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The religion of universal vitalism was created in the late 1990s as my personal religion, philosophy, creed, doctrine, manifesto, and way of life. Through conversation it has become apparent that others are interested in this religion and I have been inspired to share it.


How does one become a Universal Vitalist? Membership is by choice. There are no set rituals or ceremonies. (Customized ceremonies for special life events are optional.) No one needs to be deemed worthy by another member. Declaring oneself a Universal Vitalist and choosing to live life guided by these tenets is the only requirement for membership. Obtaining a membership card and registering with the founder for a nominal fee is required for representing the religion in regard to public forums, governmental agencies, voting, etc. As with all religions, members may not agree or abide with every tenet of this religion. Humans (and animals) have free will. Universal Vitalism acknowledges and accepts our free will as individuals; Spiritual Beings having a physical experience.

Revocation of Membership The founder (and UV ministers appointed by the founder) can revoke membership if a member is flagrantly disavowing the tenets. UV does recognize the existence of evil and malice. Universal VItalism will not tolerate or condone evil and malice infiltrating the sanctity of our religion.


  1. The foundation of Universal Vitalism is that humans are spiritual beings having a physical experience.
  2. Self-sovereignty of the body is of paramount importance to our spiritual experience in the physical plane. What each Universal Vitalist chooses to do with his or her body is part of that spiritual journey. The Universal Vitalist has free will to do as s/he wishes with her/his own body. Free will is manifested by lifestyle choices such as sexual expression, adornment, healthcare, diet, family, and community.
  3. A Universal Intelligence organizes all matter. This intelligence is far beyond the capacity for human brains to fully comprehend, at least at this time. This Universal Intelligence does not have human qualities or emotions. Universal Intelligence perfectly designed nature and it's foolhardy to think that the human knows more than Universal Intelligence.
  4. The Universal Vitalist believes that the spirit inhabits a new body/vessel when one body/vessel dies. Therefore the universal vitalist does not fear death. The spirit of a Universal Vitalist is grateful for the body/vessel s/he is using for the physical experience and commits to maintaining it healthfully with love, respect, nourishment, and care with sovereignty over that body/vessel.                                                                                                                                                     a) Each body is a vessel through which the spirit is having an experience of life on Earth. Some vessels are not adequate and therefore, per the laws of nature, the spirit is not able to reside in that vessel for very long. We believe that we continue to have spiritual experiences in other vessels. A short life can still be one in which we've learned lessons. The Universal Vitalist does not seek out death, as we want to fully enjoy our physical experience. When the vessel becomes insufficient, if we cannot heal it naturally, the Universal Vitalist does not choose to take extreme measures to keep the vessel alive in the form of the blood or organs from other human bodies/vessels. The spirit is in every cell of the physical body. Moving body parts from one human to another it splits the spirit. The Universal Vitalist is not an organ donor or receiver. Synthetic products are not welcome to the body of the Universal Vitalist. The immune system so elegantly created by Universal Intelligence does not need artificial vaccinations or immunizations, synthetic body parts, and psychological pharmaceuticals. Prosthetic tools for an amputee are accepted and appreciated. As free will is exercised, a Universal Vitalist may choose to be less strict in regard to scientific and medical advances.

    b)  Suicide happens when a spirit is miserable and hopeless. As compassionate spirits, we strive for everyone to enjoy the physical experience, and we seek to avoid the despair that sends an otherwise healthful person to the extreme of suicide. Conversely, when the body/vessel is no longer adequate and the spirit wishes to be free of it, we also do not feel it is our right to force them to remain in that body/vessel. Therefore we believe it is compassionate to let a spirit leave the physical plane when the body is damaged and no longer able to enjoy the physical world.

    c)  A mature spirit enjoys a wondrous and happy life in the physical plane, while less mature spirits may struggle through many lifetimes until joy and bliss are achieved. It is the wish of the Universal Vitalist for everyone to have a healthful, joyous physical experience.

    d)  The Universal Vitalist believes that we come into this world to have a physical experience and repeated physical experiences in other bodies/vessels. It is incredible that Universal intelligence enabled a sperm and an egg to come together and make a human being, a fully-formed vessel with which we are able to have our physical experience. We honor that incredible expression of vitalism.

    e)  Our spirits are here for multiple physical experiences / lifetimes. If it is part of a woman's spiritual journey in her physical body to choose an abortion, we trust she is making the best possible choice for her spiritual journey. Ultimately, our goal is for sexual unions to only be joyous and consensual and for people to be selective and deliberate when creating new life from those physical experiences.

  5. Universal Vitalists are actively involved in the raising of their children and strive to make their physical experience natural and wholesome. Each person has free will and can choose her or his own path. Parents make many of those choices for their children until the children are old enough to do their own choosing. The appropriate age for children to make their own decisions varies among cultures. Emerging science tells us the brain is not fully developed until the age of 25 but most societies consider 18 to be a legal age. Until the child becomes capable of making her/his own choices, the Universal VItalist interferes as little as possible with the child’s body/vessel. It would be an abomination to inject chemicals, molest, or mutilate the body of a child.
  6. It is evident in nature that the Universal Intelligence has organized all living beings and they each have a purpose in the cycle of life. When observing nature, it is also evident that humans don't fit into the cycle of life. Our presence on Earth is of no benefit to other species; plants or animals. We are respectful of the fact that we are guests on this beautiful planet.                          a)The Universal Vitalist believes that animals are also spiritual beings having a physical experience. We recognize that by inhabiting this planet, we have assumed dominion over all of the animals. As Spiritual Beings, we recognize that we must live in harmony with the animals as well as the plants and all of the natural world. The animals know that we may eat them and they are compliant as long as we do so with compassion and consideration. Some Universal Vitalists will choose to not eat animals. We also have animals as family members, most commonly dogs and cats. They enjoy being our Companions and expect us to treat them with love, kindness, and respect. Some animals are quite clear in their expressions that they are not happy to be domesticated and their inherent rights to freedom need to be honored.

    b)  There is no physical Church or place of worship for the Universal Vitalist, as the natural world is our place of worship and reverence. Respect for the laws of nature guide our tenets and lifestyle.

    c) The environment, the outdoors, the wondrous nature of this planet is our church. It is paramount to the Universal Vitalist that we preserve and protect our environment and do our best to keep the water, air, and soil clean. This is a small planet and although many people think they can throw something away, the Universal Vitalist recognizes that there is no away. Everything stays here on this planet and therefore we must be diligent and conscientious about what we are creating. Believers in Universal Vitalism practice this religion as a daily lifestyle. There is no need to attend a service or read a specific book or to pray to a deity. The way the Universal Vitalist lives her/his life, as a spiritual being having a physical experience is the practice of the religion of Universal Vitalism.

    d)The Universal vitalist understands that governments are a man-made construct to help organize and control societies. Participation in those governments often helps societies to function more harmoniously. However those governments never have any right to interfere with the sovereignty of another human’s body and pursuit of a fulfilling physical experience / life. Religions are also made to control people. This is not the case with Universal Vitalism as we teach that each spirit exercises free will in choosing her/his life experiences.

  7. Some believers in Universal Vitalism find it necessary for their spiritual journey to practice other religions. Each is on her/his own path. The Universal Vitalist understands that along with free will, everyone has the ability and the inherent right to believe whatever s/he wishes as long as s/he never infringes upon anyone else's liberty and sovereignty. Religions have some valuable teachings and we are all encouraged to learn and integrate them as needed for our individual experiences.
  8. The Universal Vitalist acknowledges the inherent and inalienable rights to self-sovereignty. While expressing free will, that free will can not supercede the free will and self-sovereignty of another.

Universal Vitalism is the intellectual property of Shelly O'Connor and may not be used without her express written consent. Shelly O’Connor is the Founder of the religion of Universal Vitalism and is the sole owner of this intellectual property including the logo and the tenets. 

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