Spiritism and Spiritualism
Last but not the least, we must distinguish spirituality from spiritism and spiritualism, as spirituality is quite different from both of them. Spiritism inculcates a belief in the existence of disembodied spirits apart from matter, which are believed by those who believe in spiritism to haunt either the nether regions as ghosts or evil spirits, or even as angels or good spirits in the lower astral regions. At times, they even become interested in the individual human affairs, and for the fulfilment of long-cherished but unfulfilled desires, try to seek gratification by all sorts of tricks, and those who dabble in the Black Art claim and profess to exercise power over them through magical incantations.
But none of the Master’s disciples need bother about them, as no evil influence can come near one who is in communion with the Holy Word, for it is said:
The Great Angel of Death is an invincible foe, but he too fears to come near one in communion with the Word. He flies far out and away from the chants of the divine Harmony, lest he fall a victim to the wrath of the Lord.
Spiritualism goes one step further than spiritism. It is a belief in the survival of the human personality after physical death, and the possibility of communication between the living and the dead. The advocates of spiritualism very often seances for getting into communication with so-called spirits. Their modus operandi is by mediumship, for they work through some sort of medium, maybe a planchette for planchette writing, a table for table rapping, or even a human being who is rendered unconscious so that the spirit called may make use of his body and communicate through it. This relationship generally works between just the physical or earth plane and the lowest sub-astral planes known as magnetic fields. The results that follow from such communications are very limited in scope, mostly unreliable and extremely harmful to the medium, who suffers a terrible loss at times by deprivation of his intelligence.
The Masters of spirituality, therefore, strongly condemn the practice of spirtualism. Their contact and intercourse with the spiritual regions right to the mansion of the Lord (Sach Khand) are direct and they come and go at their sweet will and pleasure, without any let or hindrance and independent of the subjective process of mediumship.
While their approach is quite normal, natural, direct and constructive, the spiritualist on the other hand works subjectively, indirectly, and mediately through a process which is fraught with dangers and risks both to himself and to the medium.
Spiritualism, apart from the knowledge of survival of spirits after death, adds little to our experience and offers nothing of substance in the way of spirituality.