Complaining

"Do everything without complaining or arguing." Paul (Philippians, 2:14)

There has never been a dispute that was not preceded by inferior complaining. It is an ancient habit of frivolous people to insight ingratitude, immoral misery, pride, vanity and all the scourges that ruin souls in this world in order to organize shady conversations, where goodness, love and truth are focused with malice.

When someone starts encountering simple motives for many complaints, it is important to proceed with a rigorous self-examination in order to verify if, in fact, oneself is not suffering from the terrible illness of irritability.

Those who fulfill their duties with righteous activities will certainly not be able to have occasion for complaints.

It is indispensable for the disciple to be on guard against an accumulation of destructive energies, because in a general sense, their pernicious influence invades almost all the areas of struggle of the Planet.

It is easy to identify them. For them, everything is erroneous, nothing is good, and you can expect no better in anything. Their word is that of permanent irritability, their observations are unjust and discouraging.

Let us strive with everything within our power to counteract these humiliating mental attitudes. Confident in God, let us expand our hopes and dreams completely assured that just as the old proverbs assert, "an optimistic heart is the medical prescription for peace and happiness."

XAVIER, Francisco Cândido. Our Daily Bread. By the Spirit Emmanuel. Spititist Alliance for Books, 2003. Chapter 75.

Bad Conversations

"Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character." Paul (I Corinthians, 15:33)

An undignified conversation always leaves traces of inferiority wherever it occurred. An environment of distrust immediately substitutes the climate of serenity. The poison of sick investigations disperses rapidly. After an undignified conversation, there is always less sincerity and less expression of fraternal strength. The phantoms of slander born in dishonorable cradles slip into good intentioned persons, intent in the destruction of honest homes; inferior preoccupations that spy from afar surge, distorting respectable attitudes; criminal curiosity emerges appearing where they have not been called, emitting distasteful opinions which induce the listeners into lies and insanity.

Bad conversation corrupts the most dignified thoughts. As a result, worthy conversations suffer, everywhere, an unstoppable persecution, thus making it crucial for Man to guard against their insistent and destructive siege.

When the heart is bestowed to Jesus, it is very easy to control situations and to eliminate dishonorable words.

Always examine the verbal suggestions that surround your daily path. Were you informed of bad news, evil accusations, and futile and malicious information regarding others? Observe your reaction. On every occasion, there are recourses to rectify lovingly, and you can renew all of this material in Jesus Christ.

XAVIER, Francisco Cândido. Our Daily Bread. By the Spirit Emmanuel. Spititist Alliance for Books, 2003. Chapter 74.

Let Us Learn as Quickly as Possible

"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him." Paul (Colossians, 2:6)

Among those who refer to Jesus Christ, we can identify two distinct groups: those that know Him through information received, and those who have received His benefits. The former received knowledge of the Master through books or in the exhortations of others, but marches toward the situation of the second, who have already received His blessings. To the latter the Gospel should address more emphatically.

How do we find the Lord in our journey throughout the world? Sometimes, His Divine Presence is manifested through the solution of a difficult human problem, i.e. in improved health, in the return of a loved one, in the spontaneous renovation of a path so that new illuminating light can instill better reasoning.

There are many informed people with respect to Jesus, and many have already absorbed His Saving Grace.

It is indispensable, however, that those who have received benefits from Christ, and have experienced the happiness in the blessing, also feel the same pleasure in the work and in their testimony of faith.

It will not be enough to be saturated with blessings. It is necessary that we do our part in collaborating in the service of the Gospel, attentive to its sanctifying program.

Tedious repetition and useless activities can be peculiar to spirits that are not well informed; however, we who have already received the infinite Mercy of the Lord should learn, as soon as possible, to adapt ourselves to His Sublime Designs.

XAVIER, Francisco Cândido. Our Daily Bread. By the Spirit Emmanuel. Spititist Alliance for Books, 2003. Chapter 73.

Contemplate Farther Ahead

"For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Jesus (Luke, 6:38)

To the Eskimo, the sky is a continent made of ice, sustaining the seals.

To the savage of the forests, there is no paradise greater than an abundant hunt.

To a man of sectarian religious faith, the glory beyond the grave is exclusively his and to those of his participants.

To the wise man, this world and the celestial circles that surround him are small departments of the Universe.

Transfer your observations to your field of daily experiences and do not forget that the external situations shall be registered within you, according to the reflections you pictured in your conscience.

If you persevere in anger, all the forces around you will appear enraged.

If you prefer sadness you will note disenchantment in every step of the road.

If you have doubts about your personal ability, no one will have confidence in your efforts.

If you have become accustomed to habitual disturbances and difficulties, it will be next to impossible to learn to live in peace with yourself.

You will breathe in either a superior or inferior zone, tortured or peaceful, wherever you choose to direct your mind. Within the organization which pleases you, you will live with the genies that you call upon. If you remain idle, at rest, you will do so in whichever way you desire; if you involve yourself in work, you will find a thousand different ways of being of service.

As you stroll along, the scenery that enfolds you shall always be to your liking as you evaluate it to be, for with the same measure you apply to Nature, the living creation of God, Nature, will equally measure you.

XAVIER, Francisco Cândido. Our Daily Bread. By the Spirit Emmanuel. Spititist Alliance for Books, 2003. Chapter 72.

Questions 21 to 28 - Spirit and Matter

Spirits's replies to Allan Kardec

21. Is matter eternal like God, or was it created at some specific time in the past?

"Only God knows. Nevertheless, there is something you should realize by using your reason: God, the very personification of love and charity, has never been inactive. No matter how long ago you might imagine the onset of the divine action to have been, could you possibly conceive of God as ever having been idle for even one second?"

22. Matter is generally defined as: that which has extension; that which can impress our senses; that which is impenetrable. Are these definitions correct?

"From your own point of view they are correct because you can only talk about matters that are familiar to you. Matter, however, also exists in states that are unfamiliar. For example, it may be so ethereal and subtle that your senses cannot detect it; it is matter nonetheless, even though you do not perceive it as such.”

22a. – Then how may we define matter?

"Matter is the tie that enchains spirit; it is the instrument that spirit uses and upon which it simultaneously exerts its action."

Allan Kardec's remarks:

From this viewpoint, one could say that matter is the agent or intermediary that enables spirit to act while at the same time being acted upon by spirit.

23. What is spirit?

"The intelligent principle of the universe."

23a. – What is spirit’s innermost nature?

"It is not easy to explain spirit in your language. For you, it is nothing because it is not something palpable; nevertheless, for us it is something. You must realize that nothing means nothing and nothing does not exist."

24. Is spirit synonymous with intelligence?

"Intelligence is one of the essential attributes of spirit, but both merge into a common principle; thus, for you they are one and the same thing."

25. Is spirit independent of matter, or is it only a property of matter, as colors are properties of light and as sound is a property of air?

"They are distinct from each other, but the union of spirit and matter is necessary to enable matter to act intelligently."

25a. – Is this union equally necessary for the manifestation of spirit? (In this section we understand “spirit” to mean the intelligent principle, rather than the entities designated by the name).

"For you it is necessary because you are not built to perceive spirit apart from matter. Your senses are not formed to do so."

26. Can we conceive of spirit apart from matter, and matter apart from spirit?

"Absolutely, through thought."

27. So are there two general elements in the universe: matter and spirit?

"Yes, and over everything is God, the Creator and author of all. These three elements comprise the principle of all that exists – they are the universal trinity. However, to the element of matter must be added the universal fluid20, which plays an intermediary role between spirit and matter per se, since matter is too dense for spirit to act upon it directly. Although from a certain point of view this fluid may be regarded as part of the material element, it differs from it due to special properties. If it were simply matter, there would be no reason for spirit not to be matter too. It is placed between spirit and matter, yet it is a fluid, just as matter is matter. In its countless combinations with matter, and under the direction of spirit, it is capable of producing an infinite variety of things about which you still know very, very little. By being the agent upon which spirit acts, this universal, primitive or elementary fluid is the principle without which matter would forever remain in a state of dispersion; it would never acquire the properties given to it by gravitation."

27a. – Might this fluid be what we call electricity?

"We have stated that it is capable of countless combinations. What you call the electric and magnetic fluids are both modifications of the one universal fluid. Properly speaking, this fluid is a perfect and subtler matter that may be considered as being independent of matter per se."

28. Since spirit is something in and of itself, wouldn’t it be clearer and less subject to confusion to label these two general elements as “inert matter” and “intelligent matter”?

"Words do not matter much to us. It is up to you to formulate your language in a way that you can understand one another. The disputes among you almost always arise because you cannot agree on the meanings of the words you use. Your language is incomplete regarding things that do not touch your senses."

Allan Kardec's remarks:

One obvious fact dominates all theories: we see matter, which is not intelligent, and we see an intelligent principle that is independent of matter; nonetheless, the origin of and connection between these two are unknown to us. Whether they have a common origin and necessary points of contact between them, and whether intelligence has its own independent existence or is only a property or effect, as some claim, or even whether it is an emanation of the Divinity – this is all unknown to us. Matter and intelligence are distinct, as far as we are concerned; thus, we regard them as being two principles comprising the universe. Above these, however, we see an intelligence dominating and governing all others, and it differs from them due to its essential attributes: it is this supreme intelligence that we call God.

KARDEC, Allan. The Spirits’ Book. 3.ed. International Spiritist Council, 2011.