Once, when talking to a spiritualistic leader from Brasilia, she commented on the buffoonery (1) of a certain speaker that had been invited to speak in the center she manages. She said that the invited lecturer grossly imitated the tribune, Divaldo Franco, with gestures, manners of verbal expression and decorating her talk with passages from him, as well as "incorporating" Bezerra after the lecture (!?). She also referred to another lecturer who insists on publicizing and selling his books and CDs of recorded lectures and whose income is supposedly for the "greater cause", vainly demanding the public's applause. My god, how ridiculous! These fellows, certainly, imagine themselves as being television celebrities or Hollywood stars, only failing in offering autographs for their idolatrous fans, who also regrettably exist,! There is nothing more sad!
An imitating speaker does not have any sense of the ridiculous, since he takes possession of other people's identity without any embarrassment and this is an obsessive and/or psychopathologic attitude, because it is self created. When imitating someone, they forget that such an attitude is a farce and that, in this way, they lose their freedom of thinking and acting, always looking for the connecting source to continue in their assumed role. There are speakers who spend hours and hours in front of the mirror practicing the gestures or voice intonation of the mock person, who is always inevitably Divaldo Franco. As if the buffoonery and bizarre facts were not enough, we often observe vain speakers offering themselves to give lectures. They contact those who coordinate the schedule and dispose themselves, "kindly", to be designated to speak in the Spiritualistic Center, almost always in a date already previously, programmed for another speaker. It is insolence on their part, when traveling in transit to the city, they then take possession of the place of another speaker, already booked to attend to the Center. Coordinators that proceed like this demonstrate indiscipline, a lack of planning and above all, disrespect to he or she who was already scheduled. And the directors, who accept this disordered movement, prove that they are not competent to hold such responsibility. In other words, maintaining the balance of a Spiritualistic Center. Such a thing as this would only be justified if it was a nationally renowned speaker. To the lecturers, candidates for stardom in the spiritualistic movement urge that they do not memorize any texts of spiritualistic books and to simply recite them as parrotlike because the mechanical expression does not please those who listen to it and above all, God.
It is necessary to build a mental map of what we intend to communicate to the public. Our responsibility is with the doctrinaire content, to the spiritualistic movement, the popularization of the spiritualistic principles. However, for this desideratum it is up us to build and own an original speech of the Spiritism, so that those who listen to us can capture the true sense of the Third Revelation.
We cannot be mere divulgers of Spiritism. We need, above all, to have the spiritualistic message as one of the instruments that can help the human being to be more fraternal and to live happier.
The communication of the spiritualistic lecture is not in the human compendium. It is something personal. Thus, we have the obligation to never imitate, especially those speakers that give audience to an overcrowded Center. We need to imitate ourselves, our mental organization, our limitations, our understanding of the theme, to truly be ourselves. We must be without the masks of inexistent virtues, without dissembling attitudes of docility but coherent and wise with the Christian ideal. Therefore, I think that all directors have the duty of warning the imitating lecturers because imitation is a preposterousness concept.
Quite so! To imitate is horrible because the imitation does not get to reproduce true talent. One can even imitate the style of the renowned speaker but never recreate the depth or beauty that characterize their productions or will it reappear in a way perfectly recognizable through legitimate oratory. The spiritualistic exhibitor is not a professional of the faith who needs to dramatize or use other resources to recruit followers. His task is to inform on this universe of new knowledge that is Spiritism.
It is important we create our own style, simple and without exaggerations, remembering that a lecture in a Spiritual Center is more a conversation than a conference. We utilize simple language and of good taste, remembering that we are there working for Christ to explain and make the public understand the message of the Spiritism, not to exhibit culture. It is always possible to explain subjects, even the complex and deep, in a language accessible to a heterogeneous audience. The speaker should welcome, with respect and humility, all criticism that tries to carefully evaluate his/her work and with this, improve more to the task that fits him/her.
He/she should react with all his/her energies against improper praise, so that the vanity does not come to cover him/her own action field and furthermore, he/she should never feel indispensable or privileged, creating demands or requesting special considerations. Of this; any similarity found with those who have already watched this film in Brasília. Could it be mere coincidence? There are speakers that abuse their position by telling funny stories to make the audience laugh throughout the whole lecture.
He/she uses the tribune as if it was a theater stage for humorists. Now, if the speaker has a talent for hilarity, then go to the theater and exercise the actor's profession. It is more worthy.
Here are some capital sins of a spiritualistic lecture: artificiality; a lack of reasoning order with a beginning, middle and end of the proposed theme; the disregard of the audience characteristics and speaking as if all the listeners were the same; a lack of content and preparation; the defense of ideas that are against the interest of the listener and, MAINLY, to IMITATE OTHER SPEAKERS. We believe that the worse the speaker is, in being his/herself, then he/she will have no chance of success. If he/she imitates somebody, then the better the imitation is, the more he/she loses credibility or the whole lecture turns into a circus.
"The exhibitors of the good word can be compared to electrical technicians, turning off mental sockets through the liberating principles that are distributed in the sphere of thought." (1) Spiritism, is the Christian revival in both its essence and purity. Those that are inclined to divulge it through the edifying word, in the likeness of Christ's disciples, should be equipped with all the resources to well represent this Comforting Doctrine to those who desire orientation, for the necessary inner illumination. The speaker should conduct themselves with respect, remembering that the true spiritualist is "Recognized by his/her moral transformation and the efforts he/she does to dominate their bad inclinations." (2)
Thus, the spiritualistic exhibitor will not intend to be "sacred", but somebody sincerely determined in building himself/herself morally a little more everyday, always remembering that for the audience, he represents Spiritualism and the Spiritualistic Movement.
There are, without any doubt in the spiritualistic tribunes, some successes. However, we were very concerned with the mistakes and the distortions detected in the lectures that we had the opportunity to watch or in the facts that were given to us. There is really, around this theme, a preoccupying picture.
"All the sincere spiritualists, both studious and fond to the good, are summoned to the ministry of aid, through the diffusion of the spiritualistic postulates, propitiating a perfect understanding of the evangelical lessons, representing the opportune and urgent medication for the desperate mass, the stunned man..." (3) In fact, in the spiritualistic lecture can be the entrance, wide and promising for the understanding of the Spiritualistic Doctrine or equally and lamentably, the exit to roads far from this knowledge that frees. The spiritualistic speaker is an important piece in advertising and diffusing the Spiritism, which should be faced with extreme responsibility and practiced with careful moral and cultural baggage, without damaging the indispensable experience.
When somebody intends to listen to a Spiritualistic speaker, he/she does so presuming that the speaker knows the subject that what s/he is speaking of and as such, quietly offers him/her a credibility vote. This gives the speaker the capability to change, methodically, erroneous ideas or concepts that were ingrained in others or even transform an entire life! Therefore, there is no other commitment without larger consequences because those who assume this task stop being just a speaker. They are transmuting himself/herself as an authentic mentor of the Doctrinaire subject, speaking about deep Evangelical and Social themes and with extreme responsibility.
André Luiz reminds us that we should talk naturally, governing our own emotions, without sourness, without nervousness and without buffoonery, since the word reveals the balance. Therefore, we have to silence any prominent purpose, silencing exhibitions of knowledge. The speaker is responsible for the mental images that shape in the minds who listen to him/her."(5)
(1) Buffoonery means: Grimaces, gestures; grotesque or ridiculous gestures.
(2) Xavier, Francisco Cândido. Nos Domínios da Mediunidade (In the Domains of the Mediumship), Dictated by the Spirit André Luiz, Rio de Janeiro: Ed. FEB, 2003.
(3) Kardec, Allan. "O Evangelho Segundo o Espiritismo" ("The Gospel According to the Spiritism"), Rio de Janeiro: Ed. FEB, 2001, chapter XVII - item 4.
(4) Franco, Divaldo Pereira, Reflexões Espíritas (Spiritualistic reflections), dictated by the Spirit Vianna de Carvalho, Salvador: Ed. Leal, 1992.
(5) Vieira, Waldo. Evolução em Dois Mundos (Evolution in Two Words), Dictated by the Spirit André Luiz, RJ: Ed. FEB, 1998, acp 14.