Christian Rationalism: Part II


CHAPTER I (cont'd)

PSYCHIC KNOWLEDGE

These principles and laws are a lighthouse in the stormy sea of life because they point to a port of refuge in calmness, in resignation, in patience. These are safe shelter against moral storms, which are the consequence of our vices and wrongs, the product of our backwardness, of our pride.

They are a guiding light in the middle of the surrounding darkness because they unveil the mystery of how our moral and intellectual advancement is accomplished through the process of reincarnation or successive bodily lives. They prove the pre-existence and survival of the human soul. They unveil before our eyes a series of lives, each one less brilliant, less free of errors, vices and crimes. This makes clear to us why this world is a school where we must learn to love our neighbour like ourselves. It shows us the need for reincarnation because bodily life is a means of atoning for past errors. Earthly life may bring together offended and offender, and may reunite in the same family a victim and his torturer behind the veil of matter, and thanks to the oblivion of past lives on earth.

We have therefore proved, by analytical demonstration, that Spiritualism is a science, a science of observation which also resorts to experimental methods."

SPIRITUALISM AND THE MEDICAL SCIENCE

Proceeding with his scientific demonstrations of spiritual life, Antonio Pinheiro Guedes furthers the examination of psychic science, establishes its association with medical science, and concludes that the former should be studied in correlation with the latter.

"After proving the existence of the soul, nobody will doubt that it is the soul that controls the body, that enlivens and rules it. The soul will be a transmitter, a vehicle of bad habits and diseases as well.

The body is for the souls what clothing is for the body: a shelter against the elements, a veil over nakedness.

Not only the face, said to be the mirror of the soul, with its particular features, but the whole body impresses us by its measures and posture. There is no one who has not experienced this, and this impression is either pleasant or unpleasant. However, this is felt by us only in the presence of a human being or an animal. The emotion we feel in the presence of death is completely different. It is rather a commotion, a shock, an instinctively repulsive feeling.

Thus the soul rules the body, encircles it and reveals itself even in the simplest physical forms.

It is beyond doubt, however, that the head, with its hollows and bulges, shows the influence of soul over body more completely: the face, as the centre of expression of our emotions, so well studied by Darwin and Duchenne de Boulogne; the mouth, wide or narrow, with thin or thick lips, with raised or lowered lines, the shaping of which finally translates into a quasi-infinite variety of feelings and ideas. The mouth forms and utters words, thereby stereotyping those opposing states of mind - tears and laughter!

An the eyes, by their shine and transparency, are like crystal globes where the emotions of the soul are reflected in ever-changing shades! Even the nose and the ears, in short, all the component parts of the face reveal the inclinations and tendencies of the spirit.

Lavater, in co-operation with Moreau de La Sarte, wrote a beautiful and very interesting study of facial features. Before them came Adamantus, a 4th century physician, and Porta (Giambattista), a celebrated physicist, inventor of the dark chamber, who published a treatise entitled 'Humana Fisionomia' in Sorrento in 1586. There were also Lachambre, Louis XIV's physician, the famous painter Lebrun, and still others. Also Gall and Spurzheim, physicians who created Phrenology, subsequently cultivated by Broussais, F. Combe, Vimont and others. They are all interpreters of the action, influence and domination of the soul over the body and forerunners of studies on the relationship between body and spirit.

Only Spiritualism itself can complete such studies, disclosing how such relationships are established and how the connections between spirit and body are formed or created. Such knowledge, however, is impossible without the help of that crucial instrument - the medium.

It is known today that the spirit not only attends to, but presides over the formation of its body as well. It transfuses itself, consubstantiates itself in the body through the perispirit or animistic body, molecule by molecule, organ by organ, all during the mother's pregnancy,, until fetal evolution is complete. The spirit takes full and absolute hold of its body at birth, then taking full control over the ship it built to sail in the stormy sea of earthly life.

It is also known (and this stands to reason, sinks in, we feel that it must be so) that it is the spirit itself that, after a long search in spiritual life, seeks and chooses, according to its moral and intellectual needs, the country, the society, the family, the parents, in short, everything that should and can contribute to its advancement.

Thus, the spirit is mainly, if not entirely, responsible for the uncertainties, hardships and difficulties by which it is overwhelmed during bodily life.

In this way, it is granted (this is admissible and understandable) that the spirit may transmit and imprint in its body, together with the type and shape, its characteristic features, its moral and intellectual tendencies, developing to a greater extent either the emotional centres or the intelligence centres.

Upon incarnating, the spirits bring with them their vocations, their more or less developed skills for the fine arts or the mechanical arts. For this reason it is correctly said that the human being is a born poet, artist, businessman, soldier, musician or physician.

The role of the family in society is extremely important as well as the social responsibility of the parents who are responsible for the upbringing of their offspring. The main goal of education is to restrain or at least to change the detrimental tendencies of children which are revealed early in life, as well as to encourage and develop their favourable inclinations.

Spiritualism is a powerful focus of light whose rays reach the frontiers of the intellectual sphere and illuminate the whole cycle of life.

It clarifies and justifies the so-called occult sciences by rationally explaining their inferences and the whys of astral and bodily life.

Universal History, the life of civilisations, their nature, their character receive from it the most vivid light, and the enlightenment it scatters over the medical sciences sheds light over its vast territory, revealing the most hidden recesses of its domain.

In the science of Anthropology, the following parts are outstanding: Anatomy, the science of structure and configuration of the organs; Embryology, the science of formation and development of the fetus; Teratology, the science of individual abnormalities (the monsters) and of deformities of the organs; Spiritualism, which reveals, discloses and makes evident the whys of such unpleasant sometimes stupendous, often repulsive phenomena.

Spiritualism makes us see and understand how and why an emotion disturbs the functions of the digestive system which, to a certain extent, i.e., in its inner mechanism, in its physical and chemical processes, work independently from our will. The same applies to the functions of the circulatory system which also operates outside the limits of our will and whose centre, the heart, has its rhythm disturbed and may even be immobilised by a violent, abrupt emotion.

These functions, like all the others whose purpose is to nourish, repair and preserve the organs, are therefore called functions of vegetative life They work and operate under the direct and immediate influence of their particular nerves, the ganglionic or parasympathetic system. This system is comprised of a series of nervous ganglions (a group of nervous cells) connected among themselves by nervous cords made up of 19 to 25 ganglions on each side which are found in the splanchnic cavities (cervix, thorax and abdomen) adjoining the spinal cord from the atlas to the tail bone, surrounding it like a necklace or an endless chain.

Although autonomous in its particular function, the parasympathetic nerve is not separated from the cerebrospinal system but is controlled by it and is connected to it by the afferent nerves. These nerves are cords starting from the cranial nerves which penetrate - one by one - all the ganglions of the parasympathetic system. Here a great number of nervous filaments are originated which accompany the circulatory and lymphatic vessels and envelop them like ivy does to a wall, penetrate these walls and ultimately reach all organs and tissues of the human body.

Under these conditions, the organs and systems of nutritional life receive only indirectly the influx of the cerebro-spinal nervous system restricted to relational life. Therefore, in order to explain the disturbance of digestive and circulatory functions by moral trauma, one feels and recognises the need for an agent other than the nerves, capable of making evident the effects of an indirect, remote action. Although intangible, this action is so forceful, so terrible that it can strike like lightning.

This other agent is the perispirit, the animistic body, through which the spirit connects with its body, and consubstantiates itself, organ by organ, molecule by molecule. The spirit attends to and presides over the organisation, constitution and formation of its physical body, like a mason mixes the clay, prepares the mortar and shapes the material with which he erects a wall and a building.

Under the impact of a violent commotion, the spirit feels disturbed, filled with emotion, distressed. The perispirit then contracts according to the intensity of the shock. This reduces its influx over the material molecules, over the organic cells, over the organ which for the same reason, loses its warmth, its energy, its activity and even life.

Thus, it will be easily understood how an abrupt and violent emotion can not only disturb functions which are not controlled by the nerves of relational life, but can even kill a person.

This shows how Spiritualism sheds light on obscure points of Anatomy, Physiology, Pathogenis and Embryology, so far not investigated and impossible to understand without such a light.

The reader can see, therefore, how the light of spiritualistic studies penetrates the deepest recesses of positive science, such as Anthropology, leading the way to the discovery of rational solutions to the sophisticated problems of pathological and embryogenic pathology.

The reader will perhaps think that the illuminating power of Spiritualism stops here.

If so, he is wrong and to convince himself of his mistake it will be enough to digress over the field of Nosology, where the most difficult problems of medical science are found, especially in the field of Aetiology, one of the most intricate. Here the help of spiritualistic science is priceless because of the tools with which it equips the physician in order to help him overcome the greatest diagnostic difficulties, and the enlightenment it gives the physician to explain the origin of certain diseases and also the amazing resistance of the human body to disease.

As a rule, good health and longevity are found among individuals who are calm, orderly and patient, who follow a regular pattern of life, who do not allow themselves to be overrun by the whirling of society, and who are not claimed simultaneously by a multiplicity of demands.

The best evidence of this is found in the statistics of mortality by professions.

For them, the ship of life sails in tranquil seas.

Those however, whose activity is claimed and aroused, almost ceaselessly, by a thousand different demands, who live annoyed and under depression, those are sickly individuals whose lives are seldom long and they add considerably to the obituaries.

Those are the pilots whose vessels, harassed by storms of life, many times sink in the middle of the voyage because the enraged waves of passion consume their strength, and with it the courage of the steersman, who falls defeated.

Most diseases are originated in the weakening of the spirit which, depressed and discouraged, fails to convey to the body the vitality which emerges from energy.

Joy is contagious. It invigorates blood circulation, conveys warmth to the body, enlivens and strengthens it, preserves good health, prolongs life.

Melancholy, on the other hand, is self-contained. It slows down circulation, takes heat away from the body, depresses and weakens it, ruins health, shortens ones's lifespan.

However, since ends meet and all extremes are harmful, if depression and sadness are fatal to life, excessive joy is no less harmful and may even kill.

We have shown and thus made clear that the soul's emotions, its depression and discouragement, resulting from the numerous and lasting difficulties of daily life, are predisposing causes of somatic diseases due to the state of weakness and lack of energy of the body to react against the environment. In this category are included all the agents - physical, moral, or social, capable of changing the body or altering health and destroying the human being. I shall now demonstrate that which is already obvious in itself except for the organicists and materialists, i.e., that neuroses are diseases caused by spiritual hardships or simply induced by disincarnate spirits.

In medicine, the word 'neurosis' is applied to a disease state consisting of functional disturbances without physical lesions or appreciable causes. These are found in relational life and in vegetative life as well.

Neuroses, which are centred in the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems, are seldom impulsive, i.e., capable of ruling the will, like dispepsy, asthma and angina pectoris. Those however, which affect relational life and consist of alterations in motility, sensibility or intelligence can disturb, interrupt, alienate the will, smother the conscience. They may turn a human being into a beast, a wild animal.

The former are caused by an alteration in a function ordinarily dependent on diathesic vice like herpes, syphilis, scrofulosis.

The latter, which affect animal life, are not related to any organic cause worthy of mention.

Among these, Nostalgia and Hypochondria are mere outward expressions of a state of mind. Others translate into a disorder of the relationship between body and soul like Catalepsy. Still others, like Hysteria, are complex conditions, a mixture of psychic disorder and interference of a foreign, invisible will or activity, such as a spirit. Finally, others like insanity are mostly spiritic phenomena, facts of psychic life. In these cases the patient is simply a possessed medium.

The phenomena of possession means the control of an incarnate spirit by a disincarnate one. The latter takes possession of the former, either abruptly and violently, or slowly and surreptitiously. in either case, hysteria is the so-called unfolding of personality which is rather a duplication of the individual. As the soul cannot separate itself completely from the body, because that would bring death, what really happens is the overcoming of the incarnate by the disincarnate spirit, the control of the latter over the former, who not withstanding remains attached to its body, in its possession, although upset and overcome.

This is acceptable and understandable, whereas the unfolding of the personality, as seen by organicists or materialists in disguise, is absurd. Unity is indivisible, man is one, undivided. Insanity, in most cases, is an obsession. Sometimes, it is a mere hallucination of the senses. At other times it is a mental disorder or perversion of moral sense. Sometimes it is depression, quasi-annihilation of psychic capabilities, actual beastliness.

These are states of mind caused by the more or less direct action of disincarnate or even incarnate spirits exercising influence over people in various ways: from mere ceaseless, constant, stubborn suggestion to direct, vigorous, violent action, causing the so-called attacks and rages.

The spirit acts driven by love or hate and under the influence of one of those feelings. However, by controlling its passions, it tries to earn the confidence of its victim. Its action is intentionally slow but mild, ceaseless but tender. if however, passion overwhelms the spirit, the aggression is violent and brutal.

This explains the cause of the varied, almost infinite forms of hysteria, beginning with plain sadness or joy without justifiable reason, from abstraction, elation, rapture, ecstasy, down to insanity. It may start with the victim singing or dancing, screaming and crying with no reason, until he or she furiously tears his or her clothing, struggles and falls to the ground, and convulses in ghastly, horrifying contortions. These, to be rationally and adequately explained, can only be attributed to the nature of the feeling which inspires, excites and impels the aggressor or obsessor spirit.

Similarly the various forms of insanity are explained. These cannot be attributed to brain disease. Autopsy performed on individuals who died of intercurrent diseases, soon after the beginning of insanity, has never disclosed the slightest organic injury to the brain. On the other hand, significant changes have been found in the brains of people who died after a prolonged state of insanity. This clearly shows that such lesions are the product, not the cause, of psychic disorders.

Such facts may be observed and analysed by any person. And those who do it without preconceived ideas, without submission to schools of thought or sects, free from all restraints, will admit their truth.

PSYCHIC LABORATORIES AND WORKSHOPS

The reason for the division of nature in kingdoms stems from the process of formation, individualisation and advancement of the spirit. Those kingdoms are the laboratories, the workshops where the vast, marvellous work of human creation is performed.

Each one of the kingdoms of nature consists of different regions, occupied by the species, more or less independent or distinct states which are hierarchically affiliated, from the simplest to the most complex.

The hierarchy depends on the number of workshops. The lowest contains just one. The highest encompasses all. Each workshop deals with a particular job, each executing its own (the lowest separate and successively) until they are all formed and the laboratory is completed. Then they begin to operate simultaneously and co-operatively, each contributing its work, its efforts converging to the same purpose - creation.

Once the laboratory (the human being) with the necessary workshops (the component parts of the body), and the latter with their mechanisms (organs) is completed, it starts operating and functions ceaselessly, as long as the machines work regularly and can no longer be repaired. Only if an accident interrupts the transmission of motion does the laboratory discontinue operation, either temporarily or permanently.

The reproduction, imitation and simulation of the statical body (forms, posture, features) is a sort of physical memory, retention of forms, which may, or rather, should be considered as a transformation or vitalisation of the force of cohesion. This force preserves and makes permanent the configuration of the bodies. It is the organic, bodily atavism.

The same dynamic phenomenon (reproduction of character, aptitudes, emotional and intellectual inclinations) happens in the psychic realm, which should be considered as a kind of mechanical, non-material memory. Therefore this is still retention, which I will call perispiritual memory, because it is the animistic body that retains the features of past existences."

As shown, Dr. Pinheiro Guedes thus disproved the theories maintained by materialists, including those of physicians, as against his spiritualistic knowledge obtained from the most reliable sources.

He did this with the sincere desire to help the medical profession of which he was a member. He knew that the medical profession could serve mankind still better it it added to its valuable physiological studies the results of no less important research in the field of scientific spiritualism.

The physician who can administer physical treatment with knowledge of psychic causes or influences which occur in most ailments is twice a physician.

It is not necessary to re-emphasise that the purpose of this book is to help mankind to rise again in order to undertake through safe paths, its course of evolution knowing what it does and why it does it.

CHAPTER II

FORCE AND MATTER

Many attempts have been made, in the field of philosophy, to explain the general concept of Force and Matter.

Such explanations, however, have contributed in many cases to increase the confusion and the doubts existing in non-enlightened human minds regarding incorporeal life, because they were devoid of basis and, generally speaking, unpersuasive and unsatisfactory.

Nowadays, however, Force and Matter are a subject of mere analysis as long as it is unfolded, without deep theoretical thinking, in the sequence of rational principles exposed in this book. In this way it becomes unusually simple and accessible to the average mind.

No one will ever find a solution to spiritual problems outside the realm of spirituality.

The definition of Force and Matter is therefore within the logic of psychic phenomena amply illustrated by Christian Rationalism.

No philosophical quest will exercise a decisive influence in the improvement of man's individual behaviour until he acquires full awareness of himself as Force and Matter.

The more secure, the more clear-cut and realistic the understanding of the action of spirit over body, namely, of Force over Matter, the sooner will man have spiritual insight of the vital functions of universal nature.

Force and Matter summarise, synthesise and define the whole Truth of life.

The principles contained in this book comprise a portion of lessons about truth which is within the reach of human comprehension, as long as the individual is really interested in their study, without letting himself be influenced by repetitious sectarian text-books.

Thus the mistakes made by so many people are minimised through the acquisition of better knowledge about life.

After all, what is life but the permanent action of Force over Matter?

Matter has no attributes. Attributes are characteristics of Force and as such they are outwardly expressed and manifested in the consubstantiation of the three kingdoms of nature.

The attributes displayed by man are just a few compared to those displayed by more enlightened spirits which, due to their higher stage of evolution, are no longer incarnate in this planet.

Force rules the Universe by laws which are common, natural and immutable. They are natural because they derive from a logical sequence in the process of evolution. They are immutable because they are absolute and in this connection there is no room for the unforeseen, for chance or doubt. Therefore only accuracy, certainty and perfection prevail.

The responsibilities and duties of man are within these principles. He needs to understand them well and convince himself that everytime he breaks a natural law he inescapably slows the course of his evolution.

Therefore, man cannot act and profit from his efforts without knowing the due process of his spiritual development, or his astral and physical composition. As a result, and in compliance with those laws, he has to undergo a multiplicity of reincarnations although of his own will and through hard experiences. The number of these reincarnations would otherwise be greatly reduced.The Universe is composed of Force and Matter. Force is the actice, intelligent, transforming agent. Matter is the passive, pliable element.

Both in their original, indivisible, fundamental, imponderable form, permeate all bodies and spread over infinite space.

Force, acting in accordance with the laws of evolution, uses Matter in its primary state and with it forms bodies and accomplishes countless, indescribable phenomena which are beyond common appreciation considering the limited resources of this planet.

Nothing is new and nothing is lost in the Universe. Everything is already created. There is only transformation of Matter and evolution of Force.

The countless bodies composed of multiple combinations of particles of organic matter represent nothing but those transformations.

Composition and decomposition, aggregation and disaggregation of bodies, are the result ot the mechanical action of life.

After ceaseless investigations, chemistry has classified over 100 basic elements of organic matter and named 'atom' the fundamental and infinitesimal particle of those elements.

Atoms are scientifically combined to form molecules which in turn constitute infinitesimal particles of composed bodies.

Both atoms and molecules are kept together by the force of cohesion and they disaggregate when the force of cohesion ceases.

Organic matter, even though represented by a single atoms, contains extraordinary power. It keeps each nucleus of high condensation of power perfectly balanced with the others in the formation of the Whole, in complete uniformity, each within its respective class, without any alteration in its specific constitution. This is because the laws have established that there can be no changes, in as much as there are no unforeseen factors for the SUBLIME WISDOM which is one, complete, total.

Force, making use of matter, begins its evolution in the structure of an atom, then moving to a new stage of constructive action in the composition of molecules.

In the ceaseless aggregation and disaggregation of bodies, the intensity of force gradually increases in these infinitesimal nuclei, with more and more emphasis on vibrations of life, thus causing the degree of intelligence to grow.

When the initial cycle in the first of the three great kingdoms of nature - the mineral kingdom - is completed, those nuclei start forming micro-organisms of the lowest class, from which they move on to the vegetable and animal kingdoms.

From these micro-organisms of the lowest class the particle of Force continues its evolution through other species and other more developed organisms, always reaching more developed forms.

In the molecule and its subdivisions, the Intelligent Force is perceived only by its vibratory expression or intermolecular movement. However in micro-organisms, besides the vibration already described, a sign of exterior movement is revealed - locomotion.

Thus, always changing from one body to the next in rank, the particle of Force evolves until it reaches conditions which will allow it, as a spirit, to incarnate in a human body, enabling it to exercise free will and to take on the responsibilities which free will carries with it.

As a spirit, it incarnates numberless times, always acquiring more intelligence, more light, more experience, more knowledge, a more clear concept of life and better reasoning capacity.

The spirit makes its way through this planet under suitable conditions for its stage of advancement. In each successive reincarnation it progresses to an environment which is appropriate to the stage already reached, until it completes the part of evolution which corresponds to his present life on Earth.

Earth is a sphere of organic matter impregnated with forces which act directly over the atoms, forming them, uniting them and keeping them in balance, within a system of complex motions.

Each atom is in constant vibration produced by the energy within it, and is connected to other atoms by the force of cohesion in order to form a molecule. This is the same force of cohesion which unites the molecules among themselves.

From the North to the South pole lines of force are revealed by the magnetic needle of a compass.

The force of gravity exercises powerful effect over the atoms, attracting them to the core in the centre of the globe. In all its motions the Earth is impelled by the force which acts inside its atoms.

The diagram below gives a basic idea of the association of Force and Matter in the composition of the kingdoms of nature.

Force and Matter diagram of the action of Universal Force over Matter in the activation of all bodies, emphasizing in each case its fundamental attributes which predominate in the three kingdoms of nature.

It can be seen, therefore, that Force is the fundamental attribute which predominates in the mineral kingdom. In the vegetable kingdom there is force and life. Finally, in the kingdom, besides these two, intelligence also predominates.

It should not be inferred from this, however, that no life exists in the mineral and vegetable kingdoms. We have merely stated the predominance of the fundamental attributes mentioned in order to facilitate reader comprehension in view of the transcendency of the subject.

Anyone who is willing to delve deeply into this subject will find ample field to develop his reasoning, to strengthen his convictions and to arrive at the conclusion that those two substantial sources - Force and Matter - are the beginning and the end. They are units whose extremes meet, which run parallel and which, in their immeasurability, enfold the infinite, permeate and encircle the Universe.

The terms herein used are relative only, due to the lack of better words capable of expressing an absolute concept.