirth of every soul into whatever time, place, social strata, and eventual position of power is planned for them – will gradually move our society to a more rational balance of technology and spirituality.
In the meantime, each of us should continue on our inner journey of improvement. Emmanuel advises us to fortify ourselves for the battle ahead:
“In order to be effective for the eternal life, nourishment for the heart has to be based on the simple realities of the evolutionary path.
It is crucial for us to strengthen ourselves with illuminative principles, without the dazzling fantasies that come from the outside. And it is precisely on the religious path that such effort demands broader refinement.
Generally speaking, believers are always eager for situations that can satisfy their pernicious whims, just like a gourmet yearns for exotic dishes. However, just as the delights of the table are not necessary for fundamental activities, the thrilling sensations of spirit phenomena are useless to the soul if it does not possess sufficient inner resources to understand their purpose. Many disciples regard their religious experience as a purely intellectual matter. But it is crucial to realize that, in order to be definitely incorporated, the nourishment of the soul requires a heart that is sincerely interested in the divine truths. When individuals assume this inner attitude, they truly strengthen themselves for sublimation. They realize that there is such an abundance of useful work material around them that they place any temporary sensation on the lowest rungs of the evolutionary ladder.”[iv]
Therefore, as you explore the depths of your character, and as your journey advances, you shall become closer to Divine Truths and spirits who have come to assist you, will expand their relationship with you. But, as Emmanuel cautions us, communications with spirits only really begin to pay spiritual dividends as your own spiritual knowledge and feelings come to fruition.
This dynamic comes naturally as one moves to the plateau where self-sacrifice and humility melds into one’s character. When this is achieved, a calmness and serenity envelopes you, an inner peace, that is hard to be disturbed by external events, which becomes the norm and not the exception in your daily life.
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, Times of Health and Conscientiousness, Leal Publishing, pp. 123-124
[ii] Xavier, F. C. Thought & Life, Roundtable Publishing Ltd, pp. 87-88
[iii] Franco, Divaldo, Self-Discovery – An Inner Search, Leal Publishing, pp. 159-160
[iv] Xavier, F. C., Our Daily Bread, EDICEI, pp. 281-282