The importance of self-development as a Spiritualist
Spiritualism is a religion with a unified belief system and a number of different aspects, one unique aspect is to constantly strive to prove the eternal nature of the human soul. Mediums have the ability to communicate with loved one’s past, for many Spiritualists who undertake significant development the goal is to become a medium or healer in some capacity. Not necessarily working on a platform, but to be able to offer comfort and healing to others.
The mindset of self-development is evident within the Seven Principles, primarily, Eternal Progress open to Every Human Soul. In life we have been given gifts, the power of thought, consciousness, feelings and emotions. We use these aspects of us to develop and understand our soul’s progression. Each of us as Spiritualists have a personal responsibility for ourselves and our personal growth. As a result, self-development as Spiritualists is of the utmost importance and is seen as a requirement for most.
As Gordon Higginson said in a lecture given at The Arthur Findlay College, Stansted Hall ‘before you can touch the Spirit, you must find it within yourself. And the Spirit can never touch you and bring love and peace within your being and from your being, until you have found it for yourself. And before you can build a picture of love from the Spirit, you must learn to find it in this life.’ This is core to finding your own level of spirituality and self-development, relatable to every Spiritualist regardless of their aspirations within the religion.
There are many courses, workshops and training sessions available with amazing tutors to cater for every level of spiritual development. When students feel like they have developed as far as they can alone or with their personal development, there are colleges like The Arthur Findlay College and the Barbanell Centre. Students can choose from weekends to full week courses focused in different areas of Spiritualist belief, mediumship and healing. Students can learn from some of the top practicing mediums and healers from around the world.
I think because the options are so diverse in regard to directions people can go within Spiritualism there is always something of interest for people with an inquiring mind. So much of the understanding of Spiritualism and teachings of the pioneers relies on the individual having a deep level of understanding which only comes through discipline and self-development.
Andrew Jackson Davis is commonly referred to as the grandfather of modern Spiritualism. He lived almost 200 years ago and many of his teachings are still widely read and relevant today. When talking about spirit and consciousness he said, ‘consciousness is the only indubitable fact. All else is relative and questionable. Self-existence is the primary demonstration of existence. Mind is known to itself by and through its consciousness. Your only perfectly clear idea is that of your existence. You can mistrust every fact but the fact of yourself. Consciousness is irresistible, absolute, irreversible, and beyond controversy. It is that which you accept without question.’ Today we know little more about consciousness and how it came into existence, but it is the foundation in which we undertake our spiritual development. It is simultaneously is our great asset and our biggest downfall. We overanalyse, we deconstruct and dissect. Ultimately, we strive further in our development, but our consciousness can get in the way of instinct, emotions and feelings. A large area of self-development is moving aside our conscious mind to allow our spirit within to open or communications to come through our bodies from the spirit world.
Self-development and discovery are at the heart of Spiritualism. A Spiritualist with an interest in the subject naturally looks closer at how they can develop aspects of themselves. Asking what need to be considered, many come to realise its areas of self they have never considered before. Self-development is also a journey of self-discovery, finding out who are we and how far can we go. What can we achieve and what do we want to achieve? These types of questions are asked regularly by Spiritualists in order to push the boundaries of themselves and their own abilities.
Written by Judith R Scarlett