Ana Maria Champloni – Brazil
The Spiritist Doctrine, based on the teachings of Jesus, is eminently inclusive. Whatever basis we choose to look at this assertion – scientific, philosophical or moral – we will find the affirmative answers that will support the argument.
When Allan Kardec invests in observations in order to seek answers to the phenomena of the spinning tables, and begins his studies with the question “Are there spirits?”, he initiates a new existential perspective for the human being, a perspective that makes us equal before the knowledge of our creation. There are, in The Spirits’ Book, different questions that prove it, such as: “God has created all spirits equal” (q. 804); generated from the same elements: “Spirits are the individualizations of the intelligent principle” (q. 79); with the same purpose “[…] to reach perfection […] requires a spirit to contribute to the work of creation” (q. 132); governed by the same Natural Laws: “The harmony that regulates both the material and moral universe is founded on laws God established for eternity” (q. 616); and having equal conditions of choice, in the same proportion to their moral and intellectual development; “In the earliest phase of human life, free will is almost nonexistent. It is developed and changed with the development of the faculties.” (q.844).
In the first face of this luminous multifaceted figure, we understand that our existence is intimately linked to God’s justice and love for us, since we have as our starting point the simplicity and ignorance of the newborn child.
However, from the possibility of choice – free will – based on our own will, are born, so to speak, our identity and uniqueness, […] “The difference between them lies in their various degrees of experience, and the use of their free will;” (TSB, q.804), driven by the abilities and needs that present themselves in each being, from the experiences we are impelled to undergo.
This, then, would be the second face to be observed: the diversity among us, which only becomes plausible through the plurality of existences conferred to each spirit “With each new existence, a spirit takes a step forward in the path of progress” (TSB. q.168).
The crucial point for understanding our own diversity requires the understanding of multiple reincarnations, as learning and development stations of the immortal spirit. And on top of this reflection, there is another even deeper, that the differences built in one spirit only became possible because many others were present, granting alternative dynamics to those experiences. This is what Kardec explains in The Spirits’ Book, in the comments to question 805.
The diversity of human abilities is the result of the various degrees of perfection achieved by the spirits, rather than something intrinsic to the creation of humankind. God has not created the inequality of human faculties. God permits spirits of different degrees of development to be in contact with each other, so that the more advanced may help those who lag behind, and so that all human beings may understand the law of charity that is destined to unite them.
Looking more carefully, we will find the third part, located in the understanding of what is meant by “more advanced” and “more backward”. If we keep a pragmatic and Cartesian conception, we will not get the answers, but if, instead, we accept a more flexible and systemic conception, the understanding will be easier, since we will need to deconstruct, or rather, to re-signify our view of how we are related to each other.
We will use two examples, that of the Spirit Joseph Maître, a deaf-blind man, found in Heaven and Hell, chapter VIII, Terrestrial Expiations, when evoked at a meeting in the city of Paris in 1863, and of the Spirit Françoise Vernhes, blind, also evoked in Paris, in May 1865.
My last existence was only profitable to myself; I hope soon to begin a new one in which I shall be useful to others and thus make up for my former uselessness. Then, and only then, shall I advance on the road to the perfect blessedness.[…] if my example can enlighten some of my incarnate brothers, so as to avoid the quagmire into which I have fallen, I will have initiated the rescue of my speech. (Joseph Maître).
There are, however, many people on Earth who pass for ignorant, just because their intelligence is blunted by atonement. With death the veil is torn, and often the ignorant are more learned than those disdainful of their ignorance. (Françoise Vernhes).
We can quickly foresee that the concept of more advanced and more backward is preponderantly related to the intellectual and moral experiences achieved, and not to titles and hierarchies; that it is linked to the understanding that the conquests gained by us only become valid when shared.
It also shows that we are connected and united by a big “web” in constant and permanent evolutionary movement that happens, precisely because we are diverse, unique and singular, as it says Léon Denis in O problema do ser, do destino e da dor: “And in the immense work everyone is a collaborator, from the darkest soul to the most radiant genius. An endless chain links beings in the majestic unity of the Cosmos.” (2015, chap. 18).
We come to the last face that keeps its essence in the great motto of Spiritism, “without charity there is no salvation”. Far from being compared only to beneficence, charity finds its core in benevolence, forbearance and forgiveness (TSB. q.886), values that make us more welcoming and responsible, less individualistic and less materialistic, more loving and peaceful, and therefore more Christian.
Considering, also, the Christic posture, it is important to take into account the observation of Paul, the apostle, in The Gospel According to Spiritism (GAS chap XV, item 10): “Therefore make every effort so that your fellow beings, on observing you, are induced to recognise that the true Spiritist and the true Christian are one and the same”.
If we allow ourselves to dive deeper into the question, we will finally find the conclusion that it would indeed be disparate for truly spiritualist conduct to be disconnected from an inclusive posture.
For all the already mentioned, we are left with Bezerra de Menezes’ note, translated by Kleber Halfeld, in Reformador, January 1992: “Spiritist knowledge frees man from superstitions and prejudices, for it is eminently rational”, indicating and reminding us that we will need to review old postures that distance us from the legacy we have embraced.
This is, therefore, a Philosophy of Love, the Comforter promised by Jesus, and should reflect, through our own lights, the Light that came down from Above to make the entire Humanity reach more enlightening levels.
Ana Maria Champloni is a collaborator of the Inclusion Commission for the Children and Youth Area – FEB/CFN and part of the training team of the Spiritist Education for Children and Youth – Pernambuco Spiritist Federation.
DENIS, Léon. O problema do ser, do destino e da dor. Brasília: FEB, 2015.
HALFELD, Kleber. O dia em que a dúvida surgiu. Reformador, Rio de Janeiro: FEB, jan.1992.
KARDEC, Allan. The Spirit’s Book (TSB). Translation by Evandro Noleto Bezerra. Brasília: FEB, 2013.
______. The Gospel According to Spiritism. Translation by Evandro Noleto Bezerra. Brasília: FEB, 2013.
______. Heaven and Hell. Translation by Evandro Noleto Bezerra. Brasília: FEB, 2013.
Translated by Juliana Lazzari