The spirit Andre Luiz, who writes with the authority of the spirit realm, exhorts us to possess a compassionate attitude. Compassion, sympathy, empathy, concern, and kindness are all attributes of superior spirits. No soul rises in heaven without these traits.
These are not empty words to these angels, but part and parcel of their character. While, these superior beings are capable of action and decisiveness, of planning difficult trials for mortals on earth, and of overseeing complex projects which could span eons, they do so with an eye for the betterment of mankind. It may not seem so, for those of us in the middle of a personal tragedy, or during conflicts between nations – but everything is planned with efficiency – a blend of edification and effectiveness. To enable humankind to arrive at the correct destination.
We are urged to form the same attitude – to solve problems, to help others, to guide our friends along the right road … as gently as possible, while at the same time, ensuring success.
Compassion is Not
In the book Our Daily Bread, the spirit Emmanuel writes, through the mediumship of Francisco (Chico) C. Xavier, what compassion should not be:
“Much is said about compassion, but when we make references to this virtue, it is hard to distinguish between compassion and lowering oneself.
‘I’ll help this man but he’s an addict.’
‘I’ll help this woman but she’s ignorant and bad.’
‘I’ll take pity on this brother but he’s cruel and ungrateful.’
‘I feel for this person but he’s no good,’
Such statements are repeated all the time by lips that claim to be Christian.
It dispenses honey and poison.
It puts balm on wounds and then tears them open.
It extends open arms and charges payment for recognition.
It rescues and then pummels.
It supports and then discourages.
It offers kind words and then hurls hostile retorts.
It appeases the hunger of life’s travelers with loaves full of bile.
True compassion, however, is the daughter of love.
It wastes no time pointing out evil.
It is concerned too much with the good to trade it for trifles and it knows that each minute in the economy of life is precious.
The Gospel does not refer to the false compassion that is full of illusions and demands. Those who display enough strength to embrace the Christian life find the resources to criticism, and they know how to sow the good, water its seeds, tend to its shoots and await it fruitage.”[i]
What Emmanuel is saying, is that many of us confuse compassion with wishing well and feeling empathy for a person, combined with trying to forcibly rectify their mistakes and lead them onto a better path. It is the act of pointing out and expecting contrition for their errors that lead us to compassion that is not really compassion, but more of an opportunity to try to change a person, even though they may not be ready or open to your suggestions. Unfortunately, this is often done with a condescending attitude, but I believe that most people are genuinely trying to help, but they can’t resist demonstrating their superiority and determination that their way is the only way to recover from a tragedy or blunder.
What we should understand is the root cause of the misfortune the person is going through and their spiritual maturity at the time of their transgression. By analyzing these two factors, we should comprehend that forcing a lesson on a particular person is actually counterproductive.
All of us are at different points in our journey to become perfect spirits. We live on a planet of atonement because our character is not yet developed. For this reason and for the choices and actions we made in our past lives an event will be planned by the spirit world to have a specific affect upon our psyche. The event will, if the person is open to learning, repair a character flaw or at least promote a better understanding of how to behave in the future.
If a person is a relatively mature spirit, amongst the beings on a planet of atonement, the lesson will have a greater chance of success, without our misguided interference to try to hammer that lesson home. A holier than thou attitude toward the sufferer will only serve to cloud the issue and subtract from what the experience should have truly meant.
It is like watching a movie and your friend spends their whole time narrating the film for you. That would have destroyed the feeling that the movie was supposed to generate. The spirit world knows best how to teach us. Let them teach.
If a person is recently graduated from a primitive existence, the lesson will mean something else. It may be more of a hard knock, a stimuli that acts as a warning. Like a slap on the hand for a toddler who tries to run out onto the road. Again, trying to guide the person to the higher meaning of that episode in an abrupt manner will only arise emotions of defensiveness and take away focus from their lesson at hand. In essence, they aren’t ready to objectively analyze their actions. They shall be in future lives to come.
Compassion According to the Spirits
On the other hand, compassion with the correct message and subtle or situational counseling will be of great benefit and actually speed the learning process. Emmanuel leads us to what compassion should be:
“Have compassion when you analyze the less favorable behavior of a brother or sister and you will find the right path.
Compassion is the doorway to access the foundation of a solution to any moral problem in life.
In truth I tell you, we are all surrounded by companions who are riddled with anguish and restlessness.
Do not aggravate their suffering.
Some of these companions believed to be righteous, and fell prey to remorse; others confused tyranny for vigilance, and converted themselves into executioners of their beloved ones; others still assumed that affection was built solely from pleasure, and ended up unbalanced; others imagined that destitution should be the foundation of economy, and succumbed to avarice; and yet others understood that divine providence existed exclusively to sustain personal desires, and transfigured their own faith into a scourge to their fellow human beings.
Reflect upon the mistakes to which they succumbed without awareness of their situation, and have compassion on them.
If you cannot relieve their distress, weave a veil of hope to protect them from the attacks by the forces of darkness.
God is the justice present in the exercise of the laws that reveal Him, but He is also compassion in the expression of the love that guarantees His omnipresence.
Those who have gone astray know that they have deviated from their right path without it being necessary for us to expose their shortcomings with accusations and censorship.
We all know in great detail the somber place where our minds dwell when we fall prey to delinquency.
May the sufferings from guilt be sufficient for our liberation.
Pain exists to show us that there is no imbalance without possibilities for rectification. And divine wisdom, which made us immortals, reigns sovereignly at the foundation of equilibrium. For this reason, the Lord has decreed the unforgettable statement to be attributed to Him in all revelations of truth: ‘I want compassion, not sacrifice.’”[ii]
The vital point of the message from the spirit Emmanuel is to relieve their suffering. And if that is not possible, give them reason for hope in the future. This accomplishes a change of focus from self-pity to a more positive outlook; thusly allowing the person in need to think clearly about the entire dreadful episode and derive the lessons required from the experience.
Lending a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on, a mutual commiseration, or helping instill a new set of plans for a bright future are all ways to achieve a compassionate attitude.
Understanding Promotes Compassion
The first step toward compassion is understanding. To fully emphasize with a person entails an acknowledgement of the person and the circumstances surrounding them. The spirit Joanna explains the importance of understanding:
“Understanding is the ability that best contributes to success in human relationships, because it validates the other person’s positive and negative qualities. It reflects great spiritual development, through which it offers support and guidance to the one who seeks it in difficult situations.
Understanding distends solidarity, providing the necessary therapeutic resources according to the needs of the moment. Without agreeing with everything that is said or rejecting it outright, understanding benefits the listener, who is then truly heard.
Humans are instinctively gregarious and need to be with one another in healthy interaction in order to receive and provide stimuli that lead to their development.
Due to numerous factors, human understanding regarding other people’s limitations and problems has become scarcer, something necessary, yet rare.
Imperiously eager to communicate, individuals look for relationships and yearn to disclose themselves to each other. Yet, the human heart dreads being exposed. What they are is their troubling treasure. Their actual way of being is different from the image they portray and fear losing. This is so because they do not expect to receive understanding.”[iii]
We are all shy of exposing our true selves. In any rational review of our character we identify weaknesses. We abhor demonstrating our naked self; we prefer to dress it up and make it look presentable.
We like to see the idealized form of ourselves, not the tattered true image. Which is all fine, for we should strive for the character we desire to be. But, we require friends who act as touchstones to guide us to that correct destination.
Hence, a true friend, is not a sycophant, but pillar of understanding and compassion. They know when to feed our ego, when it has been recently bruised, to not allow us to be laid low for long. But they also know when we need to remove the veil before our eyes and see ourselves in stark contrast to our idealized self. Only then can we find the right path for improvement.
Joanna describes how to be a true friend, a companion who is not merely beside another, but a team member. Like mountain climbers who are strapped together, while one is ascending, the other holds the safety line:
“The world is full of deaf people talking with one another; of mute socialization being expressed in intense silent interactions.
There is much talk about nothing, resolving a broad spectrum of problems that remain …
When people approach you to talk, try to listen and register their words. Perhaps you cannot offer the best advice, or do what is expected of you, but quite often they only want a listening ear.
Give them your attention and you will encourage them, making them feel worthy of interest.
If they decide to trust you and open up, respect their problems and help them if you can.
On your part, overcome the fear of opening up. Of course you cannot neglect prudence or balance, but it is healthy to dialog and unveil the panels hidden by the ego or masked to reflect unrealistic images.
As a frail human being, living honestly with others will contribute effectively to you inner harmony.
So, be empathic and patient, a fraternal therapist.
Do not create stereotypes or label people with images that are but a passing phase.
We are all undergoing continuous transformations, and we are not always today what we seemed to have been yesterday. New experiences and lessons have been added to the lives of others, as is the case with you. It is the inexorable imperative of progress in action.”[iv]
Joanna leaves us with that in understanding the people around you, will in turn make you a better person. You will treat yourself as you treat others and forgive yourself for trespasses, which should be corrected and then forgotten. Just as you should concentrate on growth for your friend, the same applies to you. The past is past, one more lesson learned and evaluated, now move on to the next.
And as you learn to treat yourself, by treating others, your skills will rapidly increase. You will be able to separate the person from the deed. You shall see the person as a distinct personality, traveling through planned events, all manufactured to improve that personality.
I often see the term “personality” to describe humans and spirits by spirit messengers. It goes beyond our definition, which is a set of behavior patterns, how we think, and how we feel. “Personality” according to the spirit world is the total encapsulation of our unique energy life-force. It is what makes you … you. It is consciousness, the ego and superego, the id, everything. It is all that is immortal. It is all that you take with you when you leave your body behind. And, it is that which is constantly connected with the entire spirit universe and every other being within it.
Hence, to understand, we must know the facts of what we and everyone around you are. To understand, is to ignore the outer casing and to concentrate on their “personality”. Improving that little spark of energy, which must be composed of highly complex logic, is the aim of understanding and compassion.
The Message of Compassion
In the book Jesus in the Home, dictated to Francisco (Chico) C. Xavier by the spirit Neio Lucio. Each chapter recounts a dialog that Jesus held with his disciples while in one of their homes. Usually these gatherings were held at Peter’s house.
Neio Lucio, with permission from Christ, was allowed to present to us how Jesus talked to his disciples so they could learn His message of another Kingdom and the spirit world. These conversations show how difficult it was for people at the time to internalize the need for true Christian compassion. After all, the world during the first century A.D. was one of retribution and an eye for an eye.
In chapter 47 – The Message of Compassion, after a discussion about the hardships of dealing with all sorts of people, John asks Jesus, how are they supposed to handle the situation when people reject them so rudely and abruptly – Jesus tells them:
“’Take pity on the slanderer and work for the good of all,’ the Heavenly Messenger responded, smiling, ‘because love undoes the darkness of evil and work destroys disrespectful thoughts.’
‘Master,’ asked James, the son of Zebedee, ‘and how are we to act when someone brutally attacks us?’
‘Those who are led by violence,’ added Christ kindly, ‘must either be crazy or poisoned. Help them regain their senses.’
‘Lord.’ Asked Judas with fiery eyes, ‘and when those who offend us are clothed with respectable authority, whether as a prince or a priest, with all the appearance of a conscientious and normal leader?’
‘The serpent can hide itself in a bunch of flowers, and there are worms that live in the most beautiful looking fruit. Those in authority who show that they are violent and cruel are ill. Take pity on them because they are sleeping in a nightmare of dark illusions from which they will have to awaken some day. Help them as best you can and continue on your way, acting for the happiness of all.’
‘Master, and when our house is hit by crime? What am I supposed to do when faced with someone who has betrayed my trust, who has dishonored my name or who has shed blood in my home?’
‘Pity every type of criminal,’ Jesus explained, ‘and do not desire to break the law that your neighbor has disregarded, because both the persecutor and the criminal in any situation carry a blazing fire with them. One wrong does not right another and blood does not cleanse blood. Forgive and help. Time is responsible for giving back to everyone in accordance with their own effort.’
‘Master,’ Bartholomew cut in, ‘what are we to do about the judge who condemns us unfairly?’
‘Have mercy on him and continue to cooperate for the good of all those around you. There is always a higher judge who analyzes those who criticizes or condemns, and beyond one horizon, other broader and more luminous horizons unfold.’
‘Lord,’ asked Thaddeus, ‘what are we supposed to do about the woman we love when she suffers a moral downfall?’
Jesus gazed at him tenderly and asked in turn:
‘Isn’t the inner suffering that afflicts her day and night punishment enough?’
A balsamic silence fell over the group, and when he saw that the disciples didn’t have any more questions, the Lord concluded:
‘If we intend to banish ills from the world, we must cultivate the love that sympathizes with the service that edifies for the happiness of all. Do not deceive yourselves. Time is an inflexible instrument of the Law that gives to each of us according to our deeds. No one can hope to right a crime by practicing other crimes, because time changes everything on earth with the fire of suffering or with the ice of death.’”[v]
What was said by Jesus in multiple ways, was that all of us are subject to the laws of karma and reincarnation. That whatever a person’s transgressions, the process to repair the wrong deeds and fix their character will be handled by the spirit world. It is not our place or function to determine how to renovate another person’s character.
Jesus’ disciples fell into the same thinking that all of us do – they examined the deed first, and by weighing the act, they set in their minds the worth of the person.
Jesus tells us to turn this around. We should examine the person and determine the circumstances in which the error was made. Whatever wrong was committed, will be rectified by successive incarnations and plans for each life. Nothing is hidden and no action does not have a reaction.
Thusly, we can only have compassion, for we know they are traveling through difficult waters; waves of previous missteps are crashing upon them as they often make wrong decisions, owning to their lack of spiritual maturity. Future lives will right all wrongs and they will eventually emerge as a wonderful soul.
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., Our Daily Bread, EDICEI, pp. 227-228
[ii] Xavier, F. C., Pires, J. H. Spiritual Wisdom: Missives of Hope, Spiritist Alliance for Books, pp. 1-2
[iii] Franco, Divaldo, Times of Health and Conscientiousness, Leal Publisher, pp. 83-84
[iv] Franco, Divaldo, Times of Health and Conscientiousness, Leal Publisher, pp. 84-85
[v] Xavier, F. C., Jesus in the Home, EDICEI, pp. 159-161