What Is Spiritualism?
This web page is intended as a brief introduction to Spiritualism. It will acquaint you with some of the beliefs and highlights of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches. No religion can be completely understood through a few pages, so please consider this as some of the basics.
Spiritualism is a common sense religion, one of knowing and living. We accept all truths and endeavor to prove their validity. Truths are found in nature, in other religions, in writings, in science, in philosophy, in Divine Law and are received through spirit communication.
Spiritualists believe that God or Infinite Intelligence is ALL That Is, expressing through all creation by love, light and law. Humanity, the most complex of life on earth, reaches this Divine Source through prayer, meditation, listening to the inner awareness, and service. Why service? Because every living thing is a part of God, so as we serve life we also serve the Higher Energies.
Life is consciousness; without consciousness there is no existence. Consciousness is the totality of one's thoughts, feelings, emotions and impressions on the mind. The state of thinking is how we create our consciousness. Spiritualism teaches that through the Law of Action/Reaction or Cause/Effect we take control of our lives as we control our thoughts. Positive thinking leads to happiness and assists the individual to grow.
Spiritualism encourages growth of loving consciousness in the physical world not only for the immediate benefits, but also the future rewards in the Spiritual Dimension. The Law of Continuity and the Law of Attraction teach us that "As within, so without. As above, so below." A soul arriving in the next plane of existence will find they take their consciousness with them and will be in the company of like-minded entities. The more loving and spiritual the soul has become, the more beautiful and rewarding will be the new home and associates in the spirit land.
Life is continuous; the consciousness never dies for it is part of God and the Infinite is forever. Upon the cessation of the physical housing the spirit graduates to the next plane of existence. This plane is similar to our earthly plane but at a higher rate of vibration and luminosity. One method of service in spirit is to communicate, assist and help illuminate those that are living on the earth plane. Mediums in the Spirit World and mediums in the physical world adjust their vibrations to enable communications between the two planes of existence. It has been demonstrated in our Churches, home circles and in scientific investigations that "there is no death, there are no dead."
All life moves in a gradual state of evolution or change. Arrival in the Spiritual realm does not mean instant knowing. Rather the personality of the individual and the understanding gleaned on the earth plane continue at the same level, ready to begin the next phase of unfoldment. The physical world has aches, pains and struggles. These are not taken to the spiritual realm, which is love, light, law, peace, cooperation, sharing, and growth. The soul body is whole and shining forth that which is within its essence. Falsehoods, separateness, and illusions are left behind as the desire to progress awakens. The rewards follow according to the goodness of the entity.
Life concerns growth. We, Spiritualists, try to keep an open, even mind so new truths may be incorporated into our principles. In keeping with this, we have no bound creed or set of dogmas. Our Declaration of Principles, which form the basis of our beliefs, has changed over the years as new clarification has been gleaned. We know that truth is the highest religion and endeavor to test our beliefs, altering them as new truths are proven.
Humans are spiritual beings, an indivisible part of the Divine. God is The Spirit within each individual waiting to be consciously accepted and activated. One of the desires of Spiritualism is to awaken this spirit within, to move beyond the five senses to higher awareness. Each person has free choice and is personally responsible, yet Spiritualism, through communication with the higher teachings derived from the Spirit World, tries to provide a way, a guideline, a set of principles, to help the world travelers to proceed upward, toward the light. The following briefly presents the message of Spiritualism.
- "Spiritualism is" the Science, Philosophy and Religion of continuous life, based upon the demonstrated fact of communication, by means of mediumship, with those who live in the Spirit World. (1919)
- "Spiritualism Is a Science" because it investigates, analyzes and classifies facts and manifestations demonstrated from the spirit side of life.
- "Spiritualism Is a Philosophy" because it studies the Laws of Nature both on the seen and unseen sides of life and bases its conclusions upon present observed facts. It accepts statements of observed facts of past ages and conclusions drawn there from, when sustained by reason and by results of observed facts of the present day.
- "Spiritualism Is a Religion" because it strives to understand and to comply with the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Laws of Nature, which are the laws of God.
- A Spiritualist is one who believes, as the basis of his or her religion, in the communication between this and the Spirit World by means of mediumship and who endeavors to mould his or her character and conduct in accordance with the highest teachings derived from such communication. (1914, Rev. 1938)
- A Medium is one whose organism is sensitive to vibrations from the spirit world and through whose instrumentality, intelligences in that world are able to convey messages and produce the phenomena of Spiritualism. (1914)
- A Spiritualist Healer is one who, either through one's own inherent powers or through mediumship, is able to impart vital, curative force to pathologic conditions. (1930, 1993)
- The Phenomena of Spiritualism consists of Prophecy, Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Gift of Tongues, Laying on of Hands, Healing, Visions, Trance, Apports, Levitation, Raps, Automatic and Independent Writings and Paintings, Voice, Materialization, Photography, Psychometry and any other manifestation proving the continuity of life as demonstrated through the Physical and Spiritual senses and faculties of man. (1950)
Ancient and Modern Spiritualism
So often in a lecture or a book, we hear the term "Modern American Spiritualism". Why Modern? It is called Modern Spiritualism to distinguish it from the ancient form of Spiritualism, for spiritual manifestations and communications between the physical world and the spiritual world have been evident and recorded by all civilizations. In fact, every religion that has ever been, has registered Spirit manifestations. Almost all of the great spiritual leaders conversed or communicated with spirits although they were called other names, such as divas, pitris, gods, ancestral spirits, ghosts and magic.
Often, in the beginning of recorded history, people believed in many gods. There was a god that dwelled in all of natures manifestations, such as a sun god, a god of wind and storms, a god of earth, etc. If some problem arose, the individual or group felt that they had in some way displeased the gods. Sometimes offerings or sacrifices were made to appease the gods. Those in the past believed in many gods that were apart from them; whereas we in Spiritualism believe in one God, that we call Infinite Intelligence, which is All in All or within everything.
The people were uneducated as a whole so much that happened must have been rather frightening, or seemed like miracles or magic.
We, in Modern Spiritualism, know that all flows according to Natural Law. Where the ancients believed in the supernatural, miracles and magic, punishment and rewards, we believe in the natural, God's Laws, growth and love. We are a truth seeking religion that incorporates science and testing as a part of our philosophy.
Often the people of the past thought of phenomena as the work of devils and demons. Some religions today still see communication in this manner. We know that the phenomenon is a work through those in the Spirit World and that we attract to us spirit guides that correspond to the level of our vibration.
Ancient humanity(625 BC to 476 AD) thought objectively. By this, we meant that the early people made their reflections upon life by looking at the universe as a whole, then attempting to see the interconnections between things. The early thinkers looked at the differences between things; the realities and non-realities, then tried to figure out how the world was constructed based upon this point of view of the world.
Medieval Philosophy (476 AD - 1453 AD) is considered traditional in their thinking, which means that they had a set of authoritative doctrines from the past. During the Middle Ages, it is said that humanity, no matter how deeply they reflected, was constrained by a set of religious traditions and censors.
Modern thought is subjective. Here we refer to an entire change in the type of intellect where the starting point is not considered the world, but the individual. We now see that truths can be found within rather than externally. Reality is personal rather than the cosmos of the ancients of the political state of the middle period.
Modern American Spiritualism began on March 31, 1848, when the Fox family established communication with the departed murdered spirit of Charles B. Rosna. Much of the basic philosophy that we have tested was given to our pioneers through spirit communication. While Spiritualism began in America, it has spread over the entire world. Thus, to make a short phrase long, this is why we call our religion, MODERN AMERICAN SPIRITUALISM.
Quotes from Dr. Victoria Barnes, M.D.
"Spiritualism is a provable religion of naturalness based upon physical and spiritual manifestations of the great universal, immutable, eternal Natural Law governing both finite and infinite expressions found in the mortal and immortal worlds."
"It reveals the nature of humanity, the nature of the universe in which we live, and our inter-relatedness to each other. It stresses the enfoldment of the soul's potentialities mediumship as the avenue through which our knowledge of an after-life has come, also proof that regardless of what stage of existence we are in, such is but a fractional part of our eternal existence for it is all ONE LIFE."
"Through mediumship, communication with mortals who have experienced transition from earth has been established, thus proving, THERE IS NO DEATH."
"We are all souls now, each clothed in a material body through which our mental and spiritual faculties function. Within this material body is the spiritual or etheric body which serves as the vehicle for soul expression the moment transition occurs..."
"At transition, we enter a world of entirely different environment and purpose where we have no more use for the material body that has been shed and laid away, than we have for the overcoat in summer. The spiritual body is suited to the conditions of the Spirit World; it is this body that is used for spirit - return."
Spirit - return, according to our present knowledge, is governed by three contributing factors:
"LOVE for those still on Earth, DESIRE to prove they still live; and PURPOSE, as contained in the requirements for understanding the operations of Natural Law governing all expressions in the universe, and the inter-relatedness of the material and spiritual worlds..."
"If Spirit could not return, then the incidents recorded in all the Bibles of the world are falsehoods, and the religions built upon and around these occurrences have been built upon the sands. But, these religions have endured which would indicate their foundations had been more secure than sand. Our present mediums are proving spirit return has never ceased."