Spiritual philosophy is wisdom about the nature and meaning of reality attributed to sources outside our five earthly senses. Prophetic dreams, channeling, ecstatic visions, oracles, mediumship, and religious prophets have been vehicles of spiritual insight since the dawn of recorded history. Today, materialism has a strong hold over our worldview, especially in the west, and therefore many people consider only information gained through our terrestrial senses to be dependable. In the long stretch of human history, however, this way of thinking is an anomaly. Most great civilizations were built during times when messages from the gods received through special oracles or seers – people who today we would consider to have the gift of mediumship or strong psychic senses – were elevated to special status in society for their ability to guide and inspire both the mighty and the meek.
Seeking both a personal spiritual connection with ‘source’ and revering those with the ability to divine such wisdom has been such a universal aspect of our humanity that some scientists have hypothesized that spirituality must somehow be built into our evolution; possibly through an area of our brain that engenders religious belief. Spirituality is not just an odd habit of humans or a quirk of our nature. It is so engrained in our being that scientists are searching for a biological mechanism to explain it. Whether they succeed or not won’t likely change the debate, for one could argue that “God” simply built us physically to seek out and receive such knowledge.
Most religions have formed around either a single person or small group of people who were believed to have the ability to act as a liaison between man and God or God’s messengers. For the Jewish people, Moses was the law-giver and intermediary, passing along vital information from Hashem about how Jews should worship and conduct themselves in everyday life. Jesus, likewise, delivered spiritual wisdom from the Heavenly Father in the form of parables and lessons which His followers continue to model as their spiritual philosophy. Similarly, Muslims believe that Allah spoke directly to Mohammed, and still refer to Him as the ‘Messenger’ of Allah. In the East, Buddhism sprang up around the spiritual insight of Siddhārtha Gautama. After obtaining enlightenment, He shared his Four Noble Truths; a foundation of one of the foremost spiritual (not necessarily religious) philosophies of the world. Even in modern indigenous or tribal cultures, spiritual knowledge is passed down from the elders or an appointed spiritual leader, often who will use ethnogens, meditation, or some form of acesticm (fasting, isolation, etc) in order to commune with a higher source of wisdom. The fact is, humanity has always had the benefit of spiritually evolved or enlightened teachers to provide moral guidance, promise respite from the fear of death, and remind us that our earthly toils are both temporary and purposeful.
Despite the prominence of scientific materialism, we now live in a spiritually accelerated age. We have access to more spiritual knowledge than at any point in our history. Ordinary people have incredible life-changing spiritual experiences every day through near-death experiences, terminal lucidity and end-of-life dreams and visions, after-death communications, past-life regression and out-of-body experiences. Through the power of the internet, we are only now aware how extensive these experiences are, and can extract both inspiration, hope and knowledge from them. Extraordinary people channel great wisdom and share their knowledge through the internet, books and seminars. There are frauds and fame-seekers, of course, as there have always been. Even Jesus apparently had competition. He arrived at a time when there were a lot of wandering ‘holy men’ performing so-called miracles. The news of another homeless preacher performing magic tricks wasn’t necessarily big news at the time. Jesus prevailed for the same reason that all great mystics are remembered, even in our time: His message was original, profound and timeless.
In last 200 years, the movements of Theosophy, New Thought, and especially Spirituality have seen the revival of the ancient practice of using oracles and seers in order to connect with a higher truth. Instead of receiving information through angels as the biblical prophets of old, modern channelers and mediums connect with spiritual teachers and the spirits of the deceased. As the popularity of this type of unrestrictive non-religious spirituality has increased, so has the quantity of wisdom and information imparted by these sources. Granted, not all spiritual sources are created equally. Certainly, simply dying itself doesn’t seem to be the path to all wisdom. Some people leave their physical bodies and find themselves as unenlightened as when they left. It seems to depend on the individual level of spiritual progress. On earth, should one require a good medical diagnosis, it would be best to seek out a good and learned doctor rather than asking your bus driver to appraise that rash on your arm. When poring through the channeled material from the last 200 years of spiritualism, the same rule applies. A person may have been thrilled to hear from Aunt Betty and were eager to share her experiences, but it’s very likely that the kind of afterlife she would have described is from her experience in the lower astral. It might be delightful to hear that she is still visiting her weekly bridge club “up in heaven”, but there probably isn’t a lot she can say yet about the overall nature of reality.
Unlike mediums who can validate their connection with the deceased by providing evidential information that would be unknown to anyone but the sitter, channelers cannot prove their connection to a spiritual teacher. Even the famous Jane Roberts questioned her connection to Seth for many years, submitting herself to psychological testing to see if perhaps she was tuning into a different aspect of her own psyche. Despite the lack of proof of origin, channelers have often been the bearer of the most fascinating, mind-blowing spiritual wisdom. Good channels are inherently rare through history. Fake channelers, of which I believe there are far more, often just parrot teachings from other sources or rely on feel-good new-age platitudes which sound good but otherwise don’t contain much information. Ultimately, we must individually decide what resonates and what doesn’t when seeking out this information.
With all of that being said, I’d like to start a new series of posts that aims to present some of these spiritual philosophies. Great sources like Seth, Silver Birch, William Stainton Moses, Elias, Rita Warren and many, many more have returned to give us some understanding about the spiritual reality of the universe, and help us to answer some of the big philosophical questions: Why are we here? What is the afterlife like? What’s the ultimate purpose of creation? Is there a judgement for our actions? Why does evil exist?
I’d like to explore what these spiritual teachers have to say by picking a different topic or philosophy in each post and trying to understand it together. It’s important to note that while many spiritual philosophies seem agreed-upon throughout many different sources, it is also true that spiritual teachers do not always agree with one another. This may come as a surprise, since most people would think that there must be a single universal truth guiding reality. Whether that is the case, we can’t be sure. If there is a universal truth, it is likely well-beyond our comprehension at this level of our consciousness. My opinion on the matter is that individual conscious entities, whether they are clothed in a human body or not, all have a different collection of experiences and knowledge. Terrestrial channelers and mediums also must filter this information through their own cultural biases and knowledge. It is also likely that some aspects of the nature of reality may change and evolve over time, just as humanity has evolved in its thinking, attitudes and ideas. What is experienced and relayed by a spirit in the afterlife in 1868 is likely quite different than the experience of someone who passed away in this decade.
At the end of the day, all that really matters is that you connect with spiritual philosophies that provide personal and spiritual meaning to your life. We will not learn the secrets of the universe in this lifetime. However, if we weren’t meant to strive for a basic understanding, I don’t believe we would have been given so many opportunities to access spiritual wisdom. There is a purpose for this exploration, even though we must be humble in the fact of our ignorance.
So I hope you’ll come along on this journey with me over the coming weeks and months. Together we can explore some interesting, mind-bending, possibly inflammatory spiritual philosophies. Some will be from modern sources, and some from very old ones. I will always provide a list of my sources and suggestions for further reading if you find something that really grabs your attention and you want to do some further research. I hope that together we can expand our minds and hearts to ponder this grand mystery of which we are all part.
I’m going to start off big in my first post by tackling a spiritual philosophy that has huge implications for earthly life, the afterlife as well as in modern science: The Conscious-Created Universe. Stay tuned!