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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Blake Garner

Keeping An Open Mind

So I’ll just go ahead and say it – the big change in me this past year or so is that I’ve discovered Spiritism. Not Spiritualism – which was a different movement – but Spiritism.

Dan had saved “Kardec” on Netflix, but then slept through the whole movie. It is not an explanation of Spiritism, but is the story of the supernatural events in the mid 1800s that brought it about. I found it astonishing and fascinating. I went online and ordered all of the Kardec books. I could not believe that I had never heard of it. I read the first one twice through, and am currently reading the Medium’s Book. (I confess it’s been harder to get through.) There are five books in total by Kardec.

I must share that I was raised a Roman Catholic, and I’ve been upset about the Old Testament, pretty much my whole life. It makes no sense that Christians should continue to accept and study the Old Testament, if we believe that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. The god of the Old Testament is angry, jealous and vengeful. Jesus didn’t subscribe to any of those things. He lost his temper at the Temple that one time, but mostly he set the perfect example. What he preached was world-changing. Whether or not you believe he actually lived and died, Christianity was a cut above the “eye for an eye” that so many had believed in up until that time. And it was open to anyone and everyone.

Lots of people over the years had told me that I needed to take a Bible study course, and then I could put it all in historical perspective. I read the Bible from cover to cover. And I will never read it again. It doesn’t matter what the historical context is – it’s full of murder, gore, vengeance, often in the name of God. The Old Testament has several chapters where God supposedly ordered his “chosen people” (another phrase I’ve always had a problem with) to slaughter every man, woman, child and creature, and take their land. The Bible supposedly tells the story of creation – so, why are there people already living where God tells folks he’s going to let them settle? Where did those people come from? And why aren’t they “chosen”?

It seems clear to me that the people who wrote these stories put a human face on our Creator, and gave Him our imperfect human characteristics. Their idea of justice was violence and revenge against people who had displeased them. They imagined they would be sitting “at the right hand of God”, looking down while the people who were not the chosen ones were left to destruction.

Does that sound like what Jesus was preaching? At this point, I don’t even fully trust that they got the teachings of Jesus recorded correctly. I don’t like Paul. I don’t like his teachings. Very anti-woman, if you read between the lines. Even the New Testament is full of vengeance at the so-called end of the world. Perhaps this earth is going to come to an end. But that doesn’t mean the whole Universe will be gone, does it? Didn’t God make all of it?

Women are definitely second-class citizens in the world of the Bible. Throughout most of it, they appear only as temptresses or people who stir up trouble. Jesus included Mary Magdalene and Mary and Martha as his close friends. That’s impressive.

But I don’t plan to go into a discussion of Jesus at this point.

My point is that when I read the Spirits Book – it answered just about every question I’ve had. For instance, I’ve never liked the idea of reincarnation. Reading Edgar Cayce (which I did love), the Urantia Book, Destiny of Souls, Journey of Souls, etc. (as well as the experience of a friend of mine) – I’ve had to kind of accept that reincarnation is the only way to true growth, and true justice. But the idea of having to come back again was upsetting to me.

Reading the Book of Spirits – I’ve come to understand that we’ll be reincarnated where we will fit in most, do the most good, and experience the most growth. We will ask for more chances. There is so much evil in this world. I don’t feel like I fit in. I try not to engage in it, and I don’t like to even see television shows or movies about murder or any other violence, popular as those shows are. The good news is that there are many worlds in which to live and grow. I won’t necessarily return to this planet. If I progress enough, I will perhaps be born where not only do we not kill each other, but we don’t kill animals for survival. There are places where you go to master the knowledge of the universe, once you’ve mastered rising above evil behavior.

And, doesn’t that make sense? Christians love to believe that if they’ve accepted Jesus as their personal lord and savior, that they will magically be delivered to a heavenly place for all eternity. Is that justice? Would it be Paradise if people who were still hateful, prejudiced, violent, or simply jealous were dwelling there? Don’t we need to overcome those behaviors first? It’s not enough just to say the magic words – don’t we have to live them? Don’t we have to follow the example of Christ?

Catholics – and I’m sure most religions – have rituals you must go through…baptism, confirmation, marriage or holy orders, being anointed when you are dying, etc. Throughout history, there have been many deathbed or prison conversions. No matter how sincere, does that erase the damage they’ve done throughout their lives?


Most religions believe that you have to belong to their sect in order to reach heaven. What about the humans that were born into a part of the world that never heard of your religion? Are you implying that the Creator loves them less than you? Our egos want us to believe that we are above someone else – anyone else. Surely that is something that we have to conquer in order to truly be better human beings.

There is so much to talk about. I encourage you to read the Book of Spirits (see Kardec first, or simply read about him) to find out about the story of how it came about. Incidentally, the Urantia Book came about in a similar way, in the early 20th century. But its information is slightly different. Not bad – just different, and hard for me to get through.

It only makes sense that we should have to experience for ourselves the harm that we’ve done to others. It’s not exactly karma – but it means that you have to atone for the evil that you’ve engaged in. None of us want to admit that we’ve engaged in evil. But anything that isn’t of God – that isn’t done out of love – is evil. That’s what we need to overcome. We have to learn to live for others, not for ourselves.

The Spirits haven’t said it in the book that I’ve read – but I think the only thing that breaks that karmic cycle is when you don’t require atonement from someone who has wronged you. When you learn to forgive, everyone involved moves forward. Otherwise, we’re just getting each other back, over and over.

Inherent in Spiritism is the idea that we all should be talking to spirits; that they are around us at all times, (sort of like the little angels and devils on our shoulders in cartoons) trying to influence us. When we stop listening to the evil spirits, they leave us alone. At this time, I haven’t made any efforts to contact my guardian angel – or spirit guide. I don’t have any desire to contact my parents. I don’t know where to begin. I would most like to know what God’s will is for me. Because I am a 56 year old senior citizen who still feels like she hasn’t found her purpose in life. I know that Spiritism comes with the warning that you have to be very careful which spirits you communicate with, and if they sound bossy or haughty, or if what they say doesn’t ring true – you need to cut off communications. So I’m wary of going down that road just yet.

Anyway, Spiritism has changed my life, in that it changes the way I feel about everything and everyone. I see that so much of what we do keeps us caught up in the material world. We’ll never move on to something higher if we’re so worried about recognition and acquiring things. I’ve long ago told my family (many times – they joke about it) that I don’t want an obituary, I don’t want a funeral, and I don’t want a grave. I don’t need to be remembered. I think it was my first step towards letting go of the material world. I see that death isn’t something to mourn. It’s easy for me to say at this point….I can’t imagine having to bear the death of a child or of losing Dan. I am selfish enough to want to move on first. That’s something I have to work on.

I still want and “need” money. I still write and sing and hope that somebody will want to hear it. I have never wanted to be on stage. I would love to just record, or for other people to sing my songs. That was always my dream, not fame. But I don’t know if I’ve been going the wrong direction all of my life. Perhaps I was meant to be doing something else. I’m praying for guidance.

As crazy as I sound – I needed to share this. Not on social media. Take it as you will. I may turn out to be completely wrong. I am just a puny human. (puny humans outsmarting God in television and movies is another of my pet peeves, but I’ll save that for another rant)

What I’ve written here is incomplete. It’s just a short outline of where I am at the moment. I hope that I’ve given anyone who reads this some food for thought. At the very least, I hope that you are talking to God. I know that God is listening. Our challenge is in hearing the answers sent our way.

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