This blog is part of our 2022 Enlightenment Course, an exclusive benefit for members of Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. Each month John Van Auken provides a lesson with a worksheet, a video, a blog, and in each issue of the member magazine, Venture Inward, he writes an article about this topic. For 2022, we are focusing on Cayce's insights into achieving health, happiness, and a meaningful life. Members can access all of the available material in the Member-only section of our website at EdgarCayce.org/members.
It's Within Us
From spiritual teachings we learn that true life and the true self is within us.
Early in this life I was shown this Jesus teaching; at the time it was quite perplexing: “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21) While a student at William & Mary I joined an Edgar Cayce study group; Edgar Ball's group in Newport News which was a distance from the campus in Williamsburg. Each time I attended I found that a significant amount of time was spent in a silent inner “search for God” meditation. Now, fifty years later, I still remember how difficult this inner search was for me. Sitting with the group members, my eyes closed and my mind searching for God, all I found in those early days was me! I was inside my head. I found no doorway, no expansive realm of godliness, just me alone in my brain looking around with my mind's eye. Despite my problem I could see that others in the group were truly having an enlivening experience during this silent period. I could see in their eyes a resulting happiness and contentment from the meditative session. We met every two weeks at the leader's home, and each meeting had a thirty-minute period of inner searching for God in silence. Many months went by with me looking around in my head. Then, a change occurred. I felt my mind expand. I was out of my head like a big beach ball stretching beyond my brain. I felt subtle vibrations in and around my head and a slight pressure on my forehead. I sat in this expanse for what felt like hours but was only a few minutes. When I came out of the meditation the group was smiling at me. They knew something had happened.
As the years passed, I became more adept at achieving the meditative shift from this world to the vast plains of God within me, as the Kabbalah called them.
To be Truly Ours, It Must Come from Within Us
As most of us understand, the real and the true is within us, not out here or in our personalities. Our personalities are what Cayce called "projections." This is why we often read that this world is a dream or an illusion; but I prefer Shakespeare’s perspective that all the world is a stage upon which we each playout our roles according to a karmic script. Our role is not who we are eternally; we are the actor playing the role according to a karmic script and stage setting. The actor is who we need to find and engage during this incarnation, during this play.
Add to this thinking that spiritual guidance does not allow the world and others to direct our lives; rather, search within to find what our eternal self wants to do with life. Write this down and make it a guide, a standard by which we make our own decisions about this life.
Over the years of training at the Cayce center, I've develop some graphic representations that helped me. Here are my diagrams that help express the "within-us" forces and how we may bring them to life, or as Cayce often said, manifest them. Cayce taught that our true self’s motivation and destiny is the cause for our existence. In the diagrams the innermost circle is that deepest motivative for us to live – despite any challenges. Cayce then taught that from this deepest level our motivation takes shape in thought, in mental dimension. The second circle in these concentric circles is our mind's content. Cayce taught that what the mind thinks creates the outcome, the manifestation, determines the potential outcome. He taught that “Thoughts are things, and may be miracles or crimes in action.” The outer circle is the action dimension that we presently live in. It's the "doing," the "applying" that was so important for us to gain understanding.
Here's a basic diagram. The inner circle is our original “birth” into being a free-willed soul. The next circle out is mind’s awakening to and formatting of our soul-self. This is where Cayce’s teaching that “mind is the builder” is forged and takes shape in thought and patterns of thinking. Finally, the outer circle is our active role in this incarnation.
This diagram fits all souls. It's Cayce's "First Cause" that we reviewed in last month's membership lesson. It's the life arrangement for all of us. We find ourselves alive. The world tends to capture us and become "too much with us" as the poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850) wrote. Here are a few lines from his poem:
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
Edgar Cayce's readings reveal the same sentiment when giving descriptions of who and what we were once upon a time during the ages of Lemuria and Atlantis. We were then more spirit than body, more heavenly than earthly. He said we were "not to so closely knit in matter." (281-42) He also saw that "spirit is the natural, the normal condition of an entity." (EC 816-10) Let’s try living our incarnation while in touch with inner source and purpose guiding.
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