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Year 2 - N° 60 - June 15, 2008

Londrina, Paraná (Brazil)




FELIPE DARELLA - felipe.darella@gmail.com


Renato Costa:  

It’s necessary to spread the word about Spiritism everywhere

Roustaing, violence and Spiritist movement are some of the subjects discussed in the interview with the confrere from Rio
de Janeiro, who emphasizes the importance of the English language on behalf of the Doctrine abroad

The confrere Renato Costa (picture) acts in an intense way spreading the Spiritist Doctrine. Despite not taking any role in the administrative activities in any Spiritist Centre, Costa has an extensive list of actions focused, mainly, on the objective of keeping curious and scholars of Spiritism updated as to information about the Doctrine compiled by Allan Kardec.

Born in Petrópolis (RJ), but living in the capital, Costa is a psychographer and psychophonic medium and delivers lectures in several centres in Rio de Janeiro. He created and maintains the site

Spiritist Institution Joanna de Angelis (www.ieja.org). He also takes part of the Editorial Council of the Advanced Spiritist Studies Group – GEAE (www.geae.inf.br), being in charge of the monthly report in English, the Spiritist Messenger. Renato Costa, who also writes in this very magazine, was interviewed as it follows:

O Consolador: Have you been living in Rio de Janeiro for that long?

Yes. I was born in Petrópolis (RJ) but moved to Rio de Janeiro when I was a baby. My mom was from Petrópolis too and, as she married my father, she came to Rio, where he already lived and worked. She decided to have her second baby in Petrópolis. That’s why I was born there.

O Consolador: What is your educational background?

I am an Electrician Engineer (PUC-RJ, July 1977), Master in Computer Engineering (IME, 1980) and I have MBA in Economics (FGV, 1990).

O Consolador: Besides maintaining a site of Spiritist content, What other activities do you have in the Spiritist movement?

I write articles to many organs of the Spiritist press, I give lectures in Rio de Janeiro and other cities and work, in the Spiritist environment, as writing and speaking medium, and as a pass-giver.

O Consolador: When and how did you have your first contact with Spiritism?

My wife is medium and since she was kid she’s been around Spiritist phenomena. So, my contact with mediumship was prior to the contact with Spiritism and through her, because of a health problem she had, I got to a Spiritist Centre, Lar de Frei Luiz, in Jacarepaguá (RJ). It was in the bookstore where the fact which led me to become Spiritist took place. I asked the man who took care of the bookstore for a book "to get to grips with Spiritism" and he, after a brief silence in which he certainly had inspiration from the High, recommended me “Our Home”. I started reading the book at the same night and couldn’t stop until I finished it. When I did so, I turned to my wife and said: "if half of what is written here be true, it means I have an awful lot to learn about Spiritism". What I can say today is that I keep studying since back then and I think I still know nothing.

O Consolador: What was your family’s reaction when you decided to follow the Spiritist Doctrine?

My parents had already disincarnated, I had little contact with my brother and, besides, my entire wife’s family was either Spiritist or spiritualist. So, the reaction was completely natural.

O Consolador: From the three aspects of Spiritism – scientific, philosophical and religious –, which one is more appealing to you?   

The scientific one, because it is what Spiritist studies the least and because of my education. I wouldn’t say, though, it is the most important. Quite contrary, the philosophical and religious aspects guide my behaviour in this life and, as little as I can understand, they are the most important to Spiritist. I only lament many of our brothers not studying this aspect enough.

O Consolador: What are your favourite Spiritist authors?

There are many, so, it wouldn’t be correct of me to be mentioning some and forget others. To pick one out of the lot I enjoy, I’d go with Hermínio Miranda for his scholarship, simplicity, his pleasant style and interest he arouses in every subject he discusses.

O Consolador:  What are the most important books for those who are starting off in Spiritism?

I think that every person will have his interest captured by a different book. To my understanding, no book is indispensable for a beginner. As for those who like to study, I’d say the five main books that make part of the Compilation, Posthumous Works, the Spiritist Magazine and books by André Luiz.

O Consolador: If you went to a distant place, away from Spiritist activities, which books would you take?

If I could take only two, I’d take “The Spirits’ Book” and “The Gospel According to Spiritism”. If no limit was set, I’d take all my Spiritist books and request access to internet keep acquiring whatever else aroused my curiosity.

O Consolador: Do you consider Spiritism to be a religion?  

I have no doubt about it. It is a religion different from others, as there are no rites or cults, but I believe it is still a religion. Spiritism is a religion in its pure sense, as it incentivizes the man to improve each day, explains his goal in life and what will happen to him after the so-called death, besides explaining the Laws of God and what we can do to comply with them.

O Consolador: Have you read the book by J. B. Roustaing?

The trust in the Spiritist Doctrine is in the unanimous and universal teachings of the Spirits and not the importance of the speaker. Allan Kardec, in the introduction of “Genesis”, states: "General concordance in teaching is the doctrine’s essential character, the condition even of its existence; it is evident that all principles which have not received the consecration of general agreement can only be considered as a fractional part of this same doctrine, merely as a simple, isolated opinion for which Spiritism cannot assume the responsibility". So, the fact that communications which made the book "The Four Gospels" were obtained by only one medium and each of them talked about a sole subject (each evangelist, his own gospel) leads the work to be called, as Kardec says "personal opinion", so it cannot be considered Spiritist Doctrine. However, considering, as we are, the way in which it was obtained, it is as Spiritist as the works by André Luiz, Emmanuel or Joanna de Ângelis. All of them are Spiritist books, but it doesn’t mean it is part of the Spiritist Doctrine. As simple as that. Therefore, I see no reason for such a quarrel over Roustaing and his work. Once we understood that "The Four Gospels" is not part of the Spiritist Doctrine, as long as the works of the aforementioned author are not part of it either, may each Spiritist free to analyze the book, the same way that he analyzes any other Spiritist book, it means, with reasoning and common sense, to conclude what can or cannot be accepted as compatible with the Spiritist Doctrine. 

O Consolador: What is your opinion about standardized passes, proposed by Edgar Armond?

Since long ago it is known that what is in the subtle body, called in the Spiritist Doctrine as perispirit, centers of force and channels linked to these centers of force, corresponding to the organs and systems of the physical body. Taking this knowledge into consideration, it is obvious that the movement of the hands, applied consciously to such elements, will have a positive effect. When I say consciously, I want to mean that movements cannot be "standardized", being essential, just like everything else, that the medium knows what he is doing. I don’t mean that simply laying on hands will have no effect. It sure will, but it requires, as far as I concern, more work from the entities that participate along. Despite all of that, though, the technique used is not a big deal. What really matters is the mental state of the pass-giver, his vibrations of love inserted in the work and, obviously, the receptive nature of the benefitted. Let’s remember the episode of cure of the leper, in which by only touching Jesus’ clothes, got better. As for a federation wanting to standardize passes, I definitely believe this is not the right way.

O Consolador: What can you make of the discussion about abortion?

It seems to me the Spiritist movement has been really courageous in defense of life. Let’s see, for example, the creation of a parliamentary movement in defense of life, created by the Spiritist congressman Luiz Bassuma, and the various campaigns by FEB and other entities related.

O Consolador: Euthanasia, as we know, has no support from Spiritism. Lately, we have heard about the orthothanasia, backed even by Spiritist doctors.   What do you think about it?

In my opinion, it should be given the patient the right to go home and reject a treatment in hospital that won’t neither increase nor improve his life.

O Consolador: What is your opinion about the current state of the Spiritist movement in our country?

I like it, what saddens me a bit is the lack of unity. It is sad to see that in the movement there are groups that won’t integrate and even be rejected to think differently about this or that topic. That would be good if all understand that thinking differently is typical of the human nature and then get together. I cannot conceive the idea that someone who studies Spiritism ignores that every spirit is in a specific development stage and has a cultural background of their own, being impossible that two minds think alike. Disunion is an extremely negative propaganda and needs to be overcome.

O Consolador: How do you see criminality and violence in our country? How can Spiritist help in this situation?

I think the awareness of people about violence has increased, which is the first step for it to be correctly faced. We can help by educating correctly our kids to make them good people, giving good examples with our behaviour at work, on the street and at Spiritist Centres and striving to be better each day, becoming more caring, patient individuals.

O Consolador: How long do you think it will take for Earth to be promoted from his current status, world of tests and atonement, to the condition of regenerating world, according to Saint Augustin, the word love will be written in all fronts and a perfect balance will ensure relationships?

We have seen that habits of society have changed every thirty years, give or take. We hear about the thirties, sixties, nineties. Around 2020, so, we should be able to realize a new change in social habits. Who knows, such change will clearly indicate how much time there is for love to start reigning on our beloved Earth?

O Consolador: About the problems that the earthly society is facing, what should be the top priority for Spiritism in Brazil and the world?

Spreading the Spiritist Doctrine everywhere. Top priority, though, is to translate into English as many good Spiritist books as we can. English is called lingua franca currently and it will be for many more decades, maybe centuries. Ignoring that is going against the evidences. English is spoken by the scholars all over the world. Maybe these scholars take the task translate each work from English into their native language. If we start translating a single book into many languages is laborious and unnecessary, hampering the progress of the Doctrine. At a national level, I believe that the current initiatives should rely on each other, share experiences, and know one another. Better a few strong initiatives than countless small ones.

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