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Spiritualistic topics
Category:Spiritualism

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Spirit · Spiritualism (beliefs)
Spiritualism · Spiritism
Related practices

Mediumship
Spiritualist Church
Spiritualists National Union
Obsession · Spirit possession
Séance · Fortune-telling
Faith healing

Automatic writing · Ouija
Related topics

Afterlife · Spirit world
Spirit guides · Shamanism · Animism
Psychic · Clairvoyant
Paranormal
Parapsychology · Occult

The spirit world, according to Spiritualism, is the world inhabited by spirits. Though a concept of a spirit world is in the constitution of most religions, it is not "itself the religion". Whereas religion regards an inner life, the spirit world is regarded as an external environment for spirits.[1] Though independent from the physical world, both the spirit world and the physical world are in constant interaction. Through mediumship, these worlds can consciously communicate with each other. The spirit world of Spiritualism can be described by mediums in trance.[2][3]

History

By the mid 19th century most Spiritualist writers concurred that the spirit world was of "tangible substance" and a place consisting of "spheres" or "zones".[4][5] Though specific details differed, the construct suggested organization and centalization.[6] An 18th century writer, Emanuel Swedenborg, influenceed Spiritualist views of the spirit world. He described a series of concentric spheres each including a heirarchal organization of spirits in a setting more earth-like than theocentric.[7] The spheres become gradually more illuminated and celestial. Spiritualists added a concept of limitlessness, or infinity to these spheres.[8] Furthermore, it was defined that Laws initiated by God apply to earth as well as the spirit world.[9]

Another common Spiritualist conception was that the spirit world is inherently good and related to truth-seeking as opposed to things that are bad residing in a "spiritual darkness".[10][11] This conception inferred as in the biblical parable Lazarus and Dives that there is considered a greater distance between good and bad spirits than between the dead and the living.[12] Also, the spirit world is "The Home of the Soul" as described by C. W. Leadbeater (Theosphist) suggesting that for a living human to experience the spirit world is a blissful, meaningful and life changing experience.[13]

Yet, John Worth Edmonds stated in his 1853 work, Spiritualism, "Man's relation spiritually with the spirit-world is no more wonderful than his connection with the natural world. The two parts of his nature respond to the same affinities in the natural and spiritual worlds."[14] He asserted, quoting Swedenborg through mediumship, that the relationship between man and the spirit world is reciprocal and thus could contain sorrow. Though ultimately, "wandering through the spheres" a path of goodness "is received at last by that Spirit whose thought is universal love forever."[15]

Philosophy

The Spiritualist philosophy affirms that we are, first and foremost, spiritual beings temporarily living in the physical realm with a purpose. The shared belief is that the human consciousness, or soul, continues to exist beyond the physical body. Therefore, life is defined as a continuous learning experience governed by a curriculum that calls for periods in the physical realm until such time that we have learned enough lessons to graduate to a spiritual existence in the spirit world. Given this perspective, Spiritualism sustains the notion of a spiritual evolution, that supports the idea that the elements of the physical and spiritual realm are interconnected and continuously evolving. Many believe that this is where ghosts, or spirits go after they have reached death.

References

  1. ^ Hill, J. Arthur (1918). Spiritualism - Its History, Phenomena, And Doctrine. London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne: Cassell and Company, Ltd.. p. 211. ISBN 1406701629.  
  2. ^ Hill, p.44
  3. ^ Colville, W. J. . (1906). Universal Spiritualism: Spirit Communion in All Ages Among All Nations. R. F. Fenno & Company. p. 42. ISBN 0766191001.  
  4. ^ Edmonds, John W.; George T. Dexter, M.D. (1853). Spiritualism. New York: Partridge & Brittan Publishers. p. 262.  
  5. ^ Hill, p.36
  6. ^ Carrol, Bret E. (October 1, 1997). Spiritualism in Antebellum America (Religion in North America). Indiana University Press. p. 62. ISBN 0253333156.  
  7. ^ Carrol, p.17
  8. ^ Edmonds, p.123
  9. ^ Edmonds, p.136
  10. ^ Hill, p.168
  11. ^ Edmonds, p.143
  12. ^ Hill, p.208
  13. ^ Colville, pp.268–270
  14. ^ Edmonds, p.104
  15. ^ Edmonds, p.345
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