Lesson 5: Destiny Of The Mind
Seeking After Signs
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)
The signs, the omens then, are to be used as stepping-stones for an UNDERSTANDING; not to be confused with nor given – through that gift in thee of constructive forces from the Father-God Himself … (262-77)
Although there are influences from the astrological angle, they are as signs, omens and impulses; not as destinies, for the destiny of each soul is in what the entity does about the application of creative influences and forces in its own experience in any environ. (820-1)
In the earth plane there are certain signs which we may interpret according to individual understanding. They indicate the development reached in the soul's journey through many spheres of experience and point the way to the path chosen by the soul for this present life's expression. It is regarded by many that some of these signs are found in the study of astrology, numerology, phrenology, and palmistry. We should exercise great caution in allowing any of these to become the ruling influence in our interpretation of destiny; for they are all subject to the will and indicate only development and possibilities. (ASFG)
Life is purposeful. The universe is designed to provide us with feedback as we make our way through life on this planet. The readings sometimes use the expression "signs along the way" when speaking of the spontaneous gifts that mark our progress (or lack of it) and provide direction for future endeavors.
And yet, it is easy to lapse into a mental attitude of predestination as if we are each scripted to follow some specific path or predetermined route in terms of daily activities. Then we can be come "seekers after signs" looking for guidance in the least small occurrence or odd happening. Or, the signs may be of a more universal nature such as the position of the planets or the play of numbers. Certainly, for many individuals, the study of astrology and reincarnation is a source of self knowledge ("Know Thyself"), much as Edgar Cayce provided in the life readings that he gave for that specific purpose. However, these readings also consistently warned against accepting such information as destiny.
To be sure, signs and synchronicities can be helpful when we are faced with a decision or a choice that must be made. The problem is when signs overrule the will and we become dependent on outside forces that can take on the aura of destiny.
Thus, becoming a "seeker after signs" can deprive the soul of its divine gift of will. Signs are not destiny, only reflections within the mind. By utilizing will in tandem with mental processes, mind becomes the builder and a creative influence rather than simply a reactive reflex that keeps us stuck in old patterns.
Application: Observe your mind as you meditate and as you go about your daily business of living. Do you seek after signs? Are you dependent on signs for guidance or superstitious about little occurrences? If so, resolve to use your will constructively to make choices rather than becoming dependent on signs.
Resource: Signs (Reply)
The Ideal Mind
So as ye contemplate, as ye meditate, as ye look upon the Mind, know the Mind hath many windows. And as ye look out of thine inner self, know whereunto thou art looking, thou art seeking. What is thy ideal? What would you have your mind-body to become? For that upon which it feeds it becomes, that either by thought, by assimilation, by activity, by radial force, by atomic influence, by the very influence of its activity in WHATEVER SPHERE that activity may be within. And in the material mind it is the same. (262-78)
At times it may seem as if the search for God is simply an exercise in ideals. To a large degree, this is true.
Whether as Platonic forms that cast shadows into the material world (see SFG I, Faith), or as mental constructs in cognitive psychology, mental ideals serve to mediate between the spiritual and material realms of experience. Thus,“mind is the builder” in a practical sense.
Meditative traditions have emphasized this aspect of the mind. Contemplation reveals the underlying mental patterns that manifest in behaviors and activities in daily life. This may occur at a conscious or unconscious level, but the dynamic is the same: “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
Application: Rather than allowing mental processes to run on their own, like a broken record that keeps playing the same tune, it is helpful to develop an awareness of the mind’s activity and to bring mental patterns into congruence with a high spiritual ideal. Continue to work with the ideals exercise with a particular focus on mental ideals. Use meditation and mindfulness to become aware of mental patterns that are creating disruptive outcomes in your material life. Reflect on the ideal mental pattern for each of the various situations and relationships in your life and make adjustments accordingly.
Seeds of Thought
How does matter, how does the seed of the oak or of the grass or of the flower or of the tree or of the animal or of the man, find within itself that which impels, propagates the specie? the activative force that moves on in its realm of activity in whatsoever sphere it may find itself, giving expressions of that first thought of the Creative Forces? That is its Destiny, which the easterners say was set in the first. But, as ye see, this is only half a truth. For if the Mind dwells upon the spiritual things, then it follows that it becomes what it has dwelt upon, what it has lived upon, what it has made itself a portion of. But if the Mind dwells upon self-indulgence, self-aggrandizement, self-exaltation, selfishness in any of its forms, in any of its variations, then it has set itself at variance to that First Cause … (262-78)
Where do thoughts come from? Sometimes they appear in our minds like clouds drifting across the sky – a daydream perhaps. At other times, a thought may strike in a dramatic fashion like a thunderbolt that awakens us to new ways of looking at life and seeing ourselves.
Thoughts can arise from within the mind or be traced to outside sources through interaction with others. Either way, thoughts can grow on us, like a tiny seed that gets planted and gradually develops a life of its own. If the thought is constructive, the outcome can manifest as a beautiful expression. If it is destructive, it can morph into an obsessive disorder that drains vitality and leads to illness of one sort or other. In either instance, it often begins as a little thing in the mind, a seed of thought.
Application: Become aware of how thoughts enter your mind and take their own reality within your consciousness. Try consciously planting a seed of thought. A positive affirmation, religious scripture, or wise saying may provide the basis for this tiny germ of an idea. Then reflect on it quietly, as if watering and nurturing it. Then be aware as it grows in your consciousness and is reflected in the outer experience of your daily life.
Resource: Various Phases of Mind (Reply)
Mind of Christ
Let that mind be in thee as was in the Christ, who went about doing good, and not to the glory of self but making himself as naught that He might serve others. (281-61)
(Q) How may we have the mind of Christ?
(A) As we open our hearts, our minds, our souls, that we may be a channel of blessings to others, so we have the mind of the Christ, who took upon Himself the burden of the world. So may we, in our OWN little sphere, take upon ourselves the burdens of the world. The JOY, the peace, the happiness, that may be ours is in DOING for the OTHER fellow. For, gaining an understanding of the laws as pertain to right living in all its phases makes the mind in attune with CREATIVE Forces, which ARE of HIS consciousness. So we may have THAT consciousness, by putting into action THAT we know. (262-3)
In the Search for God as described in the readings of Edgar Cayce, the Destiny of the Mind is to become the Mind of Christ. Jesus the man who attained Christ Consciousness (the awareness of Oneness with God) is the example or standard by which to measure progress in the development of mind. This is manifested in service to others and putting into action an understanding of the laws that pertain to right living.
As we attune to the Creative Forces and apply the good that we know to do, we attain the Mind of Christ. This brings joy, peace and happiness to ourselves and others in the world.
Application: Evaluate the status of your own mind. Do you have the Mind of Christ? Decide within yourself if the Mind of Christ is desirable as an ideal in your Search For God. If so, how might you put that consciousness into action?
Resource: Christ Consciousness (Reply)