Discovering Your Soul's Purpose: Finding Your Path In Life, Work, And Personal Mission The Edgar Cayce Way, Second Edition by Mark ThurstonDiscovering Your Soul's Purpose: Finding Your Path In Life, Work, And Personal Mission The Edgar Cayce Way, Second Edition by Mark Thurston

Discovering Your Soul's Purpose: Finding Your Path In Life, Work, And Personal Mission The Edgar…

byMark Thurston

Paperback | June 20, 2017

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A new edition of the classic guide to using the spiritual and psychological insights of renowned mystic and psychic Edgar Cayce to find your authentic mission in life.

The medical clairvoyant Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) left the world a wealth of intuiitive readings on everything from health and spirituality to psychology and past lives. Now the most significant teacher of Cayce's teachings, Mark Thurston, updates and revises his classic book, Discovering Your Soul's Purpose, to help you use the Cayce teachings in the twenty-first century to find greater purpose in your relationships, career, and overall mission in life.
Mark Thurston, Ph.D. is an educator, psychologist, and author of more than a dozen books about personal spirituality, dream psychology, meditation, and mind-body well-being.  Among his publications are The Essential Edgar Cayce (2004) and Willing to Change: The Journey of Personal Transformation (2005). Mark worked for the Association ...
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Title:Discovering Your Soul's Purpose: Finding Your Path In Life, Work, And Personal Mission The Edgar…Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.2 × 5.4 × 0.8 inPublished:June 20, 2017Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143130854

ISBN - 13:9780143130857

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Chapter 1 Cooperation, Meaning, and Mission Not my will but Thine, O Lord, be done in me 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) This prayerful affirmation provides a perfect foundation for understanding Cayce's approach to finding one's personal mission. It addresses free will, the importance of making a contribution to the well-being of others, and the sense of a call to a higher purpose. Cayce offered these words as a focal point for meditation, linked to the first step in the A Search for God soul-growth sequence. In a sense, this affirmation about cooperation is a distillation of this entire book and the systematic steps to discover your soul's purpose. It invites you to understand the word cooperation in a distinctly spiritual way-something that hinges on right use of your free will. The affirmation invites you to consider how your own happiness and fulfillment are linked to the well-being of others. And the affirmation underscores how deep cooperation depends upon having an orientation of willingness in your life-willingness to respond to life as an interconnected whole with which you can cooperate. Cooperation means more, though, than just being open to connections to something bigger than yourself. It is also about cooperating with yourself, as strange as that may sound. Consider for a moment how we often don't cooperate with ourselves. Most fundamentally, that noncooperative spirit is expressed as self-judgment and self-criticism. We are usually our own worst critic! And it's quite revolutionary to turn this tendency around and practice profound self-acceptance. Ultimately this first step-the shift to self-cooperation and healthy self-love-makes it possible for us to go on a search for meaning and purpose. What does it feel like to practice self-acceptance? That kind of internal cooperation might feel spacious. We give ourselves the gift of having room to breathe, so to speak. Most of the time, our self-judgment and voices of self-criticism crowd in on us, leaving us feeling trapped and disappointed in life. On the other hand, when we can love ourselves and give ourselves the benefit of the doubt, that gentleness creates a whole new environment in which we can start to flourish. Just being kind to ourselves, just having deep respect for ourselves-these expressions of self-cooperation really are step number one in trying to find the soul's calling. Self-cooperation sets the stage for us to be able to address the deepest need of the soul: the need for meaning. Meaning and the Soul What do we need to survive? The list of obvious answers includes air, food, and shelter. We can never deny the inescapable fact that we have physical bodies, and survival depends on meeting their basic requirements. However, something else distinguishes us from other creatures who have physical needs. That extra ingredient is an individual soul, and like the physical body, it must be nurtured to survive. The human soul may be invisible to scientific instruments, but each of us experiences its reality daily. Each time we say "I" to ourselves, we feel the presence of the soul. Every instance of aspiration, enthusiasm, or free will is an expression of our own soul nature. And yet, as real and immediate as the soul may be, it still needs nourishment and sustenance each day. What is the air, food, and shelter of the soul? What keeps it alive and active? The answer is meaning. The human soul grows and develops as it can make sense of life and set aspirations for the future. The Edgar Cayce readings returned to this point time and again as they advised people how to find happiness. The hundreds of people who received his guidance were given a promise that everything about life is meaningful. That promise extends to each of us. We are assured there is a rhyme and a reason to what happens to us. When we stop to think about it, this is an amazing promise. So much goes on in our world that seems senseless. It's easy to be cynical because every day we are likely to learn about or directly encounter cruelty, dishonesty, and injustice. Not only do things often appear to be unfair, it's easy to conclude that nothing is really in charge, that life is random and pointless. In almost every century of human history, some individuals have made a special effort to point out the signs of despair and chaos. They voice an ancient cry of hopelessness. However, other people have been able to look at the same events and conditions with a different perspective. They have spoken and written about the meaning of life. They have seen how both pleasant and unpleasant experiences are purposeful. If we look at the twentieth century as an example-the century in which Edgar Cayce did his work-we can see both sides of the debate. For example, the first fifty years saw great tragedies and disasters, including two world wars and a global economic depression. There were ample reasons to despair. Yet during those same fifty years, there lived pioneers of a renewed sense of meaning for our own postindustrial society. Since then we have built on the creativity of these key individuals. Let's look briefly at three of them-Carl Jung, Edgar Cayce, and Viktor Frankl-and the new ideas they presented about the meaning of life. Carl Jung and the Process of Individuation Carl Jung was the founder of analytical psychology. A contemporary of Cayce, he was born in 1875, just two years before the clairvoyant whose work parallels his so closely. The son of a Swiss clergyman, Jung trained as a psychiatrist. In his early professional years he was a supporter and protŽgŽ of Sigmund Freud. A rift, however, developed between the two, primarily over the question of the unconscious mind. Freud viewed the hidden side of the psyche as driven by repressed sexuality. And while Jung did not deny the findings of his teacher, colleague, and friend, he felt that something more lay within the unconscious aspect of every person. Research with his patients and the study of his own dreams convinced him that the unconscious also contains innate impulses toward wholeness and mental health. Out of Jung's long career as a psychiatrist, teacher, and writer developed a psychology of the human soul. Rather than seeing spirituality and religion as an evasion of mental health, he recognized the need for psychiatry and faith to find a common ground. For him the answer lay in a synthesis of Eastern and Western religious traditions. He recognized that each of these two great streams of spirituality had something vital to offer humanity in its search for meaning. Much of the history of the Western hemisphere has emphasized our physical existence as individual beings and the historical fact of the Christ. Jung felt that Christians are most likely to look outside themselves for a divine presence who can bestow grace. In contrast, the East has featured universality, timelessness, and the inner life. Jung put it this way: "The Oriental knows that redemption depends on the work he does on himself. The Tao grows out of the individual." What is this mysterious Tao? Some have translated it as God or Providence. However, Jung believed that the best interpretation is meaning. In other words, those of us who live in the West must learn to appreciate that meaning grows out of our own individuality and the work that we do within ourselves. For Jung there was a great disadvantage in the Western approach to imitate Christ. Even though the Christ may have "embodied the deepest meaning of life [nevertheless] . . . we forget to make real our own deepest meaning." We can easily forget the task of self-realization. In fact it's often convenient to avoid what would be most meaningful to us as individuals and to take the path of least resistance. Jung imagines that if Jesus had evaded self-realization, he would have become a respectable carpenter. One of Jung's books, a collection of essays on the quest for meaning in life, is appropriately titled Modern Man in Search of a Soul. He came to believe that the deepest part of the mind is transpersonal-extending beyond the bounds of one individual. This level of the "collective unconscious" is a common trait of all humanity. Within these deep strata of the mind are universal patterns that can shape and direct the development of our lives. Jung called them "archetypes," the most important of which is the Self. What is this curious component called the Self? What role does it play in the search for a meaningful life? According to Jung, this universal pattern of wholeness, the Self, lives within each of us. We might be tempted to say that it is sleeping inside us, but perhaps it is we who are asleep in our daily, familiar consciousness! Even though the Self is universal, it is expressed within every one of us in a different way. Each soul has its own special potential and gifts. However, the discovery process takes considerable time and allows no shortcuts. By working diligently throughout our lives, we can respond to and receive this inner wholeness into our conscious awareness. For Jung this is the essential purpose and meaning of life: to fulfill the potential of our own authentic being. Even though all of this may sound vague, one of Jung's greatest contributions was to provide a map of the journey to wholeness. He called this adventure the process of individuation. It is a path to self-realization and meaning that is available to everyone, but few people walk it to the end. Generally speaking the process of individuation takes place over two phases of life that are divided at roughly age forty. The so-called midlife crisis marks the opportunity to move into the second and more difficult aspect of individuation, and most people get bogged down or diverted at this point. Success in phase two requires something in addition to courage and wisdom. During the years preceding forty, there must have also been the development of a healthy persona. In Jungian terms the persona is a mask, or a series of masks, we wear in life. It is a way of adapting to the demands of society. No doubt this facade can become dishonest and inauthentic, but Jung proposed that it's possible to develop a healthy persona. It is a marvelous accomplishment to move through the challenges we face between puberty and age forty and come out with a sound, balanced self-image. It means steering a course between many conflicting demands. This period of approximately twenty-five years is full of conflicting life choices: freedom versus commitment, planning versus spontaneity, privacy versus intimacy, just to name a few. According to Jung, it's probably not best to strive for wholeness during this first phase of the individuation process. That important work comes in phase two. Instead the young adult develops a healthy persona by temporarily focusing on just a few qualities, picking one side of a pair of opposites over the other side. During phase one we adopt an orientation toward life-choosing between what he called introversion and extroversion. And we begin to strengthen and sharpen certain talents and skills, even if it means that other sides of ourselves must be temporarily ignored. The result can be a reasonably healthy, productive individual who has positive ego strength and is prepared for the more difficult tasks that come after age forty. During the second phase of life we have the chance to discover a deeper and more personal meaning to life. This is the time in which we strive for wholeness and begin to complement our obvious talents and strengths with their forgotten opposites. The accomplished organizer discovers a richer meaning to life by experiencing spontaneity. The emotional, feeling-oriented person explores the kind of meaning that comes from logic and analysis. How prepared are we for this difficult venture? How many people know how to find their personal meaning in life after this turning point around age forty? Jung wrote: "Wholly unprepared, they embark upon the second half of life. Or are there perhaps colleges for forty-year-olds which prepare them for their coming life and its demands as the ordinary colleges introduce our young people to a knowledge of the world? No, thoroughly unprepared we take the step into the afternoon of life." Jung's life work was to create a map to guide modern men and women through those uncharted waters. His spiritual psychology largely concerns the process of individuation. His system teaches how to find one's personal meaning in life. That task of individuation has two steps to be taken after age forty. First we must become more and more aware of those sides of ourselves that have been ignored. It requires courage to look at parts of the soul that we have disregarded for many years. However scary it may be, those hidden aspects have a great gift to offer. The second step of individuation is the quest for wholeness. In step one we recognize the forgotten parts of ourselves; in step two we embrace them and find a place for them. They will enrich us and bring us to new revelations about the meaning of life. That meaning comes from the realization of uniqueness and individuality. This is the highest goal in Jungian psychology: the development and awakening of one's own distinctive, special personhood. Edgar Cayce and the Mission in Life As great and helpful as Jungian contributions undoubtedly are, the ideas and philosophy of the Cayce readings add extra dimensions. Remember, these two great men worked during the same years, an ocean apart and apparently unaware of each other. Both dedicated their lives to helping people find meaning and purpose. Both understood the significance of the spiritual side of humanity. How, then, can their contributions be merged to give us the clearest and most valuable guidance for finding our own meaning in life? No evidence suggests that Cayce was consciously aware of Jung's ideas. Nevertheless, Jung's own model of the collective unconscious implies that the clairvoyant Cayce might have drawn from the same source as Jung's inspiration. Certain marked differences in the lives of these two men make it all the more astonishing that their philosophies of life contain so many close parallels. Where Jung completed rigorous academic programs, including a medical degree, Cayce's formal education only went as far as eighth grade. He was largely a self-taught man. Where Jung's colleagues and associates were among the most influential in Europe, Cayce's friends and supporters were most frequently common folk. And yet both of them made use of their remarkable talents to help other people find meaning in life. Their systems of thought and insights about human nature complement each other. Let's examine some of the ways that Cayce's readings added ingredients that enrich Jung's concept of personal individuation.

Editorial Reviews

"Mark Thurston introduces the full range of Edgar Cayce's work in a contemporary and refreshingly straightforward manner." --Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, author of Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet "What of serious and lasting value can be found in the voluminous Cayce readings? No one is better qualified to answer this question than Mark Thurston ... the leading scholar on Cayce." --K. Paul Johnson, author of Edgar Cayce in Context