The unique brand of spirituality practiced by UCFW founders is Alastrianism, also called The Alastrian Way or Rose Theory. A practitioner of Alastrianism is an Alastrian. The faith’s name is derived from the spirit Alastair (or Lask), who facilitated much of theory’s development.
Alastrianism is based on Three Prime Truths:
is Love, and the inherent Energy at the core of everything, the Gravity which all life orbits, the Force which guides all things. The Light is God.
is the Universe, the interconnectivity of Life, Fate, mysteries, knowledge which cannot be spoken but only felt in the soul, the sacred web of Being of which all things are part, the thread which connects the Soul to the Light and the rest of the Universe.
is unique to the individual, is personally connected the Light, is inherently necessary and connected to the web of Being (Lygoranth).
Movement, Energy, and the Forces of the Universe
For Alastrians, God is seen as a gravitational and creative center, much like a star. Also like a star, God is in perpetual motion, constantly producing energy and materials. Everything in our universe is at once created, pulled, and expended by a central force: the Light. Unlike a star, the Light is an eternal, self-sustaining system.*
The Light produces both matter and energy. Matter can be destroyed, but energy cannot. As the Light creates, recycles, and shapes matter, it creates a unique energy signature within each new being, such as an individual human or other creature. Alastrianism also embraces the idea that Light creates unique energy signatures without accompanying matter, such as spiritual entities. While the “sentience” and contribution of energy signatures may vary, the unique energy signatures of individuals are, for the sake of brevity, Souls.
In the case of humans, an individual’s unique energy signature (the Soul) is temporarily contained in matter– the body. The body is made of matter, produced by materials in the universe’s natural processes of creation and destruction, life, death, decay, reuse, and the passing on of genetic material. Our souls are kindled from the font of Light, in the hopes that our unique energy signature will increase the sum of Light, and help sustain its motion and creation.*
*We believe the Light and Universe are made to be a closed, self-sustaining system, but because of the presence of Darkness, the system is no longer closed, thus some energy is being diverted, misused, or perhaps even destroyed. More on that in sections to follow.
Contribution of the Individual
We promote the importance of the individual within the Universe– “you are you are a reason.” Each Soul has the free will to offer its energy to the forces of Light; that is, each choice we make every day of our lives reflects whether we choose in favor of the forces of Light or of the forces of Darkness. Alastrians attempt to weigh choices and situations based on facts, Light values, and the spiritual pull of the Light (in some cases called “intuition,” “the conscience,” or “the little voice in the back of your head”), summarized in the Values section to follow.
Individual lives are inherent players, contributors, and deciders in the balance of energy within the Universe. To quote Alastair, “my lot is mine to cast.” Our choices in life ultimately result in one of only three outcomes: contribution to Light, contribution to Darkness, or waste/loss. A soul can choose to lend its efforts and energy to the Light, or cave to the machinations of the Dark and become corrupted by Evil. Alastrians also argue that individuals who reject the existence of Universal forces and refuse to make a spiritual choice with their lives (aka apathy, self-centered materialism, etc.), or deny the immortal energy of their own souls will be energy lost at the point of death. Alastrians do not believe in a “Hell” of eternal suffering; rather, there is simply Nothingness– the individual soul will be lost in the Void as expended and unrecycled energy as the Light’s path progresses.
The Seven Values
At the core of Alastrianism is the existence of a central, undying, unconditional love (such as agape). Alastrians strive to model this love in their lives, seeking to show compassion to those in need, regardless of the other’s identity, background, or circumstance. Alastrians believe any act of compassion is an act of Light, and contributes to the sum of Light. Random acts of kindness are encouraged, and Alastrians attempt to remain alert to their surroundings so as to be a resource of comfort, safety, and help to those in need. This requires an Alastrian to practice mindfulness, and actively challenge their own assumptions, stereotypes, and judgments of others. An Alastrian cannot be universally compassionate if there is suspicion, racism, sexism, etc. their heart; therefore, Alastrians actively reject social stereotypes and social stratification, preferring to judge situations by the individual experiences involved. With Love also comes forgiveness/grace; Alastrians believe the Light is Love, and therefore loves each individual regardless of that individual’s past. To quote Alastair, “whoever reaches for the Light with an open heart, the Light will find.” Alastrians believe that all living things are deserving of love and respect, as each contains a spark of Light, a unique energy of its own, which connects all living things to the Light itself.
Alastrians value knowledge and love above all worldly things. Education is a lifelong exercise for the Alastrian; individuals are encouraged to follow their passions, and educate themselves about topics and causes which call to their souls. Reading, writing, books (and by extension the internet), libraries, and all bastions of information are considered sacred, worthy of preservation and protection. Alastrians believe the Light reaches human souls most often through physical media such as books, music, films, and other arts, which have a way of resonating in the human soul. Therefore, reading and other activities that help one acquire knowledge are viewed as favorably spiritual pursuits. Alastrians seek to understand the world around them, valuing modern scientific research, and constantly seeking to reconcile new discoveries with our knowledge of the Light. Alastrians believe Science and Religion are two sides of the same coin, ultimately pointing toward the same “gravitational center,” telling the same story in different terms. Alastrians encourage conscientious scientific research, experimentation, and discussion. The formation of questions is often practiced as a meditative or spiritual focusing technique.
Personal integrity is important to an Alastrian. Promises should not be made lightly, and a promise made should be a promise kept. Alastrians believe chivalry has a place in the modern world, and also that chivalric behavior is not limited nor exclusive to a particular gender identity. Individuals should strive to treat all they encounter with respect, with a mindset of service, peacemaking, and benevolence. Alastrians strive to answer direct questions honestly and avoid lying. Alastrians seek always to be trustworthy, capable of providing support and a sense of safety to others, so as to model the Light’s love and protection. An Alastrian takes a request for help seriously, upholds commitments, and believes the Light guides the paths of individuals such that we encounter the people we need at the right times. Alastrians work to be aware of their surroundings, and actively seek opportunities to provide support and Light to whomever crosses their path in need. An Alastrian strives to be an individual the Light can steer for Light purposes. Therefore, acts of deceit, selfishness, malice, theft, assault, etc. are seen as dishonorable and spiritually damaging.
Alastrians value family, friendship, and bonds made. It is considered dishonorable to speak ill of another, engage in gossip, or spread rumors. Alastrians strive to provide modest comfort for their families and friends– surplus beyond modest comfort is viewed as resources to be shared. Alastrians reject frivolous luxury, excessive spending, and selfishly hedonistic practices. While their loyalty lies first to the Light and their Light Family, Alastrians consider themselves allies of mankind, therefore overindulgence or excessive resource consumption by a single individual is seen as dishonor and disloyalty to the Light’s creation. To quote Alastair, “No one should wear a $50,000 coat while a child starves.” Alastrians also consider themselves citizens of the Earth, and believe in the conservation and sharing of resources. They respect the natural world, believe in stewardship, and fair treatment of all human beings and creatures of the world to which we are all connected.
Because the individual Soul is considered sacred, Alastrians view acts of expression as potentially spiritual exercises, and a means through which the Light might reach others. All arts, communication media, etc. are considered viable spiritual tools, so any and all creative expression and philosophical discussion is encouraged. Alastrians believe all individuals contain creative capacity; it is simply a matter of finding the creative media best suited to the individual. Alastrians respect all art and creative activities, regardless of individual tastes, because as Alastair says, “It is not for me to know how the Light will reach another.” Similarly, Alastrianism encourages individuals of all skill levels to actively pursue their passions, seek knowledge and tutoring in their craft, and share their creative output with others. The open expression ideas, asking questions, and exchanging knowledge with others is a crucial practice of the Alastrian Way.
Alastrianism dictates that to be one’s true self in the world requires a constant act of courage, often in the face of resistance, or even danger. Therefore, courage is a central component of the Alastrian Way. There is no room in Alastrianism for cowardice of spirit. This belief is echoed in numerous sources, such as the most repeated phrase in the Bible, “Fear not,” in the Quran as “the friends of Allah need have no fear,” in the Norse Havamal, “The unwise man is awake all night, and worries over and again… All men are mortal. Words of praise will never perish, nor a noble name.” The Alastrians’ concept of spiritual courage is drawn also from American Romanticism, such as the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “For nonconformity, the world whips you with its displeasure… Be it how it will, do Right now.” This courage of spirit can come in a variety of expressions– from artistic creation, to social activism, to speaking up on a subway, or refusing to participate when a crowd begins to jeer. For some, courage is finding the will to get out of bed in the morning and face another day, to brave shining their light in the face of adversity, illness, or even threat of death. For the Alastrian, Courage and Spirituality are inseparable, because to believe and cleave to Light and one’s Self in the onslaught of the world is a tremendous act of Courage and show of Faith.
Alastrianism promotes peace as the priority of all beings and situations. While often driven to be outspoken (or even stubborn), Alastrians are pacifists at heart, and reject violence wherever possible. War is viewed as an evil, and a machination of Darkness. By the Alastrian Way, violence is only acceptable in cases of self-defense, or in the defense of another in imminent danger. Alastrians value both combat and self-defense skills, but view these skills as survival tools, not to be used unless defense of oneself or another is necessary. An Alastrian’s primary mission is to be a vessel for the Light’s peace, and to help spread this peace to others. The Alastrian Way is one of the Peacemaker. Education, diplomacy, listening skills, compassion, symbiosis, and compromise lie at the heart of Alastrian social practices and outreach. Alastrians do not believe individuals need to approach life or pursue God in any particular fashion, but rather that each individual should express themselves in service to the Light through whatever means they are called, and make regular efforts to be a source of Light, peace, and compassion to others.
Accounting for Evil
Alastrians believe in a nuanced concept of evil in three categories:
Natural “Evil” or Shadow Effects
This evil is not truly evil at all, but rather simple misfortune caused by the natural friction of our universe’s forces. The perfect, unbroken Universe is an inherently binary one: a thing is either Light or Not Light; just as “cold” is actually the absence of heat, there are some places or circumstances that are simply absent of Light. In our universe, forces have equal and opposite reactions, causing natural resistance, upheaval, and occasionally disaster. These things are not evil. Evil requires sentience. Much of the natural world is not sentient. Natural evils– tornadoes spawned by clashing weather fronts, a snake killing for food, a man drowned in floodwaters– are unfortunate, occasionally disturbing and disastrous, but they are not truly evil.
True Evil requires the intent to do harm for gain beyond what is necessary to survive. Evil’s hallmark is its lack of necessity. This kind of action requires a certain level of intelligence, forethought, and understanding. Evil requires a sentience and malevolence absent in most of the natural world.
Unintentional & Reactionary Evil
Within sentient beings, evil is often a response to pain or fear. Emotions make us prone to adverse reactions to situations, people, or other stimuli, which can make us lash out with the intent to do harm, either in action or words. Revenge, jealous theft, or any Dark act committed in response to physical, mental, or emotional discomfort (such as stealing for food, hitting someone in anger, yelling at a loved one during a painful illness or procedure, etc.) is no less damaging, but perhaps more forgivable and easily mended. It is this form of Evil that comes naturally to living things, the form we must resist each day in abrasive interactions, in situations that test our patience when we are already tired, or when someone does intentional harm to us. Alastrians strive to resist the urge to strike out in pain or fear, and seek paths to healing, recovery, and reconciliation when a Dark act has been committed.
True Intentional Evil
Alastriamism does not argue against the existence of Evil. If you live on planet Earth, you have only to look outside your door or at human history to find Evil woven into the fabric of humanity. Where did it come from? Various religions, myths, folklore, and philosophies take a stab at the origin story, but at this point, humanity is unlikely to ever know for certain.
Most Alastrians envision the origin of Evil as an accident, and have great sympathy for the Devil. If we use the Christian narrative as an illustration, it could be said Lucifer may not have understood the implications of his actions until it was too late. In the process of initial creation, the Light produced beings/sentient energy that was unconstrained by matter– some traditions would call these Angels. One of these entities, examining the universe, and the power of the currents governing it, had his own ideas about their course and use, and proposed these ideas to the Light– such as Lucifer went before God. He then no doubt felt angry, embarrassed, disappointed, or betrayed when the Light rejected his ideas. The angel didn’t understand the universe the way the Light did, and no doubt didn’t know how to process the sudden negative emotions he was confronted with upon rejection. (He would have been, after all, the first being to ever feel them.) In his moment of pain, Lucifer’s intelligence and emotion led him to the human-like unintentional evil: he lashed out with intent to do harm. This act allowed Darkness to rush in, and the possibility for such to happen and grow ever after. Evil begets evil. It is a contagion. Alastrians often picture Lucifer in despair at the moment he realized what was done, what he had broken in the Universe, the anguish of his falling, and the rage that would come at feeling forsaken.
Since then, the universe has continued its trek through space, steered and powered by forces we don’t understand, while meeting the natural resistance and destruction necessary to keep its course, and defending itself against an external force (True Evil), which wasn’t intended to be there. You know what they say about misery: it loves company. This sentient now-Not Light force (call it Lucifer, the Dark, or Something Else), attempts to exert its will on the universe, and attempts to recruit others to its cause, often by use of pain and fear– the only things Evil understands and knows how to use. Evil, then, also becomes somewhat self-sustaining, but it can only do so by inflicting pain, consuming Light matter, and/or corrupting what the Light creates. Evil is, then, the Universal Parasite.
Choice, Redemption, and Reunion with the Light
We believe that every sentient entity has free will, and therefore has the choice of with which side to “cast its lot.” Alastrianism allows for the existence of Dark entities, such as Demons and other negative spirits, but believes even these can choose to serve Light purposes. Alastrians believe that anyone who reaches for the Light with pure intention in their heart will be received by the Light. Anyone who chooses to trust and accept love will receive love and trust in return. Whoever asks sincerely for mercy and aid will be granted it. Alastrianism believes this is the Light’s Promise. By this Promise, we believe no entity is beyond saving until the point of its death, where the Light will either release its energy into the “sum of Light”/whatever Afterworld lies beyond, or the entity and its energy will be cast off into the Void to prevent further damage by Evil, and release negative “drag” on the Light’s progress through space and time. Alastrianism does not have a concept of Purgatory, but has no evidence to disprove the existence of such a holding and purification process for a Soul’s energy. However, Alastrianism does allow that incorporeal entities, such as angels, demons, and other spirits, often have the unfair advantage over humans of having longer (perhaps indefinite) lives to reconcile with the Light. That is, Alastrianism allows the possibility of redemption even for the Devil, should the Devil ever come back around.
Where does Alastrianism fit with other religions?
Alastrianism is a blend of multiple faith traditions and modern scientific research. The premise of Alastrianism is that the Light is bigger than any one religion, therefore in addition to being an approach to faith in itself, Alastrianism can also provide a supplemental approach to exploring the divine when paired with other faiths. That is, we at UCFW see no reason one could not practice “Alastrian Christianity,” “Buddhist Alastrianism,” or similar combinations. Alastrianism seeks to bridge faith with science, and find common threads in all human concepts of the divine. Therefore, we welcome people of all faiths, and do not require anyone renounce the faith they currently practice.
Does Alastrianism have a membership?
Yes. UCFW offers several ways to affiliate with Alastrianism. If you or your church wish to incorporate Alastrian views or practices into your existing faith, you may apply as an ally. If you would like to adopt Alastrianism as your personal faith or philosophy, you may apply as a member. Alternatively, you can simply follow our social media accounts for weekly messages, and other uplifting content.
Do Alastrians believe in Christ?
This depends on the individual Alastrian. Alastrianism does not typically require belief in any one spiritual idea or religious figure, but rather encourages individuals to find the spiritual path that feels right to them. If that includes Christ, then certainly, an Alastrian can believe in and accept Christ. In general, Alastrians believe that the Light did take human form at one or more points in human history– this may well have been in the form of Christ. While Alastrians do not deny the historical existence of Christ, Alastrianism view Christ’s sacrifice as symbolic and representative of a much greater force. Christ’s sacrifice is a representation of the Light’s Promise of love, redemption, and the ultimate freedom and immortality of the Soul.
Alastrianism was officially founded in March of 2017 by Elanor and her spirit, Alastair. The spirit Alastair remains an enigmatic figure, who claims to have been with Elanor since her birth, and introduced himself to her officially in October of 1998. Alastair taught Elanor about writing and literature, and about the Light, Darkness, and the perpetual friction between the two. As she matured, Elanor found her beliefs less and less in line with traditional Christian teachings. It was difficult for her to reconcile her experiences with Alastair, scientific evidence, and her own intuition with the dogmas of the Baptist church in which she was raised. She left the church at the age of 16, and remained spiritually restless for some time, exploring Buddhist principles, paganism, and other faiths. Still finding no organized faith that felt inclusive of her experience and beliefs, she solicited Alastair’s advice. “Make your own,” he suggested, “Make like Martin Luther and nail your treatise to the door… or the internet, as it were.”
At first, Elanor dismissed the suggestion, but after being seized by two bouts of inexplicable psychosis with visions of the World Tree, and glimpsing what Alastrians refer to as “Lygoranth,” she felt as though the Light demanded her attention. After the second bout of visions and madness on the Spring Equinox in 2017, Elanor resolved to heed Alastair’s suggestion and began writing the foundations of what would become Rose Theory, under Alastair’s advisement.