Thursday, July 31, 2014

ABOUT SPIRITUALITY and STUFF

By creating a new post here, I have come to realize that any new post on Laila's blog may represent a new day in her life. In truth it means a new season has arrived. It is the end of July and winter has arrived in the Southern hemisphere. Along with winter, the FIFA World Cup took over the country and the demonstrations have been back since last June, along with unconstitutional arrests of demonstration leaders, activists, teachers, and journalists. It is such a serious issue that I must leave a link here so that you, my reader, can learn something about it. As a matter of fact, the social and political riots have never vanished.

Meanwhile, here in my little world of chemical unbalances, I've been having some sort of spiritual awakening that is hard to explain what it is and how it has affected me. Nevertheless, I will do my best to tell you my entire "spiritual awakening" story, from the beginning until now. I have been advised by tarot readers, palmistry readers, African religion guides, my astrologist, my numerologist and even  myself about my possible having psychic powers since forever, and thus it is important that I seek for spiritual growth.

I can say that I myself have noticed strange things in me for I've always had vivid dreams about things that would happen later, or I'd dream of people who later would tell me me they had dreamed of me the night before as well. And these dreams that I call "simultaneous dreams" even coincide in settings and all sorts of details. I literally control my dreams too. That doesn't happen often anymore, though. It was more common in the past, before I started taking prescribed psycho-active drugs. Back in the days, I could set the narrative of my dreams, the timing, the plot, and I would end it if it became a night terror. I would fly if I wanted to. I'd even kiss any specific celebrity if I wanted to. I have dreamed of my deceased grandfather. The last time I saw him in a dream was the night he actually died. He left messages to my grandma and my aunt... They both took care of him until he died of Parkinson's and its complications on aged patients.

"Sleep* is the emancipation of the mind: while we are asleep our spirit loosens its ties to matter and wanders the spiritual world. Because of it, it is theoretically possible—although uncommon—to see the spirit of a living person as an apparition.KARDEC, from The Book on Mediums.

I have been into TAOISM recently. Well, not so recently. I received TAO in 2010 and since Taoism arrived in my life, I have lived alcohol free for over 4 years and I have gone semi-vegetarian for nearly 2 years. Funny I should mention these things in this entry because I was not aware of how widely this ancient philosophy has changed my life. True that that "religion" has affected me, on one hand. On the other, Spiritism or Kardecism,  I prefer the latter name, had come about in my life many years before TAO, more precisely a few months prior I moved to the USA. Kardecism is known in 35 countries worldwide. It's based on books by a psychic medium called Allan Kardec, a French educator from the 1800's. I have read four of all his books on Spiritism.

It all started when I was 21 years old, graduated, unemployed, and in between countries. There has always been this newsstand by the main square in my hometown. I had not been aware that that place sold only Kardecist reads.  I'd pass by that newsstand every day walking back from school and nothing had caught my attention for many years.Two months before moving to the USA, back in 1997, the newsstand owner called me from distance and handed me THE BOOK ON MEDIUMS. He said, "It will be a good read during your trip abroad." Okay. The guy did not know me. It was sort of impossible for him to know that I had a trip abroad planned and paid. Well. Maybe it was quite possible due to my hometown has never been a city. Everybody knows about everybody's business. Anywho. But why me? Why that book? I know Kardec wrote many others which I happen to have them all on my Kindle now.

Actually, my curiosities towards God, spirits, reencarnation, karma, the original truth, why the sky is blue and how come the moon doesn't fall onto us have started since I could communicate. Now I kind of believe that my curiosity was highly motivated for having studied Elementary School at an Adventist School. Important to mention: we were never Adventists. We don't even have a single Adventist relative. I come from an odd family. For those who know me in person, that explains many things. My parents (José Milton and Alaíde) were patient enough to introduce me about all sorts of religions and beliefs, not all beliefs though, but most of them. At that time we had only printed encyclopaedias such as Britannica, Tesouro da Juventude, The Illustrated Bible Stories, Barsa, Mirador, and others to get information from. These books were displayed on family living room bookshelves. I remember leaving behind Scientology and Spiritism. But what I really wanted was to understand and be convinced about God.

I can say I became 100% Buddhist at the age of 11
My parents asked me, then, to read about Christianity, Judaism, Islamism,  Buddhism, Hinduism and even and Voodooism. My dad did grab from the shelves each encyclopedia issue and handed them to me. I had  tons of readings to do that afternoon of 1985, I was 9 at that time. He said: "After reading about all these religions, you are going to tell me what God is." I read the whole thing. I came up with more questions than answers. However,  I ended up engaging to a Catholic/Buddhist guidance back then. I was baptized Catholic and attended catholic church school from the ages of 9 until 11. I even considered becoming a nun, hahahahaha. I would go to masses every week. I was a "beata", the name we call old ladies who frequent go to churches. It is just an innocent joke from Brazil.

Bhuddism has influenced me a whole lot too. I come from São Paulo state. It is the most developed and the richest state in the country. São Paulo has always been settled by immigrants from all over the world, including Japan. In Brazil, there is the world largest Japanese community outside Japan. Where I come from, I easily learned some Japanese words; a language we often hear on the streets. Our culture has suffered countless oriental influences such as having Judo as one of our national sports, Jiu Jitsu and the Brazilian version: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Tai Chi, and baseball. We have a very good baseball team in the town where I grew up. We are proud of them. I'm in love with Japanese cuisine. It is common to eat tempuras, yakitoris, yakisobas and sushis pretty much on the daily basis due to this influence. Buddhism is not apart from this.

I can say I became 100% Buddhist at the age of 11, as I went on a vegetarian diet as well as I gave up attending any Christian rituals, baptisms, weddings, confirmations, you name it. I became so distant from church that I unintentionally under-dressed on my brother-in-law's church wedding. I wore mini-skirts, but I was going to stand next to the priest which I did, with me legs exposed on high-heels and a nude fishnet pantyhose. Ohh Myyy! I was not trying to disrespect, neither was I making an statement. I made myself embarrassed and period. I was having my period on that day too, btw. (gulp)

We got a new neighbor in 1986: and older mystical lady. This neighbor at that time had influenced me a great deal. She was a math teacher and we no longer contact each other. We would get together once a week for Buddhist mantras repetitions, burning incenses, and debating on soul matters. Soul or spirit, reincarnation, karma, all terms would pop up in my mind in order to make heads or tails on the mystery of the universe or dimensions and stuff. I chanted Buddhist mantras to help my father get better from a knee surgery when I was 14. This is when I started teaching English too. I had to substitute my father and I was only 14. From there,  I was designing my future occupation which I tried to avoid through so many ways.

Then, I grew a little older. I turned 16, moved to Liberdade neighborhood in São Paulo City: a Japanesetown. Those were not years that religious guidance would be in my top priority. I moved away again and went to college in a different state: Paraná. It is a lovely state, I must say. I majored in Social Communication. In college, not only did I study about mass media, but also about arts, religion, philosophy, and sorts. This is when I got in touch with OBE literature, out of the body experience. I have always had weird dreams, the ones I'd fully control. I could control my dreams better in the past, especially when I was a child. It is common for me to have the realization of the dream. I comfortably dream dreams in which I notice the experience itself .When I dream, I often perceive I am in a dream and this is priceless.

I have always been aware that I could project my "self"  into some sort of astral travel. I was not aware that neuroscientists and some religions would consider this possible faculty of the mind, if we will. I had never taken these experiences of mine as something serious. When I moved back to Brazil, from the USA, I came down with depression. I've been depressed since 2002; the year my husband and I graduated from our American colleges. I majored Liberal Arts in the USA. Coming back home was not a pleasurable thing to do. Living in Brazil demands a lot from any adult individual. We pay the highest taxes in the world and yet, we have the worst public services and no safety at all... Go figure. I never wanted to be back here. Brazil is a dangerous country to live in.

I even got a tattoo inspired by this photo earlier this year
I restarted college, this time PSYCHOLOGY. Since I started my own business, my job has been based on dealing with people, all sorts of people, from poor to rich, from youngsters to elderly... it is a language school. I decided on retaking college courses, this time majoring in psychology so that I could learn how to deal with people in a better sense and I could learn how to heal myself. In college, you realize that being a psychologist is a profession closely related to calling. I don't think I have the calling to heal. I have the calling to teach languages, I think. I was born in a language school per se. My room as a kid was literally a classroom that was adapted to a nursery. I was taught to speak in English in first place. Wasn't I supposed to convey the world differently? Do I believe in spirits and spiritual messages and stuff? No, I don't. I don't believe them. I know them which is a little different, isn't it? I've heard them. I've seen them. I've experienced them in dreams and before my awakening eyes.

In order to become a spiritist, there are no rituals.  You simply enter the place called "Centro Espírita", just listen to the lectures and take "passes" - a sweet name for the spiritual blessings. It has been almost two months that we weekly attend the spiritsts' lectures and therefore we have taken a few of their blessings. Do I feel better, healed, or sorts? It's hard to answer to this question now... it is all about taking the time. I can't tell you whether I feel better because of the blessings, or because I am back on meds. Or maybe there is something more vulnerable about me: I've been under medication all this time and what might look like a spiritual awakening is nothing more than my billions of neurons firing serotonin in a very low level and firing dopamine in higher level.

Although I fear living in my country, I can't see myself living anywhere else. I am nearly 40. I would get tired of moving. I must heal my soul to change my thoughts and some bad behaviors. I am sick or maybe I am not. There is this thing that I can tell but I can't explain, which is, good spirits have always been on my side. I feel them now. They are right on your side. This is not a gift. I don't perceive it as a calling. It isn't a curse either. It is intended. It is a condition,  spiritual or psychological... Anyone can have it or even better, everyone is gifted... but only a few will notice it. Don't think much, just let it evolve."