A personal story-
As a young actor and writer in Ireland, I had developed a growing interest in spiritual matters. While in London studying at the Stanislavsky Actors’ Studio I had read William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experiences and dabbled in eastern meditation. As a result I was open to finding information, a source of guidance that would help me follow a personally meaningful spiritual path in life, ideally one compatible with my religious upbringing.
A piece I wrote for a Dublin newspaper about the possibility of advanced beings existing elsewhere in the universe drew a quick response from several readers. One suggested forming a discussion group, which we did. At one of our occasional meetings someone mentioned he had seen a notice for an upcoming lecture about ancient Atlantis at a downtown hotel.
Having been fascinated since boyhood by the Irish legend of Tir Na n’Og, the bountiful Land of Youth said to have once existed in the Atlantic before disappearing beneath the waves, I was more than a little intrigued. Might there be a connection? The lecture at the historic Shelbourne Hotel turned out to be a life changing event for me, as it introduced me to the Edgar Cayce material, which I have been studying, working with, speaking and writing
about ever since.
Following the lecture I introduced myself to the amiable speaker, Edward
Fitzgerald. After telling him how enthralled I was by his talk, especially the Cayce commentaries about a former spiritually and scientifically civilization, his wife Paula handed me a copy of 'There is a River', the original Cayce biography by Thomas Sugrue, and suggested I read it. That night I read the book in one sitting, immersed in the remarkable story it told and impressed by the profound insights it conveyed. I knew beyond a doubt that I had found the knowledge source and the spiritual guidance I was looking for.
Within a few days I visited with the Fitzgeralds at the Herbert Park apartment and peppered them with questions. I learned that Fitzgerald, a former movie art director, and his poet and playwright wife Paula had spent considerable time at the Association for Research and Enlightenment, the Cayce headquarters in Virginia Beach, studying the Cayce material. Convinced of both its authentic and beneficial nature and its potential to help individuals live more fulfilling lives, they moved to Ireland following guidance given them in a dream. Once settled in Dublin they began offering public lectures on topics covered by the Cayce material.
As my study and knowledge of the Cayce material increased I enrolled in a course being offered at the Center for Living Research, the spiritual centre the Fitzgerald’s established at their Herbert Park home. This was an innovative, creative spiritual development process which Paula, with her in-depth knowledge of the Cayce material has developed, using a technique taught by Dublin hypnotherapist Terence Noble (The Nature of Hypnosis).
Participatory in nature, it incorporated the principles and directives in the Cayce material regarding the three-fold nature of the self and the mind’s ability to interact between the spiritual and the physical. With its profound philosophical foundation and its spiritually infused psychology framework, it proved transformative. It enabled me to experience a life changing sense of inner harmony and integration and, in keeping with the Cayce adage that in the application comes the greater understanding, the ability to address and effectively resolve challenges and issues in my life at the time. It set me on a path that resulted in my living close to nature, creating a spiritually focused theatre company, writing about topics covered by the Cayce material, then moving to Canada to help establish a spiritual retreat center with other A.R.E. members in south-central Ontario.
Since then I have come to realise that the spiritual development process taught at the C.L.R. in Dublin fulfilled, to my understanding, Cayce’s expressed hope that the contents of his readings would one day demonstrate “….the simplicity of the ability of individuals to apply that as may be obtained from their own subconscious self, cosmic forces and universal consciousness (or call it by whatever name the individual may choose), this is the great truth that must be made apparent to the layman, the individual, whether scientist, mathematician or historian…that all are a portion of the Divine, the creative energy, the whole.” (254-46).
I found that the systematic, consciousness raising nature of the process and its beneficial consequences confirmed the key Cayce principle that ‘spirit is the life, mind the builder and the physical the result’. In keeping with the Cayce adage that in the application comes the greater understanding it also awakened me to our ability to attune to and give practical application to the ideal that Cayce suggested we should apply in our everyday lives. “Let that Mind be in you which was in the Christ, who thought it not robbery to make Himself equal to God.”, but living in materiality in manifestations of a Creative Force all together.’(262-78).
The life affirming psycho-spiritual factors embedded in the process, which adhered to the Christ pattern advised by Cayce, when experienced and applied to circumstances in one’s life, resulted in a balanced stimulation of the spiritual centres. This in turn had a beneficial effect on the endocrine glands, the physical counterpart of the spiritual centres, improving one’s immune system and general physical wellbeing in the process.
It has been my experience that in nurturing our innate capacity to love, to give greater expression to the ‘fruits of the spirit’, this creative and transformative process made an innovative and ongoing contribution to work initiated by Cayce which, as stated by the A.R.E. is ’to create opportunities for profound personal change in body, mind and spirit through the wisdom found in the Edgar Cayce material.’
Mark W. Finnan
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