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Cooperation: The First Spiritual Lesson

Cooperation – The First Spiritual Lesson
By Kevin J. Todeschi, Executive Director and CEO of ARE
Having been involved with the Cayce work and the A.R.E.
for more than 30 years, I am certainly aware of the important
cornerstone “cooperation” plays in the readings information on
spiritual growth.

Obviously, it is the first lesson in personal spirituality recommended
by the study group program and A Search for God, Book I.
It is also a lesson frequently brought to mind whenever groups
of people gather for some activity at A.R.E. – a conference,
a meeting, even a social activity.

In fact, I could not begin to count the number of times I have heard
someone say, “Well, you know, cooperation is the first lesson,”
even in a joking fashion whenever there was the smallest
semblance of a challenge or a conflict or a disagreement
between two or more people.

The irony of this statement is that the lesson on cooperation
is not really about cooperation between people
(although that is definitely an important by-product);
ultimately the lesson is about learning to cooperate with God.

Certainly, cooperation with God sounds like a tall order!
It seems like cooperating with another person would be easier.
How can we even begin to know the process for cooperating
with the Divine?

But the Cayce readings are clear – we must learn to set our
personal egos aside so that the Divine can work through us,
bringing spirit into the earth plane.

It is for this reason that the meditation affirmation used
for Lesson One is not about learning to cooperate with
someone at work or the neighbor next-door, but is instead
phrased as follows:

Not my will but Thine, O Lord, be done in
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)

The idea that we are representatives of the
Divine is certainly connected to our birthright
as spiritual beings having a physical experience.

More important, perhaps, it is inextricably
interwoven with one of the main purposes
for which each and every one of us came into
the earth: to bring the divinity of the Creator
into the third-dimensional plane.

In fact, each soul is a potential emissary of that
one spirit in the earth.
That’s the ultimate purpose for each and every soul.
Learning how to cooperate with the Divine so that
the Divine might work through us.

Early on in my work with the Cayce information
I had often wondered about how best
to cooperate with God until I came across a
reading given to a 61-year-old widow in 1943
that seemed to provide a simple first step.

The woman was faced with numerous challenges,
including a change of careers and a potential move.
During the course of her reading she asked:
“How can I discipline myself at my age to do what
is mine to do?”
Cayce responded:
“Repeat three times every day, and then listen:
‘Lord, what would thou have me do today?’
Have this not as rote. Mean it! For as He
has spoken, as He has promised, ‘If ye call I
will hear, and answer speedily.’ He meant it!
Believe it!”

Quite a number of individuals I have spoken with
over the years have found this exercise valuable
because it seems to create an expectant sense
of cooperating with the Divine.

To be sure, the degree to which any answer is
connected to bringing spirit into the earth essentially
reflects how well we have been able to set self aside,
cooperating with God in the process.

From the readings’ perspective, cooperating
with God is important for individuals, for
groups, even for organizations.

On one occasion when a member of A.R.E. asked how
she could best serve the association, Cayce’s
response was that the ultimate service would
be to work with the association so that both
the individual and the organization could
bring spirit into the earth:

Study to show thyself approved unto God,
a workman not ashamed, rightly dividing the
words of truth and putting stress where it
belongs, and keeping self unspotted from the
world. It is not to serve the Association, it is
to work with it that the glory of God may be
made manifest in the earth.

Obviously, cooperating with God is the
ultimate lesson for us all.

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Updated: 7 August 2017