Eleni Frangatos - email@example.com
Did “cave” men have deep awareness? "Researchers at the University of York have discovered that the Neanderthal man had a great sense of compassion. The conclusion came through archaeological evidence and by watching how emotions took place in our ancestors six million years ago, when man and chimpanzees’ ancestors, common to both, experienced the awakening of the first feelings. For archaeologists, about 1.8 million years ago, Homo erectus had a sense of compassion with rational thought evidenced through actions such as to care for the sick and to pay special attention to the dead, demonstrating grief and desire to soften the others’ suffering.” (1)
FELIPE DARELLA - firstname.lastname@example.org
We have many religions, but little religiosity. Christianity, nowadays, is the most popular religion, around 2 billion
Jesus was the first social worker we had in History. Before the proposals of the modern psychological science, defended by renowned researchers, the Master, two thousand years ago, proved that the true happiness is not individual, but the sum of happiness of people we live with. Solidarity and beneficence are the chief foundations of living well. We talk about religion and label our belief; however, if we don’t help others, we’ll never get to spiritual maturity.
On Earth, there were many denominations showing the path of beneficence. Some of them joined together, while others fought themselves and the message, which showed the way to charity, was stuck for the lack of love among us.
We have many religions, but little religiosity. Christianity, nowadays, is the most popular religion, around 2 billion people, and is divided into three groups: Catholicism, Orthodox and Protestantism. The Christian movement is organized, first, in Jerusalem and is, at first, a movement inside Judaism. Later, Christians are persecuted by the Roman Empire. Situation changes in 313, when the emperor Constantine gave them freedom of religion. In 392, Christianity becomes the official religion of the Empire, and missionaries are sent too many parts of Europe to settle churches, occupying the whole continent. At the end of Middle Age, the European expansion takes Christianity to America and Asia. From the 19th century on the missionaries arrive, also, at Africa and East Asia, spreading the Gospel worldwide.
In this point of the text, we take a break to define briefly some religious points [i] and we start with Catholicism. The term is derived from the Greek katholikos (universal). The adoption of this name comes from the idea of a church that can be accepted and take the message everywhere, by everyone. It is associated with the expansion of the Roman Empire and the appearance of new kingdoms inside this one. Its diffusion is due to the development of the western civilization and the process of colonization of other peoples. Today, Catholicism has more than 1 billion of followers, nearly 18,7% of world population. Most of them (about 39%) are in Latin America. O Brazil being the first one. According to IBGE, 120 millions of Brazilians in 1991 were said to be Catholics (about 83% of the population).[ii]
Protestantism began with the so-called Protestant Reform, started by Martin Luther
From the Church of Rome, appears the Catholic Charismatic Renovation in the USA, in the 60’s, in disagreement with some norms of the Vatican. In this trail, is born, in the same decade, the Theology of Liberty, mainly in Latin America, where we single out the Brazilian Leonardo Boff, one of the founders of the movement. In his book “Jesus Christ Redeemer” (1972), Boff admits some Marxist theories in the analysis of third-world societies.
Spiritism is a religious doctrine based on the belief of existence
There are the principles of Hinduism, a set of concepts, doctrines and religious practices that started in India in 2000 b.C. They are based on Vedas[viii]. Its main characteristics are the polytheism and reincarnation. It’s believed that, today, there are more than one billion adepts.
Buddhism is an ethical, religious and philosophical system, founded by the Hindu prince Siddhartha Gautama (563 b.C.?-483 b.C.?), Buddha, around VI b.C. It teaches how to overcome suffering and reach nirvana[ix] through mental discipline and a correct form of life. Confucianism is another religious doctrine of the Western world, and, also, a philosophy, political ideology. It’s a legacy of literary tradition, based on the ideas of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551 b.C.-479 b.C.). It remained as the official doctrine of China, for almost two thousand years, from the 2nd until the beginning of the 20th century. Currently, 25% of the Chinese population claim to live according to this doctrine. Outside China, Confucianism has about 6.3 million followers, mainly in Japan, South Korea and Singapore.[x] In Confucianism, there are no priests or churches. The five essential virtues are: love, justice, follow the rules of conduct, auto conscience of the Will of Heaven and disinterested sincerity. Only those who respect others are able to carry out their social duties.
Spiritism is a religious doctrine based on the belief of existence of the Spirit, regardless of the body, and its return to Earth for successive incarnations, until being perfect. Its main current is, for some, Kardec’s, formulated in 1857, with “The Spirits’ Book”, by the French professor, Allan Kardec (1804-1869), pseudonym of Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail. Spiritism claims that reincarnations allow the constant evolution of the spirit to make up for their previous mistakes. All faults can be repaired. There is no worldwide statistic about the number of followers of Spiritism. In Brazil, according to IBGE, around 1.6 million people said they were Spiritist in 1991. According to a poll released in 1994, by Datafolha, this number gets to 5.5 million.[xi] Currently, nearly 20 million of Brazilians have some bond with Spiritism.
The religions teach about the importance of beneficence. Spiritism says that “Out of charity there is no salvation”. The High Spirits warn us that without charity all religious faith is a useless worship; hope is nothing but a flower unable to bloom and philanthropy itself is a game of shiny words, in which the naked and hungry, the needy and sick used to perish uttering curses.
Christ asks us cooperation for planting the Gospel that Spiritism teaches
The Spirit Neio Lúcio says, in the last chapter of his book “JESUS AT HOME”, the following excerpt: "(...) after the last domestic service at the house of Peter, at the eve of embarking to the city of Sidon, the Master opened the book of Isaiah and commented on it wisely, and after the prayer he said: - Lord, help those who are happy despite being poor, miserable and alone.(...)Rise those who fell under the excess of material comfort ".[xii] (our highlight).
“In a beautiful apologue, says Rabindranath Tagore that a farmer, homebound, with the day’s harvest, noticed that, on the other way, a beautiful carriage, covered with stars. Amazed, in awe, he saw it pulling over, and along with it, he recognized the presence of the Lord of the World, who asked him something, anything...
What? – he said, astonished – the Lord of Life asking something from me, being a slave to the soil? Excited and silent, he went for his pocket and gave him a grain of his precious cargo. The Lord thanked and left. When, however, the poor man of the field realized, he noticed some glitter coming out of his pocket... The grain of wheat, from what he gifted the Lord, was back to the back, but in the shape of a grain of gold... Astonished, he said:
-Fool of me!... Why didn’t I give it all to the Lord of Life? [xiii]..
Nowadays on Earth, when materialism compromises edifications of faith, in the way of men, we know that Christ asks us cooperation for planting the Gospel that Spiritism teaches. And, proposing this humble article to the kindness of Jesus, I say it out:
“-Oh! Lord!... I understand the meaning of your requests and the greatness of your munificence, but forgive me for little I am, if I can’t give you anything else!” [xiv]
The lesson is clear and expressive enough. That’s why, shall we reflect upon it, so that we don’t remain in the shadow of egoism, in the form of religious practice, just for the sake of etiquette.
[i] Cf. Almanaque Abril 98
[iii] The name protestant is attributed, at the time, to the backers of the Reform who protest against the Diet (assembly summoned up by the kings) of Speyer (1529). The Protestant Church, also known as Evangelical, claims the re-approximation of Church with the primitive Christianity.
[iv] Cf. Almanaque Abril 98
[vi] Selection of diverse transcendental revelations received by Muhammad from 610 to 632.
[vii] Cf. Almanaque Abril 98
[viii] knowledge, in Sanskrit, set of sacred texts composed of hymns and rites
[ix] State of soul in total peace and tranquility
[x] Cf. Almanaque Abril 98
[xii] Xavier, Francisco Cândido. Jesus at Home, Dictated by the Spirit Neio Lúcio, RJ: Ed. FEB, 2002
[xiii] Dedicatory by Ismael Gomes Braga in the book Letters and Chronicles, psychographed by Chico Xavier, dictated by the Spirit Irmão X, RJ: ed. FEB, 1966.
Faith does not change the laws of nature, does not make miracles, but can help the work of a very good medical team, making big difference in a hospital treatment
It is common, after overcoming a cancer, that patients need emotional support for returning to their routine of life, because they are still need special care, physically and emotionally, knowing that each case involves specific aspects. Because steps are many and painful: diagnosis, examinations, research, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other medical procedures, the recovering person is fragile and requires careful monitoring.
Winning a cancer and immediately return to an active life, although there isn’t the rule, does not mean that the disease cannot be won. According to reports of patients, suffering is not only from the disease itself, but also from treatments themselves, often marked by side effects. It is common to observe emotional wounds and changes in the style of living of patients and their family. To minimize a little the traumas left by the therapeutic process, emotional support relieves distress and fear of recurrence.
Spiritists are aware that patients, when arrive at the hospital, brings with themselves, in addition to their disease, their history of past and current life. Their emotional state is the result of vectors and structure of personality, interpretation and experience of events, considering aspects of imaginary and real, and other variables of causes of disease.
Science and technology increasingly allow early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of disease, monitoring its development and even obtaining success in many cases.
Mind can influence the outcome of treatment
However, even with such scientific advances, many diseases promote organic, emotional and social changes, that require constant care, and therefore adaptive processes. Remember, above all, "the valuable contribution of academic medicine, when is not accompanied by a good doctor-patient relationship, results incomplete to achieve the excruciating causes of disease and distress." (1)
Currently, studies are made on optimism, spirituality, creativity, religious faith and especially, the complex universe of thought that have been associated with the welfare and quality of life of people with chronic diseases. Furthermore, research on human health that is analysing if mind, through a psychological or emotional state has the ability to cure disease.
A study done by scientists of the University of Pennsylvania, in the United States, attempts to demonstrate that the fact that people with cancer are optimistic or pessimistic does not directly influence the chances of survival to the disease. For consistent reasons, we disagree with these arguments; since evidence suggests that in several cases of serious illnesses (such as advanced cancer), mind (the way of thinking) can influence the outcome of treatment, not disconsider the value of doctors, of course.
Strictly speaking, faith (in the concept of common sense) does not change the laws of nature, does not make "miracles", but it may help, concurrently, the work of a good medical team, making large difference in hospital treatment.
Facing disease many people transform pain into hope
It is imperative and appropriate to consider, that stating that one has religious faith to "feel" powerful when facing disease does not solve the issue of pain, because the "titles of faith” are not mere words to cover our deficiencies and weaknesses. They express duties of improvement that we cannot escape without further obligations. In our circles of work, thus, it not enough simply believe and convince. " (2)
There are specialists who support this argument, considering that the look optimistic about disease, and firm thought in healing are powerful mechanisms that can help patients cope better with the treatment of cancer and resume a normal life. As an example we have what happens to the Vice-President of Brazil - José Alencar. Currently, more and more people are surviving cancer and this survival, are related, without doubt, to emotions and thoughts, rich content of vibration between the patient and the Creator. Many patients, before the diagnosis of disease, transform pain into hope, and awaken in them the will to fight for a better life. Others, however, give up, assuming they are under a death sentence.
Regarding the process of human thought, the academic science, which is materialist by excellence, purpose that the phenomenon is purely physiological, due to incessant activity neuronal. But the Spiritists know that the mental matter is the creation of energy that externalises from the spirit and spreads by a flow of particles and waves, as any other form of propagation of energy in the universe. As in physical field, thought, in vary degrees of excitement, generates waves of length and frequency correspondents to the content of the creator impulse of will or desired objective.
The reflections of thoughts returns to ourselves
Thinking is a process of projection of mental matter and this matter "is the subtle instrument of will, working in formation of physical matter, generating the motives of pleasure or grief, joy or pain, optimism or despair, which do not reduce, effectively, abstractions, because they represent eddies of force where soul creates its own states of inductive mind, drawing to itself the players [for now imponderables] of light or shadow, victory or defeat, happiness or misfortune. " (3) In this respect, thought is not intangible anymore to substantiate in the condition of matter in motion.
The reflections of negative feelings and thoughts that we feed ourselves come back to us, after being transformed in mental waves, confusing our organics functions. So, thought, as a subtle form of energy, acting in a kind of wave, with a speed much higher than light, when passing by places and creatures, situations and things, affects integrally our health. "When we surrender ourselves to imbalance or disruption or when we establish perturbation against us (...), we reflect in the psychosomatics tissues certain fields of rupture in cells harmony, creating morbid predisposition for this or that disease, and therefore the entire area affected becomes susceptible to microbial invasion. " (4)
By thoughts of fear, exacerbated anxiety, disappointment, we slave ourselves in trunks of painful punishment, sentencing us, sometimes, to years of pilgrimage in the tracks of spiritual uneasiness. And to shorten the torment that plagues us in many ways our conscience, it is essential the renewal of our mind, the only way of recovery of spiritual harmony and physical health.
Never discouraged when facing challenges of any disease
Given this, try adopting strict discipline of mental and moral habits, setting as goals putting our duties above worldly pleasures and keeping us calm with the unique opportunity of current physical experience, which help us with spiritual information. Seek, above all, healthy habits of prayer, meditation and work, trying to enrich us with hope and joy, so we will never discouraged when facing the challenges any disease. "We must watch and pray so we will not fall in temptations, because it is better cry on the prods the resistance than smile under drugs of fall." (5)
For all ills, and any diseases, focus our thoughts on Jesus, because "our medicine is and will always be Jesus”. We should adjust ourselves to the Redeemer Gospel, because Christ is the goal of our renovation. "By regenerating our existence by His standards we restructure the intimate lives of those that are around us. The Gospel of the Lord explains that the pure and working thought is the force that excels us from the darkness to light, from hatred to love, from pain to joy. " (6)