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Cornerstones of Understanding

by Tom Butler 1996-2000

Edited 2014

[Update: The original title of this article was "Cornerstones of Spiritual Understanding" but I have been trying to find an alternative term for "spiritual." The concept is that a person gains spiritual maturity by gaining understanding about the nature of reality. So, the target idea is understanding. I will be editing my work to show this change.]

There are five important elements in gaining understanding about the nature of reality. The first two are Principles of the National Association of Spiritualist Churches:

Principle 6:

"We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: 'Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye also unto them."

Principle 8:

"We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed against any human soul here or hereafter."

The next two elements are Principles of Nature:

The Principle of Agreement:

A components of reality must be in agreement with the aspect of reality it will inhabit.

This principle provides a mechanism by which order can be imposed on a system without many complex rules limiting the behavior of individual components. Rather than there being some ethereal being telling a person what they can and cannot do, or where they can go in "heaven," this principle assures that the personality will gravitate toward aspects of reality which it is best able to understand. The practical consequence is that freedom of access to the greater reality is increased by gaining understanding; understanding which is in accordance with the operation of reality. Comprehending the intention of the principles listed here is a good beginning. (Please be sure to follow the links when provided if the associated concept is new to you.)

Agreement through understanding provides a mechanism for "like attracting like" in the sense that there is concurrence amongst personalities of similar understanding. A personality will "gravitate" toward other personalities with similar understanding.

Perception Bounded by Worldview This principle results in the existence of the Veil of Forgetfulness which is the the practical consequence of the etheric-physical interface. When a personality creates an aspect of itself and/or an aspect of the part of reality it inhabits to gain experience, the new aspect inherits a subset of understanding from its source. The source personality is not in agreement with the subset of reality it imagines, and therefore, is not able to "inhabit" that space. The sub personality is created with the imperative to "return" to its source aspect and does so by gaining understanding.

The figure at the right, Perception Bounded by Worldview, illustrates how worldview moderates perception.

The Principle of Detachment:

Understanding comes from unexpected outcomes. It is held in the Implicit Cosmology that the purpose of life can be summed up as a quest for alignment of worldview with the true nature of reality. While on the path toward understanding, it is a fair assumption that a person's worldview is, at least to some extent, flawed. Worldview is the arbiter of the creative process, and as such, the outcome of any cycle of the creative process may be contrary to the person's greater good. By suspending judgment about the unexpected outcomes, it is possible for a person to gain understanding that might not come if the person insists that the results are "wrong."

    This is not to say that a person should not attempt to manage personal reality. The concept of detachment or suspended judgment suggests that realizing something other than an intended result does not mean failure. Instead, it offers an opportunity to reevaluate the assumptions on which the actions were based. For instance, the world does not come to an end if a game is lost or a different political party is elected. Even death offers new opportunities for growth. "Fight, but fight not to hard for what is imagined to be true."

The last element is something that Jane Roberts brought to us in one of her Seth books. As you may know, Jane Roberts documented the teachings of Seth in numerous books. In Session 635, Nature of Personality Reality (Page page 149, I think), (1980, Bantam Books) Seth discusses the natural aggressive tendencies of humans. He maintains that there is one cardinal commandment that we have need to understand. That is, "Thou shalt not violate." Interpreting his supporting dialogue:

The Cardinal Commandment:

Thou shalt not impose thy will on others.

See Reference


What do these elements have in common? Along with an expanded understanding of natural order, these are cornerstones of a self-aware person's worldview. Your meditation on these elements will help you see that this is true.



Tom's Writing

Index of articles

Some articles are in multiple indexes so you may need to use the Back button.

Please see Etheric Studies Essays


Your Immortal Self Coming Summer, 2016

One Who Cares

Two Worlds, One Heart

Someday Comes

Handbook of Metaphysics

There is No Death and There are No Dead


ATransC: The Cosmology of Imaginary

Comments on the implications of
      John 14 in the Bible

The Emerald Tablet Updated May 2015

Not If But What If an early cosmology

Personal Confidence (early work)

Balance and Personality Types

Spiritual Emanations (early work)

Cornerstones of Spiritual Maturity(early)


The Principle of Agreement (early work)

The Power of Words (early work)

Related Articles

Culture: The Power of Words

ATransC: Comparing Personality-Body



Why all of the Spiritualism

There are many references in my writing to Spiritualism. This is natural because to better understand the entire culture of etheric studies, Lisa and I became Spiritualists and are ordained in the National Association of Spiritualist Churches.

In many respects, Spiritualism is the religious face of etheric studies. Realistically, Spiritualism should have never become a religion; however, given the legal and political circumstances of the time, it was necessary to assure freedom of thought.

With this in mind anyone who is interested in etheric studies is probably a Spiritualist in belief if not in practice. If you seek a community of like-minded people, my advice is to explore Spiritualism.



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