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Inner Vision: Will Power Heavenly Gift, Earthly Test

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Inner Vision: Will Power
Heavenly Gift, Earthly Test
by John Van Auken

Will, free will, is God’s gift to us.Gift

According to the Cayce readings, the Book of Job was written by the high priest Melchizedek, the King of Salem (King of Peace, predecessor to the Prince of Peace), as a guide to all incarnate souls concerning Earth life. The Book of Job presents Earth as a realm of testing, of meeting oneself (soul self) and one’s karma, to see if we curse God, as Satan said we would, or seek out God’s companionship to better understand why life is the way it is. In the end, Job did not curse God but sought Him out. The two grew to know each other, and all that Job had lost in the test was restored to him, a hundredfold.

readingbibleThis life is a test of our free will. Set before us are all manner of opportunities and challenges. We are to choose the best course according to our heart’s  desire. And that is exactly why the test exists: to determine the true motivation of our hearts. Are we self-centered, self-gratifying, self-glorifying, or cooperative parts of the Whole, God, and all of creation? Through our choices, we reveal our hearts.

Now some appear to be living without making choices. They just roll with the circumstances of life. Whatever comes along, takes them along, with little thought as to the consequences. It is important to set an ideal, a standard by which we guide our decision making. Among the many directives given by Edgar Cayce’s attunement to the Universal Consciousness, setting an ideal was number one. Even with an ideal, the choices are rarely as clear as good or evil. They are often ambiguous. Here the guiding principle for making a choice is love. Whichever choice brings more love to others and to our hearts is most likely the better choice. The greatest commandment, greater than all the laws and prophets, is to love God with all our being and others as ourselves.

Of course, there are laws and realities that can make the loving choice difficult or even impossible. For example, if Jesus so loved us, why did he go away? Wouldn’t the more loving choice have been to follow Judas’ way, to overthrow Rome, liberate Jerusalem, and raise all of us into paradise? From outward appearances it seemed so, but from inner truth it was not. As Jesus explained to Peter when he said those hard words, “Get thee behind me Satan,” we often become stumbling blocks to ourselves and others, because we want to do things the way they appear best to man from a physical, material perspective. But we must learn to see life’s decisions from a godly, spiritual perspective — the way God sees them. This requires more than book knowledge, more than good intentions. It requires a conscious sense of God’s guidance in our lives.


Despite the difficulties, getting in touch with God is key to realizing our full potential and purpose for existence. In order to be a companion, we have to have a relationship. To have a relationship, we have to have communication. Is communication with God the same as communication with others? Is God individual or universal? Is God finite or infinite? Obviously, communicating with a universal, infinite consciousness is not the same as communicating with an individual, finite one. This is evidenced by the way Edgar Cayce got his information. He subdued his individual, finite self and attuned himself to the universal, infinite consciousness, the mind of God. Through his efforts we’ve learned that we can all do this, and we all should do it. God still speaks to those who will listen. It is not a thing of the ancient past and the Old Testament.


Yet, many crimes have been committed in the name of God’s guidance. This is why the laws and commandments were laid out for us, to give us a reference point from which to measure guidance. The Ten Commandments and the “love God and one another” precepts are the best touchstones by which to measure guidance. Jesus told us to judge by the fruits; evil fruits do not come from good sources. If the actions and thoughts resulting from our inner guidance make us better people, then it is of God and fits well with the commandments and laws.

It’s a matter of will; choosing to do so. In the midst of all of life’s activities and options, it takes will power to budget time each day to attune oneself to the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, the Guide within — God, our spiritual parent, who loves us and seeks our companionship. What is it that keeps us from seeking God’s companionship in our lives? Self. Self’s constant interest in its own things, its own ideas, its own desires. The only power capable of changing this is self’s will. Using self’s will to subdue self’s will in order to attune to God’s will is the great way to heavenly consciousness and eternal life.

As has been given, "There is set before thee life and death, good and evil — choose thou."


John Van Auken conf L2001John Van Auken is an international speaker and author on a variety of topics from mystical spirituality and ancient civilizations to modern life. Popular with A.R.E. audiences throughout the country, he has written many books, including From Karma to Grace: The Power of the Fruits of the Spirit; Edgar Cayce's Tales of Ancient Egypt; and Ancient Egyptian Mysticism. John's extensive knowledge of the Edgar Cayce readings, the Bible ancient Egypt, and other world religions is combined with years of practical application of these truths in his own life. His exciting presentations are packed with useful information combined with insightful and revealing stories. His clear step-by-step techniques give practical tools for ongoing development, self-training, and spiritual enlightenment. He travels extensively, conducting seminars and retreats throughout the U.S. and abroad including A.R.E.’s annual Tour of Egypt.


Karma As Memory

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Karma As Memory
by Bonnie Alt

There is a law that we observe – whether we like it or not, whether we are conscious of it or not. We have read it in the Bible. We have seen it in the readings.

"… for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap." (Gal. 6:7)

"He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword." (Rev. 13:10)

"Mind becomes the builder. The physical body is the result." (Edgar Cayce reading 3359-1)

Karma is a Sanskrit word meaning cause and effect. Karma embraces the idea that life is continuous, that the soul existed before it entered Earth and will continue to exist after the death of the body. The Edgar Cayce readings also include the idea that Karma is memory rather than a debt between people.

"Each soul pays for his own shortcomings, not someone else's!" (1056-2)

"What is karmic debt? …Your relationships to your fellows … is merely self being met, in relationships to that they themselves are working out and not a karmic debt between but a karmic debt of self that may be worked out between the associations that exist in the present! And this is true for every soul … " (1436-3)

Karma Blog 072012As explained by this reading there are no debts between souls; your only debt is to yourself. Of course, you have had previous encounters with the other fellow in other lives. And because of this, because certain individuals have helped engender certain memories within us, be they feelings of malice, impatience, stubbornness or whatnot, these same individuals are the instruments needed to help remove these memories that are within us.

As explained by this reading there are no debts between souls; your only debt is to yourself. Of course, you have had previous encounters with the other fellow in other lives. And because of this, because certain individuals have helped engender certain memories within us, be they feelings of malice, impatience, stubbornness or whatnot, these same individuals are the instruments needed to help remove these memories that are within us.

"What you sow, you reap, unless you have passed from the carnal or karmic law to the law of grace." (5075-1)

We can move our lives from cause and effect to grace. This transformation involves changing the quality of our lives and our attitudes. This is an important matter, deserving of serious consideration. If you acknowledge that there is room for self-improvement within you, then you can freely work under the law of grace. You no longer have to accept the negative consequences of your acts, but rather can invite God's grace. Following are seven suggested ways of bringing ourselves under the law of grace:

  1. Exercise righteousness.
    "What is righteousness? Just being kind, just being noble, just being self-sacrificing; just being willing to be the hands for the blind, the feet for the lame — these are constructive experiences." (5753-2)
  2. Be joyous.
    "Not as one to be long-faced. For, the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof — in joy! Do not see the dark side too oft. Turn it over — there's another side to every question. Cultivate in self humor, wit. You enjoy it in others, others enjoy it in you. But too oft it becomes to you foolishness." (2995-1)
  3. Be gentle.
    "And to do good, to be kind, to be gentle, to smile even when in pain, to look up when others are even tramping upon your feet and give praise to Him in the inner self, is that He seeks for." (815-3)
  4. Work with your ideals.
    "For, there are those immutable, unchangeable laws. These are oft termed in the material world cause and effect, or — by some — karmic influences. Yet none of these, if the ideal is set, should separate the individual entity from the awareness of the Creative Forces' operation through its own experience." (3106-1)
  5. Avoid self-condemnation.
    "Keep yourself unspotted from the world; condemning not yourself, then, but rather leaving behind those things that would so easily beset." (622-6)
  6. Be creative.
    "Then as the entity sets itself to do or to accomplish that which is of a creative influence or force, it comes under the interpretation of the law between karma and grace. No longer is the entity then under the law of cause and effect — or karma, but rather in grace it may go on to the higher calling as set in Him." (2800-2)
  7. Forgive.
    "For if you would not forgive, how may you expect to be forgiven?" (633-5)
Grace - Blog 072012

If we do all those things which Jesus did when He established Himself as a pattern for all souls to follow, it is natural that our will can become one with God's. By making our will one with the Father's, we are able to escape from karmic experience to the law of grace.

Excerpt from the Principles of Karma Circulating File, based on an A.R.E. Journal article. Members can download this and other circulating files in the online Member-Section. Bible quotations throughout this article are taken from the Lamsa interpretation.

Bonnie Alt attended State University of New York at Buffalo and in 1972 graduated with a B.A. in classics. She is a member of A. R. E. and has been active in A Search for God Study Group work for the past seven years. Mrs. Alt currently lives in Buffalo, N.Y., where she has assisted her husband in his pharmacy.


How We Can Be Individual Yet Part of a Greater Whole

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How We Can Be Individual Yet Part of
a Greater Whole
by Don Carroll

That it, the entity, may know itself to be itself and part of the Whole; not the Whole but one with the whole; and thus retaining its individuality, knowing itself to be itself… (Edgar Cayce Reading 826-11)

…remember it has been given that the purpose of the heart is to know yourself to be yourself and yet one with God even as Jesus, even as is represented in God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit; each knowing themselves to be themselves yet One! (Edgar Cayce Reading 281-37)

For the Creative Forces are more even than companionship; for the heritage of each soul is to know itself to be itself yet one with that Creative Force. (Edgar Cayce Reading 1210-1)

One of the foundations of the work of Edgar Cayce is the idea of Oneness. His readings are filled with different ways to express the same concept: Know yourself…to be yourself…and yet part of the whole. In the readings, the whole represents not only the Creative Forces or God but also all other souls. The concept of remaining a unique individual and also part of the whole of creation is a concept that is difficult to understand and express. Many masters have pondered and meditated, seeking to truly understand its meaning and implications. Looking upon a sea of Oneness it is not difficult for a part of us to feel that we could be lost in the vastness; lost to ourselves and lost to others. How can we know that is not the case? Fortunately the Cayce readings also give us direction as to how we can reach this knowing and how to remember what has been forgotten.

Only man forgets! And it is only in His mercy that such was brought about. For what was the first cause? Knowledge — knowledge! What then is that cut off in the beginnings of the Sons of God? Becoming entangled with the daughters of men, and the Daughters of God becoming entangled with the sons of men! As in Adam they forgot what manner of men they were! Only when he lives, he manifests that life that IS the expression of the divine, may man begin to know WHO, where, what and when he was! (Edgar Cayce Reading 294-189)

It is through knowledge and living in same that we then turn this knowledge into wisdom that we begin to remember our heritage and who we are. That the statements of being One, yet individual began to resonate as an unshakeable inner truth. Where can such knowledge be found? Many places, and again the readings help in where to seek.

…the gracious Father manifests to the children of men, in giving that ensample in which the study of same may be seen how that he who understands nature walks close with God. (Edgar Cayce Reading 1904-2)

And nature does give us the answer of Oneness and individuality in the hydrologic cycle of water. Water is an amazing and unique substance that makes life possible. It is the only substance on earth that exists naturally in three phases; as a solid (ice), as a liquid (water), and as a gas (water vapor). It is considered a universal solvent that permeates and affects everything. These three phases are analogous to our existence as body, mind, and spirit and the Oneness these share.

The hydrologic cycle of water is the name given to the process as water goes through its phases in nature. Water in its liquid form is turned into water vapor—its gas form—by the heat of the sun. As it is drawn into the sky, it begins to collect and condense into clouds. In these clouds, ice crystals and snowflakes—water's solid form—are created. When precipitation occurs, the water returns to Earth, depending on the season and locale, as snowflakes or raindrops.

Water Cycle 072012
image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey- Wikipedia

When we see a single drop of water or a single snowflake, we see its individuality. When we look at an ocean, it appears as a homogeneous body of water. Individuality appears to be lost, since we cannot differentiate one drop of water from another. This is where the concept of knowing oneself becomes important.

Imagine yourself as one molecule, a drop of water; by yourself you can easily recognize yourself. Then picture yourself high in the heavens, yet slowing your vibrations down to a freezing level. You become a snowflake, easily recognizable and unique, known to be unlike any other snowflake in the world. Even in a field of snow, the snow can be examined down to each individual, one-of-a-kind snowflake, and identified. Your individuality is visibly intact.

Now with that image in mind, picture the heat of the sun raising your vibrations until, as the snowflake, you melt and flow into a great ocean of Oneness. The sun continues to raise your vibrations and you spread out into an even greater expanse of Oneness as a gaseous water vapor. Have you lost your sense of individuality? No, you have only moved through phases. Your individual consciousness is still intact. Just, because a limited three-dimensional material viewpoint does not see it does not mean it is not there. Your unique snowflake individuality is still there, only your phase has changed. If you slow your vibrations down to freezing again, your uniqueness is visible in material manifestation.

snowflake - Wilson Bentley
A picture of a Snow Crystal taken by Wilson Bentley, "The Snowflake Man."

God always gives us a way to know Him, to be His friend and co-creator. Sometimes this knowledge surrounds us so completely that we can miss seeing it. Nature's water cycle is one such an example, but once recognized it can help in understanding how we can become One with the Creative Forces yet know ourselves to be ourselves at the same time. For me, it is also helpful in understanding the cycle of reincarnation, of being in Spirit and returning to Earth time and time again, always with the opportunity to return to Spirit.

Don Carroll - Reflections Radio 11

Don Carroll had a career of over thirty years in the Fire/Rescue service. After receiving his degree in Fire Science, he worked as a district chief for a battalion, an operations company officer, an emergency medical technician, a paramedic, and a teacher at the regional fire academy. While raising a family, he pursued the greater meaning of life, reading materials on Edgar Cayce and attending A.R.E. conferences, seminars, tours, and retreats. He is the author of the article Visions Lead to 'Archaeological Discovery' about the Great Pyramid with Randy Griffith in the June-Sept. issue of Venture Inward Magazine, available in the online member-only section.


Is Death Necessary?

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Is Death Necessary?
by Linda Caputi

What if death were a choice? This may seem to be an outrageous idea, especially when death occurs as an unavoidable accident or a child is born with a terminal illness. But since we know that God is a God of love, not of punishment, it makes sense to me. Perhaps it is our own misperceptions or misinterpretations that lead to errors in thinking and the erroneous conclusion that we actually age and that we must die.

Grimm Reaper image

Let me tell you about my cousin Cyd, a woman in her 80s who took me under her wing after my mother died. Cyd had been a very active, retired social worker and a yoga devotee. At first, we had often talked on the phone since she lived in Florida and I lived in Brooklyn. When Cyd's health declined further, she moved into a nursing home near her daughters in Brooklyn where she could receive around-the-clock assistance when needed.

About that time, my family and I had taken a vacation to Virginia Beach, Va., and decided to move the following summer, almost a year away. My only regret about moving was the thought of leaving behind friends and family, with my cousin Cyd high on the list. As things unfolded, our moving plans changed from the following summer to the upcoming New Year, months sooner than we originally thought. I didn't look forward to telling Cyd about the move, but when I did, she took me completely off guard by gently saying, "Well, when you move, I will die."

I argued with her, but there was no dissuading her from her quiet conviction. As the New Year drew close, we said our goodbyes at our last visit together on a Saturday. I was flying to Virginia with my daughter the following Wednesday afternoon.

Monday I received a call from Cyd's daughter letting me know that Cyd had died quietly in her sleep. Wednesday morning would be her funeral. My daughter and I attended and then caught the plane – seemingly arranged with everything in divine order. And as we flew to our new destination, I wished Cyd well on hers, amazed by her impeccable timing.

What if death, even when so elegantly timed, is unnecessary? What if it's an old habit where we expect the "inevitable" to overcome us, as it has always overcome all the ones before us? What if there isn't any real basis for death, just a matter of what we expect, as Cayce stated in one of his most far-reaching readings:

For, as may be told by any pathologist, there is no known reason why any individual entity should not live as long as it desires. And there is no death, save in thy consciousness. Because all others have died, ye expect to—and you do! These are a part of thy consciousness, in what? In the mental, in the spiritual—and the physical reacts to same. . . .

But remember, just as that expectancy—because your great, great, great, great grandfather died you will die too—is there, and is part of the expectancy of every cell of your body! It can be eradicated, yes. How? By that constant activity within self of expectancy that this condition does not HAVE to happen to you! . . .

And if you set your life to be a hundred and twenty, you can live to be a hundred and twenty-one!
(Edgar Cayce Reading 2533-6)

And in another reading:

Not that the love of God is belittled or is lacking—for His influence to so attune every vibration of self to RENEW itself; yea, it may!  For in each cell of thy individual body ye may find that which will renew itself continuously. Yet thou hast built in thy own consciousness, by the ages that have passed, that man ages and dies! Is this the will of God?
(Edgar Cayce Reading 1158-14)

Angel monument 072012 Evy McDonald, a remarkable woman in Dr. Bernie Siegel's book, Peace, Love & Healing, was the first medically documented case of reversal of ALS, doing physically nothing. Instead her body healed when she focused her mind on allowing unconditional love to fill her soul. It took time but she was healed.

I wish I could say that I've walked on water or raised the dead, but so far I haven't. However, since I was young I always remember hearing people say that as you grow older you shrink. And though it was something I had seen for myself and even learned about this "natural" process in nursing school, whenever I heard it being said, something inside me would say "No" or "Who said so?"

I grew up to be 5'5½" tall until sometime after my 50th birthday. Then one time when I was in for a doctor's appointment, the assistant read out the numbers for my height and weight. My weight was still the same but now I was 5'6 " tall. I asked the assistant to redo it thinking that she had made a mistake—but she hadn't—and I've been that height ever since. (I wish I had said "No" to wrinkles in the same way!) Not that growing a half-inch as opposed to shrinking would be considered a miracle by some, but for me it was a personal confirmation that we are more than what we appear to be.

Getting back for a moment to raising the dead, George G. Ritchie, Jr., M.D. in his book, My Life After Dying: Becoming Alive to Universal Love, wrote about his amazing experience with raising the clinically dead Mr. Edlow Bugg.

Mr. Bugg's wife had begged Dr. Ritchie to "do something"….

A voice within Dr. Ritchie said, "You are to call Edlow by his first name and tell him to sit up."

The doctor did as he was told and so did Edlow!

The last to be overcome will be death. What if the time is now and we need to do our part by saying "No," to this illegitimate imposition, not with fear or fury but with radical insistence on beholding God's Truth?

Long walk

On July 21, 1935, Edgar Cayce, in trance, was answering a question brought up by the Norfolk Study Group #1 as they worked on the lesson "Destiny":

(Q) Is it possible for our bodies to be rejuvenated in this incarnation?

(A) Possible. For, as the body is an atomic structure, the units of energy around which there are the movements of the atomic forces that—as given—are ever the sentiment or pattern of a universe, as these atoms, as these structural forces are made to conform or to rely upon or to be one with the spiritual import, the spiritual activity, they revivify, they make for constructive forces.

How is the way shown by the Master? What is the promise in Him? The last to be overcome is death. Death of what?

The SOUL cannot die; for it is of God. The body may be revivified, rejuvenated. And it is to that end it may, the body, TRANSCEND the earth and its influence. (Edgar Cayce Reading 262-85)

Maybe the time has come to rethink our choices like the scriptures encourage us to, and choose life—and as outrageous as we may think it may be, practice raising the dead.

(Q) Will I overcome death in this incarnation?

(A) There is no death. Death is only overcome by Him, who has overcome death. It is our promise, and when ye abide in Him sufficient to that, ye with Him, as the resurrection, may indeed overcome death in a material sense. (Edgar Cayce Reading 5155-1)

Linda Caputi 072012Linda Caputi, a retired registered nurse, is on staff at the A.R.E. Library, and has been involved with the Cayce material for the last 25 years. She has researched, compiled and updated many of the Circulating Files on both medical and non-medical topics, and is the author of the book, Epilepsy—Jody's Journey: An Inspiring True Story of Healing with the Edgar Cayce Remedies .


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