To have a belief and an understanding of it you have to recognise the basic principles on which that belief is centred. Spiritualism is no exception and its philosophy is centred on seven basic principles.
These principles, which are not commandments but more a way of life, combining philosophy, science and religion transforming man’s outlook on life, were delivered by the Spirit of Robert Owen through the mediumship of Emma Hardinge Britten in 1871. Robert Owen was a well known Welsh social reformer and philanthropist. He passed to Spirit in 1858 and his message containing the principles was given to Emma 13 years later. The original message contained 5 principles but these were later expanded to 7 principles to provide a better understanding.
This principle is quite simply the expression of our belief in the creative power of the natural law through which the Universe is governed and which is based on love, not fear. This power is generally known as God or The Father.
This creative force manifests itself in all things and the life of humans, animals and plants would be impossible without the presence of this latent power. In it we live and as we realise that life and progress stem from within, dependent on this power source, we conceive God as being Our Father and ourselves as members of His Family.
Because we all come from the same universal life source we are, in effect, one large family. This means that all mankind, irrespective of colour, race or creed, is part of a vast brotherhood. We are all members of the same divine family. We need to share our joys as well as our burdens; we need to understand the needs of others in order to assist them as part of our service to each other. As we learn to receive so must we also learn to give, thereby achieving the necessary balance in our lives. Not only should we look to the material necessities of our fellow creatures but also to their spiritual needs and to help those in need to become strong and worthy of their relationship in the Family of God.
All religions believe in life after death but only Spiritualism shows that it is true by demonstrating that communication with departed spirits can and does take place. This is the key principle to the Spiritualist religion and through mediumship many of our loved ones in the spirit world can take advantage of this opportunity to continue to take an interest in our welfare.
This relates to the knowledge and belief that our Soul survives the death of our physical body with reason, memory and personality intact and that our Soul will continue to exist in a non-physical world. Continuous existence of the human Soul teaches us that there is no beginning and no end; Spirit is part of the creative force and indestructible.
It is our own personal responsibility for all that we do, say and think. We are governed by the natural law of ‘cause and effect’ and when we pass to the spirit world we have to confront ourselves with everything we have done in our lives. No other person or influence can put right our wrong doings.
This principle is an expression of our belief in the natural or universal law of ‘cause and effect’, in other words “as you sow, so shall you reap“. If someone is cruel and vindictive towards others then in some way retribution will follow, and if someone gives love and kindness, then compensation follows. This law operates now, on earth as well as the spirit world. We will earn compensation for all the good deeds we have done and retribution for those things we have done that have marred others’ lives in some way.
If we accept that our Soul will live for ever, it naturally follows that we can continue to learn and grow in experience and understanding. This continued progress and learning is there for everyone and not just a chosen few. If you develop your spiritual gifts by hard work you will gain your reward by progressing to a higher level in this life and the next. All who want to walk the path that leads to perfection are able to progress in mental and spiritual understanding. By doing our best in our earthly life and by following our inward intuitions we shall find progress comes to us on earth and in spirit.
These Principles combine philosophy, science and religion and are the crux of the Spiritualist belief. They are inter-dependent and their influence has transformed man’s outlook on life. Remember, they are Principles and not Commandments.