A lifelong test

If you’re new to this blog, start by reading the first article – as the first page of a book.

At OOP Coffee in Belo Horizonte, I sat with a cappuccino and an organic chocolate and oatmeal cookie. Ready to think about what I will do next. I have reached this travel stage when one is very tired, needy for love, stability and rest, wishing to build something permanent, and trying to remember that nothing is permanent. It is natural. It is my occidental mind.

I know this stage to be a “normal” down after driving myself crazy from places to places and diving into strange experiences and encounters. So I’m sitting at this coffee place, dictating my thoughts to an iPhone who magically writes down my words on the Notes App. Just as my dad dictates his meetings notes while he’s driving. This modern world is all about productivity, right?

Living through this traveler’s “normal” down since the last days, I now have to face all possible options and choose one: the one that will allow me to make the most of Brazil, the most of myself and the most of my time. All paths that have most tickled my interest are connected to the same idea: connecting with higher frequencies and developing psychic abilities – abilities that, I believe, we were born with but could never develop in this society. All of that I love in life are ways to connect with higher brain frequencies: Dance, Music, Yoga, Astrology, Spiritism, Reconnective Healing, Mediumship, Astral Travels, Past lives, Ufology…. This means recognizing that we are much more than our meaty bodies. And believing that we are going through evolution here. That we are all doing our best to become more conscious, more sensitive, more intelligent, more at peace and more able to love.

There are so many techniques and so many theories that all aim to the same Truth. So we must just pick the ones that resonates most with us. I still don’t know which one(s) I’ll pick, but I will share with you some of many more options. One of them is Spiritism. The first time I heard about Spiritism, it was three weeks after my arrival in Brazil. I was in Salvador. The house where I was staying was full of books and movies about Mediums. I eventually dared to ask what it was all about. So I was advised to read the books of Alan Kardec and watch some movies about Chico Xavier’s life. I read about Alan Kardec on-line. He was the French educator who codified Spiritism during the 19th century, writing five books known as the Spiritist Codification. At this time, many personalities – of whom Victor Hugo, Théophile Gautier, Victorien Sardou, Camille Flammarion and Arthur Conan Doyle – adhered to this philosophy that finally aimed to explain scientifically the after-death life. Alan Kardec’s work was then continued by others, amongst which the famous medium Chico Xavier (1910 – 2002) in Brazil. Brazil is the country where Spiritism most evolved. Today, more than 6 million Brazilians adhere to this spiritualistic philosophy. There are thousands of centers in the country. Many streets and schools honor Alan Kardec’s name in every city of Brazil.

Spiritism postulates that humans are essentially immortal spirits that temporarily inhabit physical bodies for several necessary incarnations to attain moral and intellectual improvement. It also asserts that spirits, through passive or active mediumship, may have beneficent or malevolent influence on the physical world. The term first appeared in Kardec’s book, The Spirits Book – Wikipedia

In Salvador, my adoptive mom and her sister – who is living next-door –, studied mediumship at a Spiritism Center, so they could hear spirits and transfer their messages to people who did not have the ability to communicate with them. Sometimes, without calling for them, my “mom” would receive spirits advices. One night, for example, as she was showering before going out with her daughter at Praça de Piedade, she heard a voice telling her to stay home. Unsure about what to do, she told her sister. Her sister recommended she’d obey the voice. So she did, and watched TV instead. Thirty minutes later, on the News, the journalists report a gunfire on Praça de Piedade. A pedestrian was shot in the leg.

My “mom’s” sister lent me few movies to learn more about Chico Xavier, the most astounding medium of the 20th century.

Alex Bellos, The Guardian, July 11th, 2002
“On the day last month that the Brazilian football team won its fifth World Cup, one of the country’s most famous religious leaders, Chico Xavier, died aged 92, of heart problems. Xavier had prophesied that he would die on a « day of celebration », so that the immense grief would be lessened by national happiness.

His prediction had been taken seriously. Xavier was Brazil’s most respected medium, a position of great moral authority in a country where an estimated 20 million people believe in spiritism – a type of Catholicism based on telepathic communication with souls of the dead. Brazil has the world’s largest spiritist population, and, in a career spanning 75 years, Xavier became its most important figure.

The information he communicated from beyond the grave was often regarded as fact. Once, in 1979, a man accused of murdering his best friend was set free because the judge accepted a witness statement from the dead friend which he had communicated telepathically via Xavier. The victim, said his friend, was innocent; he went on to reveal the identity of the real murderer.

Xavier was born into a poor family of nine brothers and sisters, in the suburbs of Belo Horizonte. By the age of four, he was hearing voices and having visions. His family thought he was possessed by the devil, and the local priest ordered him to say a thousand Ave-Marias, and to pay an additional penance of walking with a 15kg stone on his head.

Xavier dedicated his life to using his aptitude as a medium to bring comfort to as many people as possible.”

Chico Xavier wrote, during 60 years, up to 450 books (religion, philosophy, historical romances, novels, Portuguese Literature, poetry, scientific) and several thousand letters. The letters were written through a process known as « psychography” and were intended to inform, console and uplift the families of deceased persons. Xavier called his spiritual guide Emmanuel, who according to Xavier, lived in ancient Rome as Senator Publius Lentulus, was reincarnated in Spain as Father Damien, and later as a professor at the Sorbonne. (Source: Jean-Pierre Langelier, Le Monde, May 12th, 2010)

Six weeks after my curiosity was tickled, I finally visited a Spiritism center, here in Belo Horizonte, the Spirit Center Manoel Felipe Santiago (CEMFS). I sat in a school-like room filled with joyful and lively people, a book at hand, reading passages as they would listen and interact with the presenter, standing on the front scene. He was an entertaining man and women would answer his jokes with loud laughs. The main discussion was about moral and acknowledging that Spiritism is nothing fantastic nor marvelous; it is just natural. We should not be afraid of it, nor excited by it. It just is part of our world. We are all souls meeting and trying to evolve together in humanity, dealing with the modern world. The presenter discussed the importance, in our society, of social medias, material goods, studies, knowledge and carriers. After the presentation, I walked down the stairs to the room where people were waiting for the healing session, called “passe”. There were two healers today (sometimes they are four). I entered the little room with another person. We sat on the chair, closed our eyes and waited for the mediums to pray and shake their hands around our bodies, cleaning our souls.

The same day, I was meeting a guy from the CouchSurfing community. I joined him at the Growers, where his cousin’s band, Lamparinha e a Primavera, was playing. This guy happened to be studying at another Spiritism center, twice a week, on a few months program. I couldn’t wait to ask him more about it. And this guy was so passionate that explaining Spiritism for an hour in a noisy bar wouldn’t be problem at all!

  • Here on earth is very short passage, he started. We, humans, are souls embodied in this physical reality, which corresponds to our state of evolution. We will need many reincarnations to evolve enough, so that we can access a higher state of evolution.
  • How would a higher level of evolution be?
  • We would not have those physical meaty bodies. You know, everything here is energy, but a lower state of vibration makes us solid, physical. Higher vibrations would make us just energy, like air, like angels.

I heard about this same theory in my Yoga teacher training. An ancient Indian belief.

  • Where would be this higher stage of evolution? I asked.
  • On another planet.
  • Oh! … So, what are aliens?
  • They are souls, like us, but in different bodies. Bodies that are adapted to a different physical environment. Various physical forms correspond to various stages of evolutions.
  • Mh… And is there evolution on Earth?
  • Our planet is also evolving. So if someone does not evolve as quickly as the Earth, he will have to reincarnate in a lower state of evolution on a different planet.
  • I see… And what are animals, then?
  • Animals or not embodied souls, no.
  • And what about mediumship?
  • Everybody is a medium. And, just as some of us in this reality are engineers, musicians or soccer players, each of us is also specialized in a type of mediumship: some see, some feel, some hear. It is very unusual that someone has all mediumship abilities.
  • That makes sense. And how do you develop those abilities?
  • Through elevating yourself morally, first. Through believing, and studying. It is a very long work. Some programs at the Center aim to develop mediumship.

One day I’ll complete a program, I thought. I always think so when I get excited. But then I have to ground myself, feet on Earth, and realize I can’t do everything.

Is Spiritism a path I will follow? I will definitely read the books of Alan Kardec when I finish travelling. I might also visit some Spiritism center once I am settled down. A possibility amongst many. But for now, I believe. Maybe I can start working on mediumship through other techniques…

  • So basically, concluded my Couchsurfing mate, we are here to evolve. On Earth, we are always tested: sensuality, jealousy, greed… It is a lifelong test until we reach the next level.

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