SOUL PURPOSE: THE EDGAR CAYCE WAY
Host: Sheryl Glick R.M.T.
Special Guest: Mark Thurston, Ph.D.
Sheryl Glick host of Healing From Within and author of The Living Spirit a tale of spiritual awakening, spiritual communication, healing, miracles and a guide to your inner soul awareness is delighted to welcome Dr. Mark Thurston author of Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose and we will have a chance to talk about the medical clairvoyant Edgar Cayce who left the world a wealth of intuitive readings on everything from health and spirituality to psychology and past lives.
We will share intimate experiences in search of the truth of our Being and a greater awareness of higher consciousness and the dimensions of eternal life and energy as we continue to discover both our human and divine potential to experience joy health and prosperity.
Mark Thurston PhD an educator, psychologist and author of many books on personal spirituality psychology, meditation and mind-body well-being including The Essential work of Edgar Cayce. Dr. Thurston worked for Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) established by Edgar Cayce before his death in 1945 and Atlantic University in Virginia Beach, Virginia for 36 years. In 2009 he became the director of educational programs for George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being where he teaches courses on consciousness, mindfulness, and the science of well being.
Sheryl asks Marc to think back to his childhood to remember a person place or event that left a lasting imprint on him and which guides him in his work and life pursuits in adulthood. Sheryl who knows a great deal about Edgar Cayce and his work is reminded of the story of Edgar Cayce as a young boy riding on a horse with his grandfather and the horse fell. The boy saw his grandfather on the ground but at the same time Edgar saw him walking away. A sensitive child, only 3 years old, he was able to see spirit. Sheryl didn’t read about Edgar Cayce until she had already studied Reiki in New York at the A.R.E center there. Mark goes on to tell us about a gift he received as a child and how he wished to serve and find out his real purpose in life.
Edgar Cayce his ideology and his love of God influenced Mark immensely and he incorporated much of the many archived readings done by Edgar Cayce into his work and writings as a spiritual psychologist He tells us that eighty years ago Edgar Cayce a renowned mystic and psychic was one of the few who spoke so specifically and eloquently about each person having a particular Soul purpose. A calling was not reserved for those whose vocation was in the church or religious order, but all of us, a farmer, teacher, or business owner. The broader view is that we are all born with a gift a set of talents aptitudes and inclinations to do something special.
Sheryl tells Mark that about 24 years ago she was sick with the flu and had a dream and felt her grandfather who had passed many years before standing to the side in shadow form and just knew it was him. Sheryl’s grandfather told her to write something for her father and when she awoke Sheryl wasn’t sure what had transpired. The next day she received a phone call from her mother informing her that her father had passed and so she wrote his eulogy. At that time Sheryl didn’t believe in an afterlife or past lives as she was very much a practical girl of the physical world even though as a child she was sensitive, intuitive and empathic simply knowing there was more than she was being taught by her family and teachers. After her Reiki energy training Sheryl realized and used her medical intuitive abilities and readings for people wanting to be of help or service to people as she always felt inclined to do. As she learned more about Edgar Cayce she felt more and more like she was following his instruction and work style. She remembered as a child about 8 years old she heard a noise at the kitchen window and looked down to see a man jumping out of the truck. She was so glad he was alright but later found out he had died. So what did she see leaving the truck? Years passed and as a young mother driving down a busy street heard a loud noise in front of and saw a boy flying up into the sky later finding out the boy had died. Sheryl didn’t fully understand these experiences until about 15 years ago when she began her healing practice doing soul readings for people encouraging them to know themselves and to find their life or soul purpose. As Sheryl embraced the work she has found great joy in serving and helping others to find their soul awareness and trust in the bigger plan for each of us.
Mark has written a new Third Edition of Discovering Your Soul Purpose thirty years after the original adding the maturity of his soul presence and a new way for people who are awakening to these ideas at the present time. Mark writes, “Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose gives me pause to think about my own engagement with these ideas and principles of Universal Energy. I discovered the work and spiritual philosophy of Edgar Cayce when I was a senior in high school—just seventeen and full of wonderings and uncertainties about my own calling and mission in life. Studying and applying these ideas especially during my college years as I swerved from one academic major to another profoundly helped me find a direction—a professional focus in psychology, but more important was a direction for the kind of person I aspired to be. Even in this period of my emerging adulthood forty five years ago, I had already started to appreciate that discovering your soul’s purpose is more about “being” than doing. The doing-ness of a well chosen occupation was going to be fine, but more critical was finding an optimal way to be in life.” So intrigued with Edgar Cayce’s work Mark was especially taken by one statement that simply states “For each soul enters with a mission….”We all have a mission to perform.”
Mark was sure Edgar Cayce and he could come up with a system of self study that would yield a revelation of Soul purpose if one wanted to try. After a one day course the same title as the book and a workshop filled with experiential learning about oneself culminating in a guided process Mark traveled to six countries and the many participants and their feedback helped him to put these ideas in the original version of Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose. However there is a deeper or more personal reason for the revision of this book. Mark has been inspired from working with and being around emerging adults every day at his job teaching at a large public university. Perhaps the renewal of his own vision from seeing 20- 22 year old students, at just the same age as he was for his own intense search to discover his mission, is positive karma in being able to give back to people in this age group, because he feels he was so profoundly helped by mentors and teachers at that period in his own journey. Mark thinks young people in this world that hangs in the balance now intuitively sense that they are meant to do something significant in life or become more than the fears and challenges of human divisiveness, climate change, culture and religious ingrained patterns . Discovering your soul’s purpose is not just for this generation but for those to come.
Mark begins to explain his system of self study a four part plan to yield a revelation of Soul purpose for anyone committed to give it a try. There is a four step pattern presenting the theory and philosophy from the Cayce material culminating in an exercise to craft a personal mission. In the second step we begin the work of personal application to see how Soul purpose can be lived. We find and appreciate the orderliness of unfoldment which exists as a Universal Law that supports us and makes it easier for us to find our way. Many traditions of transformational psychology articulate examples of these sequences soul unfoldment.
One example comes from the teaching of G.I. Gurdjieff and P.D. Ouspensky-a Russian teacher of consciousness transformation and is one of the few writers recommended in the Cayce readings. All three men were born in the 1870’s. A law these 2 teachers proposed was The Law of The Octave which suggest that the seven musical notes that represent themselves as a octave on the keyboard do-re-me-fa-so-la-ti……are a powerful analogy for how human consciousness progresses through reliable stages. Do correspond to giving value to something in our lives example a high priority on for instance spiritual development. Re corresponds to the application of teachings…acting on them. Mi corresponds to what arises as a result…ex. We might encounter resistance from within- a push-back to change. A critical juncture is reached Now an internal force that lifts our consciousness to Fo (A shock) from a meditation like shift to remember one’s true self one’s spiritual essence of individuality. This movement to Fa is what’s required of us to find and to live our soul purpose.
Cayce’s system outlined In a Search for God has many more steps than the repeating seven step sequence we find in a musical note. But the Four Steps of A Search For God is practical and insightful for our spiritual growth.
1. Cooperation is first.
2. Self-knowledge comes Second (Know Thyself) Authentic Self-Awareness
3. Quest to identify Core values and set a personal spiritual ideal
4. Faith The actual experience of unseen reality. Faith is a matter of having direct encounters with the realm of soul…a calling from deep within—the invitation to see and embrace a soul purpose.
In exploring the cooperative spirit that makes the journey possible we find this Prayerful Affirmation that provides a foundation for understanding Cayce’s approach to finding one’s personal mission. It addresses free will, the importance of making a contribution to the well-being of others and the sense of a call to a higher purpose. The Affirmation says….Not my will but Thine, O Lord, to be done in me and through me. Let me ever be a channel of blessings, today, now to those that I contact in every way. Let my going in, my coming out be in accord with that Thou would have me do, and as the call comes, “Here am I send me, use me.” (262-3)
It serves all to develop a practice self-acceptance through meditation and asking for assistance and guidance from Spirit to find joy in living with kindness and the goodness within Mark writes, “That kind of internal cooperation might feel spacious. Freedom to breath so to speak..Most of the time our self-judgment and voices of self-criticism crowd in on us leaving us feel trapped and disappointed in life. On the other hand when we can love ourselves give ourselves the benefit of the doubt that gentleness creates a whole new environment in which we can start to flourish. Self Cooperation sets the stage for us to address the deepest need of the soul: the need for meaning?”
Mark goes on to describe the connection between meaning and the soul. We know we need air food water and shelter to survive and do not deny the inescapable fact that we have physical bodies and survival depends on meeting basic requirements. However something distinguishes us from other creatures who have physical needs. The extra ingredient is an individual soul and like the physical body it must be nurtured to survive. The human soul may be invisible to scientific instruments but each time we say “I” to ourselves we feel the presence of the soul. Every instance of aspiration enthusiasm or free will is an expression of our soul nature. What is the air food and shelter of the soul….The answer is “meaning”. The human soul grows and develops as it can make sense of life and set aspirations for the future. Edgar Cayce’s guidance gave a promise that everything about life is meaningful. There is a rhyme and reason to what happens to us…nothing is random.
Sheryl Says….In regard to this thought of soul and meaning in my book The Living Spirit Answers for Healing and Infinite Love I wrote, “ In continuing our quest for personal truth along with our goal to hear the whispers, experience beautiful thoughts, and sense the feelings of peace that may reside in our soul and body, a pleasant feeling of cooperation between body, mind and soul can be achieved to bring about a future reality of substance Practicing meditation and asking Spirit for help during tht silent time will help us learn about our life plan, opening the way to a personal understanding of what is needed for achieving a life of joy.”
These thoughts and this new version of Discovering Your Soul seem even more relevant in this challenging 21st century world where to use the spiritual and psychological insights of renowned mystic and psychic Edgar Cayce can be most valuable. Thirty years later there is finally a growing interest in this theme. Eighty years ago Cayce was one of the few who spoke about Spirit energy Soul life and past lives or each person having a Soul purpose. Admittedly there had been a tradition, especially within Protestant Christianity which was Cayce’s own roots that everyone could find in his or her occupational work a means to glorify God.
Mark wrote, “Cayce went on to suggest that is within the ordinary aspects of life that something extraordinary can happen. In other words, making life great does not necessarily mean doing great things in the eyes of mainstream society. For example something remarkable stands out about those few individuals who received praise in their life readings from Edgar Cayce’s clairvoyant source—praise that stated they were on track with their real purposes in life. Most often they were plain common people who were quietly fulfilling their potential for service and creativity.”
Many of the people came to Edgar Cayce asking for help in finding the purpose of life. Those with perhaps pain, resulting from being unfulfilled and from knowing things are not quite right.. wounded within the soul. Those with dissatisfaction who might be grateful for what is good but at the same time dissatisfied knowing there is something more..a search for a spiritual purpose or a new sense of meaning. Those with restlessness with being simply comfortable. Sometimes comfort can become boring and the human spirit needs adventure or the next challenge. This creative tension that resides in the soul asking us, “Who we are now compared to who we have the potential to be.”
Edgar Cayce Readings done for people so long ago are still relevant to people today. When his readings are compared, we see recurrent themes. Cayce described distinct patterns concerning the origins of illness and recommended treatments for specific conditions. An example is given of forty different people with psoriasis who lived in the 1920’s to the 1940’s. People today treated with these readings and information were able to apply it to their situations and find a greater understanding of the reasons for their condition along with helpful therapies.
We go on to discuss some of the hindrances to finding our purpose. Mark tells us, “This exciting journey to fulfillment is not without obstacles and difficulty. As we already saw in Maurice Nicoll’s passage about the need to go down before we can go up, a certain measure of faith courage and resilience is needed for this kind of adventure. Mark writes, “ What are some of the impediments? Many are related to the values and methods of our society. For all the talk of personal freedom and individuality we do not live in a culture that truly honors the uniqueness of each soul. The problem begins early in life; Childhood education is based largely on norms or baseline averages to which the child is pushed to conform. Whether you remember it or not chances are much of your unique way of learning and creating was covered up early in life and replaced by the way teachers wanted for you. No doubt you learned considerable amounts of useful information in school The point here is not that school is wrong. But for many of us—likely most of us—a certain portion of our own individual flair for living was stifled by our childhood education. Like all barriers and obstacles any misdirected methods of childhood education can be overcome. It is always possible to reclaim the ingredients of your soul that are needed in order to fulfill your purpose in life. Some of us just have to work a little harder than others to recover what has been lost or forgotten. The second hurdle we face by living in modern society is mechanization. With each new breakthrough yielding laborsaving work we can lose touch with our human capacity to get things done. Weakened even more is a healthy and indispensable aspect of the soul: the human will. In an age of mechanization of televisions, I Pads and gaming systems the Internet streaming music that diminish the need for our own creative imagination takes away the need to make music for ourselves. The third impediment is that many people are in jobs that are highly specialized and filled with mind –numbing routine. We don’t want to be stuck in a rut. The fourth obstacle is everyone is plagued with a feeling of constant busyness.”
We go on to talk about spiritual psychologist Carl Jung and the Process of Individuation Sheryl smiles at the mention of Carl Jung’s name as like her affection for Edgar Cayce she feels drawn to his ideas as well. Carl Jung actually had a near death experience and wrote, “What happens after death is so unspeakably glorious that our imagination and feelings do not suffice to form even an approximate conception of.” Understanding the eternal energy of the soul and it’s interconnectedness to all of life allows for a belief in an afterlife. Mark writes, “ Cayce work parallels Jung’s closely Out of Jung’s long career as a psychiatrist, teacher and writer he developed a psychology of the soul. Rather than seeing spirituality and religion as an evasion of mental health, he recognized the need for psychiatry and faith to find a common ground. For him the answer lay in a synthesis of Eastern and Western religious traditions. He recognized that each of these two streams of spirituality had something vital to offer humanity in its search for meaning. Jung felt that Christians are most likely to look outside themselves for a divine presence who can bestow grace. In contrast the East has featured universality, timelessness and the inner life. Jung put it this way: “The Orient knows that redemption depends on the work he does on himself.” The Tao grows out of the individual”
One of Jung’s books a collection of essays on the quest for meaning in life is titled Modern Man in Search of Soul. He came to believe that the deepest part of the mind is transpersonal—a common trait of all humanity. Within these deep strata of the mind are universal patterns that can shape and direct the development of our lives. Jung called them “archetypes,” the most important of which is the Self. “
Jung also spoke of the process of individuation taking place over two phases of life that are divided at roughly age forty. The so called midlife crisis marks the opportunity to move into the second more difficult aspect of individuation. During the first cycle there must be the development of a healthy persona. In Jungian terms the persona is a mask or a series of masks we wear in life. It is a way of adapting to the demands of a society…this façade can become dishonest and inauthentic or it is possible to develop a healthy persona. According to Jung it is probably not best to strive for wholeness during the first part of the process as there are so many conflicting choices freedom vs commitment planning vs. spontaneity, privacy vs intimacy to name a few.
Sheryl tells Mark that the night before her Dad passed she had a spiritual visitation from her grandfather and just thought it was a dream. Her grandfather told her to write something for her father. She had no idea what he meant. The next day Sheryl received a call from her Mom who said her Dad had passed hours before. Sheryl proceeded to write his eulogy although at that time she was a mild skeptic and believing in an afterlife was not part of her training or mindset. In the eulogy she wrote something that Jung expressed. She wrote, “My father like each of us wears many masks in life and is different to each person he interacts with: He is a son, brother, husband, father, friend, doctor teacher but in the end is only a human persona balancing his physical life with his spiritual or soul essence”
So indeed “Truth is simply Truth” and many of us are downloading inspiration and truth from that higher realm of life. Mark writes “No evidence suggests that Cayce was consciously aware of Jung’s ideas. Nevertheless Jung’s own model of the collective unconscious implies that the clairvoyant Cayce might have drawn from the same source as Jung’s inspiration.”
Sheryl senses that of course Jung and Cayce drew from the same Source. Perhaps we are from the same soul group, doing similar work and that is why each time I encounter a new story of them I am so delighted and have such a fondness for them and learning more about them. It is truly wonderful and amazing.
The three ingredients to really understand what you are called to be and to do.
1. Cayce suggests that the soul reincarnates coming into bodily expression with a specialized purpose each time…
2. Your mission for this lifetime is part of a network of missions. Family members, neighbors, professional colleagues and friends have their purposes in life You are drawn together because of the way you can help each other toward success. Your unique purpose exists in the context of your social setting. Although it doesn’t always work out in the optimal way there is the potential for you to fulfill your mission so that it interweaves with those of key people in your life.
3. Your mission for this lifetime has been chosen against the backdrop of God’s plan for all souls. There is a grand design for the evolution of human consciousness and your soul has been a part of that blueprint for many ages. You begin to see clearly the special meaning of your own life. In order to appreciate the cosmic framework in which you and everyone lives you must be willing to study and speculate about the distant times in human history. As Cayce said….”There is as much reason to dwell upon the thought from whence the soul came as it is upon whence the soul goeth.”
Mark also writes that we may expect that our true nature can be discovered by looking within but an outward orientation is of equal importance?”
because the spiritual life is one of connection and relationship. The Cayce readings were very specific in regard to the purpose for which God created us as souls: companionship. The Impulse for companionship is not merely with the Creator: it’s for relationship with each other and even the earth. Without a doubt methods such as self-analysis, dream interpretation and meditation are invaluable
Mark would like readers to take away with them after reading this very detailed comprehensive and complete story of the soul personality and Edgar Cayce’s dance in life with the truth of being that Faith and the Experience of a Call can be heard in this quote “Create in me a pure heart, O God Open Thou my heart to the faith Thou hast implanted in all that seek Thy face. Help Thou mine unbelief in my God, in my neighbor, in myself.”
When we hear the word faith we might equate it with belief in regard to soul and spirituality but Cayce makes a distinction and underscores just how important faith is to our experience of a “call” and soul purpose. Beliefs are ideas we hold as truths…You might believe there is a spiritual world and something survives physical death…Faith however as Cayce invited us to understand is the actual experience of the unseen world. It is a knowing that does not depend upon supposition or outside authority. Faith is rooted in experiential insight. The first is at the level of the intellectual mind and the second is intuitive and heart-centered.
In summarizing today’s episode of Healing from Within we have studied great leaders in the field of psychology, energy, medicine and spirituality, the past wonders themes of reincarnation, and finding one’s soul calling in life. We have examined techniques to further this path of self-awareness and soul life . On page 112 of Mark’s book Sheryl shares another coincidence or interconnected to Mark and Edgar Cayce and indeed to all reading this page now. Mark tells of a beautiful book that illustrates this human capacity for faith and the direct experience of Soul purpose in Gregg Levoy”s book Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life. Levoy found that some people experienced their call by a set of synchronistic occurrences or a prayer experience or life changing dream Sheryl tells Mark, “My son is Gregg…my maiden name is Levy and so Gregg Levoy’s book like your book Discovering Your Soul Purpose and mine Life Is No Coincidence and The Living Spirit are the memories of the soul following in each life and beyond, the calling of our individual soul and also our collective consciousness.
Mark and I would have you pay attention to the events and people in your life and through observation and engaging that which calls to you to continue to experience the joy of interconnected life, energy, love and purpose and have a wonderful time as well as amused as the flow of life moves more easily along.