Book Extract of the Month:  from The Principles of Spiritualism by Harold Vigurs (c. 1960)

“The Principles reveal to us a great law of progression, which embraces the universe from the electron to the archangel and which is an essential part of all life, and therefore an indisputable possession of all Humankind.  This argues the case of each of us for all our actions, and their motives, and claims that, for good or ill, none can prevent us from reaping what we have sown. As a result of this revelation, we must consider ourselves not only as individuals but as members of a community, and in relation to our human brothers and sisters.  For our motives, thoughts and actions are not only indications of our standard of spiritual development, they are forces thrown amongst our fellows and we must accept responsibility for their effects. So our philosophy compels us to draw up codes of action, i.e. right and wrong.

Ethics may be defined briefly as practical rules of living, and all the ethics of Spiritualism are bound up in the Second Principle, The Brotherhood of Man.  The quality of our ethical standpoint will vary with the expansion of our spiritual powers, and we will gradually realise that there is no high and no low, except in spiritual attainment.  Social and other distinctions we can cast aside, and Man the Spirit will be our only consideration.  We shall feel ourselves forced to a new realisation of our duties as social beings. Every man, no matter how good or how bad is our brother with every claim to be treated as such.  Every woman, no matter how good or bad is our sister with every claim that sisterhood implies.  Not only those who assist us, praise us, admire us, love or are loved by us, but also those who thwart us, traduce us, despise us or hate us, must be included in our community of love and progress.  We must not treat anyone with harshness, no matter how badly they may have treated us; we must set examples of actions and opinions which in the strong are without danger but to the weak are full of peril.  We must treat even opponents with scrupulous fairness, and even when it goes against our own private interests or desires.  We must “shun the wrong because ‘tis wrong, do right because ‘tis right”.  These precepts carry us farther than many of us are prepared to go, but they are the logical outcome of our philosophy and, until we reach the stage when we can love our enemies without effort, not because it is our duty but because it is an essential part of our nature, shall we be face to face with an impassable obstacle in our path.”