Presentation on theme: "Spiritist View of Easter. Here we are once again, near another Easter. Our Christian thoughts and emotions express our psychic sensitivity. Lets leave."— Presentation transcript:
Here we are once again, near another Easter. Our Christian thoughts and emotions express our psychic sensitivity. Lets leave aside the commercial appeal of this celebration; like Christmas for example. Our attention and awareness require a plausible explanation of the meaning of this period and its representation before Spiritism.
Should we celebrate Easter? What kind of celebration is allowed in the spiritist institutions? How does Spiritism view the events of passion, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus? In general terms, the spiritist institutions dont celebrate Easter, as other religions or philosophies do. However, Spiritism respects the sense of religiosity that is particular to each person-Spirit. Any personal or even collective expression around Easter is not prohibited or discouraged.
Jesus figure assumes a privileged position in the spiritist context. Spiritism affirms that Jesus moral serves as the basis for the moral of Spiritism. People are remembered in our culture by what they did in the main periods of their bodily existence (birth and death), as a rule, Its quite common for us to remember people that are dear or important to us in certain dates. There is no harm in it, quite frankly.
Easter (or Nativity) takes a special connotation, as Spiritism has no dogma, sacraments, rituals or liturgies. Before mentioning the significance of Easter to Spiritism, its necessary to look at time in Human history; the references to the event. Passover was not originally related to the martyrdom and sacrifice of Jesus.
See, for example, in Luke's Gospel (chapter 22, verses 15 and 16), the words of Christ himself: "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I declare that I will not go to eat, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. " Here theres a reference that Easter was already a" celebration" at the time of Jesus; a cultural festival. Therefore, the Church adapted and gave it a new meaning. It linked Easter to Jesus "sacrifice" after the trial; the execution of Pilates sentence.
Historically, Easter is the junction of two ancient festivities, which were common among primitive peoples. This date was nurtured by the Jews at the time of Jesus. The "Pesah" took place, which was a cultural dance that represented the life of nomads. This was also associated with the "feast of unleavened bread," a tribute done by the farmers to the deities, due to the beginning of the wheat harvest season. They thanked the heavens for the abundance of agricultural production, which appeased the hunger of their families and allowed them to exchange these at the markets of the time.
Both were celebrated in April (Nisan). They began to be honoured together as from the Biblical event called "Exodus" (Hebrews escape from Egypt), around 1441 BC. This is the Passover that Christ wanted to celebrate together with his dearest ones; on the occasion of the last supper. They went to Gethsemane soon after the celebration, where the unvigilant disciples slept. This is where the scene of the kiss of betrayal and the arrest of the Nazarene took place.
There are other "elements" that mark the Passover. The traditional religions point to the Holy Thursday and Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday. Holy Thursday and Friday relate to the "martyrdom; the suffering of Jesus - well portrayed in the movie called The Passion of Christ, by Mel Gibson. Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday relate to Jesus resurrection and ascension. We can say that the traditional interpretation regarding resurrection points to the possibility of Christs corporeal body being maintained, in the post-mortem. This situation is totally rejected by science due to the decay and deterioration of the physical body.
The Christian Churches insist on the possibility that Christ "went to Heaven" in body and soul; and that Hell do the same for all the "elected ones" in the "Last Judgement". That is, the last judgment will occur after the resurrection of the dead and the reuniting of a person's soul with own physical body. People who died through the centuries, whose bodies have been decomposed and reused by the earth, will rise, restoring their organic structures. Judgement Day would then take place, where Christ will separate the righteous and the wicked. Logic and common sense abominate such a theory, due to the physical impossibility and moral injustice.
After all, a fairer criterion is established to judge the "competence" or "qualification" of all Spirits, with the law of rebirth. Everyone can progress, as there are as many opportunities as needed", since we can be "born again". But how do we explain Jesus "appearances" subsequently during the forty days post death, mentioned by religious people in allusion to the Passover?
Spiritist phenomenology (mediumship) points to the mental symptoms described as mediumship. This can be seen on some occasions. In the time when Jesus talked with Mary Magdalene (she had gone to the tomb to lay some flowers and pray, asking Jesus - as if he was the gardener - after seeing the stone was removed, "where have they taken the body of the Rabboni"), we may be faced with the "materialization"; i.e. the use of ectoplasmic fluid – from incarnate beings - to allow the Spirit to be seen (by all).
The same condition occurs in the passage where Thomas said to the other disciples who had "seen" Jesus that he would only believe if he "put his hands in the wounds of Christ." This happened in fact, according to the biblical accounts. In other situations, we are faced with another manifestation known as the faculty of seeing mediums, when one can see Spirits, by the use of mediumship faculties. Easter, in fact, lies wrapped in guilt, due to the interpretation of the traditional religions and sects.
Its believed that Jesus would have suffered because of "our" sins. This is an inappropriate indication that all Jesus suffering was performed to "save us" from our own mistakes, or mistakes made by our ancestors; in particular the "biblical" Adam and Eve in Paradise. The presence of the "sacrificed lamb" who fulfils the prophecies of the Old Testament, is blatantly exposed in all churches, in crucifixes and paintings that report - in vivid colours – the phases of the cross.
This Judeo-Christian tradition of "guilt" is the big difference between the traditional Passover and the Spiritist Easter, if the latter exists. In fact, we Spiritists must recognize Easter period as the great - and last lesson – from Jesus. He overcomes the unjustness, returns triumphantly, proceeds teaching to assert that "Hed remain forever with us", in our future steps.
In these days we can look at Easter as the moment of transformation, the true evocation of freedom. Once stripped from the corporeal body, Jesus was able to return to the Spiritual Plan and continue to "coordinate" the cleaning process of our orb. Lets us, Spiritists, see this period of time as the real victory of life over death; the certainty of immortality and reincarnation, because life, in essence, can only be defined as love, rooted in the great examples from Jesus existence. Remember to honour the finest examples of Jesus in this Easter, that guide us to one day also be in the condition experienced by him, which is to "be gods," "making our light shine." Celebrate "another" Easter, my friend. The Easter of your transformation toward a life of plenitude.
* Abrade Director of Policy and Methods of Communication (Abrade - Brazilian Association of Promoters of Spiritism) and Delegate of CEPA (Pan American Spiritist Confederation) in Florianópolis-SC.