|Book Two, Lesson Seven
Lesson VII - Destiny of the Soul
Lord, let me-my mind, my body, my soul-be at-one with Thee: that I-through Thy promises in Him, Thy Son-may know Thee more and more. 262-88
[Based on Edgar Cayce readings 262-73 through 262-90]
Humanity in its natural state is soul. In the beginning all souls were created in the image of the Creator. Thus the first creation was spiritual.
The development of our souls in a material world is as a garment that is made up of the warp and woof of materials that we have gathered through our experiences in every plane of consciousness. In our sojourns in the earth, we wear many kinds of garments-working clothes, prison garbs, and wedding gowns. Just so we build into our souls, through our mind directed by our will, that which is Godlike and uplifting, or selfish and degrading. That which we build within our soul gives it the opportunity for occupying a position of honor or dishonor. Through the will, however, we may make those things that are of dishonor as stepping-stones to positions of honor. This, too, makes its mark on the soul. Our will is a divine attribute; how we use it determines our destiny. Each soul is an offspring of Creative Force of GOD, and is innately the result of the manner in which it has manifested the prerogative of WILL.
Let us strive to understand that life in its essence is spiritual force, and is continuous. The point of expression may be in matter, as here on earth, or in any of the many different planes of consciousness, but mind is the universal moving force which acts and builds through all planes, and gradually brings an awareness of our own individuality in that Creative Force we worship as God.
Creation of Soul
The soul is of God. It had its beginning in God and its ending is only in Him. To name the name of God is to recognize that we are a part of the Whole, and we know, because we are of the Whole. Our soul, as a part of Creative Force, came into being, and was given breath, by the will of the Father, that it might be a companion with Him in His activity. Our soul is everlasting, containing eternal creative power, and through expressions of this power we may come to know ourselves to be one with Him. Then the destiny of the soul, as of all creation, is to become one with the Creator.
The entity is the manifestation of soul in spiritual, mental, and physical form. Though our soul may have wandered far afield, though it may make its bed in hell, though it may take the wings of the morning and fly to the utmost parts of the universe, eventually it must wend its way back to the source from whence it came, to its God, its Maker.
Our soul never dies. How can Spirit die? How can God die? How can God destroy Himself? Though our soul may choose to take up body afterbody, though it may seek experience in this or that sphere of consciousness, it is ever seeking the way back from whence it came. What is the origin of the soul? What is the origin of eternity? Eternity is from everlasting to everlasting. "When the morning stars sang together"-we were there. When the heavens fold up and time will be no more, behold-we will be there. Now, as in the beginning, we are children of God, and our destiny is to be rulers and priests and priestesses unto Him.
The Soul's Association with the Mind and the Body
The soul body is the image of the Creator, a companion in spirit with the Creative Force. It is too wonderful to describe. It, as God, must be experienced to be known. Our physical body is simply a temporary house for our soul. Opportunities are presented to us through physical experiences for using and directing the soul powers lent to us by God. The way we use these powers in relation with others shows the concept or degree of awareness of our attunement with God.
Through sojourns in the earth our soul, through will, brings upon itself many experiences that may result in confusion, turmoil and strife, or a better understanding of the purposes of life. For example, if we consider that slights, slurs, and unkind words are directed against us, and we remain untouched within and can rise above the selfish desire to strike back, then we can understand what Jesus taught as He urged us to seek attunement with the Father. Jesus overcame in this way and knew that we, too, could rise above being hurt, or tempted, or mistreated. With Him as the pattern there is within us no desire to strike back. Each time we resent, we add to these confusing urges that become stumbling blocks for us. Thus we may use those things that have hindered, that would cause the quickness of speech, the anger at being thwarted, as stepping-stones to a more perfect understanding and to a realization of being in accord with His Way.
As we give our selves, our love, our patience, and our kindness, however hard it may be, to help others, we learn His Way and may depend upon His help to sustain us. If we let the beauty of His life guide us, then those things that beset as a temptation, those things that make us afraid, may be cast upon Him, who has promised to bear our burdens with us.
It is well that we understand that our soul takes on physical bodies as means through which practical applications can be made of tenets that make for the development of our soul. Such opportunities arise in our dealings with our fellow humans. Our entrance into the earth plane at any time is for the purpose that another lesson may be gained, another opportunity for soul expression may be had. Our knowledge of a law is not sufficient within itself, but when knowledge is made active and practical, it then becomes a moving force in our lives. Let us seek to make our bodies channels through which Creative Energy may become an active force, whereby we may gradually become aware of our own identity in the Creator.
We may become aware of our soul through commonplace, everyday observance of spiritual laws within our understanding, by putting into daily application the laws of love and service to others. We must measure up to that which we hold as the ideal in our relationships with our fellow human beings, for we can estimate our concept of God by examining our attitude toward others.
Jesus meant what He said when He told us to seek first the Kingdom of God-then all things might be added, but they are added only when we are in harmony with those around us. Then it is in patience with self, in patience with our friend, in patience with our foe, that we become aware of our souls. These are the manners, these be the ways, in which we may know that there is an access to the Father through the Son.
No soul has been left without access to the throne of mercy and grace. The promise has been given, "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter." Though there may be periods of trial and temptation, when our purposes seem fraught with disappointments, if our faith has been placed in Him we may find that which will help us grow in understanding and knowledge of His love; for whether in the body or out we are His manifestation.
The soul's association with mind and body is the greatest of earth's experiences, but to spiritualize all three and make them one in Christ is the work of a Master. That is our privilege.
The Activities of the Soul in the Material
It is not knowledge, nor is it understanding, but the application of the opportunities that present themselves, that builds the destinies that arise in the experience of our soul. A law is not set and our soul set adrift upon the sea of time or space. There is something that we must do, and there is always the presence of the Father to sustain us. He has promised, moreover, to meet us in the Holy of Holies, and He is not slack concerning His promises.
Let us study, then, to show ourselves approved unto those promptings that come from meeting the Divine within, and be able to say we know in whom we have believed, and know that He is able to keep that which we have committed unto Him in every experience that may arise. The spirit that prompts our activities in a material world arises within the soul and is expressed in our dealings with our fellow human beings; therefore, we cannot hate our neighbor and love our God; we cannot worship our God and hold malice against our neighbor, for these are of One Force, and the law of One is perfect.
If we sow in spirit, our mind builds that which we reap in spiritual values; if we sow in materiality, our mind builds that which is of the earth-earthy. Let us put our ideal in spiritual things and know that as we mete unto our neighbors, so will it be meted unto us. In our relationships to our fellow human beings, let us act in such a way that we may always look ourselves in the face and not be ashamed to have accorded to us whatever we have accorded to our neighbor; for we must meet ourselves.
Let us keep an attitude of sincerity, of oneness of purpose; for if we are sincere with self, and most of all, sincere with our fellow humans, we will not fear to be called into the presence of our God. Thou, О Lord, art holy in Thy dealings with Thy children. О God, we are Yours in body, mind, and soul! Purge us, that we may be one with You, and through that power that You have given us, may we make known to others the beauty and the love that You have showered upon Your children, should be our prayer.
Do we have one standard for self, and another for our friends, for our relations, for those about us? All are one in Him. If we would have peace, mercy and grace shown us, we must show them to others, for in so doing we become aware of the indwelling of His presence.
If we use our knowledge to gain the advantage over others, or to lord over them, what must be the destiny of our soul? The Master gave, "For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ ... he shall not lose his reward." It is not, then, in mighty deeds of valor, or in those things that bring fame or fortune, it is not in the things of high estate, that the greatest soul development comes, but rather the growth comes as line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, through kindness, love, patience, scattered along the way. Such growth in spirit brings true knowledge and true understanding of the purposes of a soul's indwelling in the earth; and this understanding helps us to realize that unless that which we do is for the good of others, it must eventually fail; unless our activities among others are to aid the greater number, rather than classes, they are of little benefit to ourselves or others. For, true indeed, they that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to them it is evil. They that know not and do evil, to them the Father may give countenance; but they that know evil and do it, to them it is damnation.
Our soul must meet itself and give an account of its activity in the earth. What we do in the physical we meet in the physical, what we do in the mental we meet in the mental, what we do in the spirit we meet in spirit. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." When we know to do good and do it, we make our life worthwhile. After all, it is just being gentle, though others are harsh, just being true, though others are false, just being patient, though others about us are impatient. If we are on the Lord's side, who can be against us? (See 696-3.) We find ourselves in that which we have built; so, to do good, let us use that which we have in hand; the environments and experiences that make for changes that are necessary in our life will present themselves. If the preparation is made, the time and place to use our knowledge will come about. It is the law; it is His love. (See 991-1.)
Let our choice for development mean more and more seeking to be in at-onement with God, the Creative Activity within our experience. For each expression of our soul in any phase of its experience may, through works, through thoughts, and through activity, become a channel of expression of the Creative Force in the material world. This is the natural growth, the purpose for which we entered into every experience, that there may be the greater expression of God through us.
Finally, the destiny of our soul is in Him who gave the soul, that we (our soul) might know, might be one with that Creative Force we call God. The manner in which we use opportunities makes for either consternation, turmoil, strife or just the opposite. How has God meted judgments to us? Not other than in the manner in which we have shown mercy. What will we do with this man, our elder brother, our Christ, that our destiny might be sure in Him? He has shown us the more excellent way: not in mighty deeds of valor, not in the exaltation of knowledge or power, but in the gentleness of spirit-love, kindness, peace, long-suffering, patience. These, as Jesus has shown, must be applied in our associations with our fellow human beings day by day. There is nothing in heaven, in earth, or in hell, that can separate us from the love of God, save ourselves. (See 849-11.)
Then the exaltation of ourselves, of our abilities, of our powers, of our indulgences, must be lost in gentleness and in patience; for it is only in patience that we become aware of our soul. When our individuality is lost in Him, our personality shines as that which is motivated by the individuality of our Lord and Master. Thus does the individuality and the Destiny of the soul lie in the keeping of Him who has given Himself in the world that we may know everlasting life. He has given that if we abide in the Father, "I will bring to your remembrance those things from the foundations of the earth, from the foundations of the world, that ye may be where lam; and thy glory in my glory, in thy God, shall make of thee that oneness that passeth understanding of men who see only a mental-material consciousness." (849-11)
"There will come a day in which all who dare
May see the Lord.
And those who put on the robes of righteousness
May rest in peace.
And those who have come up through great tribulations
Will fear no more;
For the King of Glory, on the brow of the blessed
Will place a diadem
And great joy will fill the heaven and the earth,
For death will be no more."