Translation of Marcelo Minal
"The harshest trials are almost always the indication of the end to suffering and to a certain perfecting of the Spirit, as long as they are accepted with all thought focused on God"(1)
Everything has a reason to be in human life. Indeed nothing happens by chance, neither the most tragic occurrences. The chaos in Santa Catarina seems to us an evident case of 'collective ransom'. Tragic happenings on Earth, like this one, invites us to an important reflection in order to understand that through them mankind acquires more experience, developing the mind and the heart, thus valuing every single moment in life.
In fact there is always plausible explanation for every single tragedy. Why thousands of people perished swallowed by the waves of the Tsunami (a catastrophe of so huge consequences that shocked the entire world)? The answer to these questions regarding collective misfortunes, and many others, can only be fulfilled by the Spiritism that brings consolation to the afflicted human heart, through the rays of reason on clear, coherent and deep answers. Indeed, natural or accidental disasters, like the Santa Catarina's, cause hundreds or thousands of victims. Moreover, the media, press or online websites, portrays the image of the misfortunes, like the current one, with much more vivid colors as the poor population try to collect what is left and face the loss of many people.
In many situations the causal link between catastrophe and human action is present. (2) Currently, it is not necessary to have prophetic skills to foresee the gloomy scenery of our planet's future. We have the conscience that we are in the imminence of ecologic disasters, with no precedents, on the collision course between mankind and nature.
In 1985, the scientists identified a hole in the ozone layer, above the Antarctic, that continues to grow, frighteningly. The reduction of the ozone contributes to the "greenhouse effect". The consequences of this are catastrophic, as the overheating and the alteration of the climate, bringing about hurricanes, severe storms and even earthquakes. The "El Niño" and "La Niña" effects are also worrying as it speeds up the melting of the icebergs, increasing, consequently, the sea level and flooding the coastal side. We can notice that by the register of reduction of the ice covering of Himalaya, Andes, and Kilimanjaro Mount. The only sky station in Bolivia, Chacaltaya, had to finish its activities, due to the lack of snow in that region.
Why don't we organize ourselves in order to adopt urgent prevention measures, avoiding, thus, bigger problems, that means, an ecologic chaos to ourselves and, mainly, to the future generations, instead of being just stand there as spectators? We must watch out for these facts, keep the eyes opened to the alert of the specialists, since it is quite clear that it is only a question of time for the tragic consequences of these forecasts begins to influence, brutally, our lives and, mainly, the lives of our next generations.
Destructive calamities happen in order to make men develop faster. The destruction is necessary for the moral regeneration of spirits, as they accomplish, in each new existence, a new degree of improvement. "You judge merely from your personal point of view, and you therefore regard those inflictions as calamities, because of the temporary injury they cause you; but such upsettings are often needed in order to make you reach more quickly a better order of things, and to effect, in a few years, what you would otherwise have taken centuries to accomplish."(3) Moreover, these destructive calamities are important in the physical point of view notwithstanding the adversities caused by them, for "they sometimes change the state of a country, but the good that results from them is often one that will be felt by the future generations".(4)
Concerning the subject of the 'collective ransom', many spiritual authors explain that the ones involved on violent crimes, due to their debits in their conscience, reincarnates on the Earth and get into groups, in a determined time and place in order to suffer accidental deaths of the same nature, including natural calamities
Thus before we reincarnate, weighed down with debits, we are advised, in the spirit-world, of the ways which we can pay the debits in the next life and the inherent risks of such experience. But there is no determinism, since it depends a lot on the experience, debits and merits accumulated in our several previous lives. Moreover there is a great many circumstances to consider, as the "cause-and-effect law" is considerably flexible. Bear in mind that love rules the life and "charity shall cover the multitude of sins".(5)
Emmanuel explains that: "the collective trials consist on convocations of incarnated spirits who share the same debit which is rooted on a felonious and obscure past. The justice mechanism, according to the payback law, works spontaneously through Christ's laborers who summon the debtor partners to collective ransom. This is the reason why you often call "painful chance" the circumstances which assemble, in the same accident, the most varied sort of people. In addition, these accidents cause the death of the physical body or the most varied kinds of mutilations, corresponding to each one's commitment." (6a)
Inexorably the Law will always lead back to the correct road the ones who follow the short cuts of evil. For the past determines the present, that determines the future, and so on. As the Holy Bible states "if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death."(6b)
But it is quite important to remember that not all the suffering means expiation. According to the Gospel According To Spiritism, item 9, chapter V, Kardec elucidates that "it is not to be thought, however, that all suffering in this world denotes the existence of a determined shortcoming. Many times it is simply an ordeal requested by the Spirit, which will help it towards purification and active progress." (7)
It is important to notice that the environment in which the Spirit was born frequently constitutes part of its trials and/or expiations as it bears a considerable influence upon its personality. Therefore, it is quite important that the enlightened heart labors upon its own development, thus helping morally and physically everyone around its zone of influence.
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1. KARDEC, Allan. The Gospel according to Spiritism. (Translated by J. A. Duncan.) SP, Lake Ed. 1st Edition, April 2005. (Chapter 14, page 191, 192);
2. According to a research, since 1980, on Santa Catarina happened, 3.375 decrees of emergency situation and public calamity due to natural disasters. This means 1.299 for flood, 555 for spate, 502 for gales, 492 for drought. In 1990, a plan was made to enlarge the Itajaí-Açu river, a channel of 10 km, to change the river's course, flowing the excess of water on the sea. So far, this project is stopped at the 'Congresso Nacional'.
3. KARDEC, Allan. The Spirit's Book. (Translated by Anna Blackwell) SP, LakeEd. 10th Edition. (Page 306, question 737);
4. KARDEC, Allan. The Spirit's Book. (Translated by Anna Blackwell) SP, LakeEd. 10th Edition. (Page 307, question 739);
5. The King James Bible - Project Gutenberg Etext - August, 1989. The Second General Epistle of Peter (4:8)
6a. Xavier, Francisco Cândido. O Consolador, dictated by the spirit Emmanuel, Rio de Janeiro: Ed. FEB, 2001, Question 250. (Our translation)
6b.The King James Bible - Project Gutenberg Etext - August, 1989. The Fourth Book of Moses: Called Numbers (35:26)
7. KARDEC, Allan. The Gospel According to Spiritism. (Translated by J. A. Duncan.) SP, Lake Ed. 1st Edition, April 2005. (Chapter 5, Item 9, page 79);