Most organizations have a written statement that explains what they believe. In Spiritualism and at U.S.C.L. these are called the Declaration of Principles.
Principles one through six were initially adopted in Chicago, Illinois in 1899.
Principles seven and eight were adopted in Rochester, New York in 1909.
Principle nine was adopted in St. Louis, Missouri in 1944.
Principles one through nine are found in most, if not all, Spiritualist churches and are the principles of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches.
1. “We believe in Infinite Intelligence.”
Simply put: We believe in God.
Explanation: We’re confident that a being exists who is unlimited and unmeasurable in space and time, and who possesses the capacity to learn, reason and understand in ways that are also beyond the scope of measurement. Humans call this being by many names, including God.
2. “We believe that the phenomena of Nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence.”
Simply put: God can be found in all of nature.
Explanation: The observable and unobservable parts of the material world (including the universe) show, manifest and reveal the intelligence, spirit and character of God. This includes all life forms and everything that has been created.
3. “We affirm that a correct understanding of such expression and living in accordance therewith constitute true religion.”
Simply put: Anyone who understands the laws of nature (i.e., Natural Law) and follows them is practicing true religion.
Explanation: Natural Laws are those principles or laws which originate in nature, logic or religion and are ethically binding in human society. They cover the physical, mental and spiritual planes of existence. Anyone who understands them and acts daily in ways that are in agreement with them will experience the correct function of true religion, which is to allow the highest aspirations and attributes of the Soul to develop and come forth.
4. We affirm that the existence and personal identity continue after the change called death.
Simply put: We never die.
Explanation: The soul and personality still exist and survive after the physical body ceases functioning. The greatest example of this can be found in the Bible in the stories of the resurrection of Jesus and his numerous appearances afterward.
5. We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is a fact scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.
Simply put: We can talk to people after their bodies cease to function.
Explanation: The ability to exchange ideas, knowledge, feelings and information with the personalities and souls of both people and animals whose bodies have ceased functioning has been tested and verified through the practices of Spiritualism. These exchanges are frequently give and take (meaning both parties participate) and further prove that the intelligence of the individual lives on, too.
6. We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
Simply put: The most important rule of right conduct in every situation is to treat other people no less than you want to be treated if you were in their place or your roles were reversed.
Explanation: Morals define and emphasize one’s proper conduct (what to do) in situations, instead of what may be allowed or tolerated by a peer group or society. Treating other people in a manner no less than you would want to be treated is the most important moral. This doesn’t mean to do to them exactly what you would want them to do to you; instead, offer them just as much respect, consideration as you would desire, (e.g., Ignoring someone who seems to be in emotional distress because you prefer to be alone when you’re feeling down wouldn’t be following the Golden Rule; acknowledging their distress, asking them if they’re okay and asking if they’d like help would be.) Note: This Principle was revised to its present form in Ronkonkoma, New York in 2004
7. We affirm the moral responsibility of the individual and that s/he makes her or his own happiness or unhappiness, as s/he obeys or disobeys Nature’s physical and spiritual laws.
Simply put: We are responsible for how we behave. The happiness we experience is a result of how well we follow the Natural Laws.
Explanation: We state to be true the fact that each person is accountable for his/her own proper conduct and each person’s emotional state and/or perceived quality of life can be a direct result of their ability to act in accordance with or contrary to Natural Law. [e.g., The law of It Matters Not states, “It matters not what others think of us, it only matters that we fulfill our mission and purpose.” Acting in accordance with this law means we choose to ignore others’ opinions of us and focus our energy and time on our physical, mental and spiritual goals. This will lead to a sense of accomplishment and a higher self-esteem. Acting contrary to this law means listening and taking to heart others’ opinions of us (condemnation and praise) and allowing this to govern what we do and who we become. This can lead to a sense of being unfulfilled and either a low self-esteem or an inflated one. Neither is desirable in the long or short run of life.]
8. We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed against any human soul, here or hereafter.
Simply put: We are allowed to make amends for past mistakes while we’re on the earth plane and after the transition called death.
Explanation: Jesus taught using the Aramaic language and culture. Within these contexts, the words, “sin” and “evil” were archery terms. “Sin” was called out when an archer missed his mark. “Evil” was where the arrow landed when it missed the target. We do not believe that one is to be eternally punished for mistakes made in this life. The ultimate goal of every soul is to be re-united with God. This can only happen after the soul advances to the proper level. Advancement occurs when we review our actions and the motives behind them (good and bad), recognize where we missed the mark (made a mistake) and seek to make amends. If not completed on the earth plane, this opportunity is given to us in the Spirit World. This has been demonstrated by spirits who come through with a message of apology and a request for forgiveness. A word to the wise, it is easier to accomplish here. Note: This Principle was revised to its present form in Rochester, New York in 2001
9. We affirm that the precepts of prophecy and healing contained in the Bible and all other sacred texts are Divine attributes proven through mediumship.
Simply put: The directives found in the Bible and within other sacred texts to share the communications from spirit and provide healing energy come from God and have been tested and verified through mediumship.
Explanation: In chapters nine and ten of the book of Luke and chapter ten of Matthew, Jesus gave his disciples the power to heal and told them to go forth and do so. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul discloses and discusses the spiritual gifts. These include the gifts of prophecy and healing, among several others. In John 14: 11 – 13, Jesus is quoted as saying, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Note: This Principle was revised in Oklahoma City in 1983 and then again to its present form in Westfield, New Jersey in 1998
Please note: The following principles (10 – 15) were adopted by U.S.C.L after having been communicated by spirit in December of 1999. Other Spiritualist churches may or may not agree with and accept them.
10. We believe that reincarnation is a fact supported by scientific documentation.
Explanation: The ability to live more than one lifetime on Earth has been researched and documented. A few resources for those interested in further study include the works of:
- Dr. Ian Stevenson (Children Who Remember Previous Lives),
- Jim Tucker (Life Before Life: Children’s Memories of Previous Lives),
- Dr. Brian Weiss (Many Lives, Many Masters and Only Love is Real),
- Dr. Bruce Goldberg (Past Lives, Future Lives) and
- Dr. Michael Newton (Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls).
Elizabeth Clare Prophet’s book, (Reincarnation: The Missing link in Christianity) discusses Jesus’ teachings on reincarnation. 11. We believe that all persons are created equal despite any social or personal standing or circumstance.
Explanation: No one is better or worse than anyone else. Every soul was created by and contains a part of God. This part is sometimes called the Christ Consciousness. Each soul exists for a specific purpose in this lifetime. We recognize and understand that the outward appearance of a person’s body and/or the circumstances of a person’s life do not lessen or negate the respect due to the soul within.
12. We believe that we are beings of the Christ’s Light as exemplified by the teachings and example of the Master Jesus.
Explanation: John 1:1- 4 reads, “Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. He created everything there is – nothing exists that he didn’t make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind.” (The Living Bible).
13. We believe that attainment of the Christ Consciousness is possible for all persons.
Explanation: Edgar Cayce reported receiving this definition of the term Christ Consciousness from the Akashic Records – “…the awareness within each soul of the soul’s oneness with God, imprinted in pattern on the mind and waiting to be awakened by the will.” Jesus was fully aware of his soul’s oneness with God. Others said to have attained this include the Buddha, St. Germain, Gandhi, Krishna and Mohammed.
14. We believe that children are the future of Spiritualism by keeping the legacy of all those who commune with Spirit.
Explanation: The subsequent generations of any society or organization will be the ones to protect and teach its history. Spiritualism will only survive if its principles, beliefs and mediumship practices are taught to and embraced by those who come after us.
15. We believe all things created by Infinite Intelligence contain Spirit energy.
Explanation: The souls of humans, and all other things created by God, contain a part of God.
We invite to join us for a Sunday worship service and visit the Mark Your Calendars page to find an event the might interest you. We also offer workshops and classes on a variety of topics as well as a Mediumship Development program that will teach you how to connect with spirit for your own benefit or to serve others.