Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Medium Power and Initiation According to Umbanda

original text: Umbanda.org

We are all spirits incarnate and consequently we are perishable in our physical body, immortal in our essence which follows its development according to the Karmic Laws. However we are still far away from the principles of higher spirituality and our limitation to perceive the Astral World and ourselves in several incarnations are proof of that. Needless to say the unfair exchanges among humans and the disgraceful civil wars.

Umbanda teaches that there is no salvation without Charity and that we should not expect Enlightenment unless we get rid of Selfishness, Vanity and Proud. The professed path is the one of Simplicity, Humility and Purity. The path is long and painful when one does intend to leave Illusion and really conquer these high spiritual values, capable of freeing us from the conscience darkness to which we are submitted.

This path is so difficult that it would be practically impossible to accomplish the objectives without the concourse of the Masters of Simplicity, Humility and Purity transformed in the entities that come down to the temples of Umbanda. Given our moral condition there would be no way for these masters to come to us, unless by means of a medium.

Therefore mediums are those spirits that received, before the present incarnation, certain adjustments in their Astral Organism and in their moral conceptions that enable them to give their physical constitution for communication by means of medium ship, working for Charity and developing themselves and others. This is a commitment between this Being and the Spirits of the Cosmic Brotherhood of Umbanda before birth and that should flourish naturally during incarnation.

Today mediums with positive activities and connected with the Spirits with orders and rights from the Superior Astral are rare. The degree of medium power activity also varies among the mediums according to their consciousness degree and to their experience during the incarnations in which they already exercised this power. We should clarify that it is not necessary to be a medium to belong to Umbanda and that the medium power is not a gift rendered to the "elected" to the kingdom o f heavens. In fact, the mediums are spirits to some extent committed in a karmic way to the planetary evolution, in its majority old debtors that are aware of their debts in a bigger or smaller scale and work to pay them off before the Law.

Some of these mediums are old spirits of the Planet that, although eventually deviated from the fair development path in the past, carry with themselves considerable experience and knowledge of both things of the spirit and forces of Nature and specially human psychology. They are called Initiates of the Umbanda Astral Chain each within his degree.

The Initiation is a continuous process that develops itself during several incarnations dedicated to this learning, it never ends either, because the spiritual development is infinite and each tiny portion of this knowledge brought by one initiatec should be result of his own experience oriented by the masters. So, each strand of hair on the Initiatec’s head is counted for.

The Umbanda Initiation is not denied to anyone although very few carry the seal granted by the Army of Goodness as a karmic legacy. Many will come and everytime really stronger. We remind the ones that have now begin the journey that many lives are awaiting for them and each small step is reached through efforts remarkable but not impossible.

We stress that there is no Pope in Umbanda, although we respect the religions that have such positions. Our sovereign pontifles (pontifex the one that build the bridge to the Divine) are the Entities that come down to the temples and lead us to our essence on behalf of Oxalá.

We know that the Federations and alike have an important role of coalitions within human incarnates without any major spiritual representation. Yet there is a tendency that within time (maybe decades or centuries) there will be a deep union among several temples of Umbanda resulting from sharing the same principles adapted to the community of each one.

In the future all the ones that manage temples will be righteously Initiated Umbanda Priests and they will be able to render a service to all their consultants in a depth compatible with the initiating degree, enabling the consultant to be sent to other associated temples according to the needs.

Finally Umbanda has been showing that the eternal ties are the spiritual ones....




The Ritual for Command Transfer from Root between two priests at the degree of Magus guarantees the continuity of a program previously established by the Superior Astral Mentors. In this picture we see Master Yoshanam embodied in Matta e Silva, Magus and medium, passing in ritual the Order and Rights to the command of Root to Rivas Neto (facing) Magus and medium, under the influence spiritual the Master Arashamanan. The Spade represents Law and Justice in action.

Basic Aspects of the Umbanda Doctrine

original text: Umbanda.org

A general outlook of the several types of rituals found in Terreiros of Umbanda does not show Umbanda doctrine at once. This is due to the presence of the syncretism that conceals the real Doctrine in a way to adapt itself to the needs of the population that visit similar temples. The principles that are used to be the base of the Umbanda Movement as a whole are sensitive specially in the Initiation Temples and in the exclusive rituals in some terreiros, where it is noticed a bigger interest in the search of spiritual development without the veil of illusion dictated by the myth
Starting from this observation we can get some important information: the first is that if we were to try to make a consistent Doctrine from the syncretic manifestations it would be impossible to reach a coherent picture, and even if it were possible, it would be very distant from the teachings transferred by the "initiation chain" .The second important information is that excluding the syncretism manifestations in several Terreiros of Umbanda it is possible to isolate certain simil ar points and shared concepts that point at a logic system, initially unsuspected, that is overcast by the apparent chaos.

The presence of the Spiritual Beings of the Umbanda Astral Chain that manifests through embodiment in the forms of "Caboclos", "Preto-Velhos" and "Crianças" stands out within the existing similarities among several temples. This can be considered the basic point that serves as a qualifier of the doctrine professed by a certain spiritual group. The homogeneity at finding this factor that exploded in distinctive communities and made the Umbanda Movement to emerge, leads to the c onclusion that the Doctrine of Umbanda is result of these entities revelations through their mediums and not from the result of the Afro-Amerindian cults fusion.

All Umbanda Doctrine is built from this angular stone, based on the Triple Path made of Mantric Doctrine, Yantric Doctrine and Tantric Doctrine that guard the mystery of the Cosmogenesis. All the processes related to the development of the Spiritual Beings in the Nature Kingdom are observed at the light of these ternary principles and through the laws of analogies applied from the microsomatic level to the macrocosmic one.

The entities that present themselves in Umbanda personify Simplicity, Purity and Wisdom on behalf of Oxalá - Ishiovara - the Highest Tutor of the Planet Earth. They can, through advice, examples and natural forces movement, ignite Faith in the heart of the ones that go to Umbanda temples. From Faith and Reasoning they gradually inculcate in the planetary community the understanding of the reincarnations mechanisms, the Karmic Laws, the attraction through affinity and syntony and tea ch us how to walk safely towards our own spiritual essence.These well developed entities are, in fact, our Original Ancestrals, the first beings to incarnate in the Planet Earth and that were already masters of Comprehensive Knowledge at the time of their incarnations prior to Atlantes. All the Planetary Wisdom was revealed as Aumbandan and later gave origin to all philosophies, sciences, arts and religion known today. Therefore, we find in the Umbanda Doctrine several concepts that are still kept by some p hilo-religious sectors.
In fact, the emergence of religions and all the fragmentary knowledge of today is result of the distortion and the inadequate usage of the Only-Knowledge existing at Tupy Lineage times. Consequently man lost the key to this mystery and the ability to understand life in a synthetic form in its causes and effects.

The Cults to the Original Ancestrals emerged in the hope to rebuild this lost knowledge and to welcome the influxes of these powerful Entities, made known by the big patriarchs and initiated, remaining still today in some traditions specially the oriental one. .

The Brotherhood of Ancestral Spirits members bring, hrough divine mercy, the seeds of the new times and manifest themselves by means of a medium to help us in the development march so Aumbandan can again be present in the earthy community.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Allan Kardec's "The Spirit's Book" - Part 1

Spiritualist Philosophy
THE SPIRIT'S BOOK

CONTAINING
THE PRINCIPLES OF SPIRITIST DOCTRINE ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL: THE NATURE OF SPIRITS AND THEIR RELATIONS WITH MEN; THE MORAL LAW: THE PRESENT LIFE, THE FUTURE LIFE, AND THE DESTINY OF THE HUMAN RACE.

ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS OF SPIRITS OF HIGH DEGREE, TRANSMITTED THROUGH VARIOUS MEDIUMS, COLLECTED AND SEI' IN ORDER BY ALLAN KARDEC

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE
IN presenting to her countrymen a work which has long since obtained a wide acceptance on
the Continent, the translator has thought that a brief notice of its author, and of the
circumstances under which it was produced, might not be without interest for English readers.
Léon-Dénizarth-Hippolyte Rivail, better known by his nom de plume of ALLAN KARDEC,
was born at Lyons, on the 4th of October 1804, of an old family of Bourg-en-Bresse, that had
been for many generations honourably distinguished in the magistracy and at the bar. His
father, like his grandfather, was a barrister of good standing and high character; his mother,
remarkably beautiful, accomplished, elegant, and amiable, was the object, on his part, of a
profound and worshipping affection, maintained unchanged throughout the whole of his life.
Educated at the Institution of Pestalozzi, at Yverdun (Canton de Vaud), he acquired at an
early age the habit of investigation and the freedom of thought of which his later life was
destined to furnish so striking an example. Endowed by nature with a passion for teaching, he
devoted himself, from the age of fourteen, to aiding the studies of those of his schoolfellows
who were less advanced than himself; while such was his fondness for botany, that he often
spent an entire day among the mountains, walking twenty or thirty miles, with a wallet on his
back, in search of specimens for his herbarium. Born in a Catholic country, but educated in a
Protestant one, he began, while yet a mere boy, to meditate on the means of bringing about a
unity of belief among the various Christian sects-a project of religious reform at which lie
laboured in silence for many years, but necessarily without success, the elements of the
desired solution not being at that time in his possession.

Having finished his studies at Yverdun, he returned to Lyons in 24, with the intention of
devoting himself to the law; but various acts of religious intolerance to which he unexpectedly found himself subjected led him to renounce the idea of fitting himself for the bar, and to take up his abode in Paris,
where he occupied himself for some time in translating Telemachus and other standard
French books for youth into German. Having at length determined upon his career, he
purchased, in 1828, a large and flourishing educational establishment for boys, and devoted
himself to the work of teaching, for which, by his tastes and acquirements, he was peculiarly
fitted. In 1830 he hired, at his own expense, a large hall in the Rue de Sèvres, and opened
therein courses of gratuitous lectures on Chemistry, Physics, Comparative Anatomy, and
Astronomy. These lectures, continued by him through a period of ten years, were highly
successful, being attended by an auditory of over five hundred persons of every rank of
society, many of whom have since attained to eminence in the scientific world.

Always desirous to render instruction attractive as well as profitable, he invented an
ingenious method of computation, and constructed a mnemotechnic table of French history,
for assisting students to remember the remarkable events and discoveries of each reign.
Of the numerous educational works published by him may be mentioned, A Plan for the'
Improvement of Public Instruction. submitted by him in 1828 to the French Legislative
Chamber, by which body it was highly extolled, though not acted upon; A Course of Practical
and Theoretic Arithmetic, on the Pestalozzian System, for the' use of Teachers and Mothers
(1829); A Classical Grammar of the French Tongue (1831); A Manual for the use of
Candidates for Examination in the Public Schools; with Explanatory Solutions of various
Problems of Arithmetic and Geometry (1848); Normal Dictations for the Examinations of the
Hotel de Ville and the Sorbonne, with Special Dictations on Orthographic Difficulties (1849)
These works, highly esteemed at the time of their publication, are still in use in many French
schools; and their author was bringing out new editions of some of them at the time of his
death.

He was a member of several learned societies; among others, of the Royal Society of Arras,
which, in 1831, awarded to him the Prize of Honour for a remarkable essay on the question,
"What is the System of Study most in Harmony with the Needs of the Epoch?" He was for
several years Secretary to the Phrenological Society of Paris, and took an active part in the labours of the Society of Magnetism, giving much time to the practical investigation of somnambulism, trance,
clairvoyance, and the various other phenomena connected with the mesmeric action. This
brief outline of his labours will suffice to show his mental activity, the variety of his
knowledge, the eminently practical turn of his mind, and his constant endeavour to be useful
to his fellow-men.

When, about 1850, the phenomenon of "table-turning" was exciting the attention of Europe
and ushering in the other phenomena since known as "spiritist", he quickly divined the real
nature of those phenomena, as evidence of the existence of an order of relationships hitherto
suspected rather than known-viz., those which unite the visible and invisible worlds.
Foreseeing the vast importance, to science and to religion, of such an extension of the field of
human observation, he entered at once upon a careful investigation of the new phenomena. A
friend of his had two daughters who had become what are now called "mediums." They were
gay, lively, amiable girls, fond of society, dancing, and amusement, and habitually received,
when "sitting" by themselves or with their young companions, "communications" in harmony
with their worldly and somewhat frivolous disposition. But, to the surprise of all concerned, it
was found that, whenever he was present, the messages transmitted through these young
ladies were of a very grave and serious character; and on his inquiring of the invisible
intelligences as to the cause of this change, he was told that "spirits of a much higher order
than those who habitually communicated through the two young mediums came expressly for
him, and would continue to do so, in order to enable him to fulfil an important religious
mission."

Much astonished at so unlooked-for an announcement, he at once proceeded to test its
truthfulness by drawing up a series of progressive questions in relation to the various
problems of human life and the universe in which we find ourselves, and submitted them to
his unseen interlocutors, receiving their answers to the same through the instrumentality of
the two young mediums, who willingly consented to devote a couple of evenings every week
to this purpose, and who thus obtained, through table-rapping and planchette-writing, the
replies which have become the basis of the spiritist theory, and which they were as little
capable of appreciating as of inventing.

When these conversations had been going on for nearly two years, he one day remarked to his
wife, in reference to the unfolding of these views, which she had followed with intelligent
sympathy: "It is a most curious thing! My conversations with the invisible intelligences have
completely revolutionised my ideas and convictions. The instructions thus transmitted
constitute an entirely new theory of human life, duty, and destiny, that appears to me to be
perfectly rational and coherent, admirably lucid and consoling, and intensely interesting. I
have a great mind to publish these conversations in a book; for it seems to me that what
interests me so deeply might very likely prove interesting to others." His wife warmly
approving the idea, he next submitted it to his unseen interlocutors, who replied in the usual
way, that it was they who had suggested it to his mind, that their communications had been
made to him, not for himself alone, but for the express purpose of being given to the world as
he proposed to do, and that the time had now come for putting this plan into execution. "To
the book in which you will embody our instructions," continued the communicating
intelligences, "you will give, as being our work rather than yours, the title of Le Livre des
Esprits (THE SPIRITS’ BOOK); and you will publish it, not under your own name, but under
the pseudonym of ALLAN KARDEC.¹ Keep your own name of Rivail for your own books
already published; but take and keep the name we have now given you for the book you are
about to publish by our order, and, in general, for all the work that you will have to do in the
fulfilment of the mission which, as we have already told you, has been confided to you by
Providence, and which will gradually open before you as you proceed in it under our
guidance."

The book thus produced and published sold with great rapidity, making converts not in
France only, but all over the Continent, and rendering the name of ALLAN KARDEC "a
household word" with the readers who knew him only in connection with it; so that he was
thenceforth called only by that name, excepting by his old personal friends, with whom both
he and his wife always retained their family-name. Soon after its publication, he founded The
Parisian Society of Psychologic Studies, of which he was President until his death, and which
met every Friday evening at his house, for the purpose of obtaining from spirits, through
writing mediums, instructions in elucidation of truth and duty.
________________________________________________________________________
¹An old Briton name in his mother's family.


He also founded and edited until he died a monthly magazine, entitled La Revue Spirite,
Journal of Psychologic Studies, devoted to the advocacy of the views set forth in The Spirit's
Book.

Similar associations were speedily formed all over the world. Many of these published
periodicals of more or less importance in support of the new doctrine; and all of them
transmitted to the Parisian Society the most remarkable of the spirit-communications received
by them. An enormous mass of spirit-teaching, unique both in quantity and in the variety of
the sources from which it was obtained, thus found its way into the hands of ALLAN
KARDEC by whom it was studied, collated, co-ordinated, with unwearied zeal and devotion,
during a period of fifteen years. From the materials thus furnished to him from every quarter
of the globe he enlarged and completed THE SPIRITS’ BOOK, under the direction of the
spirits by whom it was originally dictated; the "Revised Edition" of which work, brought out
by him in 1857 (vide "Preface to the Revised Edition," p. 19) has become the recognised textbook
of the school of Spiritualist Philosophy so intimately associated with his name. From
the same materials he subsequently compiled four other works, viz., The Mediums' Book (a
practical treatise on Medianimity and Evocations), 1861; The Gospel as Explained by Spirits
(an exposition of morality from the spiritist point of view), 1864; Heaven and Hell (a
vindication of the justice of the divine government of the human race), 1865; and Genesis
(showing the concordance of the spiritist theory with the discoveries of modern science and
with the general tenor of the Mosaic record as explained by spirits), 1867. He also published
two short treatises, entitled What is Spiritism? and Spiritism Reduced to its Simplest
Expression.

It is to be remarked, in connection with the works just enumerated, that ALLAN KARDEC
was not a "medium," and was consequently obliged to avail himself of the medianimity of
others in obtaining the spirit-communications from which they were evolved. The theory of
life and duty, so immediately connected with his name and labours that it is often erroneously
supposed to have been the product of his single mind or of the spirits in immediate
connection with him, is therefore far less the expression of a personal or individual opinion
than are any other of the spiritualistic theories hitherto propounded; for the basis of religious
philosophy laid down in his works was not, in any way, the production of his own
intelligence, but was as new to him as to any of his readers, having been progressively educed by him from the concurrent statements of a legion of spirits, through many thousands of mediums, unknown to each other, belonging to different countries, and to every variety of social position.

In person, ALLAN KARDEC was somewhat under middle height. Strongly built, with a
large, round, massive head, well-marked features, and clear grey eyes, he looked more like a
German than a Frenchman. Energetic and persevering, but of a temperament that was calm,
cautious, and unimaginative almost to coldness, incredulous by nature and by education, a
close, logical reasoner, and eminently practical in thought and deed, he was equally free from
mysticism and from enthusiasm. Devoid of ambition, indifferent to luxury and display, the
modest income he had acquired from teaching and from the sale of his educational works
sufficed for the simple style of living he had adopted, and allowed him to devote the whole of
the profits arising from the sale of his spiritist books and from the Revue Spirite to the
propagation of the movement initiated by him. His excellent wife relieved him of all domestic
and worldly cares, and thus enabled him to consecrate himself entirely to the work to which
he believed himself to have been called, and which he prosecuted with unswerving devotion,
to the exclusion of all extraneous occupations, interests, and companionships, from the time
when he first entered upon it until he died. He made no visits beyond a small circle of
intimate friends, and very rarely absented himself from Paris, passing his winters in the heart
of the town, in the rooms where be published his Revue, and his summers at the Villa Ségur,
a little semi-rural retreat which he had built and planted, as the home of his old age and that
of his wife, in the suburban region behind the Champ de Mars, now crossed in every direction
by broad avenues and being rapidly built over, but which at that time was a sort of waste land
that might still pass for "the country."

Grave, slow of speech, unassuming in manner, yet not without a certain quiet dignity
resulting from the earnestness and single-mindedness which were the distinguishing traits of
his character, neither courting nor avoiding discussion, but never volunteering any remark
upon the subject to which he had devoted his life, he received with affability the innumerable
visitors from every part of the world who came to converse with him in regard to the views of
which he was the recognised exponent, answering questions and objections, explaining
difficulties, and giving information to all serious inquirers, with whom he talked with freedom and animation, his face occasionally lighting up with a genial and pleasant smile, though such was his habitual
sobriety of demeanour that he was never known to laugh.

Among the thousands by whom he was thus visited were many of high rank in the social,
literary, artistic, and scientific worlds. The Emperor Napoleon III., the fact of whose interest
in spiritist-phenomena was no mystery, sent for him several times, and held long
conversations with him at the Tuileries upon the doctrines of THE SPIRITS’ BOOK.
Having suffered for many years from heart-disease, ALLAN KARDEC drew up, in 1869, the
plan of a new spiritist organisation, that should carry on the work of propagandism after his
death. In order to assure its existence, by giving to it a legal and commercial status, he
determined to make it a regularly constituted joint-stock limited liability publishing and
bookselling company, to be constituted for a period of ninety-nine years, with power to buy
and sell, to issue stock, to receive donations and bequests, etc. To this society, which was to
be called "The Joint Stock Company for the Continuation of the Works of ALLAN
KARDEC," he intended to bequeath the copyright of his spiritist writings and of the Revue
Spirite.

But ALLAN KARDEC was not destined to witness the realisation of the project in which he
took so deep an interest, and which has since been carried out with entire exactitude by his
widow.

On the 31st of March 1869, having just finished drawing up the constitution and rules of the
society that was to take the place from which he foresaw that he would soon be removed, he
was seated in his usual chair at his study-table, in his rooms in the Rue Sainte Anne, in the act
of tying up a bundle of papers, when his busy life was suddenly brought to an end by the
rupture of the aneurysm from which he had so long suffered. His passage from the earth to
the spirit-world, with which he had so closely identified himself, was instantaneous, painless,
without a sigh or a tremor; a most peaceful falling asleep and reawaking-fit ending of such a
life.

His remains were interred in the cemetery of Montmartre, in presence of a great concourse of
friends, many hundreds of whom assemble there every year, on the anniversary of his
decease, when a few commemorative words are spoken, and fresh flowers and wreaths, as is usual in Continental graveyards, are laid upon his tomb.

It is impossible to ascertain with any exactness the number of those who have adopted the
views set forth by ALLAN KARDEC; estimated by themselves at many millions, they are
incontestably very numerous. The periodicals devoted to the advocacy of these views in
various countries already number over forty, and new ones are constantly appearing. The
death of ALLAN KARDEC has not slackened the acceptance of the views set forth by him,
and which are believed by those who hold them to be the basis, but the basis only, of the new
development of religious truth predicted by Christ; the beginning of the promised revelation
of "many things" that have been "kept hidden since the foundation of the world," and for the
knowledge of which the human race was "not ready" at the time of that prediction.
In executing, with scrupulous fidelity, the task confided to her by ALLAN KARDEC, the
translator has followed, in all quotations from the New Testament, the version by Le Maistre
de Sacy, the one always used by ALLAN KARDEC.

You are going to kill me, but...

I decided to post other books (all about Spiritism). I bought some ebooks some time ago and I have all of them ready to be posted; in the meantime I will keep on translating the book "The Midnight Guardian".

I believe this makes more sense for everyone.

I will start with the Allan Kardec's "The Spirit's Book". All of Allan Kardec books are long and they require you to focus on the text. So I believe posting small portions of the book will make reading it easier for you.

I would love to hear from you about the books. Post your comments!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What is Spiritism?

As I mentioned before, Allan Kardec founded a religion called Spiritism. It is a very beautiful religion and their knowledge on the spiritual world is amazing and very helpful to any of us who are interested in understanding how our beautiful entities became what they are now.

Here is another article called "What is Spiritism?". Read it through - it is a little long, though. But it is totally worth it.

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What is Spiritism

Spiritism is the collection of principles and laws, as revealed by the Superior Spirits, contained in the works of Allan Kardec, which constitute the Codification of Spiritism: The Spirits' Book, The Mediums' Book, The Gospel According to Spiritism, Heaven and Hell and The Genesis According to Spiritism. It is the promised Consoler which came, at the appointed time, to compliment and remind us of what Jesus taught, "reestablishing all things in their true meaning", so bringing to Humanity the true basis for spiritualisation.

It reveals new and more profound concepts with respect to God, the Universe, Mankind, the Spirits and the Laws which govern life. Even more, it reveals what we are, from where we have come, to where we shall go and the cause of our pains and sufferings.

Spiritism touches on all areas of human knowledge, of all activities and the behavior of Human Beings. It can and should be studied, analyzed and put into practice in all fundamental aspects of life, such as: science, philosophy, religion, ethics, morality, education and social life.

Fundamental Points

- God is the supreme intelligence and primary cause of all things. God is eternal, immutable, unique, omnipotent, supremely just and good. The Universe is a creation of God. - It encompasses all beings, whether they be rational or irrational, animate or inanimate, material or immaterial. Beyond the physical world, which is the habitation of incarnate Spirits (Mankind), there exists the spiritual world which is the habitation of discarnate Spirits. All the Laws of Nature are divine laws because God is their author. These Laws cover both the laws of physics and the moral laws. Man is an incarnate Spirit in a material body. The perispirit is a semi-material body which unites the Spirit to the material body. Spirits are the intelligent Beings of creation. They constitute the World of the Spirits, which pre-exists and survives everything. All Spirits are created simple and ignorant. They gradually evolve intellectually and morally, so passing from an inferior order to more elevated levels, till they finally reach perfection where they will enjoy constant happiness. All Spirits preserve their individuality, before, during and after each incarnation. Spirits reincarnate as many times as becomes necessary in order to achieve their own perfection. The different corporeal existences of the Spirit are always progressive and never regressive. The rapidity of their progress, both intellectually and morally, depends upon the degree of effort made towards betterment. Spirits pertain to various orders, according to the degree of perfection they have attained at any one time: Pure Spirits, who have attained maximum perfection; Good Spirits, whose desire towards goodness predominates; Imperfect Spirits, who are characterized by ignorance, by their desires towards evil and by their inferior passions. The relationship of Spirits with Man is constant and has always existed. The Good Spirits do their best to lead us towards goodness and uphold us during our trials, helping us to support them with courage and resignation. Whereas the Imperfect Spirits try to incite us towards evil. Jesus is the guide and model for all Humanity. The Doctrine which he taught and exemplified is the most pure expression of God's Laws. The morality of Christ, contained in the Bible, is the indisputable itinerary towards progress for all mankind, and its practice is the solution for all human problems. Man has free-will so as to act, but must respond for the consequences of his actions. The future life reserves penalties or compensations compatible and in accordance with Man's behavior while incarnate, as to whether or not God's Laws were respected. Prayer is an act of adoration towards God. It is contained within Natural Law, being the result of an innate sentiment of Man, just as the idea of the existence of a Creator is also innate in Man. Prayer helps Man to become better. Those who pray with fervour and confidence find themselves to be stronger against the temptations of evil, and God sends them Good Spirits to assist them. This is help that is never denied to those who ask with true sincerity.

"To be born, to die, to be reborn again and to always progress, that is the Law."

"Unshakable faith is only that which can face reason in all human epochs."

"Without charity there is no salvation."


Practical Spiritism

All practical Spiritism is free of any charge, which is within the Gospel principle that we must

"Give for free what we receive for free." The practice of Spiritism is held without any exterior cult, within the Christian principle that God should be adored in spirit and truth. There is no ministry within Spiritism neither does it adopt or use in its meetings or in its practices any of the following: vestments, alcoholic beverages, incense, tobacco, altars, banners, candles, processions, talismans, amulets, sacraments, the making of promises and the paying of penances, horoscopes, fortune telling with cards or sea shells, pyramids, crystals, rituals or any other form of exterior cult. Spiritism does not impose its principles. It invites all those who are interested in getting to know them to submit its teachings to the test of reason before accepting them. Mediumship, which permits the communication of the Spirits with Man, is a gift which anyone can have, independently of whatever doctrinal guidance they may choose to follow. Spiritist Mediumship is only that which is practiced based upon the principles of the Spiritist Doctrine and within Christian morality. Spiritism respects all religions, valorizes all efforts towards the practice of goodness and recognizes that "a true person of goodness is one who fulfils the laws of justice, love and charity in their greatest form of purity."

Do Spirits Exist?

In order to better understand Umbanda (and I believe any religion which revolves around the spirits and their manifestation), I truly believe that we all should read the books from a religion called "Spiritism". Spiritism was founded by Allan Kardec and, although they are not as ritualistic (forgive me the spiritualists, but I don't know how to better explain the differences between our religions) and colorful as Umbanda, their principles are the base of our spiritual knowledge and strengh.

This article was extracted from the "Medium’s Book" - Written by Allan Kardec (I will post the book at a later date)

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Do Spirits Exist?

1. Doubt concerning the existence of spirits arises from ignorance of their real nature. People usually imagine spirits to be something apart from the rest of creation, and the reality of whose existence has not been proved. Many think of them as imaginary beings, known to them only through the fantastic tales of their childhood, and regard their authenticity much as they would that of the personages of a romance. Without stopping to inquire whether those tales, divested of absurd accessories, may not have some foundation of truth, they see only their absurdities; and not giving themselves the trouble to peel off the bitter husk in order to get at the kernel, they reject the whole, just as others, shocked at certain abuses in religion, confound the whole subject in the same reprobation. Whatever ideas we may hold in regard to spirits, the belief in their existence is necessarily founded on that of the existence of an intelligent principle distinct from matter; this belief is therefore incompatible with an absolute negation of such a principle. We assume then, as the ground-work of our belief, the existence, survival, and individuality of the soul, of which spiritualism is the theoretic and doctrinal demonstration, and spiritism the practical proof. Let us then, for a moment, leave out of sight the fact of spirit-manifestations, properly so called, and let us see to what conclusions are led by inductive reasoning.

2. If we admit the existence of the soul and its individuality after death, we must necessarily also admit, first, that it is of a nature different from that of the body, since, when separated from the body, it enters upon a phase of existence distinct from the destiny of the body; second, that the soul retains, after death, its individuality and self-consciousness, and the capacity of feeling happiness and unhappiness, as otherwise it would be an inert being, and its existence would be equivalent to non-existence. These points being admitted, it follows that the soul goes somewhere; but what becomes of it, and whither does it go? According to the ordinary belief it goes to heaven or to hell; but where is heaven, and where is hell? People used formerly to say that heaven was "up on high," and hell, "down below;" but what is "up," and what is "down," in the universe, since we have learned that the earth is round, and that, through the movement of all the stellar bodies, what is "up" now, will be "down" twelve hours hence, and this throughout the immeasurable extent of infinite space? It is true that, by "below", we may likewise understand the "deep places of the earth;" but what has become of those "deep places," since geologists have begun to dig into the interior of the globe? What has become of those concentric spheres called the "heaven of fire," the "heaven of stars," etc., since we have found out that the earth is not the centre of the universe, and that our sun is only one of the countless myriads of suns which shine in space, and each of which is the centre of a planetary system of its own? Where is now the earth's importance, lost as it is in this immensity? And by what unjustifiable privilege shall we assume that this imperceptible grain of sand, distinguished neither by its bulk, its position, nor any peculiarity of attribute, is the only sphere peopled by intelligent creatures? Reason refuses to admit such an inutility of infinitude; and common sense declares that all the other worlds of the universe must be inhabited, and that, being inhabited, they, too, must furnish their contingent to the realm of souls.

But what, it may next be asked, becomes of the souls thus multiplied to infinity by the theory of the plurality of worlds, now that astronomy and geology have annihilated their ancient habitations? To this question we reply that, the doctrine which formerly localized souls being opposed to the data of modern science, another and more logical doctrine assigns to them, as their domain, not any fixed and circumscribed localities, but universal space itself, which is thus seen to be one grand system, in the midst of which we live, which environs us unceasingly, and touches us at every point. Is there anything inadmissible in such a theory, anything repugnant to our reason? Assuredly not; on the contrary, our reason tells us that it cannot be otherwise. But, it may next be asked, what becomes of the doctrine of future rewards and punishments, if we rob them of their special localities? In replying to this objection, we must pause to remark that incredulity, in regard to those rewards and punishments, is ordinarily provoked by the fact of their being presented under inadmissible conditions; and that, if - instead of such conditions, we assume that souls carry their happiness or their misery in themselves, that their lot is always determined by their moral state, that the union of good and sympathetic souls is a source of felicity, and that, according to their degree of purity, is their power of penetrating and discerning things that are still dark to souls of lower degree - all difficulties disappear, and the grand idea of our continuous existence becomes comprehensible and acceptable. Let us assume, still farther, that the degree of each soul's elevation depends on the efforts it makes for its own amelioration during series of existences that serve as the means and tests of its progressive purification, that "angels" are only the souls of men who have attained to the highest degree of excellence; that all can attain to that degree by effort and determination; that those who have attained to that degree are God's messengers, charged to superintend the execution of His designs throughout the universe, and finding their happiness in these glorious missions, - and we surely attribute to the idea of our future felicity an end more useful and more attractive than that of a perpetual state of contemplation which would be only a perpetual state of inutility. Let us assume, yet farther, that "demons" also are no other than the souls of wicked men, not yet purified, but who have the power to purify themselves like the others, and it must surely be admitted that such a theory is more in conformity with the justice and goodness of God than the assumption that they were created for evil, and predestined to a perpetuity of misery. Is there, we ask, in such a theory, anything opposed to reason, anything, in a word, that the most rigorous logic, or plain common sense, can find any difficulty in admitting?

The souls, then, that people space, are what we call spirits: and spirits are nothing but the souls of men stripped of their envelope of gross terrestrial matter. If spirits were beings apart from ourselves, their existence would be merely hypothetical; but, if we admit that souls exist, we must also admit that spirits are nothing else than souls, and, if we admit that universal space is peopled by souls, we must equally admit that spirits are everywhere. We cannot deny the existence of spirits without denying the existence of souls.

3. All this, it is true, is only a theory, though one that is more rational than other theories; but it is something to possess a theory that is not in contradiction with reason or science, and if, moreover, this theory is corroborated by facts, it must be admitted that our position has the double sanction of reason and experience. Such corroborating facts we assert to be furnished by the phenomena of spirit-manifestation, which constitute the irrefragable proofs of the existence and the survival of the soul. With many persons, however, belief ends here; they readily admit the existence of souls, and consequently that of spirits, but they deny the possibility of holding communication with them, "because," they say, "immaterial beings cannot act upon matter." This denial proceeds from ignorance of the real nature of spirits, about which the world in general holds exceedingly false ideas, erroneously regarding them as abstract beings, as something vague and indefinite; which is a great mistake. Let us, in the first place, consider the spirit in reference to its union with the body. The spirit is the principal being, because it is that which thinks, and which survives the body, the latter being only an envelope, a vestment, of gross matter, that the spirit throws off when it is worn out; but, besides this material envelope, the spirit has a second envelope, which is semi-material, and which unites it to the first: at death, the spirit casts off the first, but retains the second, to which we give the name of perispirit. This semi-material envelope, which has the human form, constitutes, for the spirit, a vaporous, fluidic body, which, though invisible to us in its normal state, nevertheless possesses some of the properties of matter. A spirit is therefore not a mathematical point, an abstraction, but is a real being, limited and circumscribed, and lacking only the qualities of visibility and palpability to show its resemblance on human beings. Why then should it not act on matter? Is it because its body is fluidic? But is it not among the most rarified fluids, those which we call "imponderable," as electricity, for example, that man finds his most powerful motors? Does not imponderable light exercise a chemical action on ponderable matter? We do not understand the precise nature of the perispirit; but, supposing it to be formed of electrical matter, or of something else equally subtle, why should it not have the same property of action as electricity, when under the direction of a will?

4. The existence of the soul and the existence of God, as consequences of each other, being the basis of the edifice of spiritism, it is necessary, before entering on the discussion of this subject, to ascertain whether our reader admits that basis. If to the questions: - Do you believe in God? Do you believe you have a soul? Do you believe in the survival of the soul after death? he responds with a negative, or even if he simply says: - I do not know; I should be glad if it were so, but I do not feel sure of it." (a reply that would be usually equivalent to a polite negation, disguised under a gentler form to avoid wounding what he may regard as respectable prejudices), it would be as useless to continue our present argument with such a one, as it would be to demonstrate the properties of light to a blind man who did not believe in the existence of light: because, spirit-manifestations being neither more nor less than effects of the soul's peculiar qualities, it would be useless to reason thereupon with one who denies the soul's existence, and who would require a totally different line of argument from that of the present work. We therefore take it for granted that those who read this book admit the existence and survival of the soul; and if this basis be admitted, not as a mere probability, but as an acknowledged and incontestable fact, the existence of spirits follows as a natural consequence.

5. There still remains the question whether spirits can communicate with men; in other words, whether they can exchange thoughts with us. But why should they not do so? What is a man, if not a spirit imprisoned in the body? and why should not a free spirit be able to hold converse with a spirit in prison, just as a free man can converse with another who is bound in chains? If you admit the survival of the soul, is it rational not to admit the survival of the soul's affections? Since souls are everywhere, is it not natural to believe that the soul of one who has loved us during life should come near to us, should desire to communicate with us, and should, for that purpose, make use of the means in his power for doing so? Did not his soul, during his earth-life, act upon the matter of which his body was composed? Was it not his soul that directed the movements of his body? Why then, after death, if in sympathy with another spirit still bound to an earthly body in order to manifest his thoughts, just as a dumb man makes use of a man who can speak to express his wishes? 6. But let us leave out of sight, for the moment, the phenomena which, for us, render this fact incontestable, and let us admit its reality simply as an hypothesis; and considering the question from his point of view, let us ask the incredulous to prove to us, not by mere negation - for their personal opinion is no law - but by arguments based on reason, that such communications can not take place. We will place ourselves on their own ground; and, since they insist on judging of spiritism facts by the laws of matter, we invite them to draw, from the arsenal of physical science, some demonstration, mathematical, chemical, or physiological, and to prove by a plus b (always, however, keeping in mind the principle acknowledged, viz., that of the existence of survival of the soul), - 1st. That the being who thinks in us during life will no longer think after death; 2nd. That, if it thinks, it will not think of those whom it has loved. 3rd. That, if it thinks of those whom it has loved, it will not desire to communicate with them; 4th. That, if it has the power of being everywhere, it will not have the power of visiting us; 5th. That, if it can visit us, it will not have the power of communicating with us; 6th. That it will not be able to act upon inert matter by means of its fluidic envelope; 7th. That, if able to act upon inert matter, it will not be able to act upon an animated being; 8th. That, if able to act upon an animated being, it will not direct his hand, and make it write; 9th. That, being able to guide a human hand in writing, it will not be able to answer questions, and transmit its own thoughts to the questioner.

When the adversaries of spiritism shall have proved all this, by reasoning as incontrovertible as that by which Galileo proved that the sun does not turn round the earth, we will admit that their doubts are founded. But as, up to the present time, their whole argument may be summed up in words such as these: "I do not believe these things, therefore they are impossible," they will doubtless tell us that it is for us to prove the reality of the manifestations; to which we reply, that we prove them both by facts and by reasoning, and that, if they admit neither the one nor the other, if they deny even what they see themselves, it is for them to prove that our reasoning is false, and that the facts we adduce are impossible.

Monday, June 13, 2005

THE MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN - a word from the author - Part 1

THE MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN
Author: Rubens Saraceni
Inspired by Pai Benedito de Aruanda


A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

When I started to receive the inspiration to write this book, I prepared myself mentally, as Pai Benedito de Aruanda has told me: “I am going to tell a fascinating story of an old friend of yours, who paid the price for challenging the eternal laws of love and compassion.”

No one remains unpunished when one challenges the Law and, consequently, until one doesn’t clean oneself from all the addictions that made him go against the Law, one will not receive anything but the torment of the divine rage, that will pursue you for as long as necessary, until you wake up from the nightmare in which your immortal being finds itself trapped in.

This is an experience that is being lived in this very moment by millions of spirits that did not know how to control their addictions and let themselves be drawn by false appearances of situations that, if approached by with love and respect, would take them to the seventh heaven.

But because that’s not how it happened to the Baron, we are going to relate the fascinating story of The Midnight Guardian. Fascinating because it reveals us, in a very human way, the very strange path this character’s life evolved, a life that could have been tranquil, but because of the way the Baron acted (or reacted), he caused his own torment, even after the death of his body. The Midnight Guardian is the real character that displayed most courage to tell us his terrible story. Today he is one of the best servers of the Law of Light.

Every novel, mystic tales and stories told by Pai Benedito de Aruanda teach us something. I hope this book sheds some light on the divine things that are all around us, around its characters and all human beings, who are in constant evolution.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Book "The Midnight Guardian" coming soon!

Hello everyone,

I decided to post here the translation of one of the best books I have ever read about a Umbanda entity...Exu! This book describes how a very powerful Exu was "born".

The book will be posted in chapters, so I suggest that you visit my blog often to see if it contains new information.

I would also love to know your comments about the book. To leave your notes, simply click on the link "comments" that can be found at the end of the specific message.

Sarava and welcome to my blog!