Spiritualism is not as is so commonly believed a sinister cult, meeting dark rooms, “To call up the Dead”. Spiritualism is a recognised religion, with its own Churches and Ministers; it is not anti-Christian any more than it is not anti-Jewish, anti-Hindu or anti-Muslim. Spiritualism is a universal religion, recognising Buddha, Mohammed, Moses as well as Jesus, as great teachers. Even though Spiritualism has no set Dogma or Creed, most Spiritualists do accept what is know as the Seven Principles.
- The fatherhood of God
- The brotherhood of man
- Communication between incarnate and discarnate spirit
- The continuation of individual life with its own characteristics after bodily death
- Personal responsibility
- Compensation or retribution here or hearafter for all deeds done on earth
- A path of eternal progress open to every spirit
Ones religion is a personal matter so that anyone adopting Spiritualism is free to interpret these principles according to their own awareness at any given time. We find Spiritual growth widens ones interpretation, just as time and experience increases ones knowledge. Study and observation of the world of nature, of the planet on which we exist, and of the universe, lead to the inescapable conclusion that there is a force which has both created life in all its forms, and the universe itself, and also keeps existence in a state of balance, allowing expansion, transformation and creation to take place. This force we term, for want of a more explicit word as “God”. God has created life, so we speak of “Fatherhood”, and because we all emanate from God, we can speak of “Brotherhood”. This Brotherhood, of course, embraces all forms of life, not just mankind, and brings with it, rights and responsibilities in our relationship with fellow beings, great and small.
Matter cannot be destroyed, it can only change its form; so it is with Spirit, which is what we are first and foremost, and just as the creative force is eternal, so is the individual. Man is a Spirit, now within a mortal body; death, is but a parting of the ways - our body to decay, and our Spirit to live on in a new environment. Death does not break bonds of love and friendship, so it is natural, not “supernatural” for those who have died to come back and try to help those they have known and loved while living on earth.
The difference between Spiritualism and other religions, is the ability through what is called mediumship, to prove and give evidence that man really does survive the grave.
Another major difference between Spiritualism and other religions is embodied in our Fifth Principle. Personal Responsibility. We are given free will, and the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, and we alone are responsible for all our thoughts and actions. What others call sin, we regard as the violation of the Divine Laws made by God. Our interpretation of this is, “What so ever a person sows, so shall they reap”. Man alone must atone for their own “sins”, and cannot shirk that responsibility. Further, to this we do not believe in a vindictive God, sitting in judgment over us, we are our own judges, here and now, and accordingly, we shall receive compensation or retribution for whatever we have done, whether good or bad. Heaven and hell are not places for which we are destined to go, but states of mind of our own creation. We do not automatically become Spiritual, when we leave this world, we shall in fact, retain our earthly characteristics while the opportunity will be given throughout eternity, to make Spiritual Progress, and so undo any wrongs we committed on earth. For both Free Will and Personal Responsibility, will still be with us in the world to come. We will progress more quickly, when we observe the natural laws of Truth, Justice and Compassion, and less quickly when our decisions are based exclusively on self interest, without caring for the progress of others. We are all progressing towards the same point; Unity with God. Spiritualists believe, service to others is the way. (Complied by Rev. David L.Saul 1989)