Saturday, August 26, 2017

Looking for a movie this weekend? How about "Astral City"? (Trailer included)

"Astral City: A Spiritual Journey"
Strand Releasing
If you're interested in life after death and you haven't yet seen this film, I highly recommend it! The movie is based on our Spiritist novel, "Nosso Lar".

First, some background from the "official" movie description, by production company Strand Releasing: 

Based on the best selling book "Nosso Lar" by medium Chico Xavier, the film tells the story of Andre Luiz, a successful doctor who experiences an enlightening spiritual awakening after his death. When he wakes up in the spiritual world, he embarks on a new journey of self-discovery and transformation, from his first days in a dimension of pain and suffering, until when he is rescued and taken to the spiritual Astral City. [...] the film brings to the screen what life is like at the Astral City that hovers in the upper layers of the Earth's atmosphere.

Now, here's my review and why you need to see it!
(Trailer to folllow)

"Astral City” gives viewers a real glimpse into the treasures of knowledge found in the science and philosophy of Spiritism. In this well-done production that stays quite faithful to the true story novel it is based on, viewers accompany the main character, Andre Luiz, as he encounters the reality of our existence as immortal souls and awakens to new perspectives about life, love, responsibility, and connection.

Through this movie many viewers, like the main character himself, discover the awesome reality that "death" only pertains to the impermanent physical body and that life not only goes on, but in a very real way. By following Andre's experiences, we see that the bonds of love and affection established here on Earth are never destroyed and that, one day, we are all re-united with our loved ones, in the spiritual realm - a place to reflect on our past experiences, engage in opportunities for study and fraternal service, and prepare for the continuation of our spiritual journey.

Like threads that weave through those discoveries, some deeper underlying realities that Andre also comes to realize as he is helped to understand the connection between past, present and future, are that life has great meaning, that everything we experience serves a purpose, and that we all are truly the authors of our own destiny.

The film is well-produced and very entertaining, with great music and visual effects that keep you absorbed from one scene to the next, and these elements all come together to really bring home the heartwarming and thought-provoking messages of this incredible story, as first narrated by Andre Luiz, himself.

Movie Trailer

As mentioned, this movie is based on the book "Nosso Lar"
by spirit author André Luiz and medium Chico

André Luiz is considered, among Spiritists, as a beloved reporter of the spirit realm, who has shared, through this novel and others, an amazing collection of details about life in the spiritual dimension and the ongoing interactions between the spiritual and material worlds. His accounts bring to life and help us to really understand, with meaningful examples and explanations, the fundamental principles of the science and philosophy of Spiritism.
Read more about
André Luiz.

Chico Xavier is the much-loved medium, through whom Andre Luiz was able to share his story with us.  Watch this short video about Chico and his life of service, faith, and love.  Read more about Chico in this book "Chico Xavier, Medium of the Century".

If I've peeked your interest on the movie, you can now catch it through a number of options, including:  YouTube, Amazon Movie, Google Play, and iTunes.

Enjoy!   Let me know what you think!

Thank you for reading!

Blessings to all, today and always



Friday, August 11, 2017

Is the thought of reincarnation truly consoling?

In Spiritism you’ll usually hear how the knowledge of reincarnation is so mind-settling, inspiring, and consoling. 

Well, here’s the thing. We live in a crazy world. Who wouldn’t agree that that it’s far from perfect? OK, I know; it’s more like 
those living in it are far from perfect. But you know what I mean. As a consequence of its inhabitants, the world itself is likewise still significantly backward. So there’s a lot about life on our planet, or even just material life at this stage of the game, that is not fun, not pleasant. In fact, the truth is that life can be really hard sometimes, truly painful, and often both. 

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a totally legit evaluation of that to think, “Hey, I really just don’t want to come back and have to live here or do this all over again!” I’ve actually heard people express that before, and I can’t blame them. After all, on the surface, who on Earth (pun intended) would want to sign up for a return if you’ve had a really difficult life and endured significant suffering? Even if you’ve had a great life, albeit with difficult moments (no one's life is all great all the time), you still may feel that once is enough for you.

Yep. I totally get that. However, I invite you to look at it another way, because I also know there’s more to it. For example, what if you grew up in a dysfunctional family and even though you always dreamed of someday having the perfect family of your own, domestic trouble somehow always followed you, and later in life you felt that you would give anything to come back and experience that blessing of a united, loving home and family? What if you longed to pursue a particular career but some kind of unavoidable limitation kept you from doing so and you still wish you could live out that dream? What if there are so many places in the world you want desperately to see or experiences you want to try out, but you don’t have the time or resources to do that? What if you wanted to be a parent but life never gave you that chance?

In spite of all that is imperfect, there’s also a lot that’s really beautiful and wonderful about our world! As such, life here offers so many opportunities that what any one person can experience “from cradle to grave”, no matter what position her or she is in, is just a tiny fraction of all those possibilities. 

Unfortunately, if one truly believes that “you only live once”, it becomes possible to feel pressured to do or accomplish as much as possible or to feel remorse, maybe even resentment, for that which one simply cannot do or have. So if you instead consider that, given reincarnation, we journey through multiple material lifetimes, you can relax somewhat and let this knowledge take a load off.  There will always be other opportunities for everything that this lifetime doesn’t allow for. Take a moment to let that thought sink in a bit, and take a deep breath.

◊ ◊ ◊

I’m guessing that for some that’s still not convincing. Well then, what if you leave this world with your soul in unrest, your emotions unsettled, your mind tormented – whether occasionally or continuously – by disturbing thoughts or memories? What if you end this life here or resume life in the spirit world with regrets over your choices, decisions, or behaviors and their consequences?  And what if the only way to resolve such circumstances and truly find peace was to come back and give life on Earth (or a different material world) another try? From both teachings and testimonials obtained through communication with spirits, we know that this is the situation in which countless souls find themselves. At any given time, there are multitudes waiting anxiously for their chance to reincarnate.Those of us who study Spiritism and consider ourselves Spiritists do not believe in reincarnation because it is consoling or inspirational or even because it’s logical and offers a sound explanation for many of life’s otherwise inexplicable phenomena, at least not for those factors alone. In reality, reincarnation is all the above and it is supported, illustrated, by what we believe to be reasonable evidence for its existence, alongside that for the existence of life-after-death and the communicability of spirits - spirits from whom we have actually learned a great deal about spirit life and reincarnation.  I mention this because the next thing I want to say stems from the starting point of this belief.

If natural law were such that we could actually go on to experience true and full happiness upon leaving this world no matter what “lot” we each received in this lifetime and regardless of what we did throughout our stay here on Earth, then, I have to say, I’d probably be quite tempted myself to say that I too would rather just go straight to the state of enjoying eternal happiness and peace. Why not? However, according to the Spiritist teachings, disclosures, and illustrations taken from serious study of both the spirits and their communications, this just isn’t the case and that’s not how it works. 

Our spirits go on living beyond physical death, but they upon leaving the physical body they return to the discarnate state as the very same beings. Therefore, there will be relationships to heal, virtues yet to attain or strengthen, knowledge to acquire, and dreams to accomplish. The vehicle for all of that is reincarnation. This is the reality, as Spiritists believe, of our evolving spirits.

My own opinion, given the above, is that yes, reincarnation is truly consoling, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to study it in the context of Spiritism. It comforting to me to know that we have endless opportunities to achieve, experience, amend, grow, and evolve.

So that’s how I feel. What’s your take on all of this What’s your verdict? I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading!

Blessings to all, today and always