THE 7 PRINCIPLES OF SPIRITUALISM
1. The Fatherhood of God
2. The Brotherhood of Man
3. The communion of Spirits and the ministry of Angels
4. Continuous existence of the Human Soul
5. Personal responsibility
6. Compensation and retribution hereafter for all good and evil deeds done on earth
7. Eternal Progress open to every soul
Unlike most other major religions, Spiritualism does not tie its adherents to a creed or dogma, it is non denominational.
The philosophy of Spiritualism is founded upon seven basic principles which were channelled in 1871 by Emma Hardinge Britten while communicating with the spirit of Robert Owen, the founder of the ‘Co-operative movement‘.
The Seven Principles, guidelines for the development of a personal philosophy of how to live ones life, are as follows;
1. THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD
Each of us has his or her own idea of God. Spiritualism accepts all, with only one condition, that followers do believe in a Source, an author of a divine plan. Spiritualists lean toward the belief that the Universe is governed and based on love, not fear.
2. THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN
If we accept the Fatherhood of God, then it naturally follows that we are his children – a brother and sisterhood. This confers upon us a responsibility of service to our fellow man. If we could extend this call to service out into the wide world, we would bring into being peace which passes all understanding. It goes further than that, man himself is an immortal spirit on earth, therefore the brotherhood of man extends into the spirit spheres.
3. COMMUNION OF SPIRITS AND THE MINISTRY OF ANGELS (The key Principle to our Religion)
This is the key in our philosophy that separates us from traditional Orthodoxy, which denies the communion with departed spirits. Spiritualists believe that through mediumship, survival of the spirit after death has been proven, and communion with spirit is a way to receive guidance with our earthly problems. This ‘proof of survival’ is of great help to those who are grieving. It is believed that each of us have a spirit guide (or guardian angel, if you prefer), that we can learn to communicate with and gain enlightenment from.
4. CONTINUOUS EXISTENCE OF THE HUMAN SOUL
Spiritualism has proven this fact, in no uncertain manner. In doing so it becomes clear that our behaviour does not just effect the narrow limits of our earthly life, but also determines our spiritual status on the other side and in the life to come.
5. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
This is another major doctrinal difference between Spiritualism and Orthodox religions. The basis of Christianity is that Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins.Though Spiritualism accepts believers from all religions, this can be a conflict. As Spiritualists, we believe that we are responsible for our own sins, that Jesus died by crucifixion for political and religious reasons – crucifixion was a common method of punishment at the time. As Spiritualists we know that we, through our conscience, know the difference between right and wrong and are free to choose which road we take. No one can escape the consequences of their own decisions and mistakes. We are our own judges. We reap what we sow.
6. COMPENSATION AND RETRIBUTION HEREAFTER FOR ALL GOOD AND EVIL DEEDS DONE ON EARTH
A continuation of the above principle. In Orthodoxy it is believed that you can atone yourself, even on your death bead, by asking forgiveness. It is also believed that if you do not, you will be cast into Hell for your sins. In Spiritualism we believe that Heaven and Hell are states of our own mind and not celestial localities. Again, our code of conduct during life on this earth will determine our spiritual status on the other side – which does not mean death in itself will make one spiritually aware – that is something that has to be worked on and learned during life.
7. ETERNAL PROGRESS OPEN TO EVERY SOUL
With the continuation of our energy (or soul), which does not die with the human body, Spiritualism suggests with certainty that eternal progress is open to each of us. The rate at which we advance is up to the individual and will depend on our will, which is free both here and on the other side. We are not idle in the spirit world, rather we continue with our personalities and character intact, learning, and working toward perfection, which we have an eternity to reach.
These inter-dependent principles are the crux of Spiritualist philosophy and their influence should be used to transform your outlook on life. Using the 7 Principles should reveal the understanding that the deepest significance this life, is of service to others, unselfishness and social co-operation. Only with this foundation can all other spiritual values have any meaning.