Spiritualism – what is it?
Spiritualism is a way of life. It combines philosophy, science, and religion. It covers a wide field and you cannot expect to understand it without study.
The primary object of Spiritualism today is to prove the survival of human personality after death. Death is the doorway to a new and wider life. From the day of our birth we each have two bodies. The material or earthly body can be seen, and the spiritual body, which is unseen during life but is a counterpart of our earthly body. These two bodies are linked by a cord. In similar fashion, before birth a baby is joined to its mother by a cord. When it is born the cord must be cut.
When we die, the cord linking our two bodies is severed. The material body returns to the earth whence it came, and the spiritual body becomes the vehicle of our spirit. We are spirit here and now, we don’t have to wait until death to become spirit. Death, as a rule, seems like sleep, there is no pain. When we awake, conditions seem much the same to us as before we “died.” We take with us into the beyond no material possessions, such as clothes or money. They are no longer needed. But we do take our character and our individuality. In every way we are the same individuals immediately after death as before, with all our faults and virtues.
The home that awaits us in the spirit world depends upon the life we have led on earth. If we have honestly tried to do the best we can, then we need have no fear of death. We have fitted ourselves for the result which is automatic, a better, happier life where we are reunited with our loved ones and friends.
If, on the other hand, there has been more selfishness than goodness and service in our lives, we will automatically have to pay the price. This is part of the law of sowing and reaping, which is only another way of saying that effect must follow cause. It is perfectly summarized in the sixth principle (below) which says that hereafter there is compensation and retribution for all the good and evil done on earth. Acts of service that we have performed will naturally increase our spiritual status. Sins of omission or commission will just as naturally retard it. There is, however, no hell in which its inhabitants are condemned for eternity. Once self realization dawns and the soul is ready to advance, there are enlightened spiritual beings who will show the way to progress.
The practical application of Spiritualism is the supreme necessity for all of us to lead the best kind of life we can on earth, to practice qualities of compassion and kindness and to give service wherever we can. Heaven and hell are really states of mind, not geographical locations. Even here we can live in heaven or in hell, the choice is ours. The world we inhabit after death is not far away up in the sky. It is round and about us, interpenetrating the world in which we now live. Those we have “loved and lost awhile” are not in some far-off, inaccessible place, seated on pink clouds at the right hand of God and playing golden harps. Very often, they are close by our side, striving to help and guide us, and loving us just as they did before passing.
The evidence reveals that love, like life, is stronger than death. It is love that proves to be the compelling force, striving to break down the barriers, which man in his ignorance has created, between this world and what is called the next, in order to achieve spirit communication. Often there is grief on both sides of the veil. There are the tears shed over loved ones who have died and the grief they experience when they try to reach us but fail to make their presence known.
There are many spheres of existence that are invisible to us because they function in a different manner from earth. Millions of vibrations of sound are lost to us because they are outside the range of our hearing. And millions of vibrations of sight fail to be registered because they are beyond the scope of our eyes. Microphones and radio receivers enable us to hear what is normally beyond the range of our ears. The telescope and television will bring into focus what is beyond our vision. The inhabitants of the spirit world are very real even though we cannot see or hear them.
There are, however, highly sensitive individuals who have developed their innate natural psychic faculties with the result that they can tune in to the spirit world and its denizens. These human television and radio sets are mediums. They become the agents through whom spirit communication is achieved.
There is nothing supernatural about this happening, though it is supernormal. Everything in the universe is in accordance with natural laws. They were devised by God and God is perfect. If it was God’s will that we should be ignorant about His natural laws then we would know nothing about them. God is not only perfect but all-powerful. God is spirit. He is not an old man with a long white beard who sits on a throne in heaven. To picture God as a human being is to impose limitations. Were He human He could not be in all places at once, neither could He hear every prayer. God is not a person but the creative universal spirit. Wherever there is life there is spirit; and wherever there is spirit there is life. We exist because a spark of divinity is within each one of us. This is a divine relationship in which God is our father and we are all His children. We can, by our lives, fan the spark into a flame so that greater expression of divinity is made known through us. The result will be to sustain, uplift and help us in our spiritual development. And we have the free will to reject and ignore the spark of divinity. The result is that we fail to make the progress we should and deny ourselves the beauty that life has to offer.
We do not believe in vicarious atonement as preached in some orthodox religions. Man has no saviour but himself.
We are each personally responsible for our sins and must atone for them here or hereafter. It is far more moral to acknowledge our sins and try to make amends than to try to place them on the shoulder of another.
We do not claim to know everything. Knowledge is infinite and we shall always be learning. What we do maintain is that we have caught a glimmer of truth. It inspires us to search for more, rejecting anything that does not appeal to our God given reason and accepting that which is logical and uplifting.
What makes Spiritualism unique is the evidence of survival after death that is obtainable through mediumship.
Whereas most religions preach an after-life as a hope, faith or belief, we maintain that any reasonable person can prove it for himself. We do not ask you to believe what we say. What we do suggest is that you study literature and then make your own inquiry.
THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES
I. The Original Seven Principles
We believe in:
- The Fatherhood of God
- The Brotherhood of Man
- The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels
- The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul
- Personal Responsibility
- Compensation and Retribution here and hereafter for all the Good and Evil Deeds done on Earth
- Eternal Progress open to every Human Soul
II.The Modern Version of the Principles as adopted in 2010
- Infinite Spirit, Divine Creator of All That Is
- Unity and Equality of All
- Communication, Guidance and Healing from Spirit and Angels
- Continuous Existence of the Soul and its Personality
- Personal Responsibility for the Creation of our Reality through Thought, Word and Deed
- Actions create Results according to Natural Law
- Eternal Progress open to every Soul
III. Liberal Interpretation of the Modern Version of the Principles
1. Infinite Spirit, Divine Creator of All That Is
By this we acknowledge a Supreme Power, a Creative Force everywhere present, manifesting as life throughout creation and called by many names including Great Spirit, Infinite Spirit, God, Divine Creator, Infinite Intelligence, Universal Source, Divine Energy, Allah, Yahweh to name just a few. Creation is ongoing and never-ending, and all of sentient life contributes to the continual unfolding and co-creation of all that is. Infinite Spirit, Divine Creator sustains all that is.
2. Unity and Equality of All
This principle expresses our belief in the immanence of Infinite Spirit and that all forms of life are manifestations of this Spirit. It follows that all human beings are children of the same Divine Creator, and, therefore, are one family. Since we are all part of the one whole, we interconnect on every level of existence. All humans are equal, regardless of race, national or ethnic origins, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or mental/physical disability. We support the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that states that everyone has freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion, and expression.
The idea of one spiritual family inspires Spiritualists to work towards the improvement of the lives of many, bringing equality, security, and peace throughout the world. Spiritualists try to understand the needs of others and help all people.
3. Communication, Guidance, and Healing from Spirit and Angels
Spirit communication has been evident throughout human history and is amply recorded in both the religious and non-religious literature of all ages. Other religions have accepted these manifestations and have interpreted them in terms of the supernatural and the miraculous. Spiritualism accepts and recognizes these manifestations and understands them in the light of Natural Law.
Healing is central to Spiritualism, whether physical, mental, social, emotional, or spiritual. Since every human being is one with Infinite Spirit or Source, healing and wholeness is available to all and through all. Healing restores balance and harmony, and helps persons to be free of obstructions to their utmost well-being.
Communion with our Divine Source is a natural and essential part of existence. Communication between Spirit and humans is an in-built ability. Spiritualists use this ability to communicate directly or via a medium with those in the Spirit World. This is not supernatural, but a normal activity. The main purpose of communication with the Spirit World is to provide the evidence of survival of life after so-called death. Through its mediums, Spiritualism renders an invaluable service bringing consolation to the bereaved, comfort to the troubled and hope to the despairing. The guidance and healing from angelic energies bring enhanced wisdom to enlighten the individual, society, and the world in which we live. This includes those who are dedicated to the welfare and service of humanity, bringing inspiration, guidance, and healing.
4. Continuous Existence of the Soul and Its Personality
Spirit is indestructible. Energy cannot be destroyed; it can only change its form. After physical death, the soul continues to exist in a different dimension that we call the Spirit World. The individual personality also continues uninterrupted by the event we call ‘death’. Those who have entered the Spirit World remain united with those of us who are still on the earth plane. It is only the mode of existence that has changed.
5. Personal Responsibility for the Creation of Our Reality, through Thought, Word andDeed
We are individually responsible for the attainment of love, happiness, peace and joy in our lives by overcoming the weaknesses and limitations that prevent us from achieving these. Vicarious atonement has no place in the beliefs of Spiritualism. We alone are responsible improving our behaviour and for putting right our wrongdoings. We have been given enormous potential that we can use to enhance our own lives and to help others enhance theirs. We have the ability to make decisions throughout our lives as we see fit. This potential is our Personal Responsibility that no one else can override.
Each human being is responsible for contribution to the welfare of the world and the attainment of a higher consciousness. By raising our own consciousness we also help to raise the consciousness of others. Our spiritual journey challenges us to transform those aspects of our personality that do not serve us well into those which uplift and edify us, those around us and the whole human family. Our spiritual growth is attained by aspiration and striving and, for this, we are personally responsible.
6. Actions create results according to Natural Law
This Principle expresses the Natural Law of Cause and Effect. This law operates on Earth as well as in the Spirit World. For every choice we make, for every thought we entertain, for every action we carry out, for every word we speak there is a consequence either immediate or at a later time. These consequences inevitably affect our lives and souls’ growth. We do, indeed, create our own reality and its results, whether we want them or not. When we leave this earthly life there will be no divine judgement. Rather, we ourselves will have the opportunity to assess, take stock and decide what might have been done differently.
7. Eternal Progress open to Every Soul
Eternity does not begin at death. Progress is open to all now! Any action or intent to change, or to promote soul growth and progression, creates a positive reaction. There will always be the opportunity to develop and move forward, because no one is ever deprived of the all-embracing, unconditional love of Infinite Goodness.
We accept that life continues after so-called ‘death’ for every soul, without exception. The opportunity for evolving and progressing to better, higher, and more spiritual conditions is open to all. These opportunities continue even after our transition from the earth plane. Upon transition, the spirit goes to the level to which it has evolved in order to progress to even higher planes of existence.