Patience is a quality often mentioned in the Edgar Cayce Readings. In fact, a search of the Readings database returns more than a thousand instances where the word “patience” was included in a Reading. What follows is a true-life story, and I ask you, Dear Reader, whether you believe it demonstrates the quality of patience. But first, let’s examine what the Readings say about patience.
Remember, fame and fortune and power are not the rule, but sincerity, patience, kindness, long-suffering, gentleness. Against these there is no law, for it IS the law - of love, of knowledge, of wisdom.
Hence in the associations not only self may be aided but those about self may be helped also, if these words of wisdom, of patience, of longsuffering, are made a part of the efficiency to serve. (Reading 189-3)
Then, as the entity metes out in the daily experience justice, mercy, truth, patience, understanding, brotherly love, these things in the immediate may build first to self then to others that the entity contacts - that which makes for the soul growth. (Reading 256-5)
How hast thine patience made known thy understanding and thy activity in opening the door for those that seek His presence? Apply that thou hast in thine own experience, for the activities of life are practical, in the material, the mental, the spiritual life; for it MUST be one, even as He is one. (Reading 262-31)
The Readings often include patience as one of the fruits of the Spirit. This phrase, the fruit of the Spirit, was used by the Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Galatians in the Christian bible. In the article Patience: Edgar Cayce and A Search for God, written by former A.R.E. CEO Kevin Todeschi, found in the Members section of the A.R.E. website, edgarcayce.org, there is further elaboration.
“The seventh lesson explored by the original study group was patience. However, the Cayce readings approach to patience is not about being submissive or being quiet. Instead, it is an active force in which the individual is aware of her or his internal response while conscious of being patient with self and others. The readings put it this way, “For, patience is becoming aware of that which is the impelling influence in thine experience, while tolerance is as holding your tongue when you want to say something bad.” (451-3) Patience is an active force through which the individual is able to measure and judge her or his reactions to the external world. It is through patience that the finite mind become(s) aware of the developing spiritual self. In other words, patience is the means through which we understand how well we are applying the fruits of the spirit – virtue, hope, purity, love, understanding, kindness, and even patience itself. It is for that reason that on numerous
occasions Cayce stated, “In patience possess ye your souls,” suggesting that through the activity of patience we become more aware of our true soul self.”
Finally, Patient Reader, we come to the real-life event mentioned above. I leave you to judge the
degree of patience applied, if any.
The imperative claxon of the fire alarm forced us into action.
“It’s probably just a false alarm.”
“Yes, but we’d better go down. Besides, the alarm is too loud to stay here. It’s so loud it’ll damage my hearing. It hurts!”
I have always been protective of my hearing. Although a senior, I have remarkably sensitive hearing, which is useful for locating birds and listening to other sounds in Nature, which I so enjoy. Nancy and I scrambled to put on shoes, grab our phones, wallets and purse, and exit the room. We had arrived back in our hotel room only a few minutes earlier. It had been a difficult, tiring drive back to Reading from Warminster, where we had spent the evening dining and visiting with long-time friends. We were in the middle of a 25-day, 5500 mile road trip that we had dubbed The Celebration Of Life Tour. It was the autumn of 2021. We felt as if we were breaking out of prison after months of restrictions and confinement that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the risk of contagion was still dicey, as a new variant had reared its ugly head, we were vaxxed and boosted, so we decided to go ahead with our planned trip. That is why we had just driven through intermittent rain showers on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which was under construction most of the way. The left lane was closed, then the right lane was closed, then the left again, and on and on. Coupled with the bright construction lights and headlights, my eyes were strained. I was tired and wanted to get ready for bed. However, the fire alarm made us think otherwise.
We located the staircase door down the hall, pushed it open, and hurried downstairs. Exiting into the chill night air, we found ourselves at the front of the building with a few other guests. Others joined us as we stood there waiting for the all-clear announcement. Additional people came out through the lobby doors. We waited and waited, but the all-clear announcement still did not come. In fact, nobody was telling us anything. One woman belatedly walked out, telling no one and everyone, that there definitely had been a fire and it was on the third floor. She kept on walking, got in her car, and drove away. It turned out she didn’t know what she was talking about. A family came down and they were saying that they were steaming a wedding dress, and maybe the steam set off the smoke alarm.
It started drizzling. The rain and the breeze felt cold, and we were not dressed for them. We joined a cluster of guests under the porte-cochère in front of the lobby in order to stay dry. A policeman showed up after a few minutes. Then the fire trucks came, and came, and came. There were at least eight that drove into the hotel’s parking lot and adjacent roadside. Some firemen, and one firewoman, assembled their gear and disappeared inside the lobby. Additional firemen eventually talked to members of the wedding family. The firemen and one representative of the family went up to their third floor room. They spent a long time up there. Meanwhile, we weren’t learning anything except that we couldn’t go back in. Then we heard a trickle of information roundabout that the sprinkling system had gone off, and that was the problem. Eventually the family representative returned with two other members of this extended family, a young girl and a teenaged girl. They had been left upstairs in their room through the alarm, the sprinklers, and the darkness. Nancy and I were flabbergasted.
The fire marshal showed up. Meanwhile, there was just the one clerk at the front desk trying to manage everything that was going on. Some firemen began coming out and calling out numbers, like “three twenty one!”, and we figured these were room numbers. We were concerned. I was guessing that the firemen were going through every room looking to make sure they were safe, that they found things that maybe they shouldn’t have, and that these people were in trouble. Then we found out this was not the case; they were being transferred to another room because of water damage.
We were now given the OK to go into the lobby, which had a few chairs, a small breakfast room, a single restroom, and emergency lighting. We went in to warm up and use the restroom. The fire marshal finally announced what was going on. He said the sprinkler system had gone off and had done a lot of damage. It had caused a shutdown in the security alarm and fire alarm and electrical power and the emergency power and the water system. It was going to be a long, long time, hours and hours and hours, before anybody could go back in. They had called in emergency services of all these different specialties, and it was up to us if we wanted to check out and find another hotel somewhere. Nancy and I decided against this. There was already a long line at the front desk, it was the middle of the night, and we were exhausted. We had planned to check out in the morning, anyway. We went out to the car and tried to sleep. Nancy slept a little bit, but I couldn’t. I think I dozed off very briefly, but I didn’t really get much sleep. Fortunately, though, I keep a fleece blanket in the car, so we were able to keep warm. It rained intermittently. As a consequence we had to keep opening the windows a crack for ventilation, then closing them whenever rain began to come in. We each went inside the lobby to use the facilities. Nancy struck up a conversation with the hotel manager, who had come in during the night. Later, around 7:30, a quarter to eight, in the morning she talked with him again. He described what had happened. Some of the wedding party, staying on the third floor, had hung the wedding dress from the sprinkler head in their room, then commenced to steam the wrinkles out of the dress. The weight of the dress broke off the sprinkler head. This triggered all the sprinklers on that side of the hotel to spray, and continue spraying, until it was turned off. It also triggered the fire alarm. The manager then told Nancy that a woman from the wedding group demanded her money back because they didn’t have use of the room overnight! Some people…
The fire marshal had gone home, and would be back after the hotel was made safe by all the contractors that had been called in. Only then might he agree to let people in again. We decided that while we were waiting we should just go to breakfast, so we went to a nearby IHOP where we had eaten breakfast the day before. We returned afterward, and Nancy talked to the front desk clerk. Nothing had changed. The fire marshal still had not come back. She asked where the manager was and was directed to check the rooms down the first floor hallway. Finding him, she asked if we could pack up our things, but take a little time to wash, brush our teeth, and change clothes, since, of course, we hadn’t packed up anything yet. The manager gave us the go-ahead.
We climbed the stairs to the second floor. The sight that presented itself shocked us. In the dim emergency lighting we saw that every door was open, there were blowers on the floor, dehumidifiers were running at almost every door, power cords crisscrossed the floor, and wet chunks of ceiling tile obscured most of the underlying carpet. As we gingerly stepped our way along the hall looking for our room our feet squished in this sopping morass. We found our room near the end of the hall and cautiously entered. The first few feet inside the door had sustained water damage from the sprinklers, with wet carpet and ceiling tile mush on the floor. Beyond that, the room was dry. Oh, joy! We had utilized the dresser and closet for our clothes, since this was the third day of a three-day stay. It was all dry. Apparently, the sprinkler had activated only on the other side of the hall, and water ran across the hall ceiling and floor. All of our stuff was dry. Thank Goodness. We brushed our teeth, cleaned up with washcloths, used the bathroom, and put on fresh clothes. We hurriedly shoved clothes in our suitcases. With that, a man pushing an empty luggage cart showed up at our room. He told me that he was a truck driver, but was marooned at the hotel while his truck was being repaired. He was occupying himself by helping other guests. I certainly appreciated his help wrestling the loaded cart over
all of the power cords and trash in the hallway. The elevator was running, to my surprise, so we loaded it up with the cart and ourselves and went downstairs. From the look of the place, with water damage to ceilings, walls, floors, and furniture, it would be a long time before the hotel could reopen.
We checked out at the front desk, transferred our luggage to our car, and continued the road trip we were otherwise enjoying. After making several planned stops along the way we ended up early in the evening at Bethesda, MD. We had planned a dinner reunion of old friends from graduate school. I doused myself liberally with cologne before joining them. Near the end of the dinner we got around to telling the story of how we spent the night in the parking lot sleeping in the car. Everyone was amazed and told us that we looked so fresh and relaxed. Another adventure, another story to tell.
Reader, what do you think? How well, if at all, does this demonstrate any level of patience applied? Ironically, I don’t recall our patting ourselves on the back for overcoming this speed bump as we did. We just put Reading, PA, in our rear view mirror, and drove on. The whole episode became a travel story, a source for entertaining others.