By a study of nature, that is, by trying to understand the laws of cause and effect, which govern all that is happening around us, we recognise that there is a creative force in the universe. This force, or energy, not only created the whole universe but life itself in its many forms and is continuing to create today. The effects of this internal creation can be seen around us today. This leads us to acknowledge that God, the Creative Force, manifests directly or indirectly in all things. We know this power as God and, as we are a part of the life created by God, we acknowledge God as our Father.
Because we all come from the same universal life source we are, in effect, one large family. This means that all mankind is part of a brotherhood. A brotherhood is a community for mutual support and comfort; we are all members of the same divine family. We must understand the needs of other individuals to assist them as part of our service to each other. As we learn to give, so must we also learn to receive, thereby achieving the necessary balance for our lives. We must look not only to the material necessities of our fellow creatures but also to their spiritual needs and help those in need to become strong and worthy of their relationship in the Family of God.3
Many Spiritualists consider this as the key Principle. All religions believe in life after death but only Spiritualism shows it is true by demonstrating that communication with departed spirits can, and does, take place. Spiritualist churches and centers provide many of the venues where communication, through mediumship, is possible and many loved relatives and friends take advantage of this opportunity to continue to show an interest in our welfare and us. There are spirit people/teachers who are dedicated to the welfare and service of mankind. Some (e.g. Silver Birch) brought inspiration and teachings whilst others work in the healing ministry.
It is scientifically proven that matter (being part of the creative force, or energy) 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, which interpenetrates our world but in a different dimension. This world is referred to as the Spirit World. 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, because of our own efforts. Our personal responsibilities do not stop at death.
This Principle is the one which places responsibility for wrongful thoughts and deeds where it belongs, with the individual. It is the acceptance of responsibility for every aspect of our lives, and the use to which we put our lives depends entirely upon ourselves. It is not possible for any other person or outside influence to interfere with our spiritual development unless we are willing to allow this. As we are given freedom of choice (free will), so also are we given the ability to recognise what is right and wrong for our own spirituality. We are personally responsible for all our words, deeds and thoughts.
As with all other Principles, natural laws apply; this one echoes the Law of Cause and Effect (‘what goes around, comes around’). 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 earth: they do not wait until we begin to live our lives in the spirit world. With this understanding we can try to put right wrongs that we know we have done before we pass from this life.
In most humans there exists the desire for progress and to every human soul belongs the power to advance in wisdom and love. All who desire to tread the path that leads to spiritual wisdom and understanding can do so. The rate of progress is directly proportional to the desire for mental and spiritual understanding. It is the realisation that our soul is a part of eternity and the road to progress is open any time we choose to walk it that can help us come to terms with the challenges of this world.