Door to Eternity by Denise Pilgrim 2011

When we experience loss through the death of a loved one, it is often hard to accept that they have gone. We experience pain and loneliness and are left wondering why? We also wonder how such a vibrant energy that lived and became such an important part of our lives could now be gone. Where are they? We are not just flesh; we are spirit living within a body of flesh for a short time. We were not created to live eternally on the earth, but a home in the world of spirit – heaven – has been created for us all, it is our true home to which we will all go at the end of physical life. Spirit is eternal and the material only temporary. The true home of the spirit within us lies in a place that exists beyond our physical eyes, but it exists never the less. When the last breath is breathed upon this earth, the spirit rises from its physical body and is met by those loved ones who have gone before us, and who have waited patiently for this moment of reunion when those who love are reunited in death. Love between spirits in the flesh and spirits in the heavens never dies but grows ever stronger. There is a greater life that awaits us all, for death is certain for us all and so is resurrection, for when we finally close our eyes upon this physical world they will, in the twinkling of an eye, reopen in a world of light, love and beauty. Our loved ones have not gone; they walk with us and stand by our sides through our earthly sojourn, helping when they can if we are in need. Death, the great liberator of earthly pain and troubles is not to be feared but to be acknowledged as a part of life and indeed a door to a greater eternal life.

Harrow SNU Church is a Spiritualists' National Union Church.  The Spiritualists' National Union promotes knowledge of the religion, philosophy and science of Spiritualism. It unites Spiritualists throughout the world and supports 340 Spiritualist societies and churches, all sharing the following Seven Principles to provide a moral and ethical framework upon which all people can base their lives. 

The Seven Principles

Unlike most other major religions, Spiritualism does not tie its adherents to a creed or dogma. Rather, the philosophy of Spiritualism is founded upon seven basic principles which were developed and derived through the mediumship of one of Spiritualism’s greatest pioneers, Emma Hardinge Britten, inspired in 1871 by the communicating spirit of Robert Owen (the founder, when alive in the physical body, of the Co-operative movement). 

These Seven Principles, which act as guidelines for the development of a personal philosophy of how to live one’s life, are stated as follows, with an interpretation of their meaning:- 

The Fatherhood of God

By the study of Nature - that is, by trying to understand the Laws of Cause & 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 also life itself in its many forms and is continuing to create today. The effects of this eternal creation can be seen around us and this leads us to the evidence that 'God' - 'The Creative Force' - manifests directly, or indirectly, in all things. 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 offshoot from the whole. 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 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. As we learn to give so must we also learn to receive thereby achieving the necessary balance for our life. 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.

Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels

All religions believe in life after death but only Spiritualism shows that it is true by demonstrating that communication with departed spirits can and does take place. Spiritualist Churches provide one of the venues where communication, through mediumship, is possible and many loved relatives and friends take advantage of this opportunity to continue to take an interest in our welfare. There are also spirit people/teachers who are dedicated to the welfare and service of mankind. Some (e.g. Silver Birch) bring inspiration and teachings whilst others work within the healing ministry.

Continuous Existence of the Human Soul

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 SpiritWorld. 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

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 place 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. 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

As with all the other Principles, the natural laws apply and this one echoes the law of Cause and Effect (as you sow, so shall you reap). 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 in the Spirit World.

Eternal Progress open to every Human Soul

In every heart there exists the desire for progress and to every human spirit belongs the power to progress in wisdom and love. 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 earth life to follow our inward prompting or intuitions; we shall find progress very easy, on earth as in spirit; if not, every step in advancement will follow a struggle against imperfections, which we ourselves will have worked into our natures. Within the Family of God, with all the advantages that our realisation of that state can give us, we are all given the opportunity to be responsible for our own eternal progress.

As a final note to these principles, Spiritualism, through an intelligent and thorough investigation of its Seven Principles, reveals the understanding, the deepest significance of service to others and transforms life from selfishness to unselfishness, from individualism to social co-operation.Only on such a foundation can love and truth and all other spiritual values have any practical meaning or reality.

Reproduced from the SNU website -