PRESENTATION OF SPIRITUALISM OCTOBER, 1893.

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PRESENTATION OF SPIRITUALISM OCTOBER, 1893.

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:46 am

PRESENTATION OF SPIRITUALISM A PAPER ARRANGED BY THE GUIDES OF
MRS. CORA L.V. RICHMOND
FOR THE WORLD'S PARLIAMENT OF RELIGIONS
AT CHICAGO, OCTOBER, 1893.

READ AND PRESENT TO YOUR NEIGHBOR.
____________
"God is spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth." - Jesus.
"Now brethren, concerning Spiritual gifts, I would not have you ignorant." -St. Paul.
Millions of Spiritual beings walk the earth both when we wake and when we sleep." -Milton, Hesiod.
"A little cloud is rising in the west not larger than a man's hand, which will one day over spread the earth; that cloud is Spiritualism." -Lord Brougham.
"I have not had time in the midst of my busy life, while solving the problem of human freedom, to, investigate the phenomena, of Spiritualism, nevertheless, I believe Its philosophy and phenomena are true, and that Spiritualism will be the religion of the future." -Theodore Parker.
"Sooner than we imagine the day will dawn when a godless science will be an unscientific absurdity." -Giles B. Stebbins.

GENERAL STATEMENTS
Spiritualism, as a name, is synonymous with all that relates to the spirit:
1. The universal spirit pervading and governing the universe as Universal Intelligence;
2. The individual spirit, whether expressed in the earthly environment or in the larger freedom of the higher realm.
Specifically, the name applies to the religious, philosophical and phenomenal aspects of a movement that had its modern beginnings in a series of manifestations, spiritual, mental and physical, forty-five years ago [1848].
This movement and these manifestations came unsought by those in mortal life; they appeared almost simultaneously in the different portions of this country, and very soon after in different parts of the world.
The manifestations and the name Spiritualism, in fact, the movement as a whole and in its several parts, were the result of impelling intelligences outside of and manifestly beyond human beings in the earthly state.
For convenience only, and without any intention of dividing any portion of the subject from the whole, and without forgetting that the name in its entirety signifies all that has ever been expressed from the realm of spirits to those in mortal life, and all that has been unfolded by aspiration and inspiration from within the human spirit, the writer will divide the subject into three general headings, viz:
1. The Phenomenal Aspect.
2. The Philosophical Aspect.
3. The Religious Aspect.
The writer is convinced that this method of presentation will better represent all classes of minds who are interested in this stupendous movement either as a whole or through any one of these especial departments.

PART I.
In the presentation the writer will reverse the order by considering first
THE RELIGIOUS ASPECT
If, as Saint Paul declares, "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence af things not seen," the most exalted faith must be synonymous with the most positive knowledge, and the word "faith" must have been misinterpreted in its essential meaning by most denominational religionists.
Those who accept Spiritualism as a new manifestation of, or a new religion (always using the word "religion" in the largest interpretation) do so upon the following bases:
1. The Supreme Intelligence; the Mother-Father, God; the Over-Soul; the Divine Parent, or any other name or term that the individual may choose as synonymous with Infinite Good, the Love, and Wisdom.
2. The soul (or spirit) as an immortal entity, forever en rapport with the Eternal, Infinite Good, continuously seeking and receiving evidences of the loving All Presence; as the sun is the light of the visible universe, so this Infinite Love and Wisdom is the light of all souls.
3. The recognition of the divine message from God to Man, either by direct perception awakened in Man or by inspiration from higher realms of spirits and angelic beings.
4. The recognition of the Great Messianic Teacher or, Teachers as the voice of truth to the world.
Those who receive Spiritualism in its religious aspect are:
1. The Christian Spiritualists, who accept the Christ life as impersonated in Jesus of Nazareth as the highest expression of religious revelation of truth and who consider that without denominational or sectarian definitions, the life and works of Jesus are the highest guidance, but who also recognize that every age has been blessed with spiritual teachers chosen to bear to earth the message of immortality and love of God to Man. Most of these Christian Spiritualists are members of different Christian churches. There are to be found in every denominational church in Christendom those who accept spirit communication as taught by Spiritualism as a part of their religion.
2. Spiritualists who accept the word "religion" in the broadest possible interpretation of its meaning, who recognize the religions of every age as having their primal basis in inspiration, and who are willing and ready to accept the truths received in any and every form of faith; who consider that Zoroaster or Zardhust, Moses, Buddha, and Jesus were the interpreters of truth to the ages in which they lived; that the prophets, seers, and others endowed with spiritual gifts in every age have been the means of presenting spiritual truths to man; that spiritual gifts as witnessed today among the media for spiritual manifestations are similar (making due allowance for the difference in the general state of humanity) to those that have occurred in past times, especially those accompanying every new dispensation or manifestation of religious truth, and are particularly similar to those mentioned in Paul's epistle on spiritual gifts.
3. There are still others who believe Spiritualism to be a new dispensation of religion; not only as a new statement of old revealments perpetuating the good in all past religions, but a new and living inspiration from the Infinite as the light of this day, and they believe that Spiritualism, in its entirety of phenomena, philosophy and revelation, forms the basis of the new religion.

Spiritualists have no sectarian creed, articles of faith, or statement of belief excepting the truth as perceived by the individual, each according to others the privilege of worshipping God according to the dictates of consciousness. There is a feeling of fellowship with all and they meet on the common ground of universal Spiritual truth. God as manifest in Infinite Love. Universal Fraternity of Souls.

PART II.
THE PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECT
"There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy" - Shakespeare, in Hamlet.
"We are all parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is and God the soul." - Pope

All religion is love (love to God, human brotherhood);
As science is demonstrated truth or knowledge, so philosophy is wisdom. The philosophy of Spiritualism is the inblending into the one perfect whole of all its parts; the union of its phenomena, and spirit, the meeting and merging of its body and soul.
To many, perhaps a great number of thoughtful minds than most people are aware, the philosophical aspect of Spiritualism is its most enchanting, and as it seems to them, its most comprehensive side. To the writer it is the one side of the equilateral triangle of which the phenomenal portion is the base and religion the other side, which triangle solves the circle of immortality. The logical perfection of the philosophy of Spiritualism is the primal statement.
Its harmony with the highest ethics in the undoubted elevation of purpose of the individual, and the whole human race by the substitution of individual growth and unfoldment into Spiritual perfectness for any other method of attaining the highest good here and hereafter. Its propositions are:
1. That the present and continued existence of the conscious Spirit, the ego, inheres in the soul, and is not an especial bestowment of the Infinite or the result of contact with the human organism.
2. That whatever may be the ideas of individuals or classes concerning a conscious, a priori existence, or previous state of the individual intelligence embodied in each human life, there is but one philosophical conclusion, based on the phenomenal and intuitional evidences of Spiritualism, i.e., that the change called death (or separation from the body) is not only a natural change (inherent in all organisms,) but it is the next step in the existence of the spirit, releasing or setting free its activities in the next state or realm, and as perfectly in accordance with the Divine plan as is the birth into the human form. In fact that the next step or state is the legitimate sequence of existence here, and that each human spirit takes up its line of active individual life in spirit existence, just where, as an individual spirit, the thread seems broken or disturbed at death.
3. That the spirit realm includes whatever spirits are, or need, in that state of existence, as the earth state includes whatever is needed for earthly expression.
4. That the fixed states of happiness or misery are not possible in any state of the spirit expression, but that each spirit, according to growth, continues the individual activities and unfoldments, and all advance from lower to higher conditions by gradual states of progression through unending cycles.
5. That no Spirit or Angel is too exalted or holy to reach and assist those who are beneath and none to low to be aided by those above. Cycle on cycle must the ages move, Onward and upward must all spirits tend, Seen in the perfect light of perfect love, All in one supreme purpose ever blend.
6. That the various states in which spirits find themselves after their release from the environment of the sensuous organism, the relative and absolute principles governing those states, the inter-blending of spirits in more perfect, with those in less perfect conditions of unfoldment; the communion with and ministration to those in earthly existence; in fact, that the principles governing the Spiritual realm and the wisdom by which that realm pervades, encircles and governs the whole of life are made known.

The Philosophy of Spiritualism is the Philosophy of Life.
Material science has claimed to prove the indestructibility of the primal atom, or whatever is the ultimate term for matter. Spiritualism does prove the immortality of individual soul by bases, deductions and proofs as undeniable as the principles of mathematics. In its final definition, it is the Philosophy of Philosophies, as it is the Religion of Religions, and (if need be) the Science of Sciences. It includes the primal and final statements of matter, the primal and final terms for mind, the primal and final principles of spirit in the eternal entity, the soul and all that relates to states and conditions, degrees, and stages of expression, all that relates to being, and includes every portion and factor in its statement of the whole.
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Re: PRESENTATION OF SPIRITUALISM OCTOBER, 1893.

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PART III.
THE PHENOMENAL ASPECT
This phase of the subject is sometimes designated scientific, although the writer does not think, individually, that the words science and scientific, as usually understood can be applied to the investigation of even the phenomenal phases of Spiritualism.
Forty-five years ago, scientific men like Professor Robert Hare, of Philadelphia; James J. Mapes, of New York, and, later, Alfred R. Wallace, Professor Crooks and Mr. Varley, of England; Camille Flammarion, of France; Professor Zollner, of Germany, and scores of other scientists of note, investigated the physical phenomena of Spiritualism and have uniformly declared that there is no law of material science with which they are familiar that can explain these phenomena; and that they have recourse only to the solution always claimed by the manifesting intelligence, viz: That the source of the phenomena is disembodied spirits working through means and methods entirely unknown in any human science.
As the result of the experiments in investigating the phenomena of Spiritualism, made by so many eminent scientific men in all parts of the world, extending over the entire period of forty-five years in which Spiritualism as a name and manifestation has been in the world, from the small rappings near Rochester, N. Y., to the various and multitudinous phenomena of today, there has been but one conclusion among scientific men, viz: That the cause of the phenomena is immanent in the phenomena, that both are demonstrated beyond the possibility of a cavil or a doubt; and that to investigate the physical, mental or intuitional phenomena of Spiritualism separately from the whole subject with a view of ascertaining another cause than that of the action of spirits, is as much a work of supererogation as to investigate the phenomena of the light of day with a view to finding another source of light than the sun.
The phenomena, philosophy and inspiration focalize around persons who are called "Mediums," that being the name bestowed upon them by the manifesting intelligences, the spirits who act upon and, through them. At the present writing there is no knowledge among Spiritualists as a body, or investigators within or outside of the ranks of Spiritualism as to what constitutes mediumship.
Mediums are chosen by the spirit intelligences desiring to manifest, from among all nationalities, races, classes, and conditions of people. Although the particular gift or phase of mediumship may seem to depend upon, or be modified by the mental and physical or other states of the individual, the mediumship per se or action of the spirit intelligences governing the manifestations.
The difficulties to be met in approaching this investigation from a purely scientific standpoint are very clear, even if the word "scientific" shall be made to mean every kind of investigation. These difficulties we briefly state. Physical phenomena are usually the basis of scientific investigation, and, naturally, along that line the investigation must be from effect to cause; therefore, from the first the investigation must be confined to results merely. Sometimes science arrives at a perfect knowledge of results, usually only approximately at causes. With the phenomenal as well as other phases of Spiritualism the cause is immanent from the first; and science has nothing to do but to make a statement.
This may be illustrated thus: if one hears a rap at the door of his room or dwelling, and on opening the door he finds a friend, or any person or thing whatsoever, as the cause of the sounds, he at once loses interest in the phenomena of the sounds, and is occupied by the larger interest of receiving his friend. There is nothing to be solved. If, however, he repeatedly hears the sounds, and on going to the door, discovers no person or thing that could have produced them, he commences his investigation to discover the cause. From the very first manifestation of the phenomena of Spiritualism to the last, the cause or source of the phenomena has been as manifest as the phenomena.
By as intelligent methods as language, signals, or any established system of communication between mind and mind in human states, these spiritual intelligences have been recognized. Invariably they have declared themselves to be individual spirits who once lived in earth forms, accompanying the declaration by evidences of personal identity entirely separated from and independent of any individual in the earth form at the time of the manifestation.
The cause of the phenomena is, therefore so clearly identical with the results as to make a scientific investigation, on the basis of discovering a new cause, entirely impertinent. To ignore the knowledge already gained is totally unscientific as well as illogical. Therefore all investigations of Spiritualism de nervo, claiming, a priori, that the source of the manifestation is still unknown is equivalent to ignoring the whole subject.
Doubtless the methods of communion between the two states of conscious existence, the one proceeding and the other following the change called death, will be formed into an interesting branch in the future study of Spiritualism, or will be revealed from the same realm by the same intelligences from whence the movement as a whole has been impelled into mortal life. Possibly that study may lead to scientific data upon which to predicate knowledge of the methods by which disembodied spirits communicate with those in the human environment.
Thus far there has been no formulation of facts, because none was needed, each particular manifestation being given for the specific purpose of conveying the intelligence desired from disembodied spirits to than in human life; and since the philosophy, or rationale, of the whole subject includes both cause and result, and since these resolve themselves into the one word Spiritualism, the subject in its entirety is before the world, and the subdivisions may be open to study.
The conclusions are invariably the same, whether arrived at from the supposed scientific method or the result of philosophical deductions, or revealed by distinct inspiration, viz:, individual human intelligences existing beyond human states, (and presumably immortal) do manifest under conditions not known by those existing in human life. The demonstration of this and what it naturally leads to in all that pertains to the relation of Spirits, embodied and disembodied, to each other and to the whole universe, constitutes the realm of Spiritualism.
That there is no solution for the phenomena, physical, mental or spiritual, in the known realm of science; and that, while the methods of communion between the two states are still unknown, the evidence of the existence of disembodied spirits, and of their communication with this world, is demonstrated.
Spiritualists are by no means tenacious as to terms, and the writer is perfectly willing to state to those who pursue the investigation along the lines of exact science there is the fullest appreciation of their work: but the majority of Spiritualists, in viewing the whole subject, consider that the whole subject is beyond the realm of exact science and within the realm of revealed or intuitional knowledge.
Whatever view may be taken of scientific investigation, of the whole subject or of its physical phenomena only, it is the proper place here to state that all scientific minds who have investigated the phenomenal phases of this movement readily admit that Spiritualism will compel a restatement or the re-creation of scientific bases and terms: in the recognition of a vast unexplored realm between the realm of spirit and the heretofore recognized domain of science, whether that realm shall included a "fourth dimension of space," as suggested by Professor Zollner, or whether it will be found to be a realm of occult forces impinging on the material and spiritual states, and inter blending with each, or whether the results will prove the methods of communication to be simply free of individual volition. The final adoption of either of these methods, or of any other not named, must be determined by future revealments, and in any case the new statement will be incorporated into Spiritualism as a portion of its entire statement.
Scientific minds in Spiritualism epitomized the whole subject as follows: 1st., the existence of the individual human spirit; the continued conscious existence of the individual spirit after the change called death: the intercommunion of the two states by the voluntary action of individual disembodied spirits to and through those existing in human form; by automatic action upon the brain or any part of the human organism without the conscious concurrence of the individual acted upon: 2nd., by action upon sentient or non-sentient objects without the intervention of any human being, excepting that these manifestations usually occur in the presence of a medium who does not voluntarily aid in their production: 3rd., by action upon all bodies and substances upon the earth or in its atmosphere, without the intervention of any human agency, and by methods not known in any existing science. The scientific statement is the knowledge of a future life, demonstrated truth of immortality.
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Re: PRESENTATION OF SPIRITUALISM OCTOBER, 1893.

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:48 am

PART IV.
A RESUME OF ITS WORK AND INFLUENCE
In a movement wholly impelled from the realm of spirit and borne forward on the wave of inspiration, although intelligently met and aided from the first by many among the ablest minds of the earth, it is utterly impossible to name or number all those whom it has reached.
Societies have been organized in every State in the Union, and in all parts of the world as centers for those who have had individual experiences, and to receive the manifestations and ministrations from the spirit world: but Spiritualism has spread rather by individual experiences than by organized efforts. As early as 1860, the late Archbishop Hughes, of New York, estimated that there were ten millions of Spiritualists in the United States alone: pro rata there should now be thirty millions. Spiritualists claim no definite number, and numbers are unimportant in a statement of truth. If its principles and its manifestations be perceived by but one, all the world must follow.
The organization of spiritualists into local societies and now into a National Association is rather for the purpose of fellowship and mutual protection than for any sectarian purpose, and also for the purpose of making the manifestations and ministrations, as well as the Spiritual teachings given through the media. As a whole movement, the scope of its influence is measureless. Its manifestations extend into every department of human thought; its presence in the world has changed the entire attitude of thoughtful minds concerning the problems of death and the after life, and their relation to human states, at the same time opening up for investigation a vast inter-realm, including the latent possibilities of the human spirit while in the earthly environment.
It has reached the man of science in his laboratory, or study, and within its rare Alembic, has rewrought the demonstration of immortality. It has walked into the churches of al denominations, religions and tongues; as stood beside the clergyman or priest or ministrant, and has whispered the message of immortal life, saying: "Are they not all ministering spirits?" It has proved itself a solvent of all religions and philosophies by correcting erroneous ideas born of imperfect, human interpretations concerning a future life, and substituting knowledge. It has restored spiritual gifts and made them a portion of the recognized opinions of the human race. It has made thousands and hundreds of thousands to acknowledge by name within and without the churches; within and without established schools of philosophy; within and without the walks of science, by knowledge alone; and thousands of others to accept its evidence in the form of belief based upon testimony of others.
It sources of inspiration are the invisible hosts. Its teachers and messengers are the great, the wise, and the loved ones who have passed on. It has opened a royal or inner way to knowledge for many who are its chosen instruments, by touching child minds with facts and data, with scientific and philosophical knowledge, with wisdom far beyond their years, and with eloquence unknown to mortal art.
It not only has created a literature of its own, in hundreds of volumes of experience and philosophy, and scores of periodicals publishing its demonstrations and advocating its propositions, but it has pervaded the best literature of the age, touching and illumining the minds of such writers as Dickens, Thackery, Longfellow, Phelps and scores of others with its living presence.
Its uplifting influence is felt in every life that accepts its truths, and in the whole world by making the aims of life here consistent with a continued existence, primary steps in the external pathway, and by making the basis f life Spiritual, not material. To a materialistic and unbelieving age, it has demonstrated the existence of the human spirit beyond the change called death.
To those who had "hope" and "faith" through any form of religious belief in a future life, it has added knowledge, and to both has opened the gateways that had not even been left "ajar" between the spiritual and material realms.
It has removed the fear of death, and of what might come to the spirit after dissolution of the body by a knowledge of the states and conditions of these who have passed beyond that change as declared by the testimony of disembodied spirits, who must be in the very nature of the case the only authentic sources of information upon subjects pertaining to that future existence. It has bridged the chasm, spanned the gulf between the two states of existence by the Iris archway of love. Immortal messengers have bought the knowledge of their state of existence and have announced in unmistakable ways the nearness of that so-called "undiscovered country."
Invisible hands have rekindled the fires upon the altars of inspiration that had long been desolate. Angels and ministering spirits have anew attuned the voices of mortals to immortal songs. And they have "rolled away the stone from the door of the sepulcher" of thousands of human hearts who thought their dead lived not.
Its authority is truth wherever found; Its sacred books the inspiration of every age. Its Oracles and Priests, those whom the truth anoints and inspiration calls; its creed the unwritten law of knowledge, wisdom, truth, and love. Its ceremonials the service of a noble life. Its communion is with kindred spirits and its fellowship with all; Its altars, the human spirit, its temples, living souls; It is the open door, the present light, the demonstration, philosophy and religion of the immortal soul.
Calm-browed and unafraid this mild-eyed, open-visioned Presence views the heretofore and the hereafter, the present and the future, with equal interest and courage born of perfect truth. The "well-springs of eternal life" are hers, and she bids mortals drink fearlessly at their living fountains. The "bread of life" is hers, and she bids all spirits partake freely from the all-bounteous store. From the vintage of the spirit the wine of her everlasting kingdom is distilled in streams of living inspiration. Poets quaff as this golden goblet is pressed to their lips and sing the songs of the spheres. Sages gather from its open treasure house the wisdom of the skies.
Seers and prophets, inspired anew, reveal again the forever old, forever new, immortal theme. The mourner forgets her grief and dries her tears while listening to the messages of love. The weary find their rest in its all reposeful and eternal ways. The weak find strength in its unhindered helpfulness. Crime, sin and all human imperfections and shadows fade gradually, yet surely, before its all potent light.
The whole world touched, awakened, thrilled, aroused from the lethargy of material propositions and dogmatic assertions, from charnal houses of the senses, the tombs of death and despair, from sepulchers wherein their hope and faith and highest love were well nigh buried, turns toward this anew day-dawn saying,
"Is not this the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world?"
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Re: PRESENTATION OF SPIRITUALISM OCTOBER, 1893.

Post by tmmw on Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:53 pm

Hello Jim,

Thanks so much for sharing that, it is a most interesting work prepared for Cora Richmond by her guides. I find it all very inspiring and thought provoking, especially this part that touches the very core of my being:


Its authority is truth wherever found; Its sacred books the inspiration of every age. Its Oracles and Priests, those whom the truth anoints and inspiration calls; its creed the unwritten law of knowledge, wisdom, truth, and love. Its ceremonials the service of a noble life. Its communion is with kindred spirits and its fellowship with all; Its altars, the human spirit, its temples, living souls; It is the open door, the present light, the demonstration, philosophy and religion of the immortal soul.

Take care,
Lynn

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