Edgar Cayce was one of the groundbreakers in the early 20th century that encouraged average people to take spiritual growth beyond following the rules and knowing the teachings of an organized religion, and make it their personal responsibility. Some of the teachings he advocated that support nurturing the spiritual development of the ordinary person can be seen in the following approaches:
- Each person must find his own way. No matter how educated a person can become in a religious tradition, each person must find his or her own path to the Divine that is unique because it is based on a personal experience of the Divine in daily life. It is the purpose we are put on earth. While Cayce stated that Christ was the pattern for all mankind, all religions pointed to the way and that each person could find the way if they modeled their life on the loving Christ-like life, no matter what religion they practiced. Gurus, priests, and teachers can only do so much and ultimately one must rely on personal experience, intuitive insight and making choices in keeping with one’s Ideal.
- Be part of a reflection group where all are equal. In order to grow spiritually it is very helpful to be part of a small group which gathers for mutual support, spiritual reading and reflection. In these groups, each person has an equal say to freely question and explore, trusting in the truth and personal experience to guide. There is no “leader” to impose either a presence or a certain teaching. Rather, a facilitator provides guidelines and keeps the process going.
- Insist on the importance of the average person remembering and learning from dreams as a means to his or her personal spiritual growth and development. In the early 20th century western culture, dreams were suspect – something the average individual was not encouraged to dwell upon by religious leaders. Very few understood the value of working with dreams, and fewer still were truly knowledgeable in doing so. This cultural attitude is seen even today in the huge number of people who can’t and don’t want to remember dreams. However, Edgar Cayce thought that everyone had to take responsibility for their own spiritual journeys and dreamwork was necessary because it was a dependable way of connecting to the soul and its journey. Waking life tends to distract us from our real purpose as it imposes its own demands that are often different from the soul’s demands. As Henry Reed, Ph.D. says in the Edgar Cayce Guide, Awakening Your Psychic Powers, “a dream is an experience of the soul.” Learning from our dreams helps us understand what our soul is feeling in the human realm and what it wants us to do to grow towards the divine. Through dreams we come to know our souls.
- Provide dreamwork guidelines that can work for the average person. On the official Edgar Cayce website, Keven Todeschi , Executive Director and CEO of Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. and Atlantic University, writes that Edgar Cayce provided “average individuals with guidelines for working with what has become one of the most practical approaches to dreams.” http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/edgarcayce.aspx?id=2255. Among these guidelines were the ideas that only the dreamer can interpret his or her own dream and that one’s deeper consciousness is impelling the dream, driving it forward so that we might better understand our life in this world in relationship to our soul’s purpose.