By Marcus De Mario

Infantile dementia and palingenesis

We read on BBC News, via the internet, a report about Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC), classified by science as a rare disease, of hereditary origin, neurologically progressive and terminal, causing its carrier, usually an early childhood child, with an average life expectancy of nine years. NPC, according to research, is the result of the transmission of two copies of a defective gene from both parents to the child, who has a one in four chance of developing the disease, with one in every one hundred and fifty thousand children having the disease, but these data are still preliminary, as they lack greater breadth in the universe researched. NPC affects the child's brain and nervous system with progressive memory deterioration, loss of balance, lung and liver failure, delayed motor development, loss of speech and seizures. There is no medication or treatment, and scientists are studying the possibility of gene therapy, but tests are not yet conclusive about its effectiveness. NPC, along with other similar diseases, is classified as childhood dementia.

Illustrating the report, we have the case of Renee Staska, Australian and mother of three children, Hudson (4 years old), Holly (2 years old) and Austin (9 months old), all already diagnosed with the disease and presenting, within their respective ages , the symptoms we have just described, in a family situation that is painful and inspires us with compassion, as the doctors have already informed the mother that her three children will die, one after the other, and there is nothing in medicine, and in science in general, that can avoid this prognosis. Well, faced with this fatality, and taking into account our reality as souls created by God, as presented to us by the Spiritist Doctrine, we ask: what did these parents do to deserve such a profound ordeal? What did these children do to receive this terrible fate? And even more: can science change the destination of these souls? And if it can, what about the divine designs?

We put the existence of the soul as a starting point, because without it, from the materialist point of view of birth, living and dying, we simply would not have answers to the questions raised in the previous paragraph, so much so that scientists are astonished by the case presented by the children of Renee Staska, as they contradict the laws of genetics and the probabilities of hereditary transmission of genes by parents. Only the immortality of the soul, which pre-exists the birth of the child, combined with palingenesis (reincarnation), can provide an adequate, logical, and rational response to the existence of childhood dementia, for now an irreversible and terminal disease.

However, it is not enough to believe in the existence of the soul. It is necessary to have a perfect understanding of it, which is the individual being created by God and destined for perfection, pre-existing and also surviving, as the organic body is only the temporary clothing of the soul in the material world, it is its instrument of manifestation in the physical dimension of life. The body is born, grows and dies, not the soul, which develops its divine potential always, from incarnation to incarnation, being immortal, or, in other words, from material existence to material existence, in new bodies, new times and new situations social and cultural. The soul never loses its individuality, nor does it lose its experiences and learning. When living in the spiritual world or dimension, the soul is known as Spirit; when living in the material world or dimension, it is the soul itself. The set of Spirits (which are the discarnate Souls) plus Souls (which are the incarnated Spirits), form humanity, as we are all human beings, as we learned in the spiritist study, the only difference between the discarnate and the incarnate being, having or not an organic body, thus, we are Souls or Spirits, here understood as synonyms.

But how can we live in the spiritual world without having a body? Here is the mistake that many make because we not only have an organic body, but we are also endowed with a spiritual body, which the Spiritist Doctrine calls perispirit. This body is semi-material, much more flexible, molecule by molecule linked to the organic body, detaching itself from it in the phenomenon called death, and, from incarnation to incarnation, it is the perispirit responsible for modeling the new organic body that the Spirit will take for itself in new existence. We have in non-spiritist literature, of an academic nature, with the use of scientific methodology and controlled experimentation, dozens of published works proving the immortality of the soul, the intervention of Spirits in the physical world and reincarnation, hence, it is not just Spiritism that proclaims this truth.

That said, and considering that incarnations are in solidarity with each other, that what is done in one existence has consequences for another incarnation, both good and bad, according to what perfect divine justice provides (we recommend reading the Penal Code of Life Future, contained in chapter 7 of Heaven and Hell, by Allan Kardec), we can now establish a better understanding of diseases classified as childhood dementia, as is the case with NPC.

Palingenesis or law of reincarnation

The ancient Greeks, in the wisdom of many of their philosophers, already believed in palingenesis, that is, in the return of the Spirit (or Soul) through a new organic body, a belief also shared by the ancient Jewish people, as can be seen in several descriptions of the Torah, the sacred religious book that Christians know as the Old Testament, just as we also find this belief among the ancient Egyptians. Jesus himself, the basis of Christianity, taught that it was necessary to be born again, stating that the preacher John the Baptist was the reincarnation of the prophet Elijah. Spiritism did not invent reincarnation, nor did it make it an exclusive principle of its doctrine, but rather studied it through logical and rational philosophical conceptualization, as well as observing it through duly recorded and cataloged facts, as did Dr. Ian Stevenson, from the University of Virginia, in the United States, non-spiritist and author of several studies, including the book Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, which every scientist should know.

With the immortality of the soul and reincarnation we have an explanation for infantile dementia, as well as for other diseases classified as hereditary or genetic, which emerge during the childhood period, or even detected in the mother's womb, in the developing fetus, and which already involve the existence of the Spirit, which is in charge of the formation of the new body through its perispirit, remembering that the spiritual body is the biological organizing model, commanding the entire process. It is in the perispirit that the mental energies of the reincarnating Spirit are concentrated, thus, whoever committed evil in previous existences and has a guilty conscience, automatically impregnates the perispirit with these energies, which will hatch in the new body in development, the same happening when the Spirit requests a specific trial, which could be a serious injury or a genetic defect.

The spiritist theory of reincarnation does not invalidate the laws of heredity, which operate above all under divine determinism, which human science has not yet been able to understand. The case of Renee Staska's children is proof of what we are talking about. For science, the probability of all children having the same disease, which is rare, is minimal, but it happened, and scientists cannot explain how this was possible. Without the immortality of the soul, reincarnation, and the functioning mechanisms of divine justice, so well-studied by Spiritism, there really is no explanation.

In the case in question, we understand that the three Spirits carrying the disease, whether through expiation (consequence of actions that violated divine law in past existences) or through requested trial, are not in this process by chance, even because chance does not exist, that is, there are preponderant causes that go beyond mere biological factors. For the mother (the report says nothing about the father) it is a test that, in fact, seems to be coming to fruition, as the report states that she is taking care of her children with a lot of love, doing everything for them. And reincarnation also comes into play here, as the emotional bonds between parents and children are not free, they usually come from connections that have been built over multiple existences.

Science and divine justice

We also have under analysis the issue of scientific progress in the research and treatment of diseases currently considered incurable, many of which are leading to early death, as is the case with NPC. To what extent can science intervene when it is known that it is a reincarnation atonement that the Spirit needs to go through? This is the doubt that torments many scholars, but perfectly elucidated by Spiritism, by clarifying that science is given to man so that he can contribute to the divine designs in the world, improving the quality of life of human beings and their interaction with natural resources on the planet. Let us see, in this regard, the response of the Superior Spirits in question 692 of The Spirits' Book:

All beings must contribute to help general progress move forward in every way possible. God employs the human race as instruments for the perfection that is the goal of everything in nature. The act of assisting in this process of improvement is the way in which humanity can participate in carrying out Divine plans.

Therefore, the human being, through science, must make every effort to progress life, to improve knowledge, as the divine law itself, which is the law of evolution, requests of human beings. We know that this progress is gradual, which is why science still struggles with phenomena and diseases that it cannot explain satisfactorily, whose roots are in the Spirit. The approach of science to the spiritual reality of life will elucidate many diseases, which will then reach the appropriate solution, always in accordance with what each person must face here on Earth, as divine designs will always be sovereign, as they are perfectly fair.

As long as childhood dementia has no treatment, other than physiotherapeutic therapy to alleviate its consequences, we give love to parents and their children, in the form of prayers and fraternal support, knowing that chance does not exist, and that divine mercy beckons for happier days to come, more fortunate in the future, for all those who submit themselves with resignation and faith to this ordeal, because the future life beckons us, promising, radiant, telling us that here on Earth everything passes, but in eternity love’s eternal light will live forever!


Marcus De Mario is a writer, educator, speaker; coordinates Seara de Luz, an online spiritist study group; edits the Orientação Espírita channel on YouTube; has more than 35 published books.


Solange Grande - sa.kardec@gmail.com



O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita