The age of the Universe is estimated at 13.798 trillion years, give or take. The age of the Earth is estimated at 4.54 billion years. The earliest example of Homo sapiens is estimated at ~200,000 BC. 50,000 BC is a common estimate for the beginning of communication in Homo sapiens. Hinduism is believed to be the earliest known religion that exists today, with an estimated starting date between 4,000 and 2,500 BC. It is highly likely that people held reverence for nature and gratitude for their survival long before any means to express a belief in any sort of god was created. People had spiritual awareness long before languages were available to create religions.
Formal language is thought to have begun sometime around 50,000 BC. Early humans depended upon their awareness of their environment to survive in a very difficult and harsh environment. Communication at the non-verbal level is assumed to have begun before the evolution to Homo sapiens. Homo sapiens existed over 150,000 years before any formal spoken language. The earliest forms of language aided in survival, but did not support philosophical discussions about higher beings or the creation of rules for a religion.
Awareness began when humans realized the uniqueness of their selves, other humans, and their place in the environment. The more they understood, the more they were amazed. They had no idea how their environment was created or how they got there. Despite the claims of religions and science, the nature of the Creator, the origin of the Universe, and how human beings got here on earth are still generally and forever unknown. Spiritualism accepts these mysteries without malice.
This awareness of nature is a key foundation of spiritualism. Nature is considered to be the example of what the Infinite Intelligence is all about. Spiritualists talk of Infinite Intelligence instead of God. They don’t presume to know the intentions of Infinite Intelligence. This is consistent with the early human condition of being at the mercy of an unknown environment. Over time, humans got more control of their immediate environment, but there is no controlling Nature to this day. When Spiritualism is combined with Christianity, belief in Infinite Intelligence becomes a belief in God. The name has been changed; Infinite Intelligence remains.
Religions were created by people using language to define rules that would somehow save people from the vagaries of nature, or appease some higher and unknown power. The originators of the religions achieved power over the rest of the people in the religion. Before language, people looked at the sky, felt the sun and wind, and were grateful for their food and community. After religions, they looked to the religion and religious leaders for comfort, salvation or safety from the higher power that was called God.
While it is possible to be spiritual and religious, an appreciation and reverence for nature preceded the man-made religions and their creation myths and beliefs. Spiritual appreciation for nature from the stars in the sky to moss on a rock requires no language, beliefs or assumptions of superiority. It is apparent that the world population is largely indifferent to the needs of nature, and the spiritual contributions available from nature.
Spiritualism as a religion has a set of beliefs called Principles. For those seeking some boundaries to encase their religious concepts, spiritualism provides a general framework centered around a belief in some higher undefined intelligence, conformance to the Golden Rule, and an expectation that the results of your decisions will be reflected in what you experience. You are personally responsible for your actions, and there is no “get out of hell free” card by believing others can change the results of your good or bad choices.
Every time that you look around, you have the opportunity to be a spiritual person through your appreciation of nature and realization that this is an amazingly wonderful world. If you add the recognition that there is a higher power requires you to treat nature, others and yourself with love and respect, you are a spiritualist.
You can learn more about one example of a spiritualist religion by typing Christian Spiritualist Temple into a browser. This will provide access to a revised version of the Spiritualist Declaration of Principles. The revisions integrate Christian terminology into the Spiritualist Principles without changing the basic beliefs. The views expressed in this article regarding spiritualism or religions are not necessarily those of the Christian Spiritualist Temple.
Love nature. Be yourself. Love yourself. Decide your own path. Don’t blame anyone else for what is going on. It’s your plan. Work out your own salvation, with diligence. This is spiritualism before religion.