Are You Serious About Finding God?
Dr. June Avis Bro
"Each entity enters a material experience for a purpose; not accidentally, not by chance. But life and its expressions are purposeful. And each experience is that the entity may become more and more a channel through which the knowledge and the application of Creative Forces may be made manifest..." (Edgar Cayce Reading 1792-2)
Everyone who is drawn to the Cayce readings is either trying to find a way to relate to God, or is well on the way. The best plan I know of to make sure you are on the right track is to join the nearest A Search for God study group. Mr. Cayce told Harmon and me how in 1931, a group of friends from Norfolk came to him and said that they had heard that a man named William Scott Pelley was teaching classes on how to become psychic. They asked Edgar if he would work with them on becoming psychic. He told them, "We’ll see what we can do." He then gave a reading on the request, and the first A Search for God group was born.
Members of the first A Search for God group
I’m sure that at least some of them thought they would be given lessons on meditating, breathing, chanting, arranging candles, finding helpful aromas, and concentrating on certain subjects or objects until they began to see and hear things. Though he touched on these things, these were not the main lessons they were to receive.
Strangely enough, the first instruction that was given was a lesson on cooperation, and all 12 lessons were related to the fruits of the Spirit: know yourself, set ideals of the highest order for yourself and hold to them, grow in patience, have faith in the Creative Forces (God), and learn how to truly love one another.
The members were told to begin putting into practice their understanding of cooperation, learning what true cooperation is about from every angle. Don’t just talk about it, he said, practice it until the spirit of cooperation is in everything you think or do. We won’t move on to the next lesson, he told them, until you have worked very hard on this lesson. He went on to say, "As you study these lessons you will share your experiences with one another and then, together, write a book that can help others become psychic." What an ingenious way of getting them to cooperate. I wish every study group would find a way to work together to create a piece of art, compose some music, or write poems or a play about their own growth experiences.
Through the years Harmon and I attended many study groups, most of which treated the session as a mental exercise, reading the material and "ratifying it," as Harmon wrote in his biography of Cayce, A Seer Out of Season. While people seemed reluctant to share their private lives, the original study group members had no such option. They knew that Edgar and the Source of his readings would be able to read them: there could be no hiding or false modesty. They were expected to truthfully report on their experiences and what they had learned, so they could help others.
On the other hand, we have participated in study groups in which people did share the deepest parts of their lives: their problems, their joys, their stuck places. In one such group, we shared how the material had personally affected our lives, and then others began to share, too. One person faced the possibility of cancer, and three were unemployed and suffering greatly, unbeknownst to the others. The A Search for God material gave them hope for healing, and suggestions for how to grow—right in the midst of the deepest anguish.
The best group I was ever a part of was one that was led by Hugh Lynn Cayce. Hugh Lynn would look right at you and ask the most penetrating questions. There was no room for flinching or superficialities with Hugh Lynn. (According to the readings, Hugh Lynn was Andrew, one of Jesus' disciples. Can you imagine the quality of that long-ago, small "study group"? The disciples walked together for three years, ate together, talked, and even joked about what had worked and what hadn’t. They witnessed healing after healing, prayed together, wept together, and wondered whether they were worthy of being part of such a group.)
So while it would have been exciting to be part of that first-ever study group, we can come pretty close to that feeling in our ASFG group as we learn to trust the process. Surprising wisdom and helpfulness can come out of any one of us.
Study Group #1’s preface to A Search for God, Book I, ended with:
"There is nothing new here. The search for God is as old as man. This book is passed on in the hope that through it, during the trying times ahead, many may glimpse a ray of light; that … it may awaken a new hope and vision of a better world through application of His laws in a daily life."
Excerpt from June Bro's "The Art of Living" from the Oct-Dec 2010 issue of Venture Inward magazine available to A.R.E. members at Edgarcayce.org/members.
Dr. June Avis Bro found her life deeply affected by working daily with Edgar Cayce when she and her husband, Harmon, came to Virginia Beach in 1943. She has a graduate ministerial degree from Andover-Newton Theological School, near Boston, and a doctorate from Chicago Theological Seminary. In addition to teaching 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 draws on her background in the arts to illuminate myths, symbols, and dreams. At age 90, she released her first piano CD called "Soul Soundings," which is being sold in the A.R.E. Bookstore. Her column for A.R.E.’s Venture Inward magazine, "The Art of Living," is based on her life reading given by Mr. Cayce in 1944. She wrote the foreword to the re-released book A Seer Out of Season written by Harmon Bro.
Join her every Tuesday morning from 10:30 until 11:30 a.m. for an informal "Chat" at the global headquarters of Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. in Virginia Beach. Visit EdgarCayce.org/VaBeach for all upcoming events.