BRDNSKY and SpiritualisCircle of Light 

Your guide to improved life satisfaction

Briefly explained, the Spiritual Principles

     No explanations of these Spiritual Principles have been recorded. Therefore, we shall offer an explanation based on the tenets of Spiritualism, which is through nature.


The Fatherhood of God

     Spiritualism began as a quest away from the traditional teachings of religion encouraged by the Free Thought movement. The framers did not turn their backs upon the faith they were brought up with. They merely sought to re-interpret their faith as so many spiritual leaders have done.


     We have all had and have fathers. The first images of my father, or dad that come to mind are the spankings, the jibes, the threats, and the list of chores. As a child, I saw these chores as his ability to be lazy. Eventually, memories of laughter and compliments follow. Eventually, it was my turn to be a father. Like every other man on the planet, I followed the pattern laid before me.


     I discovered the pattern was flawed. This forced me to reevaluate my role. Fortunately, this was sooner than later. I began questioning their motives for their actions. I wanted to understand why they chose to break the rules. Then I explained the purpose of the rules, and even offered them a way around them. My role was no longer the punisher or the enforcer. My role became the guide and mentor.


     This principle can just as easily be The Motherhood of God. When gazing upon nature, we discover the role of parenting is not to arbitrarily punish, nor is it to assign duties. The role of the parent is to guide, to mentor. Thus, The Fatherhood of God is more in line with the idea of the Mentorship of God.


The Brotherhood of Man

          The first thing that comes to mind is that of siblings, brothers and sisters. The implicit role of the firstborn is to look out for those who follow. Responsibility is given to us. The same was given to Jesus the Christ. In his case, there were no siblings, only surrogates. With siblings comes a sense of rivalry because they are struggling for the attention of one or both parents. Thus, Brotherhood is not about equality, though some will make that suggestion and even insist upon it. We are not equal and do not have equal opportunities. The idea is a myth, but there is purpose to the concept of a brotherhood or even a sisterhood.


     Unions are the equivalent of a brotherhood. They do not boast of equality. They boast of unification. This is known as solidarity, the act of standing together. The Brotherhood or Sisterhood of Man is about unification, coming together.


The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels

     This principle deals directly with Spiritualism and those early religions and practices that invoked communication with unseen intelligences. The early Shaman communed with spirits. For those visiting a Spiritualist church or a psychic fair, such events are routine. However, these messages or readings do not qualify as communion. Communion is derived from commune, which leads to communication. To commune with another is more intimate. The act refers to a level of communication that belies something more than superficial inquires. To commune refers to the development of a bond. So, when we say communion with spirits, we are referring to the development of a bond with spirit.


      Communion with the Ministry of Angels refers to those beings said to be interdimensional or from a higher level of existence. The title Angel refers to those beings who are both higher than our physical being and lower than we due to our belief in having freewill. Angels refer to those entities encountered during meditation. 


The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul

     This is one of those instances where the terms spirit and soul are used interchangeably. If we, as a collective, had not experienced the Dark Ages, their significance may not have been lost. We would know that spirit refers to an animating force contributed by our parentage. We would also know that soul refers to our essence or personality.


     The idea of continuous existence exists in all religions. The concept is based upon the observations of nature. Many times have we witnessed the replenishment of water, food stuffs, and building material. Many times have we witnessed the event called the circle of life. Over time we come to realize the interdependence of all species.


Personal responsibility

     Of all the species cohabitating on the planet, ours is probably the only one that insists upon being blameless. Human beings are notorious for substituting others for our shortcomings. Everything possesses flaws, our parents, society, the system of government…. everything. When we become aware of this, we also become responsible. 


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

     This is simply the Natural Law of Cause and Effect in action. To think death can exempt us from the fruits of our actions is foolish. We can cite the Law of Karma. Karma is simply action and reaction. Drop a stone in still water and the waves that extend outward is the karma of the stone. At the epicenter, nothing appears to happen except the water ripples. When we follow the ripples, we observe the karma of action. The waves may push a stranded animal closer to shore or it may carry it further away. The waves may provide nourishment for the plant life along the shore, or overwhelm it causing it to wither. The idea is that each action we initiate has far reaching effects, beyond our scope of reasoning.


     I disagree with the terms good and evil. I suspect the motive behind the idea of good and evil deeds refers to one’s motivation. To purposefully cause harm to another is truly an evil deed, regardless of the motivation claimed by the perpetrator. 


Eternal progress is open to every soul.

     If the true good of any action is to accept responsibility for our role in the events that follow, then such an opportunity is never denied. With the belief of the continuity of life comes continuous opportunities.


     The process of evolution is refinement and progress is refinement. Progress is also a choice. While it may seem odd that a person would purposefully chose not move forward in their development, many have made this choice. Fortunately, in through ignorance, progress is obtained, though at a cost.



[1] (Hall, 1928)

[2] (Steinhardt, 2009)

[3] (Remi, 2005)

Spiritualist Declarations of Principles

This is taken from Spiritualism: It's Echoes, It's Foundation

We believe in Infinite Intelligence

Spiritualism recognizes the idea of an intelligence at work in nature. However, we choose not to name the intelligence. When we use the term God, we are personalizing this intelligence. Not only does God indicate personalization, but also exclusivity. As the doctrine of Spiritualism is written within nature, to read the doctrine we are required to observe and participate in nature. As Infinite Intelligence is expressed through nature, we may find many answers through its observation. Nature is composed of many influences, not just one. Infinite Intelligence is many, not one. If we were to suggest proof as evidence within the Bible, we would direct your attention to Genesis, where God speaks of Adam and Eve as becoming as one of us or we. These words are plural, indicating more than one. Infinite Intelligence reflects this idea. Within Christianity, the term is God, and Islam, the term is Allah, these reference a single entity. Some make this mistake when referring to Buddha. Buddha is a title referring to one who has become enlightened, not to a single entity, but many entities.


We believe that the phenomena of nature, both physical and spiritual are the expression of Infinite Intelligence.

Nature is a paradox unto the mind. We know through biology how animals and plants form. We know how the human body is formed. We do not know what conditions are required for life to begin. The question is more than how did life begin. The question is what is creation? Creation is a paradox. Theories merely offer suggestions as to its origins. Theories such as the big bang theory and the theory of an ongoing cycle of expansion and contraction[1] are feeble attempts at satisfying our curiosity. Even the metaphysical counterparts are merely attempting to placate the mind. Many of the metaphysical theories predate modern theories. Unlike their counterparts, they are often more complete, because they deal with the whole of creation and not a portion. The theory preferred is irrelevant, as none can be accomplished without the laws of nature. The Law of Order is expressed through nature, through creation. There exists a logical flow of refinement and harmony.


A natural flow exists, and this flow is comprised by what can easily be observed, even if through a microscope and what cannot. Hence, the physical and spiritual or soul aspects of nature are the paradox of humankind and the expression of Infinite Intelligence. Certain conditions must be present in order for certain events to occur. The question is what initiates these conditions? The answers are hidden and that is what we deem the spiritual aspect of nature. The hidden aspect, which has no form, is the spiritual aspect. Yet, there is form. Both are evidence of Intelligence. Just as when we gaze upon a beautiful piece of art. We see the texture, the form, and the nuances. We do not see the effort, the creative process, and the inspiration. Yet, both are required in order for its expression to occur.


We affirm that the correct understanding of such expression and living in accordance therewith constitutes true religion. 

A correct understanding of Nature requires we become familiar with the laws of nature. For instance, the Law of Order implies a natural flow. Things do not just happen without reason. When an event occurs, which we do not understand we must look to those events and circumstances prior to its happening. The Law of Cause and Effect tells us, for every action, there is a reaction. When observing nature, we discover purpose. Rain falls due to certain conditions involving temperature, wind, and barometric pressure, not because the land is arid. These circumstances are hidden from our eyes, yet they exist. We put out bird food in hopes of attracting birds. We don’t have to hope they will accept the offering, because they will. However, if the design of the feeder is faulty, they may pass by. Simple logic, though sometimes appearing complex, provides answers; at the very least, observations of nature offers us a guide for living.


We affirm that the existence and personal identity of the individual continue after the change called death.

"You have not departed dead, you have departed alive (p16; par.1)."[2] This quote is part of the ancient Egyptian’s belief of the continuity of life. They, like many of the developing civilizations, based their beliefs on the observation of nature. They, like many developing civilizations, spoke with the departed as part of their daily routine. For them, the ba, or the soul or the personality continues. These beliefs continue today in mainstream religion. In some, we are reincarnated. In others, we travel to Hell or Heaven or Paradise. Our continued survival is a natural part of creation.


We affirm that the communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.

For the moment, let’s forget the term scientifically as we have addressed it. Let’s also forget the term Spiritualism, because it is not just about spirit communication. Communication with the so-called dead is a fact proven by the phenomena of Spiritualist activities. Spiritualists are the agents of the communication. Many of us have had some unexplainable event occur. Perhaps our name was called when no one was around. Perhaps banging from the floors or ceilings where none could possibly be, interrupted us. Perhaps something not seen was felt grabbing a hold of us where none could be. Science cannot explain these occurrences, but we can. Something caused those events to occur, we have but to invoke the Law of Cause and Effect. Nothing can happen without something initiating it.


Isolated events can easily be dismissed. A multitude of events cannot. We must not dismiss science because the tools do not exist in order to test certain theories. Much of the science concerning cosmology is based on unprovable theories. We can say communication with the so-called dead is scientifically proven because there is an abundance of evidence that cannot be denied.


When the Fox sisters initially began holding public séances, the investigators were from the public, not the scientific community. Scientists didn’t begin investigating until after mediums began to be noticed. Many began their investigations with the purpose of refuting the demonstrations. Some were convinced of their authenticity while others held steadfast to their beliefs despite their findings. The most difficult aspect of investigating spirit communication is repetition. For scientists to accept the findings of a colleague they must be able to repeat the experiment as Crookes did with Varley’s experiments with Home. Investigations into the phenomena continue. For more information regarding research, please visit the Institute of Noetic Sciences (http://noetic.org/).


Some believe the communication with the so-called dead became a scientific fact when the Shekinah began classifying the various methods of communication. This was done to prevent Spiritualism from falling into confusion. Needless to say, the communication has been and continues to be affirmed as scientific prove. Why else would it continue to be explored by scientists?


We believe the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule, “Whatsoever you would that others do unto you, do you likewise unto them.” 

Our early leaders of Spiritualist philosophy discovered that basic spiritual growth is accomplished through acts of kindness. Davis and Swedenborg suggest the lowest realm in spirit is inhabited by those who have not released the need of achieving pleasure through vices. Vices are not only those we are readily familiar with, such as chemical and physical misuse, but intangible misuses as well. They also extend into our character. To purposefully mistreat others, to purposefully deny them are abuses of power. When we gaze upon nature, we see a plentiful bounty that is shared. We are not dismissing the ugliness some may find, but keep in mind that what is witnessed is within their nature. It is in the nature of a wolf to kill its prey.


The idea of spiritual development through acts of kindness is captured in this particular commandment from Jesus, to love one another as you love yourself. We can find similar commandments from spiritual leaders of the past. For instance, Confucius is believed to have said, “Do not require of others what you would not have another require of you (page 182; par. 2).”[3] This is also a demonstration of the Law of Cause and Effect. Through our kindness towards others, they may in turn be kind not only towards us, but also towards others. Thus, we are encouraged to commit acts of kindness as a means of spiritual development.


We affirm the moral responsibility of the individual, and that he makes his own happiness or unhappiness as he obeys or disobeys Nature’s physical and spiritual laws.

We are created to do good. What is good is a philosophical debate that ultimately suggests that it is what is beneficial to us. One of the foundation blocks of Spiritualism is that we are allowed to discover our own salvation. For us to discover our own salvation, we must first exercise our ability to question and observe. Through our observations, we discover “The laws of Nature conspire to one end, namely, to the establishment of perfect harmony (page 43; par. 1).”[4] This can only be accomplished by the discovery and acceptance of the Nature’s physical and spiritual laws. By accepting these laws, we may achieve happiness.


This is also part of Spiritualism’s disagreement with vicarious atonement. For one being to carry the burden of all is unnatural. Thus, we must find our own way. We may choose to do this by becoming responsible, or we may choose to do this by being irresponsible in our actions.


We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed, against any soul, here, or hereafter.

We must first, refer you to the declaration of the continued existence of the individual’s personality after death. This being the case, it is a simple matter to assume one also retains the ability to find a path towards salvation. This is the Spiritualist’s choice. While in this sphere, the aforementioned principles are like rungs on a ladder, guiding us along a path of spiritual growth. Once transition is accomplished, we enter one of the many versions of earth within the spirit realm that matches our level of illumination. We do not stop here. Those of the higher spheres within the spirit realm mingle with those of the lower realms encouraging their continued spiritual and intellectual growth.[5] Thus, our development is only limited by ourselves.


[1] (Steinhardt, 2009)

[2] (Museum, 2010)

[3] (Bahm, 1964)

[4] (Davis, The Great Harmonia; Being a Philosophical Revelation of the Natural, Spiritual and Celestial Universe, 1851)

[5] (Davis, The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations and a Voice to Mankind, 1847)


August 2019

The Seven Spiritual Principles from Emma Hardringe-Britten

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 [1]


[1] (Byrne, 2010)

The Seven Hermetic Principles

  1. The principle of mentalism: The All is Mind; The Universe is Mental
  2. The principle of correspondence. As above, so below; as below, so above.
  3. The principle of vibration: Nothing rests; everything moves; everything vibrates.
  4. The principle of polarity: everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.
  5. The principle of rhythm: Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum-swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates.
  6. The principle of cause and effect. Every Cause has its Effect; every Effect has its Cause; Everything happens according to Law; Chance is but a name for Law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the Law.
  7. The principle of gender. Gender is in everything; everything has its Masculine and Feminine Principles; Gender manifests on all planes.


Three Initiates (1912). Kybalion. Chicago: The Yogi Publication Society Masonic Temple

All have Native American Guides

Before the Hydesville incident, spirit activity took place at several Quaker churches. These were Native Americans. Some asked for permission to possess or come through certain parishioners while others did not. The event struck such fear into the onlookers that they condemned the event.


If we compare them to the early Shaman, then it would appear a natural occurrence. The Shaman were known for being masters of spirit. Unfortunately, many of us possess certain expectations due to our beliefs. Anything occurring outside of these beliefs is often considered blasphemous.


When the spirit visitors departed, they said they would return. Almost a decade later, the Hydesville incident occurred. A member of one of the Quaker parishes bore witness to the return of spirit communication at one of the Fox sisters public seances. 

Rethinking animism: Thoughts from the infancy of our discipline

The term Animism was first used in The Animism of Stahl as a theory for identifying the vital principal, or what some call the soul. This led E. B. Tylor to develop a division of his interpretation of Animism. One is the belief of souls and the second is the belief of spirits.


Stringer, Martin D. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 1999, Vol. 5 Issue 4, p541.

The simplest path to enlightenment or spiritual growth is through continuous acts of kindness.

Spirit Identification

Spirit identification is a difficult as identifying those of the living. Just as those who seek to deceive exist in this plane, so do those of similar desire exist as spirit.


Colville, W. J. (1906). Universal-Spiritualism. R. F. Fenno & Co. New York


Psychophonetics

All phenomena is dependent upon our causation. This is akin to all things originate from mind. Within mind, causation is independent of other phenomena. Meaning that once in action, it cannot be stopped, unlike love or affection.


Thus, Davis suggests one give a great deal of thought to their actions.


Davis, Andrew Jackson (1878). Views of Our Heavenly Home: A sequel to a stellar key to the Summer-Land. Boston: Colby 7 Rich


Consuming the afterlife: Spirituality, Neo-Spiritualism and continuity of the self

Communications with the so-called dead have been found to be therapeutic while reinforcing the idea of survival of the personality.


Lee, Raymond L.M.; Mortality, Feb2015; 20(1): 83-97. (15p)


Spiritualism exposed: Skepticism, credulity and spectatorship in end-of-the-century America

The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) dispensed with the idea of communication with the deceased in favor of clairvoyance and telepathy. Their claim was the medium was in contact with another via telepathy.


Natale, Simone. European Journal of American Culture. 2010, Vol. 29 Issue 2, p131-144. 14p


A brief history of the exploration of consciousness

Ecstasy, or rapture means altered state of consciousness.


Mishlove, Jeffrey (1975). The Roots of Consciousness: Psychic Liberation through History, Science and Experience. New York: Random House Pub.

The rise of 19th-century American Spiritualism, 1854-1873

During the 19th century, the séance was the central theme of Spiritualism.


Nartonis, David K. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Jun2010, Vol. 49 Issue 2, p361-373

The Religious Aspect of Spiritualism

Spiritualism is a system of thought and knowledge, which can be reconciled with any religion. The basic facts are the continuity of life or the continuity as represented by the personality, and the communication with the personality after the expiration of the body.


Arthur Conan Doyle

The History of Spiritualism

Indicting the devil: Austin Phelps's fight against Spiritualism

According to theologian mythology, Rev. Eliakim Phelps opened the door to the mischief he and his family experienced when he attempted to communicate with a spirit. The spirit claimed to be looking for a way out of Hell. When the reverend inquired as to how he could help, the response was with pumpkin pie and a glass of gin.


Hirst, Russel. Journal of Communication & Religion. Fall2014, Vol. 37 Issue 3, p17-43

Immortality

'The passage from this sphere into the next is no more a change to the individual then a journey from America to England, excepting the almost complete emancipation consequent upon the change, from rudimental misdirection and earthly imperfections. Clear indications of a lack of significant growth. He goes on to say the physical change called death imparts no significant alteration to the personality. Meaning, if it is not in the habit of the individual to take it upon themselves to grow - expand mentally, emotionally, or even spiritually, the person is most likely not going experience any progressions in the next sphere.


Andrew Jackson Davis

The Great Harmonia; Being a Philosophical Revelation of the Natural, Spiritual and Celestial Universe

Unorthodox thought and alternative medicine

Thomas Wentworth Higginson proposed that all superstition was based on the fear of death. He went further, insisting the Christian churches stamped out all natural faith, natural yearnings, and instinctive hope. Davis, in turn praised the natural religion of the Native Americans that theirs was based on nature and the observations of nature. While mainstream religion imposed fear among its followers, Spiritualism suggested a path of trial and error, of wisdom gained through experience.


Morita, S. J. (1995). Modern Spiritualism and Reform in America. University of Oregon

Exploring Other Worlds: Margaret Fox, Elisha Kane, and the Antebellulm Culture of Curiosity

Americans before the Civil War possessed a desire to not only be intellectual, but also be amused. One could say, they had an insatiable hunger for the unusual.


Chapin, D. A. (2000). University of New Hamphsire.

Consuming the afterlife: Spirituality, Neo-Spiritualism and continuity of the self

Spiritualism demonstrates there is no sharp divide between what are considered living minds and departed minds.


Lee, Raymond L.M.; Mortality, Feb2015; 20(1): 83-97.