The Spiritualists' Philosophy
Spiritualists are not tied to any creed or dogma. We accept the
Seven Principles as guidelines for a way of life. These Principles
form the core of the religion. They are the recognised definition
of the religious philosophy of Spiritualism.
The Seven Principles of Spiritualism are:
1. The Fatherhood of God
By the study of Nature - that is, by trying to understand the
Laws of Cause & Effect which govern all that is happening around
us - we recognise that there is a creative force in the universe.
This force, or energy, not only created the whole universe, but
also life itself in its many forms and is continuing to create today.
The effects of this eternal creation can be seen around us and this
leads us to the evidence that 'God' - 'The Creative Force' - manifests
directly, or indirectly, in all things. We know this power as God
and as we are part of the Life created by God, we acknowledge God
as our Father.
2. The Brotherhood of Man
Because we all come from the same universal life source we are,
in effect, one large family, small individual offshoot from the
whole. This means that all mankind is part of a brotherhood. A brotherhood
is a community for mutual support and comfort. We are all members
of the same divine family. We need to share our joys as well as
our burdens; we need to understand the needs of other individuals
in order to assist them as part of our service to each other. As
we learn to give so must we also learn to receive thereby achieving
the necessary balance for our life. We must look not only to the
material necessities of our fellow creatures but also to their spiritual
needs and help those in need to become strong and worthy of their
relationship in the Family of God.
3. Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels (This is the
key Principle to our Religion)
All religions believe in life after death but only Spiritualism
shows that it is true by demonstrating that communication with departed
spirits can and does take place. Spiritualist Churches provide one
of the venues where communication, through mediumship, is possible
and many loved relatives and friends take advantage of this opportunity
to continue to take an interest in our welfare. There are also spirit
people/teachers who are dedicated to the welfare and service of
mankind. Some (e.g. Silver Birch) bring inspiration and teachings
whilst others work within the healing ministry.
4. Continuous Existence of the Human Soul
It is scientifically proven that matter (being part of the creative
force, or energy) cannot be destroyed; it merely changes its form.
Spirit, as part of the Creative Force is, therefore, indestructible.
On the death of the physical body, the spirit continues as an integral
part of a world, which interpenetrates our world but in a different
dimension. This world is referred to as the Spirit World. In spirit
life we have a spirit body, which until we progress far enough,
is a replica of our earthly body. We are the same individuals in
every way with the same personalities and characteristics and we
change only by progression, or otherwise, as a result of our own
efforts. Our personal responsibilities do not stop at death.
5. Personal Responsibility
This principle is the one which places responsibility for wrongful
thoughts and deeds where it belongs - with the individual. It is
the acceptance of responsibility for every aspect of our lives and
the use to which we place our lives depends entirely upon ourselves.
It is not possible for any other person, or outside influence, to
interfere with our spiritual development, unless we are willing
to allow this. No one can put right the wrongdoing except the offender.
As we are given freedom of choice (freewill) so also are we given
the ability to recognise what is right from what is wrong. We are
totally, as well as personally, responsible.
6. Compensation and Retribution hereafter for all Good and Evil
Deeds done on Earth
As with all the other Principles, the natural laws apply and this
one echoes the law of Cause and Effect (as you sow, so shall you
reap). One cannot be cruel and vindictive towards others and expect
love and popularity in return. It must be understood that the compensatory
or retributive effects of this law operate now -on earth - they
do not wait until we begin to live in the Spirit World.
7. Eternal Progress open to every Human Soul
In every heart there exists the desire for progress and to every
human spirit belongs the power to progress in wisdom and love.
All who desire to tread the path that leads to perfection are able
to pursue it. The rate of progress is directly proportional to the
desire for mental and spiritual understanding. If we do our best
in earth life to follow our inward prompting or intuitions; we shall
find progress very easy, on earth as in spirit; if not, every step
in advancement will follow a struggle against imperfections, which
we ourselves will have worked into our natures. Within the Family
of God, with all the advantages that our realisation of that state
can give us, we are all given the opportunity to be responsible
for our own eternal progress.
As a final note to these principles, Spiritualism, through an
intelligent and thorough investigation of its Seven Principles,
reveals the understanding, the deepest significance of service to
others and transforms life from selfishness to unselfishness, from
individualism to social co-operation. Only on such a foundation
can love and truth and all other spiritual values have any practical
meaning or reality.