Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food: The Mother Who Feeds

Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food: The Mother Who Feeds.
"In this world, apart from our spiritual practice, there is no other place or power that we can rely on." Supreme Master Ching Hai

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Defining Spiritualism

I recently visited my best friend in Florida. Though I've been to Florida many times, I'd never heard of a place called Cassadaga, let alone journeyed there. However, Teresa, my best friend, has felt a pull there for the past year, and knew that she had to go there, but only with me.

Teresa and I are both conduits of sorts. Yes, I can hear you all now, screaming: "I see dead people!"  But that's not really it. We both have been blessed with the ability to interact with those who have passed on, and for both of us it is such a natural part of our lives that we seldom question it. It's kind of like knowing you have toes on your feet without looking down to verify it.

But even with my vast history of interactions with the spirit world, nothing prepared me for our trip to Cassadaga. We started out on our 90 minute drive on a cloudy, cool day: January 2, 2012.  Within 30 minutes we had moved away from the coast far enough that we began to see sun peeking through the marine layer, and by the time we reached the dusty little town of Cassadaga, there was nothing but blue sky as far as the eye could see.

To say this town is small and hard to find would be an understatement. Even the Garmin got us lost. But eventually we pulled up in front of the book store, where a sign declared: Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. As soon as I stepped from the vehicle, my chest began to hum with a familiar buzz that I only feel when I'm being contacted by someone. Only this was like being surrounded by a million someones, and it was COOL! Probably the coolest thing I've ever experienced. I wanted to jump up and down like a 4-year-old! Teresa, on the other hand, had the most terrified look on her face I've ever seen, and was already starting to hyperventilate. I had to grab her hand and pull her inside before anyone noticed her having a panic attack on the city sidewalk. She needs to learn to guard herself, but hasn't yet mastered that skill, hence one of the reasons we'd made our little trek to start out 2012.

I've been having another weird-ass dream. I know, you all heard about the dirty bathroom dream. This one is a recurrent dream that I'm nursing someone else's baby, which is something I always wished I had enough courage to do when I was actually nursing one of my own.  I've always considered it to be the most wonderful thing to do for someone in need. However, this dream is rather unsettling to be dreaming when you are **ahem** beginning a new journey into menopause.

So I started in the "Books about Dreams" section, after depositing Teresa on a bench until she could catch her breath.  With a new volume in hand, I was soon tapped on the shoulder by the bookstore lady, who asked if she could be of assistance. I told her that I'd found what I was looking for in the book I was holding. She replied: "You also ought to consider having a reading while you're here."

HMMM.  That hadn't occurred to me, actually. I've always been a big fan of John Edward, (the medium, not the cheating, lying, fornicating, scumbag politician,) and I'd actually expressed an interest in seeing him live. Here was my chance to see if these medium people were real! The kindly bookstore lady directed me to a white board where I could choose from a list of available mediums. I opted to Reiki the business cards displayed at the bottom of the board instead, which were cards from all the mediums in town. I pulled a medium named Ed, who low and behold, was available for consult that day. Yeah, I'm kind of into my ability to do that! Anyway, I experienced a wonderful reading, which I will blog about later. The purpose of this blog today is to impart to you a little flyer that I picked up in the bookstore.

I've called myself a spiritualist for years, ever since I left the Mormon church, and started looking into alternative ways to connect with a higher power. I still hesitate to call it/she/him/them "god" because I'm not really sure what that means. However, this isn't the only area I've had a hard time defining. So I was thrilled to pick up a flyer called: What is Spiritualism?  It defines me almost to a tee, so I'm going to share it below:

What is Spiritualism?
"Spiritualism is a science, philosophy and religion:
  • a science because it investigates, analyzes, and classifies facts and manifestations of the spirit;
  • a philosophy because it studies the laws of nature both on the seen and unseen side of life and bases its conclusions upon present, observed facts;
  • a religion because it strives to understand and comply with the physical, mental and spiritual laws of nature, which are the laws of god.
Spiritualism's main focus is to promote an individual's personal experience with God.
Spiritualism is a religion that is not based on a relationship with a particular savior. It recognizes all prophets that h ave come to humankind throughout the ages, not setting one above the other. It is based upon the idea that we are all to form our own relationship with god, and to obtain guidance and accept responsibility for our actions based on our interaction with that personal guidance. We are able to have that instant and personal communication directly with God through no intermediary; hence the reason that we do not give anyone a fixed idea of God, only that there is a God. Any attempt to personalize the idea of God only limits the totality of that intelligence, which is the reason that Spiritualists sometimes refer to that idea of God as "infinite intelligence" or "infinite Spirit."

Spiritualism teaches survival of the personality after death, meaning that we still think of ourselves the same after death as during our physical life. This is proven by Mediumship, the bringing aback of loved ones in evidential form who have gone through the change called death. Belief in the survival of the personality also removes grieving when it is realized that our loved ones are still around us from time to time, are able to communicate with us and still care about us, and can be communicated with. Mediumship, when done in the true sense, will produce a real understanding of this existence and level of interaction to and from the spirit realm.

Spiritualists believe that the nature of mankind is to be good,  not evil. We do not believe in sin and repentance, only spiritual progression by natural law. Nor do we believe in vicarious atonement, which means we believe that you are responsible at all times for your actions,  here and hereafter, and must compensate in some fashion for them yourself, not through a savior of some kind.
Spiritualists feel that all religions can produce enlightenment, and believe that Jesus, as well as other saviors and prophets, was a real person.
Our feeling is that your purpose here is to evolve spiritually, and then use that to be of service to others as you continue to evolve."
Printed by Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association

So now, maybe after reading the above description, you all will understand where I'm coming from.

Or, you can shake your head and think I see dead people. The choice is yours.

Stay tuned for more on Cassadaga....

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