A Word to the Reader
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 pages briefly present the message of Spiritualism.
Ancient and Modern Spiritualism
So often in a lecture or a book, we hear the term "Modern American Spiritualism". Why Modern? It is 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. Most all of the great spiritual leaders conversed or communicated with spirits although they were called other names, such as devas, 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, where 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 phenomena 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 (625 BC to 476 AD) humanity 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 with the Fox family establishing 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 phase 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 unfoldment 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.
Confucianism What you don't want done to yourself, don't do to others. Buddhism Hurt not others with that which pains thyself Jainism In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self, and should therefore refrain from inflicting upon others such injury as would appear undesirable to us if inflicted upon ourselves. Zoroastrianism Do not unto others all that which is not well for oneself. Classical Paganism May I do to others as I would that they should do unto me. Hinduism Do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain. Judaism What is hateful to yourself, don't do to your fellow man. Christianity What soever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. Sikhism Treat others as thou wouldst be treated thyself.
The Philosophy of Spiritualism
The following Declaration of Principles is published to the world, not as a creed binding on the conscious of the individual, but as the consensus of a very large majority of Spiritualists on the fundamental teachings of Spiritualism:
We believe in Infinite Intelligence.
We believe that the phenomena of Nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence.
We affirm that a correct understanding of such expression and living in accordance therewith, constitute true religion.
We affirm that the existence and personal identity of the individual continue after the change called death.
We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.
We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
We affirm the moral responsibility of individuals, and that we make our own happiness or unhappiness as we obey or disobey Nature’s physical and spiritual laws.
We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed against any human soul here or hereafter.
We affirm that the precepts of Prophecy and Healing are Divine attributes proven through Mediumship.
Spiritualists, through contact that is made with those that have passed to the other side of life, affirm the interrelatedness of all life. One clue that a person is beginning to become further intuned and more cosmic, is when the egoistic, self-serving portion of the individual diminishes and the universal consciousness comes to the forefront. Prominent in this consciousness is the awareness of the Universal Laws.
The religion of Spiritualism encourages all humankind to learn and practice living in accordance with God's Laws. What are these Universal Laws? How many of them are there and do they apply to everyone? Infinite Intelligence is Love, Light and Law. Though many use a certain number of laws as guidelines, there is no set number of laws. Just as Love and Light are not limited, so the Law is not limited, as Infinite Intelligence is not limited. Neither does the Law limit those who strive to follow it. Rather, it sets them free and shows them the way to grow, live in peace and be happy.
The study of Natural Law is very beneficial to all. A few brief points to consider are that the laws are just, impartial, consistent, non-judgmental, automatic, immutable, impersonal, affects the physical, mental and spiritual, is unchangeable and the underlying control of the universe, insuring progressive evolution. Natural Law is the connecting link, providing constant order to the universe. It governs the visible and invisible, the animate and inanimate in the mortal and immortal worlds.
Natural Law is like a kind teacher that understands we learn by doing. The law gently points out our mistakes that we may grow and use the insight to our benefit. The law uses the reflecting ethers as a mirror to show us the way. It verifies personal responsibility and individualization.
All things in life interrelate and so it is with the laws. They are evident in mathematics, geometry, mechanics, plant life, seasons, etc. We can use the laws to choose love, light, peace, growth and joy. The universe is propelled by law and impelled by love.
Just a few laws to demonstrate the totality of the Laws:
As the seeker strives to understand Natural Law, they are presented with the truths of the universe. God's Law is immutable and we know of no instances that it has been set aside, therefore, there are no miracles for all is in accordance with the operation of the Spiritual Laws. Infinite Intelligence has given us these constructive, progressive patterns to guide our existence now and forever more. The God of the Universe impregnates the spirit of all, then lets it alone to discover itself through light, love and law. As we learn more of these laws, we learn more of Infinite Intelligence. Emerson wrote, "The finite alone has wrought and suffered, the Infinite lies stretched in smiling repose." The Infinite Spirit within us shows us the way to shine.
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. The phenomena of Spiritualism consists of:
prophecy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, gift of tongues, laying on of hands, healing, visions, trance, apports, revelations, raps, levitation, automatic and independent writing and painting, photography, materialization, psychometry, direct and independent voice, and any other manifestation which proves the continuity of life.
"The office of mediumship is to bless humanity, to enable the race to overcome conditions of matter sufficiently to make such the servant rather than the master of intelligent beings, to enable it to guide (through intuition) the individual for their own and others good." Mary T. Longley from "Teachings and Illustrations As They Emanate From The Spirit World."
Spiritual healing, recognized in many ancient religions, has been a principle of Spiritualism since its beginning. Today, on a national basis, evidence is growing in the medical community of the importance of spiritual healing to the cure of the individual in need. Evidence is growing that the whole person needs treatment, not just the illness.
A Spiritualist Healer is one who, either through his or her own inborn power or through mediumship, is able to transmit curative energies to physical conditions. The results of Spiritual Healing are produced in several ways:
By spiritual influences working through the body of the medium to transmit curative energies to the diseased parts of the recipient's body.
By spiritual influences enlightening the mind of the medium so that the cause, nature and seat of the disease in the recipient is made known to the medium.
Through the application of absent healing treatments whereby spiritual beings combine their own healing energies with the energies of the medium and cause them to be absorbed by the system of the recipient.
A Spiritualist Healer works with the spirit, mind, emotions, and the body of the recipient. A Spiritualist Healer is aware that once stress is removed from the mind and emotions, the body will respond naturally. This brings about holistic healing in the patient.
Spiritualist Healers acknowledge the importance of the medical community and work in cooperation with it at all times. Spiritualism recognizes that the medical community is an instrument of healing of the Infinite.
Prayer for Spiritual Healing
I ask the great unseen healing force
to remove all obstructions from my mind and body
and to restore me to perfect health.
I ask this in all sincerity and honesty
and I will do my part.
I ask this great unseen healing force
to help both present and absent ones
who are in need of help
and to restore them to perfect health.
I put my trust in the love and power of God.
The Objects of Spiritualism
To teach the truths and principles expressed in the Declaration of Principles and in the Definitions of "Spiritualism," "A Spiritualist", "A Medium" and "A Spiritualist Healer" as adopted by the National Spiritualist Association of Churches of the United States of America;
To teach and proclaim the Science, Philosophy and Religion of Modern Spiritualism;
To encourage lectures on all subjects pertaining to the spiritual and secular welfare of humanity;
To protest against every attempt to compel humanity to worship God in any particular or prescribed manner;
To advocate and promote spiritual healing, and to protect and encourage Spiritualist teachers and mediums in all laudable efforts in giving evidence of proof to humanity of a continued intercourse and relationship between the living and the so-called dead;
To encourage every person in holding present beliefs always open to restatement as growing thought and investigation reveal understanding of new truths thereby, leaving every individual free to follow the dictates of reason and conscience in spiritual as in secular affairs.
Why is Spiritualism Important Today, More Than Ever?
Spiritualists come from every walk of life. We are bankers, builders, nurses, teachers, bookkeepers, sales clerks, electricians - any and all professions are attracted to Spiritualism. Every place you find thinking men and women coming together, you will find Spiritualists. Spiritualism is a science, philosophy and religion that satisfies both your logic, your mind and your heart. As the population contemplates the current conditions in the world today, they are seeking a greater understanding of the purpose of life and what can be done to improve individual life situations and the circumstances of the world. Spiritualism gives a person the key that can be used to find the answers she/he seeks. Spiritualism provides the knowledge that by using prayer and meditation, we can become more aware of our responsibilities to ourselves and to others. Through this inner awareness and guidance received through spirit communications, a person takes the necessary actions to improve his or her own life and contributes to the improved welfare of the entire human race.
Spiritualism is the KEY that sets humanity free! Free to live and grow in the physical through love and law; and free because we know that life is continuous, the spirit never dies. "There is no death, there are no dead."