ASTOLFO O. DE OLIVEIRA FILHO
Translator: FELIPE DARELLA
From: Consolador - Weekly Magazine of Spiritism
Year 2 - N° 63 – July 6, 2008
Spiritism teaches us marriage was an advancement in the history of mankind and its abolishment would be going backwards putting theman below some animal.
There is nothing more discussed than marriage, we understand. LINTON defines it as being the social recognized union between people of different genders. LAURENT calls it "plea of society, basis of public and private morality". GOETHE understands that marriage is the basis of every culture and LESSING says that "the great school established by God Himself for the education of humans”. There are, however, among philosophers and scholars those who are against it, as SCHOPENHAUER who stated that "in our monogamist hemisphere, marriage is losing half of your rights and earning twice as much obligation". Everybody knows that saying which compares marriage to a math formula: a sum of worries, a subtraction of freedom, a multiplication of children and a division of goods. In the field of civil law, marriage is defined as the permanent union between a man and a woman, according to the law, in order to reproduce, help each other and raise their kids.
Historically, marriage started receiving attention in ancient Rome, where it was perfectly organized. There was at first the confarreatio, corresponding to the religious marriage. Among other things, it was characterized by the offer to the gods of a wheat bread, habit that, modified, lasts until today, as the traditional bride’s cake. The confarreatio did not last long and it was rare in the time of Augustus. The coemptio was the plebs marriage, corresponding to the civil one. Finally, there was the usus, acquisition of a woman by possession. The religious marriage was only regulated by the Church in the Council of Trent (1545-1563). As time went by, due to several factors, including the Protestant Reformation, the States set aside the religious marriage and the first country to do so was England, under Cromwell.
Juridical aspects of marriage
Historically, we can say that four main formats of marriage have already existed: 1) marriage by abduction or capture, very common among the tribes which fought themselves and the ancient civilizations, even though MALINOWSKI understands that this kind of marriage has existed more in theory rather than in a practical way; 2) marriage of buying or exchanging, common among the Zulu people in Africa, Native Americans and Germanic people; 3) marriage by paternal determination, mainly in Muslim people and China; and, finally, 4) marriage by mutual consent, in which is dispensable the authorization from the parents, except if those who are getting married are still minors.
ROUAST understands that marriage is a complex act, at the same time contract and institution. Of course it is more of an institution, but it is also a contract. In Brazil, only on September 11, 1861 it was regulated by Law the marriage of non-Catholics, which could be held according to their own religion. But only with the proclamation of Republic that marriage would lose its confessional character, on January 24, 1890, with the Decree 181, the civil marriage. Marriage has been ever since a solemn act in which three elements are essential, otherwise it can be considered nonexistent: different genders, mutual consent and celebration in the way established by the civil code. The marriage between Nero and Sporus, mentioned by Suetonius, in Brazil would be a nonexistent fact, because it is a vital condition of marriage the different genders.
Spiritist view of marriage
ALLAN KARDEC asked the Spirits the following question: - "Is marriage, that is to say, the permanent union of two beings, contrary to the law of nature?" They answered: "It is a progress arrived at by the human race." The abolition of marriage would therefore be a return to the infancy of the human race, and would place man even below certain animals that give him the example of constant unions. In another item of the same book Kardec said: "Polygamy is a human institution, the abolition of which marks an era of social progress. Marriage, according to the intention of God, should be founded on the affection of the beings that enter into it. In polygamy there is no real affection; there is only sensuality." (The Spirits’ Book, 695, 696 and 701).
According to the Spirits, there is something else in man, beyond the physical needs: there is the need of progressing. "Social ties are necessary to progress; and social ties are drawn closer by family-ties. For this reason, family-ties are a law of nature. God has willed that men should learn, through them, to love one another as brothers." The relaxation of family-ties would be a relapse into selfishness. (The Spirits’ Book, 774 - 775).
Allan Kardec, examining the same topic in another book, wrote: "But in the union of the sexes, apart from the Divine material law common to all living creatures, there is another Divine law which is immutable, as are all of God's laws, one that is exclusively moral, which is the law of love. God wishes all beings to unite themselves not only through the ties of the flesh, but also through those of the soul, so that the mutual affection of the spouses be transmitted to the offspring and that it should be two, and not just one, who love them, look after them and help them progress" (The Gospel According to Spiritism, chap. 22, item 3).
Spiritual planning of family
In the errant state, the Spirit "chooses for himself the kind of trials which he will undergo, and it is in this freedom of choice that his freewill consists" (The Spirits’ Book, 258, 851 and 866). The chance, properly considered, cannot be among the considerations of the sincere disciple of the Gospel (Emmanuel, The Consoler, question 186). It is observed, though, that the Spirit chooses himself "the kind of trials"; You have chosen the kind of trial to which you are subjected; the details of this trial are a consequence of the general situation which you have chosen, and are often the result of your own actions. "It is only the leading events of his new life, those which will exercise a determining effect on his destiny, that are foreseen by him" (The Spirits’ Book, 259). Besides, there are two classic exceptions to the general rule of choosing the kind of trial: 1) when the Spirit is simple, ignorant and has no experience, "God supplies what is lacking through his inexperience, by tracing out for him the road which he has to follow" (The Spirits’ Book, 262). 2) when possessed by evil intentions or still being too primitive, God may impose on him an existence He know will be useful for this Spirit; but "God can afford to wait; He never hurries the work of expiation" (The Spirits’ Book, 262-A and 337).
The doubt about spiritual planning of marriage can be solved with the following teachings, transmitted by Emmanuel, which was the spiritual mentor of Francisco Cândido Xavier:
1.) Normally we plan the formation of our family, before our earthly rebirth, with the help and supervision of the Spirits of High Degree. We commonly call old partners of unhappy adventures, programming our life with them, giving those help and opportunity, so that we give them hope of elevation, probation, and improvement. From all the social institutions existing on Earth, family is the most important one. (Emmanuel, Life and Sex, chap. 17).
2.) The familiar school has its sacred origins in the spiritual sphere. In its ties, all those who compromised gather, in the Beyond, to develop on Earth a constructive task of real and definite fraternity (Emmanuel, The Consoler, item 175).
3.) Marriage on Earth is always a result of certain resolutions taken in the Infinite life, before reincarnating, reason which the human unions are foreseen in the existence of individuals, in the dark background of expiations or in the inventory of values from the missions that regenerate and sanctify (Emmanuel, The Consoler, 179). And for those to truly accomplish their tasks, it is needed an absolute faith in God, so that in prayers and spiritual awareness they will find the best defense (Emmanuel, The Consoler, 188).
4.) Almost always, Spirits linked to the couple are interested in the Beyond for the constitution of family, because of their own needs of improving and probations, progress and correction. In face of that, cooperate, in decisive action, for the approximation of the future parents, getting home, by the process of pregnancy and birth, requesting their share of love it is due to them (Emmanuel, Life and Sex, chap. 11).
Types of marriage existing on Earth
According to André Luiz there are four types of marriage on Earth: there are unions of love; there are those of fraternity; the ones of probation and, finally, the ones created for obligation. Spiritual marriage is accomplished soul to soul. "The others are simple processes of solving our debts" ("Our Home", book psychographed by Francisco Cândido Xavier, chap. 38, pg. 212).
In the same book, the author gives us the information that "in the current development state of the planet, there are on Earth rare unions of soul mates, reduced marriages of soul brothers or alike, and a smashing percentage of probations. The largest number of human couples is actually forced to be so, like handcuffs" ("Our Home", chap. 20, pg. 113).
And, because of that, André Luiz got to know the experience of his friend Lísias, who got engaged in the spiritual plan, preparing his return to Earth, in a new incarnation. He ignored up to then that the basis of earthly unions are found in the spiritual life, but his biggest surprise was to know that Lísias and his fiancée had already accumulated several failures experiencing marriage on Earth, because of lack of auto control, reasons of their previous failures.
Autor: ASTOLFO O. DE OLIVEIRA FILHO , Londrina, Paraná (Brasil)
Translator: FELIPE DARELLA
Quelle¨ : Consolador - Weekly Magazine of Spiritism, Year 2 - N° 63 – July 6, 2008