What is Spiritualism?
Spiritualism is an officially recognised religion with its own churches and Ministers, who possess the same rights and privileges as Ministers of other religions.
The religion of Spiritualism embodies the main ideas of all religions that there is a life after physical death, an immortality and the existence of God. The difference between Spiritualism and other religions is the ability through mediumship to prove that man survives the grave; that is to say certain people called mediums are able to communicate with those who have passed over, thus furnishing conclusive evidence of their continued existence in another world. A medium cannot call up specific individuals who have passed on, as one would a friend on a telephone call, they contact the medium when the time is right.
The philosophy of Spiritualism is based on seven fundamental principles, given through the mediumship of Emma Hardinge Britten by Robert Owen, Socialist Reformer and co-founder of the Co-operative Society from the Spirit World in 1871. They are :-
1. The Fatherhood of God.
2. The Brotherhood of Man.
3. The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels.
4. The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul.
5. Personal Responsibility.
6. Compensation and Retribution hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on Earth.
7. Eternal Progress open to every Human Soul.
Spiritualism is a universal religion recognising such leaders as Buddha, Mohammed, Moses and Jesus. Spiritualists are often accused of being atheists or anti-Christian. Spiritualists are not anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-Hindu, anti-Muslim or anti any other religion. There are, however, fundamental differences between Spiritualism and other religions. One major difference between Spiritualism and the orthodox Christian religion, for example, is embodied in our Fifth Principle, that of ‘Personal Responsibility';. We are given free will and the ability to distinguish between right and wrong and we alone are responsible for all our thoughts, words and actions. Furthermore, we do not believe in a vindictive God, sitting in judgement over us. We are our own judges and receive compensation or pay retribution for whatever we have done in our lives on Earth, be it good or bad. The concept of Heaven and Hell are not places to which we are destined to be sent dependant on how we have lived, but states of mind of our own creation.
Today, we live in a materialistic world where orthodox religion has lost its impact. A world where people do not just want ideology but proof. Spiritualism provides this as it is a religion, a philosophy and a science. It has turned the pious hope of a hereafter into a scientific fact proven by mediumship.
Mediums are people who have, through training, developed their natural psychic ability to enable them to communicate with the Spirit World. There are three main types of Mediumship - mental, physical and healing. Mental mediumship consists of either perception or control. In perception, the spirit communicator will make contact through the medium’s mind, which will be working on various senses, the main ones being clairvoyance (clear seeing), clairaudience (clear hearing) and clairsentience (clear sensing). With control, a medium can work in an altered state of consciousness known as trance, enabling the Spirit to speak through the medium. With physical mediumship, Spirits can speak directly with their own voices and, on occasions, can even materialise for everyone to see. Objects can, also, be seen to move around the room with no visible means of support. In healing mediumship, the medium is purely a passive channel for the healing energies from the Spirit World and is administered by either contact, ’the laying on of hands’, or absent healing in which healing thoughts and prayers are sent to an individual, often over great distances. Whilst a cure for a particular illness cannot be guaranteed, suffering can be alleviated and a passing eased. Details of the Healing Services taking place at Exeter Spiritualist Centre & Healing Group can be found by visiting the ‘Healing’ page.
The book "Philosophy of Spiritualism" is available to buy at the church or through the Spiritualists' National Union's website together with 'The Religion of Spiritualism'.