1 Jun 2015

Spirituality vs. Spiritualism

Moon at night shining on clouds
A couple of months ago I wrote the post we need a new religion. I would like to progress on my thinking in this article. In my last post, I wrote:

"We need a new Religion. A Religion that transcends all other religions, while encompassing all the commonalities. A Religion that emphasises how little we know. No certainties. No Dogmas. No Saints. No infallibility. No blind belief that the words of some people are to be taken at face value and are more valuable than the words of others.

A Religion that does not insult our intellect, our sensitivity, and our sensibility.

A Religion that lets us explore, study, share with other faiths, worship, and live what is the reality of God."

Well, this is something that I have been pondering on for many years. When asked, I always used to remark that I am more spiritual, than religious.

And yet, this is not entirely true. While it is true that I am spiritual, that I pursue activities that are highly spiritually charged, such as meditation, development of my higher self, and helping my fellow human, the term "Spiritual" doesn't quite convey the depth of meanings, beliefs, and life-style choice I make.

Why do I say this? Well, if we Google, or Bing "What is Spirituality" we will find that there is not a specific standard definition. It used to be attached to religiousness and piety; however, that is not quite the case. If we look, analyse, and combine the various descriptions that we find spread over some of the more or less enlightened explanations that one can find over the internet (it's good we don't have to go roaming from library to library in this day and age!) I think we can arrive at one generic characterization:

Spirituality is an inner journey, a search for enlightenment, a drive to improve oneself, an attempt to reach oneness with God, and a deep appreciation of all of God's gifts

While I share wholeheartedly this perspective, I somehow feel that it is not enough. Simply because spirituality seems to be exclusively an inner journey, it is a progression of the self, but does not focus outward.

Once one starts achieving even just a gleam of enlightenment, and once one appreciates God's gifts, and reaches a marginal level of awareness of God's presence within, the question that springs to mind is "What am I going to do with this?" And asking this question is part of the natural progression to enlightenment, is an intrinsic part of the development of the soul, it is intertwined with our conversations with God within, or as some call it the Source.

At this stage in their soul's development, some spiritual people turn to Eastern religions, and I applaud their decision to move away from the known and comfortable to learn and practice a new religion. Well new to them, as these religions are even older than our own (speaking as Christian myself).

However, this does not suit me personally. If we look at all of the ancient religions, we cannot avoid sensing that they only give only part of the picture. They have sects, factions, different interpretations of what was the original Divine message. And they often push creeds that do not make sense, or are not entirely sensible to the more inquisitive mind. Even if we make that "leap of faith", our intellect is still bedazzled by the incongruence of some of the teaching.

So, in my philosophical mental ramblings I have been left for years wondering "what's next?"

I will digress now a little, and mention something personal. When I was much younger, I had some interesting psychic gifts. I could travel outside of my body, I could often foresee events in mine and other people lives, and I could instantly know a person when we first met, or know what they were thinking and feeling.

Another view of mount Banahaw
Life went on and as I had to focus on career and bill payments these talents subsided. But I never lost a very high degree of empathy. This empathy was very useful in my career. It helped me develop staff, it aided me in understanding my bosses and clients, it assisted me in being useful to my friends and the local community, and it was a good gift to acknowledge and use.

There came a stage in my life, however, when this gift became a curse. I became an emotional sponge, absorbing negative energies from people around me, and feeding the emotional vampires that I had met in my path. This made me very depressed and had an extremely detrimental effect on my life.

Obviously, as a person with a good degree of cognitive abilities I realised what was happening and I started looking for help. At first I looked at information specific to empathy. While advice given in this field was very good, it was not sufficient. There was nothing new in what I was reading or being told.

So in my mind I started thinking: well, hang on, maybe the reason why the information is too basic for me is because I am not just empathic, there is actually a little more than empathy. After all, this used to be one of my psychic abilities, maybe it still is, and it is the only one that I cultivated because it was useful to me, while I neglected those that were not of importance in my career advancement.

This was a movement in the right direction for many reasons, which I am not going to discuss now. It is just to introduce the next steps relevant to the subject of this article.

I started looking into the psychic world for insight, advice, and understanding. I always shied away from the psychic world, simply because of the amount of charlatanism that can be found there. But this time I focused my exploration, and I made it into an accurate research.

I found that there are mainly two types of psychics. The first type is based on spirituality, or claims to be. This type is easily recognisable by their ostentatious websites, the abundant use of eastern religions' terminology, and carries a big price tag on all their activities. The second type is based on Spiritualism. Their websites are somewhat simple and clunky, albeit functional. They offer many free services, such as readings and free chat, and they tend to be in groups that also teach psychic and mediumship skills at very affordable rates.

I was obviously very intrigued by the difference. It seemed that while the first group were out to simply make a lot of money, the latter variety had some kind of ethics. As I am a person with a very strong sense of right and wrong, I was extremely captivated by this second type of ethical psychic.

We have all heard about Spiritualism, right? This movement of new age weirdos that collect in houses and public halls, and call them churches, and that do some kind of weird rituals to talk to the dead … or at least that is the impression we all get.

Still, I put my prejudices to the back of my mind, I joined one of these psychic schools and started researching Spiritualism in more depth.

Before I get to the results of my research so far, I have to admit that Spiritualism has been plagued with reports and discovery of charlatans, fraudsters, and malevolent leaders. However, if we look at Christian churches and sects, we know that they are no different: child molesters, illegitimate children, money-laundering, donations used for personal gains … Bad, opportunistic people are everywhere, we cannot judge a community by the poor example given by some of its members.

So I set forth on my research, which obviously included some internet searches, such as Bing and Google, the inevitable Wikipedia's multiple articles, read some books, and attending a Psychic school. (Some links are available at the bottom of this article).

What is striking about Spiritualism is that it is a Religion of common sense. One of the things that one keeps hearing is that one should discard what does not make sense to them. As we progress spiritually, more things may make sense. But if things go against one's intellect, it is reasonable to ignore them.

Nothing like a beautiful sunrise
One does not even have to call it religion. Call it philosophy, or movement, or whatever is most reasonable and acceptable to one's belief system. One is not even encouraged to drop their existing religion or faith.

Although many analysts and writers will list many beliefs of this Religion, in my understanding there are really only three simple values in Spiritualism: God is in everything, the soul is eternal, and the future of the soul depends on its spiritual development.

Everything else is really just a consequence of these principles. It is possible to communicate from this realm to whatever next realm between two souls, as long as one has progressed enough spiritually to be able to establish communication between the different planes of existence. Also, multiple domains where the souls may reside, mediums that facilitate communication between realms, souls' active participation from other planes of existence, are all really left to the person.

This is where education becomes very important, and it is why Spiritualists place a great emphasis on psychic and mediumship teachings. The role of the medium is that of the servant to the souls in the other realms to help provide proof of continuing life to the loved ones that are left in this world, and who may be confused by the various religious beliefs they may have.

This is why readings are largely free, or are just charged at a low level, simply to contribute to the payment of the costs. This is also why skill and knowledge sharing is voluntary, given generously, and any fees are reasonable to contribute to the payment of expenses. And this is also why their websites are simple, cheap, but also very functional, so that people from all walks of life, from any country, from any background can be given easy access.

The second compelling factor about Spiritualism is that even science seems to agree with the principles involved. And by science, I am not referring to the study of the paranormal, or parapsychology. I am actually referring to the modern physics' theory of Quantum Mechanic.

I have become an avid reader of quantum physics related information, as I always believed that everything can be explained scientifically, and I shared many links on my Facebook page. Multiple universes, entanglement, irrelevance of time and space, Spiritualism fits in almost naturally …

So what is my conclusion? Well so far I think Spiritualism certainly is worthy of investigation, but do not take my word for it. Read, get informed, and make up your own mind. Truth, fiction, belief, disbelief … are all in the mind of the reader. Some references are included below J

References

Wikipedia overview of Spiritualism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritualism
Wikipedia details of Spiritualism as a belief http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritualism_(beliefs)
Life in the World Unseen, by Anthony Borgia, (spirit life after death) free download http://new-birth.net/booklet/Life_in_the_World_Unseen.pdf
More Life in the World Unseen, by Anthony Borgia, (spirit life after death)free download http://www.rait.airclima.ru/books/More%20of%20Life%20in%20the%20World%20Unseen.pdf
They Walked Among Us by Louie Harris, (the life of a Spiritualist medium) free download http://galactic.no/rune/spesBoker/Louie%20Harris%20-%20They%20Walked%20Among%20Us.pdf