Cooperation — The First Spiritual Lesson
By Kevin J. Todeschi
Having been involved with the Cayce work and the A.R.E. for more than 30 years, I am certainly aware of the important cornerstone "cooperation" plays in the readings information on spiritual growth. Obviously, it is the first lesson in personal spirituality recommended by the study group program and A Search for God, Book I. It is also a lesson frequently brought to mind whenever groups of people gather for some activity at A.R.E. – a conference, a meeting, even a social activity. In fact, I could not begin to count the number of times I have heard someone say, "Well, you know, cooperation is the first lesson," even in a joking fashion whenever there was the smallest semblance of a challenge or a conflict or a disagreement between two or more people. The irony of this statement is that the lesson on cooperation is not really about cooperation between people (although that is definitely an important byproduct); ultimately the lesson is about learning to cooperate with God.
Certainly, cooperation with God sounds like a tall order! It seems like cooperating with another person would be easier. How can we even begin to know the process for cooperating with the Divine? But the Cayce readings are clear – we must learn to set our personal egos aside so that the Divine can work through us, bringing spirit into the earth plane. It is for this reason that the meditation affirmation used for Lesson One is not about learning to cooperate with someone at work or the neighbor next-door, but is instead phrased as follows:
Not my will but Thine, 0 Lord, be done in and through me. Let me ever be a channel of blessings, today; now, to those that I contact, in every way. Let my going in, my coming out be in accord with that Thou would have me do, and as the call comes, "Here am I, send me, use me!" (262-3)
The idea that we are representatives of the Divine is certainly connected to our birthright as spiritual beings having a physical experience. More important, perhaps, it is inextricably interwoven with one of the main purposes for which each and every one of us came into the earth: to bring the divinity of the Creator into the third-dimensional plane. In fact, each soul is a potential emissary of that one spirit in the earth. That's the ultimate purpose for each and every soul. Learning how to cooperate with the Divine so that the Divine might work through us.
Early on in my work with the Cayce information I had often wondered about how best to cooperate with God until I came across a reading given to a 61-year-old widow in 1943 that seemed to provide a simple first step. The woman was faced with numerous challenges, including a change of careers and a potential move. During the course of her reading she asked: "How can I discipline myself at my age to do what is mine to do?" Cayce responded: "Repeat three times every day, and then listen: 'Lord, what would thou have me do today?' Have this not as rote. Mean it! For as He has spoken, as He has promised, 'If ye call I will hear, and answer speedily.' He meant it! Believe it!" (3003-1)
Quite a number of individuals I have spoken with over the years have found this exercise valuable because it seems to create an expectant sense of cooperating with the Divine. To be sure, the degree to which any answer is connected to bringing spirit into the earth essentially reflects how well we have been able to set self aside, cooperating with God in the process.
From the readings' perspective, cooperating with God is important for individuals, for groups, even for organizations. On one occasion when a member of A.R.E. asked how she could best serve the association, Cayce's response was that the ultimate service would be to work with the association so that both the individual and the organization could bring spirit into the earth:
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman not ashamed, rightly dividing the words of truth and putting stress where it belongs, and keeping self unspotted from the world. It is not to serve the Association, it is to work with it that the glory of God may be made manifest in the earth. (5277-1)
Obviously, cooperating with God is the ultimate lesson for us all.
KEVIN J. TODESCHI is Executive Director and CEO of Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. He is also the author of countless articles and more than twenty books, including Edgar Cayce on Soul Mates, God in Real Life: Personal Encounters with the Divine, and Edgar Cayce on the Akashic Records. Join the March 2- March 29 eGroup lead by Kevin: Edgar Cayce on the Akashic Records and Relationships.
Edgar Cayce’s Community
By June Bro
My memory of the way in which Edgar and Gertrude Cayce, and Gladys Davis conceived their work and went about their business of giving helpful, sometimes life-saving counsel to thousands of people was simply this: they felt called by God to a peculiar but wondrous vocation. It wasn’t approved by the churches or academia or society in general, but though it hurt sometimes, they were never daunted by the snub.
I remember the time that Miriam Bright, a woman from the Methodist Church, came over with a pie for the Cayces. Harmon and I had been invited to her home several times and her family was full of questions about Cayce and his work. We had plenty of stories to tell them. Tears streamed down Gertrude’s face as she thanked our friend Miriam for the friendly gesture. No one in the city of Virginia Beach had ever come over with a neighborly “glad you’re here” kind of gift for them.
But they had a devoted community. Edgar was a charming extrovert. He loved people: loved being around them, loved telling his stories. He loved hearing from people who had gotten readings, and answered many of the letters himself. He loved talking with people on the phone, too. I remember one night Harmon had forgotten something in the office. As we walked in, we saw Edgar pacing up and down in his study, saying over and over again, “Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God.” He told us that he had just hung up the phone after a woman had called to tell him the good news that his reading had saved her son’s life.
Edgar felt a close kinship with the people for whom he had given readings, especially those who followed up and let him know what worked and what didn’t. He loved it when Study Group #1 came to visit. They had worked together for years and knew each other intimately. There was a huge potluck dinner each time they came and Hannah Miller brought her famous home-baked bread—according to reading 404-1, she had baked unleavened bread for temples and altars in a past life in Egypt. Some of this bread was also buried with the dead, and could still be found intact. For Edgar’s birthday in 1944, I baked a cake and the Study Group members brought the rest of the goodies, all fixed according to the Cayce readings. Edgar beamed the whole time they were together. This was Edgar’s community: his family; Gladys who was as close as any immediate family member; the members of the first Study Group; the people who were grateful for their readings and kept in touch; those who attended the A.R.E. Congress; his adult Sunday school class at the Presbyterian Church; and the Board and staff of the A.R.E.
Edgar knew community was important. Certainly his life as RaTa in Egypt where he taught people the concept of oneness—the oneness of God, the oneness of God’s children, the oneness of all creation, added to his love of community. It was an exciting culture with leaders from all over the world, coming to visit and learn. And in his lifetime as Lucius, Bishop of the church at Laodicea, he was concerned with building a disparate group of believers into communities trying to live Jesus’ teachings. They must have grown very close as they forged one new church community after another.
It all fits with Edgar’s emphasis that we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Locking arms with others and blessing them on their way is our command from the Creative Forces.
Dr. June Bro - June Avis Bro found her life deeply affected by working daily with Edgar Cayce. She has set about sharing her resultant interests with others as a pastoral counselor and as a minister, as well as by using her skills in the performing arts. She has a graduate ministerial degree from Andover-Newton Theological School in the Boston area, and a doctorate from Chicago Theological Seminary. In addition to teaching on six campuses while raising five children, she has been a research assistant at Harvard, lectured and held workshops in many cities, led overseas tours to the Near East and China, and served as pastor. A concert pianist, she has served on the music staff in churches of most of the major Protestant denominations and draws on her background in the arts to illuminate myths, symbols, and dreams.
Has Your Astrological Sign Changed?
You may have seen the news reported by NBC, The Huffington Post, and others, but do not panic. Your astrological sign has not changed. The story circulating today is an old one that surfaces every few years. It states that in the 3000 years since the study of astrology began, the wobbling of the earth on its axis (precession) has changed its position relative to the sun and stars enough that the signs we currently use are off by as much as a month. However, western astrology uses the tropical zodiac rather than the sidereal zodiac, meaning the alignment of the earth does not change the signs. And even for those using the sidereal zodiac, the shift in signs would have actually taken place hundreds of years ago. The news story’s reference to a possible 13th zodiac sign, “Ophiuchus,” also does not apply to the tropical zodiac.
Tropical vs Sidereal Zodiacs
Tropical Zodiac is based on the apparent motion of the Sun in the sky from one vernal equinox to the next. It refers to the annual cycle of the ever-changing relationship of the earth-globe to the Sun, source of all energies on this earth, that is, to the cycle of the seasons. It reflects the changing of seasons on Earth and the changing seasons of our lives.
Sidereal Zodiac also deals with the annual apparent motion of the Sun, but with reference to the constellations, i.e. to actual groupings of stars. Because of the precession of the equinoxes—a backward shift in the position of the equinoxes with reference to the nearly “fixed” stars—these two zodiacs do not now coincide. They did coincide at a time variously estimated from around 300 BC to AD 500; the differences being due to the fact that there is no astronomical way to precisely define the boundaries of the heterogeneous groups of stars called ”constellations.”
The two zodiac systems lined up when they were first identified, but precession (a cycle that takes 26,000 years to complete) has caused the divergence between them, and the confusion about them, that we have today.
RAYE MATHIS is a faculty member at Atlantic University where Transformational Astrology is among the courses she mentors. She has a BA in mathematics, a Master's degree in clinical social work, and has completed post-graduate work at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. She has maintained an on-going astrological counseling practice for almost 40 years. Her column, The Astrologer's Corner, appears in the A.R.E.'s Venture Inward magazine available exclusively to Members by mail or online at EdgarCayce.org/members.
Vocational Astrology eGroup
Beginning Wednesday, January 19, Raye Mathis will be mentoring a 4-week online eGroup titled Discover Your Vocational Talents Using Astrology as Your Guide. For more information call 1-800-428-1512 or see EdgarCayce.org/egroups. She will also mentor the group Explore Your Relationships Using Astrology as Your Guide, June 22-July 19 and Discover Your Life’s Purpose Using Astrology as Your Guide, September 7-October 4.
Persistence: The Key to Healing
(A follow-up to Learning to “Walk”: My Struggle with ADD from
Venture Inward Magazine)
By Linda Schiller-Hanna
There is an anecdote in the first part of There Is a River by Thomas Sugrue, the biography of Edgar Cayce, which tells how Cayce helped a neighbor's child who was having profound mental problems for a long period of time. Cayce gave a reading with several directions to an osteopath on how to help the girl and several times the osteopath did not "get it right" and Cayce would re-direct the doctor. Ultimately, the treatment was followed to the letter of Cayce's guidance. The child received the treatments for three weeks straight, daily, and recovered fully. (She had fallen on her tailbone on the step of a horse-drawn carriage, the day before the problems began.)
I have suffered from ADD (attention deficit disorder) my entire life, a condition that started with a difficult birth and was exacerbated by physical abuse as a child. I was 46 before I was officially diagnosed, and over the next 15 years I tried prescription medications and tried many different holistic therapies before I finally found one that worked for me: CranioSacral Therapy (CST). It is perhaps significant to note in my own recovery (described in detail in Learning to “Walk”: My Struggle with ADD, Venture Inward, Jul-Sep ’10), that the breakthrough happened in an introduction to CST class, performed by absolute amateurs. In my case, it was the most basic of treatments in CST that "moved the mountain."
I have referred a friend's granddaughter, who was also suffering from ADD symptoms, to a therapist in her area. She only went two or three times, had "some" breakthrough...but did not complete the series. I later learned that this therapist was not using Dr. Upledger's system (which is what I learned and was what worked for me), but something "more advanced," and was trained by a different CST system. The therapist didn't stick to basics, and the client didn't keep showing up. Both things need to happen, in my view.
I hope that suffering individuals will stay with the basics and give them a chance to work before dismissing them out of hand. There are so many dead ends with this disorder and my heart breaks to think someone may be close to an answer, but pull back before an opportunity for a true shift occurs. There was a letter regarding my article that said CST doesn’t work on ADD, so I must have a different disorder. The fact is, a single cause for ADD has not been discovered yet and there is no “silver bullet” that will work for everyone. ADD is the name that most folks associated with my behaviors. However, it may not be the exact proper diagnosis. That’s why I described the pattern so fully—the feelings, the lack of follow-through and flow in actions, and the fuzziness of thinking I often suffered. I wanted people to relate, whether or not they were labeled ADD.
Please don't get caught up in the label, and please try the basic treatment before throwing it all out. Since I spent nearly 40 years seeking answers to my problems, and the one solution that did the most good was shared with complete candor to a wide audience, I would hope that a person wouldn't “give up too quickly" if instantaneous results did not occur.
At the very least, they will feel "relaxed." For a person with this disorder, that alone is a deep blessing. And at best, they too, may respond, when their deep core brain has sufficient time and trust to accept the shift that proper cranial fluid movement can provide.
Linda Schiller-Hanna is a professional clairvoyant and intuition trainer based in Ohio. She has studied the Edgar Cayce material since 1991 and is a regular speaker at A.R.E. Field and Headquarters Conferences. Her article Learning to “Walk”: My Struggle with ADD (Venture Inward, Jul-Sep ’10) is available at EdgarCayce.org/members. You can visit her Web site at www.lightworker22.com or contact her by eMail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. blog offers opinion pieces from contributors with a wide variety of backgrounds. These opinions are valued and create points of discussion. Opinions expressed in our blog may not necessarily represent the opinion of A.R.E.