Independent Spiritualist Association
of the United States of America

Principle 8 Expanded

"Come For A Spiritual Experience."

EXPANDED DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES
[THE FOUNDATION BELIEFS COMMON TO ALL OUR MEMBER CHURCHES]

Expanded with comments by ISA Ministers
NOTE:  ISA Minister comments are their own and may not be universally accepted by the ISA.  These comments are meant to stimulate your own inner processes to know what it TRUE FOR YOU.  We each are responsible for our own beliefs and actions.

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8)    We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed against any soul here or hereafter.

8)    Everyday is a new beginning. 

Rev. Phillip Falcone:  "Infinite Intelligence is the energy of creation, and we are a part of that energy.  The one true mystery that science, philosophy, and religion may never solve is where all this energy came from if it cannot be destroyed or created.  For now, it simply exists, just as we simply exist.  If you have not noticed, the Principles are about evolution.  Starting from the simplest formation of thought or belief to one of complexity, the Declaration of Principles is a ladder of progression, or of change.  That is what Reformation is about, progressive change.  Each person has the opportunity to evolve, or to vainly attempt to remain stationary in his or her beliefs and views of the world at large, the world around them, and the world within them.  Due to our energetic nature and the continuation of the personality after the change called death, this opportunity to evolve is never lost.  Whether a person takes on a tangible body or one of intangibility, the harmony of nature, of Infinite Intelligence, of creation is always present.  You will always have the opportunity to participate in it, or to be the pebble that gets pushed along the bottom, becoming stuck until the current becomes strong enough to move it a bit further."

Rev. Thomas Janssen:  "We are Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience.  We are created in the likeness and image of God.  Our Mind/Awareness exists without form, perhaps as energy but in the likeness and image of God. 

God is eternal. We are a part of that God. We exist well beyond this one life. Living one life only to win or lose for all eternity infers a horrific God. And what kind of God needs to be worshiped and glorified for all eternity? The Divine Plan, I believe, has this one life as but a small chapter in a very long story. Much like one class does not make a college degree. We have the opportunity while in physical body to try and fail and to learn from that. To discover what is Love and what Love (without conditions) is not. We hurt others and we are hurt by others. We must learn both sides of every coin. It takes more than this one life and it happens while in Spirit as well as in physical body. Our learning goes on in Spirit. Imagine becoming suddenly aware of all the harm and suffering your actions have caused and feeling that as if it happened to you. What great insight you would gain in understanding not only right from wrong, but more importantly, why.

How do we know this? Communication with Spirit through Mediums provides much detail of the afterlife and the purpose of our existence. Everything points to continuous growth toward becoming a powerful Being of Love, as exampled by Yeshu (Jesus) the Christ. His message, I believe, was never to worship Him but to follow Him. He showed us the way, providing both examples and instructions. Telling us clearly, 'all these things I do you shall do and even greater!' Is He our Savior? Did He die for our Sins? I believe He died to save us from incorrect beliefs of Original Sin and Sin itself. I believe He died as the ultimate sacrifice to end the custom of animal sacrifice. I believe He died to prove Power over even death itself. And I believe He died as His final test of self to remain in the place of Love to the end, forgiving those who crucified Him in the midst of great agony. How paradoxical that His message of Love your enemies and turn the other cheek are so easily discounted in favor of the warrior Jesus that is to come back in the end times to win Armageddon. As a people, we tend to favor the old testament God of War and the my God is bigger than your God kind of feelings and expressions when it comes to other beliefs.

Historically Religions were part of government. Power and control of the people has played a major role in the laws and practices of churches in the past. Not until just over 200 years ago and the formation of the United States of America did Religion stop as a part of government. This country was founded with freedom from Religion. This is what gives us freedom of Religion. We must understand this historically to appreciate the differences. We were never founded as a Christian Nation but we were founded by men with strong beliefs in God, many of whom were Christian, of one stripe or the other. We would do good to remember this today.

Live your life as if it is the only chance you will have to atone for your failings (Sin is a term from the Aramaic when an arrow missed it's mark). Do not make the mistake of thinking that if you will have other lives you can do as you please in this one. There is something worse than punishment. The Divine Plan is all about learning from your experiences. What better way to learn than to experience the other side of the coin in the next life? The robber will become the robbed, the rapist will become the rapped, the killer will become the killed, the child molester will become the child molested, the rich man who allows the poor to starve will become the starved, and etc. Consciously becoming involved in our own Spiritual Evolution is the fastest way to progress. Getting in touch with your own inner guidance, that Divinity within each of us, is your best guide. All Religious practice should lead each of us to this inner guidance and towards independence."

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