In 2014 I completed the correspondence course on
Spiritualism from the Morris Pratt Institute in Wisconsin that is endorsed by
the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC). It is a very interesting course and involves
a lot of reading and studying. You can
take a concentration in either Mediumship or Spiritual Healing or you can
choose to take the entire course. I chose
to take the entire course which can lead to teaching or ministry in the Spiritualist
Church. I received Certificates of Completion in The Educational Course of Mediumship, The Educational Course of Healing and The Educational Course of Licentiate Minister.
I have long considered myself an eclectic spiritual person and not a religious person as I like many of the teachings of many spiritual traditions but I do not like the dogma that goes along with most religion. In the past, I have found myself leaning very much toward Wicca and paganism and I still love many things about those traditions. But I have found myself increasingly drawn to Spiritualism in the last several years.
I do not think however that these in any way negate each other. Raymond Buckland, who is a well-known Pagan and author of many Wiccan and Pagan books, is also a Spiritualist and is a member of the Lily Dale Assembly which is the largest Spiritualist center in the world (they have a wonderful summer program of classes by the way). He appeared in the HBO documentary, No One Dies in Lily Dale. It’s a wonderful commentary on Lily Dale and Spiritualism-if you get the chance, be sure to watch it.
I have learned quite a bit so far, not just about Spiritualism itself, but about Mediumship, healing and psychic phenomena in general. A lot of the books on the required and suggested reading list are by well-known authors and pioneers in the study psychic phenomena, intuition, channeling and spiritual healing.
I have read books by Arthur Conan Doyle-author
of the Sherlock Holmes series-who was a passionate Spiritualist, Andrew Jackson
Davis, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Dr. Raymond Moody, Stewart Edward White, William
Crookes, Dean Radin, Jon Klimo, Herewood Carrington, Ted Andrews and many, many
But what is Spiritualism? According to the website for the National Spiritualist Association of Churches this is the official definition:
Spiritualism is the Science, Philosophy and Religion of continuous life, based upon the demonstrated fact of communication, by means of mediumship, with those who live in the Spirit World. (1919)
But what does that mean really? Basically, Spiritualists believe that “there is no death and there are no dead.” They believe that the very essence of who we are-our Spirit-is immortal and never dies. And furthermore, this has been proven countless times in the demonstration of mediumship and the communication between the living and those in the Spirit World.
Spiritualism has nine principles as the basis of the religion. I find that they really sum up much of my basic spiritual beliefs.
Declaration of Principles
1. We believe in Infinite Intelligence.
2. We believe that the phenomena of Nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence.
3. We affirm that a correct understanding of such expression and living in accordance therewith, constitute true religion.
4. We affirm that the existence and personal identity of the individual continue after the change called death.
5. We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.
6. We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
7. 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.
8. We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed against any soul here or hereafter.
9. We affirm that the precepts of Prophecy and Healing are Divine attributes proven through Mediumship.
For the Morris Pratt course you must answer and submit a test at the end of each lesson. On most lessons the last part of the test is to compose an essay (500-700 words) summarizing the lesson. I have included my essays on the lessons. By reading them you can get some idea of the content of the course and what I was studying.
Spiritualism is a beautiful religion that proposes that the highest teaching for living our lives is The Golden Rule-“Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You.” I firmly believe that this is how we must live our lives if our world is going to continue. If we kept this in mind there would be no poverty, war, famine, greed, racism, sexism, bigotry or any of the other horrible things that we have perpetrated in the world.
If we stopped at the beginning of every action or stopped before we spoke and thought, “Would I want someone else doing this to me? Or speaking to me in this way,” I think that the world would be a much better place and we would live much better lives.
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