Vlamir Orlando Berti Pereira (photo), a Spiritist since 1982, is the president of the Spiritist Group A Caminho da Luz, in the southern Brazilian city of Cascavel. He is a doctor with specialisation in Anaesthetics and Psychiatry, which is the main focus of this interview:
Why should we change our thoughts?
We are surrounded by habits, which, positive or negative, must be known to us, addressed and, if necessary, modified. For something to take place, someone must have previously thought about it. The same applies to our internal harmony and peace. If we work on improving our thoughts, we will be addressing the causes and having a very positive impact on the effects.
How do we do that?
To win a gold medal, an athlete must work very hard. In order to progress in the scale of spiritual development, we must do the same. In other words, we need to look into ourselves. Self-knowledge is the key. It makes us get thrilled by the beauties of life. Self-knowledge is delightful, educating and it brings about peace and light.
In practical terms, how do we do it?
Choose a new goal. Be realistic with yourself. Listen to yourself. Identify resentments, jealousies, pride and all the primitive emotions we inherit (with all their animal aspects) and carry with us. Do not lie to yourself. Do not dwell on the past!
Choose one aspect at a time to work on. Have you picked one? Now negotiate with your mind. Little by little replace this thought with something good, useful and truthful. I suggest the image of a beloved family member: repeat his or her name many times, filling this way that toxic space that was in your mind.
Do our thoughts have an impact on our health and our emotional, psychological and spiritual balance? In what manner?
They have a much bigger influence than we imagine. Neuropsycoendocrinoimunology (this is a long noun) is a reality. Science accepts it without reservations. Internal harmony puts our hormones in balance, strengthening our immunity burying, therefore, many illnesses. Psychiatry is making important progress in that area. We need to go deeper into the causes rather than looking only at the diseases.
Is there anything from your experience that you would like to share with us?
I use myself as a “guinea pig”. I observe myself every minute. When I managed to gain control of my thoughts, trying to forget the problems and resentments, my life changed. So, if I was able to change, anyone is able to change. But we must bear in mind that this demands continuous effort. Once we reach a particular goal, we are immediately faced with another one to work on. Life becomes very pleasant! Sweet, surrounded by true peace. And we learn to love ourselves.
Is there any particular case from your practice that you would like to highlight?
How little do we know ourselves! Almost nothing, really. People keep looking for a miracle pill that will make us better people. That is not possible. Medication will help, that is a fact, but the great secret is really self-discovery. “Know thyself.” We need to go through an internal journey. “I can and I make it.”
Obviously the help from experts from various areas is important to deal with people who are suffering. But if they do not adhere to the treatment, the result is compromised.
Why we, as human beings, become so susceptible to the unfortunate suggestions and the negative influences of those around us, including the spirits?
I would say that the main influence comes from the Spirit World. It is a natural law. Look at the question 459 of The Spirits’ Book. I am so vulnerable that I choose my company. It is pure choice, free will. We cannot accept our vulnerability. Enlightened influences and suggestions, of pure and profound love, are also around us. They are equally intense. All we need is to change our antennas so we are able to capture them.
What is the big secret of the balance we look for so eagerly?
Practice, vigilance and change of course. We need to make better choices, in the same way we choose carefully what we buy. We must aspire for good quality. We need to have a strategic plan of our lives, in the same way a company does. How do we need to be when we get to the end of the year? Where do I need to improve? But we must be very strict about one thing: we must not lie to ourselves!
From all your memories and experience, what comes up more strongly?
The earlier we make this discovery, the better we will be. Children blessed by true love can change radically. The parents have a key role to play. The role of educators belongs to the family, not to the state, which has the duty to teach only. Child Psychiatry will still experience great progress.
Your final thoughts, please.
I will ask permission to use the words of Dr Bezerra de Menezes: “We must behave properly and fight to the very end.” We were not chosen to suffer for others who are enjoying life. There is huge harmony in our beautiful universe. Everything is planned. God does not want to please us; He wants to shed light on us!