Centro Espírita Dr. Adolfo Bezerra de Menezes

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Machado De Assis’ Post-Death Memories

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My friends from the internet will bash my head saying that I’m mad when remembering Machado de Assis, the writer who made all students from our Brazil burn their encephalic mass to learn and memorize things from his books, when preparing for the exam which would lead them to a university.

Who didn’t hear about books like “Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas”, “Quincas Borba”, “A Mão e a Luva”, “Dom Casmurro”, “Helena”, “Ressureição”, “Iaiá Garcia”, “Esaú e Jacó”, “Memorial de Aires”, and others?

I also have been reading the old war veteran Machado’s teachings, trying to learn his writing manner and what he wrote, to live up to the grade in Literature and to pass in that exam.

Some will say that I made a mistake when I wrote the title of this spirictually-funded pretentious commentary. After all, this month’s great book was “Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas” (Brás Cubas’ Post-Death Memories), which doesn’t confer with the engaged title: “Memórias Póstumas de Machado de Assis” (“Machado de Assis’ Post-Death Memories”). I could’ve put the title “Machado de Assis After Death” and everything would be right. But, I preferred to use the same title of the book that I read and which depicts the great writer’s first life days in the spiritual world.

Let’s go to the facts: as a spiritistic, I love studying the nuances that occur in the relations between the two worlds; material and spiritual. A little time ago I saw in a book catalogue (with that I sustain my library) that a book that told Machado de Assis’ life after death was being sold. I found it very interesting and I bought it. I finished reading it and then I started researching for the author’s biography and reading the book “Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas”, in order to understand his style when incarnated and the style used after death. It is the same Machado de Assis, in all aspects. It’s the same style, the same irony, the same humor. It is him overall There’s no difference between the one that was here and the one that’s in the spiritual world.  

I have to congratulate the medium Ismênia dos Santos, disincarnated, from Belo Horizonte, who received through the psychography of this book. She was practically unknown in the spiritism’s world. And Machado de Assis wrote this book through these blessed hands and as well in the beginning of her psychic senses’ growth, exactly 50 years after his death. It’s a wonderful and courageous work done by this woman. If you, my friend reader, thinks that this is easy the mediunic psychography work with the great writers, take your dust off and do that same work to see how much hurts the feeling of missing something or someone very important.

If in the past there was no predilection by Machado de Assis, it was because the people didn’t know him very well. The truth is that he was from the 19th century, but his writings are up do date. He leaves the impression that he’s talking about our things from the 21st century.

His biography shows that he was a little boy that earlier lost his mom, and as well as his sister. His father, a wall painter, then married with Maria Ignes, who taught Machado his first letters and the honest work of candy selling.

In order to complicate even more, he was mulatto, poor, epileptic and a stutterer, which granted him all kind of jokes from the kids of that era. He learned the first letters with his stepmother, he hasn’t frequented the regular scholar course, the baker of a bakery taught him French, and as an autodidact learned English and German. He translated to Portuguese “The Workers of the Sea”, of Victor Hugo, and “The Crow”, of Edgar Allan Poe.

But, as every defect is a little thing, the boy still had horrible dreams, which let him with his moral in a deep down state. Only the little Melissa tea remedy of his stepmother could heal him.

A certain day, when he was seventeen, a man invited him to work in his Graphics as an apprentice. The success trajectory of this man, who came through the office of Secretary to the one of a Traffic Ministry Accounting’s General Director, he has started when he accepted the service.

As a writer he became a great success. He was a very simple person and when published “Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas”, had the thought that just fifty, twenty, or even five readers were enough for his happiness.
Considered the greatest Brazilian writer of all times, and also one of the greatest in the world, the North American critic Harold Boom considers he as one of the 100 greatest Literature genius of all times. Is this enough for you?

We even don’t know how to write correctly and we stupidly criticize the authors as if we owned the truth.

I admit that I started to like Machado de Assis because he’s a man that has beaten life’s challenges and for him to be a well recognized author.

But, for me, what matters is know and talk about this spirit’s two kinds of life; material and spiritual life. That’s the goal of these lines;

Machado de Assis was a probe man, who always tabled his life in good ways. Always worked honestly, he has married with a young Portuguese girl that had recently come to Brazil, and he loved her so much.

He was the president of the Brazillian Letters Academy (Academia Brasileira de Letras) until he passed by. He didn’t believe in life after death and was very sincere with this kind of thing. Therefore, being an honest and worker person, it already has his merit, and it’s the sufficient to make valorous the study of his life. The probes deserve that a little time is spent for their lives to be known.

My friend must be curious to know what happened to the great Machado de Assis after his death. I’ll tell you in a similar manner that he tells in his book. In the book, the places where he walked aren’t very detailed, the ones who he talks with, and that makes the study a little difficult. But let’s continue that the story is long.

Machado de Assis recounts that how he felt lost after his disincarnate, because he saw his body in a coffin, and recognized himself in another body, with the thought that rounded the wake’s room. Imagine how troubled was the mind of a man that didn’t believe in life after that in this kind of situation. It was more than enough for his mind. He still felt the reflections of the illness that killed him.

When he tried to get away from these fragments, he felt a great shock and was obligated to be next to his material body again. He heard his friends saying that he, the great Machado de Assis, was dead. How dead? He wasn’t dead because he could hear them, he felt the pain, he thought, he suffered.

His bodies were so interlinked that was like a symbiosis. He felt in his spiritual body everything he felt in his material body when they came to dress him the ABL’s big bale.

Under a cold and thin drizzle, he walked aside his coffin, with bare feet, when the committee went to São João Batista graveyard, feeling the coldness coming up over his body.

After the burial, he called two misses; one of them had the capability of seeing spirits. She saw Machado de Assis, thin, white bearded, sick, and cried to her friend, saying that was seeing a ghost. The writer went away to his house. He entered by the closed door and called the butler, who didn’t hear him.

Needing a pair of glasses, he went down the street and kept walking until came up to the house of a friend, who had an optic. He wasn’t received in his house, because the man wasn’t there. He went back to the street and asked a transient why the commerce was closed. He received as an answer: because died Machado de Assis. Thus, went back to his house and he felt he was alone as he never were before.

He heard some voices that called him to follow them to the other world. Recognized Maria Ignes, his stepmother, made he rest in a pillow, and thus he traveled through a blue ocean. After awaking, they go up a stair, which should have nearly one thousand degrees, and they found themselves in a happy port. He rest in a beach and after that they follow up to a square in the city, where hundreds of people walk through there with books and apostils in their hands. They are students.

As they entered to a certain house, they were received by Paula Brito, the man who gave him his job in the library. In a room, there’s an oil painting depicting his beloved Carolina. They went to the backyard where he eat oranges and other fruits. His mother, Maria Leopoldina, is there, with a young girl called Leonor.

After, Machado is visited by a girl, who transforms in a very beautiful lady. She gives him a flower bouquet and thanks the poem that received in the Earth. She says that she died young and her parents were comforted by him. She hugged him and gave him a folded note. That note contained the poem that Machado gave her. He read, and cried.

They went back to the square and entered in a splendid edification, where Machado de Assis received homage by the writers who said that his old spot was reserved, because his mission was fully accomplished in the Earth, and honored the spiritual tradition. He was much applauded.

Thus, the trio traveled through the space in a vehicle similar to a chariot, until they came up to a distant city that was seen from there as a blue point. It was the blue city.

There, Machado de Assis encounters his beloved Carolina, who is dressing white rose petals. He also changes his spiritual clothes for a tunic. And he did that just with the power of the thought. Carolina had a very similar house to Cosme’s one, from where they lived in Rio. Dozens of writers, musical artists and friends of him made a homage to Machado de Assis, and Carolina talks about his return to the spirituality. He also talks to the crowd and dedicates a sonnet to his loved.

Mentally Paula Brito asks Machado de Assis for him to find him in the street. They go to London in a mission to change a sentence of a judge, sentence which would cripple the work that the spirits were doing. Machado de Assis makes his writing mastery useful, and with the divine concession, makes the judge change his thoughts and write what was fair.

When they go back home, Machado found him glowing with blue lights. He sat on the piano and play some notes. Carolina came up and invited him to supper strawberry juices.

Nineteen years later, he goes back to Rio de Janeiro to see his friends. Carolina, now called Leda, and Machado de Assis begin to know from their spiritual friends that he once was called Sterne, and has already lived in England and was a famous writer.

Luiz Marini, on November 22th of 2008
Translation to English by Douglas Renosto Lins.

 

Thoughts

“I count him braver who conquers his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self.” (Aristóteles)