WhenI I became a Spiritualist I was shocked at the reaction from people who I considered to be tolerant. This of course was because of ignorance, they were not spiteful people by any means. There was some opposition from members of my own family, based on fear, based on stories they had heard from other people and generalisations. None of these people had ever been to a Spiritualist centre to see and judge for themselves.
Spiritualism Has Principles
Spiritualism is not a form of fortune telling, we do not go around calling up the dead without their consent and we certainly do not worship the devil, most of us do not believe in
1. The Fatherhood of God.
In common with most major religions we believe in a higher power, a power treating all of us equally like a father in a family.
This belief in a higher power is important, whatever we may believe about the method of our creation. We can never reach the ideals of that power but there is something to aim for.
2. The Brotherhood of Man.
The other religions also teach this for a good reason, equality is essential to compassion in the world and our self improvement. We cannot like everyone but it is important to accept them as having an equal right to be here and try to concentrate on our common ground rather than focus too much on our differences.
3. The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels. This means communion with spirits.
Some people disagree with us doing this because they are under the impression a medium can communicate with spirits who have not come forward themselves, it is always them that come to us. You cannot choose a spirit to 'call up'
The purpose of this is for proof of survival and to give comfort to people when they most need it. It is not for entertainment and certainly not about fortune telling.
4. The Continuous Existence of the Human soul.
This does not mean in two separate places called heaven and hell in some far away place. We believe they are closer than that and in the existence of animal souls. People can have different concepts about exactly what the spirit world is like and how soon we are allowed to return to the 'earth plain'
5. Personal Responsibility.
This is very important indeed. We cannot blame anyone but ourselves for what happens to us. We are responsible for our own spiritual development through loving and trying to help others as much as we can.
6. Compensation and Retribution for the good and evil we do.
This can be described as Karma, it can extend past this life. This is not punishment but lessons which have sometimes to be learnt from returning to the same circumstances and trying again to deal with them in a proper way.
7. Eternal Progress Open to Every Soul.
This means whatever your beliefs or if you have no beliefs you have the same chance to make spiritual progress. We must remember if someone is guilty of bad action they are lower on their spiritual pathway and they have the same right to improvement, not to be kept eternally in the same state.
Emma Hardinge Britten received this principles through a trance communication from Robert Owen in 1871.
Spiritualism became a legal, recognized religion, much later in 1951. We now have the freedom to practice whatever religion we choose in the United Kingdom.
On The Edge of the Etheric by Arthur Findlay.
There is also the Christian Spiritualist Society and the Greater World, spiritualists who at the core of their beliefs believe in Christ as being Lord rather than just a great leader and the importance of reading the Bible.