FAQs Q: What is Spiritualism? A: Spiritualism is a way of life. It combines philosophy, science and religion. It covers a very wide field, and, therefore, you cannot expect to understand it without a certain amount of study. Q: As a follower of Spiritualism do you have to adhere to some theological doctrines? A: No, although the majority of Spiritualists agree on "the seven principles", each person is free to construe them according to their own understanding. Q: Does the Spiritualist movement have a leader? A: No. Spiritualists do not believe in following any "gurus" and - unlike mainstream religions - do not have any "holy writings", although many books have been written about all aspects of spiritualism. The philosophy stresses the individuality of spiritual paths and emphasises the importance of personal spiritual experiences. What suits one person, may be unsuitable for another. It all depends on the spiritual development of the individual. Q: Are Spiritualists more spiritual than the rest of the population? A: No. Spiritualists can be just as spiritually developed or undeveloped as any other people. Psychic ability and awareness are not necessarily dependent on spiritual development. Q: Do Spiritualists "call up the dead"? A: No, there are no dead, people in the Astral world are just as alive as are we but just do not have a physical body. People are often very anxious to be able to contact loved ones who have passed to spirit and mediums help with this. Always bear in mind that the spirits on the other side of life are people and will chose if they want to make contact or not, they cannot be forced. Q: Are there ministers of the Spiritualist church? A: Yes. They conduct marriages, naming ceremonies and funerals. In Australia there are a number of spiritualist groupings that are recognised for the purpose of the marriage act and the ministers within them are awarded religious marriage celebrants numbers accordingly. Q: Do you have services like other churches? A: Our meetings are similar to other types of church services. We endeavour to have a different speaker each time, probably the guest medium, who usually gives an inspired talk; we have a healing segment prior to the commencement of the meeting proper. We sing uplifting songs and the medium gives a demonstration of evidence of survival and endeavour to link those on the other side of life to those on this side of life who happen to be at the meeting. Q: What other services does Spiritualism offer? A: Spirit healing; Spiritual counselling and readings, psychic awareness groups; Courses on the development of Mediumship; House clearings when a negative or 'earth bound' spirit person is causing problems or concern; treatments in cases of possession. When a church has a minister he or she will undertake all services possible for the comfort and help to members of the church and any other person who enquires. Q: Do I have to be a member to come to a service or join a circle? A: No, just come along, and join in and enjoy. It will help in the service if you are open minded and of a positive feeling and any service you receive from spirit will be more easily achieved. Q: What is the cost of membership? A: $20 for a full year. Q: What benefits do I have being a member? A: You may borrow books from our extensive library, you may vote at the AGM, and you may stand for election to any committee position. Q: What are the objectives of the Canberra Spiritualist Association in particular? A: The objectives of the association are: - To maintain a Spiritualist Church in Canberra - To publish the general philosophy of Spiritualism. - To provide spiritual counselling, healing and upliftment to all who are in need of them. - To promote the growth of the brotherhood of man without distinction of race, sex, class or religious belief. - To promote the study and understanding of psychic phenomena and the related spiritual implications - To provide a meeting point for all people interested in any aspect of psychic phenomena Q - Why Spiritualism? Is it any different to Orthodox Churches? A: Spiritualism in the past attracted the intellectual interest of many professional people and rapidly spread throught the world. In Western society it seems that today, interest is different, with many people more involved in material work and gain than in spiritual matters. Many highly intelligent people see no truth in spiritual areas to be available without dogma and contradictory philosophy and so devote their lives at least when young, to making money and living through their families. Because in the main, only mental mediumship is developed, many intellectual people remain unconvinced and so do not investigate in depth to find the proofs that are available. There are, however, a great many people who are needing religious experience but are becoming more and more disillusioned with orthodoxy and particulary Catholicism. They are still seeking a meaning and purpose to their lives and also, an understanding of God. Spiritualism is the answer. In Spiritualism we do not ask or demand that people should believe dogmatic, unchangeable philosophies just by 'faith'. We seek to bring evidence of spiritual truth to all enquirers and encourage them to come to their own conclusions and understanding of the reasons and destinations of their lives. Q - Why don't you say the "Lord's Prayer" in the Service? A: It is true that currently we do not feature this prayer but in fact many Spiritualist Churches especially the Christian Spiritualist Churches, do include it in their Services. The Spiritualist Service is lead by a Chair Person and features a talk and demonstration of evidence of survival by a Medium. The Chair Person presents the Service and its content and how the Service is conducted is largely as the Chair Person's chooses. It is true that there is little dogma in the prayer but it is recognised foremost only as a Christian prayer which it is felt is not appropriate in a Spiritualist Service. In the prayer 'heaven' is referred to twice and there is little understanding of what this signifies; the part which says 'lead us not into temptation' is an anathema to thinking people and the concept for God 'to provide us our daily bread' in a physical sense surely contradicts why we came here in the first place. Added to these points all in all it is felt by us that a prayer should be sincere, spontaneous and heart-felt and not just repeated, parrot fashion, over and over again with little or no consideration of the meaning and thought behind it. N.B. Whilst the Chair Person leads the Service his/her main function is to present the Medium and make sure that the Medium is safe and comfortable at all times. e.g. it is not unknown for persons from other religions to attend a Service and either barrack or ask questions of the Medium while the Medium is speaking by inspiration. In such a case the Medium will often be distracted and loose contact with Spirit and will not know what Spirit was saying and so anyway be unable to answer questions. It is the Chair Person's responsibility in this case to ask the person interrupting to remain silent and if they wish to ask questions to wait until a later more appropriate time.
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