Patience and Ideals
(Posted on: April 23, 2013 by David McMillin)
(NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of "A Search For God" study group and working on the Patience lesson, a class member requested help with understanding "active" and "passive" patience and how this might relate to situations like "turning the other cheek." Here is a portion of my reply. – David McMillin)
The premise is that patience, in the search for God, is about soul. Now that is a very loaded statement, if you reflect on it! Ultimately, from a spiritual perspective, patience is about the soul making its way through eternity, finding its way back to its Source. It's a long journey, to be sure. To complete the journey the soul must grow up to be a fit companion with the Creator. The Cayce approach to soul growth is centered on IDEALS. So it is with patience, as was stated in this excerpt from the 262 series given for the first study group:
Each should take this as a basis for the application of patience in their experience: Patience is active rather than passive, and is that by which, through which, one may judge their OWN reaction as to the attributes they have set towards that of an ideal in their individual lives; whether that attribute be virtue, purity, hope, faith, understanding, cooperation, brotherly love, loving-kindness, or patience itself; for, as given, these are attributes of the soul, and are spiritual in their essence. (262-26)
Thus Patience is based on ideals that have a spiritual focus. Furthermore the readings consistently encourage an "active" rather than "passive" approach to patience. Remember that working with IDEALS means holding a spiritual ideal as the standard and then adopting mental ideals (attitudes) and physical ideals (behaviors and actions) that are consistent with that spiritual ideal. That is how Patience can become active, by putting the spiritual ideal into action through mental and physical ideals.
Since you seem to be struggling with the concepts of passive and active patience, let's consider your example of "turn the other cheek." I like this example because the readings actually addressed it:
… for patience is not passive nor negative; it is a CONSTRUCTIVE influence, a positive activative force. For, if one smite thee on the one cheek, did He say withdraw? No! Rather, turn the other! Be active in thy patience; be active in thy relationships with thy fellow man!(815-2)
So, for example, if your spiritual ideal is Jesus, rather than just withdrawing from the situation or passively accepting the abuse, you can be active by turning the other cheek, if that is a physical ideal that you would manifest as a means of soul development. You can actually spell this out when doing the ideals exercise.
Keep in mind that ideals are personal and individual. You get to choose your ideals. Choosing the ideal and putting it into practice is the source of soul growth. In the face-slapping situation, your mental ideal may be to love your enemy and your physical ideal may be to express forgiveness or love. So as you may choose to smile and say I love you or I forgive you as you turn the other cheek (which may actually elicit a stronger blow but yield more soul growth; we cannot control another's behavior). That is your choice. There may be a thousand different ACTIVITIES (mental and physical ideals) that you could choose to manifest in this situation that would be consistent with your spiritual ideal, depending upon what that ideal is. It is not necessarily a one size fits all process or solution to this difficult situation.