The Greater Spiritualism beyond the religions of Spiritism and Spiritualism.
The work of mediums, psychical researchers, transpersonal psychologists and spiritual healers takes place in all communities, amongst all beliefs and cultures, the same for all human beings, with local variations and practices, and different attitudes and levels of receptivity or rejection toward it. This is why Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not want to see a separate religion arise out of the Spiritualist movement, since in the first place it would become a very small minority religion, and secondly because the skill of second sight could not be taught, only developed over time. There was a danger that a bureaucratic administration would replace live mediumship, and a hierarchy of non-mediumistic priests would replace the mediums, as in other religions.
Somehow each religion and each science needs to recognize and accept and encourage activities beyond the material, beyond ritualistic and mechanistic thinking, looking beyond appearances into the true cause and nature of things. The common feature of all existence is not found in a belief in a mythical prophet or entity, nor in the microscopic or macroscopic universe, but in the realization that we are each and every one a spirit living in a material body and physical form..
Whatever religion each material person believes in and practises, or does not practise, that person has an eternal spirit as the source of being. How can we convince others of this, and of the spiritual truth about the purpose in life? It is quite evident from our investigations that this material life is not all there is, that we take all we learn here with us when we die, and our personalities survive, too.
There is so much opposition to individual development and spiritual realization, from the religions themselves, particularly from the priests who will not allow mediumship to be practised nor permit deviation from the set creeds, rituals and doctrines. They do not seem to want people to think for themselves. Bible classes must adhere to standard interpretations, and so in each religion and their scriptures, particularly in the fundamentalist branches, which are growing so fast world-wide, there is little discussion of .what lies beyond death. Funerals and burials terminate our existence, they say, and it is up to the Creator, and our former conduct, as to what kind of future will be judged best for us.
We can have our different ways of worshipping and celebrating life, but it is dangerous nowadays to separate ourselves into different faiths, hoping that our faith is the right one, which will dominate and overcome all others.
Whatever happens in politics and religion, and in some countries, mainland China and North Korea, for example, religion is kept a careful watch over – whether we are religious-minded, agnostics or atheists – whatever happens, we will die when our time is up, yet continue to exist in a time and place beyond the jurisdiction of any religious authority. Our former ties to an earthbound religion will eventually vanish. Just think that life has been evolving on our planet for billions of years, and yet our present religions have been with us only for two or three thousand years, if that, themselves evolving out of more primitive and barbarous practices of worshipping. So our religions are only local, short-lived affairs. How can they comprise and make sense of the vastness of the physical universe, let alone the infinity of the spiritual worlds and realities beyond?
That there is a continuity, reason and purpose behind all our lives, a universal mind and spirit, call it divine imagination, is a rational assumption we can make after looking at all the wonders and glories of the life we experience. We have individual responsibility and choice in the living of our lives here, and beyond. In doing so, we can be helped by acquiring the virtues recommended by our religions, and avoiding the faults or sins described by them – choosing wisely between good and evil – but at the same time, dropping cultural practices which now seem outmoded, such as honor killings, cycles of revenge, retaliation and barbarous practices and prejudicial racial, class and caste discrimination. We must be strong enough to speak out against bigotry and unreasonable dogma and injustice. So, we say now, even though there are Spiritualist churches, some Christian and others non-denominational, we would recommend that spiritualist philosophy, mediumship, healing and psychic research and the science of parapsychology remain as practices and disciplines which are separate and neutral as far as religion is concerned.
As a result, taking a neutral position, we are able to discuss the life beyond without causing any flare-ups over points of fact or belief or doctrine.
With regard to the discussion of reincarnation, once again we get into a hornets’ nest of controversy between Spiritualists, Theosphists and many of the religions, and even the spirits themselves have different point of view and experiences to relate to us on the subject.
I will not be afraid to bring up the topic in this column, and in other articles, but at the present time it is not my focus as I discuss facts of the World Beyond.
Second sight, the arts of mediumship, clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience and spiritual healing are all human faculties which occur naturally, are often inborn and inherited, and to a certain extent can be developed even amongst those with little psychic ability. A religious or a near-death-experience can stimulate the faculty. However, some religions and political regimes oppose it, and consider it the work of the Devil. Since the Christian Baptismal service demands that parents and Godparents renounce the Devil and all his ways, mediumship goes out with the bathwater, if not the baby. The Devil does not exist, to my mind, and is a mythical creation designed to instill us with fear and keep to the straight and narrow path of righteousness. I do not believe in the dualist philosophy which describes a creative principle for ever a war with a force of destruction. I would say there is one creative life-force, within which we progress and develop as we make choices and take actions, the consequences of which show us the wisdom or folly of our thought.
Mediumship is not teachable as an academic subject, since it is a gift or talent, a faculty which is not teachable like theology in a seminary. Not every priest can become a medium; Very often it is to the contrary, and then it becomes a gift that is denied by the priesthood altogether.
So what there needs to be is a neutral science of spirit and psychic science, which can be used by each and every religion in its own way, at the same time being acceptable to material science and other branches of knowledge. This is the way that science and religion will eventually be able to merge, without causing rivalry or disruption of belief, or an almighty Armageddon of conflict.
It is predicted that there will be over 9 billion people on earth by the year 2050. Spiritualism the religion will be an even smaller minority than it is now, crowded out by the ever-expanding fundamentalist organizations and materialistic commercial and political institutions. Some see psychic ability as a virus contaminating modern science and the age-old religions, and oppose it relentlessly. However spirit is the very nature and essence of life and no matter what happens in the material world over the next hundred years, spirit life will continue as it does now. The World Beyond will be unaffected by any world disaster, although it will do its best to influence us all to lead better lives so that no catastrophes can occur.
A.D. Mattson the Lutheran pastor had talked about the afterlife during his lifetime, but he was unlike most priests. When he returned to communicate through a medium, he described the World Beyond in great detail, and like all former priests who return to communicate, he wished that in his ministry he had been able to talk even more about the reality of the future life after death. This is a step that priests of all religions should now take.
Copyright: Richard T.C. Rowley: August 2010.
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