A Simple Action Creed

As I was writing the Creeds and Doctrines essay I came across the two commandments of Jesus and it inspired me to imagine that a creed might not need to be a multi-line document but could be as short as a couple of lines. The dictionary definition of creed contains both the idea of a formal statement of Christian beliefs and the idea of a set of beliefs or aims which guide someone's actions. So why not write an action creed instead of a belief creed. An action creed doesn't have to replace your accepted belief creed. After all, there doesn't seem to be any reason to limit the number of personal creeds to one. Reading 364-9 reiterates the commandments of Jesus.

He that loves me will keep my commandments. What are the commandments? "Thou shalt have no other GOD before me", and "Love thy neighbor as thyself." In this is builded the whole LAW and gospel of every age that has said, "There is ONE God!" (Edgar Cayce reading 364-9)

The more I thought about it, the more I began to think that a short action creed might be more likely to become a universal creed adopted by all religions than a longer statement of denominational beliefs. No matter how general a longer creed is written it will contain beliefs that will not satisfy other denominations or religions. Perhaps a general short action creed could become the primary creed of institutions while their belief creed serves them in a subordinate role. In time, maybe the action creed would come to be held in higher esteem than the belief creed.

Can a short action creed really be accepted by a broad range of spiritually oriented persons irrespective of their membership in a particular denomination or even religion? Can a creed be written that adherents to Christian and non-Christian religions would find acceptable and agree upon, and that might provide the basis for bringing more unity to religious thought rather than contributing to the division of religious thought and the division of groups into denominations and sects? Unfortunately, the tendency of man to fracture into religious isms and schisms is strong, but one can hope. So, here is a simple three-line creed which could be adopted by all or many religious institutions and all spiritually minded people.

I will endeavor to love God with all my heart, mind and soul,
I will endeavor to love my fellow man more than I love myself, and
I will faithfully apply these spiritual and moral principles every day of my life.

Of course, the first two lines of the creed are a simple restatement of the two commandments given by Jesus (Luke 10:27; Matthew 22:36-40; Mark 12:28-3), so there is nothing new or unique here. Both have their roots in Judaism and the Old Testament, the first is from Deuteronomy 6:4-6 and the second is from Leviticus 19:18, so they have a long history. They may even predate Judaism. The message they contain certainly should transcend man-made religious barriers. They contain a lot of power, the power to change individual lives and the power to change human societies and nations.

Scriptures and the readings state that the two commandments contained the whole law, indicating that everything of importance to incarnated souls is summarized and contained within these two statements. They are good words, they are important words, and they are uplifting words. They should be the primary spiritual and moral principles that guide the life of every individual. They describe a righteous and ethical lifestyle that will ultimately bring the diligent soul face-to-face with its creator. They can restore the relationship between soul and God. The active ingredient and power in the two commandments is love and it is activated only to the extent that people take the two commandments to heart and apply them in their everyday lives. They are hollow words if they are not applied every day by the individual who professes to believe them, thus the essential third line in the creed. Cayce repeated these words frequently during his readings, using many variations on the theme. As an example of the importance he placed on the second commandment, consider these words given to a merchant in 1931.

(Q) How can I use my abilities at the present time to best serve humanity? (A) By filling to the best possible purpose AND ability that place, that niche the body, mind AND soul occupies; being the BEST husband, the best neighbor, the BEST friend to each and every individual the body meets; for would one fail in meeting those obligations that one takes, they become worse THAN the infidel; and as was said, "He that would cause the least of these my little ones to offend, BETTER were it that a millstone be hanged about his neck and he [be] cast in the depths of the sea" - but he that doeth the will of the Father, he that is willing to become as naught that they may SERVE the better in WHATEVER capacity as a merchant, be the best merchant; as a neighbor, the BEST neighbor; as a friend, the BEST friend. (Edgar Cayce Reading 99-8)

There is much more power and potential in this simple action creed than in any of the well-known belief creeds thrust upon religious congregations. The institutional creeds by and large are designed to tell us what to think and often what to think if we are to remain members in good standing within the institution that developed the creed. This simple creed tells us how to live life in a non-exclusive non-denominational way, and it has enormous spiritual benefits to the person who applies it in their daily life. It is the whole law, wrapped up in a few succinct words, of every religion that declares that the Lord thy God is One. It has benefits at the human level because its application will help members of all societies to empathize with and be considerate of others. It has benefits at the soul level because the physical application of this ethical way of life draws the soul closer to God, draws the soul mind closer to the Mind of God, and allows the Spirit of God to manifest in the world.

Application of this creed allows us to become the hands and feet of God. This creed embodies in a short statement the Way that Jesus the Christ taught and practiced during his life as he willingly allowed himself to be guided by God and not by selfish interests. The creed is consistent with the understanding of God and the highest moral codes espoused by Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism. It is compatible with the moral teachings of Buddhism but since Buddhism does not espouse a belief in a God, the first line may cause concern among some Buddhists. Application of this creed in all matters personal, social, or business lifts the soul out of the mire of materialism, selfishness, and self-gratification and brings the soul to a state of spiritual enlightenment. It contains everything that the incarnated soul needs to stop the seemingly endless cycles of reincarnation but does not require a belief in reincarnation for its spiritual value to be felt.

No matter what creed Christians believe correctly expresses the ideas they hold to be true about Jesus, Mary, the Christ, or God, they need to hold this action creed or a creed like it as the principle that guides their daily thoughts and conduct. Remember, the thoughts of the soul mind always precede, define, and determine the actions and words of every human being. We, as incarnated souls, should strive to enlighten our minds to the absolute necessity of expressing love of God and love for our fellow sojourners on this planet, and should realize that this is a higher priority than belief in any institutional creed and any perceived physical need that glorifies the Self or satisfies any material desire.

Institutional creeds generally are statements of beliefs, the beliefs to which members of the denomination are expected to believe and declare allegiance. The practice of using a creed in this manner seems to run counter to the general understanding that when God created souls he gave them free-will. If God thought it was proper for souls to have free will and the capability to defy him, why do religious institutions write creeds and then use them to deny freedom of thought for individuals in their congregations?

What would the world be like if this action creed became the creed that religious organizations promoted and urged every member to apply in their daily lives above any other creed or in lieu of their present creeds? What if this was the personal creed of every individual who had any thoughts of spirituality and religiosity or had any desire to be a better person? How powerful would that be? Members of religious denominations might start thinking about how similar they are to members of neighboring denominations instead of magnifying their differences. As more and more people put the creed into practice people might begin to look at their neighbors and fellow men and women in a new way, in a way that shows respect and that draws upon a desire to be kinder, gentler, more loving, more patient, more helpful, and more long-suffering toward others. It might allow them to look at those things that they perceive as inadequacies and failures of those around them without condemnation. It might help people understand the unethical actions of others while refraining from accepting or participating in actions that violate their own ethics and morality.

There may be many who would scoff at the notion of this action creed and refuse to put the creed into practice or would pay lip service to it instead of embracing it. There have always been those people and there will likely always be those people, but the people who hold fast to this simple creed can be moral and spiritual examples, points of spiritual illumination, for those who choose to reject the creed and its basic principles. Maybe over time the creed can be a catalyst for change in the world as the power of love spreads through society. The following reading was given to provide guidance for the future activities of the recently formed Association for Research and Enlightenment. It applies equally well to any business venture, any political party, any religious organization and any other organization formed by people who truly wish to make the earth a better place in which to live and sees life as more than an opportunity to grab power and wealth and make material gains at the expense of others.

Better that there be first the compilation of that which is of the nature - from each commentator on the plans - that AGREES one with another. Don't look for differences, look rather for harmony! If ye look for differences and still set the differences aside, you'll continue to have differences! Look, seek, and ye will find peace and harmony! While many minds make for many varied expressions, look for the truth in each that is seeking HARMONIOUS activity. And the purposes and aims should be set not as a cism [schism?] or ism, not as a creed, but as that they each seek to present that they as individuals have found, do find, helpful in their experience, for the consideration of those that would seek through such channels for inspiration for their activity in the material things, in the mental things, in the spiritual things in life." (Edgar Cayce Reading 254-80)

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