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Current Update as of October 17, 2004

Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies

Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.

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Love Needed for Science of Spirituality

A Sense of the Cosmos

(Henry Reed)

Iíve always equated Edgar Cayce with the scientific approach. That link may seem odd to folks who think of science as all numbers and stainless steel, but I think of science as a method of questioning. Religion, for example, confidently offers its answers while science is skeptical. In its doubting, science wants to stick its finger into the miracle to actually feel it. Galileo wants to peek into the telescope to see if the sun really does revolve around the earth while the Pope remains seated, content with the Bibleís description of heaven. Science as it is practiced today, of course, is more like religion in that science has stopped questioning its assumptions. But Iím speaking about the spirit of science, the force in nature that is continually seeking to expand its consciousness.

So why do I link Edgar Cayce with science? Because so often he requested that we ignore his words unless we have tested his suggestions, tried them out, and made them our own, so that we can speak from our experience rather than from his readings. When he says, "In the application comes the awareness," it means to me that thinking about living is different than actually living, and it is in the living that the thoughts about living really take on any value they may have to guide our living.

Cayceís preaching about personal application as a form of scientific research receives support from the rather complex message in the book A Sense of the Cosmos: Scientific Knowledge and Spiritual Truth (Monkfish Book Publishing Company). The author, Jacob Needleman, is a well-known philosopher and someone who has addressed Edgar Cayce audiences. The book is his answer to the puzzle over the seeming failure of science to help us live life better. He ponders why it might be that even as science attempts, in the guise of transpersonal psychology, to discover the laws of life that will provide genuine human fulfillment, it seems to fall short of the mark. He applauds scienceís curiosity, its unquenchable thirst for better knowledge, but he notes that it lacks an important ingredient. Of the many ways he describes this missing component, my favorite is when he calls it "the knowledge of the heart."

Intellectual knowledge is important, but in itself is insufficient to discover and live the sacred ideas reality has lying in wait for us. Religion has given us some handles on these ideas, and science is searching for its own handles. But he believes that both have neglected an important aspect of the human being as a phenomenon who processes ideas and uses them to interact with reality. It is the human body. Our instincts, feelings, the heart, and not the head, is our capability for experiencing values. Using the intellect alone, the scientistic human can not see values as an objective aspect of reality, but only as a subjective personal choice. On the other hand, the human being with head and heart integrated is indeed capable of both experiencing the objective values that lie inherent in the created world and understanding how to establish a relationship with those values--in other words, to live them.

I received a sacred idea once in a dream. There was a locomotive in the dream. There was a sail plane, too, the type that soars on the wings of the wind rather than by use of a propeller or jet engine. In the dream, I am told that under certain conditions, I can fly in the sail plain, receiving the "lift" I need from the locomotive. I meditated on that dream and could understand the symbology of the fixed, karmic path of the cause-and-effect ironhorse track and, in contrast, the relative freedom and grace of the gossamer sail plane. But it wasnít until I got up out of my chair and began to dance each component, allowing the dreamís symbology to have use of my body and its sensations, that I was led into a state of transformative consciousness. For a moment of grace I was actually able to experience the sacred, as if "The Secret" had revealed Itself to me. My body, moving to the images of the dream, led to the intuitive discovery of how the two dimensions of my being can actually cooperate and work together.

To reconcile these two dimensions of human existence, the spiritual and the material, seems to be Needlemanís goal. It is not a task for the intellect alone, nor is it a task that just anyone can accomplish. He wants us to understand that it requires virtue. This virtue is a willingness to experience the higher truths for their own sake--not for the sake of getting a leg up on lifeís satisfactions or to gain special credentials to enjoy the satisfactions of the afterlife--but purely for the sake of experiencing the joy and love that these truths contain. To love for the sake of love itself is what is required to be able to experience--not just to think about--the meaning of love, much less to realize the mystical equation, "God is Love," which would initiate a spiritual science.

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