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Interview Portuguese Spanish    
Year 5 - N° 211 - May 29,  2011
Bauru, SP (Brasil)
Leonardo Rocha - l.rocha1989@gmail.com

Roosevelt Andolphato Tiago:

“Success always comes as a result of intelligent initiatives”

The author and public speaker from the Brazilian state of São Paulo believes Spiritism is going through a magic phase, as the recognition it has achieved completely overshadows the prejudice the Doctrine is still subject to in some parts

Roosevelt Andolphato Tiago (photo), a professional business consultant, was born in the city of Jaú and lives in Barra Bonita, in the state of São Paulo. He is an enthusiastic member of the Spiritist Movement, working as a public speaker, writer and in the board of Spiritist Centres. He has travelled the country in the last 20 years disseminating the Spiritist message. Roosevelt has studied in depth the works of Allan Kardec and says one of the main challenges of all Spiritists is to keep in line with the Doctrine’s principles. That is one of many issues discussed in this interview: 

How did you become a Spiritist? 

As strange as it may seem, I began making speeches and giving lectures at the age of 14, on a number of different issues, focusing mainly on human behaviour. My first contact with Spiritism was when I was 17. I began studying the Doctrine and getting to know it better. I now go round the country making many speeches and continue to write and to take part in a number of other initiatives, such as the foundation of Solidum Publishing House. 

How many speeches and lectures do you deliver every year? 

Last year, I was involved in 232 speeches, lectures and seminars in many regions of our vast country. 

How do you combine your activities in Spiritism with your professional life as a business consultant? You must have a very hectic schedule… 

You do need to be very organised. I often deliver business lectures during the day and make a speech at the Spiritist Centre in the evening. As the director of the Solidum Publishing House, the speeches and lectures around the country work as an opportunity to exchange contacts and information on Spiritist books – and also to receive new orders. Without a very well organised schedule, I wouldn’t be able to juggle all my professional duties with my activities in Spiritism and my family life. 

As someone who travels the country, you must be able to make a good assessment of the Spiritist Movement around the country… 

The development of the Spiritist Movement is clear. Spiritism in Brazil is more and more organised. Travelling around, I have an opportunity to discuss the same themes with very diverse audiences. Spiritist Centres have now a good infrastructure, are in general very well organised, managing to keep a busy schedule of lectures and many other services (healing, spirit attachment treatment etc.) with great efficiency. But there is still a big challenge facing all of us Spiritists: how to stay faithful to the teachings codified by Kardec. Without a strict vigilance of the principles of the Doctrine, Spiritist Groups managed by very dedicated and well-intentioned friends can face problems and diversions. All the charity and social work carried out is of great relevance, but nothing should hamper the dissemination of the liberating message from the Spiritual World.  

You mention the importance of being faithful to Kardec. Is that the greatest challenge facing all Spiritists? 

There’s no doubt about it! Spiritism is still a great unknown to most Spiritists. We have only scratched the surface and yet we believe we have full knowledge of something so big and profound. As a result, we end up accepting into Spiritism unnecessary fads, imported from other philosophies, sciences or even from popular beliefs. And many believe those to be an update to his Doctrine. A good Spiritist Centre must encourage all its members to study the Doctrine in depth, and the guiding light must be the works of the Codifier, Kardec. How could it be out of date, old fashioned? We haven’t even managed to understand its depth and greatness. Unlike what one might think, being faithful to Kardec is not tantamount to fanaticism or inflexibility. We must remember that Allan Kardec himself described the true Spiritist as a free thinker, with freedom to think and act. Being faithful is only about stay true to the principles of the Doctrine and accept whatever fits in those parameters.  

You are in charge of a Spiritist Group in the beautiful city of Barra Bonita. Tell us more about the Spiritist Movement in the city. 

There are three Spiritist Groups in Barra Bonita, strategically located in different areas of the city. I believe the Spiritist Movement meets the various needs of those who come to us, with different demands. The only aspect where I think there is room for improvement is in getting together for joint events. The fraternal spirit we so dearly talk about should also guide in our actions as Spiritists. Having said that, there’s been some improvement recently. 

Tell us more about your new book, Se Não Tiver Vento, Reme… (If the Wind Dies Down, Begin Rowing…) 

This book has made me very happy. Firstly, for being so well received in so many Spiritist Groups, to the point that a second edition had to be published 60 days after the first one. And second for the approval of important Spiritist scholars, who praised the book for its integrity, being so close to the teachings of Allan Kardec. That is the biggest compliment any Spiritist book could get. In the book, I discuss the aspects of the Spirit: intelligence, desire and thought. It makes it easy to understand quite complex matters. This is my fifth book and I believe there is still a great deal to be done. 

As someone who has wide experience in personnel training, would you be able to point out the way for all of us to achieve success in the different areas and roles where we act in life? 

Success always comes as a result of intelligent initiatives. Keep learning, always – that should be the first rule to be successful. We often learn very little, but quickly assume to know much more than we do. The second rule would be to put into practice what one learns, as dormant knowledge is as useful as ignorance. And finally, to persevere, as success will always happen, sooner or later, for those who work hard and with dedication. In most cases, we fail to achieve success because we gave up too early, not because we failed. And let’s bear in mind that success can be defined in many different ways. 

Companies live in the age of total quality. Can one establish any link between the total quality sought by companies and the internal improvement of individuals? 

Absolutely! Human beings are indivisible beings. You can’t separate the professional man from the personal men, as they are the same person. Many companies these days offer lectures and seminars to their employees and associates not only on professional matters, but also on human aspects, on how to avoid drug addiction, how to work in teams, how to value life etc. Total quality is about aiming for excellence. In other words, to improve constantly. And if that is what companies are looking for, we must point out that the Spiritist Doctrine has always aimed at that. Our whole existence has one single aim: to promote constant improvement. After all, we will only be truly happy when we are really good! 

In so many years of experience at a professional level and in Spiritism, you have been in touch with life dramas, the victories and troubles of so many people. What do you think are the biggest challenges faced by human beings and how can the Spiritist Doctrine help? 

Life challenges are individual; after all, they touch us in different ways. What is a challenge for someone might not mean much to someone else. However, if I were to pick a common challenge for all, I would say that would be living a righteous life, without falling in the traps that we’re faced with, the illusions, magic solutions that don’t really exist. Spiritism, more than any other philosophy, can help human beings conduct their lives, offering them a real insight into its nature. It makes it clear that we are we are spiritual beings living a material life; therefore, a transitory life. Once we realise how fragile our current life is, we become interested in the spiritual life, which is the only real life. 

As a book editor, how different do you think Spiritist readers are from other readers? 

For those who are in the Spiritist Movement, the idea is that we read a lot, but I would say that we haven’t reached an ideal level yet. What happens is that those few who read, read a lot. But the number of good readers is still low. We, Brazilians, read much less than the Europeans and even our neighbours, the Argentines, despite having what I believe to be the most beautiful literature on the planet. Non-Spiritist readers these days read many Spiritist books, without much prejudice in most cases. But in all cases there is a demand for well-written books, published to a high standard, which has led to the growth of our book market. 

And how do you see the level of the current Spiritist literature? 

It has been growing, with better editions being published. But many of the books available are not Spiritist books, they are just written through automatic writing. Not all spirits, however, are Spiritists, and having been written by a medium doesn’t make the book a Spiritist book. That is why many authors, including some well-established writers, have published stories that defy any sense and yet are accepted without any resistance. As I’ve mentioned, the Spiritist Doctrine has the most beautiful literature in the world, but whatever the origin, the content must be scrutinised. That was the recommendation by the Codifier. And much of the responsibility lies on those in charge of Spiritist Centres’ bookshops and those who manage Book Clubs. They must make a serious, rigorous assessment of the books offered, disregarding special offers. Despite some difficulties, however, I am optimistic and see many opportunities ahead for disseminating the ideas and values of Spiritism. 

Your final thoughts, please. 

Spiritism is going through a magic phase, with prejudice having been reduced to a minimum. The doctrine has reached widespread recognition, which is evident in the media and in the growth in attendance to Spiritist Centres. But we must be as careful as we can be on the education of young people and newcomers. The future of Spiritism is in their hands, and they must be able to enjoy one day what we have already found, the source or so much beauty. It is important to approach and study Spiritism in a natural manner. All remains of mysticism, occultism, the abnormal are a sign of lack of proper study and knowledge. Spiritism was after all founded on solid bases, strong enough to provide security to those who come looking for it, provided it its principles are studied with coherence and dedication.  



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