When you mention Spiritualism, many people think of dark Victorian parlors where séances were held by gifted and sometimes not-so-gifted mediums for gullible people hoping to find out where Aunt Sally hid her money before she died. But that is not the religion of Modern Spiritualism today.
Spiritualism is a vibrant, beautiful religion that inspires hope and encourages people to search for their own truth and spiritual path. But what exactly is the religion of Spiritualism? What do Spiritualists actually believe in?
The National Spiritualist Association of Churches states that 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.”
Spiritualists believe that every person is a soul that is energized by Spirit and inhabits a physical body during life. When the physical body dies, the soul-our spiritual self-continues to live on in the Spirit World.
The basis of Spiritualism is that communication with those departed souls who are now living in the Spirit World has been proven through mediumship. This proof of the continuity of life gives comfort to those who are grieving the physical loss of loved ones and removes our fear of death. From communication with those in the Spirit World, we can understand the purpose of life and how to live it.
Unlike Christianity where there is vicarious atonement by Jesus for our “sins”, Spiritualists believe that we ourselves must take responsibility for our actions. We must learn, understand and live by God’s Natural Laws. If we live by the Law, our lives, both here and in the afterlife, will be blessed and happy. If we do not live by the Law, we will live lives of hopelessness and despair.
Spiritualism also teaches that we are all part of the Infinite Intelligence that created all of nature and as such, we are not less than that Intelligence and therefore do not need “saving” from some eternal place of damnation. This beautiful Intelligence-that some call God or Source-never turns any soul away from its presence.
You might then wonder how Spiritualism views Jesus, prayer and the Bible if it seems to disagree with Jesus’ Christian identity as Savior.
Spiritualism views the Bible, not as the infallible word of God, but as a remarkable work of history and prophecy and also a sacred documentation of psychic phenomena and mediumship.
Jesus was our elder brother and a gifted Master of Natural Law whose life and works fully demonstrated the spiritual gifts of mediumship in its many different forms such as prophecy, materialization and healing. The works that he did-his “miracles”-were simply showing his understanding of Natural Law.
He demonstrated to us that prayer is communication with the power of God within each of us and used it to facilitate his great works. Jesus himself said that, “Everything that I do; you shall do as well.”
Just as Spiritualism differs from Christianity in many ways, it also differs from what most people believe when thinking about communication with the Spirit World.
Spiritualism recognizes that many ancient practices or devices such as Tarot cards, crystal balls, Ouija Boards, Numerology, Astrology and others have their place in personal and spiritual development but Spiritualists do not use any of these things in their services or in the practice of mediumship because none of these devices have ever proven the continuity of life.
Spiritualism is a religion that understands Natural Law and has demonstrated that the medium is the only instrument needed to communicate with the Spirit World. So, if Spiritualists believe that the soul continues to live in the afterlife then do they believe in reincarnation?
Spiritualism as a religion teaches that the individual retains their identity after passing into the Spirit World which would seem to negate reincarnation. There is ongoing discussion in the church however, with members on both sides of the issue, but Spiritualism has chosen not to advocate reincarnation from its official church platform.
The beauty of Spiritualism is that it provides hope for a better life, comfort in knowing that we never die and encourages each individual to explore their own truth and develop their personal spiritual gifts and abilities.
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