Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by hiorta on Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:28 am

There was a long debate on an Irish site, if memory serves correctly, where the overwhelming consensus that the 12 Steps were dependency creating and so were very limited.

A surprise to me, as Iknow many from different walks who cheerfully admit to them being, literally, lifesavers.
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by obiwan on Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:17 pm

Admin wrote:Hi Quite,

Yes I did know that about Bill Wilson it is a very interesting story. I think that one of our problems as a movement is that we are stuck upon the issues of proof of survival and have failed to take the philosophy out into the world in any meaningful way. Maybe the 12 steps of AA is an example where it did some good.

Jim
Hi Jim

I think the problem may be that the philosophy has been around 'out in the world' for millennia. There is nothing knew in it as far as I can see. If Spiritualist churches cannot offer more than that then they are very 'late to market'. The purported evidence of mediumship seems very thin on the ground these days and rarely associated with spiritualism as a religion.



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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Quiet on Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:10 pm

Admin wrote:Hi Quiet,

Yes I did know that about Bill Wilson it is a very interesting story. I think that one of our problems as a movement is that we are stuck upon the issues of proof of survival and have failed to take the philosophy out into the world in any meaningful way. Maybe the 12 steps of AA is an example where it did some good.

Jim

Hi Jim,

I think the 12 Steps were developed by Bill Wilson and the first AA members based on a variety of spiritual beliefs and structured in a way that is more or less perfect for recovery from alcoholism. It is interesting that they used the term "God" but that "God" can be of one's own understanding. They speak of letting go, self awareness, making amends, concious contact with the God of one's own understanding and love and service to others. It is a perfect program of recovery and for living, really.

Of just as much importance, however, are the 12 Traditions which form the governance of the organisation and are essential to its primary purpose and survival - the primary purpose is to stay sober and to help others achieve sobriety. There is no money and no personal glory in AA! It caters for individuality and if you're not happy then you can easily go off and start a new group. One of the most important aspects of AA is that it does provide communities in which people can find connection and support with and from others. The 12 Traditions as governance are really fundamental to the primary task

Perhaps the spiritualist movement was right for its time and provided a window for spirit to work quite actively in parts of the Western world. For many, the spiritualist communities still work that way. From my relatively new perspective, things seem to work or not work according to the individuals involved. Unlike AA, for example, here does not seem to be a primary purpose for the spiritualist churches and the governance is all over the place. Re the lack of agreed governance, it is human nature to argue about these things. The 7 Principles don't provide good governance.

In Melbourne, there was a very sad series of events in late 2009 and early 2010 where personal actions and beliefs were confused with 'right and wrong' spiritualist practice and very poor church governance. The particular church was split and many left because of that, including long standing members who had given their life time to service. The principles of love and service were abandoned for individual interpretations of right and wrong. Same old, same old.

Maybe, given human nature and the diversity of opinion, it's only ever possible for things to be effective for short periods of time until they change into something else. Change does keep things fresh and change and stability are not incompatible, though many think they are. I read somewhere in the Ramadahn papers that Spirit experiment, too, and work for opportunities to reach us in this dimension. There is some fascinating material in those papers (Ursula Roberts).

A member of my family is a retired scientist now interested in cosmology. He has lived a good life but is not a Christian. I think he has now reached his own acceptance of survival beyond death. His family love him dearly and he has a definite feeling of peace about him after a lucky survival from a near fatal heart attack. I guess the point of this story is that people find their own way to the sense of spiritual self and we are all fortunate if we can find companions somewhere along the path.

These are simply personal observations. I am very grateful that I had the grace to find some good people and the knowledge that has been given to date Smile


Quiet


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Left Behind on Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:02 am

Since I'm just starting to learn about all this, I can't offer an opinion as to whether Spiritualism is a religion, much less whether it should or shouldn't be.

However, it seems to me that what Spiritualism offers, primarily, is actual contemporary evidence of life after bodily dissolution. It's only this evidentiary aspect that differentiates it from Christianity's teachings about the existence of an afterlife.

Religion, it seems to me, would also offer, in addition; an explanation of the creation of the universe: an explanation of the nature of the Entity(s) who created it: and a moral code, derived not from practical experience or philosophical speculation, but from revelation or illumination.

How does Spiritualism address these latter issues?

Jim

Left Behind


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by mac on Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:25 am

"I can't offer an opinion as to whether Spiritualism is a religion, much less whether it should or shouldn't be. "

In the UK it's a registered religion. Whether it should be doesn't change the fact that it is. Elsewhere it's not.

It's a continual cyber struggle to get this point over to folk who refer to 'spiritualism' (compare 'Spiritualism') when really they're speaking about spirituality

Expecting so much of a religion, viz "Religion, it seems to me, would also offer, in addition; an explanation of the creation of the universe: an explanation of the nature of the Entity(s) who created it: and a moral code, derived not from practical experience or philosophical speculation, but from revelation or illumination." does not seem practicable to me.

If explanations were provided I'd doubt that many/any would understand. And how would we ever know genuine from bogus?

What would be different from here and now?

mac


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Left Behind on Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:47 pm

mac wrote:"I can't offer an opinion as to whether Spiritualism is a religion, much less whether it should or shouldn't be. "

Expecting so much of a religion, viz "Religion, it seems to me, would also offer, in addition; an explanation of the creation of the universe: an explanation of the nature of the Entity(s) who created it: and a moral code, derived not from practical experience or philosophical speculation, but from revelation or illumination." does not seem practicable to me.

If explanations were provided I'd doubt that many/any would understand. And how would we ever know genuine from bogus?


Keith, these factors that I mentioned above are traditionally accepted as defining a religion. They are also the type of factors utilized by US law when deciding whether a belief system constitutes a religion, or not.

Jim

Left Behind


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by mac on Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:12 pm

Left Behind wrote:
mac wrote:"I can't offer an opinion as to whether Spiritualism is a religion, much less whether it should or shouldn't be. "

Expecting so much of a religion, viz"Religion, it seems to me, would also offer, in addition; an explanation of the creation of the universe: an explanation of the nature of the Entity(s) who created it: and a moral code, derived not from practical experience or philosophical speculation, but from revelation or illumination." does not seem practicable to me.

If explanations were provided I'd doubt that many/any would understand. And how would we ever know genuine from bogus?


Keith, these factors that I mentioned above are traditionally accepted as defining a religion. They are also the type of factors utilized by US law when deciding whether a belief system constitutes a religion, or not.

Jim

You gave the impression that it was you who would expect the explanations you specified.... "Religion, it seems to me, would also offer, in addition; an explanation of the creation of the universe: an explanation of the nature of the Entity(s) who created it" So it's US law which requires such?

"....and a moral code, derived not from practical experience or philosophical speculation, but from revelation or illumination." This last issue baffles me - "revelation or illumination" what?


Sad (I feel) that Modern Spiritualism has its roots in Hydesville, NY but is now little seen in the USA. Much less, even, than in the UK......

mac


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by hiorta on Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:13 pm

Religions tend to treat their adherents like so many imbeciles, in that they tell them what to, how to and when to practice carry out riruals and use approved chants/ prayers.

Spiritualism is for folk who prefer to think and act, appropriate to their understanding and reflecting the reality of their inner unfolding.

As folk are all uniquely different to begin with - and there are different views on if and how this is so - and of course there are similarly different views on where we might be heading and why.

Religions seem to prefer compliant sheeple to Spiritualists. Strange, that!
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by mac on Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:53 pm

"Religions seem to prefer compliant sheeple to Spiritualists. "

sheeple? I like it! Very Happy


mac


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by zerdini on Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:32 pm

mac wrote:"Religions seem to prefer compliant sheeple to Spiritualists. "

sheeple? I like it! Very Happy


"Shepherds may change but sheep remain sheep"

zerdini


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by obiwan on Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:13 pm

That's a baaaad joke.

obiwan


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Left Behind on Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:17 pm

mac wrote:
Left Behind wrote:
mac wrote:"I can't offer an opinion as to whether Spiritualism is a religion, much less whether it should or shouldn't be. "

Expecting so much of a religion, viz"Religion, it seems to me, would also offer, in addition; an explanation of the creation of the universe: an explanation of the nature of the Entity(s) who created it: and a moral code, derived not from practical experience or philosophical speculation, but from revelation or illumination." does not seem practicable to me.

If explanations were provided I'd doubt that many/any would understand. And how would we ever know genuine from bogus?


Keith, these factors that I mentioned above are traditionally accepted as defining a religion. They are also the type of factors utilized by US law when deciding whether a belief system constitutes a religion, or not.

Jim

You gave the impression that it was you who would expect the explanations you specified.... "Religion, it seems to me, would also offer, in addition; an explanation of the creation of the universe: an explanation of the nature of the Entity(s) who created it" So it's US law which requires such?

"....and a moral code, derived not from practical experience or philosophical speculation, but from revelation or illumination." This last issue baffles me - "revelation or illumination" what?


Sad (I feel) that Modern Spiritualism has its roots in Hydesville, NY but is now little seen in the USA. Much less, even, than in the UK......

Well, I would expect these explanations to be offerred, also, before I'd term something a religion.

By analogy: many people (myself included) regard near-death experiences as being evidence of life after death. But there is no "near death faith" or "near death religion", because there's no coherent theology behind the reporting of these experiences.

When I contrast "revelation or illumination" with philosophical speculation, think of it this way: if I say. "Do unto others the way you'd want others to do unto you: I try to follow that thought only because it seems to me a smart way to promote social harmony": that's not a religious thought.

If I say, "Do unto others the way you'd want others to do unto you: I try to follow that thought because my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ told his followers to live that way": that's a religious thought.

Jim

Left Behind


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Admin on Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:54 pm

Hi Jim

I will come back to this but to deal with your point very simply in the USA the National Spiritualist Association of Churches has been registered as a Religion since 1893. Similarly in the UK teh Spiritualist National Union is a registered religion and in melbourne Australia the Victorian Spiritualist Union is also registered as a religion.

They fulfill all teh requirements, the declaration of Principles is said to be (albeit I may dispute the actual facts stated if you go to the forum on Philosophy and follow the various threads on principles you will ssee why) revelations from Spirit. We believe in God, infinite intelligence, the creator, great spirit which is something that even the best Proof of Survival medium cannot actually prove exists. In terms of creation given one of the original proponents of the theorty of evolution Alfred Wallace was a Spiritualist I think we are comfortable with that theory.

The Principles define the moral code.

I will say this many Spiritualists are rational in their approach, we accept all the teachings of the past not just that of Jesus we are not Christians. Others are Christian Spiritualists who tend to follow his teachings more closely. Remember though Spiritualism does not believe in heaven, hell, vicarious atonement and original sin.

I hope that helps there is a lot of material on teh forum which should be of guidance.

Jim
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Left Behind on Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:46 am

Admin wrote:

I will say this many Spiritualists are rational in their approach, we accept all the teachings of the past not just that of Jesus we are not Christians. Others are Christian Spiritualists who tend to follow his teachings more closely. Remember though Spiritualism does not believe in heaven, hell, vicarious atonement and original sin.

Jim

Jim, do Spiritualists reject these traditional Christian concepts because they regard them as philosophically irrational?

Or because revelations from the spirit world say that they are untrue?

Jim

Left Behind


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Admin on Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:50 am

Hi Jim,

I think it is a combination of all of those things. If as we say every body has a spark of the divine then we are all a part of Spirit. Of course Jesus (let us just for this discussion accept that this person existed as claimed) nver claimed to be the son of God it was the Church that did that. He always said we could do what he did. he also made no claims to save us and Spiritualism says that are salvation is our own responsibility albeit when we rejoin the Spirit world I am sure we will get assistance.

Then original sin, no way do I follow the concepts of creationism and Adam and Eve, indeed why follow an Old Testament that is one tribes record of the creation from one small part of the world whre mankind did not first evolve.

Indeed history shows us that the bible has been subject to rewrites (even the Jewish Torah was rewritten at times). We celebrate the day of the Birth of Mithra as Christ birthday which was neare mid summer than the bleak mid winter and other sacred days are set up to allow the assimilation of various pagan religions into the new Chirch Of Rome when the Empire adopted Christianity.

Jus a few reasons to go with a religion based upon more rational principles and a proven knowledge of survival.

Jim
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Wes on Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:24 am

At least the christian church took the "rational" approach to hold a big meeting of bishops in Nicea to decide if Jesus was divine or not. Imagine that, a man's divinity or humanity decided by democratic vote 300 years after his death. It's unfortunate though that the vote appeared to be predetermined as only two bishops voted in the negative, and they were soon made to regret their decision. What a strange foundation for a present day religion to have...





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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Admin on Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:27 am

Absolutely Wes and of course accepting this from 300 very human Bishops we have to deny all the other religions and their belief systems.
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by mac on Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:09 am

Admin wrote:Hi Jim

I will come back to this but to deal with your point very simply in the USA the National Spiritualist Association of Churches has been registered as a Religion since 1893. Similarly in the UK teh Spiritualist National Union is a registe..................................

I hope that helps there is a lot of material on teh forum which should be of guidance.

Jim

Thanks for informing us of the situation in respect of registered religions, Jim. I'm embarrassed to admit my ignorance.

I don't want to sound like I'm stuck in a loop but I have regularly pointed out the UK's situation (along with other points) to explain why spiritualism/spirituality isn't (Modern) Spiritualism. Folk can get VERY shirty when I say that.

I can now also refer to the situation being similar in the USA and Australia.


mac


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by hiorta on Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:12 am

Of course, there was also the Council of Trent - 1545 - where by a majority of 3 votes, it was decided that women had souls.

Note: They HAD Souls - not ARE Souls.
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Quiet on Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:47 am

hiorta wrote:Of course, there was also the Council of Trent - 1545 - where by a majority of 3 votes, it was decided that women had souls.

Note: They HAD Souls - not ARE Souls.

You made me laugh outright!

I think in Western urban cultures the concepts of 'church' and 'religion' are ways to organise people, hold them in community and be eligible for the various legal and taxation benefits that come with the status. Problems can arise when these groups grow and inevitably institutionalise. The Catholic Church has always been a patriarchy with some undamaged and loving spots here and there.

I am developing a personal feeling that spiritualism for a time made it possible for Spirit to manifest in the world. I am grateful for that window being open when I needed it but I have been very disappointed by the shallowness and politics of the churches here, with a few exceptions. Spiritualism would be nothing without mediumship. That is all that distinguishes it from other nice philosophies.

Quiet


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by mac on Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:16 pm

"I am developing a personal feeling that spiritualism for a time made it possible for Spirit to manifest in the world. I am gra......"

I explained why I use 'Spiritualism' with an upper case 'S' so what a curious transposition of capital and lower case letter 's' in spiritualism and Spirits in the above piece..... scratch

I am, of course, a pedantic Modern Spiritualist! Laughing Laughing Laughing


mac


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by mac on Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:23 pm

"I am developing a personal feeling that spiritualism for a time made it possible for Spirit to manifest in the world. I am grateful for that window being open when I needed it but I have been very disappointed by the shallowness and politics of the churches here, with a few exceptions. Spiritualism would be nothing without mediumship. That is all that distinguishes it from other nice philosophies."

You're close to my way of thinking except that Modern Spiritualism didn't make, quote: "..... it possible for Spirit to manifest in the world." Such matters do not require Spiritualism. Wink Modern Spiritualism is simply the name of the movement most recently associated with such occurrences....

It's correct to say that Modern Spiritualism would be undermined without demonstrable mediumship but the remainder of the church and politics stuff doesn't much impact on the message of survival, annoying though it can be.

Modern Spiritualists are, after all, only human and all humans have weaknesses.

Kinda one of the main reasons we're here, eh? Wink

mac


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Left Behind on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:24 pm

Quiet wrote: Spiritualism would be nothing without mediumship. That is all that distinguishes it from other nice philosophies.

Good point!

Jim

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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by hiorta on Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:31 pm

I'd agree with you on this, Quiet.

However, apparently the Spirit World (or those whose task it is to bring knowledge to us) must be well aware of Western dilution of education and adapt their approach accordingly. Folk think a bit differently than earlier years, but perhaps this was always so.

Like yourself, I'm grateful for what I received when I did.

The Minds of today and tomorrow seem to perceive via their outer being in a way we did not. Perhaps our way was a result of previous mindsets. We are unlikely to know, in any case, but could assume the efforts made to reach us will bear fruit for those ready to receive.

As you say Mediumship is the key and perhaps the most we can do is to encourage and provide the means of tomorrows Mediums without making comparisons.

Indeed, the current mono-theistic view may widen in scope in line with general society. An atheistic understanding might not sit too well with those of other times, but if it confirmed survival of physical death for those of that outlook.....?
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Quiet on Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:19 pm

hiorta wrote:I'd agree with you on this, Quiet.

However, apparently the Spirit World (or those whose task it is to bring knowledge to us) must be well aware of Western dilution of education and adapt their approach accordingly. Folk think a bit differently than earlier years, but perhaps this was always so.

Like yourself, I'm grateful for what I received when I did.

The Minds of today and tomorrow seem to perceive via their outer being in a way we did not. Perhaps our way was a result of previous mindsets. We are unlikely to know, in any case, but could assume the efforts made to reach us will bear fruit for those ready to receive.

As you say Mediumship is the key and perhaps the most we can do is to encourage and provide the means of tomorrows Mediums without making comparisons.

Indeed, the current mono-theistic view may widen in scope in line with general society. An atheistic understanding might not sit too well with those of other times, but if it confirmed survival of physical death for those of that outlook.....?

Thank you.

'The minds of today and tomorrow seem to perceive via their outer being in a way that we do not' - I think that this is so and it was foreshadowed in one of Ursula Roberts' Ramadahn trance lectures. Somewhere in the same lecture, the spirit speaks of the way music and dance have a role in this - but it was just one reference in a whole lecture. I've always found music to bring me closer to spirit, though mostly it has been classical music Smile.

Many people today do connect with Spirit in a much more open way than I did in my own life before I discovered spiritualism. The trance revelations of spirit through mediums like Ursula Roberts, Ivy Northage and Maurice Barbanell have had much more meaning to me than some of the New Age American literature. One can see parallels between the two. Some of the American material appears empty and commercial but there is some which is excellent and reaches many.

"Indeed, the current mono-theistic view may widen in scope in line with general society. An atheistic understanding might not sit too well with those of other times, but if it confirmed survival of physical death for those of that outlook.....?"

I'm not sure what you mean by this and would be interested in an explanation. I know some good mediums who do not take the mono-theistic approach and some who are different varieties of Christian in their beliefs Smile. These differences intrigue me but I see them as perhaps indicative of culture and education.

Quiet


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