Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Quiet on Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:24 pm

mac wrote:"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, you are pedantic Smile. The capitalisation was deliberate though. It is simply a matter of style and meaning being different.

Quiet


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by mac on Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:25 pm

"The capitalisation was deliberate though. It is simply a matter of style and meaning being different. "

I still don't understand why you capitalised 'Spirits' and left 'spiritualism' with a lower case 's'....

mac


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Quiet on Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:47 pm

Mac, it doesn't really matter all that much. In this instance the capitalisation of Spirit was just my way of differentiating Spirit from 'spiritualism', the religion.

I might write things differently in another context. As you might see from another post I might not always be consistent because it is not really the main point of the discussion.

I won't enter a discussion about capitals/no capitals because it is not the main theme of this thread. Pardon my firmness here but I can remember thread in this forum which went to absurd lengths about the interpretation of a word (from memory) and I just don't want that now because it isn't relevant.

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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by mac on Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:47 pm

"Quiet"

Mac, it doesn't really matter all that much. ...to you In this instance the capitalisation of Spirit was just my way of differentiating Spirit from 'spiritualism', the religion. curious....

I might write things differently in another context. why? As you might see from another post I might not always be consistent because it is not really the main point of the discussion. That's illogical..... Consistency never detracts from a discussion point and it does avoid ambiguity.

I won't enter a discussion about capitals/no capitals because it is not the main theme of this thread. I didn't ask you to discuss it. Pardon my firmness here but I can remember thread in this forum which went to absurd lengths about the interpretation of a word (from memory) and I just don't want that now because it isn't relevant. What firmness? You answered my question. Wink

mac


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by obiwan on Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:36 pm

Yeah cos the meaning of words isn't that important lol


Last edited by obiwan on Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Quiet on Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:17 am

Discussing issues is always challenging on Internet forums. You don't know people and you can't see them.

I was only interested in discussing the question of whether spiritualism was meant to be a religion. I was surprised to get caught up in things that don't seem relevant or important to me. You describe yourself as a pedant, Mac,and I responded by joining in the joke. A discordant note has now entered the discussion, much to my regret. That was not my intention.

I'll take a break from this forum and wish you all well.

Quiet


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:34 am

Hi Quiet,

I am sad to hear that, especially as you are a fellow Aus. Please reconsider, at times people have strong views on one word, I can as, the leader of an Australian centre, understand their views and the need to sustain a belief in Modern Spiritualism, capitals intended. it is the retreat from that which has seem the dimunition in both mediumship and inspiration replaced by new age ideals.

Those of us who believe need to stay together although we may not always agree.
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by hiorta on Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:39 am

Can I request that you reconsider, Quiet?

Your reasoned input brings a quiet energy to us all. The maxim 'Be true to yourself' holds.

""I'm not sure what you mean by this and would be interested in an explanation" : Quiet.

I was thinking that as Christianity is now unacceptable to the reason of an increasing number and of course Christians automatically grab the 'divine high ground' as theirs, thus pushing folk to the atheistic sidelines.

If an 'Atheist' were to receive the life-changing evidence of Survival, it must open deep mental seams of productive thought. From this could arise the Spiritualism of tomorrow, perceiving The Great Spirit in terms more appropriate to a post Christian era.


Last edited by hiorta on Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Additional text)
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Quiet on Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:43 pm

Thank you Jim and hiorta. I much prefer to see people face to face and am perhaps too sensitive to energies I feel on the Internet. I have enjoyed this site to date and it does contain material not so easily available elsewhere.

hiorta, I deeply admire the Christ figure. The Ramadahn texts and Silver Birch speak of Christ in a very new way to me (I was raised Catholic). I have an internet friend who is imbued by 'Christ consciousness'. It was she who referred me to the works of Annie Besant which I have very much enjoyed and from which I've learned a great deal.

I think that the Christian Churches have hijacked the Christ message and institutionalised it to the extent that the message of love has been modelled to suit the predominantly male Church authorities. It has become a set of rules which have more to do with human culture than Divine love, I think. This is not to mean there are not very many good people in the Catholic and other Christian churches. The Christ message has opened a spiritual door to many.

Silver Birch speaks of a wonderful kind of consciousness, light and harmony which is the Divine Spirit. It is beyond words. Alongside this is the harmony of the Law. At rare times in my life, I've had a real glimpse of this, a flash of knowing. The first time it happened it brought great joy. I was unable to hold on to the joy in an enduring way but the memory comes back at times when I need it. I am older now and it is easy to feel dismay at the state of the world and how people sometimes act towards each other. Just recently I asked the 'Divine' why the human race was created and received the simple words 'For the perpetuation of love'.

This is what it is all about, I think. Many people walk the paths of love but the human condition sometimes makes life very hard and we mess up in all kinds of ways. There are many different paths. One of my work colleagues is a Sufi and he believes in the presence of Spirit in the same way that we do. His cultural prism is just different. He is very good man ad lives a gentle, caring and respectful life.

The key message of spiritualism to me has been the closeness of the Spirit world to us and the message of love which has come through the trance lectures of Roberts, Northage, Barbanell and some others. The messages I've received from loved ones through spiritualist mediums have also been critical at different times in the last few years.

Historically, I believe that spiritualism and the mediumship which is its basis came at a critical time in Western culture. It opened a window to many who would not otherwise have access to the understanding and knowledge it offers. The message of Divine Love and the Law is common to various other faiths (see Sufism). If there is a new spiritualism developing, I hope it will emphasize the message of love and provide more people with the opportunity of direct contact with the world of Spirit through good mediumship or through knowledge. We have to manage the church communities better, however. Maybe some other kind of 'community' might work better.

Back to the question of atheism, I see parallels between this and despair and ignorance, although the emotional context may be a little different for each. The absence of God or the Divine Spirit, whatever term people use, is common to all these states. The veils can be lifted through the guidance that we each have in this life towards knowledge, love and direct contact with the Divine Spirit.

I continue to be amazed at the differences in all our paths and quietly walk my own way, having been shown that I am not alone. It has taken a life time to get this far Smile.

Quiet


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by zerdini on Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:53 pm

......................and there's still a long long way to go. The journey is more important than the destination! Smile

zerdini


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Quiet on Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:50 am

Maybe creating a 'Modern Spiritualism' is not the answer. Mediumship is important but perhaps that could continue outside the corporate entity that is the church? I know a few mediumship teachers who run development circles outside the confines of the church and they are very good mediums. In one of them, none of the participants attends a spiritualist church.

The various spiritualist churches I have been to here all have slightly different services. Their membership of the one union seems to be important for the legal issues of insurance, professional indemnity and the like but some of them belong just for that reason. I used to belong to a circle which focused simply on mediumship and was not tied to the beliefs and practices of the VSU, even though it used their premises. In fact I thought that spiritualism did allow freedom of thought but the services of the church I initially attended and the behind the scenes practices did not reflect this which is one fo the reasons why people ultimately left.

I have a picture in my mind of various circles of individuals who practise healing and mediumship and open doors to knowledge for some people. I guess that is how spiritualism in Melbourne actually started ...... but then it became institutionalised. Despite that that it has done some really good work over the years.

Whilst writing it occurred to me that I don't really have to worry about this. I have obligations in my own life I have to fulfil, and will trust that I'll be guided to the place where I can be of most use if that is what is to be.

Quiet


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by hiorta on Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:14 am

Ah, those beloved wee labels folk throw at each other!

The 'Christ' figure is no more than our Higher selves expressing our aspirations and trying to grow into them.

It is what we do in Life that is so important to our destiny, what we choose to believe has little comparative relevance, apart from pointing to a path of thought.

In that sense, we are our own God - we create our future. Of course, all aspiration, action, dissent falls within Natural Law.

It is religion that constantly tries to have us wear their ideas of their one-size-fits-all mental garment, employing guilt, fear and remorse as instruments of persuasion, but the Great Spirit arranged for us to be uniquely different. No contest, as is said.

It appears that all Churches, like schools, are temporary halts on our Life's journey, those we find ourselves in tune with may hold us a little longer. Eventually we must shoulder our packs and get back on the road again to avoid Spiritual stagnation.
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by mac on Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:30 am

Quiet wrote:Discussing issues is always challenging on Internet forums. You don't know people and you can't see them.

I was only interested in discussing the question of whether spiritualism was meant to be a religion. I was surprised to get caught up in things that don't seem relevant or important to me. You describe yourself as a pedant, Mac,and I responded by joining in the joke. A discordant note has now entered the discussion, much to my regret. That was not my intention.

I'll take a break from this forum and wish you all well.

In public discussion forums we may not dictate what is of interest to others.... Smile

I had responded to the actual subject early on in the thread and I would still reason that the later point I raised is of relevance because it may give a small window into how individuals see the religion, philosophy and movement of Modern Spiritualism.

Disagreement does not automatically mean discordance.... Smile


mac


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Quiet on Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:39 pm

hiorta wrote:Ah, those beloved wee labels folk throw at each other!

The 'Christ' figure is no more than our Higher selves expressing our aspirations and trying to grow into them.

It is what we do in Life that is so important to our destiny, what we choose to believe has little comparative relevance, apart from pointing to a path of thought.

In that sense, we are our own God - we create our future. Of course, all aspiration, action, dissent falls within Natural Law.

It is religion that constantly tries to have us wear their ideas of their one-size-fits-all mental garment, employing guilt, fear and remorse as instruments of persuasion, but the Great Spirit arranged for us to be uniquely different. No contest, as is said.

It appears that all Churches, like schools, are temporary halts on our Life's journey, those we find ourselves in tune with may hold us a little longer. Eventually we must shoulder our packs and get back on the road again to avoid Spiritual stagnation.

Interesting. Christ is sometimes spoken of in spiritualist literature as being an advanced spirit but sometimes metaphors are used in these trance lectures to make things more understandable to those of us who have, as yet, little understanding. If we all are inherently part of the Great Spirit then I can see how the Christ figure or Christ consciousness would be an expression of our highest aspirations.

I can accept now that we create our own futures by the way we think and by the actions we take but one has to come to realise this with the passage of time and lived experience. Part of the transitional process is growing through the instinctive responses and learned behaviours which are part of the human journey from childhood to mature adult. That feeling is based on my own life experience.

I agree with you about religion. That is possibly why spiritualism should not be a religion. But then, the basic tenets of spiritualism are not unique to spiritualism: the path of love and service, the life of spirit, mediumship of various kinds. They are intrinsic to other faiths as well c.f the faith and life of my Sufi friend.

Quiet


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Quiet on Sat Nov 19, 2011 9:48 pm

I returned to the beginning of this thread and saw that I had forgotten that I had contributed some months ago.

Unless the Spiritualist Churches begin to offer something unique to people now, they may ultimately ossify and disappear. Mostly now you will see that churches in Melbourne are attended by older folk. I used to think that this was mainly a life stage phenomenum but now I think it could also say something about the content of the services and the perceived role of the churches. The only church which has much in the way of financial resources is the central VSU itself.

There are a few churches who do offer 'community' and they seem to be more alive, have more energy. They are quite dependent on some strong individuals who run them. They offer extra things like psychic suppers, tarot readings, specialist mediumistic demonstrations, open development circles, meditation and healing groups and the like. The VSU itself (in central Melbourne) used to have a very good library. You could get quite historical material there. There two churches which share a basic course in spiritualism.

In the last ten years or so there have been at least two major episodes of conflict in the VSU. I wasn't around for the first but was deeply affected by the second and left the organisation. Before that, however, I was becoming a little disenchanted and stayed involved only because my development circle was based there. The conflict affected our development circle and some of its members left, myself included. I found a new circle not based in any church but miss a feeling for the sacred.

These things happen when people of such different backgrounds and aspirations get together. I am sure the churches mean a great deal to many people and have helped many through their mediumship and other activities. As already stated, I am very grateful for what I initially received there.

Now I understand that my own dissatisfaction was based on reasonable concern about the way the church itself was run but also on some deep personal uncertainty and confusion. Some time ago I began to see that choices about my own spiritual path is where my attention should be directed. My professional work is very much around social justice issues and that may be where my life contribution lies rather than in mediumship. I feel that I must carve out my own spiritual path and it may not be in a church setting.

The churches as they are are bound by history, old traditions and their present corporate identities. These things seem necessary for them to legally survive. Some of this seems to apply to the UK and the SNU as well. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.


Last edited by Quiet on Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:51 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typos and clarity)

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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by seraphina on Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:37 pm

What !! Athist Mediums!!! Where did they come from? sounds likwe a contradiction. WHat do think SPirit is chopped LIver? There is all encompassing power in the universe or it would not be here.

seraphina


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by mac on Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:08 pm

seraphina wrote:What !! Athist Mediums!!! Where did they come from? sounds likwe a contradiction. WHat do think SPirit is chopped LIver? There is all encompassing power in the universe or it would not be here.

It wouldn't really matter if a medium was an atheist, an agnostic, a Roman Catholic, Buddhist, LDS or whatever PROVIDED that the message of survival and of the spirit was accurately delivered, uncoloured by the instrument. The ideas, or lack of them, of any practitioner are comparatively unimportant. It could be argued that no ideas at all might be an ideal blank canvas on which discarnate communicators could display their message. Wink

As for 'spirit', well from my own online investigations there's more than a little vagueness, even amongst those whom one might expect to understand. Just take a look, if you're interested, in the various threads where I posed the same question you pose above.

The results are revealing.....

mac


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:09 pm

HiSeraphina,

Remember
There is all encompassing power in the universe or it would not be here.
is a belief statement unlike the survival of the personality after death we cannot prove it although all Spiritualists believe in the Great Spirit, The creator, God or the Infinite Intelligence.

Now the latter definition is that of the American NSAC and is, in effect, drawn more from antecedents withn Andrew Jackson Davis's Harmonial Philosophy. The difference can lead to very interesting discussions about teh nature of the creator. To many American Spiritualists this may not be the infinitely loving and caring being others may think it is. It may be regarded as impassive and uninvolved learning as much from the struggles within its creation as we do from our physical lives. In this case the stae of God may reflect the staes of behaviour of our creation.

This is not my position but I have debated it with the President of the current Harmonial Philosophy. Taking this point of view draws us closer the ideas that some atheists hold about the form of our existence.

In honesty as Spiritualists we are meant to use our intelligence and discernment and look at these ideas without just rejecting them out of hand. It is another one of our losses in the last 80 years debate and discussion. Comparing our philosophy to the world views to maintain its relevance, arguing for it in a consice and cohesive way.

As to Mac's point how many of the very exclusive highly paid mediums are from a Spiritualist background. John Edwards is for one a catholic Sylvia Brown, have a look at Schwarz's After Life Experiments only one of the Mediums had a strong relationship with our movement the brilliant Rev Anne Gehman. Why should we be surprised if mediumship does not reflect religion, it is just proof, in some form, of the continued existence of the human spirit and identity.

We, as Spiritualists may argue deeper meanings and the relationships with our guides and teaching spirits bringing wisdom through trance. However, many would reject this as lacking in real proof.

People who read my thoughts would know that I treat Spiritualism as a Philosophy first and a religion (no capital r) second. Yet in a recent inspirational talk my guide reminded me that Spiritualism is not just a religion it is all religion. Its truth is the reality for all people on our world regardless of the teachings of their own belief system. It was a fascinating talk which I wrote in 30 minutes, 6 pages and then typed because I wished to be sure that it was relevant, cogent and not something that would just fall from my subconscious.

As a matter of interest it also led to a humourous discovery. When I first started I was told of a chinese guide who was with me, I was aware of this Spirit but rejected the name given to me of Confucious. This was just to much like all of those who come along insisting they have beings like Jesus Christ as a guide. In a meditation I agreed with the guide his name was Tao Seng. Comfortably non descript, except having finished this talk I discovered there was a real Tao Seng who was a highly respected Buddhist Teacher around 400ad.


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by obiwan on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:12 pm

Admin wrote:
There is all encompassing power in the universe or it would not be here.
is a belief statement unlike the survival of the personality after death we cannot provr it although all Spiritualists believe in the Great Spirit, The creator, God or the Infinite Intelligence.

Spot on!!

obiwan


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by obiwan on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:28 pm

I suspect it is a gradual process with the philosophy for some.

Establish survival as a fact (or that there maybe a basis for considering it);

Once this has been done, at least there is a foundation for considering that communicators such as Silver Birch etc may be genuine. After that has been achieved it is perhaps more reasonable for folk to accept or consider the philosophy. Although the philosophy seems very similar to lots of other religious teachings, if evidence of survival is good then it might be acceptable to consider that this advice is coming from a resident of the next world and not from some political organisation such as one of the mainstream religions.


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by Admin on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:31 pm

Absolutely right Obi, if the mediumship is no good why believe what we say. Then we have to ensure that what we say engages the mind.
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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by obiwan on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:34 pm

Admin wrote:Absolutely right Obi, if the mediumship is no good why believe what we say. Then we have to ensure that what we say engages the mind.
One could have 'faith' I suppose but IMHO that would not be a rational approach Smile

obiwan


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by hiorta on Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:09 am

Indeed Obi.

If Spiritualism wants to move on from the anchor-dragging effects of the religious era, we have to look at it all through fresh eyes. The step by step approach of science, establishing stepping stones of facts' as we go, seems to provide a longer term basis of 'truth' and scrupulous honesty. This is likely to prove unpopular in the short term, but the present way has to change.

This might lead to a divergance of paths, perhaps Secular or Scientific but it is best to follow Truth rather than popularity.

Many renowned scientists of yore followed their professional training to uncover remarkable and repeatable examples of Life surviving death intact. Not all were Mediums.

On the other hand, many great Mediums who were religious in approach, also achieved great things in moving this knowledge forward.

So it may not reduce to either/ or and when we look at humanity, virtually every 'branch' has been aware of ancestors still present post mortem. Each has successfully satisfied their people that survival is so.

The Universal Force, non-partisan, neither cruel or kind, has, as SB claims, provided every sphere of Being with Natural Laws to assist their evolution. It does seem best if the inhabitants learn about these and above all - heed them.
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SPIRITUALISM A RELIGION?

Post by Margaret Challenger on Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:26 pm

If we are always mindful of nature, of the brotherhood and care towards each other and of our duty of care towards domestic and wild animals then we are operating within the law of The Great Spirit God because God is Nature - A religion ? One God many interpretations?
Great subject !! ha, thanks for sharing - Margaret

Margaret Challenger


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Re: Was Spiritualism ever meant to be a Religion?

Post by KatyKing on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:09 pm

Very odd. Net Nanny will open this up to page 4 but has blocked page 5.
Will check Kindle later.
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