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.