The answer to this lies in the Trinity of Spiritualism: Spiritualism is a science, a philosophy and a religion
The Science of Spiritualism
To be a Spiritualist is to know that man is triune, a creature possessing mind, body and Spirit. To be a Spiritualist is to know that Spiritualism, correspondingly, is also triune and is a philosophy, a science and a religion.
The Spiritualist knows that he can trust his faith because it has been scientifically tested and found to be valid. Many great minds through the years, such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George Bernard Shaw, Dr. J.S. Loveland, Dr. J.B. Rhine and many other equally famous thinkers turned their attention to testing the validity of Spiritualism's manifestations.
They tested the validity of both mental and physical mediumship, validating scientifically messages brought from the other side of life through mental mediums, like those who give messages in this church, and testing physical phenomena such as direct voice, or materialization, or spirit painting and photography. Often they tested in the actual seance room where the sitters could hear spirit with their own ears, or where sitters could see spirit appear (materialize) before their very eyes, or where spirit pictures appeared in a matter of minutes, painted by unseen spirit hands on canvasses or were captured on photographic plates showing deceased relatives standing with those who were still alive--all such things have been examined by laboratory scientists and some of the greatest thinkers of all time, and the Spiritualist believes their validity has been proven.
But the scientific proof that the individual Spiritualist may experience is just as important a part of the scientific testing of Spiritualism as the tests of laboratory scientists. After he experiences the delivery of a message through a medium from a deceased friend or family member, where the content convinces him that his loved one is who he claims to be, there is no doubt in the mind of the Spiritualist that life continues after death.
Proving the Continuity of Life (that life continues after death) is the entire purpose of Spiritualism.
The Philosophy of Spiritualism
But, what about the philosophy of the Spiritualist? How does philosophy fit into the Spiritualist's picture? A classic definition of Spiritualism's philosophy is, "Spiritualism is a philosophy because it studies the laws of nature, both on the seen and unseen sides of life and bases its conclusions upon present observed facts; it accepts statements of observed facts of past ages and conclusions drawn therefrom, when sustained by reason and by results of observed facts of the present day."
Spiritualism urges its followers to study the great philosophers of the world because Spiritualism wants informed, reasoning followers. Spiritualism wants its adherents to understand the natural laws, the laws of God, and know what the implications are of those laws.
Spiritualism teaches that all men are brothers and God is their Father, and all are, therefore, divine, because of the spark of God that lies within. Each of us shares God's (Spirit's) potentialities, Infinite wisdom, and creativity. Spiritualism's philosophy teaches that man is a spirit now just as much as he ever will be; he is only a spirit encased at the moment in a physical body.
The Spiritualist knows that separation is only an illusion for we are all parts of the whole, that the only thing that differentiates one part of the body of God from another is its rate of vibration. The rate of vibration determines what shall be a tree, just as surely as it determines what shall be a man or a rock, a firefly, or a cloud. All is vibration and all is part of God.
The Religion of Spiritualism
Consider these familiar words:
"We believe in Infinite Intelligence."
"We believe the phenomena of Nature, both physical and Spiritual, to be the _expression of God or Infinite Intelligence." (2nd Principle)
"We affirm that a correct understanding of such _expression and living in accordance therewith constitute true religion." (3rd Principle)
Spiritualists are often asked if they believe in God. The answer depends upon the questioner's understanding of the word "God." If what is meant is a glorified man sitting upon a pearly throne far off in "Heaven," the Spiritualist must answer no, we do not believe in that kind of God.
Spiritualists have come to believe through communication by means of mediumship that God is Infinite Intelligence, which is the great Oversoul of all life that passeth all understanding, that God is the Creator of all things and of all laws that govern all things created. From the basic substance, Spirit, vibration, all things were made. Spiritualists believe that man has always been part of an endless evolution, set in motion by this vital force of all life which is God and which is in all things animate and inanimate. To a Spiritualist, God is the creation and progression, and the ultimate reward of life which will be seen not on earth, but on the higher planes of spiritual existence.
The Spiritualist believes that while he is here on earth, each of us weaves the clothing that he will wear in his life after life in the Spirit world and that he creates that clothing for himself as he obeys or disobeys Nature's physical and spiritual law.
Spiritualists believe, whether they express it through philosophy, science or religious beliefs, that because of communication with the Spirit world, brought by mediums to those on earth, life is continuous, death is an illusion, and their religion is not one where they must just have blind, unreasoning faith, but one based on intelligence, and on a religious belief that can stand up to scientific inquiry.
If many, or any, of these things describe your innermost beliefs, possibly your secret convictions, then, I ask you to consider whether you yourself are not a Spiritualist. And if you find that you are, I welcome you into the ranks of one of the most progressive, forward-looking religions ever conceived, one that actually grows out of the understanding that, as above, so below; that man's finest instincts are reflections of what each of us will one day understand to be even more admirable attributes when we continue our lives, after so-called death, in the ever progressive world of God's continuous, endlessly supportive and loving creativity.