Inner Vision: Will Power
Heavenly Gift, Earthly Test
by John Van Auken
Will, free will, is God’s gift to us.
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 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.
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 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.