“Don’t be so other worldly that you’re no earthly good”
“As the sunflower turns its face to the light of the sun, so let Spiritualism turn the face of humanity to the light to Truth.”
The Seven Principles of Spiritualism (Inclusive)
1. Fatherhood and Motherhood of God
2. Brotherhood of Humankind (Family)
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 good and evil deeds done on earth
7. Eternal Progress open to every human soul
1. Fatherhood of God
The first principle of Spiritualism is the “Fatherhood of God”. Before I studies Spiritualism, this statement would make me cringe a little,… because it makes me think of all the negative things done in the name of God and for religion beliefs. Such as the torturing and killing of people based on religious differences; the judgment and persecution of people based on religious beliefs about right and wrong; and the personification of a God who awards some people and punishes others. That definition of God feels wrong deep in my soul. Many people today must feel the same way as they will say, “I am spiritual but not religious.”
I’m not sure who said it, but I found this thought-provoking quote: “In order to find the God that made men, we have to stop following the God that man made”
I’m not saying most religions are bad, but in my opinion, most have been manipulated and misinterpreted to where they have developed into something else.
Spiritualism, although a religion, is foremost a philosophy. And part of that philosophy is to always seek the truth, to question beliefs and not to blindly obey just because it is written or said. Spiritualism encourages scientific research and philosophizing and is open to re-evaluating and evolving its philosophy.
So what does it mean when Spiritualist talk of the Fatherhood of God? How can we take this principle that was written in the 1800’s and have it make sense to us and our lives today? Some Spiritualists modify the principle to the “Fatherhood and Motherhood of God”. For me, this is better, because it brings in the connotation of mother earth, and the mother being the creator of life. Also, to me, the idea of a Father represents protector, supporter, a rock, as in “he is my rock”.
But what did the pioneer Spiritualists mean by the Fatherhood of God? Sounds like many other religions right? Well, not exactly, because what the early Spiritualists surmised is that there is a divine energy to the universe, or multiverse as some prefer to call it. This energy has infinite intelligence. This energy is present in all things and abundantly apparent in nature. Just look at the beauty and complexity of a flower, or the sacred geometry in a snowflake. This divine energy is a creative force that follows certain Natural Laws of the Universe. It is a force rooted in love and compassion. It is a force within all of us and we are all connected by it. But we are not just connected by it, we ARE it; all of us together … there is no separation, it is all one.
The famous Spiritualist Mavis Pattilla describes us all as being “sparks of God”. She would say, “God is everywhere, within and without.” God is not outside of you, separate from you; God is within you. God is not in a world far away, it is here all around us. The spirit of God exists within all things. You are the embodiment of God.
As Mavis says, “You cannot be where God is Not”.
We are all part of one family. We are all God’s children, …AND the God source is within each of us. Therefore, everyone is my child… and I strive to treat them as such. And I am everyone’s child ….and I strive to treat them as such. How different would the world be if we all interacted with each other with the love and understanding of a parent and the trust and wonderment of a child?
I went to a funeral the other day. I didn’t know the man well but he was the husband of someone close to me. I went to support my friend and her family. But, this was the first funeral I had been to since the funeral of my own daughter. As soon as I walked into the church, I was overwhelmed with emotions and memories of my daughter’s passing. So much so that I couldn’t stop shaking and crying. I had come that day with the intention of being the support, the parent, but I ended up having to lean on the support of others, I became the child.
Sometimes we are there to lovingly hold others up and sometimes we have to lean on the love and support of others. Most of us are good at being there for others,, …but how often do we show our own vulnerabilities and allow others to be there for us? We must be open to let others lean on us, to be the rock, but also not hold back or go at it alone when we ourselves need support. Showing our vulnerability is showing our authentic self.
What if we could all see the God spark in everyone when we looked at them? How different would the world be? If we saw and felt unconditional love, every time we interacted with another human being, the world would be full of compassion and joy and there would be no room for hate, no room for judgment.
Also know that when we feel alone, we can always lean on the support of the Father-Mother God, and the support of the Spirit World. Sit in the stillness, the quiet and go within. Touch that spark of divine within and the God source without. Blend with all that is, and the infinite power of love. Talk with those in the Spirit World. Ask for their support and guidance.
Call it God, call it Great Spirit, Divine Spirit, Supreme Intelligence, Higher Power,… my friend calls it “the Great Cosmic All-Thing”….This divine, loving, compassionate force is within each of us. We shine our God source bright when we are being loving and compassionate to others. When we focus on Love, compassion, peace, joy, forgiveness, non-judgmental acceptance of others, being service to others, and continuously striving to learn more and to evolve. This passion is the God source within you. It is your soul; your authentic self. So Let’s ignite our souls and let our God spark shine!
One of my favorite words is “Namaste”. It is said in greeting or in closing and is often accompanied by the bringing together of hands in front of the heart or brow. It’s literal translation is “I bow to you”. But the word is so much more than that, it has deep meaning, it has its own essence. According to an article by Karson McGinley on Chopra.com, it conveys the following meanings:
The divine light in me bows to the divine light within you.
I honor the place in you where the entire universe dwells.
I bow to the place in you that is light, love, and joy.
When you and I bow to our true nature, we are one.
My soul recognizes your soul.
We are the same, we are one.
Essentially, it is a way of honoring and acknowledging the God source within another person and the connection to all that is.
It demonstrates that one word can express so much meaning. Just like when we say “the Fatherhood and Motherhood of God”. What does it mean to you? Each of us can develop our own perception of and connection to God. Through meditation, taking a walk in nature, kindness to others. We can talk to God. And sit in the silence and listen.
“God became man that man might become God,”
the church father Athanasius (ca 298–373),
2. Brotherhood of Man (Humankind)
The second principle of Spiritualism is the “Brotherhood of Man (Humankind)”. Similar to the first principle, “Fatherhood and Motherhood of God”, the “Brotherhood of Man” focuses on the family connection of all things. We are all part of the same God source. We are all one. We strive to understand others and to love them as our family, as part of us.
If we truly accept all creatures as our brothers and sisters, then we can’t help but grieve for the suffering in the world. When my brother is hurting, I am hurting. Likewise, when my sister is celebrating I am celebrating.
In today’s world, there is much suffering, inequality, and injustice. And sometimes people feel competitive or jealous and try to cut others down rather than help lift them up. Unfortunately, we usually don’t know what difficulties people are going through. They don’t have labels, but they may have just had a loved one die, they may have lost their job, they may be fighting an illness. We don’t know what people are going through and should therefore treat everyone with kindness.
As Spiritualists, we feel compelled to try to help others. It is a calling. We don’t like the thought of others suffering and it is hard for us to ignore.
Modern day Spiritualism isn’t about sitting in a mediation room all day blissing out. It requires activism: Black Lives Matter. Equal Rights for Women. LGBTQ Pride. UNICEF, United Way, Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders. Education against the stigmas of Mental Health Disease and Addiction.
All people deserve basic human needs, equal rights and equal treatment, as all people are equally God. All people are our brothers and sisters. All deserve love and compassion. It is THE Golden Rule, treat others as you would like to be treated. And we need to stand up and support our brothers and sisters especially when they are not being heard.
But activism can be scary. To take a stand and speak out against something you believe in can be frightening, intimidating. Yet people do it despite their fears, despite the risks, despite the ridicule… Joan of Arc, Lincoln, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, these great leaders dedicated their lives to helping others and changed the world.
Author Sue Fitzmaurice said, “I'm not interested in whether you've stood with the great; I'm interested in whether you've sat with the broken.”
But we might think, who am I? Who am I to have power and influence? We need only realize that power does not come from financial success or stature, the Greatest powers of all are Love, compassion and gratitude. You are a powerful soul and within you is the love and compassion of the Universe, within you is the love and compassion of the God Source. You are a spark of the Divine. Every time we ignite our souls and release our power, release our love, we are serving the higher power. Let’s Surrender to who we truly are. Let’s allow our authentic soul spark to shine, and shine the light and love of God into the world.
The great Spiritualists Minister, Mavis Pittilla used to say, “When I speak, God speaks. When I listen, God listens. When I see, God sees.” God works through us. We are ambassadors of the divine.
And the great Spiritualist Minister Janet Nohavec would talk about standing in her power. Because once we realize that the power of God is within us, and we are speaking and acting for God, then our personal fears wither away, and the power of our soul rises!
Sometimes we get so busy and caught up in our own lives that we forget that there are millions if not billions of people in the world who are suffering. People who are hungry, people who are living in fear; people who are lonely and sad. There are animals who suffer. The earth is suffering. And we are reminded that we must do our part to help the world.
What can you do today to help your brothers and sisters? Feed the hungry, protest against injustice, take out the trash for an elderly neighbor, sit with a grieving widow, donate to save the rain forest, volunteer at the animal shelter…. There are infinite options.
I am fortunate to have one of the best sisters ever. I can rely on her always. She remembers not only my birthday but my children’s birthdays. She comes to visit at holidays. I can call her whenever I need support or a shoulder to cry on. That is how we should strive to be with everyone, with dependable love and support.
Because sometimes the Spiritualist Principle ‘brotherhood and sisterhood of man’ just means showing up. Taking your friend to dinner on their birthday; Listening to a friend go on and on for the 100th time about her troubles; Being someone’s cheerleader when something good happens in their lives. Sitting and being present for someone in grief.
And we should extend kindness to everyone, not just our circle of friends, but strangers too. It doesn’t require a grand gesture. It is something we can incorporate into our daily lives. Be kind to the grocery clerk who botches our order, be tolerant of the car that cuts us off in traffic. Celebrate other people’s victories and successes. Give a compliment. Bring peace and joy to those around you. Always always strive to respond to others in a kind and understanding way.
Our kind thoughts, words and actions have power and they go out into the universe and transform it with love. If we can spread love and compassion, we can change the collective consciousness of the masses.
My daughter had a friend who had a habit of yelling out of the car window whenever we passed a person walking down the street. She would always yell something positive… “I like your shoes!”…. “You’re awesome!” It was like sprinkling positivity on the world. That’s something we should all try to do periodically, sprinkle some positivity on the world.
What are you passionate about? What ignites your soul? Giving love does ignite our souls. Being in service to others fuels our souls. When we give love, we feel it coming back to us. For when we let our God source shine we are living our true nature.
Dannion Brinkley relays the following message which he received during his near death experience from what he calls a being of light, “Humans are powerful spiritual beings meant to create good on the Earth. This good isn’t usually accomplished in bold actions, but in singular acts of kindness between people. It’s the little things that count, because they are more spontaneous and show who you truly are.”
Another great quote from author Sue Fitzmaurice is “When you show up with kindness, others can be more themselves.”
Spiritualism’s second principle “The Brotherhood of Man” means striving to change and evolve the World in a positive way. To put it simply, it means be kind to others. To live heaven on earth now. To evolve and progress collectively so that God, the unified Divine Spirit, can evolve and progress. With this we become so very grateful for the opportunity to experience ALL of what life brings, progressing through this journey of life together and upholding one another.
A wonderful spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, reminds us that “We are all just walking each other home.”
3. The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels
The third principle of Spiritualism is “The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels”.
As Spiritualists we believe that everyone has an innate ability and right to communicate with God, with Angels and with the people in the Spirit World. I use the word people because our loved ones in the spirit world still are the same people we knew here on earth. They are not entities or energies or orbs of light. They maintain their personalities and their mannerisms, and for the most part they look the same, although typically people in the spirit world can look younger and healthier.
The ability to communicate with those in the spirit world can be developed and those who have developed their abilities are called ‘mediums’, because they serve as a bridge between the spirit world and this earth world. Or the middleman between a spirit person and their loved one on the other side.
Communication with the spirit world is done soul to soul. Everyone can communicate with the spirit world because everyone has a soul. Everyone has the potential to be a medium.
Communication with the Spirit World, whether through a medium or through your own connection, provides evidence that life continues after death. Your loved ones who have crossed over to the spirit world live on as is evident by their communications. You too will live on after earthly death and will join your loved ones on the other side of the veil. But you do not have to wait until you die to continue a relationship with your loved ones who have crossed. Talk to them. Feel them. Look for signs that they send you to let you know that they are around.
Our loved ones in the spirit world work hard to send us signs that they are still around us. Signs such as the butterfly that lands on your shoulder when you think of them. The favorite song that comes on the radio at just the right moment. The time on the clock matching a memorable date. There are many ways that our loves subtly let us know they are around. Pay attention because the sprit world is subtle. Ask your loved one for a specific sign and see what happens in the next few days. Chances are you will get it.
Those closest to us who have crossed over to the spirit world continue to interact with us and serve as influencers and inspirers in our lives. They support us from the spirit world. Know that they are always with you. And they want to continue a relationship with you. They want to be around you, to talk with you. They like it when you talk to them- either out loud or silently in your head. They have left their earthly body and have only changed form to one that is typically unseen by the human eye. They have gone ahead of us on this journey of our soul. But the soul bond, the soul connection, the love, is never broken. In fact, the relationship gets stronger now because it is now closer to pure soul.
What is an Angel? The word probably conjures up an idea in your mind based on past learnings… with the wings. The word “minster” means to attend to, care for, comfort and support. When spiritualist talk of the Ministry of Angels, they are referring to those in the Spirit World who are dedicated to the welfare of and service to humankind. They provide us with inspiration, guidance, healing and wisdom. They provide enlightenment to individuals and to society. They can give you thought drops in your head. Maybe that great idea you had wasn’t really your idea at all… You can communicate with them directly. And you can learn to develop and improve your communications.
The Ministry of Angels is different from an individual’s spirit guides, as the Ministry of Angels usually serve humankind as a whole. When there is a tragedy on earth, such as an earthquake that kills and injures thousands, the Ministry of Angels are there to help people.
Typically, our spirit guides, or spirit team, are there to help us as individuals. Many of our guides are with us our whole lives, although some may come and go based on specific needs. When you sit for spirit, to communicate with spirit, sometimes you will want to talk to your spirit guides and get to know them. Ask them for advice and support. That is what they are there for. Ask them to help you with your spiritual path and your soul’s purpose.
Sometimes higher spiritual entities can be channeled through a medium and impart words of wisdom to humankind. One example is Silver Birch who was channeled by the medium Maurice Barbanell. Silver Birch tells us, “There is no religion higher than service. To heal the sick, to comfort the mourner, to guide the perplexed, to give strength to the weary and direction to those who have lost their way, those are the most important tasks of all… Never forget that the supreme purpose of life is the unfoldment of the spirit.”
And Yes, there are Angels on earth. And sometimes God and Angels work through us. Famous author, Roberta Grimes shares this simple prayer, “Give me work to do and show me how to do it”.
As Spiritualist and medium Mavis Pittilla says, “I am about my Father’s business” …I am doing God’s work.
We should strive to be in service to others. To allow God and the Angels work through us.
What is it that God and the Angels want to communicate to you? Are you listening? Take time to sit in the silence and start a conversation.
The word “Communion” means unity, empathy, closeness, relationship, intimacy. When we as Spiritualists say, “the communion of spirits”, we are encouraging you to develop your own relationship with the Spirit World.
I encourage you to develop your communion with the God Source, the Angels, your guides and inspirers, your ancestors and the people in the Spirit World. Having relationships with the Spirit World can make the struggles of life much easier to navigate. Call upon them to help you find the answers you seek. Spend time sitting in the power of their love. Ask for spiritual healing for your body and your soul.
You can always ask the spirit world for healing and guidance. You don’t have to know who to ask, whether it comes from your loved ones in spirit, Angels, the God source, just ask and you will receive. It may not be in the form you expect, but trust that what comes is what your soul needs.
Author Marilyn Awtry reminds us, “Communication with divine energy is a natural and essential part of existence”.
Ancient civilizations used to focus on their relationships with the spirit world, with the divine power. It was a major part of life. Somewhere, somehow modern society strayed away from it. And people today are suffering because they are lacking but they don’t even know what it is they are lacking. They are gravely missing their own relationship and communication with the spirit world.
How wonderful it is to know that we are never alone. And that we always have help and support from the Spirit World. When we are struggling or suffering, we can ask the Spirit World for help. They are there for us. We are loved more than we realize.
4. The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul
The fourth principle of Spiritualism is belief in “the continuous existence of the human soul”. Spiritualism was born from an intrigue in what was inarguably spirit communication. It started in 1848 in the small town of Hydesville, New York when two young sisters heard a knocking or rapping. They discovered that the knocking was intelligent in that it responded to questions. Intrigue exploded as spirit communication expanded around the globe, with mediums coming forth and demonstrating their abilities to communicate with the dead. It became a source of entertainment for many, and they would hold seances as a newfound form of social gathering. It also became a source of relief and healing for the many who lost loved ones in the Wars, who were now able to reach out to and hear from their departed loved ones through mediums.
Unfortunately, with the explosion of discovery came manipulation and deceit. Some unethical people saw it as a way to make money and gain fame, and they exploited those who sought entertainment and worse, they exploited those who sought console and were grieving.
Due to the many fraudulent people claiming to be mediums, who were tarnishing the beauty and majesty of spirit communication through real mediums; skepticism, ridicule and fear were abundant. So much so that the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) was established in 1882 to perform research and experiments on mediums to try to get to the truth. The SPR attracted great scholars of the day including Freud and Jung and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Some people became firm believers, and some remained skeptical and cynical.
Unfortunately, along the way the sacredness of it was tarnished. The sacredness of the fact that upon bodily death, the spirit of a person does not die. The sacredness of a world beyond our eyesight, yet all around us. The human soul continues to live on in the Spirit World with the same traits and personality as they had on earth. Initially they have a spirit body, or astral body, and they are able to swim, fish, golf, garden, and many of the other activities that they enjoyed doing on earth. We know this to be true from the evidence that is communicated through mediumship.
Yes, there are frauds, and yes, spirit communication doesn’t always work in the way we wish, but the evidence is there, and the means of communication continues to evolve and to be developed.
For those who have suffered a great loss, the transformational power of communicating with our loved ones in the spirit world is priceless. It brings healing and hope and peace to our hearts to know that our loved ones are happy and well in the spirit world, doing what they love most. They provide us with evidence that they are around us and can tell us what we have been doing recently.
Many people will say, once you die you no longer have a body so you no longer have a voice box or a mouth. But my experience, and the experience of many other mediums, is that that is just not true! As a medium, I can tell you many stories of loved ones coming through and communicating who are sipping tea in beautiful gardens, or hiking on gorgeous mountains, eating as much chocolate as they want! They are doing the things they love and eating the foods they love and enjoying a new world!
If our souls are eternal, then why do our loved ones have to leave this world and go to the next world? Why did God take them from us and make us suffer? What’s the bigger picture?
It is through our brokenness that we find a path to a higher source. The darkest moments and most desperate times of grief lead us to our greatest epiphanies, a leap in spiritual understanding. A colossal growth in the awareness of our own soul. It’s an unwavering knowing of how powerful we truly are. We learn a deeper understanding of compassion and our connection to all things …Because Grief is the catalyst for the release of love. And it is with this newfound love and compassion that we find the peace to heal our broken hearts. And to move forward with kindness to help not only the people we meet in life but also the people who have crossed over to the spirit world.
Evolution and progression of individual souls leads to the evolution and progression of the whole.
In my opinion, we were not meant to grieve and suffer from the passing of a loved one. Jesus, a great medium, healer and teacher, appeared to his friends and family after his bodily death. And he asked, “Why are you weeping?” Jesus wanted everyone to know that we continue our soul’s journey after bodily death, and we move closer to God. We should therefore celebrate when our friends and family move on to the next phase of their soul’s journey.
My daughter is in the spirit world. I believe that she was needed there for a higher purpose. I continue my relationship with her through spirit communication using mediums and using my own innate abilities. I sense her presence. I see signs that she is around me. She influences my life and we work together. You can continue your relationships with your loved ones in the spirit world too. Everyone has the ability because everyone has a soul. Know that they are with you always. Breathe in the sacredness.
Our loved one’s live on after bodily death and they continue to love us because Love never dies.
When we pass to the spirit world, we will join our loved ones who have gone on before us. In the overall picture of time, it is but a blink of an eye before we are together again. But I don’t like using the phrase “together again” because they haven’t left. They have changed form and entered a new realm, but on a soul level they are still with us.
In my opinion, we have a soul family. A group of souls who journey together. This soul family choses to incarnate together, and perhaps reincarnate together. And this soul family will progress through the realms of the Spirit World together, the “Worlds Within Worlds” as Mavis Pittilla describes it, as we journey back to the one God Source. To divine love.
In my opinion, at some point, our soul family will merge and blend into one higher entity, a “super-soul”. Then they merge with another soul family, to form, a super-duper-soul if you will. And so on and so on, until eventually we all merge back with the God source. Even now, even in our apparent separateness, we are all one. We are all from the same God source and we are all returning to the same God source. As Mavis used to say, “God is without and within”.
When Spiritualists talk of the fourth principle of Spiritualism, The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul, they are simply saying we believe that life continues after earthly death. And this belief is supported by the communications received over hundreds of years from the people in the spirit world. The mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters… the people who we love continue to live on and wish to communicate with us.