Submitted by Nan Thomas
The seventh lesson explored by the original study group was patience. However, the Cayce readings approach to patience is not about being submissive or being quiet. Instead, it is an active force in which the individual is aware of her or his internal response while conscious of being patient with self and others.
The readings put it this way, “For, patience is becoming aware of that which is the impelling influence in thine experience, while tolerance is as holding your tongue when you want to say something bad.” (451-3) Patience is an active force through which the individual is able to measure and judge her or his reactions to the external world. It is through patience that the finite mind become aware of the developing spiritual self. In other words, patience is the means through which we understand how well we are applying the fruits of the spirit – virtue, hope, purity, love, understanding, kindness, and even patience itself. It is for that reason that on numerous occasions Cayce stated, “In patience possess ye your souls,” suggesting that through the activity of patience we become more aware of our true soul self.
The level of our patience can be a reflection of our personal growth. Patience occurs with introspection. It is the result of reviewing our interactions and responses to others and acknowledging how we could have done better, making a mental note for ourselves so that we can respond more in accord with who we hope to become during the next encounter. Patience allows the soul to more fully manifest the energy of the Divine in the material world. Ultimately, patience is the spiritual attribute that impels us to become more Christ-like toward all others in our daily life.
The vibration of “Patience” is contained within the following affirmation:
How gracious is Thy presence in the earth, O Lord! Be Thou the guide, that we with patience may run the race, which is set before us, looking to Thee, the Author, the Giver of light. (262-24)
Study group members were advised that in order to know patience, one of the most important things they needed to do was often seek an audience with their inner self through prayer and meditation. Additional approaches that would assist individuals in coming to know patience included the following:
Practice patience with both self and with others. Become aware of your reactions to people and events each day. Make a mental note to strive and do better.
Focus some of your energy into being of service to others. When being of service, lose the awareness of self in that service and be a channel of His blessings toward others. For a day, for a week, or for however long you can, stop self from making criticisms (silent or spoken) or finding any fault with others.
Speak gently, putting your best self forward even when you are anxious or troubled. Respond to all others as if each individual was someone you truly loved and admired. Reflect on the following at the end of the day: “If we expected the Christ to dine with us today, what would we have to show Him as the fruit of our lives, thoughts, acts or deeds for the day/week or our life?”
Remember patience is not being sedentary or subdued. Instead, it is an active, growing force that embodies our responses in whatever circumstance or challenge comes our way. As we are faithful putting into action the patience we possess, more will be shown to us. As the readings often advised, “Do what you know to do and the next step will be given.”
On one occasion, a woman admitted that she had become impatient with her teenage son. She asked whether she should scold or even spank him. Cayce advised the mother, “Patience, kindness, gentleness ever, not in scolding or tormenting at all … remember, these conditions are for purposes. While they become very trying … know that these are purposeful in thine own experience also.” (2014-2)
In other words, whatever challenges we encounter are there to help us test and expand our own growth and development. How can we become frustrated or impatient with the individual who has brought us the very lesson we have sought to learn?
Each soul is in a process of developing to become fully aware of its relationship to the Creator. It is by manifesting the fruits of the spirit toward others through patience that growth occurs. It is through application and patience that the soul succeeds. Cayce advised his listeners to understand that they would be at the beginning of patience when they could truly see the Christ even in the faults and shortcomings of others. Kevin J. Todeschi, M.A. is Executive Director & CEO of the Edgar Cayce work, an authority and spokesperson on the Cayce material, and the author of more than 25 books, including Edgar Cayce on the Akashic Records, Edgar Cayce on Angels and the Angelic Forces, and Contemporary Cayce (co-author).