Sidney D. Kirkpatrick - Edgar Cayce - An American Prophet
Riverhead Books 2000 ISBN 1.57322.139.2
Hoofdstuk 2 Little Friends and Little Anna
The most pressing question that occupied his interest concerned prayer.
Edgar couldn't understand how a person could call himself a true disciple of the Lord if he talked and talked to God and He didn't answer. Edgar fully expected and believed God would, and should, answer anyone who sincerely asked something of Him. It was this belief that undoubtedly led to what Edgar later described as the single most profound experience of his childhood: a visit by an angel.
This incident occurred in 1889, by which time Edgar and his family had moved to yet another house. The 'cottage,' or 'little house in the woods,' as Edgar later described this home, was located a short walk down a dirt road from the site of the old homestead and had been built the previous summer by Leslie with the help of his brothers. Edgar liked this home better than any of the others because it stood in the midst of a grassy meadow full of wildflowers and herbs and was surrounded on three sides by a stand of hickory, ash, elm, maple, poplar, and dogwood trees. Edgar selected a quiet spot under a gnarled willow tree a few hundred feet behind the house to build a retreat out of a crude canopy of saplings and vines covered with bark. Adjacent to the willow was a natural spring, which Leslie later tapped for water to save himself from digging a well. Beside the spring grew violets, jack-in-thepulpits, crocuses, and jonquils. Edgar, who prided himself on learning all the names of plants and flowers in Beverly, was quite excited the morning he found a mandrake plant mentioned in the Bible.
Edgar spent many hours in his new retreat. His primary activities were reading from the Bible, praying to God, and watching the squirrels, birds, and other animals that came to drink out of the spring. (36) Many accounts of Edgar's childhood state that it was here, under the willow tree, that an angel appeared, causing Edgar to have the revelation that was the inspiration for his later career. Edgar himself, however, said that the angel appeared to him in his bedroom, after he had spent a long day reading his Bible in the woods and asking himself how he could be of service to the Lord. He had eaten dinner and, as usual, went to bed after helping his mother with the chores. His sisters were fast asleep in beds adjacent to his own when he suddenly awoke in the night and perceived what he described as a powerful light coming through the doorway.
"I felt as if I were being lifted up," Edgar later wrote. "A glorious light as of the rising morning sun seemed to fill the whole room, and a figure appeared at the foot of my bed. I was sure it was my mother and called [out], but she didn't answer. For the moment I was frightened, climbed out of bed, and went to my mother's room. No, she hadn't called. Almost immediately, after I returned to my couch, the figure came again. Then it seemed all gloriously bright - an angel, or what, I knew not, but gently, patiently, it said: 'Thy prayers are heard. You will have your wish. Remain faithful. Be true to yourself. Help the sick, the afflicted.' "
Edgar slept very little that night. Once the vision had faded, he rushed outside to his favorite tree, and through its branches the moon seemed to shine more brightly than he had ever seen it. He knelt beside the tree and thanked God for answering his prayers. In the morning, as the sun began to rise, he awoke to find himself still sitting under the tree. A squirrel came down from one of the branches and searched for nuts in Edgar's pocket. Edgar felt a sudden sense of joy and release, as if the mysteries of his early childhood had come into sharp focus. It was at that moment that Edgar believed he had obtained his first true insight into the life that lay ahead of him. He would be doing 'God's work,' though exactly what he was to do, and how he was to prepare himself were questions he hadn't yet begun to address. (37)
Hoofdstuk 3 In the Company of Angels
Edgar didn't immediately tell his mother and father about the angel. To have done so would surely have raised questions similar to those asked him by his Aunt Lou. And even if he had felt up to facing an interrogation at home, and the one that would inevitably have followed at Liberty Church, he didn't feel he had the skills to convey the intense personal nature of his vision or to avoid public mockery and skepticism. "I had no way of knowing which was more real," he later confessed, "the vision of the lady or the pillow I rested my head upon."
More than three years would elapse before he summoned the courage to tell anyone about the angel's visit, and many more years passed before he was able to understand his vision in the broader context of his early childhood experiences. Ultimately, Edgar concluded that he, like his grandfather, had been born with special abilities, that as a youth he frequently had glimpsed a reality that could not normally be perceived through the five senses, and that the greatest challenge he faced during his early years was to translate what he perceived into something meaningful to his adolescent mind. (38) The fact that the angel in his bedroom bore a striking resemblance to an illustration in his aunt's Bible didn't invalidate the experience or make its message less meaningful; it was merely the means for a young child - steeped in Christian mysticism - to experience what Edgar, as an adult, would sometimes experience when he entered a trance.
The fact that Edgar had what was later perceived to be psychic talents was becoming more apparent to him with each new year. A highly reported example occurred in 1890 when he was at the Beverly Academy and his Uncle Lucian was his teacher. All previous accounts place this event as occurring the morning after Edgar experienced his angelic vision. Documentary evidence, however, suggests that the incident took place a year later, when Edgar was thirteen.
By Edgar's own admission, he was already quite 'dull' and 'backward' at school. He couldn't seem to concentrate on his lessons. "The voice of my uncle Lucian seemed very far away," Edgar later wrote. "The voice of the angel was quite near." (39)
Hoofdstuk 6 The Young Lady from the Hill
Two incidents occurred, however, that gave everyone reason for concern. The first took place late one Sunday evening when Edgar was dozing off in one of the arm chairs in the parlor. The last thing that Gertrude remembered telling him was that he should go to sleep. This is apparently just what he did, only he didn't wake up that night or the next morning. Nothing anyone did to try to wake him seemed to do any good. He appeared to be in some kind of a coma. It was well into the next day when Gertrude, out of sheer frustration and concern, 'ordered' him to wake up. He immediately opened his eyes and stretched, not realizing anything unusual had taken place.
A second incident occurred at the Cayce family home on Seventh Street. As Edgar later told the story, he and an old school friend had just returned home from one of Sam Jones's revival meetings at the Tabernacle. His friend was expecting Edgar to share his bedroom with him when they realized that a houseful of Cayce relatives had unexpectedly dropped in from Beverly and were spending the night. Edgar's room had been requisitioned for the visitors and there was no place for him or his friend to sleep. Edgar lost his temper. This was his room and he was paying the lion's share of the rent on the house. In the ensuing uproar, Leslie and Edgar had a few cross words and Edgar's friend slipped out of the house unnoticed. Edgar fell asleep later that night on the sofa in the living room.
Edgar himself couldn't say whether or not his mental state had anything to do with the events that later transpired, but this has long been the assumption. Apparently he went to sleep without undressing, except for his shoes and coat. Then, not long after the house had quieted down, the sofa that Edgar was sleeping on burst into flames. The smoke and fire woke him up. Edgar dashed outside and rolled in the snow, putting out his burning clothes, and then hauled the sofa out the front door to extinguish its flames, too. Since Edgar had not been smoking, nor had the sofa been near anything hot, the cause of the fire remained a mystery.
There were, of course, various possible explanations: Edgar had done something in his sleep to cause the fire, a hot coal had shot out of the stove at the other end of the room and rolled under the couch, or one of the visitors from Beverly had been smoking and accidentally left a burning cigarette between the cushions. The trouble with all of these scenarios was that the fire hadn't started under the couch or between the cushions. (70) The evidence suggested that the fire had started in Edgar's clothes.
Family members apparently didn't give the matter much thought. The fire had been put out, and that was all. At The Hill, however, the incident was much discussed and took on considerable importance. Carrie and Gertrude, like others who came to know Edgar intimately, had become aware that unusual or unexplained things frequently happened around him. More often than not, these things occurred when Edgar was angry or upset. Papers would fly off desks as if an invisible breeze had blown through the room. Books sometimes would fall off shelves. The Seventh-Street fire would be the first of four inexplicable fires involving Edgar. (71)
Hoofdstuk 9 A Child in Need
Layne was of the belief that it was Edgar Cayce himself who was doing the diagnosing, or perhaps more accurately, Edgar's 'higher self.' Later experiments would not entirely support this conclusion, but rather would suggest that it wasn't only Edgar's higher self doing the diagnosing, but that his higher self was the conduit or channel for someone or something else. The Source, as Layne began to call Edgar's 'higher self', used language that wasn't in Edgar's regular vocabulary and seemed to have its own distinctive personality and sense of humor. At one point during a trance reading the Source was reported to have commented on the poor behavior of a patient's pet, and at another time paused to mention the lovely view from the subject's window and the fact - later substantiated by the patient - that a rooster was crowing in the yard. (97)
Hoofdstuk 10 Mind is the Builder
The team of doctors also experimented with Cayce's apparent ability to cure himself of his speech difficulties. In trance, Cayce was asked to explain how the circulation in his body was changed merely by a command or a suggestion from the person conducting the reading. Cayce reportedly lectured the team of doctors on the power of mind over body. As Cayce - in trance - would state in thousands of later readings: "Mind is the builder ... the physical is the result." The Source, as Layne and now Blackburn had begun to refer to Cayce's 'higher self,' had the power of mind control and was the controlling factor in one of the fundamentallaws of nature: that material conditions in the body can be a direct outgrowth of the thoughts of the individual. A person could, by establishing control over his or her own thoughts, heal or even feasibly harm him or herself. "Every thought is a deed," Cayce said in trance. "What is held in mind largely determines the content of the experience." (117)
Fascinated by the results of this experiment, Edgar himself decided to do some experimentation. His receptionist at the State Street studio, a young woman who was also a trained musician, assisted him unawares. In response to a question Edgar posed to her, she gave Edgar the names of two people in Bowling Green who would not normally visit the studio. Edgar lay down as if going into trance, but instead concentrated for a period of thirty minutes as hard as he could on the two people, trying to mentally force them to come to him. Each of them allegedly arrived at the studio. The first man came the same day that Edgar concentrated on him, and the second arrived the following morning. Edgar's assistant, unaware of the experiment, was mystified and asked the first visitor why he had come. The man reportedly sat on the edge of Edgar's desk and admitted that he didn't know or didn't remember. In the years ahead, Edgar conducted similar experiments, and also helped other people to develop their own powers of mental telepathy. The conclusion that he eventually came to was that everyone had the same ability to affect people's behavior as he did. They just didn't take the time to practice using it. The only difference was that Edgar seemed to have been born with the talent, a subject that would be discussed at length in later readings. However, just because someone was born or developed the talent on their own didn't make it right. Edgar cautioned everyone that mental telepathy was 'dangerous business' and that trying to use 'thought' as a means to control another individual was morally wrong. "The very thing you would control in another individual," he cautioned people, "will be the thing that will destroy you. It will become your Frankenstein." (119)
There were two interesting things about this reading: the Source implied that, by taking certain measures, disaster could be avoided. In other words, the future was not preordained - it could be altered. The reading also suggested the existence of something like karma, a theme that would reappear in Cayce's reading more and more in later years: the man who refused the information provided would suffer for not acting on it. (122)
At first glance, an account of Cayce 'levitating' would appear to be nothing more than tabloid sensationalism, for at no time before or after this incident was Cayce ever reported to have risen into the air. And yet, all other reports by Blackburn and his committee are consistent with the generally accepted facts of Cayce's alleged psychic powers. An incident that occurred some years later, during a November 1933 reading, witnessed by thirty-five people, might provide a clue that could unravel this mystery.
During this reading, one of Cayce's friends leaned over to hand the conductor a list of questions. As he did so, his hand passed over the sleeping psychic's solar plexus. The instant that the hand had crossed his body, Cayce stopped talking and jerked up from the couch into an upright position. A witness described what she saw: "[It looked as if Cayce was] being propelled [upward] by an unseen lever or pulley, without unfolding his hands from his solar plexus or using them in any way to rise to his feet." (122) Because of this experience, investigators learned that when anything passed directly over Cayce's body in the area of his head or stomach during a reading it had the effect of interrupting the reading, as if an unseen cord between Cayce and the Source had been severed, preventing any further connection. But it also could result in an involuntary contraction of Cayce's stomach muscles, the equivalent of him being punched in the solar plexus. Cayce's sudden movement upward when Blackburn put out his hand in the midst of the reading must have seemed like levitation to the startled doctor. (123)
The topic of interest to Edison - like Tesla - was the possible connections between electricity and psychic phenomena. Tesla's interest in the subject was legendary, for he himself claimed to have received inspiration from his 'higher self,' not unlike that received by Edgar Cayce. (123) Through dreams and visions, Tesla received mental pictures of blueprints and other technical data, which included innovations he made on high-frequency electrical transmission and wireless communications. He viewed his role as an inventor as merely tapping into his own imagination and turning what he saw in visions into a physical reality. Tesla's one-time partner, Edison, did not ascribe his inventions to any such help from 'above.' And yet, the fact that Edison developed a keen interest in psychic phenomena and electricity is also well documented, as were his comments to associates concerning his intent to build a device to measure the electrical vibrations emanating from people engaged in psychic activity. Edison's interest in building such a device may well have been the result of his meeting with Cayce.
The fact that Cayce, in trance, addressed this same subject at length with two other inventors - Tim Brown, a Dayton engineer who helped to found Delco, and Mitchell Hastings, a pioneer of FM radio at NBC and later an electrical engineer at IBM - is evidence that the Source was not only capable of addressing this topic, but believed that it could provide an important avenue or bridge for raising the consciousness of inventors seeking to understand the relationship between science and spirituality, which according to the Source, were the same thing. "Electricity is at the heart of all life," Cayce, in trance, would frequently tell these inventors. "Electricity is life."
In one particularly fascinating exchange between Cayce and Hastings, the Source would describe the physical universe as consisting of mind, matter, and energy, which were all said to be various forms of electrical vibration. The Source stated unequivocally that every phenomenon was a manifestation of the vibrations emitted by these three elements, and that Hastings must understand that a vast range of frequencies existed on or about the earth that were as yet undetectable by modern scientific equipment. The origin of all electricity, or the 'first great vibration,' was God's creation of the universe, which was described as a cosmic blast that started everything in motion and created matter itself. On a smaller scale, man could manifest the same Divine power as a creator or co-creator of their personal universe. "That ... [mind, matter, and energy] are inseparable I do not believe," the Source told Mitchell Hastings, "for energy is the mind seeking to find expression - the seeking is the energy, and that expressed is the matter." In keeping with this philosophy, Cayce, in trance, would tell both Hastings and Brown that devices could be made to measure 'thought forms,' much like meters were made to measure volts and amperage. (124)
All Cayce said about the meeting was that he and the 'electrical wizard' had a difference of opinion regarding the nature of a man's soul. Edison was a firm believer that such a thing as a 'soul' didn't exist, that it was purely a cultural ideal. Edison did, however, believe that much more research needed to be conducted on the subject. "When we see the entire world seeking, seeking, seeking, there must be something [to it]," Edison was quoted by Cayce as having told him. "I am convinced that when scientists go to work at studying God, just as they have undertaken to study how to make great conveniences for mankind, we will learn something about the soul - if there is one." (125)
Hoofdstuk 11 Final Days in Bowling Green
Dickey made one more attempt to persuade Edgar that easy money could be made using his psychic gifts. He talked Edgar into giving a reading on the races at Latona. In the course of a test reading, Cayce was alleged to have correctly named six winners in seven races. The only race in which he hadn't called a winner was one that Cayce - in trance - had said was fixed and couldn't be called. Dickey was so excited by the success of the experiment that they took the train to Cincinnati and went to the races. Dickey put up the front money. This time the reading indicated that only four out of the seven races that day were not already fixed. Dickey bet and won in each instance.
Edgar's share of the take was enough to get him out of debt. But the price he paid was higher than he or Dickey could have imagined. The trance readings could be a Pandora's box for anyone who chose to ignore the advice, take the information lightly, or use it in ways that were not in accord with its 'purposes' and 'ideals.' Two months after giving the Latona readings, Dickey went on a temporary two-year leave from his activities at the university to undergo psychiatric therapy. Edgar also suffered, but the price he paid was not apparent until a short time later when he tried to give a reading for Hugh Evans, Gertrude's brother, who had checked into a hospital in Texas with tuberculosis. Edgar was unable to go into trance.
Dr. House repeatedly attempted to guide Edgar into trance and obtain a reading, as did Lynn Evans, John Blackburn, and Al Layne. But no matter how hard they tried, Edgar either developed a migraine headache or fell asleep. He couldn't give a reading for Hugh Evans, nor could he help anyone else who came to him, no matter how genuine their need. The Source had become silent.
To Edgar, this was a clear message that he was being punished for putting his own and others' material concerns above the greater spiritual good that could come through the readings. Just as he had come to believe that he had earlier lost his voice by not following the directives of his childhood angel, he now believed that he had squandered 'God's gifts' by putting them to the wrong use. And besides the obvious impact the Latona racetrack readings had had on his ability to go into trance, there was the more subtle impact that the readings had had on his and Gertrude's personal lives. "I realized that the attempt to use such information for speculative interests had brought a sudden, definite change in my whole being," Edgar wrote. "I realized that my likes and dislikes had changed. My associations that I sought were different." (136) In other words, by using the readings for speculative purposes he was becoming more like the people requesting such readings. (137)
Hoofdstuk 12 The Discovery of Edgar Cayce
Despite the esoteric language in wich this massage was presented - using terms such as the 'inner conscience,' 'ethereal body,' and 'subconscious mind' - it sounded like good old-fashioned business advice. And although offering material benefits was clearly a necessity in developing the practical business aspects of the partnership, the most important aspect of this reading was the suggestion that the ultimate purpose of "the work" was not to provide diagnostic insights to aid physicians or bring about miraculous cures, but to help people 'open' their minds and accept the truth of the 'ethereal' or 'spiritual world.' It is no doubt for this reason that the Source then offered an important clue to the future success or failure of the work. The reading ended with the statement: "The minute we gain credence and give credit to ourselves we lose it all."
The transcripts of this reading, reported to be the first fully documented trance session dedicated specifically to the work, were quite telling. Cayce or the Source - responded to questions posed by Leslie in highly spiritual or esoteric terms, while Leslie persisted in talking dollars and cents and asking practical questions about who should pay for publicity, stationery, and other costs. It appears that the Source was trying to force Leslie and the others to view their partnership in a nonmaterial way, or at least to envision the work as it manifested itself in both material and nonmaterial dimensions, and to acknowledge that one dimension acts upon another. The language that Cayce used was difficult to understand, and it is doubtful that Leslie, Ketchum, Noe, or even Edgar himself comprehended its full meaning, let alone the potential consequence of ignoring its greater spiritual message. (149)
Hoofdstuk 13 The Psychic Partnership
In the first few months of the partnership, Ketchum became aware of the Source as a distinct personality or being, with many human characteristics, which included, at times, poor grammar and an almost childlike appreciation and wonder when visiting new places and examining new patients. However 'all-knowing' that the Source might be, it could also be short - or long - winded, disliked what it considered inane or sloppy questions, and had a highly developed sense of humor.
Examples were numerous. Asked once about how a person should overcome worrying, the Source simply said "Quit worrying!" Asked for advice for a particular doctor in charge of an operation, Cayce said, "They wouldn't take the advice if you gave it." A woman, wanting to know if wearing glasses - as Cayce had recommended - was really necessary, was told: "The body really needs glasses, else we wouldn't have said it!" To a man worried about becoming bald, Cayce stated: "Don't worry too much about this ... Brains and hair don't grow very well together - at times anyway." When a patient asked if a medication should be rubbed on the outside he was simply told: "You can't rub it on the inside."
Ketchum believed that because the Source sounded so 'human' that it was none other than Cayce's subconscious mind tapping into a vast database of information. He believed that a heavenly presence didn't take over when Cayce went into trance, but rather Cayce's spirit was free to communicate with other spirits when he lost consciousness. Although subsequent readings suggested that there was clearly much truth in this theory, Ketchum himself later admitted that whatever happened was far more complicated than "Cayce's spirit reaching out into the universe." This was, however, a good starting point. As would be demonstrated on numerous occasions in the future, Cayce's 'higher self' may indeed 'retrieve' information, but there were also many instances when a 'heavenly presence' interceded or guided trance sessions and would sometimes actually introduce itself to the conductor.
Ketchum also became certain that Cayce's subconscious mind could travel to the physical location of the patient. There were so many references to the actual surroundings of the individual for whom he was doing the reading and details, such as weather conditions at a particular location, that no other explanation seemed possible. During one reading, Cayce remarked on the color of a patient's pajamas, and on another occasion, appeared to pause on the way into another patient's house to mention that she had a particularly beautiful tree in her yard. Remarks such as these naturally led Ketchum to believe that Cayce wasn't just seeing the surroundings through the eyes of the patient, but was acting as a disembodied mind having an out-of-body experience. (157)
The fact that readings would end abruptly whenever anything was passed over Cayce's body provided evidence to Ketchum that this disembodied mind Ketchum was also interested in where Cayce's subconscious mind went to retrieve the information when the Source did come through. The destination was apparently determined by the type of questions that the conductor asked and the degree to which the subject was willing to accept the information given. And as Ketchum realized, the process of 'communing' with another person's subconscious mind was not always easily accomplished. Cayce - in trance - would sometimes come right out and say that this information wasn't to be shared. At other times Cayce seemed to be able to peer at will right inside a person without interference, which suggested that individuals themselves could block Cayce's examination of their bodies. Ketchum felt sure that a patient's motivation was a key factor in the equation - both on a conscious and an unconscious level. The times when Ketchum got the best results from Cayce was when a person genuinely wanted help for the reasons that they had stated and when ultimately the person receiving the information had good intentions. A person saying one thing and thinking something different resulted in a miscommunication. Information that would hurt or harm someone would simply not be given.
Ketchum, like others who conducted or listened to readings, was also interested in knowing if other people could leave their bodies and go to different places. Cayce said they could and did. "Each and every soul leaves the body as it rests in sleep," he said in a later reading. (158) "As to how this may be used constructively - this would be like answering how could one use one's voice for constructive purposes."
Hoofdstuk 16 Trial by Fire
Many of the people from their church, including Alf and Roger Butler, and the pastor, Reverend D. P. Taylor, had been congregating at the studio and were there to join Edgar and Gertrude in prayer before Edgar went into trance. Reflecting back on how he felt at that moment, Edgar said that there was energy in the room like never before. He said it was like 'electricity.' (187)
Hoofdstuk 24 Divine Law
For Shroyer as well as Edgar, the tragedy again highlighted the need for a hospital where patients like the three - year - old Darling child could receive constant attention and care. By this time the subject of building a hospital had also come to the attention of Shroyer's employer, Arthur Lammers, a middle - aged business tycoon who had made his fortune in Chicago and who now owned a large printing and photo-engraving company in Dayton that published a Baptist newspaper. At Lammers's request, Cayce gave the first in a series of readings - not only on investment opportunities for the Penn-Tenn Company, which Lammers was interested in buying into - but on how best to use Cayce's 'psychic powers' and establish an institution or foundation to study them. Although the amount of time Cayce would personally spend with Lammers was quite short and the readings conducted at his request numbered less than ten, their short partnership forever altered the scope and substance of the work.
However reluctant Edgar was to probe the Source with questions beyond the scope of his medical and business interests, he was flattered by the way Arthur and his wife, Zelda, embraced him and his ideals, and intrigued by their knowledge of Eastern philosophy and metaphysics. (253) They not only read and studied the books and teachings of Madame Blavatsky and other Theosophists, they held seances in their own home - a sprawling Victorian mansion with stained-glass windows, a giant pipe organ, and an extensive library of esoteric books and manuscripts on such subjects as medieval alchemy, yoga, and astrology. It is believed that Edgar attended at least one seance at the Lammers home, although no record of what transpired remains.
A short, clean-shaven man with a square face and the well-muscled build of a heavyweight prize fighter, Lammers wanted answers to life's most important questions: the purpose of man's existence on earth and what to expect after death. And like Ketchum before him, Lammers also wanted to know about the source of Edgar's information, and what exactly happened when Edgar went into trance. Lammers put these and other questions to Cayce in two trance sessions held in June 1923 at the Phillips Hotel. More readings in this series, all of which were conducted by Shroyer, took place in early October and November, and the last reading of this series was done on Valentine's Day, 1924.
The first question put to Cayce dealt with his ability to obtain and communicate psychic information. As Cayce had previously said in a reading for Ketchum, the 'state' in which he gave psychic information was under 'subjugation' of the 'subconscious mind.' The human body was described as a 'trinity,' composed of the physical body, the mental or conscious mind, and the spirit, which was described as the subconscious or 'mind of the soul force.' The spirit, the Source said, could not be 'seen' or revealed unless the physical and mental mind were subjugated. In other words, when Edgar Cayce went into a trance state, his physical body and conscious mind did not interfere with his subconscious mind or 'soul forces.'
As a natural extension of this question, Lammers asked exactly what the 'soul' was, and whether it ever dies. The Source replied that the soul was "that which the Maker gave to every entity or individual in the beginning, and which is seeking the home again or place of the Maker ... [The soul] may be banished from the Maker, [but] not [by] death." He went on to say that the subconscious mind was only one attribute of the soul, and that there were other influences or Divine laws that governed or directed the soul in I its path back to the Maker.
Asked what kinds of questions should be put to Cayce while in trance, the Source answered: "Only those that are in accord with spiritual and soul forces and laws." According to the Source, the proper questions should consist of those that lead to relief from pain or suffering as long as they are not at the expense or detriment of another individual. (254)
The Source was then queried as to whether the information given while in trance was always correct. The response provided an interesting insight to the frequent references the Source had made over the years to the concept that 'mind is the builder,' and also had a direct bearing on the Texas readings. The Source said: "Edgar Cayce is in the state of being guided by the individual who makes the suggestions, and so long as the suggestions are in accord and the mind of the individual is kept in accord [the information will be correct]." In other words, the Source was saying that what was held in the mind of the person conducting the reading and the person requesting the help or information would largely determine the result. The Source illustrated this same point by comparing the effects of the inquirer on the reading to the effects that water can have on a partially submerged object: "Any object ... projected into water appears bent, just so with the reflection from suggestions to the subconscious [mind]."
The Source further said that the intent of those making the inquiry didn't just affect the quality of the reading, it sometimes determined whether any information came through at all. This explained why the Source sometimes ended a reading by saying, "We are through," just as a session was getting started. Cayce - in trance - said: "[The correct information was] being deflected ... by question or environment as to cause the distress to the connection between the conscious and the subconscious."
As it was revealed later in this same series of readings, the Source was directed by 'God's laws,' or 'Divine Laws,' which could neither be ignored or put aside. While a person breaking man's laws only suffers the consequence if she or he gets caught, when breaking God's laws, he or she always gets caught. Cayce - in trance - had to be asked the right question for the right reason.
Perhaps the most important of the laws cited was the "law of love," which the Source said "no man should cast aside." Put most simply, the Source said: "Love is Law, Law is Love. God is Love. Love is God." This amounted to the same thing as "the gift of giving" without "hope of reward or pay," or serving others.
In answer to the question of whether or not the readings should be used for purposes other than for assistance of curing human ills, the Source highlighted how they had to adhere to the 'law of love.' The Source said that all information obtained psychically should not be used for selfish purposes, but "may be, should be, used and given to the world." The Source suggested that people should seek an understanding of that Divine law of love in their lives and act accordingly. "The use of psychic force by any individual is only using of that spiritual law that makes one free, but not freedom to take advantage," the Source said. (255)
Another reading stressed the importance of understanding that God is the creator and law - giver, not man: "Remember first that all force that is granted ... comes from the all-giving force of the God of the Universe and not from the 'self' ... for by taking that [force], no one can change any law. Only by the compliance of that law may it be made or diverted to their individual use of self ... [through man's power of free will] for with the [free] will man may either adhere [to] or contradict the Divine law."
Further practical questions were posed to Cayce regarding how to conduct future readings. The Source said that only one person at a time should put questions to him in a trance state, and that for best results, the person should have a certain polarity. "The body," Cayce said, in trance, "is made of both the opposite, or positive and negative poles. The body is not complete without the whole or both ... [The ideal condition exists when there is] the perfect union in all forces, whether of the physical, mental, material, soul, or spirit [each with both positive and negative polarity].
Linden Shroyer was clearly following Cayce's train of thought. He next asked the Source who would be the best person to conduct the readings. The Source replied that the sex of the conductor didn't make any difference, just the polarity and intent of the conductor. Edgar was described as being positive. Hence, it was best that a person who was negatively charged put the questions to him.
Information continued to pour out of Cayce. Like Ketchum before him, Lammers wanted to know if it was possible for anyone other than Edgar Cayce to accomplish the kind of psychic work he was doing. The answer was an unequivocal yes. "All can do it," the response came. The determining factor was the degree of 'development' on the part of the individual in question. "As to the degree of the development, only the law of concentration through subjugation [is] brought out into play and [one] only need[s] the opportunity of [his] self-expression."
Lammers also asked if it was possible for Edgar Cayce to communicate with people who had passed into the spirit world. The response was affirmative. In the first known reading to make clear reference to what happens when a person dies, the Source said: "The spirit of all that have passed from the physical plane remain about the plane until their development carries them onward or are returned for their development here ... There are thousands about us here at present."
When asked how Edgar Cayce should use his psychic talents to do the most good, the Source gave another astonishing response. (256) It is difficult to determine how much the answer was understood by Lammers or the others, but it was clear in retrospect that the Source was introducing what would become the most discussed aspect of the Dayton readings: soul development "through reincarnation." "[Edgar Cayce is able to give trance advice] under the laws of the governing force as ... given to this individual [through] eight generations [of soul development]," the Source said. Finally, Cayce was asked if the time was right to start an institution through which all future readings would be conducted. "Very good," the reply came. "The time is nigh!" (257)
Although earlier readings had revealed Tex Rice's personal difficulties, Edgar couldn't fathom why the Source hadn't warned him that Rice was a criminal. In retrospect, Edgar eventually came to the conclusion that the 'failure' of the readings to predict someone's behavior was not a result of any lack of insight or 'development' on the part of the Source, but a matter of the inexorable influence of an individual's free will. Free willdescribed in the Lammers readings as the supreme Gift from God to man - ultimately determined an individual's fate. No one, not even God, could conclusively predict events shaped by the free will of an individual, or the collective will of groups of individuals. (258)
Hoofdstuk 26 Ruled by Jupiter
The concept of astrology was not entirely new to Edgar and Gertrude. Despite at times feigning ignorance of such a distinctly 'nontraditional' Christian subject, they both knew more about astrology than they had previously been willing to admit. Astrology had been the subject of a reading conducted four and a half years earlier, before the oil years, when Edgar was working full-time as a photographer in Selma.
This earlier astrological reading had come about as an indirect result of a request made by the same D. M. Thrash who had piqued Edgar's interest in doing oil readings. In 1919, Thrash wrote Edgar asking for his birth date in order to have his horoscope cast. Early the next year, Edgar and Gertrude received several communications from astrologers telling them that on a particular date - March 19, 1919 - Cayce would be able to give a reading of "more interest to mankind" than any other reading he would be able to give during that year. Although Edgar did give a reading on that date, with Gertrude conducting and two trusted friends to witness the reading and take notes, the startling contents of that reading were not revealed to Thrash or to anyone else until Edgar met with Lammers in Dayton. The reason is not hard to understand. (270) Astrology, like the principle of reincarnation, was a subject that challenged Edgar and Gertrude's deep-seated Christian beliefs. To discuss it openly would have opened doors that could not easily be closed. As Lammers later discovered, the first question put to Cayce in trance on March 19, 1919, was much like the one Ketchum had put to him back in Hopkinsville in 1909: " ... You will tell us how the psychic work is accomplished through this body ... " Cayce, in trance, once again stated that "in this [trance] state the conscious mind is under subjugation of the subconscious mind or soul mind ... It obtains its information from ... other subconscious minds ... or minds that have passed into the Beyond ... What is known to one subconscious mind or soul is known to another, whether conscious of the fact or not."
The consistency between this response and the one given to Dr. Ketchum nine years earlier must have been reassuring to both Edgar and Gertrude. However, Gertrude's next question took them into an entirely new area of investigation. Given that an astrologer had indicated that this day would be an important one, and perhaps intending to put the question of astrology to rest once and for all, Gertrude asked if the planets have anything to do with the ruling of the destiny of men. Cayce replied: "They do."
Edgar then went on to expand upon the subject: "In the beginning, as our own planet, Earth, was set in motion, the placing of other planets began the ruling of the destiny of all matter as created, just as the division of waters was and is ruled by the moon in its path about the Earth ... The strongest power in the destiny of man is the sun ... then the closer planets ... at the time of the birth of the individual." Here, and for the first of many, many times, Cayce - in trance - admonished: "But let it be understood here, [that] no action of any planet or any of the phases of the sun, moon, or any of the heavenly bodies surpass the rule of man's individual willpower."
Cayce then went on to provide an example of astrological influences by elucidating Edgar's own chart. "As in this body here [Edgar Cayce] born March 18, 1877, three minutes past three o'clock, with the sun descending, on the wane, the moon in the opposite side of the Earth - [the] old moon Uranus at its zenith, hence the body is 'ultra' in its actions ... Hence [there is] no middle ground for this body: [he is] very good or very bad, very religious or very wicked, very rich or always losing, very much in love or hate, very much given to good works or always doing wrong ... As to the forces of this body [Edgar Cayce], the 'psychical' is obtained through action of Uranus and of Neptune, always it has been to this body and always will ... just saved financially and spiritually by the action of great amount of water ... This body will either be very rich or very poor." (271)
Edgar reported being quite impressed by the horoscope she gave him, for it was similar to that of the previous reading he had given on himself on March 19, 1919. And as Edgar later reported, much of what she said would later "prove to be true." There was only one thing about the horoscope that he found disturbing. "Resign yourself never to achieve [complete] success or to be [materially] happy," she told him.
Exactly when Lammers first broached the subject of astrological readings with Edgar is not clear. All that is known for certain is that on October 11, 1923, within just three days of Edgar's return to Dayton, he gave his first tailor-made 'horoscope' reading for Lammers. (272) Linden Shroyer conducted the reading at the Phillips Hotel, just as he had during Edgar's visit in June. Shroyer's exact words were not recorded, but it can be assumed that he asked about the astrological influences that acted upon Arthur Lammers.
The Source didn't hesitate in answering the questions. In trance, Cayce described Lammers as "one of strong body, yet gross with the force of a secular nature," one of "strong will and self-reliant," and "one whose destiny lies in success nearer the middle portion of his life on this plane." Cayce went on to say that Lammers was "ruled by Jupiter" with "Venus in the eleventh House," and that he was well "balanced" to deal with individuals whose birthday comes in March - as did Edgar Cayce's.
This latest reading again supported the concept that the stars and planets influenced human behavior. To Lammers, already a great believer in astrology, this would have come as no surprise. For many other people around Edgar, however, the concept of astrology would have been difficult, if not impossible, to grasp and accept. But according to the Source, the study of astrology had been around a very long time. When asked who were the first people in the world to use astrology, Cayce responded: "Many, many thousands of years ago. The first record [is] that recorded in Job, who lived before Moses ... " (273)
In another reading for Lammers, the Source challenged skeptics who would dismiss the notion of astrology by posing a question: "Astronomy is considered a science and astrology [is thought to be] foolishness. [But] who is correct? One holds that because of the position of the earth, the sun, the planets - they are balanced one with another in some manner, some formyet that they have nothing to do with man's life or ... the emotions of the 'physical being' in the earth. Then why and how do the effects of the sun ... influence [life on earth] and not affect [man and] man's emotions?" In yet another session, for a twenty-year-old woman who came to Cayce for a physical reading, the Source stated that not only do the planets affect an individual's emotions, but that the moon affects the physical body: "The sympathetic nervous system has much to do with the changes of the lunar conditions."
However basic Cayce's pronouncements might have appeared to Lammers, the information about astrology that ultimately came through Cayce was a great deal more complex than even Evangeline Adams could have anticipated. (273) As would later become apparent, not only did the power of a person's free will play the most prominent role in determining how their life unfolded, it was next to impossible for anyone without the gifts that Cayce possessed to accurately describe an individual's personality traits, tendencies, talents, weaknesses, and future challenges based solely upon his or her birtdate and hour of delivery. There were, at the least, other complicating factors to be considered. For example, in many astrological readings that Cayce was later to give, the Source suggested that the 'soul' of a newborn sometimes arrived into the body at a time different from the physical birth of the child. In some instances, that arrival was considerably earlier than the birth, other times it was much later. In a reading done for an eighteen-year-old student, Cayce said: "There was ... thirty to thirty-five minutes difference in birth physical and birth spiritual." Another reading, given for a college student, highlighted the difficulties that such a difference could produce: "The spiritual and physical birth varied [a] little, there was the physical under one sign and the spiritual under another. Hence the doubts that often arise, from an astrological view."
In most horoscope readings, Cayce emphasized the specific influence that various planets exerted on the individual. The role of the constellations, however, such as Cancer, Leo, or Virgo, was considered relatively insignificant. Thus the Cayce readings suggested that the signs of the zodiac do not playas fundamental a role in one's astrological influences as generally believed, in sharp contrast to the popular approach, which says that the 'sign' a person is born under is the main determining factor in shaping an individual's personality.
In a reading given for a thirty-three-year old salesman, Cayce explicitly stated: "As to those influences of the constellations ... in the life of this entity, these are merely the 'wavering' influences in the life, and not those directing forces ever present in the inner soul of this entity. These we find in opposition to much that is at present taught or given in the earth plane."
Yet another complication that arises in the readings for students of astrology was revealed in comments that Cayce made suggesting that there were flaws in the Egyptian system of astrology, which is most prevalently used. The 'tropical' or Egyptian system of astrology which was most commonly used by astrologers such as Evangeline Adams, is almost thirty degrees different from the 'sidereal' or Persian system advocated by Cayce, which then, as now, was the less popular means of casting astrological charts. To further complicate matters for astrology students, Cayce asserted that the influence of the planets was not necessarily what was popularly understood by most astrologers. As in standard astrology, Mars was associated by Cayce with high energy and anger, but the Source consistently emphasized the planet's 'internal' influence rather than the 'external' behavior by which it is popularly understood by most astrologers. For an eight-year-old girl born in Norfolk, Virginia, the Source warned: "Be angry but sin not." (274) In a reading for a thirty-nine-year-old housewife, also under the Mars in fluence, Cayce stated: "Righteous anger is a virtue. He that has no temper is very weak. But he who controls not his temper is much worse." Here, as elsewhere in the astrological readings, constructive growth through control of the human will was being highlighted.
Perhaps the greatest anomaly in Cayce's astrological information was his view of the influence of the planet Saturn. The ringed planet has historically represented a love of tradition and an opposition to change. In contrast, the key words that Cayce related to Saturn were 'sudden' or 'violent' change. "In Saturn we find the sudden or violent changes - those influences and environs that do not grow, as it were, but are sudden by that of change of circumstances materially, or by activities ... of others." While most people might look upon Saturn as a negative or malevolent influence, Cayce went on to encourage his subject in the same reading by adding: "These are testing periods of thy endurance, of thy patience, of thy love of truth, harmony, and the spirit that faileth not." Again, constructive growth through control of the human will was the defining factor.
Uranus, in traditional astrology, has been described as the planet of insight, mysticism, originality, and change. The readings support the mystical aspect, but distinguish this from spirituality and suggest its influence is one of extremes: "[At] times very beautiful in character - at other [times] very ugly." In another reading he said: "The entity ... finds periods when it is ... to the mountaintops and again at the depths of despair." In a third, Cayce said: "There will also be periods when ... the entity would be called lucky at any game of chance, yet there will be also periods when ... it would be practically impossible for the entity to gain through games of chance."
Like Uranus, Neptune - which is linked to water - was also related to mysticism. "From Neptune we find that being close to waters ... is very well ... and this also gives those abilities of the mystic." This theme was repeated in a second reading for an individual purported to be under the influence of Neptune, for whom Cayce said: "Dwelling near large bodies of water ... will be the natural elements for the development giving rise to ... mystic abilities." Given this mystical connection evident in Uranus and Neptune, it is not surprising that these two planets figured prominently in Edgar's own 1919 horoscope reading.
Pluto was not actually discovered until 1930, seven years after Cayce did his first horoscope reading. But prior to its discovery and subsequent naming, Cayce made reference to a planet that he called Septimus, which was clearly a reference to Pluto, whose influence astrologers have not been able to agree upon. (275) In a reading that Cayce gave for a Jewish businessman, he suggested that Septimus had an adverse or challenging influence, but was ultimately for constructive growth: "These make for that influence as has been of sudden changes in ... relationships as respecting those of kinship and ... physical or business relations. Yet these adversities may be used or applied in the experience of the entity as stepping - stones for soul's development."
The readings Edgar began with Lammers, like hundreds of others that would later become known as 'life readings,' suggested the very complex nature and difficulty of charting astrological influences. But the greatest challenges, and the most significant revelations were still to come. Cayce's astrological readings, like those of regular astrologers, discussed the influence planets have on the human beings. However, no professional astrologers - not even Evangeline Adams - discussed why they have an influence. The answer that the Source gave was perhaps the strangest and most difficult aspect of any of the readings and would have shocked even the most veteran of astrologers.
In the fourth Cayce reading on astrology, conducted by Shroyer, the Source stated that the "influence as is given by many of those [professional astrologers] in ... the earth plane is defective [in that] many of the forces of each [planet] are felt more through the experience by the entity's 'sojourn' upon those planets." Cayce would again make reference to this in a later reading for a thirty-year-old secretary: "It should be understood ... that the sojourning of the soul in that 'environ,' rather than the position [of the planet] makes for the greater influence in the experience of an entity or body in any given plane ... As we have indicated, it is not so much that an entity is influenced because the Moon is in Aquarius ... but rather because those positions in the heavens are from the entity having been in that sojourn as a soul ... not as a physical body as known in the Earth, but as a body adaptable to the environs of Jupiter: for there's life there - not as known in Earth!"
By these and other life readings, the Source appeared to be suggesting that the soul of an individual could actually 'reside' on another planet and, as Cayce later elucidated, 'in other dimensions.' This additional information helped to clarify some of what the Source had said in the first readings for Lammers, back in October. In response to the question of whether or not the soul ever dies, Cayce said: "May be banished from the Maker, [but] not [by] death." The next question for the Source was what it meant by banishment of a soul from its Maker, and why an "entity" or individual might chose to be "banished." The Source answered: "out his own salvation ... the entity or individual banished itself, or its soul [from Earth to Saturn]." (276)
The message coming through Cayce suggested that the planet Saturn was a place not unlike the Roman Catholic vision of purgatory. In these and other astrological readings, the greater truth suggested by the trance information was made clear. The purpose of an individual's sojourn on various planets, including Earth, was a means to an end: to prepare an individual, through 'soul development,' to meet the Creator.
Edgar and others naturally desired to know how 'sojourns' on different planets affected man. A later reading would provide an important insight, which would later be discussed at length: "Each planetary influence vibrates at a different rate ... An entity entering that influence enters that vibration, not necessary that he change[s], but it is by the grace of God that he may." In a second reading, Cayce described this influence in another way: "The shadows of those things from the sojourns of this entity in Mercury [influence] the very relationships and activity of the entity ... Just as the entity's attending this or that ... place of learning, would make for a parlance peculiar unto itself. Even though individuals may study the same line of thought, one attending Harvard, another Yale, another ... the University of Arizona, they each would carry with them the vibrations created by their very activity in those environs."
In another reading, Cayce explained how these sojourns could bring about variations in people, despite their common family, heritage, or the environment in which they lived: "The sojourn of a soul in its environ about the Earth, or in this solar system, gives the factors that are often found in individuals ... that are of the same parentage, in the same environ. Yet one might be a genius and the other a fool." Vibration, Cayce would point out later, determines the 'environment' that exists on another planet or in another dimension, in much the same way as it governs color, sound, and the 'substance' of matter on Earth. "For it is not strange that music, color, vibration are all a part of the planets, just as the planets are a part and a pattern of the whole universe."
According to Cayce, ultimately, an individual's task was to use his or her free will to return to God, the Father. "First there is the spirit, then soul ... then mind with its various modifications and with its various incentives, with its various ramifications ... and the will, the balance in the forces that may make all or lose all [Man must pass] through all the stages of development until the will is lost in Him and he becomes one with the Father." As Edgar well knew, this, in a large sense, was the same message as put forth in the Lord's Prayer, that "Thy will be done." (277)
Hoofdstuk 27 A Monk in his Third Appearance
First, the Source provided Gladys with a description of various planetary influences, foremost among them that of Venus, Mercury, and Mars. He then gave a long list of Gladys's gifts and virtues, including this description: "One in whom there will be, in the future, little of the earthly ills for itself, though one that will lend much to the assistance in the earthly ills of others." He also said: "One who, with others, will draw much of the more beautiful things of the earth plane about them, and one to whom all obstacles become the stepping-stones for higher development in this present earth plane."
Unlike previous readings, which had provided a few single sentences regarding past lives, Gladys was given three paragraphs on each of her former incarnations. Her past lives numbered four and included a stint in the court of Louis the XV, when she was a member of the royal family and had been seduced by the Duke of York, bearing him a child. Before that she had incarnations in Persia, Egypt, and at one time lived in the house of the ruler of a place called "Alta," which existed - according to the Source - "ten thousand years before the Prince of Peace came."
The information revealed in this reading brought to light the importance of past - life experiences in contributing to the emotional responses, the trusts and the distrusts, likes and dislikes of the current incarnation. For instance, in reference to Gladys's life among the French royalty, the Source said: "The first change came in the seventeenth year of the life ... with the meeting and betrothal of this individual to that of the Duke of York [which] brought to the individual that in the inmost soul of the distrust of ... the opposite sex, and the body then became an inmate of the confined walls, where the rest of [her] life was spent, and only lived to the age in years then of thirty." About her time in Persia, the Source added: "[Gladys] was taken by the invading forces ... and in this [she now has] the aversion to those cutting instruments, for in that manner the bodily destruction came."
Gladys was quite stunned by the reading. As strange as it seemed, the Source had said things she intuitively knew to be true. She did have a fear of being cut, and in fact had been afraid of knives since she was a small child. Her little brother had discovered this fear and taunted her with sharp instruments, chasing her all over the house with them. She couldn't bear to use even a kitchen knife, and if she did, she invariably cut herself. Gladys also, it would be revealed, had a fear of men. (282)
Edgar would continue to give one or two physical readings a day. And while Edgar and Gertrude had still not done their own life readings, Shroyer and others were already stepping up for more. A reading given for George Klingensmith revealed that he was "one whose moral forces are beyond reproach." An incarnation during the reign of Louis XV - which was, coincidentally, at the same time as Gladys Davis's - and his life during the Trojan wars, were described in minute detail. Knowing that he had lived other lives too, Klingensmith must have been disappointed to have the reading suddenly end with "We are through for the present." In closing, however, the Source indicated that Klingensmith indeed had other incarnations that were perhaps equally or more relevant to his current life situation, but that these, the Source said, could not be disclosed: "[We] are forbidden here to give more at present." The Source clearly stated that there was actually much more that could be told to Klingensmith, but as Edgar himself would soon learn, the determining factor for when the information would be disclosed lay not only with the Source, but with the recipient of the life reading. In other words, "When the student is ready, the lesson will be taught."
Finally, on December 5, 1923, Gertrude summoned the courage to request her own life reading. During this - her fifth documented reading - the Source said that Gertrude's 'soul' had waited several hours after her birth to enter her physical body. Though her mother had technically given birth in the early morning, Gertrude's soul was alleged not to have entered her body until late afternoon. Edgar apparently found this point quite humorous and later chided Gertrude by saying that she had waited until the last possible moment to incarnate because she knew "what a hard time she had ahead of her."
At age forty-three, Gertrude must have been pleased to hear the Source's next statement, that "the greater force in this life, and the greater understanding, will come in the later days upon this plane." However, any joy she received at being given this information would have been dulled by the remark that followed. "There will be three good years ... [possibly] four, [when] ... the greater blessings will be upon this life in this present plane." The Source went on to spend a disproportionately large amount of time explaining astrological influences upon her, and then briefly listed three previous lives. Her most recent incarnation was in the French courts, when Charles II lived in exile, and Louis XIV was still a child. As revealed in a follow-up reading, her name had been Lurline, and she was involved in many court-related intrigues as a royal courtesan. Before that, Gertrude lived in ancient Greece, and prior to that, "in the land of the Nomads in the [Egyptian] hill country" during the rein of the first pharaohs. In a followup reading these "nomads in the hill country" were said to be Bedouins, and she was described as a beautiful dancer. (284)
Hoofdstuk 28 Karmic Debt and the First Cause
There was one question asked during this series that seemed most pressing to Hugh Lynn: why is reincarnation necessary at all? The Source answered at some length: "Man's consciousness ... is gained through [what] he, man, does about the knowledge of [what] he is, in relation to that from which he came and toward which he is going," the Source said. "Hence, in man's analysis and understanding of himself, it is as well to know from whence he came as to know whither he is going."
The Source also made it clear that the knowledge gained through life readings is not the same as specific memories from previous incarnations. According to the Source, our forgetfulness of our previous lives is by design, not only for the purpose of maintaining 'free will' but for our own protection,
because the conscious memories from earlier incarnations could potentially become a great burden. The "memory" that a person takes with him into a subsequent incarnation is more in the form of a lesson that has been learned, or remains to be learned. Unless that 'lesson' makes for a better person, it has no lasting value. This is what the Source referred to as 'karma,' or the impact that one incarnation has on another.
As Hugh Lynn sought to communicate to those who studied the life readings, karma was simply subconscious memory, and not a matter of Divine punishment as popularly understood by many believers in reincarnation. "It [is simply] cause and effect ... simply internal memory," Hugh Lynn said. "People always thought you had karma with somebody [But] karma doesn't exist between people ... You don't have karma with other people. You have a memory about [the experience]. But [their memory] may be quite different from yours. They may have gotten over it ... and made it into a good relationship."
The point that the Source repeatedly stressed was that karma, and man's knowledge of it, has a purpose. "To find that ye only lived, died, and were buried under the cherry tree in Grandmother's garden does not make thee one whit better neighbor, citizen, mother, or father!" the Source said. "But to know that ye spoke unkindly and suffered for it, and in the present may correct it by being righteous - that is worthwhile!" (289)
Implicit throughout all of the life readings was the understanding that a soul, through its God given capacity of 'free will,' literally chooses the conditions or environment that it is born into. In other words, a soul chooses how to make peace, or free itself of its 'karmic debt.' And just as an individual soul 'chooses' the time and place to re-enter the earthly plane, specific choices are made regarding family, genetics, physical attributes, and personality. The Source compared bloodlines and family to a 'river' through which an entity travels as it selects the approximate conditions or challenges to be faced. The concept of family genealogy as a kind of cosmic river held great personal attraction to Edgar himself, for his favorite passage in the Bible was in Psalms 46, which reads, in part: "There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God."
To Hugh Lynn, like Edgar, the central message being communicated was that life has purpose and direction, and that reincarnation could only be understood in the context of where man came from and where he is goingfrom the 'First Cause' or God, and back to God. The primary object of all human experience, the Source said, was to become a worthy companion to God. The great world around us is a matter of our own creation, and it allows us to see where we stand in our journey back to God.
Again, the Source stressed the concept of mind as the builder, referring to the good that can come from focusing on God and God's creation, and the harm that results from a preoccupation with earthly evils such as violence, carnal desire, and materialism. This would be especially true, the Source added, for children and young adults, whose natural tendency to see God in the world can easily be subverted by materialism and consumerism, which for many are the customary rites of passage into adulthood. "The mind is the builder ever, whether in the spirit or in the flesh," the Source said. "If one's mind is filled with those things that bespeak of the spirit, then one becomes spiritual-minded ... Envy, strife, selfishness, greediness, avarice, are the children of man! Long-suffering, kindness, brotherly love, good deeds, are the children of the spirit."
Furthermore, the Source suggested that the only sure method of stepping off the seemingly interminable wheel of birth and rebirth was to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who, according to the Source, was the first person to make the transition back to God, the 'Creator.' In this context, the Source highlighted the Biblical teaching that Christ died on the cross to save mankind. He lived and died - the Source said - to provide a living example of man's route back to God. "He is the way, that light ever ready," the Source said. The route back, the Source said, involves making one's will the same as the will of the Father, as Jesus did on the cross. Although He had the power to save Himself, He showed His faith by leaving His fate in God's hands. (290) It is in connection to this concept that Cayce would quote Jesus as teaching: "If ye would have life, give life" - a more specific version of "you reap what you sow," and "what we do unto others, we truly do unto ourselves."
As difficult as it was for Edgar to accept the notion of reincarnation, he knew from his years of Bible study that it answered many theological questions, not the least of which was the often-quoted passages about being 'born again.' After making his own study of reincarnation and the Bible, Edgar finally concluded that it contained several specific references to the subject of karma and past lives. One such example was in the Gospel of John, when the disciples asked Christ about a man who had been born blind. The disciples wanted to know whether the blindness had been brought on by the man himself, or his parents. As Edgar pointed out in a lecture he later gave, "It wouldn't have been possible for the man to have sinned in this life [and] be born blind. They [the disciples] must have believed that the man lived before, else they wouldn't have asked such a question." Another reference Edgar cited was in the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus, Peter, James, and John came down from the Mount of Transfiguration, where they had seen Moses and Elijah. Peter and John, questioning an earlier prophecy about the coming Messiah, asked why the scribes had said that Elijah must come first. Jesus replied: "Elijah is come already, and they knew him not. Then the disciples understood that He spake unto them of John the Baptist." The Source later supported Edgar's interpretation of this passage in a reading given to a forty-six-year-old housewife from Akron, Ohio, by making specific reference to John the Baptist's previous life as Elijah.
A logical question that came to Edgar's mind was why the subject of reincarnation did not appear in Christian theology. The Source answered this question in a reading given about Gnosticism, a doctrine practiced by an early sect of the Christian church. In this reading the Source said that reincarnation was a commonly accepted belief until early church leaders began to develop "set rules," which were, according to the Source, "attempts to take shortcuts." The concept of personal responsibility disturbed the Christian fathers because of the degree of culpability it placed on an individual. If man himself had chosen the circumstances of his life, he couldn't claim to be the victim of bad luck, since it was his own actions, thoughts, and attitudes - as developed in previous incarnations - that were holding him back. But this change in church doctrine was, the Source implies, shortsighted. This same reading pointed out, "There are [no shortcuts] in Christianity!"
As Hugh Lynn, like Edgar, would become intimately aware, the vast majority of life readings and their accompanying physical readings suggested that karma was at the root of the challenges a person faced. (291) In a reading conducted in 1944 for a twelve-year-old child suffering from asthma, the Source said: "one doesn't press the life out of others without at times seeming to have same pressed out of self."
Perhaps the most interesting example of karmic debt belonged to a woman who came to Cayce suffering from gonorrhea. In her life reading, the Source said she had once been a prostitute in Yokohama, and that in her present incarnation she had been infected by the same strain of venereal disease she had knowingly passed on to countless sailors a century and a half earlier. Emotional disturbances were also explained by karma, as evidenced by a reading Cayce gave for an eighteen-year-old girl who had an unusual fear of darkness. The Source said: "The experiences in the dungeon in which thou wert plunged [creates this fear]."
Often, in cases of karmic conditions, the Source recommended developing one's faith both in one's self and in God, before embarking on any physical treatment. In a reading for a forty-seven-year-old woman suffering from glaucoma, the Source said: "Hence the general health has much to do with the condition [but] karma has much more ... Thy opportunities and purposes, as with each soul, are only ... opportunities for thee. Use them to the glory of God and not to the willful disobedience in any manner."
In another reading, given for a thirty-seven-year-old New Jersey housewife suffering from arthritis and constipation, the Source advised that before medicines should be given, "first there must be a change in the mental attitude of the body. There must be eradicated that of any judgment or of condemnation on the part of self as respecting self or any associated with the body."
Ridiculing another person's life situation was not only seen as wrong by the Source, but as a source of bad karma and poor health in future incarnations. The readings revealed situations in which a person faced challenges he had ridiculed in others in a past life. In a reading for a seventeen-year-old student, the Source said: "Oft did the entity laugh at those less nimble of activity, owing to their heaviness in body. Hence do we find the entity not only meeting same in the present from a physical angle - obesity - but there are the necessities of it being worked out by diet as well as outdoor activity." In another instance, a young man who felt challenged by his homosexuality sought a physical reading he believed might explain his current life situation. The origins of his 'challenge' showed up in a life reading. He had been a political cartoonist in an earlier French incarnation and had made fun of prominent people known or suspected to be homosexual. (292)
The question naturally arose in regard to these readings whether all serious ailments or afflictions were the result of past-life experiences. In answer to this question, the Source repeatedly stated that very little happens by chance, whether physical conditions or associations with others: "It is never by chance but as with all things in this material world, there are causes and effects," the Source told a fifty-year-old man from Durham, North Carolina. "To be sure, at times there may be what might be called accidents. But these too, in a causation world, have their cause and effect."
However, the Source did acknowledge that occasionally, "accidents happen in creation, as well as in individuals' lives! Peculiar statement here, but true!" An example of such a nonkarmic accident was that of a nurse who apparently hadn't washed her hands properly before handling an infant who later developed hearing - related problems. The Source said, "a sad condition, and not a result of karma, but an accident." Another example was that of a nurse who accidentally dropped a child who subsequently developed spinal injuries.
Even when the Source said there was no previous karma involved in a particular life situation, cause and effect still applied. This was the case for a schoolteacher who asked whether or not she should undergo surgery. The Source said: "Unless something is done about the [current] conditions [your physical problems] may occur again! It is not the paying for karmic debts of other experiences ... as the lack of conformity to the laws as pertaining to health." Frustrating as it must have been for this schoolteacher to be told that the ultimate responsibility for her life situation was hers, the Source described a means by which an individual might overcome her challenges through the act of 'forgiveness.' This, in a larger sense, was what Cayce believed Christ had accomplished in his life on earth.
Another reading made the point more directly: "Karmic influences must ever be met, but He has prepared the way that takes them upon Himself ... as ye trust in Him ... for karmic forces are [such that] what is meted must be met." Here, the Source seemed to be saying that although there is no way for a person to avoid his karmic debts, one can meet life's challenges by viewing them as stepping-stones to greater spiritual growth, and by forgiving the mistakes of others. According to the Source, it was only to the degree that a person forgives others their mistakes, that his own would be forgiven. "It is only as ye forgive [that] the Christ is able to forgive thee," the Source said in a reading in 1944. "Forgive, if ye would be forgiven."
Hugh Lynn, like his father, eventually came to believe that it is only in the context of karma that Jesus' healing powers could best be understood, for in the karmic sense, Jesus truly did heal people of their illnesses by "forgiving their sins," particularly those people born with whatever condition they suffered from. (293) And almost the very last words Christ uttered on the cross"Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do " - takes on a new meaning, especially in the light of the biblical teaching that says, "He is the way." To Edgar and other students of the life readings, the message was clear: people reap what they sow. If a person is judgmental and hateful, he will reap judgment and hate. If he acts with forgiveness and patience, his life will be filled with forgiveness and patience.
Although the focus in many of the readings was on what might be termed 'bad karma,' the Source devoted a greater number of readings to what might be called 'good karma,' or talents, abilities, and attitudes that were earned as a result of having successfully met challenges in previous life experiences. A good person would be given 'greater responsibilities,' which came in the form of wealth, station in life, good health, physique, or highly developed abilities and talents. The Source described these earthly blessings as 'responsibilities' because they too were karmic and had to be used in a manner that was in keeping with the 'First Cause' or Divine purpose.
This subject was addressed in a reading for a thirty-eight-year-old business executive, to whom the Source said: "Ye may find - as this world's goods increase in thy hands ... they will not and do not become burdens to thy conscience nor separate thee from thy home or thy fellow man. But rather is the opportunity to serve thy Maker. Ye have earned that right for much of this world's goods."
In a reading for a thirty-year-old secretary, the Source said: "[You] have earned [harmonious companionship] for ye have practiced peace first within self, and the ability to make peace with others." In this same reading, however, the Source stressed the need for this individual not to take her blessings for granted. "[Be careful not to] talk too much! And these [present blessings] will ever stand the entity in good stead, to attain, to gain whatever may be the desire or the [soul's] purpose [Adopt the attitude] of 'live and let live,' and of helping the other fellow, [and] ye will keep those [previous life] experiences inviolate, and there will be harmony in this [present] experience."
As Edgar's own life reading would later reveal to him, his most special blessing - his ability to communicate on a psychic level - was a direct result of his soul development' in previous lifetimes. The one incarnation in which he made the most development in this regard was a lifetime in which he had been wounded, and through his power of self-will, put aside his 'carnal mind' to heal his own body. However, as this same reading revealed, his present situation was determined by more than his personal karma. By virtue of his special task in life, Edgar, like many others who obtained life readings for themselves, drew to himself people and groups of people with whom he had previously associated in prior incarnations. (294) According to the Source, groups of people could incarnate together to work out individual karma or complete some long-term 'good' that had been started in previous incarnations. As Edgar gradually became aware while conducting the first series of life readings, the people in close contact with him invariably knew one another in Egypt many thousands of years earlier, which was where the work had truly begun.
Not everyone in Edgar's life was with him in other 'group' incarnations. In many instances people were drawn to him because of 'personal' karma that needed to be worked out. A woman whom Edgar had treated poorly in a previous incarnation was saved from certain death by a reading he provided. In this case, as in many others, Dave Kahn acted as a kind intermediary through which someone who might otherwise not have crossed Edgar's path sought and received help. And Edgar, in doing these readings, was able to erase bad karma resulting from his poor treatment of these individuals in previous life experiences.
It is interesting to note, in this regard, that Dave Kahn, according to his own life readings, did not participate in the work in Edgar's earlier incarnations and had not played the sort of role that Gertrude, Gladys, and others had in Cayce's "river of life." The 'karmic' purpose of Dave Kahn's participation in Edgar's current life seems to have been as an agent through whom Edgar, on a personal level, was able to right injustices he had committed in previous incarnations. Kahn had played just such a role in Desdemona and Luling, where he had acted as the contact point through which the various oilmen sought or received Cayce's help.
It is ironic - given the fact that recipients of physical readings as far back as Hopkinsville and Bowling Green were admonished to "look within themselves" for the source of their life challenges, or to "make peace with God" and "study the scriptures" if they wished to become physically well - that another full decade elapsed before Edgar Cayce himself became personally convinced of the message being put forth in the Dayton life readings. To a young college student who asked Cayce - in trance - what would convince him of reincarnation, the Source replied quite simply: "An experience." It was just such an 'experience' that ultimately convinced Edgar.
In the course of conducting life and physical readings for Cayce Jones, the infant son of Edgar's best friends in Selma, the Source not only provided answers to questions regarding the subject's physical and mental well-being, but had this to say to Edgar on a personal level: "Here you may have proof [of reincarnation] Let your mother see the child, she will recognize him as he will her." (295)
The reference was to Thomas Cayce, Edgar's late younger brother, who one of the life readings stated had been reincarnated as Cayce Jones, and who would, in the present incarnation, allegedly manifest great psychic abilities. As Edgar remembered, ten-day-old Thomas Cayce had died in his mother's arms, and this had been a source of much grief for which Edgar and his mother had sought solace in prayer. In the reading for Jones, the Source suggested that if Carrie Cayce was introduced to the child, she would recognize him as her own from his previous incarnation. Unfortunately, Edgar didn't act upon the information in 1925 when Cayce Jones's life reading was given. A few months later Carrie died, and Edgar regretted not having put mother and 'son' together to see what might happen.
But then, in 1927, Edgar visited Selma and spent an afternoon with the Jones family. On the way to their house from the train station, Cayce Jones's mother, Alva, and her husband, Lamar, told Edgar about their "very peculiar child," now 2 1/2 years old. According to Alva, her son - who had been named after Edgar - was claiming that he was not a member of their family. "He insists he does not belong to us, [and] is only visiting us until his folks come for him," she told Edgar. "He will have nothing to do with strangers, calls us by our names, Mr. Jones and Mrs. Jones, and his sisters and brothers by their name."
When Edgar arrived at the Jones's home, he was introduced to young Cayce Jones. Edgar described the child as "lovely" and "normal in every way" and was surprised when the young boy would not greet or come near him. He merely watched Edgar intently from a distance, saying nothing. All of sudden he then rushed over to embrace Edgar. The child's face became radiant. "Brother!" he announced. At once, the child began to beg Edgar to take him home, pleading with Edgar that he belonged in the Cayce family, not with the Jones's. Little Cayce Jones was so distraught at the prospect of not leaving with him that Edgar had to wait until the child was asleep before he could leave the Jones's house.
Edgar did not see Cayce Jones for the next eight years, thinking that were he to do so, there might be serious repercussions to the child's relationship with his parents. Then, when he did return, Alva Jones related a curious phenomenon that was creating a great strain on their family life. She told Edgar that her ten-year-old child would not go alone into the house that they had recently moved into, nor would he enter his bedroom or their bathroom unless accompanied by a parent. This proved to be quite a problem, for one of the parents had to constantly accompany the ten-year-old. When Alva asked her son what the problem was, he reportedly replied: "You would not understand." (296)
Lamar and Alva Jones asked Edgar to look into the matter and talk to their son. Edgar obliged. It soon became apparent to him that the ten-year old child had begun to manifest the psychic abilities foretold in his first life reading. Cayce Jones told Edgar what he was reluctant to tell his parents: that he believed that the ghost of someone who had died in the house had remained behind to haunt its present occupants. Cayce Jones was 'picking up' psychic vibrations, and it disturbed him to be in the house alone. In discussions with Edgar about the 'ghost,' the problem was solved. The child had only to take a living thing into the room with him, such as a caged bird or potted plant, to offset the vibrations of the ghostly presence. As Edgar later reported in a letter to a friend, the child confirmed what both he and the child knew in their hearts to be true. "[A bird or a flower has] life, and Life is God. And when He is ... [present] nothing can harm."
Helping the young boy overcome his fear of the house, however, was a great deal easier than convincing the child to remain with the Jones family. When Edgar was about to leave the Jones's house to return to his own home, the young boy appeared at the door with his belongings packed in a suitcase. He demanded to be taken "home." As Edgar later said of the incident, "this wasn't proof [of reincarnation] to anyone [in a scientific way], but [it was] mighty meaningful to me!" (297)
Hoofdstuk 33 The Life of Christ
Cayce's readings had already suggested the exalted position with which the Source viewed the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. References to the 'Lowly Nazarene,' the 'Master,' and the 'Prince of Peace' appeared thousands of times during trance sessions, in ways that suggested that the readings' recipients should aspire to a greater understanding of God. Now that Morton Blumenthal's curiosity had been piqued by his own life reading, he naturally wanted to know if Jesus the man actually existed, and if the accepted details of his life as put forth in the Bible were accurate. The fact that Morton Blumenthal - a Jew - first raised the subject, made the search for the historical Jesus all the more unusual.
To Edgar's relief, rarely did the contents of what became known as the Jesus readings - nor the hundreds of life readings that were later conducted for people purported to have played a role in the events of the early Christian Church - overtly contradict what appeared in the Bible. More often than not these readings added clarity and a deeper, more three-dimensional picture of the life and times of Jesus Christ. However, like so much else that came through in trance, the readings on Jesus also challenged anyone who studied them. (327) Perhaps the most intriguing information that came through Cayce concerned the preparation for His birth, a topic on which the Bible provides few details.
In a particularly fascinating discourse on biblical history, the Source suggested that preparations for the coming of the Messiah were underway four hundred years before the birth of Jesus. According to Cayce, the group of people who were 'preparing the way,' and in whose midst Jesus was eventually born, were the Essenes, or the 'Brotherhood.' Cayce described them as "a [noncelibate] religious order within Jewry," whose primary function was as record keepers, interpreters of the prophecies, and channels for the Messiah to come. According to the readings, because of their belief in astrology, numerology, and reincarnation, they were also generally viewed by the greater Jewish population as rebels and radicals.
For modern historians, the Essenes have long been an enigma, primarily because there is little mention of the sect's existence after the birth of Jesus. Much of what is now known about the Essenes comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered in Qumran in 1947, more than a decade after Cayce first discussed the Essenes and two years after his death. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which are generally believed to have been authored by the Essenes, ultimately created more confusion about who the Essenes were. However, the information revealed by the scrolls bears a striking similarity to the descriptions from Cayce's readings, and provides the single most compelling evidence that the biblical history as presented by Cayce might indeed be true. Although historians and the Cayce readings are in agreement that the Essenes were a Jewish sect, the Source went quite a bit farther in describing the makeup of the community. "They took Jews and Gentiles alike as members [as they did both men and women]," Cayce said. "This was the beginning of the period where women were considered as equals with the men in their activities, in their abilities to formulate, to live, to be channels. They joined by dedication ... a [matter of] free will." Perhaps most surprising of Cayce's claims was that the head of the Essenes at the time of Jesus' birth was a woman named Judy, who "had the experience of hearing voices and communication with the divine - voices, dreams, signs, symbols." The Source went on to say that Judy's birth was foretold by an angel who appeared before her mother and father. "That the entity was a daughter, rather than being a male, brought some disturbance [and] confusion, but was a decision from the powers on 'high,' and gave the first demonstration of woman's place in the affairs and associations of man, for [like] the teachings of Jesus [this] released woman from that bondage to which she had been held since the ideas of man conceived from the fall of Eve." (328)
It appears from the readings that Judy, who broke tradition by becoming the female head of this sect, also had the 'Divine' responsibility for recording and compiling much of what is now found in the Old Testament and in the ancient documents that comprise the Dead Sea Scrolls. According to the Source, the Essenes "labored in the preserving of records of His activities as the Child [and] the activities of the [Magi]. Judy had been the prophetess, the healer, the writer, the recorder." As this last reading would suggest, and the next would confirm, the Magi, who had come out of the East in search of the newborn Messiah, had actually been in contact with the Essenes even before His birth. The Magi were described as soothsayers, astrologers, interpreters of dreams and of palms, and also "those that were seekers for the truth, for [the coming Messiah]."
Not only did the Essenes devote themselves spiritually to the coming Messiah, but according to the Source, they took practical steps to bring about the event when their own astrological calculations, and those of the Magi, indicated that the arrival of the 'Promised One' was fast approaching. This was a time, according to the Source, when the Essene sages earnestly began studying the teachings of Persia, India, Greece, Egypt, and the Hebrews.
According to Cayce, the study took place on Mount Carmel, near Galilee, and not far from Nazareth. "Thus in [Mount] Carmel, where the priests of this faith were, there were [twelve] maidens chosen that were dedicated to this purpose [as potential channels for the Messiah]." The twelve maidens were purported to be selected from "all of those who chose to give those that were perfect in body and in mind for the service." As stated in other readings, the parents of these maidens were all hopeful that their daughter would be ultimately chosen. It was Mary, the entity who Cayce described as "an Aquarius - in its perception [and] perfection," who had been given by her mother at age "four," and "between twelve and thirteen [was] the one chosen."
Mary, like the other virgins, was put into training according to Essene tradition, which included "chastity, purity, love, patience, endurance - all of [ which] would be termed by many in the present as persecutions, but [were] tests for physical and mental strength ... These were kept balanced according to that which had been first set by Aran and Ra Ta." Although the point may have been initially lost on Morton and Edgar, here was not only a description of the education of the mother of Jesus, but the first of many references to the role that Ra Ta-Edgar Cayce, in a previous incarnationplayed in 'preparing the way.'
According to the readings, Mary had been in serious preparation for three years before she was chosen by an angel to be the mother of the Messiah. (329) The selection was made on "the temple steps [when the] maidens [were] going to the altar for prayer ... . As they mounted the steps, all were bathed in the morning sun, which not only made a beautiful picture but clothed all as in purple and gold. As Mary reached the top step [there was] thunder and lightning, and the [Angel Gabriel] led the way, taking the child [Mary] by the hand."
The Source confirmed that Jesus was immaculately conceived and stated that Mary herself was also divinely conceived, though in a somewhat different fashion. Like Edgar Cayce and Gladys Davis, Mary and her son Jesus were described as 'twin souls' or 'soul mates' separated at some early and as yet undefined period during Earth's 'indwelling.' Asked to explain the nature of Jesus' conception, the Source said: "The immaculate conception is the physical and mental ... attuned to spirit as to be quickened by same [Many will] say 'Impossible!' They say that it isn't in compliance with the natural law. [But] it is a natural law, as has been indicated by the projection of mind into matter ... . Neither Mary nor Jesus had a human father. They were one soul."
According to Cayce, once the teenage Mary was established as the future mother of the Messiah, the Essenes quickly sought to find her a husband. A thirty - six - year - old widower named Joseph was chosen, and the wedding, I which was performed in the temple at Carmel, "followed the regular ritual ... not ... in the Jewish temple but rather in the general meeting place of the Essenes." The Angel Gabriel again appeared in a vision and blessed the union. Mary then became pregnant.
As described in the Bible, the readings said Mary joined Joseph in Nazareth after the wedding, and "from [Nazareth] they went to Bethlehem to be taxed, or to register." The Source went an to fill in many new details: "Mary and Joseph's arrival [into Bethlehem] was in the evening ... the weather was cool, and there were crowds on the way ... from the hills of Judea." In another reading, the Source said: "In the evening ... the specter of His star in the evening sky brought awe and wonder to all who beheld [it]. At twilight, Joseph approached the inn that was filled with those who had also journeyed there on their way to be polled for the tax ... required by the Roman law ... Both Joseph and Mary were members of the [radical] sect ... and thus they were questioned by those not only in the political but in the religious authority in the cities. Then there was the answer by the innkeeper, 'No room in the inn,' especially for such an occasion. Laughter and jeers followed at the sight of the elderly man with the beautiful girl, his wife heavy with child." (330)
Regarding the innkeeper, who has been generally portrayed as heartless, Cayce provided an interesting detail: "Much of that as has been recorded as we find is not ... in keeping with [what] the [innkeeper] did [His name was] Apsafar, who was of the Essenes [He] knew of those things that had been foretold by the teachers ... and made all preparations as near in keeping with what had been foretold." Apsafar therefore sent Mary and Joseph to a grotto behind the stables to protect them from the Romans, where according to the Source, the Child was born.
"[Just as the midnight hour came] the star appeared that made the wonderment to the shepherds ... All were in awe as the brightness of His star appeared and shone, as the music of the spheres brought that joyful choir, 'Peace on Earth! Good will to men of Good Faith.' All felt the vibrations and saw a great light - not only the shepherds above that stable but those in the inn as well. To be sure, those conditions were later to be dispelled by the doubters who told the people that they had been overcome with wine."
The Magi, according to the reading, arrived at the grotto where the child was born through their own purported psychic powers and visions, carrying with them gifts that represented - in the metaphysical sense - the three phases of man's experience in materiality: gold, the material; frankincense, the ether or ethereal; and myrrh, the healing force. Although the Bible story suggests that after the Magi visited them the Holy family left Bethlehem almost immediately, Cayce asserted that Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus remained in Bethlehem for twenty-nine days.
As described in the Bible, en route to visiting the newborn Messiah, the Magi had stopped to visit with Herod and inquire of him the whereabouts of the infant Messiah. Cayce pointed out that visiting Herod, who was only second or third in command, instead of the Romans who were in charge, might appear to be a strange choice on the part of the Magi. The Source went on to say that this was orchestrated by Judy, who knew that Herod, a despot, would react violently to the news of the new King of the Jews, and would thus fulfill another Old Testament prophecy, of "Rachel weeping for her children." This suggested that the fulfillment of prophecies and the Essene practice of record keeping were actually one and the same; to provide evidence to seekers that Jesus was the Messiah, and to chronicle the life that he would live.
Just as the readings dedicated to the life of Jesus provided interesting insights into the arrival of the 'New King,' hundreds of life readings conducted by Cayce over the next two decades described other important events of the life of Christ from the perspective of participants in His story. A particularly insightful life reading was given for a woman purported to have been Herod's third wife. (331) According to this reading, Thesea, as she was known in her earlier incarnation, was fourteen years old when she was wed to Herod, who reportedly had chosen her not only for beauty and education, but because of the political influence that her family had with the priests in power. Caiaphus, the high priest in the Bible who presided at the trial of Jesus, was her brother-in-law and was described by Cayce as making "overtures to Herod in his proclaiming the closer relationship to the Roman rule." Thesea, according to the Source, was horrified by her husband's edict to kill the infants of Jerusalem and disassociated herself from his activities and later, like the Essenes, suffered great physical and mental cruelty at his hands. As the story was related, Thesea became a secret informant for the Essenes, conversed with the Magi, and took on the task of chronicling what happened. Her writings, like Judy's, were purportedly part of the records destroyed in the Alexandrian library, and a portion of those records, in some form, is also said to still exist in the Vatican library.
Herod's persecution forced the Holy Family to leave for Egypt, but before their departure, Judy appointed a girl named Josie - one of the twelve consecrated virgins - to become the handmaiden to Mary and Joseph. The journey took them "through portions of Palestine, from Nazareth to the borders of Egypt," the Source said. "Do not understand that there was only Joseph, Mary, Josie, and the child, for there were other [Essene] groups that preceded and followed [them for their] protection." Regarding the "four years, six months, three days" that the family reportedly would spend in Egypt, the Source noted that Jesus had already begun to manifest the gifts later ascribed to him in the Bible. The "garments worn about the Child" were said to have healing properties, "for the body being perfect radiated that which was health, life itself." Cayce also stated that Jesus was not consciously able to perform "miracles" until he was twelve, when he stayed to converse with the rabbi in Jerusalem.
According to the readings, the family's return from Egypt was made to Capernaum - not Nazareth as stated in Matthew - and was done not only for political reasons, owing to the death of Herod, but for the continuing education of Jesus: "That there might be the ministry or teaching [to Jesus] that was to be a part of the Brotherhood - supervised in that period by Judy." Though nothing is said in the New Testament about Jesus between the time he was a twelve-year-old child in the temple in Jerusalem, and when He was a thirty-year-old man about to begin his ministry, the Cayce readings chronicle Jesus' life in this period, alleging that he went to Persia, India, Syria, and Egypt to complete his education.
In India, Jesus was purported to have studied the "cleansings of the body as related to preparation for strength in the physical as well as in the mental man." (332) Apparently these teachings represented forms of fasting and meditation, practices meant to purify one's body, thoughts, and actions. Jesus was also said to have studied in Benares - a holy Hindu city - where he learned "teachings ... combined from the Essene schools, but ... not true Essene doctrine as practiced by the Jewish and semi-Jewish associations in Carmel." Jesus returned home and after His father's funeral was reported to have accompanied the man who would become John the Baptist "into Egypt for the completion of His preparation as a teacher." It was in Egypt, Cayce said, that "both [John and Jesus] became the initiates in the pyramid ... [studying] what you would today call [the law of one]." Cayce added that "these [aspects of Jesus' education] should not be looked upon by students as unnatural conditions," suggesting, perhaps, that anyone preparing for ministry in the Essene community would have undertaken such an education.
Cayce also made reference to "the passing of the tests [in Egypt] by those who were of the Essene group, as they entered into the service." For these tests, Jesus was in Heliopolis - a now ruined city outside of Cairo, not to be confused with the modern city with the same name. Heliopolis, which means 'city of the sun,' was the center of sun worship in the pre-Christian Egyptian civilization and had also been known as the 'City of Ra' - another reference to the deified Ra Ta named in Edgar's life readings. The reason the Essenes chose this spot, as Cayce stated in another reading, was that "the unifying of the teachings of many lands was brought together in Egypt [under the law of one]."
Cayce - in trance - said that the Bible does not tell of Jesus' youth and education because there were few, if any, supporting records: "All of those that existed were destroyed - that is, the originals - with the activities in Alexandria [although] there are some that have been forged manuscripts." Exactly what Cayce meant by 'forged' is not clear, but what he may have been referring to were adulterated copies of the originals.
Cayce asserted that "Mary and Joseph took up normal married life about ten years after the birth of Jesus, when Jesus went to be taught by priests." They then had three children. According to the readings, Jesus was twelve when Mary gave birth to James. The next year, when Jesus began His studies in foreign lands, Ruth was born in Capernaum and then Jude was born. Although this information varies from the Bible, which refers to brothers James, Judas, Simon, and Joses as well as unnamed sisters, some historians assert that the siblings mentioned in the Bible were not Mary's, but Joseph's from a previous marriage, which would have been in keeping with Cayce's account of events. (333)
There is very little in the readings about James, who Cayce confirmed was the head of the Christian church in Jerusalem after Jesus' death: "James was exalted to the position of the leader because the honor was to Jesus ... to whom all honor and all glory are due." However, Cayce also asserted something that modern scholars dispute, that James, the brother of the Lord, and 'James the Less,' as referred to in the Bible, were one and the same person.
The Source yielded much more information about Jesus' sister, Ruth, who is not specifically mentioned in the Bible. Information on her comes through a life reading given for a forty-six-year-old wife of a labormanagement mediator and the daughter of a man who, at the time, was one of the wealthiest and most influential men in America, and purported in the readings to have been Augustus Caesar in a previous incarnation. Ruth was said to have reached young adulthood when the Jewish people were questioning the veracity of the events relating to Jesus' birth. Despite the difficulties that arose when her brother returned to Egypt to complete his training, Ruth would eventually support Jesus and recognize Him as the Messiah. And after Jesus' death, she aided their brother James in heading the church and in convincing their younger brother Jude of the truth of Jesus' resurrection. Jude was described by Cayce as 'faltering much' in his early adulthood.
On a few occasions, Cayce offered a physical description of Jesus as a young man, sometimes including interesting details: "The Master's hair is 'most red,' inclined to be curly in portions, yet not feminine or weak - strong with heavy piercing eyes that are blue or steel-gray. His weight would be at least a hundred and seventy pounds. Long tapering fingers, nails well kept. Long nail, though, on the left little finger."
Cayce confirmed that the first recorded miracle performed by the Master was when He turned water into wine at a wedding. According to the readings, the bride, named Mary, was a close relative of His mother, Mary, whom the Bible refers to as the 'other Mary.' Cayce described the miracle: "The day was fine and the evening fair, with a full moon. There was more and more wine drinking and more hilarity, and the dance - which was done in circles ... The wine ran low. Mary, remembering how, upon their return from Egypt, food had been mysteriously provided when they got waylaid, was convinced that here might be an opportunity to experience such an increase again, especially with her son returning a man, starting upon His mission." In what Cayce described as one of the rare instances where Jesus performed miracles among his own kindred people, the water was changed into wine "as it was poured out of the jugs." (334)
According to the Gospels, not long after this miracle, John the Baptist had been imprisoned by Herod for publicly condemning Herod for taking his brother's wife - or, as Cayce put it, "because John had spoken against that which answered to the aggrandizing of a fleshly lust." Although the Bible speaks of the death of only John the Baptist, according to Cayce, Roael Zebedee, the groom at the wedding and the elder brother of James and John the beloved, was also among these followers who would suffer persecution and death.
Although Luke's Gospel has Jesus returning home from the desert to Nazareth and then going on to Capernaum, according to Cayce, Jesus went straight home to Capernaum. Upon His return, on the first Sabbath, He went into the synagogue, and His sister Ruth "for the first time heard in the synagogue His first utterances, as to the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the teachings of the lesser prophets."
On her way home from this meeting, Ruth met her future husband, a thirty-year-old Roman tax assessor named Philo as. Ruth was described as not only beautiful but "active in those conditions that were accorded to those peoples in the less fortunate circumstances, which became part of the interests of this Roman." The two were introduced by the physician Luke, the apostle. Once Ruth got over her shyness with Philoas, the Source said she began to resent the advice given by her mother, who was unsure of the wisdom of her daughter's relationship. Ruth persisted in seeing Philoas because in her mind, "he bespoke of greater knowledge of the needs of human experience than that held to either by the Essenes or the orthodox Jewish people." Philoas' job put him into contact with many of the Master's followers, including Judy, the head of the Essenes, and many of the apostles. He was said to have eventually obtained the records that had been gathered by Judy in Carmel and delivered them to Alexandria.
When Passover came, Jesus went to Jerusalem, where many people had already heard tales of His activities. One of these was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who according to John 3:2, "came to Jesus by night" to talk with Him and ask Him questions. An interesting point that Cayce made was that Nicodemus was married to an Essene named Martha. As a Pharisee, Nicodemus was never able to fully accept his wife's group, but he did accept his wife, I in keeping with the Essene tenets, as a partner rather than as chattel.
As told in the Gospel of John, when Jesus left Judea to return home to Galilee, He stopped en route in a city called Sychar in Samaria. This is where He met the woman at the well - who according to Cayce was named Jodie whom Jesus impressed with His intimate knowledge of her past. Jesus knew, for instance, that she had had five husbands. What's not recorded in the Bible is that Jodie and her sisters brought many new followers to Jesus since they were the family of a high - ranking nobleman. (335) Jesus' visit that day went a long way toward developing a huge following in Samaria. As Cayce would say, "The teachings of the man of Nazareth of these peoples began with this household."
The Bible says that Jesus and His disciples traveled throughout Galilee teaching and healing. In regard to these healings, Cayce said, "There were many instances where individual healings by the Master were ... instantaneous, as ... when he said [to a man who was] sick of palsy, 'Son, thy sins be forgiven thee' ... The recognition was that sin had caused the physical disturbance." Cayce noted that healing through forgiveness, described both in his cherished Bible and in the readings, could certainly be construed as an argument for the existence of karma.
About the healing of Mary Magdalene, Cayce had some very interesting things to say. Information about her came through a life reading done for Gladys's cousin, Mildred Davis, who would later join the work in Virginia Beach, and who, in a previous incarnation, had been Mary Magdalene. In contrast to popular opinion, Cayce said that this woman was the person described as Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. A courtesan to the Romans, twenty-three-year-old Mary Magdalene was said by the Source to have been separated from her family in Bethany and became established in a brothel. As a lucrative sideline, she also traded on information she obtained as a paid companion to influential clients. According to the readings, when a crowd of people brought Mary Magdalene to Jesus, requesting that she be stoned for her many acts of adultery, Jesus bent over and wrote in the sand. Exactly what he wrote is not mentioned in the Bible. The reason, according to the Source, was that the words that Jesus wrote in the sand miraculously appeared differently to each person who read them. Each person reading the message read of the sins that he himself had committed. It is no small wonder, then, that the crowd immediately dispersed.
There was not one - according to Cayce - but two incidents in which a woman accused of adultery was brought to Jesus. This may account for variations in the stories told in the Gospels. The incident included in the Bible, in which Jesus said, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first," was described in the readings as that of a woman caught in the act of adultery with a Roman soldier. While Mary Magdalene had seven 'devils' to be cast out, this girl was guilty only of self-indulgence. In this instance, too, Jesus stooped and wrote in the sand. This time he wrote "Medi, Medici, Cui," which was translated by the Source as an expression of mercy and not sacrifice.
Jesus' raising of Lazarus, according to the Source, was the event that completely convinced Ruth and Philoas of His identity as the Messiah. (336) According to Cayce, Lazarus had died of typhoid fever before Jesus raised him from the dead. One of the things that impressed onlookers most, when Jesus arrived four days after Lazarus's death, was that "He wept with those of His friends, in the face of criticism [for coming late and] in the company of the great and near great." This experience, Cayce said, "brought about change, which made for a new life, a new understanding, a new conception of ... God among the children of men."
Cayce confirmed that the raising of Lazarus was also the last straw in the minds of high priests who then began to plot His death in earnest. Like so many figures in the New Testament, no mention is made as to what finally became of Lazarus, although it does state that the high priests plotted his death, too. What is most interesting to note is that Lazarus, like nearly every person identified in the life readings as being healed by Jesus, allegedly developed healing abilities in that lifetime, and also in later incarnations. The man who had been Lazarus was said by the Source to be reborn in 1875 as Fredoon Birdi, in Puna, India, to Persian parents. Biographical sources independent of the life readings support such a claim: Dr. Fredoon Birdi, born in Puna, India, was a well-respected naturopathic healer in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Among the other 'early Christians' reincarnated in Edgar's generation were several 'Holy' women, many of whom were described in the readings as having once dedicated themselves to Jesus and His work. These women included Mary and her sister Martha, His own mother, and Maipah, the wife of Jarius, whose daughter was raised from the dead. The Source described these reincarnated souls as having traveled from place to place in advance of Jesus and His disciples, seeing to their needs and establishing 'places of refuge' for those people who had been healed by Jesus and who desired to become teachers or ministers of the Master.
Aware of their danger after the raising of Lazarus, Jesus and His followers withdrew "unto a country near to the wilderness." It was here, as described in the Bible, that a rich young ruler came to Jesus asking how to inherit eternal life. Jesus replied that he should give up his possessions and follow Him. The young man went away. Cayce's readings said this man's name was Nicholas, referring to him as "that one about whom much speculation has been in the minds of many ... But remember ... the Master loved the young man ... He hath not willed that any soul should perish. And the entity did just that. He came, later, and followed."
As Jesus prepared Himself to return to Jerusalem, where many of his enemies lay in wait, according to Cayce, there was "much disturbance among the disciples who were of Galilee and those who were of the Judean ministry." (337) Cayce suggested that people from all over had heard of Jesus and had come to Jerusalem in the hope of seeing Him and witnessing His works. The Source noted that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, there was a "crowd of people, especially the little ones. For, though man would have most believe that there were great throngs, they were mostly women and children." Despite the glorious arrival of Jesus, much of the crowd was apparently disappointed "when that mighty force, that glorious creature, that mighty man among men was not proclaimed 'King.' And He seemed to exert so little of that necessary material application of a glorious power and might over those things in man's experience of sickness, of doubt, of fear!"
Perhaps the most startling revelation to come out of the Jesus readings was Cayce's description of the Last Supper. The description didn't appear in the same form as the vast majority of the Jesus material, but was given at the end of a follow - up medical reading when Cayce refused Gertrude's command to wake up from trance. Without being asked, Cayce reported what he was "seeing," - which turned out to be nothing less than the Last Supper, witnessed, it seemed, in first person.
In trance, Cayce spoke in a stream of conscious that surprised and delighted both Gertrude and Gladys as they gradually understood what it was that was being described: "see what they had for supper: boiled fish, rice, with leeks, wine, and [bread]. The ... robe of the Master was not white, but pearl gray ... the gift of Nicodemus to the Lord. The better looking of the twelve ... was Judas, while the younger was John - oval face, dark hair, smooth face [the] only one with the short hair ... The Master ... merry
even in the hour of trial! ... Judas departs. The last is given of the wine and loaf ... Lays aside His robe, which is all of one piece - girds the towel about His waist ... is dressed with linen that is blue and white. Rolls back the folds, kneels first before John, James, then to Peter - who refuses. Then the dissertation as to 'He that would be the greatest would be servant of all.' ... And now comes 'It is finished.' They sing the ninety-first Psalm ... He is the musician as well, for He uses the harp ... "
Here, the reading, if indeed it could be considered one, ended. But there was far more information to come in another reading. Cayce, in trance, said that the most difficult time for Jesus was not the trial or even the crucifixion, but "those periods in the garden ... the seeming indifference and the feeling of the loss of one in whom trust and hope had been given." In another reading, Cayce said that "the real test was [with] the realization that He had met every test and yet must know the pang of death." But Cayce also stated: "Remember, He even made the joke as He walked to the garden to be betrayed ... He looked with love upon His disciple that denied Him." (338)
While in the Bible, Judas Iscariot is depicted as turning in Jesus for the reward offered, the readings suggest that Judas was trying to force Jesus to "assert Himself as a king and bring in His kingdom." According to the Source, there were many who believed that if Jesus was the Messiah, He would deliver them from their enemies, and more specifically, their Roman occupiers and the burdens of their taxation. They were expecting a material deliverance, rather than a spiritual deliverance. Judas was apparently hoping to speed the process by forcing Jesus to save himself. While in the Bible, Pontius Pilate's wife appeals to him that no harm should come to 'that just man,' the reason offered is that she has had a dream. Cayce suggeted another reason, that Jesus had healed Pontius Pilate's son of epilepsy. Nevertheless, Pilate washed his hands of the affair and handed Jesus over to the crowds.
Cayce's readings confirmed many of the details of Jesus' death on the cross. References were made to the sky darkening, earthquakes, and the tearing of the veil in the temple. Cayce said that Martha, Nicodemus's wife, was on Mother Mary's right hand during the crucifixion, while the other Mary was at her left. Two of the original twelve consecrated maidens were also there, along with many followers as the Romans attempted to disperse the crowds. According to Cayce, the 'rich young ruler,' Nicholas, who had turned away when he had been instructed by Jesus to give up all he owned, was instrumental in prompting "Nicodemus to seek the Lord [and] those that cared for the body when it was placed in a new tomb yet unused."
Once Jesus' body had been taken down, several of the women present prepared the spices and wrapped His head. A woman reportedly named Veronicani, a follower of John the Baptist, and whose son would become the first Christian martyr, bathed the Lord's face. Ruth was not present for the trial or the crucifixion - she was with her new husband, who had been called back to Rome just before the trial. They returned, however, the day after the crucifixion and were reportedly with the others on the mount when Jesus reappeared three days later.
The Source said that many people - even those close to the Holy Family - now felt doubts that Jesus had been the Messiah, wondering if His mother, Mary, had somehow become confused about the events of her son's life. Given the amazing miracles that Cayce confirmed, and that many others had apparently witnessed them, highlighted for Edgar and others who studied the readings just how subjective these experiences must have seemed for the people of the times. Just as today, it was all too easy to talk someone into distrusting their own eyes and ears. (339)
The Cayce readings suggested that most, if not all, of the women present at the crucifixion were also present on resurrection morning, when many doubters became disciples. The Bible tells of two disciples meeting up with Christ on a walk to Emmaus, shortly after the resurrection, giving only one name, that of Cleopas. Cayce described Cleopas as a Jewish man from Capernaum who collected taxes for the Romans and whose daughter would eventually become a deaconess in the church in Laodicea.
According to Cayce, there were actually three disciples on the road to Emmaus that day. The second disciple, Cayce said, was Philoas, Ruth's husband, and the third was Luke - "the beloved physician who was both a Roman and a Jew and of those same provinces in the Grecian rule that were under the Roman authorities." In another reading, Luke of Cyrenia was described as "the young physician that never finished and never practiced, yet was known as the physician [who was] close to the brother-inlaw of Pilate."
Cayce confirmed the various meetings cited in the Bible between the resurrected Christ and his disciples, and affirmed that for forty days after the resurrection, Jesus would talk often with the disciples but also with many others in Galilee. In another reading, Cayce said that the ascension occurred fifty days after the resurrection, and Jesus was seen by as many as five thousand people.
The years following Jesus' death and resurrection would produce many tales of heroism and martyrdom, persecution and discrimination. Philoas, Jesus' brother-in-law, through His reports to Rome, would prove to be highly influential in having Pilate recalled and having him replaced by a Roman leader who was more sympathetic to the new teachings of Jesus and His disciples. Later he would be instrumental in saving some of the church leaders from death sentences, granting them exile instead. Another who would help the cause of Christianity was Cornelius, the converted Roman ruler of Caesarea.
Over the years, the information that came through Cayce about Jesus, His followers, and the early Christian church was enough to fill several volumes. How many historians have consulted this material is unknown. But for Edgar, Gertrude, and Gladys, who shared a deep feeling of love and reverence for the Master, the Jesus readings - which grew in depth and scope on an almost daily basis - became a means to better understand the often confusing lessons taught in the Bible, and perhaps more important, became the catalyst for a greater and more intimate relationship with their Maker. For Morton Blumenthal, the Jesus readings were enough to bring about a cathartic experience. Formerly a practicing Jew, Morton would convert to Catholicism. He would also devote his considerable financial skills to lifting Cayce out of poverty and building the hospital dedicated to his healing arts. (340)
Hoofdstuk 35 Dreams and Reincarnation
At the beginning of the reading to interpret these two dreams, the Source castigated Edgar for not being more mindful of the importance of dreams. "For as has been given," the reading stated, "often there is presented to every normal body ... those conditions through the subconscious forces of the sleeping state wherein truths are given, visions are seen of things to be warned of [or] that will be advantageous to the body, physically, mentally, morally, spiritually, and financially ... Pay more attention to the dream of each and everyone [connected to the work]!" Implicit in this response was the suggestion that all people had the capacity to interpret and act on subliminal communications. "All have the power," Cayce - in trance - said repeatedly. (355)
Cayce's dream readings suggested that dreams were to be interpreted through signs, direct messages, and symbols, all of which were derived from an indelible record registered in the subconscious mind of the dreamer and composed of everything that the dreamer had seen, read, heard, imagined, or experienced in their present life or previous lives. In other words, the language and imagery of an individual's dreams were derived from his personal soul record, and as such, spoke only to that person. The dream's message however, came from a higher self, or the higher selves of others. According to the Source, messages could come from the grocery clerk at the market down the street, deceased family members, or Divine communications sent to protect or guide an individual. Understanding the message was only a matter of keeping the channel open, or recognizing that it existed in the first place. "Happy may he be that is able to say they have been spoken to through the dream or vision," Cayce - in trance - would say.
Apart from the dream's message, the Source identified nearly two hundred different symbols that often had one particular meaning. An arrow, for example, was a portent of an incoming message. A baby or newborn child represented a new business venture or activity. Blood represented the physical forces of the body itself and was indicative of the individual's health. Fire represented fear, and hair was the reasoning process. Ultimately, however, all symbols represented what the dreamer made of them, for the relevance of a vineyard to one person, could be the same as a school classroom to another. (356)
Premonitions of the birth of a son first appeared to Adeline in a dream she had on June 29, 1925, in which a 'weak-minded' boy or child appeared to her, and a reading was conducted on July 1. Cayce, in trance, cautioned her to be extremely careful about controlling her thoughts, for the projection of those thoughts would be translated into the physical: by dwelling upon negative thoughts she might indeed have a 'weak-minded' child. "Good and only good thoughts should be projected into the subconscious ... for the body ... becomes that upon which it feeds ... Dreams are that of which the subconscious is made, for any condition ever becoming reality is first dreamed." (358)
Hoofdstuk 37 Atlantis and the future of man
The first mention of Edgar Evans's connection to the 'land of the Poseidians' was in his second life reading, which had been conducted in Dayton on February 27, 1925. The reading said that Edgar Evans had developed his considerable mechanical and engineering skills in Poseidia, skills that he had carried through all of his subsequent incarnations. As later readings revealed, talents he had developed in Atlantis would be much in demand in his present life, and how he would put his skills to use would playa determining factor in the course of future events. Thus it was natural for the inquisitive and scientific-minded Edgar Evans to want to know what that now vanished culture had been like.
Many of his questions were answered in the series of readings dedicated specifically to Atlantis, although some of the most interesting details would come through the life readings. In the 1932 series, begun on February 3, the Source made reference to passages in Plato's dialogues 'Timaeus' and 'Critias,' which date to the fifth century B.C. in which Atlantis is described in a conversation among Egyptian priests as a large island in the Atlantic that sank in a volcanic catastrophe some nine thousand years earlier.
It wasn't until the third reading in this series that the Source came right out and said that Atlantis had existed and was once a large continent whose borders stretched between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean. "That the continent existed is [at the present time] being proven as a fact," the Source said, making reference to recent scientific and archaeological endeavors in Mexico. In another reading the Source said that evidence of Atlantis had already been found in the Yucatan in the form of a stone marker or tablet, which was at that moment purportedly on its way to a museum in Pennsylvania, though archaeologists hadn't yet understood the significance of what they had found. Evidence of the Atlantean culture was also said to exist in the Pyrenees Mountains, Morocco, British Honduras, Peru, and Central America. "There are some protruding portions within [these regions] that must have at one time or another been a portion of this great continent," the Source said. "The British West Indies or the Bahamas, and a portion of same that may be seen in the present ... in Bimini and in the Gulf Stream." These, however, were just landmarks, or anchors that the Source gave to better place Atlantis on the globe and to reveal how vast a region it had once encompassed. (376) The fact that this description was not of an 'island,' as had been referred to by Plato and other later historical sources was explained in the readings: Plato's references were to what remained of the huge continent after successive waves of cataclysmic destruction had caused most of it to be submerged under the sea. To properly understand Atlantis, Cayce suggested, one had to look back millennia before Plato, to the dawn of man's incarnation on the planet. To Plato, Atlantis was merely an island. But to earth's first inhabitants, as purported by the Source, it was a cosmic incubator where 'mind as builder' took on a significance far beyond anything Plato could have imagined.
According to the readings, the first soul or entity that God created was named Amilius. He was, along with the other souls that God created, described by Cayce as 'pure light.' And it was he, according to the readings, whom God was symbolically referring to in Genesis when He said, "Let there be light." The Source eXplained that God was not saying let there be physical light, or light from the sun, but rather, let there be the 'light' of spirit in the entity of Amilius. And when God said, "Let us make man in our image," He was saying, according to the readings, that He and Amilius cocreated man in their spiritual image.
The Atlantis readings describe how the first wave of souls to enter the earth experimented with matter and the physical realm. The Source said they built bodies for themselves "much in the way and manner as the amoebae would [appear] in the waters of a stagnant bay, or lake." Their reason for inhabiting the physical form, as metaphorically described in the Bible, and expanded upon in the readings, was to experience the earthly environment, or vibrations of "sound, taste, and touch" that couldn't be experienced in their non-three-dimensional realm. Most of all they desired carnal relations, and this, according to the readings, resulted in souls becoming trapped or 'hardened' in various inferior physical forms. Amilius, who incarnated as Adam, the 'first son of God,' took it upon himself to enter the earth's plane to try and free the lost souls who had become trapped in materiality. Adam created a companion in Eve, the first 'twin soul,' and together they populated and subdued the earth with a superior 'human' form, one that was capable, through the power of free will, to return to God.
The culture in Atlantis developed sooner than other indigenous cultures because it was where Amilius, as Adam, and many of his fellow 'sons of God,' first established a temple dedicated to the 'Law of One.' And, according to the readings, it was in this temple that the population of Atlantis developed a moral foundation far ahead of other cultures that co-existed on the planet.
The degree to which the Atlanteans eventually developed technology was altogether beyond anything that existed on Earth at that time. (377) While nomadic tribes in one part of the world were presumably still living in caves, Atlanteans had learned to cultivate and replenish the soil, construct canals and waterworks for irrigation and bathing, and produce various forms of lightweight metals. The capital city was named Poseidia, and was built on a hill that overlooked the sea. Unlike cities being built in other developing cultures described in the readings, Poseidia was not a walled fortress, but open on all sides. It was also designed so that river water was channeled into pools where residents bathed, played sports, and conducted religious ceremonies. There were also aqueducts or canals that, according to the readings, were kept constantly in motion so that [the water] purified itself in its course."
Over time, the Source said, "Divisions between those of the Law of One - the sons of God who had retained their purity - and the sons of Belial [arose]." The sons of the Law of One were described as those whose standard was "that the soul was given by the Creator ... " But the standard of the Law of One was rejected by the sons of Belial. According to the Source, the sons of Belial sought "the gratifying, the satisfying, the use of the material things for self, without thought or consideration as to the sources of such, nor the hardships in the experience of others ... They were those without a standard of morality. The sons of Belial had no standard, save of self."
According to the Source, "[The] first upheavals [in Atlantis] were brought about when the activities of the sons of Belial brought to the daughters of the children of the Law of One the abilities for enjoying the pleasures of excesses of every nature in human relationship as well as those related to same." This theme was repeated in another reading: "[They gradually began] polluting themselves with those mixtures that brought contempt, hatred, bloodshed, and those that build for desires of self without respect of other's freedom, other's wishes."
The Source made another important point concerning progress in Atlantean culture. The Atlanteans traveled or visited other developing peoples and shared with them some of their sophisticated advancements. And they, like their neighbors, had to contend with the menace of huge carnivorous beasts of the field and fowls of the air. The "sons of men" had actually created these creatures and then lost control over them "by influences of the powers of suggestion ... " The creatures were described as great beasts or 'prehistoric animals' that trampled the forests, destroyed the fields, and consumed vast quantities of food, making man's life miserable. The Atlanteans and people from other nations tried many approaches to subdue and destroy these beasts. Eventually, a great convention was held in Egypt, the one place on earth where the beasts had not overrun, to determine what was to be done about this menace. (378) Perhaps because of their advanced technology, the Atlanteans took it upon themselves to eradicate the beasts. Thus, technology that had once only been used to harness energy for life - giving purposes and to communicate with their maker, was now used to develop weapons for hunting and slaughtering the beasts and fowls of the air, and ultimately would lead to the end of the first phase of life on the continent.
A technological invention, described as a huge 'power station' fueled by a 'firestone,' was purported to have brought on the second phase of destruction in Atlantis, said to be around 28,000 B.C. According to the Source, the firestone was "unintentionally turned too high" and resulted in an earthshattering explosion, which heated the ground and caused volcanic activity, leaving only three of the five islands, those named Poseidia, Aryan, and Og. The volcanic eruptions, or explosions, were of such great force that a tidal wave created a vast flood across large parts of the world, covering much of the land and resulting in many deaths. This event, according to the Source, was the great flood depicted in the Bible, for which Noah and his family built their ark. It was also a time when an evacuation of large segments of the Atlantean population, many of whom were associated with the Law of One, made their journey to other parts of the earth, most notably Egypt, the Yucatan, and Peru, where they would become high priests and spiritual guides among the developing cultures there.
No evidence exists to suggests that Cayce's group made an effort to corroborate the Source's depiction of Atlantis or the alleged archaeological discovery that was then on its way to Pennsylvania. Not until Edgar's death did Hugh Lynn and Edgar Evans launch a search along these lines, and their findings were generally dismissed as 'pseudoarchaeology' or 'New Age science.' The likely reason that no effort was made in 1933 to verify the Source's claims was because the information that came through on the third and final phase of Atlantean culture was beyond rational belief and was hence deemed too far removed from serious consideration. However, given scientific developments in the 1940s, the information may not have been as implausible as originally thought.
According to the Source, the Atlanteans, who were now at war, purportedly learned to alter the molecular structure of atomic particles into a chain reaction, or 'eternal fire.' In the forty thousand years since the first earth changes had altered the social and geographical configuration of their continent, the Atlanteans had purportedly developed technology that was powered by a limitless source of electrical energy - a concentrated beam of light, much like a laser beam, emanating from what Cayce called "the mighty, the terrible crystal." (379) The word 'atomic' was used in many direct references to the type of 'electrical energy' or 'electricity' being harnessed by the Atlanteans to rebuild in the wake of the devastation at the end of the second destruction of Atlantis. The Source said that the Atlanteans used "rediscovered gases, and those of the electrical and 'aeratic' formations [those being charged with gas] in the breaking up of the atomic forces to produce impelling force ... or of changing the faces or forces of nature itself." In another reading, the principle that was described as fueling the 'eternal flame,' was "such as we may find in those that make for the active forces in that of uranium."
There were other interesting revelations given in readings. For instance, according to the Source, persons who had incarnations in Atlantis, "are all exceptional ... They either wield woe or great development. And their influences are felt, whether the individual recognizes it in himself or not."
A far greater revelation would come out of the Atlantis readings. According to the Source, just as Edgar as Ra Ta had subsequently incarnated several times to "help prepare the way," so had Amilius, the first created of God, who had incarnated as Adam. Only he had not returned to "prepare the way" as had Ra Ta. He was 'the way.' The entity once known as Amilius, and then Adam, was none other than Jesus in His last incarnation. And it was here, in a trance session conducted on April 5, 1932, that the hundreds of individuallife readings could finally be viewed as parts of one giant mosaic depicting God's and man's activities on Earth, and providing testimony to a vision of Christianity quite unlike that understood by most practicing Christians today.
Edgar knew that many present-day Christians would be horrified at the concept of reincarnation, particularly as applied to the 'Master of Masters.' And yet, as the Cayces had been told by the Source when the topic first came up, reincarnation had fallen away from Christian theology as a result of attempts to take 'shortcuts.' As the Source said: "Much might be given respecting that ye ... call the Bible. This has passed through many hands. Many that would turn that which was written into the meanings that would suit their own purposes, as ye yourselves often do."
For Edgar, a great lover of the Bible, this would have been as difficult to accept as it would be for many other fundamentalists. He was relieved, however, when the Source went on to say: "But if ye will get the spirit of that written [in the Bible] there ye may find it will lead thee to the Gates of Heaven. For, it tells of God, of your home, of His dealings with His peoples in many environs, in many lands. Read it to be wise, study it to understand, live it to know that the Christ walks through same with thee." (380)
However one chooses to view Jesus and the Atlantis readings, it was clear that Cayce had overcome a major hurdle in understanding the bigger picture presented in all the readings. Just as the soul of Amilius had incarnated as Adam and as Jesus to try and lead mankind back to God, the Source also conclusively stated that He would come again, not only in the hearts and minds of those who love Himn, but "as ye have seen Him go in the body."
Confirmation of the second coming was both awe inspiring and frightening for Edgar, Gertrude, and Gladys. And it was in connection with one reading devoted to the second coming, in which Edgar's role in the 'greater picture' was most clearly defined. Edgar was both humbled and proud to learn that the Source described him as "one who is to be a forerunner of ... [the] Christconsciousness ... that force or power into the earth that has been spoken of through the ages." In this same reading, the Source then admonished Edgar and the others to approach the work in humility and cooperation: "Listen while He speaks!" (381)
Hoofdstuk 38 Gravity, Polarity and Perpetual Motion
The continuing connective tissue in the readings constantly surprised, impressed, baffled, and confused Edgar Cayce and the others. No sooner had they finished placing one or two more pieces of the puzzle into place than they would discover that the picture itself had changed, or had become more comprehensive than they had previously imagined possible. Just as earlier readings had opened their eyes to a new fascination with history and religion, the Atlantis readings inspired interest in everything from mythology to geography, oceanography, archaeology, and even modern science and technology. (382)
Thirty-five-year-old Marion L. Stansell, an engine mechanic from Birmingham, came to the attention of the Cayces on a brief trip Edgar made to that city in early 1928 to stir up interest and support for the new Association of National Investigators, the ANI. Like Edgar B. Davis, who struck oil in Luling, Stansell's personal story is quite remarkable. And he too, like Edgar Davis, had a vision in which he allegedly received a direct communication from God.
Stansell had his vision while stationed in France during World War I, when he was in a hospital recovering from mustard gas poisoning. In the recuperation process, he contracted a flu virus, and in his weakened condition, suffered heart failure and was declared dead. Not unlike others who have reported near-death experiences, he claimed to have risen above his body and to have watched all the activities in the hospital ward around him. He then became aware of his family back in Alabama, who were praying for his safe return home. A 'spirit guide' escorted him to what he described as a dimension inhabited by the recently dead. But Stansell didn't want to continue his astral journey. He asked to meet Jesus, with whom he then pleaded to be permitted to return to Earth to serve God. Christ told him he could go back, and that he would be given a formula for a mechanical device that would ultimately save the planet from certain environmental destruction in the next millennium. After twenty minutes of not breathing, Stansell reawakened to discover that doctors had already pronounced him dead. Physicians were not only shocked to find him living, but apparently fully recovered from both the flu and the effects of mustard gas poisoning.
A physical reading conducted by Cayce on February 1, 1928, confirmed that Stansell's body had undergone a miraculous healing process. Further readings indicated that Stansell had considerable 'psychic talents,' and that through dreams and visions he was able to view blueprints for a revolutionary type of motor. (383) This motor, according to the readings, was designed in the spirit realm by De Witt Clinton, the deceased former governor of New York, who, in his last incarnation on earth, had been the prime creative force behind the development of the Erie Canal and other large-scale public engineering projects. The readings also suggested that Stansell needed the trance assistance of Edgar Cayce to relay precise technical information from Clinton to Stansell, and that Stansell also required a dedicated team of likeminded Atlantean entrepreneurs - such as Morton Blumenthal and Dayton auto parts maker Tim Brown - to see the invention through to completion. The first of twenty-one readings on the Stansell motor took place on March 8,1928, at the La Salle Hotel in Chicago. Morton, who conducted the first reading, asked for a description of the device to be built. "[The] motor ... will develop power on its own action," the Source said. "The idea and the plans, as have [been] worked out [are] the better application of the created [or universal] energy." (384)
Cayce, in trance, also issued a warning to all participants in the building of this motor: "There must be perfect cooperation of the self and the will with those who would assist in perfecting this from the material side. Also there must be perfect cooperation with inner self to obtain that information that would give self knowledge ... For [all] force is one." (384)
The terminology that was being used in the Stansell readings was clearly not the same as found in engineering or physics textbooks, but the concepts were clear. "Life in [all] its manifestations is vibration," the Source stated. "Electricity is vibration." The type or 'wave length' of vibration determines how it acts in a given environment. "Vibration that is creative is one thing [and] vibration that is destructive is another ... yet they may be from the same source, as in the electrical forces ... in the [human] body ... Remember, life is vibration, [and] so is mind, so is matter."
According to the Source, "electricity ... is the same energy ... [that is called] God. Not that God is an electric light or an electric machine, but vibration that is creative [rather than destructive] is of the same energy as life itself." Further, the Source stated: "The lowest form of vibration electrically gives creative [building] forces, rather than the highest. It is the high vibration that destroys."
In trance, Cayce explained how one vibration effects another, as seen in the creation of chemical compounds or colors on a painter's pallet. The same was said to be true for sound. (385) Just as two substances could be combined to form a third, sound vibrations could be combined into octaves, which create their own harmony. By virtue of the fact that man is subject to the limitations of his human body, his knowledge or awareness of the great range or spectrum of 'vibratory scales' is extremely limited.
In Cayce's all-encompassing concept of vibration being the force of life, he would - in trance - introduce the concept of time as well as sound and color in its relation to vibration: "History will be seen to come in cycles ... as in [the case of] energy, [for] there is seen the relativity of space and force as [it] is begun, and as [it] continues to vibrate [When] it vibrates in the same vibration, it shows as the same thing." In other words, history, or time, is governed by a specific range of vibrations that exist in a given environment. But time in one environment would not be the same as it might exist in another environment or dimension where the vibrational range is different or subject to a different set of laws.
As Brown and Edgar himself realized, the Source was confirming much the same theory as previously postulated by Einstein in his theory of relativity. However, the concepts put forth by the Source were given a Divine inspiration by the Source's suggestion that time, matter, and space were all one vibration begun by God. And it was, in a large sense, the 'spiritual' aspect of vibration that made the Source's interpretation of natural phenomena the most relevant to a theoretical understanding of how Edgar Cayce was able to do what he did when he went into trance.
According to the Source, the fundamental difference between that which was of the 'spirit' and that which was of 'earthly manifestation' was the law of 'polarity' acting upon the 'First Cause,' or God's energy force. In the Divine or spiritual realm, all energy was said by the Source to be positively charged, or expanding. Earthly or material manifestation was both positively and negatively charged. Negatively charged vibrational energy, according to the Source, contracts rather than expands.
As previous readings had suggested, human beings contained both positive - and negative - charged particles or vibrations, but due to one charge being greater than another, a person could be said to be positive or negative. Edgar himself had been told that he was positively charged, and thus would do his best work with a person who was negatively charged, as Gertrude was.
"Matter is that demonstration and manifestation of the units of positive and negative energy [or one being pulled into another]," the Source said. This theme was expanded upon in another reading that said: "Each [atom] of a physical body is made up of its units of positive and negative forces that brings it into a material plane ... (386) As a group may raise the atomic vibrations that make for those positive forces as bring Divine Force in[ to] action [in the] material plane, those that are destructive are broken down by the raising of that vibration."
These concepts were crucial to understanding the motion of the Stansell motor because they were alleged to be the essence of physical law. The Source said that just as positively charged energy expands, negatively charged energy contracts, or draws positively charged particles to it. This action between the two was described as gravity, or that in which "everything ... is drawn to a common center ... [Gravity is but] the centralization of the vibratory force [on the material plane]." The Source further suggested that what was commonly understood as the magnetic attraction that a compass needle had toward earth's positive pole, was one and the same thing as gravity. An apple falls to the ground for the same reason that a piece of metal clings to a magnet. The Earth's rotation or 'radial force' was a result of gravity too, or the displacement of "compelling forces."
The message being communicated, quite simply, was that gravity was the result of a combination of positive and negative vibrations acting in relativity to one another. By altering the combinations of vibrations, one could theoretically change gravitational pull on the various elements. The Stansell motor worked on the principle of alternatively changing the gravitational pull of vapor in the drum housing the motor. The 'sprangles,' or sprockets that were housed in the drum were nothing more than tuning forks that transmitted the vibrational level of the vapor in the drum and acted on the gasses trapped inside, causing them to alternately rise to the top of the drum and then sink to the bottom. This action was described as being the same kind of centrifugal force as found in nature, which theoretically would keep the drum spinning forever. By first setting the drum in motion, man was doing what God had done in the First Cause, when his 'directive force' or release of vibrational energy created the universe and set the earth and other planetary objects spinning in space.
A natural question put to the Source was how the atomic structure of metal could be restructured as to prevent the gravitational pull of the positive into the negative. The Source was reluctant to reveal how this could be accomplished but indicated that it was possible. "There must be determined for what purpose these are to be used before ye may be given [this information]," the Source said.
Though reluctant to speak further on this subject, there were many inferences in the Stansell readings to the power of highly developed people to raise the vibrational level of matter to change or alter its composition by merely 'thinking' or 'concentrating' on an object or person. (387) This concept was certainly another way of describing the concept mind as the builder on the material plane. The Source suggested that this principle worked on many different levels, such as 'faith healing,' or the combined forces of "groups of people in prayer." Further, highly developed people had the ability - to varying degrees - to tap into a greater range or spectrum of 'vibratory scales.' This, in theory, was how Edgar Cayce had the ability to obtain trance information. By subjugating his earthly or material self in order to enter the spiritual dimension, his astral body was no longer subject to gravity, time, and spatial relationships. Entirely different laws governed conditions in an environment where negatively charged energy didn't exist. (388)
Hoofdstuk 39 A Dream realized
The Source's warning, in the same reading, was not to take Edgar's psychic phenomena for granted - and not only as they were manifested in trance, but in dreams and in a waking state. The Source said: "Visions and dreams which come to the body should be applied in the light of ... daily affairs ... for the propagation of thought. Yet there is laxness in these considerations."
This may have been the first time that Edgar, in dream or trance, was visited by Habakkuk, but was by no means the last visitation by a prophet from the spirit world. As construction continued, Edgar could feel the presence of angels operating far beyond the limited scope of Elbert Gary or Felix Fuld, and these spirits indicated everyone involved in the construction process was on the right track and was doing God's bidding. (396)
Perhaps the most dramatic visitation occurred a few months earlier, in July of 1928, when an unexpected announcement interrupted a reading that was in progress: "Hark! There comes the voice of one who would speak to those gathered here."
Morton, Gertrude, Gladys, Thomas House, and the others present sat in stunned silence as the Archangel Michael, the angel who stands before the 'Throne of the Father,' was announced by the Source. As Gladys later described it, they could instantly feel a 'vibrational change' in the 'energy forces' around them. She described how the panes of glass in the windows began to shake and how she felt as if the pad of paper in her hand was being pulled away from her just as if a gust of wind was blowing through the room. The people sitting in the room could feel the sting of tears in their eyes and shivers up and down their bodies as they sat, frozen in both awe and fear. "I AM MICHAEL, LORD OF THE WAY!" Cayce proclaimed in an unusually loud voice. "BEND THY HEAD, OH YE CHILDREN OF MEN. GIVE HEED UNTO THE WAY AS IS SET BEFORE YOU IN THAT SERMON ON THE MOUNT ... FOR EVEN AS THE VOICE OF THE ONE WHO STOOD BESIDE THE SEA AND CALLED ALL MEN UNTO THE WAY, THAT THOSE THAT WOULD HARKEN MIGHT KNOW THERE WAS AGAIN A STAFF IN DAVID ... FOR IN ZION THY NAMES WERE WRITTEN, AND IN SERVICE WILL COME TRUTH!"
The group sat in silence as the Source quietly ended the trance session. Gertrude had to compose herself to attend to Edgar's needs, issuing the usual command to wake up. Edgar stretched and opened his eyes to see every one of them wiping away tears. Although the Archangel's words were biblical in content and allusion, their meaning was clear: those gathered to hear the reading were being given a great opportunity - and also the frightening responsibility - to serve God and their fellow man in a most uncommon way. (397)
Hoofdstuk 40 The Healing Arts
Throughout the chaotic years of Cayce's medical partnerships in Hopkinsville and Bowling Green - before trance readings were properly recorded and indexed, and when the patient's detailed medical records were kept private by their doctors - it was nearly impossible to view Cayce's psychic contribution to medicine in the broader context of medical practices in the 1920s. Unless a patient experienced immediate recovery, little or no effort was made to trace a patient's progress or determine the effectiveness of the treatments Cayce recommended. Files containing letters of thanks offered the only insights. At the hospital, however, with a dedicated conductor and stenographer to supervise and record trance sessions, and a team of board-certified physicians to chart, study, and interpret a patient's progress over a long period of time, it was possible to see the scope of Cayce's contributions and to understand the general principles of health being communicated in the readings. As medical scholars would point out a generation later, Cayce's trance readings provided a primer on the emerging field of holistic medicine. (402)
Although the information he imparted was often in keeping with the practice of both homeopathic and allopathic medicine at the time, it became clear by the late 1920s that Cayce also drew information from the medical knowledge of ancient cultures, especially those in Egypt and Greece. And a fair percentage of Cayce's ideas were entirely new at the time the readings were given. Some of Cayce's medical insights have been confirmed by modern medical science, while others have yet to be validated. None have yet to be dismissed as the fanciful products of an overactive imagination.
The greatest surprise of Cayce's health readings were the apparent causes given for various illnesses. The Source cited ideas that ranged from what now might be considered old-fashioned common sense, like not getting one's feet wet or avoiding colds by exposing oneself to the elements, to advice more unusual, like not washing one's food down with a drink before chewing it properly. The Source veered furthest from accepted medical philosophy in the era of cosmic-related physical conditions - such as the karmic repercussions of previous life experiences. Perhaps just as unusual in his time, Cayce frequently connected illness to the mental and emotional states of the patients. In one reading he was quoted as saying, "Thus you can [suffer] a bad cold from getting mad [or] from [cursing out] someone."
The fact that many of the treatments Cayce recommended were in keeping with the standard medical approach to illness made it easier for Dr. House and his successor, Dr. Lyman Lydic, to follow his advice. As a general rule, these treatments varied only in the combination of medicine and therapies and generally involved more hard work on the part of both the doctor and patient than has become the norm in modern medicine. Invariably, however, the hard work paid off.
In many instances, Cayce was clearly ahead of his time. He once recommended that an infant with digestive problems be kept on a strict diet of bananas, which in the 1920s was generally considered to be poisonous to infants. Now, the all-banana diet is standard medical treatment for celiac children. Cayce also described primary causes for physical disturbances, which then, as now, remain unrecognized by the medical profession. These included conditions such as psoriasis, which Cayce said was caused by the thinning of intestinal walls and the body's attempt to throw off toxins through another system of elimination, the skin; migraine headaches, which he said were frequently the result of congestion in the colon; and morning sickness in pregnant women, which he attributed to a lack of certain minerals needed to build the baby's body. He also said that spinal injuries could cause problems as diverse as asthma, stuttering, and even violent behavior. (403)
In studying the readings, House and Lydic were forced to expand their understanding of the role that four basic processes played in governing the health of the body, which Cayce said affected the cells ability to reproduce and function properly: assimilation, elimination, circulation, and relaxation. Assimilation, which appeared in almost one quarter of the medical readings' referred not only to the body's intake of nutrients, but also to digestion. Cayce frequently warned against eating when upset, angry, or distressed, saying that due to the resulting physiological changes in the body, food would remain undigested and become toxic to the system. Cayce also spoke of avoiding certain food combinations, specifically those foods requiring different acids to be digested. If such foods were eaten together, Cayce said, one would be digested while the other would sit and ferment in the stomach. He also spoke of the balance of acid and alkaline in the body, which he said was affected by the foods we eat - an area of nutrition that was virtually unheard of in the 1920s, and has only recently become popular.
Just as mass-produced foods were beginning to appear, and decades before the whole-food movement became popular, Cayce was issuing warnings. He repeatedly stated that refined foods, sugars, red meat, and fried food were generally harmful to the body. "What we think and what we eat, combined together," Cayce said, "make what we are, physically and mentally."
Cayce did not just warn patients away from certain foods, he encouraged the consumption of others. For instance, in keeping with what is now known about the importance of ingesting active food enzymes, he recommended eating one meal per day primarily of raw vegetables. And although he didn't use the contemporary term phytochemicals - the nutritional element related to the color of foods - he often recommended foods of a certain color for particular ailments. He also consistently instructed patients to eat whole rather than refined grains, saying that refined products not only lacked nutrients the body needs, but that such foods, with all enzymes and other elements removed, are actually toxic to the human body.
Cayce's general diet guidelines recommended the consumption of 20 percent acid-producing foods, such as meats, starches, and sugars, and 80 percent alkaline-producing foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. To a forty-eight-year-old woman, Cayce said: "The less physical exercise ... the greater should be the alkaline-reacting food taken. Energies or activities may burn acids, but those who lead the sedentary life can't go on sweets or too much starches."
He also recommended that vegetables from below the ground, such as carrots, beets, and potatoes, should constitute only 25 percent of one's diet of vegetables, while above the ground vegetables, such as lettuce, squash, and tomatoes, should account for 75 percent. (404) He recommended that only 10 percent of our diet be fats, another 10 percent proteins, 5 percent refined starches and sugars, and the other 75 percent complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Long after Cayce's death, many of the seemingly radical guidelines he offered in the 1930s would be seen as having merit. But some of Cayce's recommendations still seem strange to this day. For instance, he stated in several readings that while tomatoes contain more nutrients than any other single food, when not vine - ripened, were toxic to the human body. He also stated that carbonated drinks were to be almost always avoided, not just because they generally had sugar in them, but because they interfered with the equilibrium between the liver and the kidney. Cayce also said that apples should never be eaten raw, only baked or cooked, unless used for fasting purposes; only the peel of the white potato was of any real nutritional value; and coffee and tea became toxic when combined with milk or cream.
Poor elimination was cited as being at the root of a great number of illnesses, and references to it appeared in over half of Cayce's medical readings. Apart from taking in nourishment, human cells must also eliminate waste products and toxins to remain healthy and according to the Cayce readings, "[if] the assimilations and eliminations ... [were] kept nearer normal in the human family, the days might be extended to whatever period as was so desired, for the system is ... able to bring resuscitation so long as the eliminations do not hinder."
Cayce suggested many different aids to elimination. One of the simplest was to drink a cup of hot water with a squeeze of lemon juice each morning upon rising and before eating, which apparently helped the body eliminate the toxins thrown off during sleep. Similarly, he recommended doing deep-breathing exercises each morning to eliminate toxins pooled in the lungs from the shallow breathing characteristic of sleep. Dietary measures were recommended to improve bowel activity, which included eating leafy vegetables and stewed fruit such as figs and raisins. He also suggested drinking as much as six to eight glasses of water a day.
In extreme cases of toxemia, Cayce recommended enemas and colonies, adding that these could also be used by healthy people. "For everyone, everybody - should take an internal bath occasionally as well as an external one." Cayce also frequently recommended three-day apple fasts and occasionally four-day grape fasts or five-day orange fasts for more extreme cases of toxemia. While the apple fast in particular was intended to have a cleansing affect on the intestines, it would also, according to Cayce, "cleanse the activities of the liver, the kidneys, and the whole system." (405)
The third aspect of sustaining good health, according to Cayce, was circulation. "The circulation ... is the main attribute to the physical body, or that which keeps life in the whole system," he often said in trance, and references to which turned up in approximately 60 percent of the readings. Highlighting the role that circulation plays in assimilation and elimination, he pointed out that "there is no condition existent in a body that the reflection of same may not be traced to the blood supply, for not only does the bloodstream carry the rebuilding forces to the body, it also takes the used forces and eliminates same through their proper channels." In the same reading, Cayce made a startling prophetic remark: "The day may yet arrive when one may take a drop of blood and diagnose the condition of any physical body."
Cayce made reference not only to arterial circulation but lymphatic circulation, which he considered to be just as important. The Source referred to the fluid in the lymphatic system as 'white blood' or 'lymph blood,' and pointed out that unlike the arterial system, which has both the heart and the muscle-lined wall of the arteries to move the blood along, the lymph system, which has no pump of its own, relies on other methods to move waste matter out of the body. One method Cayce recommended was massage. Although it was considered by many to be nothing more than idle pampering, Cayce saw massage as curative, particularly for the inactive.
The most natural way to sustain good overall circulation, both of the lymph and the blood, Cayce said, was exercise. As he pointed out in a reading for a forty-six-year-old woman, "Exercise is wonderful, and necessary and little or few take as much as is needed, in a systematic manner." To another patient he said exercise "is not something merely to be gotten through or gotten rid of." Daily stretches, head and neck rolls, and walks, preferably of twenty minutes, were all recommendations Cayce gave.
The fourth process Cayce considered vital to good health was what he referred to as relaxation. In trance, Cayce stated that "the activity of the mental or soul force of the body may control entirely the whole physical [body] through the action of the balance in the sympathetic [nervous] system, for the sympathetic nerve system is to the soul and spirit forces as the cerebrospinal is to the physical forces of an entity." The nervous system was the vehicle through which Cayce's "mind as the builder" could most directly influence the body.
Cayce's physical readings divided the nervous system into three parts: the cerebrospinal system, made up of the brain and the spinal cord; the sensory nervous system, which included the sense organs; and the sympathetic nervous system, or the autonomic nervous system, over which a person has no conscious control. (406) According to the readings, the sympathetic nervous system could be considered "the brain manifestation of soul forces in the body." Cayce also suggested that within this system habits, both good and bad, were formed and retained. These habits governed the links between our mind and our body. And apparently anyone could "correct habits by forming others! That [goes for] everybody!"
Although modern - day medical practitioners often look upon the power of "suggestion" as pseudo - science, Cayce often recommended that positive suggestion be a part of a patient's daily treatment. Cayce said that emotions, both positive and negative, moved as electric energies through the nervous system, affecting the entire organism. The message here was that the nervous system acted as a conduit, as it were, and carried impulses and instructions to every cell in the body. Positive and negative thoughts could therefore physically alter each cell's functioning. Again, Cayce was far ahead of his time in pinpointing the role that stress played in one's overall health. In one reading at the hospital, Cayce - in trance - stated that "worry and fear [are] the greatest foes to [a] normal healthy physical body." For another patient he said, "For thoughts are things! And they have their effect upon individuals ... just as physical as sticking a pin in the hand!"
This same theme was expanded upon in a reading Cayce did for a fortyfour - year - old physician who had sought a life reading. "While [it is] true [that] medicines, compounds, mechanical appliances, radiation, all have their place and are of the creative forces, yet the [ability] of arousing hope, of creating confidence, of bringing the awareness of faith into the consciousness of an individual is very necessary," the Source said. "Only when any portion of the anatomical structure of a human being is put in accord with the divine influences ... may real healing come."
Cayce also said that a preoccupation with a particular illness could result in the manifestation of that illness in one's own life. To maintain health, Cayce suggested that "quiet, meditation, for a half a minute to a minute, will bring strength [if the body will] see physically this flowing out to quiet self, whether walking, standing still, or resting." Cayce also urged patients to find balance in their lives: "budget the time so that there may be a regular period for sustaining the physical being and also for sustaining the mental and spiritual being. As it is necessary ... for recreation and rest for the physical, so it is necessary that there be recreation and rest for the mental."
To a forty-five-year-old man who suffered circulatory and elimination problems, Cayce admonished that he had "not enough in the sun, not enough of hard work." The Source continued by saying: "Plenty of brain work, but the body is supposed to coordinate the spiritual, mental, and physical. (407) He who does not give recreation a place in his life, and the proper tone to each phase ... will some day ... be paying the price. It is well for people ... to get their hands ... in the dirt at times, and not be the white - collared man all the while!"
In contrast to the predominant view that doctors healed exclusively through medicine or surgery, Cayce's trance view was that "unless it be for a removal of conditions that have become acute by neglect or other causes of the same nature, all curative forces must be from within self and are of the whole of a physical being: for the human anatomical body is as the working of a perfect whole." In this sense, Cayce viewed the human body as a miracle of creation in its ability to heal itself. His view became more apparent in a statement he made to a group of entrepreneurial doctors seeking information on health products they wanted to produce. In this reading requested on their behalf by Hugh Lynn and Tommy House, Cayce said, "There is no greater factory in the universe than that in a human body in its natural, normal reacting state. For there are those machines or glands within the body capable of producing, from the very air or water and the food values taken into the body ... any element at all that is known in the material world!" Cayce would also say, more than once, that "every cell of the body is a universe in itself."
In other readings, Cayce took the generative properties of the body one step further, to suggest that if a person were to maintain the proper attitude and to keep their organs properly coordinated with one another, they could live as long as they wanted: "For, as may be told by any pathologist, there is no known reason why any individual entity should not live as long as it desires. And there is no death, save in thy consciousness. Because all others have died, ye expect to, and you do!"
The ability of a human being to prolong their life, according to Cayce, depended on the proper functioning of the endocrine system. The glands, Cayce said, were "that which enables the body, physically throughout to reproduce itself." The glandular system also, according to Cayce, served as the physical point of contact between a person's nervous system and his or her "spiritual bodies." The readings identified seven glands, referred to as seven centers, or 'chakras,' which act as growth centers for the physical body and major spiritual centers. These seven include the gonad, the lyden - also referred to as the cells of Leydig - the adrenals, the thymus, the thyroid, the pineal, and the pituitary. In the 1930s, when Cayce did readings on these glands, their purposes were being hotly contested, and to a certain degree, none would be completely understood by the medical profession until a half century or more later. (408)
As with the nervous system, Cayce described how a person's emotions affect the glands' activities: "For as has been indicated in some manners, some activities, there is an activity within the system produced by anger, fear, mirth, joy, or any of those active forces that produces through the glandular secretion those activities that flow into the whole of the system." These emotions caused secretions and could wreak havoc with one's health. "Anger causes poisons to be secreted from the glands," he said. "Joy has the opposite effect." On another occasion he noted: "No one can hate his neighbor and not have stomach or liver trouble. No one can be jealous and allow the anger of same and not have upset digestion or heart disorder." Perhaps the most radical assertion he made along these lines was to say that all disease was caused by sin, most notably the sin of fear, for that represented a lack of faith. "Fear is the root of most of the ills of mankind," he said in a reading given in June of 1928.
The Source would also state that while the spiritual body is not actually contained in the physical body, "there is the pattern in the material or physical plane of every condition, as exists in the cosmic or spiritual plane." It was for this reason, perhaps, that Cayce did not view illness as strictly caused by physical problems, nor did he see its cure only in the physical realm. Belief and anticipation played an important part in the healing process, too. He reminded patients that " ... what ye ask in His name, believing, and thyself living, mind will build." He also said that "a good laugh, an arousing even to ... hilariousness, is good for the body, physically, mentally, and gives the opportunity for greater mental and spiritual awakening." In another reading he said: "One is ever just as young as the heart and the purpose. Keep sweet. Keep friendly. Keep loving, if ye would keep young."
According to Cayce, the attitude that heals is the "Christ Consciousness ... the only source of healing for a physical or mental body." As the Source once put it: "There are in truth, no incurable conditions ... that which exists is and was produced from a first cause, and may be met or counteracted, or changed." In another reading Cayce said that "all strength, all healing of every nature is the changing of the vibrations from within, the attuning of the divine within the living tissue of a body to Creative Energies. This alone is healing. Whether it is accomplished by the use of drugs, the knife or [anything else], it is the attuning of the atomic structure of the living force to its spiritual heritage."
As much as Cayce advised his patients not to ignore spiritual matters when dealing with health challenges, he also warned them not to ignore their physical lives either. (409) In one physical diagnosis, the Source said: "The body is made up of the physical, the mental, the spiritual," and that "each have their laws, which work one with another, and the whole is physical man, yet do not treat physical conditions wholly through spiritual or mental laws and expect same to respond as one."
Of all the physical treatments, Cayce regarded osteopathic therapy as the closest to the healing process of the human body. "There is no form of physical mechanotherapy so near in accord with nature's measures as correctly given osteopathic adjustments," he said. Osteopaths, designated as "D.O.'s," whose degrees are generally considered equivalent to those of medical doctors, emphasize the body's natural ability to heal and work through manipulation of the musculoskeletal system. As Cayce said, "The science of osteopathy is not merely the punching in a certain segment or the cracking of the bones, but it is the keeping of a balance - by the touch - between the sympathetic and cerebrospinal system. That is real osteopathy!"
In a particularly moving reading on May 24, 1934, in which he summarized much of his philosophy, Cayce discussed the beauty of being "one with God," in a spiritual as well as a physical sense. "When the earth was brought into existence or into time and space, all the elements that are without man may be found in the living human body," Cayce said. "Hence these in coordination, as we see in nature, as we see in the air, as we see in the fire or in the earth, makes the soul, body, and mind one coordinating factor with the universal creative energy we call God."
Just as Cayce talked about being one with God, he suggested that a body's cells must act in concert to sustain good health. In thousands of medical readings, Cayce offered physical treatments directed toward improving 'coordination.' Likewise, the theme of 'vibration' was quite evident in his diagnoses. As Cayce had said in the physics readings for the Stansell motor: "Life in its manifestations is vibration, electricity is vibration." In this sense, Cayce suggested that the same principles of 'harmonics' governing the release of energy were at play in the human body. All of Cayce's remedies had the intention of correcting the vibrations of the various cells of the body, whether through medicine, osteopathic manipulation of the spine, hydrotherapy, the application of heat and cold, electrical magnetic therapy, or the simple laying on of hands.
One of the most interesting concepts regarding good health and longevity put forth by Cayce was that "[there is no need] for a better body [unless it is] to serve thy fellow man the better." Similarly, when asked by a woman how many more years of life she should expect, Cayce responded: "How many do you wish [or need]? Let the prayer be ever: 'Father, so long as I may be useful as a manifestation of Thy love in the earth, and as I may be gentle and kind and true and pure to my fellow man, keep Thou, O Lord, me.' " (410) When asked "Who will aid me most in my work and daily life?" Cayce simply replied, "God." In another reading, the Source said: "The church is in thyself. For, thy body is the temple of the living God." And indeed, in addition to all of the advice he would give about diet, habits, physical treatments, mental states, attitudinal adjustments, and exercise in keeping the body healthy, there was always one underlying theme - a willingness to call on God's help through prayer and have faith that help will come. On this topic, Cayce would give perhaps his most inspiring and easily understood advice: "Never worry as long as you can pray. When you can't pray, you'd better begin to worry! For then you [really] have something to worry about!" (411)
Hoofdstuk 44 He that Endureth
Michael's first visit to Edgar's prayer and study group came in September of 1932, when they had just completed their first of seven lessons for that session. The title of the new lesson, "The Open Door," was aimed at preparing those seeking guidance from above to open their hearts and minds to the Lord so that they could become more adept channels for the divine work they were undertaking. Edgar, in trance, elaborated on the 'open door' as being the entrance point of the holy spirit, as it sought expression through human life.
At the end of the brief discourse, the Archangel Michael introduced himself. "BE STILL MY CHILDREN!" the voice coming through boldly stated. "Bow thine heads, that the 'Lord of the Way' may make known unto you that you have been chosen for a service in this period when there is the need of that spirit being made manifest in the earth ... [You who have] named the name make known thy daily walks of life, in the little acts of the lessons that have been builded in thine own experience, through those associations of self in meditation and prayer, that His way may be known among them: for He calls on all whosoever will may come ... For today, will yet harken, the way is open. I, MICHAEL, CALL ON THEE!" (459)
Two weeks later, when the group reassembled for their next reading, Michael made another appearance. This time the voice came through so powerfully that many in the room were moved to tears, Gladys most of all. "BOW THINE HEADS, OH YE SONS OF MEN, WOULD YE KNOW THE WAY: FOR I, MICHAEL, [am] THE LORD OF THE WAY WOULD THEE THAT THOU STANDEST NOT IN THE WAY OF THY BROTHER NOR ... [sit] IN THE SEATS OF THE SCORNFUL, BUT RATHER MAKE KNOWN THAT LOVE, THE GLORY, THAT POWER IN HIS NAME, THAT NONE BE AFRAID."
If the weekly study group meetings were not already thought provoking, it is hard to imagine that anyone in the group would miss the next session, where, as expected, Michael again made an appearance. According to Gladys, the presence of the Archangel brought tears, silence, and "beautiful attunement."
Michael, as he had done in the past began with: "HARK, OH YE CHILDREN OF MEN! BOW THINE HEADS, YE SONS OF MEN: FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD IS THINE, WILL YE BE FAITHFUL TO THE TRUST THAT IS PUT IN EACH OF YOU! KNOW IN WHOM YE HAVE BELIEVED! KNOW THAT HE IS LORD OF ALL, AND HIS WORD FAILETH NOT TO THEM THAT ARE FAITHFUL DAY BY DAY: FOR I, MICHAEL, WOULD PROTECT THOSE THAT SEEK TO KNOW HIS FACE."
Michael was not the only angel to speak through Cayce. Approximately one year later, on October 15, 1933, a reading was conducted for the study group's fourteenth lesson, 'Day and Night,' whose title was described by the Source as being the spiritual symbols of good and evil. The subject matter was unusually profound, and the reading was remarkable for its clarity and the ease with which the group was guided toward a greater understanding of the significance of the opening chapter of Genesis. The reading ended with an unexpected message: "Come, my children! Ye no doubt have gained from the comment this day that a new initiate has spoken in or through this channel. Halaliel, that was with those in the beginning who warred with those that separated themselves and became as naught!"
The lesson presented in the reading was apparently so challenging that the study group didn't think to address the question of who or what Halaliel was for another three months, which they did during a reading on the subject of 'Creation.' Halaliel was, according to the Source, "one in and with whose courts Ariel fought when there was the rebellion in heaven." The reading went on to say that Halaliel's enemy, Ariel, was a companion to Lucifer, and "one that made for the disputing of the influences in the experience of Adam in the Garden." (460)
Just as the Archangel Michael had lead the study group through the complex issues in the 'The Open Door,' Halaliel - one of the heavenly combatants pitted against the forces of darkness - appeared to be the ideal entity for 'Night and Day.' And, like Archangel Michael, Halaliel increasingly became a presence in the readings and an influence on those who obtained them. For Edgar, the appearance of the angels coincided with a dramatic increase in the number of visions he had both in waking and trance states. It was as if the "unseen forces" were not only taking Edgar Cayce and the ARE in a new direction, but Edgar was personally being granted powers and insights to help him lead them.
An indication of Cayce's visionary powers came on November 15, 1932, a little more than a month after Michael's last appearance, while Edgar was teaching his usual Sunday school class at the Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach. Apart from the fact that only a few members of his class were in attendance, there didn't appear to be anything special about that morning. And yet, as he began his lesson that day - a biblical discussion of the admonition of Joshua - a strange phenomenon occurred. According to Edgar, the empty seats in the church began to fill with ghosts. Edgar's father, Leslie, who was attending the class that morning, couldn't see what Edgar saw, but from the look of astonishment on his son's face he knew that something unusual was taking place. After the class, Edgar explained to Leslie what he had seen: "I saw the entire section of the church fill with those disincarnate entities, people of many faiths ... as was signified by their dress. Many I knew. Many I did not."
Edgar would have another curious experience of conscious clairvoyance on October 22,1933, when Byron Wyrick, Edgar's close friend and associate, appeared before Edgar while he was sitting in his living room on Arctic Circle listening to his favorite gospel radio show. "I realized my friend was sitting there with me listening to the music," Edgar later said. "He turned to me and said, 'Cayce there is the survival of the personality ... but [the life of prayer] is the only life to live.' " What made this incident extraordinary was that Wyrick had been injured in an accident and died on April 28, 1933, six months before Edgar's vision.
Edgar was also now beginning to remember at least some of what went on when he gave readings. For instance, as he was giving a life reading for a fifty-one-year-old chiropractor on November 14, he could feel his spiritual body separate from his physical body and follow a stream of light to a building where the records of an individual's life were contained in large books. Edgar described what he had seen in a lecture he gave a month later in Norfolk. (461)
"I see myself as a tiny dot out of my physical body, which lies inert before me," Cayce said, describing the experience. "I find myself oppressed by darkness and there is a feeling of terrific loneliness ... I am conscious of a white beam of light. As this tiny dot, I move upward following the light, knowing that I must follow it or be lost. As I move along this path of light I gradually become conscious of various levels upon which there is movement. Upon the first level there are vague, horrible shapes, grotesque forms such as one sees in nightmares. Passing on, there begin to appear on either side misshapen forms of human beings with some part of the body magnified ... I become conscious of gray-hooded forms moving downward. Gradually, these become lighter in color. Then the direction changes and these forms move upward and the color of the robes grows rapidly lighter. Next, there begin to appear on either side vague outlines of houses, walls, trees ... As I pass on, there is more light and movement in what appear to be ... cities and towns ... I become conscious of ... music, laughter, and singing ... The houses are left behind, ahead there is only a blending of sound and color. Quite suddenly I come upon a hall of records. It is a hall without walls, without ceiling, but I am conscious of seeing an old man who hands me a large book, a record of the individual for whom I seek information."
Edgar's memories of such out-of-body experiences were not always the same, but nearly all of them involved the light, which he followed, and the house with the books. A trance interpretation of this vision suggested that Cayce's soul was passing from one realm to another to seek sources of information. Every image he saw conveyed to him something he could relate to from the material realm. Edgar saw books simply because that was his frame of reference. "To a mind that thinks books, literally books," the Source said, "[just as heaven] would require Elysian fields with birds, with flowers."
In April of the following year, Edgar obtained one further insight regarding his astral travels, this time during a reading for Dave Kahn. Upon waking, Edgar reported that he had been conscious of his physical self separating from his soul self and that he had the impression of his "physical self being encased in a box, like an alabaster or moonstone box, from a material I could not describe." He went onto to say that "it seemed that the material manifestation of my physical and mental self was in the box. I gave the box to someone and felt, as I gave it, 'This is one [conducting the reading] that I can trust.' " Edgar described the box as being similar to what he imagined the Ark of the Covenant to be: a kind of temple that housed a sacred possession. This reading reaffirmed the importance of the conductor - not only to aid Cayce in his journey, but to protect what he would leave behind. (462)
Not long after Cayce's 'rejuvenation,' yet another series of visions occurred that further demonstrated Edgar's newfound abilities. This incident involved a young man named Mitchell Hastings, the son of a well-known New York socialite and theosophist. About the same age as Hugh Lynn, Hastings had received a life reading first in November 1933, followed by a physical reading in December for severe back and abdominal ailments related to a serious injury in which he had fractured a number of ribs. These readings not only prescribed treatments but suggested that Mitchell was a deeply talented and spiritual individual who had much to offer the world. At Edgar's invitation, Mitchell had traveled to Virginia Beach after Christmas and spent New Year's Day 1934 with the Cayces.
Mitchell's parents didn't doubt the veracity of their son's readings. At the time of the first physical reading, Cayce knew nothing of the young Hastings's ailments. His diagnosis proved to be accurate in every detail, and a year after the initial reading Mitchell was out playing golf and tennis. His life readings appeared to be just as insightful, for Cayce named him as one of the scientists in Atlantis who had had highly developed psychic powers and had helped to construct and maintain the 'firestone' in the Atlantean power I plant. Mitchell's parents believed this to be entirely accurate - their son had already been recognized as a genius in the field of electricity, had gained early admission to Harvard University, and, in later years, would become a pioneer in the development of FM Radio, obtaining patents on a number of devices that used crystals and gem stones to alter electrical frequencies. Over the next half century, right up until his death, at age ninety, Mitchell remained an ardent and committed supporter of Edgar Cayce, openly crediting him for the help he received in developing his unique gifts. Left unsaid was the help this young college student had provided Edgar at a critical moment in his life. (464)
Hoofdstuk 45 Beloved Teacher
In trance, Cayce told the assembled group to look for material changes that would be "as an omen," or "a sign." He went on to describe this in detail: "The earth will be broken up in the western portion of America. The greater portion of Japan must go into the sea. The upper portion of Europe will be changed as in the twinkling of an eye. Land will appear off the east coast of America. There will be the upheavals in the Arctic and in the Antarctic that will make for the eruption of volcanoes in the Torrid areas, and there will be shifting then of the poles ... As to times, as to seasons, as to places, alone is it given to those who have named the name - and who bear the mark of those of His calling and His election in their bodies. To them it shall be given." (467)
The spiritual and physical changes, Cayce said, would touch everyone: "Those in lowly places [shall be] raised to those of power in the ... machinery of nations ... so shall ye see those in high places reduced and calling on the waters of darkness to cover them. [Through] those that in the inmost recesses of themselves awaken to the spiritual truths that are to be given, and those ... that have acted in the capacity of teachers among men, the rottenness of those that have ministered in places will be brought to light, and turmoils and strifes shall enter ... Armageddon is at hand."
It was at this point in the reading that the Source referred to itself as 'I,' not the 'we' that Gladys and the Cayces invariably had come to expect: "I have declared this! That has been delivered unto me to give unto you, ye that sit here and that hear and that see a light breaking in the east, and have heard, have seen thine weaknesses and thine fault - findings, and know that He will make thy paths straight if ye will but live that ye know this day ... Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart ... Love thy neighbor as thyself."
The speaker then revealed 'his' identity: "The weakling, the unsteady, must enter into the crucible and become as naught, even as He, that they may know the way. I, Halaliel, have spoken."
Finally, Halaliel suggested the mechanism that might trigger catastrophic events and bring 'material suffering' on a 'troubled people.' Halaliel said: "The young king will soon rein!" The nation that would produce the "young king" was identified along with his name. The country was "Germany." The king was "Hitler."
Much has been said and written about the prophecies offered in this reading, and about how many of these events actually came to pass. The shattering earth changes would not manifest themselves. And yet the reading was entirely accurate regarding Hitler's reign. Despite the major attention that has been paid this and Cayce's other prophetic readings, an important point has often been lost: the events foretold were ones that could potentially occur given the state of world affairs in January of 1934, when the reading was given. In trance, as in a waking state, Cayce repeatedly said that even the "Lord of Lords" could not accurately predict future events because man's will altered and defined the future. (468) By the middle of 1933, when the group had reached its twelfth lesson, several members were experiencing a deep spiritual crisis, none more acutely than Florence Edmonds. Florence had become haunted by unseen spirits in her dreams and in her waking life. She felt an unearthly presence in her home. Doors would creak open. Unusual sounds and noises could be heard throughout the house. She had become frightened, believing that the study group had gone too far in its research. Edgar was called to her home on June 25, 1933, to discuss the issue and conduct a reading to see what could be done. The Source suggested that Florence had been gifted with psychic powers, which by virtue of participation in the study group, were becoming more developed. The crisis eventually passed, and the 'unseen forces' allegedly at work in the Edmonds home vanished. Florence became an even stronger presence in the group, and like two other members, became a healer, whose seemingly miraculous cures - through the laying on of hands - brought many people into her home.
Minnie Barrett, one of the group's original members, also experienced a spiritual crisis that manifested itself in 'vibrations' she heard before going to sleep at night, including the sound of a bell ringing. The readings indicated that this was a sign to her that the door to her soul was opening, she had only to heed its call and step through. "As ye open the door, I will enter," the Source said. "Be not afraid." (471)"That part thou hast chosen in such a work is born of truth," Cayce - in trance - told the group. "Let it come in and be a part of thy daily life. Look in upon the experiences, for, as will be seen, my children, there has been appointed one that may aid thee in thy future lessons, and he will be thy teacher, thy guide, [Halaliel] one sent through the power of thine own desires."
Halaliel appeared again in two subsequent readings, and it became clear that this spirit, or 'Lord of Karma' as he was becoming known among Cayce's disciples, was offering his services to the group as its spiritual guide. Not only this, but the group was expected to decide if they wanted him to continue in that capacity. Halaliel literally put them on the spot, asking them if they could accept such a challenge. "Think ye well, then ... and choose."
The problems of having such a spiritual guide were many, for no one knew exactly who Halaliel was, what his intentions were, or why his interventions in the study group readings, like those conducted on the world affairs, appeared to be increasing. Until that time, Edgar, like the others in the group, assumed they were being led by Christ, the 'Master of Masters.' To accept another spirit as guide, was similar, in a way, to accepting a teaching assistant in place of the professor. At the same time, however, it seemed clear to everyone in the group that the Master of Masters had directed Halaliel to come, and they were reluctant to send him back. (472)
Hoofdstuk 48 The last Reading
In a reading Edgar gave on October 7, 1935, long before America's experts had begun to perceive the political and geographical alliances that would soon involve nearly seventy nations, Cayce - in trance - said: "[International affairs] are in a condition of great anxiety on the part of many, not only as individuals but as to nations. And the activities that have already begun have assumed such proportions that there is to be the attempt upon the part of groups to penalize, or to make for the associations of groups to carry on same. This will make for the taking of sides ... by various groups or countries or governments. This will be indicated by the Austrians, Germans, and later the Japanese joining in their influence - unseen - and gradually growing to those affairs where there must become, as it were, almost a direct opposition to that which has been the theme of the Nazis [or] the Aryan. For these will gradually make for a growing of animosities. And unless there is interference from what may be called ... 'supernatural forces' and influences that are active in the affairs of nations and peoples, the whole world ... will be set on fire by the militaristic groups and those that are for power and expansion in such associations."
In November 1939, two months after Germany invaded Poland and Britain had declared war on Germany, but two years before the United States was brought into the conflict by the Japanese, Cayce, in trance, said what "a sad experience [it] will be for this land [America] through forty-two and forty-three." Four months before Pearl Harbor, a young man deciding whether or not he should serve in the army or navy, asked how long hostilities would last. "Until at least forty-five," Cayce said.
Throughout all of these readings, the Source held out hope, knowing that future events would be avoided if individuals and nations prayed and "lived as they pray." In this sense, the readings seemed to emphasize not only the help available to mankind from the greater powers, but also how the spirituallife of individuals directly affected the values of nations and thus directed the course of human affairs on a global level. (509)
The overriding message in these readings was that the collective will of mankind, and the extent of brotherly love in the world, would determine whether or not there would be war. Back in 1933, when Adolf Hitler was chancellor of Germany - before he had become "Der Fuhrer" - Cayce gave perhaps his most controversial readings on this subject, suggesting that even Hitler had the potential to be a force for positive change in Europe if his personal will could be turned toward the brotherhood of man.
In one reading Hitler was described as being "physically led," and as having been called for a purpose, "not only in the affairs of a nation, but as in the affairs of the world." Cayce admonished, "study ... the impelling influence in the man, in the mind as it has acceded to power," and pointed out that, "few [men] does power not destroy." In one particularly controversial passage, Cayce suggested that the Jews had wandered "far afield, and their rebelliousness and their seeking into the affairs of others has rather brought them into their present position," and made reference to the resurgence of an old influence that would mark "the beginning of the return that must come throughout the earth." Cayce might have been referring to the return of the Jews to their homeland in Palestine, which would become the formalized state of Israel in 1948.
However, the Source specifically stated that Hitler would be a force for good only if he were able to avoid falling into the trap of the forces of 'selfaggrandizement.' From the outset, the Source tempered every positive statement about Hitler with qualifying clauses such as, "if imperialism does not enter in." By January 1934, Cayce stated that, indeed, "[imperialism] is entering." And in 1938, eighteen months before war had officially broken out, and just as Germany annexed Austria, the Source became vitriolic on the subject, referring to Germany as "a smear upon its forces for its dominance over its brother, a leech upon the universe for its own sustenance!" In 1939, three weeks after Hitler invaded Poland, when asked about Hitler's future, the Source answered succinctly: "Death."
Germany was not the only country singled out for criticism. After allying itself with Germany in 1935, Italy was described in the readings as "selling itself for a mess of pottage," and was later denounced for "forcing servitude" upon others. And Japan, which had invaded Manchuria in 1931, was referred to as "domination forces." Cayce also said that England held "ideas of being just a little better than the other fellow," that the sin of France "is the gratifying of the desire of the body," and that the sin of India is "the cradle of knowledge not applied, except within self." The Source did not leave America out, either. Americans, according to Cayce, had to begin to live according to that which was written on their dollar bill - "In God We Trust ... That principle [is] being forgotten ... and that is the sin of America." (510)
Another controversial reference in a reading done around this time was to Russia, which Cayce, in trance, said would emerge as the greater "hope of the world," but "not as that sometimes termed of the Communistic, or the Bolshevistic." Here the Source stressed exactly what Russia would bring: "Freedom, freedom! That each man will live for his fellow man. The principle has been born. It will take years for it to be crystallized, but out of Russia comes again the hope of the world. Guided by ... that friendship with the nation that hath even set on its present monetary unit "In God We Trust."
As inconceivable as this declaration would have sounded to anyone at the time, the Source went on to clarify in a way that made it seem more plausible, adding that this freedom would not come about until it [Russia] "knew freedom" at home. "A new understanding has and will come to a troubled people," Cayce said. "Here, because of the yoke of oppression, because of the self-indulgences, has arisen another extreme. Only when there is freedom of speech, the right to worship according to the dictates of the conscienceuntil these come about, still turmoils will be within."
In 1939, Edgar also gave some highly prophetic readings on the subject of life in America. One reading specifically addressed changes that would result from growing racial and labor-related tensions in the United States. "Ye are to have turmoils [in the aftermath of war]" the Source told ARE members assembled for their eighth annual congress in Virginia Beach. "Ye are to have strifes between capital and labor. Ye are to have a division in thine own land before there is the second of the presidents that next will not live through his office. [For a time there will be] a mob rule!"
Like the readings given on Hitler and World War II, the reference to the deaths of two presidents in office foretold actual events - in this case the deaths of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945 and John F. Kennedy in 1963. Likewise the statement about mob rule could be taken as a foreshadowing of the race riots that would take place in Little Rock, Birmingham, Chicago, and New York. "Then shall thy own land see the blood flow, as in those periods when brother fought against brother," Cayce said in another reading, given on December 2, 1941.
Along with commentary on the nightmare of World War II, which would ultimately leave over seventy-five million people dead or wounded, the readings started down another morbid path, by raising the specter of Edgar's own death. For many people who had come to know and love the 'sleeping prophet' - among them members of the Norfolk Study Group, who believed that 'Armageddon' was near at hand - the suggestion that Edgar was being 'called back' was in keeping with the idea that he would be a more effective force in the affairs of man from the 'other side.' (511)
As the Source continued, Harmon recognized a reference to his recent argument with Edgar: "Don't preach, don't act in one direction and then say or do those things in another direction. Be patient with those who are weak. Be kind to those who are even ugly." Here, Harmon reported feeling the blood rush to his face, realizing that could well mean him. To Edgar, the Source said: "Be gentle with those activities wherein there is the necessity that ye live consistently, that ye be consistent with that ye would represent among thy fellow men. For know, the Lord is in His holy temple. If thou hast, as His child, desecrated thy temple - in word, in act, in deed - know that ye alone may make those corrections, and that thy body is the temple of the living God. Act as though it were, and not as if it were a pigpen or a place of garbage for the activities of others."
At this point in the reading, Cayce's voice grew louder and his quiet whisper took on a sudden air of stern authority. The windows began to rattle and the force of the spiritual presence in the room brought Bro and the others to tears. "It felt as if a giant [vibrational] wave came crashing into the room to sweep us away," Bro later reported.
"BOW THINE HEADS, YE CHILDREN OF MEN!" Cayce's voice thundered. Immediately everyone's head went down. Gladys, determined to not lose a word, continued to take notes. Cayce - still in trance - went on speaking in the same booming voice: FOR I, MICHAEL, LORD OF THE WAY, WOULD SPEAK WITH THEE! YE GENERATION OF VIPERS, YE ADULTEROUS GENERATION, BE WARNED! THERE IS TODAY BEFORE THEE GOOD AND EVIL! CHOOSE THOU WHOM YE WILL SERVE! WALK IN THE WAY OF THE LORD OR ELSE THERE WILL COME THAT SUDDEN RECKONING, AS YE HAVE SEEN! BOW THINE HEADS, YE WHO ARE UNGRACIOUS, UNREPENTANT! FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND! THE OPPORTUNITY IS BEFORE THEE! ACCEPT OR REJECT! BUT DON'T BE PIGS! (516)
Epilogue: The New Tomorrow
Much attention has also been given to Cayce's prophecies. Despite the fact that such predictions represent less than 2 percent of the trance information provided by Edgar, upward of two hundred books and magazine articles have been devoted to them. Despite the overwhelming attention paid to the prophecies, surprisingly little thought has been given to the spirit in which they were provided: that the future is uncertain because only mankind - as builder and co-creator with God - ultimately determines the outcome. And here lies what may be the most important and least appreciated aspect of Edgar Cayce's legacy. (531)
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