I'm so excited to have been pointed to a great recent movie called "Astral City: A Spiritual Journey" by a new friend! Wow!! How did I miss this one??
From 2001 to 2009 I played a deconstructivist movie reviewer at the MysticalMovieGuide.com, until I burned out on sifting through the entertainment cliches to uphold a few shards of spiritual truth. Since then I've shifted to research and writing for my own classes and book, so I'm behind on the cultural news.
Only last month I finally saw the remarkable US film "The Adjustment Bureau", released in early 2011. An exciting big-budget fantasy that showcases many spiritual truths from a visionary first-time writer/director, this was extremely atypical for Hollywood and clearly sponsored by holy spirit. It's a romantic thriller about a couple confronting God and the angelic realm to establish their free will right to be together in love, regardless the karmic impact for a system that would keep them apart to serve social order. Right on, karma busters! That made me cry, and reminded me of what a great movie can do.
Now "Astral City" takes me to a whole new level, by moving into territory that is 100% spiritual, otherworldly, and true! Based on the best-selling book "Nosso Lar" (Portugeuse for Our Home), this is the autobiography of a spirit, dictated through a famous Brazilian medium.
"Astral City: A Spiritual Journey" is the movie your soul has been waiting for! Biggest Brazilian production ever made, released there fall 2010, finally into the US just in time for 2012. So why isn't everyone talking about it? This is the true story of a spirit working his way up the astral plane, as told by the deceased doctor Andre Luis channeled through the late great spiritualist writer Chico Xavier. Xavier is an absolute phenom in Brazil, little known in the US or Europe, who wrote over 400 books, many extremely popular, and donated all the proceeds to charity because he could take no credit, all came from the spiritual world.
In this great film adaptation of Xavier's most popular book, you will see the heaveny city Our Home on the astral mountain top from which Andre Luis learned the real meaning of life, and many other moving powerful scenes. Things start a little pedagogical and melodramatic in purgatory, but great understated emotional expressions from fine actors really help open up the viewer to the beautiful special effects that soon follow. It's funny how literally accurate religion can be, what with people pointing to the sky for heaven. The energetic fields of the earth do extend upward, and most human spirits work their way toward utopian communities which are on the top of the astral plane in the upper atmosphere. The astral plane, as you may know from the term's popularization by Theosophy, is the energy of emotions and also an actual nonphysical place.
Here's the film's trailer at the internet movie database where you can read more about the production. You can then buy the dvd or stream the whole movie on amazon for a fee, and find related videos on youtube.
So after seeing the film and crowing about it on facebook to friends, naturally the next step was to buy the book. Now this gets interesting - I check out the comments, which are not many and mostly from spiritualists, as might be expected. One however is a suffering Catholic who questions the views of karma espoused by the film. I agree, that was one issue I had too. Technically, I would regard the view of the afterlife seen in the film as a mid-level evolutionary step in which a lot of spirits feel ties to families on Earth and eagerly reincarnate to be with them regardless of personal costs. It's a popular path and there's nothing wrong with it, unless you're ready for something else. Andre Luis himself suggests one alternative, since he didn't reincarnate, he stayed longer in the astral to refine his understandings and dictate his story directly to Xavier on the Earth.
Below is my reply to the comment and discussion thread which is linked. I have no right or need to reproduce other people's text, as I think my points speak for themselves. I've clearly got my own little theme going on with karmic liberation for 2012, so this is just another facet I've sincerely displayed, worth preserving here.
Thanks for reading, and all the best to you on your own journey to freedom and joy! I'm reminded of a message I got from Archangel Michael to help me release some old issues: "Go to the level at which you are healed."
From Amazon comment Thread for book "Nosso Lar"
Your post, in reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2012 2:05:38 PM PDT
Carl J. Schroeder says:
I was drawn to the movie Astral City, then to the book it was based on Nosso Lar, then to your comment on the book here on Amazon, then to the discussion that followed, and then as far as your last revealing reply here. May I add my perspective?
I'm not a spiritist, I'm a little of many things, and I agree with you on the unfairness and damage that is possible under karma. I too have suffered from similar karmic connections, I know where you are coming from.
Karma is a choice! It is the old system, it is not the only way. Jesus was coming from a new way, that is why he took on humanity's pain in one last great karmic act and died that we might live. "Let the dead bury the dead, come, follow me." I believe the world changed when he rose from the grave.
Karma is an unmerited loyalty to soul family, and it can work because people must purify themselves to handle their cruel relatives. Known or unknown, our psychic connections impact us tremendously, and can force us to grow, especially as we react from what they mirror inside of us.
But there will always be free will, and at some point you have to let go with a totality of forgiveness that respects each person's own power and potential, in order to honor your own path upward. Perhaps this is the "tough love" that people must learn.
How long will I let another person's choices destroy me? I am done, I am going to where I belong. I wish to follow the flow of the universe, and so I must give up on the karma and enter the dharma. If I still have lessons to learn, they can be taught lovingly, I don't have to suffer any loyalties to the cruel and ignorant anymore.
I thought it was a great scene in the movie when Andre was being rescued from the Umbral. The self-damning said "no, not him! don't save him!", but when the healing guide reached out a hand to them they all recoiled, not wanting to be saved themselves. So the guide gave up and turned and took Andre to the heavenly city. That sums up the end of karma to me, you offer, they don't accept, but you accept, you are done. Whether or not spiritists continue to learn in karmic systems is their choice, but it is not the only way, and the seeds of leaving karma are in their acknowledgment of everyone makes their own choices for how to live.
You sound like you have a lot of healing to do. Get it if you want! I would recommend trying various alternative healers and ask them to clear your energetic connections to people and spirits who aren't good for you, find whatever works. Focus on you, take care of yourself proudly, do it for God if you cannot for yourself. God is counting on you to be the steward of your precious true self, to reach your potential to serve naturally from your joyful uniqueness, authority questioning and all, and not as a spiritual worker in a system for points. You seem sensitive to any duty that isn't sensitive to you; you've probably been enslaved and abused by karmic ties.
Let go whatever guilt or ideas you have that keep you exposed to suffering in a karmic system. Be that best person you can be, because that is the real you, and that is your ticket to freedom. You have no obligations to grow in a way that doesn't suit you. There are many options for returning to a state of grace health and joy in this vast universe, there is not just one church or Nosso Lar.
ps - I want to add personally in a way that isn't the main point but shares human context. I wasn't raised catholic, but discovered a past life as a catholic medieval mystic nun in 1998. Some thought it was ego because she was famous, but I was in touch with a very deep life-transformation. I immediately felt a great love of the karmic system, and wanted to reunite with all the souls I'd been with then and in other lifetimes. The historical records helped me recognize resonances when they showed up in answer to prayer.
I did it! It took me 14 years but I found a huge soul family reincarnated from then and other past lives as well. A fascinating, magical, deeply spiritual journey for me! And guess what, it was not a lovefest, it was mess of people and issues, all over the place. I could've kept working and suffering with them for the rest of my life, but I got it! That was enough.
I'm done with karma, it forces you to purify and learn about your origins until you're ready to go to a new place. Now I don't care about karma anymore, I could be meeting you for the hundredth lifetime or the first. Here now what are we doing, that's what matters, all else is forgiven. No clinging, no ties, only love that gives and lets go and receives in the present. If we're good to stay together we will, as an ongoing commitment to good energy.
This karma-free loyalty to the spiritual self gives a life that is both merit based, ie. do your good works, and soul based, ie. you deserve just for being. Nobody does good or looks good to get anything, they are what they are now already. Nobody gets fooled or stuck on past loyalties or future potentials, it's all your choices now. Karma is an endless prison, it never releases anyone, but everyone holds their own key to just leave when they're ready.
Here's a site of a friend who researches past lives, soul families, and karma extensively. Walter Semkiw works with Kevin Ryerson and together I've found they back a lot of my experiences in this area, so check it out if you like: www.iisis.net
The discussion at amazon has continued, so again I'll just preserve my replies here which contain my views, and for full context you can visit that thread at Amazon comment Thread for book "Nosso Lar"
Your post, in reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 7:01:45 PM PDT
Carl J. Schroeder says:
I realized a karma-related question for Steve or any of the spiritists in this thread who know more about the theology of Nosso Lar. Is there a door to rebirth from the Umbral purgatory, those hellish lower astral planes? I mean, the movie depicted the process of reincarnation as involving a long responsible planning process with top guides of the heavenly cities at the top of the astral, involving years of preparation and waiting to be granted permission. At that rate, people wouldn't get reborn very quickly, and would be mature and have wonderful life intentions. So where are all the messed up people down here coming from, especially the disturbed and the cruel who make karmic ties such a hell for so many? That looks to me like personalities straight out of the Umbral, not the refined graduates of the highest astral cities. Perhaps this is covered in the book or other works by Andre and Chico?
(Steve basically replied that the Umbral is a purgatory-like passing through zone for spirits that you get stuck in as long as you have ego problems, so there's no way you could reincarnate from there, next stop is higher realms. If there are a lot of badly behaving people coming onto Earth, they'd be incarnating from other dimensions and planets, not Earth's Umbral, and they'd be coming here after making an "I'll behave" promise to God like everyone who gets permission to incarnate.)
Your post, in reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2012 1:14:50 PM PDT
Carl J. Schroeder says:
Hey Steve, a belated thanks to you for your detailed excellent reply. I basically agree with all that you say, but believe in extensions on the material too. For one thing, I believe that lifetimes are much more overlapping and parallel than the long steady spiritual growth sequence can suggest. This is a common problem I find in systems that teach reincarnation, they can't imagine people reincarnating all over the place/time as they do. I think (I know) there are some other me's in the world right now, and that I've had more overlapping lifetimes than a sequence provides. I simply see that a soul sends out as many lifetimes as it wants or needs, and we can become soul-like in relating to as many of them as another "me" as we can handle. Especially in the speeded-up modern times we're in, there's no way a soul wants to miss out on all the experiences by having only 1 or 2 lifetimes a century.
The consequence for karma is that a person who did bad things in their lifetime can certainly be working it out in the umbral purgatory after dying. But at the same time they have other selves back in the world already/still, doing related bad deeds in psychic connection. So in a way, they're already reincarnated straight from the umbral. This accounts for a lot of people who react like they're in a hellish place no matter how good their life is, because another part of themselves is concurrently in the umbral. This creates problems for the hope of sequential reformation. Any lifetime that does reform itself only becomes a good influence to others that can be ignored by the others as they choose. It's very interactive and simultaneous, which doesn't really invalidate the sequential spiritual self-improvement model, but makes it more subtle and complex and ultimately more powerful. A tipping point of many lifetimes waking up and reforming together becomes possible!
Because of this multiplicity going on, I don't see the need for a lot of extraterrestrial souls getting born here to account for so many new people, good or bad, although a certain number of ET incarnations are certainly happening. Many come from more evolved worlds to raise the vibration with great people. If we're allowing a lot of bad apples onto Earth from less-evolved places, well, we can just stop tolerating that, individually and collectively. I was once shown in meditation that a number of Nazis were incarnated from a planet of such homogeneity that they freaked out at Earth's diversity and thought genocide was a naturally good thing, and they were still rather unrepentent about it. Such spirits do not need to be here.
The other limitation I see with the linear reincarnation model is the assumption that spirits are always refining and progressing, getting permission to come back to Earth only when they have significantly matured and promise to not make the same mistakes again. At that rate, even allowing for some backsliding, wouldn't Earth have become a much better place long ago? Steve Pinkerton's fascinating new book "Angels of our better nature" does present inspiring evidence that humanity has become steadily more civilized and peaceful over the centuries, so that's the good news. But most people don't believe it because humanity's progress has been relatively slow, so the linear maturing model seems overly optimistic, unable to account for real history.
The difference I believe comes from the simpler fact that we create our own reality down here as well as up there, and so many people allow for and even depend on the presence of incarnated evil. So promises to behave don't matter, when the fact is there are roles being demanded and slots to fill, and reincarnated reformed spirits backslide easily by popular demand. What will really clean things up on Earth is not so much that we attain heights of maturity when we're in heavenly higher realms, but when we stop covertly (but rather obviously) relying on evil in our thinking and entertainment down here. All kinds of hidden agendas to be powerless, to blame, to manipulate, to punish, and to get pleasure from pain, bring out the worst in everyone, creating a race to the bottom.
Raising consciousness "down here" is what will bring out the potentials that everyone has developed to varying degrees "up there". I think spirits like Andre who increasingly opt to not rush to reincarnate but rather transmit their higher view through channels on Earth are evidencing that simple fact. They know that belief systems need to change to bring out the best that everyone already has developed in spirit but which gets shouted-down once they're incarnated, regardless of how many promises to behave better get made from the spirit side.
Whaddya think? And let me know your email if you want to continue offline, but hopefully everyone has enjoyed this discussion, including our fine Catholic friend who started this thread.
all the best,
Your post, in reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2012 3:27:43 PM PDT
Carl J. Schroeder says:
Interesting replies, thanks Steve and Peter!
To Steve I would say, hmm, did I touch a nerve? Suddenly you sound more sure and judgmental than before. I get that you're saying I'm absolutely wrong and misled, but I'm not as clear on the why. As I said in my post, I don't see why the potential of more concurrency in lifetimes invalidates the idea of spiritual evolution, only that it makes it more dynamic and invests the spirit of each lifetime with more, not less, responsibility for their actions. We can then relate to clusters of our soul's lifetimes in whatever sequences make sense for our growth, so linear reincarnating and cause-effect karma are a subset of the total possibilities.
Just because someone is dead doesn't mean they know everything, just that hopefully they have a better afterlife perspective on their own experiences. So if a lot of spirits teach reincarnation and karma a certain way, they can be perfectly correct for their path, and still not exclude the possibility of other ways to achieve the same ultimate goals of spiritual evolution toward the divine state. I don't feel like a fool who is rushing in where angels fear to tread. There are a number of respected channeled entities from very high levels who teach exactly what I'm saying, including Lazaris and Ahtun Re. I didn't just make it up, I simply developed my own perspectives and opinions which ended up agreeing with them.
To Peter I would say thank you for the candor and humility of more possible explanations. I agree that a concurrency of archetypal choices can account for a lot of connections between individuals who are not the same soul. Kindred souls, soulmates, twin flames, all kinds of great relationships are possible. I've had some short-term difficulties distinguishing myself from the past lives of my very closest spirit guides, but ultimately they diverged while my past lives kept converging with me. It's perfectly healthy to not know until you know. So while I sometimes erred on the side of believing in a reincarnation connection, other people can err on the side of disbelieving. Here's a link to a page where the man who has been identified by friends of mine as the reincarnation of William James agrees that the matches between James' circle and his circle are uncanny (souls travel in groups), but he's not ready to believe in reincarnation. Jungian style synchronistic archetypal resonance he calls it: http://www.mishlove.com/WilliamJames/matches.htm
And Peter, your ongoing crusade against karma makes me smile. As I've said before I agree that karma has its limits of benefit, but you seem so hurt that I wonder if you aren't especially chafing at the way certain schools teach karma. There are different ways it gets explained, some more free-will crushing than others. I do believe there exist group karmas, family karmas, nation karmas, etc, and these could be particularly stifling while amorphously difficult to shake. I wonder if some of these have you feeling trapped beyond the karmas with individuals, which is what I've focussed on releasing and found perfectly liberating for all levels of guilt and abuse. I used to get my panties in a twist over the inter-Abrahamic religious conflicts for example, but that has lifted as I let go of the people in my life that probably embodied those conflicts for me in lifetimes back. It's always helpful to get a face on things, I find love and its lack to be specific not general problems.
Your post, in reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2012 3:57:19 PM PDT
Carl J. Schroeder says:
Thanks for your candid reply, I see you are more playful than I thought at first. I appreciate that.
I also think you're an amazing scholar with great scholarly strengths. I'm not so much a scholar, I'm into my own direct experiences, and I just cross paths with stuff and decide what it means to me then.
Multiple-me's makes perfect sense to me. Time is simultaneous, different configurations of my soul make for different incarnations and personalities, and they're all alive affecting each other. I know that even people who believe in reincarnation have a hard time with this. Perhaps I'm comfortable because I came to reincarnation from my own route of dialoguing with my sub-personalities, the different aspects of myself, and then discovering oh, these people in my soul have their entire own lives and realities in other times and spaces from me, we're all very real, this is awesome! So some of the other me's are what people call past lives, some are parallel lives, some are my own developmental stages in this life (inner child for example).
Since you bring up the importance of clear definitions, I would point out the elephant in the room which is the term karma itself. It's a ridiculously overused word, and it's obvious to me that everyone has their own set of working definitions, mostly amorphous. All this talk of debt and rewards doesn't make sense to me for example. We have free will, we create our own reality, and there's no one handing out gold stars or demerits. I see karma as just the developing of a shared experience with someone that isn't complete or concluded for growth. It still doesn't mean that we owe anyone or they owe us, because they can go complete that experience with someone else and so can we at any time. Pay it forward, for example.
I think one of the worst implications I hear in talk of karma is that we absolutely have to do our growth with certain individuals. That is in my mind very damaging and contrary to free will. If I have a shared incomplete growth process from 1000 years ago with someone that I want to get back to someday, they have every choice and right to have gone in different directions from me. They can be completely out of sync and inappropriate for me to finish my growth lesson when I get around to wanting and needing that lesson. So I need to be flexible and let the universe bring me someone with a matching unfinished lesson who is in sync with me now, not then.
Just because I started a lesson with someone doesn't mean I have to wait for them to decide to be nice and productive with me. It would be like if you come back to class the next day and find out your lab partner has quit school, and your teacher says sorry, you'll just have to wait to see if they ever decide to return, we can't possibly assign you another lab partner, nor could they ever get anyone else but you to finish their degree. What? I'd find another school if that happened, ha!
I know that my attitude is not popular, and you're welcome to denounce it as taking shortcuts and breaking the system and incurring more karma than ever. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's a way to deny responsibility, to avoid the people we've interacted with. The universe will bring to us first those with whom we've had prior dealings, and that is the basis of karma. We won't get past them until we learn to accept and not judge them for who they are. And that must include allowing them to be uncooperative and unwilling to complete a lesson with us, to let them go and find someone else more suitable for our spiritual development.
I can say from my own experience that growth is growth, and love is love. No way I'm staying with some unloving personality just because of some shared karmic history. That's like spiritual incest, to have to marry within a family of spiritual origins, it's not even healthy on so many levels! Free will changes everything, free will means the universe can and must recombine as needed for love, not dogma. We're always free to ask the universe for someone truly compatible for what we want to accomplish, and that's how we learn to really to enjoy our life and place in creation!
As Steve continued to disagree with my views on karma as optional (sorry to burst my bubble), I realized this was a test of exactly my point. I could feel my old personality that would hold onto a disagreement, as if to lose an opportunity to be right and heard was a moment of cosmic importance. It is, but not the way I was imagining! I think of all those times that Hildegard had to be right, and if a person didn't agree she would say God is on my side, you can be wrong and there will be suffering from this, you'll see. And yes there was suffering, including her own. People think they have to make a final stand, but the universe illustrates the letting go principle exactly - people who hold onto disagreements go on to find other people to disagree with, and people who let go disagreements go on to find other people to enjoy more agreement with. Either way, there are more fish in the sea, and no one has stay anywhere they don't want to.
Like it or not, by their choices for energies, people represent energies, and by our choices for energies, we meet some kinds of people and not others. Fortunately we can hold theoretical ideals that we can talk about and hopefully guide ourselves toward, but day to day we live energetic choices that we must walk from and within. Change your ideals if you feel hopeless, and then change your daily choices if your life is not ideal. Love or conflict, that is your ideal and daily choice. How much love do you want in your life?
Your post, in reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2012 3:23:31 AM PDT
Carl J. Schroeder says:
Hey Steve, no bubbles bursting here, lol! We've had our respectful interaction, we're both pursuing our values in full sincerity, all is well in my opinion. If this is a karmic reunion we've had, then I consider it fulfilled, and you're welcome to too, or not, that is your choice. If you worry about me then you'll be in your bubble, if I worry about you then I'll be in my bubble, we each create our own reality and we have neither need nor ability to change each other's opinions or choices. I've got other things to do and other people to interact with, you do too I'm sure.