The study and application of a spiritual philosophy is a key to establishing a Spiritualist way of life and it is introduced through the Seven Principles of Spiritualism. These principles are intended to provide each individual, particularly those who are new to Spiritualism, with a foundation for developing a personal philosophy. They are not meant to be binding rules or the basis of dogma.
The Seven Principles of Spiritualism are:
1. The Fatherhood of God
The core belief of the religious philosophy of Spiritualism is the acceptance of a Divine Energy. This force, whatever name given to it, has created all there is and sustains all its creation. The ‘Spirit of God’ exists within and around everything. It is within all of us; we are all children of God so are part of one family. We acknowledge God as our Father.
2. The Brotherhood of Man
We are all part of the universal creative force and therefore one family in God. The operation of true brotherhood throughout the world would create betterment to the lives of many, bringing equality, security and peace. Spiritualists try to understand the needs of others and help all people regardless of race, colour or creed.
3. The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels
Communion with Divine Energy is a natural and essential part of existence. Communication between spirit itself and its creations is an inbuilt ability. Spiritualists use this ability for communication directly, or via a medium, between those in the spirit world and us. This is not supernatural; it is a normal activity. The main purpose of communication with the spirit world is to provide the evidence which supports our philosophy. The Ministry of Angels brings enhanced wisdom to enlighten the individual, society and the world in which we live. This includes those who are dedicated to the welfare and service of mankind bringing inspiration, guidance and healing.
4. The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul
Spirit is part of the ‘Creative Force’ and thus indestructible. Energy cannot be destroyed; it can only change its form. After death the physical body is left behind whilst the soul continues to exist in a different dimension that we call the spirit world. The individual personality continues unchanged by the event we call ‘death’.
5. Personal Responsibility
In His wisdom, God has given us enormous potential; we can use that potential to improve our own lives and the lives of others. We have the ability to make decisions throughout our lives as we see fit. What each of us makes of our life is our personal responsibility; no one can replace or override that right. No other person or influence can rectify our wrongdoings.
6. Compensation and Retribution hereafter for all the Good and Evil Deeds done on Earth
This principle expresses the natural law of cause and effect. This law operates now, on earth, as well as in the spirit world. As we move through life making choices, the outcome of those choices affects our soul growth. When we leave this earthly life there will be no divine judgement. We will have the opportunity to reassess, take stock and decide what might have been done differently.
7. Eternal Progress Open to every Human Soul
Eternity does not begin at death. Progress is open to all now! Any action, or intent to change, to promote soul growth and progression, creates a positive reaction. There will always be the opportunity to develop and move forward; no one is ever deprived of the all-embracing love of God.
The Seven Principles were originally communicated through the mediumship of Emma Hardinge Britten (1823-1899). The communicating spirit was the eminent philanthropist and social reformer, Robert Owen, who died in 1858. Guidance received from the spirit world by Emma in 1871 inspired her to utilize teachings given by Robert Owen, to provide a basis of suitable guidelines to follow in our daily lives and assist us on our Spiritual pathway. The original Principles were adapted to suit the newly formed Spiritualists’ National Union, one of the largest Spiritualist organizations in the world, and later amended in 1901 to the principles we recite today.