Spiritualist Circle of Light

Your guide to improved life satisfaction


Sometime around 1857, a gathering of Spiritualists were given ten spiritual commandments. Emma Hardinge, who had become acquainted with the Fox sisters, was visiting Leah Fox-Underhill. Seances and circles had become common. Among the guests was Robert Dale Owen Jr. and Hardinge was the Medium. The soul working through her identified itself as Robert Owen Sr., who, when in formulated matter, provided the Rev. Edward Irving and his Quaker followers a place to meet after being evicted from their church[1] five years or more before the rapping at Hydesville, New York. He was also part of social movement known as Freethought, which was and possibly still is, against established traditional institutions.[2]. The seven many of the Spiritualist churches in Britian use are summarizations and are part of the tenth commandment.

[1] (Doyle, 1975)

[2] (Morita, 1995)

They are:

     The Fatherhood of God

     The Brotherhood of Man

     The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels

     The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul

     Personal Responsibility

     Compensation and Retribution Hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on   Earth

     Eternal progress open to every human soul 

(Byrne, 2010)

The Fatherhood of God may suggest a host of ideas ranging from a male parent to one who institutes or initiates. Before the reformative writings during Elijah’s, Elisha’s, and Hosea’s time the male and female principles were separate and were represented as phallic and yonic principles. A better description of these forces of nature is initiation and completion,[1] male being initiation and female being completion. After the reorganization, came the God we are familiar with, being androgynous, male, and female. The term God has moved from one of creation to one of unity, because that is what androgyny is, a unification. We are directed to seek the principles of unification, or equality. Of all the creatures of nature, we are the only ones to separate ourselves from nature and each other in order to form a more perfect unity, and in our ignorance, we do not realize that we can never be separated from the Divine, the Source, God, or each other for the Divine is unity.[2] While a brotherhood also suggests a unity, it is of a different sort. A brotherhood is a collection of people that have come together for a purpose, a goal. This is the Natural Principle of Association as described by the cliché, birds of a feather flock together. A Brotherhood forms when people have arrived at the conclusion that we are a unified people despite the illusion of barriers because we come together to encourage others to come together.

[1] (Bahm, 1964)

[2] (Franck, 1926)

Robert Owen Dale Sr. was, or perhaps we should say is, of the Freethought mindset, which some suggest was and continues to be a movement. A brief summarization comes to us from 1873, and describes these people as being devoted to science, morals, liberalism, labor reform, free education, equality, and anything that elevates humankind.[1] We should not mistake this to imply that we are free to believe whatever we want. The idea of Freethought promotes truth through evidence, through observation and induction[2] or a conclusion based on what has been observed, or the observation of cause and effect. The mindset also put forth the idea of aspiring towards equality of all, whether it is the equality of humanity or the governing laws and institutions. Through this, harmony may truly exist. The commandments put forth by Owen reflect this thinking, which was also reflected by many of the Spiritualist movement.

[1] (Kingsley, 2019)

[2] (Putnam, 1894)

The Communion of Spirits and Ministry of Angels

The truth of soul communion is evident in its ability to benefit all humankind. Wisdom serves humankind in fairness and equality of the Natural Principles. Intercourse with the incorporeal is a natural event, if it were not so, it could not occur. Such communion demonstrates the continuation of a human being in all ways that define the person. Such discourse demonstrates the continued opportunities for individual refinement and the development of intellectual abilities and personal growth.

The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul

Owen did not say, human spirit, but human soul because the quality of spirit is different from soul and should not be confused. When we consider Genesis, in the second chapter, the first human is formed of moistened earth and God breathed into the nostrils and the human became a living soul, demonstrating the activating quality of spirit, for spirit initiated the awakening of the body. When we go back to the first chapter, we discover God creating humankind in their image. If we go to the beginning, we will discover in the first days or emanations of creation that all was not of a physical substance but of a finer quality. Here was where the human soul came into being, later was the body formed around it and then spirit breathed into it. The soul was not imprisoned in the body as many teach,[1] but is a light, a representation of intelligence,[2] and through philosophy is purified.[3] Through this analogy, the soul is of the same essence as God and if God is immortal, then so too is the human soul for they are of the same quality.

[1] (Willoughby, 1929)

[2] (Bailey, 1962)

[3] (Taylor, 1891)

Personal Responsibility

You shall remember that a wrong done to the least of your fellow-creatures is a wrong done to all; and you shall never commit a wrong willfully and consciously to any of your fellow beings.[1] What is it that motivates us to cheat others? Perhaps this is not something for us to go into. A multitude of conscious wrongs may exist under the headings of omissions and exaggerations, with their defense being they forgot. Whether these can or should be dismissed is again, something best left alone. Perhaps we can reconcile ourselves by thinking we are being referenced to more serious infractions. Just the same, it is not a higher power we eventually defer to but ourselves. We are informed by a well-known Spiritualist writer that it is we who plays the role of accuser and the accused,[2] for only we truly know what motivates us.

[1] (Spiritual Commandments. Given by the Spirits through Emma Hardinge, 1872)

[2] (Davis, 1911)

Compensation and Retribution

The last commandment given through Emma Hardinge is compensation and retribution for those deeds done while on the earth. We suspect the words compensation and retribution are for dramatic effect because both hold the same meaning, recompense. This is a representation of the Natural Principle of Cause and Effect, for every cause, there is an effect and for every effect, there is a cause. This also known as karma.[1] Everything happens for a reason and that reason can be found in this simple principle; however, many often act in ignorance of the concept. If we seek understanding of this, we will discover that this principle encourages us to live in harmony.[2] Upon close examination, when the commandments are taken as a whole, that is what we are encouraged to do, which is to live in and promote harmony among humankind, and in doing so, we become a demonstration.

[1] (Yogananda, 2005)

[2] (Leadbeater, 1902)

Eternal Progress

You shall continue the search for truth all your life, and never cease to test, prove, and try all that you deem to be truth.[1] Owen must have been familiar with mysteries of old or at the very least the necessity for continued growth and that growth often requires one to let go of that which is no longer beneficial. Upon the initiation into one of those mysterious schools of thought required one to remain vigilant for delusion and truths clothed in deception. Perhaps he recognized the transient nature of truth. Truth is like a chameleon, everchanging. The one who’s beliefs are unchangeable is not one who remains in truth but has become lost within their illusion. With each new day we are required to weigh information to determine its validity. When it no longer measures up, then it should be dispensed with. However, a belief is not based on truth, nor is it based on deception. Only facts are unchanging. It is their interpretation that changes, that varies, that expands and contracts. If we are unable to alter our belief when truth no longer measures up, then we have failed ourselves. No one will suffer as we will suffer. Others may share in our short-sightedness and the misery that comes with it, but once they can release that truth that is no longer valid, they progress, they evolve into something new and better. We shall encounter truths disguised as falsehoods and deceptions disguised as truth. Only through discernment, only through testing does the façade fall away.

All information taken from Spiritualism: Its Echoes, its Foundations, by Phillip J. Falcone.

[1] (Spiritual Commandments. Given by the Spirits through Emma Hardinge, 1872)

Bahm, A. (1964). The World's Living Religions: A searching comparison of the faiths of East and West. Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Bailey, A. (1962). Esoteric Psychology. United States: Lucis Publishing Co.

Davis, A. J. (1911). Death and the After-Life: Eight Evening Lectures on the Summer-Land. Rochester, NY, U.S.: Austin Publishing Co.

Franck, A. (1926). The Kabbalah or The Religious Philosophy of the Hebrews. (D. I. Sossnitz, Trans.) New York: The Kabbalah Publishing Co.

Hardinge. (1872). Seed Corn (Tracts on Spiritualism). United Kingdom. 

Kingsley, O. (2019). American Freethought from Paine to Haldeman-Julius: A neglected history. Midwest Quarterly, 61(1), 47-61.

Leadbeater, C. W. (1902). An Outline of Theosophy. London: Theosophical Publishing Society. Spiritual Commandments. Given by the Spirits through Emma 

Putnam, S. P. (1894). 400 Years of Freethought. New York, NY, United States: The Truth Seeker Co.

Taylor, T. (1891). The Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries. (A. Wilder, Ed.) New York: J.W. Bouton.

Willoughby, H. R. (1929). Pagan Regeneration. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Yogananda, M. (2005). Self-Realization Through Pure Meditation. Somerset, UK: Daoseva Press.

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