(Posted on August 1, 2013 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of “A Search For God” study group and working on the Destiny of the Mind lesson, several class members shared experiences with “signs” of various sorts and the possible contributions and distractions often associated with signs. Here are some of my replies to provide a sense of those interactions. – David McMillin]
As you have observed, signs do have a place on the spiritual path. We can become aware through astrological influences, past lives (reincarnation), powerful dreams, psychic premonitions, synchronicities of various sorts, etc. All of this can be helpful to "Know Thyself" and even provide guidance at times. However, the readings make a distinction between recognizing "signs along the way" (as a natural part of growth and development) rather than "seeking after signs." Sometimes "seeking after signs" can take on the quality of predestination or fate and decrease our ability to use will in a constructive way. In other words, we can become dependent upon signs as destiny rather than simply as an indication of our direction and progress in our Search For God:
Also ye wonder – doth the time of birth, the place of the environment, make or have a part in destiny? Do the days or the years, or the numbers, all have their part? Yea, more than that! Yet, as has been given, all these are but signs along the way; they are but omens; they are but the marks that have indicated – for, as given, He has set His mark, and these are SIGNS, not the destinies! For the destiny of the mind, of the body, of the soul, is with Him. (262-75)
As you have also observed in your own experience, the ultimate use of will leads to Oneness with God that comes from attunement – Thy will be done. That is our Destiny. But it is a matter of our own choice as to how and when we get there, which makes for a very interesting (and at times challenging) journey. Blessings, Dave
Thanks for sharing your insights with "signs." I have heard many similar stories over the years from others as well as direct experience in my own life. As you have noted, it is possible to become dependent upon signs and allow them to become a distraction on the spiritual path (hence "seeking after signs"). On the other hand, "signs along the way" (literally in your example of riding in the car), often manifest as spontaneous, wondrous gifts – surprises in the midst of life that encourage or provide needed direction. Then of course, there is the guidance that comes from within as we attune during prayer and meditation, which can at times function as a sign (especially when we are in that consciousness of Oneness (Thy will be done). Fascinating, isn't it! Blessings, Dave
… your observations about signs (“don't follow them blindly” and “more time in meditation and dream interpretation would be effective in this pursuit”) rings so true. We have all probably known individuals who have become dependent upon SIGNS of one sort or other – a person who cannot make a decision in life without first consulting an astrological chart or some other means of external guidance. Here is an extended excerpt for the brief quote used in the Signs exercise for this lesson where the first study group was cautioned about viewing signs as Destiny:
But ye ask again, What of Destiny? He hath not willed that any soul should perish but that EVERY soul shall know the will of God to DO it! Then, ye wonder – can such be possible in threescore and ten years in the earth? Also ye wonder – doth the time of birth, the place of the environment, make or have a part in destiny? [ASTROLOGY] Do the days or the years, or the numbers, all have their part? [NUMEROLOGY] Yea, more than that! Yet, as has been given, all these are but signs along the way; they are but omens; they are but the marks that have indicated – for, as given, He has set His mark, and these are SIGNS, not the destinies! For the destiny of the mind, of the body, of the soul, is with Him…. As to those things that are marks, signs, omens along the way – UNDERSTAND them for what they ARE! Put NOT thy trust in THEM! (262-75)
Sign, omens, and indications (such as astrology and numerology) do have a part to play in our lives, but are not Destiny. They often merely indicate options and tendencies based on the past. By choosing to be One with God's will and expressing God's love to others in service our actions may become as SIGNS that point to God and the WAY BACK HOME for others who are seeking:
For God is God of the father and of the son, of the king and of the servant, of the soldier, of the farmer, of every soul. He looketh not upon man as to his preeminence but rather as to his ability to be a channel of blessing to his fellow man, to be an expression, to be as a voice, to be as a SIGN unto those that are seeking – seeking – the WAY BACK HOME! (1158-2)
Haven't we all felt guided and uplifted by the words and actions of others that seemed as SIGNS FROM GOD, particularly during challenging Opportunities in our journey? This is part of God's Manifestation that we studied in a previous lesson.
Certainly Edgar Cayce gave many readings that included astrological, numerological, and past life signs and indications for individuals so that they would notice tendencies and options in their life choices based on past experiences. But those same readings insisted upon the constructive use of will to make choices so that there could be soul development in the journey back to the Source. The ultimate use of will is to “know the will of God to DO it.” Then the sign in which put the greatest Faith is the “still small voice within” (or however our attunement is manifested):
He that seeks for a SIGN is rather in the position of one that would be secured in the beginning, and lessens his faith. But as one manifests those attributes, these bring to the body-consciousness, body-awareness, the experiences necessary for the awakening. For, as thou has experienced in thine inner self, when thou hast opened the door of thine inner consciousness, thou hast found Him waiting to speak with thee. Fear not, for ye will be assured again and again that thou hast chosen the better way. (531-5)
There is another aspect of “signs” that ties in with the concept of “automatic writing” and “discarnate influence” that we considered in a previous post. As a side-note to the excerpt for reading 262-75 above, Gladys Davis added this comment: “[GD’s note: Again warning not to accept Halaliel or any other.]” We explored the “Halaliel” phenomena in a previous lesson (ASFG I: Lesson 8: The Door; “Open with Care” exercise). So there are many forms of “signs along the way” and it is prudent to be discerning about the source of signs that we may attract with our Desires. Ideals can be so helpful in this regard.
Yes, signs have a place in our journey, but we must “UNDERSTAND them for what they ARE” – we always have a choice and we can seek guidance from within with our Creator.
“Keep IN that promise, for as the various experiences of man in his relationships to the Creator are as those of signs to individuals who seek to know His face, no matter how far one may WANDER … (2466-1)
Hope this is helpful. Thanks again for sharing your insights and questions for this lesson. Blessings, Dave
[P.S. Since this reply mentions a previous post dealing with “automatic writing” and “discarnate influence” (which some regard as valid means of seeking after signs), here is my reply to that message:]
… your experiences and observations about relationships reflect one of the primary means by which “mind is the builder”:
“Hence the law that is ever present; like attracts like; like begets like. (541-1)
“… what ye sow ye reap, or like attracts like. (1152-4)
“For like begets like. Like attracts like – or the natural needs for such contacts that may give the entity the opportunity, the privilege of applying such truths or lessons in given experiences in a material sojourn.” (2823-3)
When you put that together with your cosmic perspective: “our minds and the mind of the creator were once one – and they speak the same language – they will be drawn to each other”; then you have the Destiny of the Mind.
With regard to automatic writing, the readings tended to discourage it as it opens oneself up to “discarnate influence” or spirit channeling (which some people do seek, to be sure). Rather the readings encouraged inspiratonal writing based on ATTUNEMENT with Creative Forces, as a safer, more reliable means of creative expression. For instance:
As has been indicated, rather than AUTOMATIC writing OR a medium, turn to the voice within! (1297-1)
As we find, it is MORE desirable to develop inspirational writing than automatic. If there is the turning within, in the fields of activity as we have indicated, especially through those periods outlined, this should become as an inspired activity. Do not trust to automatic, – for it opens the self to low influences. (2169-1)
… when the entity attempts to write – that is, automatic writing. This influence is not always for good, for it is impelling upon the entity. Turn rather to that which has been indicated as a part of the entity's influence that should be one with the Creative Force, God. (3054-4)
Not that called automatic writing but in periods of meditation when moved by the spirit to write, write. (3237-1)
But begin to study all phases of psychic phenomena, though don't begin with automatic writing. For this would soon lead to such channels as to be more detrimental than beneficial. (5124-1)
Do not attempt to write as one who would do automatic writing. Do attempt to write as one who would be directed by inspiration, but let that inspiration come from Him, who is light, and the source of knowledge … (5277-1)
(Q) What can be done to raise the quality of my automatic writing generally?
(A) This would apply in just that manner, as well as in ANY case. For, read as has been given. There is self, there is the force without thee. What seekest thou? Art thou opening thyself to any, or art thou one that has set a standard, an ideal? Like begets like, whether in the mental, spiritual or physical realm. What seekest thou? Answer that in self, and we may find that as ye seek ye may know. (317-7)
Thanks for sharing from your own experience. Blessings, Dave
[During this lesson the question arose as to whether dreams can be signs, and if so, how do we interpret them without being misled or confused about what they mean. Here is my reply. – David McMillin}
… those are very reasonable questions in the context of this lesson. Any information from any source can be misapplied. So it is important to have a standard by which we can assess and make decisions. Ideals serve that purpose in the Cayce approach. Combined with inner Attunement we are provided the Opportunity to use MIND and WILL constructively at a conscious level (so as to grow and develop as fit companions and co-creators to our Source while maintaining our Individuality).
The readings recommended a specific approach of using mind and will to gather and process information and come to a decision or choice which has a “yes” or “no” outcome. Then go into mediation and confirm (or not) that conscious decision. Thus we are able to make ourselves one with God while still maintaining our individuality. This technique is included as an exercise in the Meditation resources.
I realize I am speaking generally here for the sake of others in the group who might benefit from a broader consideration of the question. But it does apply specifically to dream interpretation as well.
I was impressed by your previous message about receiving confirmation from a rock song and advertisement about taking a dream course. It seemed that you had been consciously processing the option and was leaning in that direction and the “signs” merely confirmed it. So you weren't dependent on the signs, but integrated that data with what you were already thinking. Of course, you could always just ask for guidance within if you felt the need.
With dreams you can also process the dream at a conscious level using various dream interpretation techniques, but it ultimately comes down to understanding the dream in a way that is helpful in some way. Certainly there are various types of dreams – some merely a reaction to what you may have eaten, habitual or repetitive actions (such as work), or wish fulfillment (as Freud noted). If there is a “sign” or message to such dreams it is simply telling you what is going on in a “descriptive” (rather than “prescriptive”) manner. A snapshot of your life from a different angle, so to speak. Such dreams can be very practical "signs" at a physical level, if you are out-of-balance in some manner.
Other dreams have more significance at a soul level, so it helps to be able to recognize these dreams (which may well be “signs” of a spiritual nature from the “inner self”). You will probably want to compare the interpretation of such dreams to your Ideals and even attune within for guidance on interpreting the dream, if it seems warranted. So you don't have to worry about being mistaken about the interpretation if you apply it as best you know how. There is a self-correcting aspect to such activities where you will hear the voice within or get a feeling or “inner knowing” if you start to get off track too far. For example, if a dream interpretation seems to be pointing you in a direction that is not consistent with your Ideals, you will naturally want some inner guidance for clarification.
Just some thoughts and reflections on your question. Hope this is helpful. And thanks for sharing from your own experience with this lesson. Blessings, Dave