Spiritual Principles

It was George Bernard Shaw, writing in his play 'Major Barbara', who said 

"Each man has his own true religion, but no two men have the 

same true religion"


This could equally apply to the essential principles by which each of us chooses to live our lives - although many do not pause to give this a great deal of thought. 


What are your spiritual principles?

If challenged to do so could you write your top ten spiritual principles for leading your life down on paper? If not you may well be drifting!

Set out below are some of the principles used by major spiritual groups. You may wish to see which accord to your own beliefs and also to note the remarkable degree to which many of them converge. The list is not intended to be complete nor to show preference, but does give an insight into the ones I have come across in my travels - you may well have come across others and any exclusions are not intentional, nor dismissive.


 


SEVERN BASIC PRINCIPLES (Spiritualism)

 

The Fatherhood of God

There is a creative force in the universe. This force, or energy, not only created the whole universe, but also life itself in its many forms and is continuing to create today. We know this power as God and as we are part of the Life created by God, we acknowledge God as our Father.

 

The Brotherhood of Man

Because we all come from the same universal life source we are, in effect, one large family, small individual off shoots from the whole. This means that all mankind is part of a brotherhood. We need to share our joys as well as our burdens; we need to understand the needs of other individuals in order to assist them as part of our service to each other. We must look not only to the material necessities of our fellow creatures, but also to their spiritual needs.

 

Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels

Spiritualism shows that communication with departed spirits can and does take place. Spiritualist churches provide one of the venues where communication, through mediumship, is possible and departed loved ones and friends do take an interest in our welfare. There are also spirit people/ teachers who are dedicated to the welfare and service of mankind. Some (eg Silver Birch, White Feather) bring inspiration and teachings whilst others work within the healing ministry.

 

Continuous Existence of the Human Soul

It is scientifically proven that matter cannot be destroyed; it merely changes its form. Spirit, as part of the Creative Force is, therefore, indestructible. On the death of the physical body, the spirit continues as an integral part of a world (the Spirit World), which interpenetrates our world but in a different dimension. In spirit life we have a spirit body, which until we progress far enough, is a replica of our Earthly body. We are the same individuals in every way with the same personalities and characteristics and we change only by progression, or otherwise, as a result of our own efforts. Our personal responsibilities do not stop at death.

 

Personal Responsibility

Acceptance of responsibility for every aspect of our lives and the use to which we place our lives depends entirely upon ourselves. No one can put right the wrongdoing except the offender. As we are given freedom of choice (freewill) so also are we given the ability to recognise what is right from what is wrong. We are totally, as well as personally, responsible.


Compensation and Retribution hereafter for all Good and Evil Deeds done on Earth

One cannot be cruel and vindictive towards others and expect love and popularity in return. It must be understood that the compensatory or retributive effects of this law operate now - on Earh - they do not wait until we begin to live in the Spirit World.

 

Eternal Progress open to every Human Soul

All who desire to tread the path that leads to perfection are able to pursue it. The rate of progress is directly proportional to the desire for mental and spiritual understanding. If we do our best in our Earth life to follow our inward prompting or intuitions we shall find progress easy; if not, every step in advancement will follow a struggle against imperfections, which we ourselves will have worked into our natures. We are all given the opportunity to be responsible for our own eternal progress.



THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (Christianity)

 

I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself any idols (to worship)

Do not take the Lord's name in vain (cursing in God's name)

Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy (celebrating the day of rest taken by God after the six days of creating the Universe)

Honour your father and mother

You shall not kill/ murder (humankind)

You shall not commit adultery

You shall not steal

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour (do not tell lies)

You shall not covet your neighbour's wife, nor covet anything that belongs to your neighbour (no envy or jealousy)

 

 

THE MAIN PILLARS (Islam)

 

Oneness of Allah

Allah is the Creator of the Universe. Allah alone has divine attributes. True belief in the Oneness of Allah is incomplete without worshipping Him faithfully. He is the Creator and Owner of His Creatures. The obeying of Allah's will propels a man to break the shackles of servitude to any party except Allah. Allah is the Just, Merciful, Wise, Oft-Returning to Mercy, Kind, Generous, Benefactor, Acknowledger of Thanks, Protector, Truthful etc. Man should work to reflect these attributes in his life.

 

Divine Justice

Allah does not do injustice to anyone, nor does He deny anything beneficial to mankind. He creates everything in justice and right - like the human body. He creates man in a way that he can live on Earth, grants him hearing, sight, emotions, mentality and ability to move. Allah does not impose any duty on His servants above their abilities. Divine justice calls for social equality, administration of justice between people and fighting for injustice is forbidden. Allah grants man the ability to choose freely for himself. In the Hereafter, good and upright men receive Allah's grace; evildoers are punished according to their bad deeds. Allah never punishes anyone for something someone else has done.

 

Prophethood

The prophets are human beings ordained by Allah to carry the divine message and reform mankind. There is belief in the prophethood of Muhammad supported by the miracles (especially the everlasting and unchangeable Qur'an).

 

The Hereafter

Life on Earth is only a stage in man's journey. Man is flesh and soul. Death is a process in which the Spirit leaves the body and remains eternally in another world. The materialistic world is edging towards complete destruction. No one and no thing will survive except Allah. On the Day of Resurrection Allah will make the spirits return to their bodies. Everyone will see that every deed performed in life is recorded.

 


TWELVE PRINCIPLES (Buddhism)

 

Self Salvation is for anyone the immediate task

Face life as it is, learning always by direct and personal experience.

 

The first fact of existence is the Law of Change or Impermanence

Everything that exists - from a mole to a mountain; from a thought to an empire; passes through the same cycle of existence - birth, growth, decay and death. Life alone is continuous ever seeking self-expression in new forms.

 

The Law of Change applies Equally to the Soul

There is no principle in an individual which is immortal and unchanging. Only the "Nameless", the Ultimate Realty is beyond change and all life forms are manifestations of this Reality.

 

The Universe is the expression of Law

All effects have causes, and man's soul or character is the sum of his previous thoughts and acts. Karma (action - reaction) governs all existence and man is the sole creator of his circumstances. By right thought and action man can gradually purify his inner nature and eventually gain liberation from rebirth.

 

Life is One and Indivisible

Life is one and indivisible, though its ever changing forms are innumerable and perishable. There is, in truth, no death though every form must die. By understanding life's unity compassion arises, a sense of identity with life in other forms.

 

The Noble Truths

The Buddha taught four noble truths :-

·      Omnipresence of suffering

·      Wrongly directed desire causes suffering

·      Suffering can be cured and its cause removed

·      The Noble Eightfold Path of self development exists to end suffering

 

The Noble Eightfold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path consists of :-

·      Right views or understanding

·      Right aims or motives

·      Right speech

·      Right acts

·      Right livelihood

·      Right effort

·      Right concentration/ mine development

·      Right Samadhi leading to full Enlightenment

Basically, "Cease to do evil, learn to do good, cleanse your own heart".

 

Reality is Incomprehensible

Enlightenment (Nirvana) is attainable on Earth. All contain the potential for Enlightenment. "Look within; thou art Buddha".


The Middle Way

Treading the Middle Way, avoiding all extremes (as Buddha did), is the Way for the whole man, not merely the best of him. Heart and mind must be developed equally.

 

Concentration and Meditation

Buddhism lays great stress on periods of inward concentration and meditation to achieve a balanced life. The Buddhist should be at all times "mindful and self-possessed" refraining from attachment to the "passing show".

 

Personal Salvation

The Buddha said "Work out your own salvation with diligence". Each man reaps the consequences of his own acts and learns thereby. No prayer to Buddha, or God, can prevent an effect following its cause. Buddhist monks are teachers and exemplars. No man has the right to interfere in his neighbour's journey to the Goal, so utmost tolerance is to be shown to all religions and philosophies.

 

Buddhism's System

Buddhism is system of thought, a religion, a spiritual science and a way of life which is reasonable, practical and all-embracing. It has no dogmas, satisfies the reason and heart alike; insists on self-reliance and tolerance for other points of view; embraces science, religion, philosophy, psychology, ethics and art and identifies man alone as the creator of his present life and sole designer of his destiny.

 


GREAT MODERN LIFE PRINCIPLES

(Modern Day Leadership Principles - Dr Simeon Rodger)

 

Accept Personal Responsibility

Accept full and total responsibility for everything which happens in your life and how you deal with it. DO not blame any person, organisation, deity or karma.

 

Give Forgiveness

Forgive completely everyone who has ever wronged you. Expunge any bitterness felt.

 

Have Respect

Treat everyone with equal courtesy and respect, regardless of their situation and without thought of personal gain.

 

Strive for Excellence

Commit to excellence. Try to accomplish your goals and live each day striving for excellence in whatever field of endeavour you operate in. Strive with humility whilst aiming for the best.

 

Have High Values

Live by the highest and noblest values of love, faith, honesty, integrity and forthrightness.

 

Serve Others

Dedicate your energy to serving others. Transcend your own individual aims in the pursuit of a greater good.