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Old 03-06-2014, 01:19 PM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brasil
85 posts, read 97,419 times
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Spiritism in Brazil works basically like this: it's a religion, so it's practiced in religious "centers". The spiritist centers may be buildings as large as hangars or someone's garage. The center I attend to in São Paulo is at a three-floor building in which over 150 people work every meeting (monday afternoons, wednesday and friday nights) to receive about 800 visitors; but it's one of the largest centers in a big city. The center I attended in my childhood in my small town in Minas Gerais began at a place like a basement at one of the founder's house, a room with three windows to a small back yard, and remains at the same place. The meetings there still occur at mondays and wednesdays nights, to 50 to 70 people attending them.

This general meetings are the fundamental activity in any spiritist center. Their are our "masses". People come and sit in a room full of chairs (like in any church), the speaker of the evening opens with a pray (everybody follows, in silence, in a moment of meditation, usually with eyes closed to concentrate), than talks about a certain subject of general interest: explains a little bit of the spiritist doctrine to the eventual beginners, always talking about life after death and reincarnation, and how we must insist in being more persevering, charitable and unattached to material things, how we'll feel better not holding bruises, always bringing Jesus into our lives and thoughts, trying to do what He would have done etc. Is like any lecture of a priest or a catholic father, but accepting life after death.

It's a christian religion, but we don't use the Bible. We study the acts of Jesus in His single reincarnation on Earth by "The Gospel According To Spiritism", a book that the codifier of the doctrine, Allan Kardec, was conceded to by the team of spirits who stood by him, helping to initiate the Spirit Doctrine. This book is the New Testament explained by the spirits. In their communications, they told us what Jesus was meant to say with His parables, kind of deciphering the Bible at the light of the new doctrine. The other parts of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, were later discussed in many books "dictated" (I don't know if there's a word in English to "psicografar", would be something like "psicograph", that is the act of spirits wright through mediums) by the spirits. The man who received the major (and certainly more important) part of this creations from the spirits was a brazilian medium called Chico Xavier (Francisco Cândido Xavier). That's probably why this religion is so widespread in Brazil. Many of those books became really famous, so there is a lot of people who is not spiritist but has read some of these books. That's because many of them are "spiritist novels", which tell the real history of a particular spirit or group of spirits through their different lives on Earth and their relation with their life between each reincarnation. But there are many of books about physical aspects of the spiritual life, too. They are kind of science books, so the others are much more popular.

The books both by Allan Kardec and Chico Xavier are available online, there's no copyright on them. There are also spiritist books written by independing researchers of the spiritist phenomena. The works of León Denis and Ernesto Bozzano are really reputable. If you don't know anything about spiritism and really don't believe much in that stuff, maybe you should begin by reading them.

Back to "the life of spiritists in Brazil"...

Well, our spiritits centers are simple buildings, square, with inside and outside walls painted in white. They don't look like churches at all. They are really simple. There are no image of saints as in catholic churches, even though there are spiritist novels telling the story of many spirits who were catholic saints. We consider those as spirits very ahead of their times, who accomplished important missions to help the Earth - but there are a number of other spirits who have done that, in many religions. So there are no mention to saints in spiritists centers, although almost every spiritist in Brazil has come from a catholic family. If there's anything as decoration, usually is a picture of Jesus. A very serene Jesus. We don't like the image of Jesus in the cross, or any image of cross. It's too morbid.

Besides the weekly meetings to hear a word about Jesus, open to everybody, a common activity in any spiritist center is a course to study the doctrine. If there is a proper site that serves only to the activities of the center, than can be offered some spiritual treatment. This job is done by mediums, only. The lectures and study groups can be run by anyone. There's no priest in the spiritist house. In large places there are elections for a running board to administrate the place, but spiritist centers in Brazil are just a group of people (people who are of all kinds and social classes) who gather. The organization resembles that of masonic groups, or Rotary clubs. Each center is not connected to other, though.

As the greater number of brazilians are catholics, people who eventually became spiritists where raised as catholics, or come from any other religion. People arrive in a spiritist house by many reasons: curiosity; they want a religion that makes more sense; they already tend to believe that there are more beyond this life (I was born in a spiritist family, so I started visiting the center at the group of study for kids), but the major reasons someone arrive in a spiritist center is because someone really close to them passed away, and they are sad, or because the person or someone known is presenting signs of mediumship.

For cases of extreme sadness, disease, or distemper of any sort, is offered spiritual treatment, that varies a lot, but always consists of a pass (a medium makes some movements with the hands and gives good, light fluids to the person that stands still in a chair), then the pacient leaves the room (in some centers the pacient stays) and the group of mediums in a circle vibrates to that person, with the aid of the spiritual team that works with them. In cases of obsession by one or more spirits, these spirits get the chance to incorporate in one the mediums and talk to a designated person who indoctrinates him. This kind of activity that spiritit centers do is necessary for spirits who already died (there are similar reunions only between spirits, too) because many of them don't want to or are afraid to take contact to other spirits, or because they don't even realized they are dead, and only believe when an incarnated person tells them so.

The spiritist centers are maintained by donations, usually from its volunteer workers themselves, and also has some sort of social work kept by them.

For your quote about reincarnation, seek information on the "Spirits' Book". It's one of the books that Allan Kardec codified, is the major source of information about the nature of spirits. Its structure is that of answers (by Allan Kardec) and questions (by the number of spirits who aided in the beginning of the doctrine).
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:48 AM
 
1 posts, read 961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugah Ray View Post
So how does this work?

Are these 4 million people like mediums that regular catholics consult for spiritual healing? Are some of the 4 million just followers? Are these mediums able to call or see your past spirits? Are the able to see the past or predict the future? Are there places similar to Botánicas or Yerberias where regular people can buy herbs for healings rituals?


Do you know what do they mean by that? What knowledge are they talking about and HOW do they amend their past mistakes?

Since they believe in recarnation, do people in distress visit these healers and are told there is a past spirit that is causing their present misfortunes?
Hey Sugah Ray,

Do you have the important questions! This is the posture of Spiritists! lol
The answer is no, those 4 million people are not mediuns or seeking for mediuns. Spiritism is more than a religion, is philosophy and science (the "science of the soul).
Reincarnation and others subjects in Spiritism are connected with other basic themes.
To understand everything is need to study and read their books. You can download it free or watch short videos explaining this points at Abraham Lincoln Spiritist Society

There are Spiritist centers or Spiritist Societies in 48 countries around the world, and after Brazil Guatemala, Portugal, Honduras and Angola complete the "top 5".

In America there are Spiritist Groups in 21 states. In the last ten years the Spiritist movement grew more than 200%. Almost all have at least one Brazilian or Portuguese speaker. This is the website :: U.S. Spiritist Council ::

About understand how 4 million people can be so important in a society is probably because they are NOT proselytizing and Spiritism in very practice.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:25 AM
 
1 posts, read 804 times
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B. Rago is very nicely describing Alan Kardec Spiritism in it's pure form, and in that form, 4 million Brazilians identify themselves principally as that. But the influence of Spiritism goes way beyond that. Umbanda is widespread also, and includes some Spirtitism.

A Brazilian diplomat told me of a sleeping problem he had in an Embassy in Europe. A Brazilian Catholic nun hearing of his problem spoke with the spirits and politely let them know that the war ended decades ago, and they may leave for a holiday. End of sleeping problem in 10 minutes. This nun wasn't a "Kardec Spiritist" but came from a culture where it is usually not considered strange to communicate with non-material life forms.
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