Excerpt from Chapter 1:
In our sacred Scriptures we find: “An eye for
an eye”; “As you sow, so shall you reap”;
and “With what measure you measure, so
shall it be measured to you.” These sayings
articulate the law of karma. Even scientists
observe that for every action there is an equal
and opposite reaction.
The law is unavoidable and immutable.
Jesus taught that not one jot will be erased
from the law and warned that those who
teach otherwise are deceiving themselves
and others. (Matthew 5:18)
There is an old saying whose origin is lost
in antiquity, but Tryon Edwards, a theologian
in the 1800s, republished it. It reveals the
creative process of karma:
“Watch your thoughts, for they become
words. Watch your words, for they become
actions. Watch your
actions, for they become
habits. Watch your habits,
for they become character.
Watch your character, for
it becomes your destiny.”
We are what we have
thought, spoken, and done. Our destiny is the
karma of our previous thoughts, words, and
actions; but more than that, it is a habit pattern
that we are building. And, as with most habits,
it will be difficult to stop. Our motivations,
expectations, and concerns (even fears) shape
our inner and outer reality. Fortunately, the law
is ever in effect, and therefore we can change
our tomorrows and our character by engaging
better thoughts, words, and actions today.
…Before the gift of free will was given,
God set up a simple yet powerful universal
law – Whatever one does with free will,
one will experience – not as punishment or
retribution but as education and enlightenment,
that one may know the effects of one’s
thoughts, words, and actions. How, then,
can any of us survive our mistakes with free
will? Who has not misused free will? Are we
now caught up in a tangled web of karmic
reactions to our prior misuses of free will?
… The secret is
that the law is
so perfect that
we do not have
to make up
for all our past
sins with free
will; rather, we have to understand these
mistakes in others who have and do misuse
their free will. The law is absolute: What you
do or think comes back upon you. If you can
understand the misuse of free will in another,
then it is understood in you! If you can forgive
the misuse of free will by another, then it is
forgiven in you. And, best of all, if you can
forget the misuse of free will by another, then
it is forgotten in you.
SOUL LIFE. Karma & Grace. by John Van Auken.
Let’s begin at the very beginning.
In conceiving us, God gave us the gifts of individual consciousness and free will. With these we were to come to know ourselves to be ourselves, and yet choose to be one with the Whole (God, others, and ourselves). Only with independent consciousness and free will could we choose to be God’s companions and co-creators.
Yet, these powers are often compared to a two-edged sword, because they can lead us towards heavenly oneness or towards hellish selfishness. Each of us has to learn how to bring our mind and will in closer harmony with God’s. But learning implies mistakes, and mistakes with the mind and will can be very harmful.
Ancient Egyptians weighed the heart to see if it was light or heavy. A heavy heart caused the soul to sink into the underworld, but a light one allowed the soul to rise through the heavens.
Cayce explains that the High Priest Ra Ta rejuvenated his body by “casting aside the years of toil and strife through which the body had passed,” 696-1. In other words, he let go of the things that had aged him. By letting go, we may release ourselves and others from the heavy burdens of regret, disappointment, self-doubt, and guilt.
Just let them go! Shake them off, get up, and get going again. But for this to work, we must also do it for all those we meet — allowing them to be freed of their burdens and our judgments.
Most of our opportunities to grow in grace will not be with strangers, for the hardest to forgive are those closest to us: parents, siblings, spouses, children, coworkers, and friends. These relationships bring the greatest challenges and opportunities each day.
And, we may also think that the greater opportunities for soul growth concern life and death issues, but they more often concern little everyday situations. The very next person that walks up to us brings potential grace. To release this grace, we simply have to use our God-given mind and will to choose to interact positively.
However, we can take this too far, allowing others to do whatever they wish despite their influence on themselves, others, and God. Tough love is as much as part of the journey as understanding. Sometimes, we help our loved ones, friends, and coworkers more with loving truth.
Jesus did not ignore Peter’s errors, but called him to rise to a higher level.
Karma and grace go hand-in-hand, because the law is so perfectly crafted.
Grace is the rosebud on the thorny stem of karma. The blooming of this bud is dependent on our present use of free will and mind.
Cayce taught, “God is Law, and the Law is Love.” The disciple Peter wisely observed that “Love covers a multitude of sins.” The disciple John taught that “God is love; and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
Cayce asked us all: “How can it be then that you do not understand God loves you?”
Sensing our questioning reply, given that our lives are not always happy, he stated: “Why do you suffer? It is mercy, it is justice to your soul! For those things that are cares of the flesh and of the Earth cannot inherit eternal life. Hence life alters, life changes in the experiences of individuals through their sojourns in the Earth, and thus you learn your lessons, even as He; for though He were the Son, though you are His sons and daughters, yet must you learn obedience through the things that you suffer.”
Karma is a teacher. Freedom comes with responsibility. And oneness is not achieved without cooperation. Obeying the law of love is required.
Let’s live in grace by applying the fruits of the spirit each day.
Look rather for that wisdom which was eventually founded in she [Mary] that was addressed as ‘the handmaid of the Lord‘
Our fall from the original place of being is allegorically presented as the separation of the sexes and the eating of the “Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil,” (Gen. 2:17) which symbolizes consuming knowledge without understanding.
The Cayce readings state it this way, “…seek not for knowledge alone. For, look — LOOK — what it brought Eve. Look rather for that wisdom which was eventually founded in she [Mary] that was addressed as ‘the handmaid of the Lord’…”
Because of our continued pull toward self-consciousness, we lose God-consciousness and descend into the narrow realm of the physical world.
Grace is the rosebud on the thorny stem of karma.
John Van Auken helps to shed the light on the most complicated concepts in Kabbalah and similarities found in the Cayce readings in this latest book, Edgar Cayce and the Kabbalah. Here he talks about why he wrote the book, what he found when studying the Kabbalah, and what has been the most important spiritual lesson in his own life.
In this uplifting commentary, best-selling author John Van Auken reveals the simple yet profound path that takes one from living in the grind of karma to the light and peace of grace. Using the foundation of spiritual living found in the fruits of the spirit and as given by psychic Edgar Cayce, Van Auken weaves a tapestry of love and light, of freedom from karmic reactions, of hope and happiness.
“Papal Marian Apparitions” & John Paul II
(I ran across these series of videos in the course of my research and wanted to share them with you.)