Monday, June 1, 2015

Divaldo Franco and Rabindranath Tagore

This life is the crossing of a sea, 
where we meet in the same narrow ship. 
In death we reach the shore 
and go to different worlds. 
(R. Tagore, in Stray Birds, 1916 (4))

So I will sing and mine will be poems and songs of immortal kind. 
(R. Tagore, psychography Divaldo Franco, Pássaros Livres, 1990 (5)).

Certain things had happened to me 
when alone in my room which convinced me 
that there are spiritual intelligences 
which can warn us and advise us.  
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939).
According to A. Kardec, mediumship, as the faculty of "people who can serve as intermediaries between the spirits and men" (1), is not simply a hability to communicate and exchange information. Psychography in particular is the ability that mediums have to lend their minds so that spirits can use them for writing including for manifesting artistic content. In this process, the spirit mentally induces ideas and concepts to the medium who can then either write with his own words what he perceives or use entire semantical expressions suggested by the spirit author. In this sense, we conceive the existence of a scale of mental transparency between the medium and the spirit author so that some mediums may faithfully replicate what the author intends to write while others only poorly transmit what they mentally listen or see. The use of poetic language, however, is a good indication of an efficient "channeling" process between the discarnate and the medium because subtle elements of identification may be transmitted. Automatic writing is the name given to a very specific kind of mediumship. The term "psychography" encompass a much broader kind of writing experience than automatic writing. Therefore the preference for this term by spiritists. 

An example of such phenomenon is Divaldo P. Franco (1927-) (2) collaboration with Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). According to Divaldo, he never heard about Tagore when he was first visited by his spirit in the year 1949. The episode is described by Divaldo himself as quoted in the book Semeador das Estrelas (3)  
In the year of the first psychographic works by Marco Prisco in 1949, I was lying on the bed a certain night when I heard a music of indefinable beauty played by a kind of zither. With the sound of such mournful and plangent music, I had a beautiful vision of grassy and flowered gardens severed by a brook of clear water on which a boat was sliding. On the boat a honorable entity dressing a white robe with a dark skin showed me a face with large, black and bright eyes and a blanched beard where silver threads could be seen. - "I'm Rabindranath Tagore, an Indian poet and wanted you to write some of my thoughts", said the spirit. I woke up immediately and got some material for the psychography, entering psychic trance after a while. I could still hear the beautiful and pervasive melody while I was writing. I confess that I never heard about that name before, nor had read anything on that spirit. From that night on, for a certain period, Tagore dictated several messages that were gathered in a book only published in 1965 entitled Filigranas de luz.
The author of "Stray Birds" (4) returned to sing new birds in books like Pássaros Livres ("Free Birds", 5) and Estesia ("Aesthesia"), after the first cited work Filigranas de Luz ("Watermarks of Light") in 1965. There are no English translations for the verses or texts (prose) in these books so I decided to provide rather sketchy versions from some excerpts below.   

It has been said that Tagore works in English do not faithfully represent their original beauty in Bengali (6). The famous Irish poet W. Butler Yeats (1865-1939) said "Tagore does not know English, no Indian knows English" (6 and 7). Is it then possible that, by writing through Divaldo's mind, Tagore managed to convey his thoughts better than if he had used Bengali and then an English translator? Anyway, the original language here is Portuguese and is very probable that some noise exist in the Tagore-Franco "mental link" as in the poor translation that I provide. However, we can imagine the potential use of mediumship in the future when the great discarnate artist of the past could be back to transmit new works in the medium's own language.

For that aim, they need only a faithful medium instrument.

Free Birds

My singings are songs that the heart unfasten with rapture thrill.
My songs are melodies that tenderness liberates from my soul's depths and launches toward travelling winds to reach far distances.
My sensibility is sharpen by love and I release the sweet music of hope standing on the tiny window of my pettiness.
I spread through the air the scores of a pentagram chanted by life from the bottom of my being.
By searching my King and my Lord, I modulate my word, I call, I sing and implore.
Like free birds dressed in light they fly to reach open space toward the infinite.
During either the heavy monsoons or droughts, my birds in the same way sing in freedom, enhancing the landscape with sound and beauty.
My birds are living poems of love that liberate themselves from the narrow cage of emotion where they are born to earn the vastness, like birds of happiness.
Take my songs my Lord and convert them into peace carrying birds heralding the eternal springtime for all the unfortunate ones in the world.
So I will sing and mine will be poems and songs of immortal kind.

R. Tagore (Divaldo Franco's psychography. Original in Portuguese, Pássaros Livres, in Pássaros Livres, 5)

Place of love

In everyone there is
A bare, unfathomed
Soundless, deep
Spotless hedge.

In every being there remains
A holly and ignored
Never encroached,
Enriched of tenderness,
Watchful world.

In the abyss of every soul there is
A rock,
A place, an isle,
A paradise
A corner of wonder
To be discovered.

In every heart
Dawn takes an open space,
A wide field
To be worked on,
Land of God,
Place of dream,
A haven for the future.

In every life
There is place for more lives,
As on every happiness,
A sweet gloom hovers
Presaging distress.

There is a place in me however,
In the isle of my undisclosed feelings,
An abyss of longing,
An ocean of hapiness,
A cosmos of fantasy,
To offer you
My Lord!

Come my beloved
King and Lord
Master my mistress,
Lead me on the way
Of redemption.

And take this odd and lone land,
To reign and cast your heavenly lights upon it
And happily will I move forward
Until the end of my forces
Bound to your redeeming duty.

Come my King
Into my nook
And make my life
A hymn of service
And for you an everlasting
Song of love.

R. Tagore (Divaldo Franco psychography. Original in Portuguese, Lugar de Amor, in Pássaros Livres, 5)

Birds of recollections

My recollections reach the depth that my memory allows. 
They are like migrating birds which often run away from past winter, searching for the pleasant heat of current summer and hovering on greyish landscapes so difficult to be rebuilt. 
In the time of the ever fleeting today, they become the hallmark of permanence, covering the distances created by the relentless passage of time. 
Your presence shade me either with the sadness of commited mistakes or with the lights of ennobled actions like a magic kaleidoscope of returns and evasions. 
Tears of regret run down my eyes that a hot kiss of happiness wipes out when the birds of my recollections arrive. 
Yet, your presence reaches me up as much as the cage of my memories permits, setting them free.   

R. Tagore (Divaldo Franco's psychography. Original in Portuguese, Os pássaros das recordações, in Pássaros Livres)

Far away reality

I dreamed of a dream...
Where all was cheerfull and sweet fascination
Where pain, suffering, sadness and evil were diluted
like soap bubbles in the air of a singing spring.
Cascading rivers were coloured by rays of a long lasting light
and men, in chattering groups, 
Celebrated love.
Unsuspected communion was everywhere
and the work was voluntary.
The poetry of the good declaimed touching verses
that creatures used to better understand and complete themselves.
I recalled war and hate, plagues and punishments. 
But nobody answered me, 
when I asked the happy citizens of the paradise.
Young and wise they were all at their conquered ages,
beyond conquered times...
Neither shadows nor stains could I find
and I realized that the pervading and flickering glare
was born here and there,
never extinguished in a night of lying victory.
I dreamed about a dream of a future,
when the carriage of the King of Youth and Peace
will tear a road in the infinite toward the never end.
Beloved king, whom I wish so much, I always dream of you,
However, today I dreamed about a dream...
Reality came and woke me up,
and told me a song of hope:
Love and wait!
Tomorrow you will no longer dream
because your dream will ever be.

R. Tagore (Divaldo Franco's psychography. Original in Portuguese, Realidade distante, in Estesia)

When I left

When I left wishing to earn the world but never loosing peace, you said: "Go my son, I will be with you".
I was then very young. I strived to conquer everything...
At the door of a lodge adorned with orange blossoms I asked you: "Will you write me, my mother?"
And you replied: "I will send you my news, because I will always be with you".
I took infinite routes of time and waited for your letter that never arrived.
My hands became callous.
My feet bleeded.
My body bent down with the weight of time but your words never reached me.

Pouring monsoons came dozens of times and the burning of land killed the orchad dozen occasions.
I eagerly stood before the gate of hope, waiting for your news.
Now when the snow of the years decorates my head and my sight fades away with the glazing light, I came to realize that I am the letter and message you delivered to the world, my mother, so that hope and beauty never miss in the hearts.

R. Tagore (Divaldo Franco's psychography. In Pássaros Livres)


(1) A. Kardec (1861) "The Medium's book", Spiritist Vocabulary. Chapter 32.


(3) S. C. Schubert (1989). O Semeador de Estrelas, "The Sower of Stars", 4th Ed., Published by Livraria Espírita Alvorada.

(4) (access May 2015)

(5) D. Franco (1990). Pássaros Livres. 2nd Edition. Ed. Livraria Espírita Alvorada.

(6) See Amartya Sen opinion cited in Wikipedia: "anyone who knows Tagore's poems in their original Bengali cannot feel satisfied with any of the translations (made with or without Yeats's help). Even the translations of his prose works suffer, to some extent, from distortion." Originaly cited work: Sen, A. (1997), "Tagore and His India", The New York Review of Books.