Spiritualist churches usually have a Declaration of Principles, which are a number of simple statements that describe basic Spiritualist beliefs.  Normally, these are short enough that they are read aloud during church service.  The principles vary a bit amongst Spiritualist organizations, but underlying ideas are largely the same.

In the US, the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC) has “We believe in Infinite Intelligence” as principle number one in their declaration. What is Infinite Intelligence? It’s hard to define, but also easy at the same time. Let us take a moment to slow down, settle in, and meditate for a moment. “Infinite”. Never-ending. Expansive. Bigger. Larger than anything our imaginative minds can conceive of. “Intelligence”. Thoughtful. Understanding. Insightful.

Spiritualists use the term “Infinite Intelligence” to refer to God. It may sound a little strange, but it’s a good phrase because it can open the mind. And it doesn’t come with all the trappings that the term “God” has in our language/culture, which can shut the mind before it gets the chance to open.

Using a term you wouldn’t expect throws you off a bit. That’s good, because Spiritualism’s view of God isn’t what you would expect. Spiritualism does not define God. Then it takes it a step farther and says that you define God in your own way. To top it off, Spiritualism says that it’s perfectly ok for everyone to define God in their own way – there’s no contest or problem – it’s all good. As a result, “the God of your understanding” is the most commonly used Spiritualist phrase to refer to God.

Many/most religions believe that defining God is their job, and it’s heresy to hand that responsibility to you on a personal level. Spiritualism is radical by comparison. But how can you have a religion that doesn’t define God, (or worse!) lets you do it yourself? Believe it or not, you can. As for me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Actually, I think your definition of God isn’t all that important – guy on a throne, girl on a throne, omnipotent force or other entity, etc., etc. The list goes on and on. The term you use for God isn’t all that important either – God, Infinite Intelligence, God of your understanding, or whatever you like.

Spiritualism has more to say about your thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes than it does about your definition of God. And that makes sense, because on multiple levels, these things are more important than your specific definition of God.

I think a lot of people have the God and goodness thing all mixed up and confused.  They think it’s all about God, but when it comes down to it, goodness is FAR BIGGER and more important.

For example, if you are drowning in a swimming pool and someone saves your life, what difference does it make that the person who saves you defines God as Muslim, Born Again Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Pagan, Wiccan, or anything else, including Atheist?  It doesn’t matter, not at all!

What you think, say, and do in relation to goodness REALLY counts. And on a day-to-day basis, we are largely unaware of its power and impact on ourselves and others.

The next time you observe (or participate in) an act of goodness, whether it’s saving a life or simply a smile, meditate for a moment on how goodness is bigger and more important than God.