Spiritualism is said to be a science, a religion and a philosophy. More than this, it is a ‘way of life’. With loving guidance from higher evolved souls, our physical journies become more peaceful, with profound inner-contentment and greater understanding of one’s purpose.
Spiritualists do not have any fixed creeds or dogma that one must accept. They do have Principles which serve as a guide in themselves to enrich one’s daily way of life. These are as follows:
The Seven Principles of Spiritualism
Spiritualism has no creed or dogma. Its philosophy is centered on seven principles, which were received directly from Spirit through the mediumship of Emma Hardinge Britten, one of the pioneers of British Spiritualism.
We need to bear in mind that these are principles, not commandments. In other words, they are open to interpretation and according to our awareness. Let us examine them one by one.
The Fatherhood of God
Each of us has his or her idea of God. To some, He sits on a throne in heaven and passes wrathful judgment to wrong doers. To others, He is an austere personality instilling fear in His believers.
To others still, he is a benign Father who cares for His vast family of every colour and creed and is personified in everything that is beautiful around us.
The latter is the broad Spiritualist perspective. We view God as the author of a Divine Plan, the Source of Natural Law through which the universe is created and governed by love, not fear.
It naturally follows that there is a consequence if we were to transgress against Natural Law. According to Andrew Jackson Davis, another of our pioneers, God is the Greatest Central Source of all life and love.
The Brotherhood of Man
In light of The Fatherhood of God it follows that we are not only God’s children, but also brothers and sisters in one family consisting of many races and colours.
This gives us a dual responsibility not only to our Father but also to each other, which we can sum up in one word – service.
It is the inequalities of modern society, the rich and the poor, the weak and the strong, the wise and the ignorant; all these provide us with an incentive for love and for service.
In our daily life, we meet those who need help and to whom a kind word or a small act may work wonders.
If we would extend this call to service beyond the confines of our family, we would find that pain and suffering, ultimately cease and thus bring into being: That peace which passes all understanding.
We can even go a step further and say that the real meaning of our existence is not only our obligation to our fellow man here in the physical; but also in the spirit world.
Since the spirit of man is immortal; the brotherhood of man is also extended, into the spirit spheres.
Spiritualism gives a new and evolved perspective on the meaning of Brotherhood and our mutual interdependence.
The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels
This is the key around which our whole philosophy is based. Orthodoxy denies the reality of communion with departed spirits.
Whereas, for over a century and a half now, we have proven conclusively that man not only survives physical death but is also able to communicate through mediums, with those he left behind.
Mediums are persons among us who are so highly sensitive to spirit vibrations that they are able to establish contact with those who have passed over and wish to communicate with us.
Each one of us has a spirit guide or helper, a guardian angel if you like, who uses the medium as an instrument through whom he can talk.
Our loved ones in the spirit world give us help and guidance in various ways with our earthly problems.
We are thus able to learn how our loved ones are faring in their new way of life.
This proof of survival is of great help to those who are bereaved.
The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul
This is the result of previous principles and serves to accentuate how much our Spiritualist philosophy diametrically opposes the materialistic conception of life.
All the great religions of the world subscribe to some form of life after death but in a vague heavenly existence. Since they have failed to prove it to the satisfaction of modern realists, they have lost their hold on the people.
On the other hand, Spiritualism does prove this fact – and – in so doing, it has profoundly revolutionized our life – in that our behaviour is not only accounted for within the confines of our earthly life, but our accountability also extends into eternity.
Our mode of living here will determine our spiritual status in the life to come.
This is the major difference between Spiritualism and orthodox religions. The basis of the Christian religion rests on the belief that Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins.
This we most strongly repudiate. Jesus was put to death by crucifixion for political reasons. This was the normal method of execution for most offences, even robbery.
The simple fact was that the Jewish priests were afraid that Jesus would diminish their influence through his teaching and healing. The Romans also feared that he might raise a rebellion against them: He stirs up the people.
Spiritualism asserts that no one can save us from our wrong doing but ourselves. Man through his conscience, knows the difference between right and wrong, and has free will to choose which direction to follow.
No one can escape the consequences of his own mistakes Also God does not sit in judgment over us.
We are our own judge.
What the church calls sin, we regard as the violation of Divine Natural Laws made by God, which Paul interpreted when he wrote: Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.
Man alone has to atone for his sins and not shirk his responsibilities.
Compensation and Retribution hereafter, for all the Good and Evil Deeds done on earth.
The orthodox church would have us believe that on this awful day of judgment. God will sit on his throne and cast each one of us into Heaven or Hell. Heaven and Hell are states of mind – of our own creation, and not celestial localities.
Neither is it true that after our passing we will become a saint.
Death does not make us spiritually aware.
Our code of ethics on this earth will determine our spiritual status in the world of spirit. It will be our everyday deeds and motives that will count as well as, how well we have carried out the precept, Do unto others…
Eternal Progress Open to every Soul
The idea of eternal progress may seem hard for us to understand in this world where everything has an ending.
In the spirit world, where there are neither clocks nor calendars, time is immaterial. Spiritualism points to the certainty of eternal progress, but the rate of our own particular advancement depends on our own desire and will to do so.
We will by no means be idle in the spirit world. In fact, we will be extremely busy pursuing those paths which will lead us toward perfection and we will have eternity in which to do it
The transition from our earthly world to our new existence in the spirit world does not alter our present make-up or character.
We will be just the same as we were before the passing, retaining our free will to fashion our new life with the sure knowledge that we will be given the opportunity to make spiritual progress with no limit to time or the heights we can reach.
Once again, we come face to face with our personal responsibility, even on the other side. These principles are the crux of our philosophy. They are inter-dependent and their influence transforms man’s outlook on life.
The Principle descriptions come from “The Spiritualist Church of Canada”.