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Inner Vision
Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.)

by John Van Auken

Will, free will, is God’s gift to us. In Deuteronomy 30 God states the Earthly situation for us: “I set before thee this day, life and death, blessing and curse, choose thou.” It also says: “I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments....” Here is the solution to the dilemma of the two wills, ours and God’s: God has set the correct way through his commandments, and we are to use our wills to obey them and love God. Today individual freedom and independent decision-making are the ideals. Obeying is not held in high regard. It’s the American way. Yet, even the freedom and independence of the American way calls for lawfulness, moral appropriateness, and consideration for others; in other words, free will within the context of cooperation, decency, and order.

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.

This life is a test of our 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 the 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. Allowing life to carry us in whatever direction it is flowing is not the way of a child of God, whose destiny is to be one with God as a co-creator and companion.

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.

Jesus left because that was best for all of us. As he said, “I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am there you may be also. But I will not leave you comfort-less. I will send the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, and he shall guide you in all things.” How many of us seek this Spirit of Truth and its comfort and guidance? And of those who have sought it, how many have returned to continue to develop the relationship and to improve the communication?

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.

Set before us is a whole day of our own activities or a budgeted time in which we use our will to attune ourselves to God’s spirit and will. Choose. The curse God spoke of in Deuteronomy is life with only self’s perspective. The blessing is life in cooperation with God’s guidance, love, and companionship. As Elihu said to Job, “God speaks to us.” Are we making time to hear? Dreams and deep meditation are two channels for hearing God.

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