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The New Tomorrow
The New Tomorrow
By Thomas Sugrue
(An address delivered at the dedication of the library and offices
of the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc.,
Arctic Crescent, Virginia Beach, Virginia, Sunday afternoon,
September 29th, 1940.)
Nine years ago, on the afternoon of June 6, 1931,
I sat on the stairs at 115 - 35th Street, Virginia Beach,
while this association was organized.
My contribution to the meeting was small.
I suggested that the title be association FOR research and enlightenment
instead of association OF research and enlightenment...
one word was my donation.
Today my patience is rewarded:
I've been told that I can use as many words as I wish.
I hope you will think, when I am finished,
that I resisted the temptation manfully,
and held myself to a gentlemanly quota.
The details of that first meeting of the association
have for the most part escaped my memory,
but I remember the weather better than yesterday's.
It was a warm, sunny, peaceful spring afternoon,
only disturbed by the birds and the insects,
who were making a great deal of fuss
about preparations for the summer.
There were no blustery winds...only a small breeze
that went about from flower to flower, listening to complaints
and promising to get everything attended to, in time.
That was what I felt about this new association,
as I sat on the stairs.
I felt that we were done with expecting other people
to transport us to physical and spiritual wealth
without effort on our part.
I felt that we had returned now to a normal way of doing things,
and that if we would be patient, and persist,
that everything would be attended to, in time.
It would take time because it was not an external organization
we were about to build, but an internal one.
Outside the sun shone everywhere, but only from those places
where the seed of life existed in the earth did things grow:
and the breeze was telling the young plants that the sunshine alone
could not turn them green; they had first to fill the arteries of their leaves
and stems with the magic fluid of chlorophyll.
That was our problem.
We all possessed the magic fluid of the spirit,
but in most of us it had not flowed out through
the arteries of our mind and burst into the blooms
of faith, hope, and charity.
It was hidden in the barren shale of ego,
its roots dried out in the sandy wastes
of vanity, conceit, and selfishness.
We thought we were pretty good as we talked about
our intentions that afternoon.
Since then we have learned that when we think most well
of ourselves we are apt to be least admirable...pride goeth
before a fall.
We had a lot of things to learn:
I think, now, that we have learned some of them,
because I felt very strongly that afternoon
that not a single brick would be set upon another
for this new association until the internal bricks
had been levelled and trued and solidly set in their places.
I do not mean to be too flattering when I say
that we have learned.
There is before us yet the larger task of application.
No virtue is worth the sound of its name,
as St. Thomas Aquinas said, unless it be translated
into the action of love.
This building is our challenge.
Now that we've got it, what are we going to do about it?
Well, first let us see what it is that we have learned;
what it is that we possess.
The essence of human existence is the struggle for identity.
Man wants to know, first of all, who he is.
The baby in his crib, crying without apparent reason,
is soothed by the sight of his mother.
He identifies himself with her.
In her face he sees the reality of his existence:
she is the star to which he clings in the strange,
unknown world in which he finds himself.
Later he struggles for identity in other ways
- as an intelligence, acquiring knowledge and using it;
as a social personality, joining with others in play and work;
as a philosophical atom, contemplating himself in relation
to life as a whole.
Finally, he feels the urge to seek completion outside himself,
by identifying and joining himself with a loved one,
and by becoming with this loved one and with life itself,
the co-creator of new life, new individuals, who seek their identity
in the worlds of the flesh, the mind, and the spirit.
In our spiritual lives we follow the same pattern,
but it takes longer for each phase to be accomplished.
The search for identity presents the Satanic question:
do we belong to God, or to ourselves?
The ego demands self-rule; it wants to be left alone,
to do as it pleases.
The spirit whispers a different way, talking to us through
our instincts, our intuition, our conscience, our emotions.
For these the ego sets traps, so subtle that they are often
unrecognizable as such.
And when we do discover them, other traps are laid.
There is apparently no end to our ability to fool ourselves.
Our desires are made to look like our purposes;
our appetites appear in the guise of our ambitions;
our idle dreams take on the semblance of destiny.
If we do not desire a thing, we claim for our lack of desire
the virtue of self-denial;
if we do desire a thing, we point to our zeal in pursuing it
as proof of our vitality and alertness - and we will not have it
any other way except that we are doing it for others.
If we want a person of the other sex, it's love;
if we don't want him or her, it's friendship.
If we have no ambitions, we are modest and humble;
if we have ambitions, we seek to serve our country and its people.
If we are poor, the Lord is blessing us in disguise;
if we are rich, the Lord is rewarding us for virtue.
If we endure pain and hardship, these are the tests of saints;
if we have happiness, happiness is the state of the blessed.
Whatever it is that we are, whatever it is that we want
- such, the ego will counsel, is right and just and most
to be admired and pursued.
Until we have passed this barrier and arrive at the knowledge
that we are of the spirit, not of the ego, not of the capricious will,
we are continually caught in this mesh of self-deceit;
we fall before it a hundred times a day, and only because
the invisible hands of the merciful spirit are there
to lift us again and set us once more on our way
are we able to keep going.
But we will merely go round and round, falling and rising again,
unless we find the door that leads to the magic mirror
in which we may see the reflection of our true self.
There are two ways to find this door:
we can be dragged to it by suffering;
or we can find it by the torch of the Christ mind,
walking up the steps of wisdom, peace, and charity.
Most of those who find the door use both ways.
They start out following the torch;
they lose their way and are dragged up the final long stairway
by heartache and loneliness.
Or they are set on the path by loneliness and heartache,
and seeing the torch ahead, they follow it.
By these methods, I think, the members
of the association for research and enlightenment
who have remained true to its ideals and purposes
through the years, have arrived at,
and passed through the first door.
They know who they are, and they see ahead of them,
in the new tomorrow that is symbolized by this building,
why they are - and what they must do because of that why.
It means a new direction, a new purpose, for their lives.
Hitherto the force of their thoughts has been centripetal
- inward, toward themselves, in self-analysis,
in examination of conscience and instincts,
in listening for truth.
This was the path of the wanderer in search of himself;
this was the way of men who must keep watch on themselves
lest they deceive themselves.
Now the way is centrifugal - outward, towards others,
in an effort for the common good -
in a genuine recognition of the brotherhood of man
in the reality of the spirit.
Self, having recognized self, can be trusted to act correctly.
It will be natural now for self to act for the good of others;
this has become a desire in itself,
for desire is now fused with purpose,
and purpose is fused with destiny.
This is the second great stage in the evolution of the spirit of man.
The members of this association have committed themselves.
There is only one way for them to go:
forward, in the service of mankind.
This they MUST do before the last great journey is permitted them:
the search for the face of God, which is the end of every man.
So now it is time to turn outward toward a greater reality than the individual
- toward the human society of which we are all a part
- toward all of the things of which the social texture is made up
- toward those supra-personal ideals to which men devote themselves,
and without which they would fail in their quest for completion and happiness
- toward the disinterested love and service of the heart of the world,
which aches so bitterly for the folly of its desires.
From all this the association and its faithful members
have stood a little apart, preparing themselves.
The time has now come to go forth.
Let me say again that it is not my intention to flatter
either the association or its members.
Neither do I think they should be falsely modest.
Because they have learned a few things;
because they have discovered the true nature of themselves,
does not mean that they are infallible in conduct and thought
- that they no longer make mistakes.
Far from it - they may even make more of them.
But there is a difference.
Now they make mistakes with the knowledge that they ARE mistakes
- not in the notion that they are right and just acts.
Therefore they have the ability to recover from them more quickly.
And - what is more important, their mistakes have a purpose.
They will continue to err, but more and more they will err
on the side of justice.
But mistakes, sins, mean less than action.
"Love," said St. Augustine, "and then do what you will."
Then the reality of love is encountered
- and love is the emanation of spirit
- it becomes the impelling force in life,
and all action naturally is in the right direction.
I believe it is true that certain members of this association
could be left to do what they will, in the certainty that their actions
would involuntarily be in the interests of others.
But it is in this doing, this acting, which is the problem
before the members of the association now.
There is a word in the dictionary - velleity
- which is defined as "inert aspiration"
- a dolorous state in which the person wants
to accomplish something but hasn't the gumption
to do anything about it.
One of the great philosophical fallacies is the vision set forth,
without any means for accomplishing it.
This was the weakness of the Platonists and the mystics of all times.
The Platonists accurately envisioned the goal of man,
but were ignorant of the way which led to it.
It was Christ who provided the way, and it is Christianity
which has given man a practical means, in ethics and morals,
of accomplishing this end.
But much of Christianity has made the mistake
of substituting the means for the end
- of making ethics and morals ends in themselves,
rather than pathways of enlightenment and spiritual evolution.
Many reasoning people have turned away from modern Christianity
because they find no satisfactory explanation of codes of conduct
which seem to exist for their own sakes.
But more people have turned from Christianity in our time
because they looked in a false mirror and saw
what the ego wished them to see - a resplendent St. Michael,
already saved and transcendent, and permitted indulgence
in all that he desired.
When the Roman Empire began to crumble,
and calamity after calamity was reported to the people,
they began to look for a solace beyond the material world...
but they wanted a religion which would make the way to salvation easy:
they didn't want to give up any of the pleasant living to which
they had become accustomed.
Consequently many isms and pseudo-religions sprang into life,
and within Christianity itself, which was struggling
for a foothold in the empire, there arose movements
aimed at making the whole thing easier for people.
In our time much the same thing has happened.
Since the organization of this association
a dozen sects and societies for salvation
have risen to popularity and fallen again
- fallen because in them the people
have followed a rainbow, and eventually
they have discovered it to be just that.
But Christianity has itself fumbled the problems
of restating its purpose, of saying to modern people
in modern terms what Christianity is,
and what it means to people, and what it means to civilization.
The church has had a hard time explaining - and proving
- to people that Christianity is a living thing - that it is life itself.
Christians have found embarrassment in people of other religions,
who have seemed to live more Christian lives than the Christians.
Again history is being repeated, for during the decline of the Roman Empire,
when a certain man named Faustus, a Manichean in religion,
was accused of not being a Christian, he replied to Augustine himself:
"Do I accept the Gospel?
You ask me if I accept it,
although it is apparent that I do,
for I obey its commands.
I should rather ask if you accept it,
for I see in you no signs of your accepting it.
I have left father, mother, wife, children, and all else
required by the Gospel.
Perhaps you do not know what is called the Gospel.
It is nothing else save the preaching and the commands of Christ.
I have parted with gold and silver,
having ceased to carry money in my purse;
content with daily bread,
without care for the morrow,
as to how I shall be fed or clothed.
You see in me the beatitudes of Christ;
and you ask, do I believe the Gospel?
...But you say to believe the Gospel
is not only to do what it commands,
but also to believe all that is written in it,
and especially that God was born.
But neither is believing the Gospel only to believe
that Jesus was born, but also to obey His commandments.
If therefore you say that I do not believe the Gospel
because I pass over the Birth, much more do you not believe
because you treat His commandments with contempt.
If, as you say, belief in the Gospel includes faith
in the genealogies and obedience to its precepts,
why do you, an imperfect man, condemn me,
another imperfect man?
Let us suppose that you are right, that perfect faith
consists of two parts, one consisting in word,
of the confession that Christ was born,
the other in deed, observance of Christ's precepts:
mark that I have chosen the hard and painful part,
you that which is light and easy.
Why then do you assail me for taking upon myself
the more difficult part of faith, leaving to you,
as a weak brother, the easier task?
Come, let us ask Christ Himself, and learn from His own mouth
what is the chief means of salvation.
Who shall enter into Thy kingdom, O Christ?
He that doth the Will of My Father In Heaven.
That is His answer.
Not 'he that confesses that I was born.'"
That is precisely why no sect, no ism, no cult, no philosophical society
has been permitted to form around the work of Edgar Cayce...
for the philosophy of the free mind of Edgar Cayce,
speaking through him in readings,
has stated over and over again that He,
Christ is the light, is the way, is the truth...
The first duty of members of the association, then, is to be Christians...
to live as Christians, and to thus reflect in their own lives
the truth which they have found, with the help of these readings,
This they have done - many of them - and already it has brought inquiries
from others who have begun to wonder to what they may cling.
What is it that has helped you so?
Where do you get the strength and serenity which you seem to possess?
These questions have been asked of some of you.
You must have an answer to those questions, and to many others.
The example will be watched more and more, as time goes on.
The explanation must be ready.
Only the other day one of the young members of the association,
walking down a street in Norfolk, found that she had involuntarily
swerved to avoid walking under a ladder.
She went back and deliberately walked under the ladder.
A block farther on an old lady started to cross in front of her,
then waited for the girl to go, since the youngster had the right of way.
But the young lady found herself involuntarily stopping,
giving the right of way to the old lady.
These actions, I think, symbolize the present state
of the members of the association:
still making mistakes, submitting to old superstitions,
but doggedly fighting against them and correcting mistakes
where they can be corrected:
beginning in other things to act thoughtfully, justly, and courteously,
without taking conscious thought.
And these are the people who must now carry forward
the work of this association: they will do it because they want to,
and because now, I believe, they cannot help doing it.
What, precisely, is this work?
What has this association to offer the world?
Obviously whatever the association has to offer the world
is contained in its records, in the more than 12,000 stenographic reports
of Mr. Cayce's readings, which will be housed in this vault,
and which will be studied in this library...
That study must be made possible, first of all...
without it the association will continue to serve
only the individuals who have readings
and the small groups which can carry on
their own investigations...with that study made,
almost anything is possible.
There are helps here for everyone...
for the sick and for those who help the sick...
the medical doctor, the osteopath, the homeopath,
the neuropath, the physiotherapist, the directors of sanatoria,
the psychologists and psychiatrists, the surgeons, the scientists,
can all be aided, can all be enlightened,
and through them and their ministrations all peoples, everywhere,
can live more healthfully and fully.
This is not moonshine; this is not idle dreaming.
This can be done - but it will take time, work, perseverance.
The remedies must be tested,
must be presented to the proper persons,
must prove their efficacy.
But they are here; they exist, now, at this moment.
Those who are studying the laws of psychic phenomena
- so-called, can be enlightened and helped.
In the readings there is information on the laws of telepathy,
clairvoyance, and all the other manifestations of the supernormal.
These can be tested;
these can be proved;
these can be presented.
Those who study the human body as a psychic vehicle,
who are interested in the laws of personality, talent, genius, etc.,
can be enlightened and helped, so that vocational guidance
can become an exact science.
This is not foolish bragging; this can be done.
But it will take time, it will take patience,
it will require forbearance in the face of ridicule,
criticism, and neglect.
Finally, there is in these readings a philosophy,
a system of living, that answers the challenge
of the present day.
This is an age in which, as the poet said,
"the old faiths loosen and rend;"
the beliefs our fathers and forefathers lived by are crumbling.
Science has pushed back the stars, magnified time,
expanded the universe, found a new world in the atom,
turned topsy-turvey every notion that man possessed
regarding the world in which he lived and the other worlds
he saw shining in his night.
It has come swiftly, and it is moving even more swiftly
- toward the end of the age of power and materiality,
toward a new tomorrow when the only wealth
which men will seek is wealth of the mind,
and the only knowledge that will be prized
is knowledge of the spirit...
let me read you what one person has written of that day...:
And in that time, so the prophets have written;
when the Twentieth Century shall have passed away,
and the sign of God-man is in the sky:
peace shall reign upon the earth,
and no man shall hate his brother.
Neither shall there be war, nor pestilence, nor poverty,
nor any other of the shameful things which man has done
unto himself since first he knew shame.
And a great land shall have risen out of the ocean of the Atlantic,
and many islands also, to care for those who were forced
from their homes in the land that destroyed itself, that was called Europe.
Nations that are great shall have perished, and all men,
seeking to be brothers shall have put their hands
to a common pledge, and raised up a single force
to rule them: the force of wisdom.
Then wisdom shall sit in the palaces of cities,
and on the mountain tops, and breathe in the hearts of men.
Wise men shall sit in judgement, and order the ways of their brethren,
and listen for the voice of God.
For wisdom is the knowledge of God, and of His whereabouts,
and of his laws and His mercy, and the beauty of His creations.
So wisdom brings peace, and teaches love, and sets
the face of man toward his spirit.
And in that time these things shall be, and the earth and the sky
and the sea shall open to man their secrets.
Atoms shall put their shoulders to the wheels of commerce,
so that trees may grow unharried, and rest in their graves
of coal and oil without hindrance.
Sound from heaven shall bend itself to the ears of man,
that he may hear the music of the spheres,
and understand the rhythms of his soul.
Colors and perfumes shall rise up from the sea
to fashion beautiful images, and nourish the dreams of the young.
And through all the land, love, like a famished child,
shall sit down to a feast, and rise up filled with joy.
No soldiers shall march; no guns shall sound;
no bitterness or lies shall do disservice to the lips of anyone.
No debts shall be made; yet all promises shall be fulfilled.
Death shall come to meet no man; all men shall go to meet death.
In the spring forget-me-nots shall blanket the fields,
and the hearts of maidens shall turn to the hearts of men,
and the sun shall follow its course in the heavens.
And God shall be pleased a little, looking at man,
and tint the roses with a deeper red, and raise the skylark in the sky.
Today that age is being born - in travail and sorrow,
with suffering for everyone.
To show others the beautiful thing that is ahead;
to help others endure the present for the sake of the future;
to help a little in anticipating such a day
...even to lay a few stones of the path that leads to its achievement
...this is a high and glorious privilege
... and it is a high and glorious privilege
which I believe the members of this association have been accorded:
today it challenges them; tomorrow it must be done.
All men seek God; all men, eventually, find Him.
It is the wandering that is long and painful,
that can be shortened and gladdened by wisdom, mercy, and charity.
That is what the members of this association can do
...they can help men to find themselves and their God
...each, as the poet said, in his own tongue...
A fire mist and a planet,
A crystal and a cell;
A jellyfish and a Saurian,
And a cave where the cavemen dwell.
Then a sense of law and duty,
And a face turned from the clod;
Some call it evolution,
and others call it God.
A mist on the far horizon,
The infinite, tender sky,
The ripe, rich tint of the cornfield,
And the wild geese sailing high,
And all over upland and lowland,
The sign of the goldenrod,
Some of us call it autumn,
And others call it God.
Like tides on a crescent sea beach,
When the moon is new and thin,
Unto our hearts high yearnings,
Come welling and surging in,
Come from the mystic ocean,
Whose rim no foot has trod,
Some of us call it longing,
And others call it God.
A picket frozen on duty,
A mother, starved for her brood;
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
And Jesus, on the rood;
And the millions who humble and nameless,
The straight hard pathway trod;
Some call it consecration,
And others call it God.
["Each In His Own Tongue," by William Herbert Carrutha.]
That is the challenge to the members of this association:
to help others to know the truth:
the truth which shall set them free.
Already much has been done.
This building is a monument to
the association for research and enlightenment;
the association for research and enlightenment
is a monument to the work of Edgar Cayce,
the work of Edgar Cayce is a monument to truth...
Remember this, and remember also the words of the Psalmist:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God,
the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Conclusion by Edgar Cayce
There is only one thing I want to say. That is,
As you know, two years ago I had a dream
which gave me the first concrete idea
as to a manner in which this building
might come into actual existence.
As I thought of it, it seemed far away.
The Readings have indicated for years
that when a sufficient number of individuals
had been convinced personally
as to the value of the information,
they would help pass it on to others.
When I had this dream, I sent a copy
to every member of the Association.
(See 11/15/38 ltr. under 1469-1 Reports.
See also under 254-103 Reports.)
Today we are able to see the result of this letter.
The money, time and energy which have made this possible
have come from those whom I have tried to help.
One of the carpenters, working on the building,
said to me the other day,
'Well, Mr. Cayce, I've heard about you
...I've heard a lot of people say a lot of things about you,
but I don't think I've ever met a man just like you.
I don't know what it is, that is different, but there's something!"
He possibly has never seen even a copy of a Reading;
he doesn't know what it is all about.
Yet, when we started putting in our library,
the first set of books was given by this man.
It is helpful to know that our efforts stimulate
such attitudes in individuals.
We are dedicating this building for a service to humanity.
"Inasmuch as ye do it unto the least of these,
my brethren, ye do it unto me."
The service to our fellow man is the greatest service
we can do for our Maker.
For, it is seeing in our fellow man something
we could worship in our Maker that leads us on,
to hope for, to be the very best possible channel for good.
The work of studying our records and preparing them
for distribution is just beginning.
We need your cooperation and the assistance
of every member of the Association.
We are ready to go forward.
Thank you for helping me to make this possible.
Let us close with a word of prayer:
we thank Thee for Thy blessing to us.
We thank Thee for the gift of Thy love,
and the manifestations of Thyself
in the earth through Thy Son, Jesus Christ.
As we have come here this afternoon
to dedicate this building for the purpose
that we may better serve our fellow men,
may we each dedicate...rededicate...our lives to Thee.
For it is in Thee that we live and move and have our being.
Be Thou, O God, the guide.
Direct us in the things we do and say,
and help us to choose Thy ways.
Now, may the blessings of the father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit be on each and every one,
as we ask it in Jesus' name.
Updated: 11 September 2013