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The Principles Of Spiritualism

Introduction
The Principles and Their Meaning
Preparing Our Future Life
The Meaning of Retribution
Other Implications
Conclusions
Articles at "Life in B Flat"

Introduction

Most spiritualist organizations have several principles that define their religious beliefs. In many spiritualist churches the principles are read during the Sunday service to remind the congregation of what the religion stands for.

The principles of spiritualism define a rational universe created by a sane, rational, and loving God, and show how our life on earth affects our experience when we cross over to the spirit world.

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The Principles And Their Meaning

Originally, six principles were given by the spirit of Robert Owen through the mediumship of Mrs. Emma Hardinge Britten.

Spiritualist organizations have added to these principles and modified them for various reasons, but here the original six principles will be discussed.

These principles are the latest revelation in a series of revelations that are recorded in the old and new testaments. Each revelation in the series is a refinement of the Truth according to what people of the time are ready to hear and what misunderstandings need to be corrected.

The first three principles affirm three important tenets found in many religions.

  1. The Fatherhood of God.
  2. The Brotherhood of Man.
  3. The immortality of the soul and its personal characteristics.
The first principle tells us that God is our creator, who loves us and to whom we owe our love, and that our souls ultimately come from the substance of God.

The second principle tells us that every person is equal in the sight of God and that we owe each other our love, respect and kindness, and that God our parent wants and expects his children to take care of each other.

It's interesting that in the book of Matthew, Jesus says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."

The third principle tells us that our consciousness, continues to exist after the body dies and in the hereafter we will still have the same personality with the same good or bad traits that we had in the earth life.

The next three principles are:

  1. Proven facts of communion between departed human spirits and mortals.
  2. Personal responsibility. With compensation and retribution hereafter for all good or evil deeds done here.
  3. A Path of eternal progress open to every human soul that wills to tread it by the path of eternal good.

The fourth principle implies that spirits are really alive right now. If we can communicate with them, the dead are not asleep in their graves waiting for a Messiah to resurrect them.

The fifth and six principles together tell us a lot about the afterlife. They tell us that neither the right faith, nor the sacrifice of someone else, nor forgiveness will get us into heaven. We have to choose to work our way up through the different levels in the spirit world, and we must accomplish that work by our own efforts. This work is usually some form of service to others.

These principles also tell us that no one is condemned to an eternity in hell if they lack the right faith during their life. Faith is not mentioned. At any time here or hereafter, anyone may choose to take the path of righteousness.

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Preparing Our Future Life

The fifth principle also tells us that in our brief life on earth we are preparing our eternal life in the hereafter.

The old adage, "You can't take it with you" applies to material things. Money, wealth, or power that you may have amassed while alive will not accompany you to the afterlife. However, from the third principle we know that the personality does continue in the afterlife. Therefore the most important spiritual rewards are not given like medals but are developed by each person during their life. Traits like forgiveness, tolerance, kindness, trustworthiness, reliability, and perseverance are the highest spiritual rewards, they have the most value in the afterlife. They are earned because they are developed by the effort of the individual during life, but they are not dispensed by a panel of judges.

Another way we prepare our future life is by our spiritual understanding. If you have a correct understanding of the facts of your spiritual nature your transition to the spirit life will be easier. Your expectations of the afterlife affect how you will interpret your perceptions of it. Correct expectations lead to correct perceptions when you cross over. Incorrect expectations lead to incorrect perceptions. If we have a correct understanding of our spiritual nature we will adapt more easily to the spirit world.

Lastly, if you are loving and unselfish in this life you will start out in the afterlife at a higher sphere. We know from what spirits have told us that each higher sphere is more beautiful and a greater pleasure to be in so it is both a compensation and reward to live in a higher sphere. If you are cruel and selfish in this life you will start out at a lower sphere, and you will probably be less happy there either because you will regret your mistakes from this life, and you may have tasks to do to atone, or you may suffer due to continued ignorance.

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The Meaning Of Retribution

This brings up an idea expressed in the fifth principle which should be clarified: that is the meaning of retribution for evil deeds.

Whatever suffering is experienced in the hereafter is caused by a person's own wrong actions.

This can be due to the fact that when one has passed into the spirit world and has a wider perspective, one often feels great remorse for misdeeds done while living.

Also, in the spirit world you will be drawn to people with tendencies like your own, like attracts like. For example, if a person is cruel he will find himself among cruel people and they will be cruel to each other. This will go on until the person realizes the characteristic of cruelty is causing him suffering and he desires to change. When his attitude changes, what he is attracted to will change, and his circumstances will change.

Here's another example: If you committed wrong actions due to greed, jealousy, or vengeance, in the hereafter you will not be able to satisfy your greed, jealousy, or desire for vengeance and that unsatisfied craving will be your suffering, the more intense the desire, the more intense will be the suffering - until you realize your wrong attitude is the cause of your own suffering.

If you don't want to change your ways in the hereafter your wrong actions will continue to cause you suffering. However at some point in time, every soul will realize that selfishness leads to suffering and unselfishness and service to others leads to joy and happiness. This is why everyone at some point will decide to tread the path of righteousness. You can make this decision in this life or in the hereafter. However if you do it in this life your experiences in the hereafter will be a lot nicer.

It is important to understand that there is no vindictive punishment. Suffering in the hereafter is a natural consequence of a person's wrong actions and the amount of suffering is exactly what is caused by those wrong actions.

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Other Implications

There are some other very important implications of the six principles.

Our expectation that God should be fair and rational is correct. No one is condemned to an eternal hell because they are ignorant. No one is condemned to eternal hell for believing in only what their senses tell them. No one is condemned to eternal hell for relying only on their own intellect to understand the reality they experience. If a person is led to misunderstandings by relying on their senses or intellect he can change his views in the hereafter when he has a broader perspective and can still work his way up through the spheres in the spirit world.

Conversely, no one gets a free ticket into heaven because of their faith or because of someone else's sacrifice. Everyone must work their way up through the different levels in the spirit world by their own efforts.

The principles of spiritualism, if understood, encourage a person to lead a loving and unselfish life. If everyone understood the principles, the world would be a much more heavenly place. Spirits often make this point to those who doubt the sincerity and sanctity of spirit communication.

It is very important for us to share our knowledge of spiritualism and the principles of spiritualism with other people. This knowledge leads people to live a better life and make this world a better place. Also, since we prepare our future life while we are on earth, knowledge of the principles of spiritualism while a person is living on earth will help them to have a better life in the hereafter as well.

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Conclusion

The principles of spiritualism are a revelation. They remind us of our relationship to God, our relationship to each other, and our immortality. They reveal to us that reality is a logical and fair system created by a loving God, to teach us that love, and unselfishness, and service to others, lead us to joy and happiness in the hereafter.

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