por Luiz Carlos Formiga

Anesthesia, God and human pain

"The heavens manifest the glory of God, and the firmament the work of His hands." (Psalm 19)

The Nazis invaded Austria in 1938. They arrested the physician in September 1942. Viktor Frankl had an office of Neurology and Psychiatry in Vienna. Only on April 27, 1945, he was released by the US troops.

In prison he experienced strenuous suffering. He passed through the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Kaufering and Türkheim. He worked in excavations, tunnels and railroad constructions. In his "off" hours, he did psychological analysis of prisoners and jailers and wrote a book, which was destroyed by the invader.

In freedom, he learned that his sister Stella had survived, but that his wife had died in Auschwitz at the age of only 24. Soon after, he wrote his book In Search of Sense.

The non-religious human being can adapt and survive in "unbearable" living conditions. Today we are still discussing the reasons for the resistance of these "brilliant minds" and the advantages of a reasoned faith.

Allan Kardec presents God to us as the scientists present themselves, through their Curriculum Vitae. From this perspective, by looking under a microscope / telescope, God gains resourcefulness and turns away from human defects. "The Supreme Intelligence created us in its likeness and we pay in the same currency".

In Science we filter variables to arrive at the most probable hypothesis, the one that best explains the phenomenon. In order to distinguish the origin of suffering we must include the "absurdity hypothesis" and to offer the possibility of personal choice and free will. Thus the individual, after the due lawsuit, ample defense and judgment, in the court of conscience, would choose the nature of suffering.

The following two examples were collected through mediumistic practice. The first was of a blind man who asked for the medication of the shade, to heal ancient follies of vision; the second was the prayer of the Spirit who reincarnated and became a leper, begging from Heaven for the garment of wounds, as a purifying remedy for the transgressed personality of the true goodness. On these laws and severe penalties, the Encoder of the Spiritist Doctrine asked question 796 of The Book of Spirits. Is not the severity of criminal laws a necessity in the present state of society? "Understanding suffering is associated with the evolution of humanity itself, as well as the personal conception of God”. We are considering the examination of evolution through anthropological technique. The cultural development of humanity, in its thinking, feeling and acting.

Its cultural horizon is characterized by the physical and social environment in which a phase of the human psyche occurred. In the stage of primitive man, where there was no notion of nature itself, could he not think of the "who am I"? "What I am doing here and now". In this phase we will find a God in the "third age", with white hair. To respect the being, the embryo, is not yet of this moment.

Even more evolved, the civilized man will still make confusion between the human and the divine, merging Religion and the State. There is the construction of theological empires. We go through the phase of dogmas, autocracy and religious dictatorship. Intolerance and oppression of the State are present.

The phase of reason, the scientific man, and the political-religious opening emerge in man. From that point on, an evolutionary acceleration phase seems to occur. Revelation falls as the only way to gain knowledge about nature. Despite all political-religious oppression and intolerance, man acquires the ability to formulate abstract concepts, ethical judgments and legal principles. Faith is forced to face reason.

With Galileo, the scientific method arises. After 1800 revolutions emerge like the industrial one, where the muscles are replaced by the machines, there is the mastery of the techniques and the discovery of the electricity. In a second industrial revolution the brain is replaced by the computer. We are in possession of new knowledge in Biology, such as DNA; in physics, like nuclear energy.

In the 2000s we find the Information revolution. The age of knowledge arises to magnify admirable achievements. There are the Robotics, Biotechnology, Astrophysics and Internet.

However, man continues to face the challenges of economic, social and moral, without the support of the education of feelings, and there is an imbalance between thinking, feeling and acting.

Today there is an imperative need for self-knowledge, because the mind that was able to do almost everything, could not know itself. The information revolution brings us the reality of the immortality of the soul and reincarnation; it brings the notion of a God, Righteous and Good.

We can see that the greater the intelligences, cognitive, emotional and spiritual, the greater the distance between the God of the universes and the one made in the human image.

With Viktor Frankl we can say that to find the meaning of life and suffering it is not necessary to acquire the certainty of the “fado” singer: "it was God who gave light to the eyes, perfumed the roses, and gave gold to the sun and silver in the moonlight. It was He who put the stars in the sky, made the endless space, mourned the swallows, made the nightingale poet and gave the flowers to spring".

Even without God we can face pain in the soul, but everything becomes easier when we know that "it was God who gave voice to the wind." We emphasize that to live in conditions of suffering is to find meaning in pain.

Viktor Frankl says that when all the goals of life are broken, man has only one freedom: the ability to choose the personal attitude he will assume in the circumstances that surround him. He can also exemplify the human capacity to rise above its fate, however adverse it may be and to build a dignified and honorable life. This life gives meaning and contributes to the benefit of other lives.

The immediatists and/or materialists may disagree. In the book Reliquary of Light, in the Decalogue of the Spiritual Service, we find the recommendation of the Spirit Andre Luiz: "If you expect noble fulfillment, do not forget unceasing work, persistence in goodness, edifying study, beneficent sowing and detached service to others".

Viktor did incessant work, even in the concentration camps, and did not forget the persistence in the good. Before being arrested, he refused to carry out euthanasia, imposed by the oppressors on "his" mental patients.

"We often wonder how there can be materialists when, having passed through the spiritual world, they should have intuition from this world: now it is precisely this intuition that is refused to some Spirits who, retaining pride, did not repent of their faults. For such men, the proof consists in the acquisition, during bodily life and at the expense of their own reasoning, of the proof of the existence of God and of the future life which they have, so to speak, ceaselessly under their eyes. They suffer the penalty until, when their pride is tamed, they surrender to the evidence".

Between Heaven and Earth, events are difficult to explain. It seems impossible to understand the designs of God using the limited possibilities of the human mind. It is as if the mind could not contain in its glass the water of the ocean, as the tiny magical seed retains genetic information. Yet hope remains, when, overcoming pride, the human mind perceives the existence of the tree.

Before the pains religious and/or spiritual people seem to have benefits, such as Leda Amaral, Jeronimo Mendonca and Marcondinho.

Leda - after losing her sight and sensitivity in the fingers caused by the "Leprosy" - read in Braille, with the tip of the tongue. Jeronimo Mendonca was a giant lying down. Marcondinho, who when incarnated was blind and had his upper and lower limbs atrophied, now as a Spirit rolled by the TV studio, to demonstrate the immortality of the soul through the mediumship of the interviewee himself.

Another example, such as that of Viktor Frankl, is that of the man who saw executioners shoot his family, and yet made an option for love.

His explanation deserves reflection: "I begged to die with my family, but because I spoke German they put me in a work group. I was a lawyer; my profession had often shown me what hatred could do to people’s bodies and minds. My eyes saw what no one should witness. So I made the choice for love, to everything and everyone that I came across in life..."

Would scientific research find anesthesia if God desired pain? How to explain spirituality influencing the development of resilience?


Further Reading:

1. "An Atheist", from Heaven and Hell, Part 2 Examples - Chapter V. Suicides. Page 312, 33rd edition. From the 233 to 252 thousand. Translation by Manuel J. Quintao. 1985.

2. Was I, by any chance, a Spirit? - click here1

3. Drugs, mediumship, intelligences and Chico Xavier - click here2

4. Everything goes - click here3

5. Suicide - click4

6. Leda Amaral. At the tip of the tongue - click5

7. Jeronimo Mendonca - click here6

8. Marcondinho. Heaven - private property - click here7

Eleni Frangatos - eleni.moreira@uol.com.br




O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita