The following reading (5749-14), was given to Thomas Sugrue as a basis for the philosophy chapter in There Is A River. It is here reproduced in its entirety.
You will have before you the inquiring mind of the entity, Thomas Sugrue, present in this room, and certain of the problems confronting him in composing the manuscript of There Is A River.
The entity is now ready to describe the philosophical concepts which have been given through this source, and wishes to parallel and align them with known religious tenets, especially those of Christian theology.
The entity does not wish to set forth a system of thought, nor to imply that all questions of a philosophical nature can be answered through this source – the limits of the finite mind preventing this.
But the entity wishes to answer those questions which will naturally arise in the mind of the reader of many of the questions which are being asked by all people in the world today.
Therefore, the entity presents certain problems and questions, which you will answer as befits the entity's understanding and the task of interpretation before him.
Mr. C.: Yes, we have the inquiring mind, Thomas Sugrue, and those problems, those questions that arise in the mind of the entity at this period. Ready for questions.
Q. 1– The first problem concerns the reason for creation. Should this be given as God's desire to experience Himself, God's desire for companionship, or in some other way?
A. 1– God's desire for companionship and expression.
Q. 2– The second problem concerns that which is variously called evil, darkness, negation, sin. Should it be said that this condition existed as a necessary element of creation, and the soul, given free will, found itself with the power to indulge in it, or lose itself in it? Or should it be said that this is a condition created by the activity of the soul itself? Should it be described, in either case, as a state of consciousness, a gradual lack of awareness of self and self's relation to God?
A. 2– It is the free will and its losing itself in its relationship to God.
Q.3– The third problem has to do with the fall of man. Should this be described as something which was inevitable in the destiny of souls, or something which God did not desire but which He did not prevent once He had given free will? The problem here is to reconcile the omniscience of God and His knowledge of all things with the free will of the soul and soul's fall from grace.
A. 3– He did not prevent, once having given free will. For He made the individual entities or souls in the beginning. The beginnings of sin, of course, were in seeking expression of themselves outside of the plan or way in which God had expressed same. Thus it was the individual, see?
Having given free will, then – though having the fore-knowledge, though being omnipotent and omnipresent – it is only when the soul, that is a portion of God, chooses that God knows the end thereof.
Q. 4– The fourth problem concerns man's tenancy on earth. Was it originally intended that souls remain out of earthly forms, and were the races originated as a necessity resulting from error?
A. 4– The earth and its manifestations were only the expressions of God and not necessarily as a place of tenancy for the souls of men, until man was created to meet the needs of existing conditions.
Q.5 - The fifth problem concerns an explanation of the Life Readings. From a study of these it seems that there is a trend downward from early incarnations towards greater earthliness and less mentality. Then there is a swing upward, accompanied by suffering, patience and understanding. Is this the normal pattern which results in virtue and oneness with God obtained by free will and mind?
A.5 – This is correct. It is the pattern as it is set in Him. (The Master).
Q. 6– The sixth problem concerns interplanetary and intersystem dwelling between earthly lives. It was given through this source that the entity Edgar Cayce, after the experience as Uhjltd, went to the system of Arcturus, and then returned to earth. Does this indicate a usual or unusual step in soul evolution?
A. 6– As indicated, or as has been indicated in other sources besides this one as respecting this very problem, Arcturus is that which may be called the center of this universe, through which individuals pass and at which period there comes the choice of the individual as to whether it is to return to complete there – that is, in this planetary system, our sun, the earth sun and its planetary system, or to pass on to others. This was an unusual step, and yet a usual one.