terça-feira, 21 de abril de 2015

How are we shaping our spiritual future?

ANSELMO FERREIRA VASCONCELOS 
Source: O Consolador  Weekly Magazine of Spiritism
Translation: Leonardo Azzalin

The notion of good should be a guideline in our daily lives and the activities towards the good are our true spiritual capital

The fellow Carlos Torres Pastorino (1910-1980), in his opuscule Minutes of Wisdom, which content has a right to the title, emphasized with good reason, that "We are slaves of yesterday, but we are masters of our tomorrow."This assertion reminds us of the need to ascertain how we are shaping our future - the central theme of this article. ...>>



Accordingly, it is initially relevant to recall the sensible explanation of the Codifier on the subject present in the book The Gospel According to Spiritism. Therefore, to Allan Kardec, Spiritism shows that the afterlife is no longer a simple matter of faith or mere hypothesis. It is a reality substantiated by concrete facts. After all, it is the very entities (spirits) who describe their experiences in the afterlife. Moreover, the descriptions of the afterlife are so meticulous, detailed and rational that we are led to agree that it could not be otherwise. In consequence, we therefore begin to know the magnitude and meaning of true justice of God.

In fact, Spiritualism precisely unravels the underlying mechanisms of the divine justice, which is also in itself one of its major contributions to humanity. It is also noteworthy that the phenomenon of reincarnation - without which the idea of future life would be meaningless - has been thoroughly studied. Scientists Erlendur Haraldson and Ian Stevenson (1918-2007), among others, have catalogued hundreds of suggestive cases of this phenomenon.

Thus, denying the possibility of reincarnation on the grounds of lack of evidence is no longer justified, since the evidence for it abounds everywhere. Moreover, our present life follows - it is always advisable to remember - a predetermined course. Put another way, most of us have even asked for the "crosses" we currently carry ... Nothing was imposed upon us, except in cases of compulsory reincarnation.


As a result, according to the law of action and reaction, we are reaping today's experiences in conformity with our evolving needs. It is clear that the majority, fully enjoying their free will, may aggravate or mitigate their own situation. Therefore, if we use such capacity wisely, we shall probably return more relieved to the spiritual world (since we are all indebted). But if we use this condition inconsequentially, we will worsen our karmic framework. Accordingly, we shall also expunge the new faults through the sacred mechanisms of the law of cause and effect, which will be added to existing debts.

The dimension of the family deserves profound consideration. How are we relating to it?

However, if we truly already carry within us the certitude of immortality of the soul and the plurality of lives, it is recommended then to reflect on what we are doing in relation to our spiritual future. In this sense, there are several aspects and dimensions to examine as, for instance, health.

How are we taking care of our physical body? Are we treating the carnal dress properly? It is worth noting that whatever we do in this area it will somehow impact our future incarnations. Accordingly, in recent decades old myths and perceptions have been overthrown. After all, through the scientific progress much is already known about what suits us or not in terms of health. Certain foods or ingredients before ubiquitous in our meals have been gradually banned. Moreover, the findings clearly point to the dangers of salt, sugar, saturated fat when eaten in excess.

The cultivation of addictions deserves a dedicated chapter, given the damage they cause in our bodies. Thus, we already know the harmful combination of smoking and the onset of cervical uterine and breast cancers, for example. In such case, neglecting the warnings and recommendations from health agencies can bring us unnecessary troubles as our future body will tend to present serious limitations making our journey more difficult.

The dimension of the family deserves profound consideration. How are we relating to those who received us as parents? And our brothers and sisters? It is in the family that, as a rule, the first experiences of karmic realignment are performed. From this premise, are we striving to promote the proper adjustments before the law of love? Often, we are affronted by scabrous stories involving parents who abuse their offspring, even making them sex slaves. Such abuses are logically explicable by the law of action and reaction cited above. However, they will certainly produce very serious and painful consequences to their perpetrators for not repressing their perversions.

The neighbour is a highly relevant aspect. What are we doing in this field? There's no way of progressing spiritually without having the other in mind. The other is the opportunity we have to annihilate the virus of selfishness and indifference in us.

Due to the growing public outcry, the trend is that the ethical deviations are no longer tolerated




By looking to the journey companion (and his/her needs) we're broadening our vision. Sympathizing with his/her misfortune, sickness, suffering and need is to grow in sensitivity. At the same time, it enables us to develop our spiritual intelligence. Moreover, it is inconceivable to aspire to a better spiritual future without concrete actions for the neighbour.

Our talents must be carefully scrutinized. So, how are we using our skills and talents that God gave us? Because of the goodness we are all individuals with certain skills. When properly harnessed, they give us the conditions of subsistence and beneficial contribution to those who depend upon our effort. Unfortunately, many are lost in the entanglement of their own ambitions, yielding themselves to malignant suggestions or inspirations. Consequently, they use their intelligence and potential to hurt, cheat and even destroy those who have placed full confidence in them.

And how about ethics? Are we acting within strict moral principles? Due to the growing public outcry, the trend is that the deviations in this scope are no longer tolerated. In general, corrupt staff, venal legislators, unscrupulous businessmen and companies that disrespect consumers tend to be demonized by the society. Having misconduct on this variable may cause enormous suffering to its protagonists not only in this life, but also in future ones. Moreover, the virtual communication tools have contributed to the dissemination of facts, especially those related to the flagrant disregard for the laws, making it impractical for the possibility of oblivion of slippage.

As to the resignation variable, do we support humbly the trials that we set for ourselves? Suffering for the sake of suffering is meaningless. Since there are concrete reasons for living such an experience, we thus must accept it with a constructive look. So do not just suffer; one has to face suffering with dignity and stoicism. Otherwise, there is no merit to rebel or to offend the Deity.

Moreover, are we able to express gratitude? Do we acknowledge and thank those who support us and help us in the redemptive path? It is practically unfeasible for an individual to move forward in life without help - that is, without benevolence, kindness and blessing - of others.

Compassion is in the range of capacities that only the souls identified with the ideal of spiritual progress possess  


Generally, we are supported and assisted by the ones from this side and even more the ones from the other side, the spiritual dimension! Who has not ever needed a little help here, a nudge there? So, failing to express gratitude is failing a vital virtue. How can we therefore look forward to a brighter spiritual future if we do not even master the simple ability to thank?

Forgiveness equally has a crucial role in our spiritual development. After all, Jesus advised us to forgive endlessly. It is evident that forgetting the insults, the harmful actions and discomfort caused to us by others is somewhat difficult. However, this is not something impossible, like the Master so well demonstrated. So if He stands as a model to us, it is best to strive to emulate Him.

Compassion, in turn, is one of those capabilities that only the souls already identified with the ideal of spiritual progress possess. In the modern world, as noted, many have fallen under the weight of their inferiority. Nevertheless, free from sin none of us are, so we must not throw stones at anyone else...

Being charity the manifestation of our concern with the neighbour, it has on its most prominent side the possibility of benefaction. Recently, the prestigious magazine Sao Paulo featured one of its stories entitled: "The Warm Clothes Campaign: Donation Basket or Rubbish?" Basically, the text enrolled the precarious state of many clothes and shoes donated by the citizens, a fact that significantly hindered the work of the volunteers.

It is curious how many have difficulty in discerning what may be usable from what is pure rubbish. In fact, strictly speaking, we should not be afraid to put in the bin what belongs there, that is, torn, filthy clothes impregnated with stench, as well as shoes worn by the continual use or with a hole on the soles. I even believe that a donation should be seen as an opportunity to give a gift. Thus, the ideal is that the "gift" is delivered properly cleaned, sanitized and preferably, fragrant, be your future beneficiary a homeless or not.

Attached to the charity variable we must add to our 'inner audit' the virtue of generosity. After all, without generosity in the heart it is unlikely that acts of charity occur. Save and accumulate are verbs that ought to be interpreted carefully in the spiritual field.

By knowing Spiritism, we assume major responsibilities that no other doctrine attaches to its followers  

Jesus once said, very properly, that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:25).Discarding or sharing something is much too painful for many people with material wealth in this world. In this sense, the online magazine Epoca Negocios, based on the annual Global Wealth report by the Boston Consulting Group, recently published an increase in the number of millionaires, that is, those with assets over US$ 1 million. There was, according to the publication, an increase of 14%, reaching 11.2 million families in the world. This result indicates that the increased wealth led to greater concentration of income. In other words: in 2009, less than 1% of all households in the world were millionaires, but the percentage of the world's wealth they held was 38%, higher than the 36% in 2008.On the other hand, the families with fortunes exceeding US$ 5 million stood for only 0.1% of the total, but held 21% or US$ 23 trillion of the global wealth. However, the possession of such enormous material resources and - most importantly - the wisdom of how they will be used will be crucial for the spiritual future of that small group.

The spirit Brother Jose in the book Lord and Master gives us some valuable advice concerning the topic under review. Thus, the benefactor recommends us to be steady in our attitudes for the good as well as determined in our dispositions to benefit the neighbour. The notion of good should be a guideline in our daily lives. Actions directed to the good represent our true spiritual capital. If in dealing with the fellow-creature we are imbued with this way of thinking, a happier future will await us. Brother Jose notes the importance of being faithful to the noble principles we embrace and consistent in our faith.

By knowing Spiritism, we assume major responsibilities that no other doctrine attaches to its followers. Indeed, considering that we have been systematically enlightened by the chiefs of spiritual world, we can no longer claim ignorance of basic things.

Of course, we have not exhausted all the aspects that can help us build a better spiritual future. But we have the impression that the dimensions discussed herein may serve to initiate this process. Anyway, the question is always timely: what are we casting for ourselves?

ANSELMO FERREIRA VASCONCELOS 
Source: O Consolador  Weekly Magazine of Spiritism
Translation: Leonardo Azzalin

O Consolador Weekly Magazine of Spiritism

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