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A Study Group of One

A Study Group of One
By James Baker
Years ago, a woman attending one of Hugh Lynn Cayce’s
Vancouver lectures told us at the book display,
“I have no one to meet with, so I have read Book I
of A Search for God all by myself – 70 times!
– and it saved my life. Can I please buy Book II?”

Now that I am unable to be in a SFG study group,
sometimes I feel deprived, and I ponder that woman’s
comment, and think there must be many others in
the same situation.

When I first became attracted to Edgar Cayce’s work,
I had a dream in which I held Mr. Cayce as he died,
and promised him that I would help with the work he started.

I have been in SFG study groups for years.
It changed me, a little bit at a time.

Subtly. Not just reading the books themselves, but trying
to understand and apply what I read.

I have found that time is necessary for deep soul work
to take place, and the resulting attitude and habit changes
require consistent work.

As I worked through SFG Books I and II, I did what I always do
with books of great importance, which is to underline, write comments,
and circle ideas.

Those two books are so marked up that when I share them with
others, they give up trying to read them.

There are passages in those books that have become inscribed
on my soul to enlighten and sustain me.

“Faith is the inner spiritual knowledge of the Creative Forces
of the universe.”

“Love may be found in a contented heart that is willing to wait until
the time is fulfilled when the ideal may be realized.”

Often people say, “Well, we’ve been through SFG I and II so
many times – let’s work with something else.” Not so with me.

Every time I read them I find something new.
Once I was fortunate to visit a SFG group
with Gladys Davis Turner when it was her
turn to read from Book II.

After reading a passage, she exclaimed, “Well! As many
times as I have read these books, I never saw that before!”

I thought to myself, if the woman who transcribed and heard all Mr.
Cayce’s readings can say that, there must be more in those books
for me, too.

I have found that the weekly “discipline,” or “experiment,” is where
the real growth takes place.

This consists of trying, in my daily life, to put into practice the concepts
in the 24 lessons in practical spirituality that make up the SFG books.

It requires patient, persistent, often difficult, even wrenching,
soul work at the deepest level of reality.

It is dealing with a moment at a time, taking one step at a time,
like Gladys Davis’s patient transcribing of thousands of pages of the
readings, one manual typewriter keystroke at a time.
But the results will keep forever.
There will grow an inner joy and peace, which no one can take away.

At a conference one woman told of a house across the road from hers,
full of people who terrorized the neighborhood.
She began to read the SFG books by herself, and to pray for them.
She said, “Eventually they left, a SFG group formed in my house,
and a young women who had been living in that house has
joined our group.”

I once heard Hugh Lynn say,
“If you open yourself for service, don’t ever be afraid there won’t
be an opportunity.”

For years I have always worked at a particular job or in a workplace,
knowing and choosing exactly why I was there.

My last 25 years were so much fun that I often went to work at five,
or four, or even three in the morning. My job seemed as if I was being
paid to have opportunities to help others.

The Edgar Cayce readings say that Jesus’ most common prayer was,
“Others, Lord, others.”
Now that I am retired, I follow the same process of listening inside
and choosing my activity.

I am reading (again) SFG Book I before I go to sleep.
Slowly. I’ve been stuck for weeks on one page in
“The Lord Thy God Is One” chapter, attempting to truly digest
and absorb into my spiritual being the import of its meaning.

Now I must apply what I have learned.
Each day is like a 24-hour SFG group-of-one.
Try it. Even by yourself. Start now.
Go for the gold. You will not be alone.

Updated: 24 August 2013