The Seven Principles of Spiritualism
1) The Fatherhood of God
These Seven Principles (originally 5) were given to Emma Harginge Britten through mediumship. They were given in the days when the world was very much Male dominated. Since these principles were given life has changed dramatically. Today men and women are viewed as equals.
Some people believe these principles should be re-worded to incorporate life today. I personally don't see a point to this. It is my belief that these Seven Principles were given as a guideline and are therefore open to our own interpretation. Let me explain each one as I perceive it (please note that these are my word, and my words only. Take from them what you wish but please feel free to substitute your own where applicable):
1) The Fatherhood of God:
I personally do not believe in one omnipotent being. If this were the case then it would be my interpretation that life is a dictatorship, to be lived according to one persons (or entities) rules and regulations. I believe there is a 'Higher Council' made up of several (for want of a better word) Elders, who sit, meet, discuss and decide on the varied aspects of our lives (rather like a government of sorts). I do believe there has to be some form of leadership, some form of directive, but not a dictatorship.
2) The Brotherhood of Man:
When I read this principle I read it as meaning all of 'mankind', 'the human race'. I do not see this as just meaning the male species. Now, this principle tells me that we are all one big family. And like families we should learn to get along with each other. We should not judge each other, but accept each other for who and what we are. Everybody is different and has the right to express themselves in different ways. We should respect that in each other. Acceptance, respect, understanding and unconditional love are all aspects of a true family relationship, and as we are all one big family, these aspects should apply to everybody on earth.
3) Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels:
I believe we are all allocated a Main Spirit Guide (from the Communion of Spirits) and Helpers (also known as Angels) at the time of conception. These guides and helpers offer guidance and support throughout our lives. This principle leads me to believe that we can call on these Spirits and Angels whenever we need them. This however should not be the only time we call on them. We should take a little time out now and then to acknowledge their existence and thank them for all they do.
4) The continuous existence of the human soul:
This to me should be the main principle as it is what we as Spiritualist believe in the most. Even if you do not believe in any of the other principles, this one is the most important of our belief system and teachings. Without the continuous existence of the human soul Spiritualism is pointless. Of course it is not only the 'human' soul that survives death, the souls of animals continue to exist in the Spirit Realm. Animals play a vital role in our dialy lives, as protectors, friends and companions, therefore it is only fitting that their souls also continue, and that we once again are re-united with them in the Spirit Realm.
5) Personal Responsibility:
This one speaks for itself. It is up to us to live our lives to the best of our abilities. If we live our lives with love, compassion, understanding and respect for all life, whether that be man or beast, then we will be living our lives according to the Spiritualist ways. It is our responsibility to treat all life with the respect it deserves.
6) Compensation and retribution hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on earth:
I do not believe that the Spirit Realm is vengeful. I believe that this principle relates to our own conscience. I read this principle as meaning that when our time comes to leave this earth plain we reflect on our actions, word and thoughts during this life. It is not just the good deeds that we consider, nor just the bad, it is everything we have done. Any doubts or regrets that we may have regarding any aspect of our lives are the ones that we will carry within our souls. I do not believe that the good deeds outweigh the bad ones, each are equally important as part of the human experience of life. I believe that no-one leaves this plain without some mark on their soul, but that it all adds to the collective energy and aids in the understanding of life.
7) Eternal progress open to every Soul:
I am not too sure on this principle. It is my belief that every soul goes to the same place, the Spirit Realm. The point I am not sure about is where exactly we 'progress' to. Are there various plains to the Spirit Realm that we aim to reach? Do we start our journey in the Spirit Realm on the outskirts of the collective energy force and work our way towards the middle, the 'core'? Do we enter the energy force at the lowest point and progress through experiences to the top? Whatever the meaning of this principle is it is not clear to me at this present time, but I know that one day I will find the answer, the day that I become part of that collective energy force.
As I said above, these are my thoughts and interpretations of what the Seven Principles mean to me. This of course is what they mean to me at this present moment in time. Perhaps in time, as my life continues to progress and change, my views will alter. We can only speak of what we know and believe today, tomorrow often brings different view points, different beliefs, different realisations to our attention.