spiritualism is an esoteric religious movement based upon the belief that all spirits of the departed exist and are both able and willing to communicate through the living. Spiritualists, unlike the traditional spiritualist, believe that the afterlife, or the ‘spirit world’, is in fact one where spirits remain active and continue to change. This idea is a new concept to the mainstream public, so there is much more room for misinterpretation with Spiritualism.
Spiritism, although very popular, is still fairly unknown to the general public. However, this is because it involves many different facets that set it apart from mainstream religions. The basic premise of Spiritism is that there exists a spiritual realm or ‘ether’ (which also goes by different names), which encompasses the entire universe. The souls that pass through the body of death are unable to pass through the ether due to the physical barriers that exist within.
The idea behind this is that, because a person dies they are unable to leave their bodies, since they have not yet had a chance to ‘rise up’ to the heavens. Therefore, their spirits remain trapped in this lower world. Because of this, they cannot communicate to the living, nor can they be touched, because they have no energy, no form, and no matter what their emotions.
According to Spiritualists, the reason that spirits do not come to the earth is because they are locked into this ‘ether’. They have no need to leave this place, because it is the only place they are permitted to exist, and because when they do, they will simply be returned to the higher planes of existence.
Spiritualists claim that the soul of a deceased person is trapped in this body for quite a while before they are sent back to the spirit world. This is believed to be the case because there is a certain amount of time that a spirit remains stuck in this earthly state. After this time period, they are sent to another plane, usually a place in which they are spiritually evolved and therefore have greater powers of communication. There they will then stay until the time allotted to be in this state has passed. There they will be able to travel through time again, as well as they move through the higher planes of existence.
Spiritualist beliefs are completely different from the beliefs of the Church of England, which believes in a literal belief in hell. and its attendant pains and torment. Spiritualists are more of a spiritual view of life, rather than a literal belief system. The latter believes that hell is simply a state of being in which the soul remains in an unsatisfactory state because of sin, and the afterlife is simply the realm of light and bliss.
Spiritualists do not believe that one’s soul goes directly to the afterlife after death. Instead, there is an astral plane known as the ‘astral plane’ where the soul takes residence while the physical body is still in the body. In the Astral plane, the body does not exist, and the spirit is able to communicate and interact with the physical world and the living.
Spiritualists believe that these two states are different, because they are separate. Although people may experience them at the same time, it is the Astral plane that is the true reality and not the body. When one leaves the body they are transferred into a different plane, and when they return to the physical, they are transferred to the body. – so the spiritualists do not believe that they die and become spirits – but rather live until the time has expired.