Edgar Cayce: Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Messenger

edgar

Mitch Horowitz, New Dawn
Waking Times

The year 1910 marked a turning point in Western spirituality. It saw the deaths of some of the most luminous religious thinkers of the nineteenth century, including psychologist-seeker William James; popular medium Andrew Jackson Davis; and Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy. These three figures deeply impacted the movements in positive thinking, prayer healing, and psychical research.

Their death that year was accompanied by the rise to prominence of a new religious innovator – a figure who built upon the spiritual experiments of the nineteenth century to shape the New Age* culture of the dawning era.

In autumn of 1910 The New York Times brought the first major national attention to the name of Edgar Cayce, a young man who later became known as the “father of holistic medicine” and the founding voice of alternative spirituality.

The Sunday Times of 9 October 1910 profiled the Christian mystic and medical clairvoyant in an extensive article and photo spread: Illiterate Man Becomes a Doctor When Hypnotized. At the time Cayce (pronounced “Casey”), then 33, was struggling to make his way as a commercial photographer in his hometown of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, while delivering daily trance-based medical “readings” in which he would diagnose and prescribe natural cures for the illnesses of people he had never met.

Cayce’s method was to recline on a sofa or day bed, loosen his tie, belt, cuffs, and shoelaces, and enter a sleep-like trance; then, given only the name and location of a subject, the “sleeping prophet” was said to gain insight into the person’s body and psychology. By the time of his death in January 1945, Cayce had amassed a record of more than 14,300 clairvoyant readings for people across the nation, many of the sessions captured by stenographer Gladys Davis.

In the 1920s, Cayce’s trance readings expanded beyond medicine (which nonetheless remained at the core of his work) to include “life readings,” in which he explored a person’s inner conflicts and needs. In these sessions Cayce employed references to astrology, karma, reincarnation, and number symbolism. Other times, he expounded on global prophecies, climate or geological changes, and the lost history of mythical cultures, such as Atlantis and Lemuria. Cayce had no recollection of any of this when he awoke, though as a devout Christian the esotericism of such material made him wince when he read the transcripts.

Contrary to news coverage, Cayce was not illiterate, but neither was he well educated. Although he taught Sunday school at his Disciples of Christ church – and read through the King James Bible at least once every year – he had never made it past the eighth grade of a rural schoolhouse. While his knowledge of Scripture was encyclopaedic, Cayce’s reading tastes were otherwise limited. Aside from spending a few on-and-off years in Texas unsuccessfully trying to use his psychical abilities to strike oil – he had hoped to raise money to open a hospital based on his clairvoyant cures – Cayce rarely ventured beyond the Bible Belt environs of his childhood.

Since the tale of Jonah fleeing from the word of God, prophets have been characterised as reluctant, ordinary folk plucked from reasonably satisfying lives to embark on missions that they never originally sought. In this sense, if the impending New Age – the vast culture of Eastern, esoteric, and therapeutic spirituality that exploded on the US national scene in the 1960s and 70s – was seeking a founding prophet, Cayce could hardly be viewed as an unusual choice, but, historically, as a perfect one.

* The term “New Age” is often used to denote trendy or fickle spiritual tastes. I do not share in that usage. I use New Age to reference the eclectic culture of therapeutic and experimental spirituality that emerged in the late-twentieth century.

A Seer in Season

It was this Edgar Cayce – an everyday man, dedicated Christian, and uneasy mystic – whom New England college student and future biographer Thomas Sugrue encountered in 1927. When Sugrue met Cayce, the twenty-year-old journalism student was not someone who frequented psychics or séance parlours. Sugrue was a dedicated Catholic who had considered joining the priesthood. Deeply versed in world affairs and possessed of an iron determination to break into news reporting, Sugrue left his native Connecticut in 1926 for Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, which was then one of the only schools in the nation to offer a journalism degree to undergraduates. (Sugrue later switched his major to English literature, in which he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four years.)

As a student, Sugrue rolled his eyes at paranormal claims or talk of ESP. Yet Sugrue met a new friend at Washington and Lee who challenged his preconceptions: the psychic’s eldest son, Hugh Lynn Cayce. Hugh Lynn had planned to attend Columbia but his father’s clairvoyant readings directed him instead to the old-line Virginia school. (The institution counted George Washington as an early benefactor.) Sugrue grew intrigued by his new friend’s stories about his father – in particular the elder Cayce’s theory that one person’s subconscious mind could communicate with another’s. The two freshmen enjoyed sparring intellectually and soon became roommates. While still cautious, Sugrue wanted to meet the agrarian seer.

Edgar and his wife Gertrude, meanwhile, were laying new roots about 250 miles east of Lexington in Virginia Beach, a location the readings had also selected. The psychic spent the remainder of his life in the Atlantic coastal town, delivering twice-daily readings and developing the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), a spiritual learning centre that remains active there today.

Accompanying Hugh Lynn home in June 1927, Sugrue received a “life reading” from Cayce. In these psychological readings, Cayce was said to peer into a subject’s “past life” incarnations and influences, analyse his character through astrology and other esoteric methods, and view his personal struggles and aptitudes. Cayce correctly identified the young writer’s interest in the Middle East, a region where Sugrue later issued news reports on the founding of the modern state of Israel. But it wasn’t until Christmas of that year that Sugrue, upon receiving an intimate and uncannily accurate medical reading, became an all-out convert to Cayce’s psychical abilities.

Sugrue went on to fulfil his aim of becoming a journalist, writing from different parts of the world for publications including the New York Herald Tribune and The American Magazine. But his life remained interwoven with Cayce’s. Stricken by debilitating arthritis in the late 1930s, Sugrue sought help through Cayce’s medical readings. From 1939 to 1941, the ailing Sugrue lived with the Cayce family in Virginia Beach, writing and convalescing. During these years of close access to Cayce – while struggling with painful joints and limited mobility – Sugrue completed There Is a River, the sole biography written of Cayce during his lifetime, now available in a new edition. When the book first appeared in 1942 it brought Cayce national attention that surpassed even the earlier Times coverage.

Documenting the Prophet

Sugrue was not Cayce’s only enthusiast within the world of American letters. There Is a River broke through the sceptical wall of New York publishing thanks to a reputable editor, William Sloane, of Holt, Rinehart & Winston, who experienced his own brush with the Cayce readings.

In 1940, Sloane agreed to consider the manuscript for There Is a River. He knew the biography was highly sympathetic, a fact that did not endear him to it. Sloane’s wariness faded after Cayce’s clairvoyant diagnosis helped one of the editor’s children. Novelist and screenwriter Nora Ephron recounted the episode in a 1968 New York Times article.

“I read it,” Sloane told Ephron. “Now there isn’t any way to test a manuscript like this. So I did the only thing I could do.” He went on:

A member of my family, one of my children, had been in great and continuing pain. We’d been to all the doctors and dentists in the area and all the tests were negative and the pain was still there. I wrote Cayce, told him my child was in pain and would be at a certain place at such-and-such a time, and enclosed a check for $25. He wrote back that there was an infection in the jaw behind a particular tooth. So I took the child to the dentist and told him to pull the tooth. The dentist refused – he said his professional ethics prevented him from pulling sound teeth. Finally, I told him he would have to pull it. One tooth more or less didn’t matter, I said – I couldn’t live with the child in such pain. So he pulled the tooth and the infection was there and the pain went away. I was a little shook. I’m the kind of man who believes in X-rays. About this time, a member of my staff who thought I was nuts to get involved with this took even more precautions in writing to Cayce than I did, and he sent her back facts about her own body only she could have known. So I published Sugrue’s book.

Many literary journalists and historians since Sugrue have traced Cayce’s life. Journalist and documentarian Sidney D. Kirkpatrick wrote the landmark record of Cayce in his 2000 biography Edgar Cayce. Historian K. Paul Johnson crafted a deeply balanced and meticulous scholarly analysis of Cayce with the 1998 Edgar Cayce in Context. And the intrepid scholar of religion Harmon Bro – who spent nine months in Cayce’s company toward the end of the psychic’s life – produced insightful studies of Cayce as a Christian mystic in his 1955 University of Chicago doctoral thesis (a groundbreaking work of modern scholarship on an occult subject) and later in the 1989 biography Seer Out of Season. While Harmon Bro died in 1997, his family has a long – and still active – literary involvement with Cayce. Bro’s mother, Margueritte, was a pioneering female journalist in the first half of the twentieth century who brought Cayce national attention in her 1943 profile in Coronet magazine: “Miracle Man of Virginia Beach.” Bro’s wife June and daughter Pamela actively teach and interpret the Cayce ideas today.

There exist many other works on Cayce – it would take several paragraphs to appreciate the best of them. But it was Sugrue, an accomplished print journalist who worked and convalesced with Cayce for several years, who fully – and this word is chosen carefully – captured Cayce’s goodness.

Sugrue’s historical Edgar Cayce is the man who grew from being an awkward, soft-voiced adolescent to a national figure who never quite knew how to manage his fame – and less so how to manage money, often foregoing or deferring his usual $20 fee for readings, leaving himself and his family in a perpetual state of financial precariousness. In a typical letter from 1940, Cayce replied to a blind labourer who asked about paying in instalments: “You may take care of the [fee] any way convenient to your self – please know one is not prohibited from having a reading… because they haven’t money. If this information is of a divine source it can’t be sold, if it isn’t then it isn’t worth any thing.”

Sugrue also captured Cayce as a figure of deep Christian faith struggling to come to terms with the occult concepts that ran through his readings beginning in the early 1920s. This material extended to numerology, astrology, crystal gazing, modern prophecies, reincarnation, karma, and the story of mythical civilisations, including Atlantis and prehistoric Egypt. People who sought readings were intrigued and emotionally impacted by this material as much as by Cayce’s medical diagnoses. What’s more, in readings that dealt with spiritual and esoteric topics – along with the more familiar readings that focused on holistic remedies, massage, meditation, and natural foods – there began to emerge the range of subjects that formed the parameters of therapeutic New Age spirituality in the latter twentieth century.

READ: 80 Years Ago Edgar Cayce Predicted Putin’s Role in Stopping WW3

Esoteric Philosopher

Cayce did more than assemble a catalogue of the dawning New Age. The spiritual ideas running through his readings, combined with his own intrepid study of Scripture, supplied the basis for a universal approach to religion, which, in various ways, also spread across American culture. Sugrue captures this especially well in chapter fifteen, which recounts Cayce’s metaphysical explorations with an Ohio printer and Theosophist named Arthur Lammers. Cayce’s collaboration with Lammers, which began in the autumn of 1923 in Selma, Alabama, marked a turn in Cayce’s career from medical clairvoyant to esoteric philosopher.

Licking his wounds after his failed oil ventures, Cayce had resettled his family in Selma where he planned to resume his career as a commercial photographer. He and Gertrude, who had long suffered her husband’s absences and unsteady finances, enrolled their son Hugh Lynn, then sixteen, in Selma High School. The family, now including five-year-old Edgar Evans, settled into a new home and appeared headed for some measure of domestic normalcy. All this got upturned in September, however, when the wealthy printer Lammers arrived from Dayton. Lammers had learned of Cayce during the psychic’s oil-prospecting days. He showed up at Cayce’s photo studio with an intriguing proposition.

Lammers was both a hard-driving businessman and an avid seeker in Theosophy, ancient religions, and the occult. He impressed upon Cayce that the seer could use his psychical powers for more than medical diagnoses. Lammers wanted Cayce to probe the secrets of the ages: What happens after death? Is there a soul? Why are we alive? Lammers yearned to understand the meaning of the pyramids, astrology, alchemy, the “Etheric World,” reincarnation, and the mystery religions of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. He felt certain that Cayce’s readings could part the veil shrouding the ageless wisdom.

After years of stalled progress in his personal life, Cayce was enticed by this new sense of mission. Lammers urged Cayce to return with him to Dayton, where he promised to place the Cayce family in a new home and financially care for them. Cayce agreed, and uprooted Gertrude and their younger son, Edgar Evans. Hugh Lynn remained behind with friends in Selma to finish out the school term. Lammers’s financial promises later proved elusive and Cayce’s Dayton years, which preceded his move to Virginia Beach, turned into a period of financial despair. Nonetheless, for Cayce, if not his loved ones, Dayton also marked a stage of unprecedented discovery.

Cayce and Lammers began their explorations at a downtown hotel on 11 October 1923. In the presence of several onlookers, Lammers arranged for Cayce to enter a trance and to give the printer an astrological reading. Whatever hesitancies the waking Cayce evinced over arcane subjects vanished while he was in his trance state. Cayce expounded on the validity of astrology even as “the Source” – what Cayce called the ethereal intelligence behind his readings – alluded to misconceptions in the Western model. Toward the end of the reading, Cayce almost casually tossed off that it was Lammers’s “third appearance on this [earthly] plane. He was once a monk.” It was an unmistakable reference to reincarnation – just the type of insight Lammers had been seeking.

In the weeks ahead, the men continued their readings, probing into Hermetic and esoteric spirituality. From a trance state on 18 October, Cayce laid out for Lammers a whole philosophy of life, dealing with karmic rebirth, man’s role in the cosmic order, and the hidden meaning of existence:

In this we see the plan of development of those individuals set upon this plane, meaning the ability (as would be manifested from the physical) to enter again into the presence of the Creator and become a full part of that creation. Insofar as this entity is concerned, this is the third appearance on this plane, and before this one, as the monk. We see glimpses in the life of the entity now as were shown in the monk, in his mode of living. The body is only the vehicle ever of that spirit and soul that waft through all times and ever remain the same.

These phrases were, for Lammers, the golden key to the mysteries: a theory of eternal recurrence, or reincarnation, that identified man’s destiny as inner refinement through karmic cycles of rebirth, then reintegration with the source of Creation. This, the printer believed, was the hidden truth behind the Scriptural injunction to be “born again” so as to “enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

“It opens up the door,” Lammers told Cayce. “It’s like finding the secret chamber of the Great Pyramid.” He insisted that the doctrine that came through the readings synchronised the great wisdom traditions: “It’s Hermetic, it’s Pythagorean, it’s Jewish, it’s Christian!” Cayce himself wasn’t sure what to believe. “The important thing,” Lammers reassured him, “is that the basic system which runs through all the mystery traditions, whether they come from Tibet or the pyramids of Egypt, is backed up by you. It’s actually the right system…. It not only agrees with the best ethics of religion and society, it is the source of them.”

Lammers’s enthusiasms aside, the religious ideas that emerged from Cayce’s readings did articulate a compelling theology. Cayce’s teachings sought to marry a Christian moral outlook with the cycles of karma and reincarnation central to Hindu and Buddhist ways of thought, as well as the Hermetic concept of man as an extension of the Divine. Cayce’s references elsewhere to the causative powers of the mind – “the spiritual is the LIFE; the mental is the BUILDER; the physical is the RESULT” – melded his cosmic philosophy with tenets of New Thought, Christian Science, and mental healing. If there was an inner philosophy unifying the world’s religions, Cayce came as close as any modern person in defining it.

Cayce’s “Source”

Religious traditionalists could rightly object: Just where are Cayce’s “insights” coming from? Are they the product of a Higher Power or merely the overactive imagination of a religious outlier? Or, worse, are his phrases the type of muddle-fuddle produced by haunts at Ouija board sessions?

Cayce himself wrestled with these questions. His response was that all of his ideas, whatever their source, had to square with Gospel ethics in order to be judged vital and right. Cayce addressed this in a talk that he delivered in his normal waking state in Norfolk, Virginia, in February of 1933, just before he turned fifty-six:

Many people ask me how I prevent undesirable influences entering into the work I do. In order to answer that question let me relate an experience I had as a child. When I was between eleven and twelve years of age I had read the Bible through three times. I have now read it fifty-six times. No doubt many people have read it more times than that, but I have tried to read it through once for each year of my life. Well, as a child I prayed that I might be able to do something for the other fellow, to aid others in understanding themselves, and especially to aid children in their ills. I had a vision one day which convinced me that my prayer had been heard and answered.

Cayce’s “vision” has been described differently by different biographers. Sugrue recounts the episode occurring when Cayce was about twelve in the woods outside his home in western Kentucky. Cayce himself places it in his bedroom at age thirteen or fourteen. One night, this adolescent boy who had spoken of childhood conversations with “hidden friends,” and who hungrily read through Scripture, knelt by his bed and prayed for the ability to help others.

Just before drifting to sleep, Cayce recalled, a glorious light filled the room and a feminine apparition appeared at the foot of his bed telling him: “Thy prayers are heard. You will have your wish. Remain faithful. Be true to yourself. Help the sick, the afflicted.”

Cayce did not realise until years later what form his answered prayers would take – and even in his twenties it took him years to adjust to being a medical clairvoyant. As his new powers took shape he laboured to use Scripture as his moral vetting mechanism. Yet he consistently attributed his information to the “Source” – another subject on which he expanded at Norfolk:

As a matter of fact, there would seem to be not only one, but several sources of information that I tap when in this sleep condition. One source is, apparently, the recording that an individual or entity makes in all its experiences through what we call time. The sum-total of the experiences of that soul is “written,” so to speak, in the subconscious of that individual as well as in what is known as the Akashic records. Anyone may read these records if he can attune himself properly.

Cayce’s concept of the “Akashic records” is derived from ancient Vedic writings, in which akasha is a kind of universal ether. This idea of universal records was popularised to Westerners in the late nineteenth-century through the work of occult philosopher, world traveller, and Theosophy co-founder Madame H.P. Blavatsky.

A generation before Cayce, Blavatsky told of a hidden philosophy at the core of the historic faiths – and of a cosmic record bank that catalogs all human events. In Blavatsky’s 1877 study of occult philosophy, Isis Unveiled, the Theosophist described an all-pervasive magnetic ether that “keeps an unmutilated record of all that was, that is, or ever will be.” These astral records, wrote Blavatsky, preserve “a vivid picture for the eye of the seer and prophet to follow.” Blavatsky equated this archival ether with the “Book of Life” from Revelation.

Returning to the topic in her massive 1888 study of occult history, The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky depicted these etheric records in more explicitly Vedic terms (having spent several preceding years in India). In the first of her two-volume study, Blavatsky referred to “Akâsic or astral-photographs” – inching closer to the term “Akashic records” as used by Cayce.

Cayce was not the first channeller to credit the “Akashic records” as his source of data. In 1908, a retired Civil War chaplain and Church of Christ pastor named Levi H. Dowling said that he clairvoyantly channelled an alternative history of Christ in The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ. In Dowling’s influential account, the Son of man travels and studies throughout the religious cultures of the East before dispensing a message of universal faith that encompasses all the world’s traditions. Dowling, too, attributed his insights to the “Akashic records,” accessed while in a trance state in his Los Angeles living room.

Cayce, like Blavatsky, equated akasha with the Scriptural Book of Life. This was an example of how Cayce harmonised the exotic and unfamiliar themes of his readings with his Christian worldview. In a similar vein, he reinterpreted the ninth chapter of the Book of John, in which Christ heals a man who had been blind from birth, to validate ideas of karma and reincarnation. When the disciples ask Christ whether it was the man’s sins or those of his parents that caused his affliction, the Master replies enigmatically: “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:3). In Cayce’s reasoning, since the blind man was born with his disorder, and Christ exonerates both the man and his parents, his disability must be karmic baggage from a previous incarnation. Cayce made comparable interpretations of passages from Matthew and Revelation.

In another effort to unite the poles of different traditions, Cayce elsewhere associated his esoteric search with Madame Blavatsky’s. On four occasions he reported being visited by a mysterious, turbaned spiritual master from the East – one of the mahatmas, or great souls, whom Blavatsky said had guided her.

The Legacy

Neither Cayce nor Sugrue lived long enough to witness the full reach of Cayce’s ideas. The psychic died at age sixty-seven in Virginia Beach on 3 January 1945, less than three years after There Is a River first appeared. Sugrue updated the book that year. After struggling with years of illness, the biographer died at age forty-five on 6 January 1953 at the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York.

The first popularisations of Cayce’s work began to appear in 1950 with the publication of Many Mansions, an enduring work on reincarnation by Gina Cerminara, a longtime Cayce devotee. But it wasn’t until 1956 that Cayce’s name took full flight across the culture with the appearance of the sensationally popular book The Search for Bridey Murphy by Morey Bernstein. Sugrue’s editor Sloane, having since warmed to parapsychology, published both Cerminara and Bernstein.

Bernstein was an iconic figure. A Coloradan of Jewish descent and an Ivy League-educated dealer in heavy machinery and scrap metal, he grew inspired by Cayce’s career – partly through the influence of Sugrue’s book – and became an amateur hypnotist. In the early 1950s, Bernstein conducted a series of experiments with a Pueblo, Colorado, housewife who, while under a hypnotic trance, appeared to regress into a past-life persona: an early nineteenth-century Irish country girl named Bridey Murphy. The entranced homemaker spoke in an Irish brogue and recounted to Bernstein comprehensive details of her life more than a century earlier.

Suddenly, reincarnation – an ancient Vedic concept about which Americans had heard little before World War II – was the latest craze, ignited by Bernstein, an avowed admirer of Cayce, to whom the hypnotist devoted two chapters in his book.

In the following decade, California journalist Jess Stearn further ramped up interest in Cayce with his 1967 bestseller, Edgar Cayce,HYPERLINK “http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553260855/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0553260855&linkCode=as2&tag=wakitime09-20&linkId=CNHZBUYEZZ2C4PYS” The Sleeping Prophet. With the mystic sixties in full swing, and the youth culture embracing all forms of alternative or Eastern spirituality – from Zen to yoga to psychedelics – Cayce, while not explicitly tied to any of this, rode the new vogue in alternative spirituality. During this time, Hugh Lynn Cayce emerged as a formidable custodian of his father’s legacy, presiding over the expansion of the Virginia Beach-based Association for Research and Enlightenment, and shepherding to market a new wave of instructional guides based on the Cayce teachings, from dream interpretation to drug-free methods of relaxation to the spiritual uses of colours, crystals, and numbers. Cayce’s name became a permanent fixture on the cultural landscape.

The 1960s and 70s also saw a new generation of channelled literature – Cayce himself originated the term channel – from higher intelligences such as Seth, Ramtha, and even the figure of Christ in A Course in Miracles. The last was a profound and enduring lesson series, channelled beginning in 1965 by Columbia University research psychiatrist Helen Schucman.

A concordance of tone and values existed between Cayce’s readings and A Course in Miracles. Cayce’s devotees and the Course’s wide array of readers discovered that they had a lot in common; members of both cultures blended seamlessly, attending many of the same seminars, growth centres, and metaphysical churches.

Likewise, a congruency emerged between Cayce’s world and followers of the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Starting in the 1970s, twelve-steppers of various stripes became a familiar presence at Cayce conferences and events in Virginia Beach.

Cayce’s universalistic religious message dovetailed with the purposefully flexible references to a Higher Power in the “Big Book,” Alcoholics Anonymous, written in 1939. AA cofounder Bill Wilson, his wife Lois, his confidant Bob Smith, and several other early AAs were deeply versed in mystical and mediumistic teachings. Whether they viewed Cayce as an influence is unclear. But all three works – the Cayce readings, A Course in Miracles, and Alcoholics Anonymous – demonstrated a shared sense of religious liberalism, an encouragement that all individuals seek their own conception of a Higher Power, and a permeability intended to accommodate the broadest expression of religious outlooks and backgrounds.

The free-flowing tone of the therapeutic spiritual movements of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries had a shared antecedent, if not a direct ancestry, in the Cayce readings.

Sugrue provided an irreplaceable record of Cayce’s development as a spiritual messenger and pioneer. The biographer captured the seer as the person who Cayce himself said he was: An ordinary man who struggled with his apparent psychical abilities and the universal religious ideas that travelled through him.

But Sugrue’s work accomplished more than just that. His portrait of Cayce, in its own right, became a formative document of New Age spirituality. In exploring Cayce’s career, Sugrue highlighted and popularised core themes from the Cayce readings – including past-life experiences, alternative medical treatments, the imperative of the individual spiritual search, and the idea of religion as a practical source of healing.

Sugrue demonstrated how Cayce – a committed Christian, a Sunday school teacher, and, by his own reckoning, an everyday man – developed into the founding prophet of Aquarian Age spirituality. In capturing the drama and events of Cayce’s journey, Sugrue elevated the clarity and endurance of the seer’s message.

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„This article is adapted from Mitch Horowitz’s introduction to the reissue of There Is a River: The Story of Edgar Cayce (Tarcher/Penguin and A.R.E. Press, 2015). The book is available from all good bookstores and online retailers.

About the Author

MITCH HOROWITZ is a PEN Award-winning historian and the author of Occult America andOne Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life. He has written on alternative spirituality for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, and is the host of the new web series Origins: Superstitions (www.OriginsTheSeries.com). Visit him @MitchHorowitz and www.MitchHorowitz.com.

The above article appeared in New Dawn 150 (May-June 2015)

© New Dawn Magazine and the respective author.

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.

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THE GAME OF LIFE

einstienrealness

I have become convinced through the years that our reality is a virtual one. It makes total sense to me. It explains reincarnation, the after life, paranormal occurrences, spirituality, etc. I have heard it explained by physicists, biologists, and Eastern religions and it’s off shoots. I have dreamed it, I’ve tasted it, it is my gnosis, an inner Intuitive Truth.  It is my hipmonkiness, my grooving up slowly bit.

The profound quotes below give excellent suggestions on how to build a better life. They inspire us to look deeper into ourselves and our lives and find the loving presence that is always there patiently waiting for us to pay attention, to shine light into the shadows, and to open to the divine love which lies at the heart of each one of us. May we all be inspired ever more to our greatness.

“There is a simple method to check upon your progress. Despite what appears to being going on in the world around you, how loving and harmonious are your personal relationships? Remember that the world is your mirror. It casts back at you the reflection of that which you have projected into it. Do you look at others and think about how you would like to change them? Or do you love them and accept them as they are?”

Remembering

Can you look beyond what your eyes are showing you to find and express love and happiness in a world of fear and distress? If you can, you will be as a beacon of light into the darkness. Will you succumb to the darkness, or will you stand and shine your inner light? Only you can make that decision for yourself.

Look at the things in your life that you most love to do. Ask yourself what makes you most happy. Experience these things as often as possible, as they will be related to some of the things you chose to put into your soul contract to do here.

Also look at the negative things that often seem to recur during your lifetime. It will be highly likely that these are also things that you chose to come here to work upon.

Use your negative emotions when they arise as the tools that they truly are. Train yourself to notice when negativity arises in you. When you catch yourself projecting a negative thought, remember that all thought is creative, and ask yourself if that is really what you want to create.

It takes a while to become proficient, but do not give up. Just keep noticing your negative thought patterns as they arise, and in so doing, simply choose again and select a response that is more positive. It is called working on yourself and is the main reason you have chosen to be here right now – to work upon yourself.

Guard your thoughts carefully, as they are more powerful than you may imagine. If you see doom and gloom, then that is what you are projecting. The world is your mirror. It reflects back to you what you are putting out. If you do not like the reflection life is showing you, then change that which is causing it.

When you remember who you are and you know it deep within the core of your being, you will know and recognize your invisible connection to All That Is. And in so doing, joy, thanksgiving, and service will be the natural outpouring result from your grateful heart.

There is a big difference between loving yourself and being selfish. When you truly understand what it is to know and love yourself, you cannot help but to love and serve others. When you understand this at the core level of your being, you will be on the path Home.

Be as a light shining in the darkness. Do not burn others with your light, but rather allow them to be drawn to your light. And be of service to those who come to you willingly. In other words, do not become evangelical with your message, but rather be the enigmatic and loving “wise old sage”, to whom others are drawn to because of the quality of vibration, rather than the volume of rhetoric.

Most importantly, practice that which you preach. Others must be able to see the effect of our Infinite Creator conducting his wonderful work through you. But above all things, keep working upon yourself and keep choosing the positive – being of service to others. Do it not because you feel that you must, but because you desire to. When you work upon yourself and learn to know the creator within you, being of service to others will be natural for you.

There is a simple method to check upon your progress. Despite what appears to being going on in the world around you, how loving and harmonious are your personal relationships? Remember that the world is your mirror. It casts back at you the reflection of that which you have projected into it. How many arguments do you find yourself engaging in? Is there bitterness and acrimony within the ranks? Do you look at others and think about how you would like to change them? Or do you love them and accept them as they are?

The Infinite Game

All of this (physical life/incarnation) is a very intricate and skillfully designed game, whereby the One Infinite Creator plays the game of forgetting who it is, so that it can learn to remember, and in doing so, experience and know itself as creator, all the way down to us tiny individuated sparks of the All That Is.

The goal of the game is to enter into these further divisions of creation, and then seek to harmonize the polarities in order to once again know oneself as the creator of them. Without polarity (derived from free will), there is only the unity of love and light, and no choice to experience “other than” that.

Satan is a human invention. It is the personification you have given to all the negativity that has existed on this beautiful planet. You didn’t know who to blame, and as you could not find it within yourselves to take personal responsibility, Satan was created to absolve yourselves.

If the One Infinite Creator is infinite and has created everything that is, then does the Infinite Creator not reside both within you and within all things? When you can see the divine spark of the Infinite Creator within yourself and within even those who would mean you harm, the strong grip of the illusion will begin to lose its power over you. “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you”.

Remember that ultimately, this is a game that we are all playing here. We are actors playing on the stage of life. This world is all illusion or thought-form. No one really dies, and no one is really hurt. In between incarnations, you know this very well. But the rules of the game ensure that when you incarnate, you must forget who you really are, so that you believe it is all “real” whilst you are playing the game of life. Forgetting is an essential prerequisite for you to make choices that help you to grow. Otherwise, the game would be too easy.

You only forget who you are during incarnation. The object of the game is to wake up within the dream, and in effect, become a “lucid gamer”, to remember who you really are during the game, and to then begin working upon the things you came here for.

Off stage and between lives as incarnated human beings (zero-point time/antimatter universe), we – all of us and all of you as souls – are great friends, brothers and sisters in the One. Between lives we all have a good laugh about the parts we have performed in the “play” and look forward to and have great fun preparing the next chapters to act out. You are divine souls. You are sparks or seeds of the One Infinite Creator. You are life itself, remembering and learning who you really are.

The Work

Your main purpose in the game is to work upon yourself. It is to grow, develop, and transform yourself into a more positive and loving being. You had certain goals that you planned to achieve before incarnating here, which is a main reason for the veil of forgetfulness being in place. If you already knew what your goals were, the game would be too easy.

Negativity is still an important tool in your learning process. It teaches you “other than”. Do you respond to negativity with more negativity? Or do you choose to see the negativity as the tool that it is, and recognize that it is offering you an opportunity? All souls eventually learn that positive is the pathway which leads Home.

Do you look at a person and concentrate, to a greater or lesser extent, upon the things that you dislike about them and wish would change, or the qualities that you like and admire in them? Remember that we have said that all thought, word, and deed is creative. You get back what you send out. So when you send out the thought “Why is she so hard to live with?” or “Why is he always behaving like this?”, ask yourself, what exactly are you doing?

Now focus here, as this is so obvious you could miss it. And in fact, most do. Take away the question from your sentence and essentially you are saying: “She is so hard to live with” and “He is always behaving like this”. Do you see what you are doing? You have just created the very behavior in that person that you wish to change simply because you do not understand the law of radiation and attraction. Remember, all thought is creative.

Loving and accepting someone as they are does not mean accepting abusive behavior. But it does mean loving and accepting the person (soul), not their behavior. The behavior is not who they really are. The soul within is who they are.

Always monitor your thoughts and pay attention to their quality, because what you think about is directly related to what you will see around you, and what life will show you. That is the difference between conscious and subconscious creation.

Your  Truth

When you persevere and keep working on yourself, gradually it will come to you. And when it does, you must learn to trust in your inner guidance, no matter what others may say. That is the ultimate test – to trust what you know deep inside as your truth, even when the whole world tells you that you are wrong. It is hard work to trust yourself when all those around you doubt you and call you crazy, but it is the job you came here to do.

Never take what another says to you as “Truth”. Your purpose here is to find your own truth. Sometimes others can help you to do so by offering guidance, but for their truth to become your truth, it must pass through the test of your discernment. Sit quietly in meditation and ask the Infinite Creator to guide your path.

There is no “wrong” or “right” seen from a higher density, but there are still consequences for every action. Such is the law of karmic effect.

Be the strong and courageous soul that deep down you know yourself to be. Do not hide your inner light. Trust yourself, and shine your light into the darkness. Your soul remembers everything you’ve ever experienced. The only reason you don’t remember it all now, is due to what we term the “veil of forgetfulness”. If you came into each new incarnation with access to your soul memory, there’s no point in your coming into space/time. It would be like playing a computer game with all the cheats. You wouldn’t learn anything. And it takes the fun out of playing the game.

Remember, always, that this is a beautiful game that we are playing here and co-creating together with our Infinite Creator. And that off stage (between lives), we are the very best of friends. No one really dies and no one really suffers, except in the game. The game is not reality. Reality is reality. And you have the power to express your reality within the game, once you have learnt how to do so.

And remember, no matter what ideologies may separate us in this game, the message is all that matters. And the message is that in the love and the light of our Infinite Creator, we are all intimately interconnected in the One. We are brothers and sisters of the light.

Note: The above quotes for a better life are taken from a most intriguing essay by someone who calls himself “Hidden Hand.” And for another profound essay with three simple principles for a better life, see this webpage.

 

For more inspiration:

See our awesome collection of inspiring resources in our Inspiration Center.

Watch some of the most inspiring short video clips on the Internet.

Read concise summaries of highly inspiring major media reports.

Explore dynamic online courses which powerfully expand your horizons.

Explore the mind and heart expanding websites managed by the nonprofit PEERS network:

www.peerservice.org – PEERS websites: Spreading inspiration, education, & empowerment
www.momentoflove.org – Every person in the world has a heart
www.personalgrowthcourses.net – Dynamic online courses powerfully expand your horizons
www.WantToKnow.info – Reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups
www.weboflove.org – Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all

 

SOURCE: With very best wishes for a transformed world,
Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

 

Born To Be Mild

immortality-quotes-5

Your life is not an accident. Your life is lived in your mind. Life is also lived in your heart. Sometimes you rue your actions or inaction. You call them whopping mistakes, and, yet, still, you don’t know yet how one action leads to another and how it will all play out. You can’t think all that much about what has been and what is yet to be.

Your essence comes into fruition not by trying but by allowing. To revel in your capacity to glow and spread your Love to all those around you is a privilege and a right you have and are discovering with each passing day. As cliche’ as it has become, everything you experience in your Earthly Lives happens for a reason, and you have steered your own Lives and experiences in the directions best intended for your growth.

Perhaps the purpose is that ‘God’ (the ancient’s name for Consciousness) needs to evolve to stay alive, and It does this by splitting Itself apart into us, and It’s life depends on us evolving into Love. We are One with this Consciousness.

It appears that consciousness is digital information packets encoded in photons (god is light), and the future exists as a probability (as proven by the double slit experiment) based on our choices and intent. We are this very Consciousness. We THINK we are bodies, but we aren’t. In truth, there is no proof that matter exists. The closer we look the more emptiness we see. Life is at most energy and/or vibration, but even that is a product of consciousness. There is in truth only Consciousness and everything emanates from It. We are the thoughts of Conscious Awareness and that means this reality is a virtual reality. (Virtual means rendering information). We are like characters or avatars in a video game. When the avatar ‘dies’ the player doesn’t die. The player gets a new avatar and keeps playing. Most of us are immersed in the game and don’t realize (or care to know) it’s just a game, but that’s OK. Evolution is a slow process. We will evolve into true human beings, a mankind of Gaia via love and co-operation. Eventually.

And by the way, there are things we just cannot know. I’m fine with that. I love a good mystery. I will not fill that void of not knowing with “beliefs.” That’s a box I struggled too hard to get out of.

Belief = Ignorance.

One Soul, Many Bodies: The Case for Reincarnation

angel-image

What happens to us when we die? It’s a question everyone eventually asks themselves at some point in their life. It transcends racial, social, political, economic and gender lines, making it the one question common to all human beings whether we like it or not.

Yet ever since the first men and woman began pondering their mortality a hundred thousand years ago, the answer has eluded us. What does happen when we die? What becomes of our soul, our mind, our personality – our very essence? For that matter, do we even have such a thing as a soul, or is it all an illusion we have created to give ourselves a sense of permanence and the hope of immortality?

The rationalist answers this query by proclaiming that since we are nothing more than a collection of cells and our brains simply tissue encased within a mantle of bone, nothing can happen to us when we die. The essence, personality, mind – soul – or whatever we wish to call our consciousness, ceases to exist, endowing our time on this planet with no more meaning than that which we choose to give it during our brief sojourn here. This is, of course, the position of the atheist, which is what makes atheism, in my opinion, so easy. It requires nothing because it offers nothing, which strikes me as a fair trade.

To most people, however, this answer is unsatisfactory. It suggests that we are little more than some great cosmic accident and that, consequently, our life has no ultimate purpose, forcing us to contemplate an existence without meaning in a universe that, despite all its beauty and splendour, has no more significance – or ultimate permanence – than a flower that briefly blooms in the spring only to wither and die after a few short days of vibrant life.

I suppose there are people for whom such a prospect is acceptable. It does, after all, tidy things up and make life simply a little game we sentient beings like to play for no particularly good reason other than because we have no choice. Yet something deep within the human heart knows better. We instinctively understand that we are more than the sum of our parts, which is why most people believe their personalities will survive their physical demise in some form and will continue on long after their bones have turned to dust. This, of course, brings us to our second option, which is that the personality/ego/true self/whatever you want to call it does survive the demise of the body to exist – at least for a time – as a separate disembodied consciousness. If this is the case, however, the next question that logically follows is what happens next?

Some believe, for example, that we become ghosts – little more than disembodied spirits aimlessly wandering the Earth, capable of perceiving the physical realm but unable to interact with it in any meaningful way. They can even point to various evidences to support this contention, from reported hauntings to automatic writing, séances, and apparent disembodied spirits caught on film.

While I personally have no problem with the idea of ghosts, I don’t think existing as a disembodied consciousness is truly a viable long-term option for what happens to us. Ghosts always struck me as being transitory; beings stuck on the Earth plane for a time only to ultimately move on and so essentially vanish from our physical realm. As such, even if we are to become ghosts, it will be, at least for the vast majority of us, a brief experience and not our eternity. I suspect we all eventually move on to ‘greener pastures’, so to speak.

Now, however, is where things get more interesting. Most people, regardless of whether they believe in ghosts or not, believe that the essence of who we are – our “soul” if you will – goes some place. Heaven is the favoured destination for most; a place where our conscious personality, no longer shackled to the limitations and burdens of physical existence, survives within a perpetual state of bliss and joy throughout eternity. Some add to this by also embracing a belief in hell; a perpetual state of torment for those who turn to evil and so are doomed to exist forever within a conscious state of agony, regret, and fear.

Both positions, however, suffer from the same problem, and that is that they see our time here on this planet as but a blink of the eye of eternity, with the decisions we make – or fail to make – while in the body having profound and eternal ramifications. Unfortunately, this reduces the physical world to little more than a cosmic hatchery that exists only to birth new souls, each of which will spend a short time in it before winging – or, potentially, plunging – to their ultimate destiny.

While admittedly this idea does manage to make this single life of paramount importance, it also forces one to wonder why a physical realm is necessary at all. If the physical universe exists merely as a vehicle for our creation, why couldn’t the process be circumvented entirely and we be created directly into the spiritual realm – as was supposedly the case with God’s angels?

Why all the unnecessary pain and hardship of a physical existence – especially if there exists the very real danger that we might earn hell through our misdeeds – if the spirit realm is the only destination that awaits us? In such a context, physical existence seems not only pointless but, in many ways, even hazardous.

So where does that leave us? If no Heaven and if no Hell, then what’s left?

There is a third position to consider. It is one that until recently has been largely ignored in the West but has been embraced by literally billions of people around the world for thousands of years. It is the belief that this physical existence is neither insignificant nor transient, but instead is perpetually ongoing. It is the concept that our soul lives on not in some ethereal Eden – or Hades – somewhere, but realises perpetual existence through a process of continual rebirths into the physical realm, making our time on this planet not one single, brief experience, but a repetitive process realised through literally hundreds of lifetimes. It is a timeless belief – one that predates both Christianity and Islam by many centuries – and one that is known by many names in many cultures. It’s been called rebirth, regeneration, transmigration of the soul, even metempsychosis, but is perhaps best known to us today as reincarnation.

Upon first consideration, especially to those who haven’t given the idea great thought, reincarnation may seem to be a foreign or exotic concept, especially to the Western mind steeped in the scientific method and drenched in two thousand years of monotheistic religion. It is something for Hindu holy men to ponder, or New Agers to embrace, but nothing that seems particularly relevant to most Westerners today.

I can easily understand this perspective for it is one I held myself for the first forty years of my life. And the truth be told, it is an Eastern concept – one in vogue more than four millennia before Christ was born and a belief held to by nearly two billion of the world’s population today – making it one of the oldest and most enduring belief systems known to man. In fact, it may be the original post-mortem belief among early humans who probably considered the idea when they began noticing strong similarities between recently born offspring and their deceased ancestors. Perhaps the mannerisms or interests a child displayed reminded one of a deceased loved one or a birthmark mimicked that found on a long-dead grandparent, leading village elders to imagine that the dead ancestor had returned a second time – a not unreasonable assumption in cultures that naturally assumed the soul to be inherently immortal.

Unfortunately, Westerners have traditionally had a tendency to consider foreign or primordial religious concepts as primitive and so reject them out of hand. However, this perception appears to be slowly changing as reincarnationist beliefs have become more prevalent in the West, especially in the last fifty years, and is becoming increasingly popular to ever growing numbers of people.

A Lost Western Tradition of How the Soul Returns

Of course, unbeknownst to most people, reincarnation has always been a part of Western thought. The prospect that the soul repeatedly returns to the flesh flourished in ancient Greece almost three thousand years ago and may have played a far more important role in our development as a civilisation than traditional histories have led us to believe. Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and Pythagoras all taught and believed in some form of rebirth, the foundations of which were later adopted by the great Roman philosophers Ovid, Virgil, and Cicero, along with a host of other great thinkers of antiquity.

In fact, reincarnationist concepts were so prevalent in the centuries immediately preceding the birth of Christ, that they played a major role in many of the “mystery” religions of the Mediterranean; religions which were themselves to become the template for other later mystical faith systems of the region. Reincarnation, then, far from being a purely foreign concept was, in fact, widespread and may have strongly influenced the shape and thrust of Greek and Roman philosophy.

Even more of a surprise to many people, however, is the fact that reincarnationist concepts were also part of some of the more mystical branches of traditional Western religion, from the Sufis of Islam to the Gnostics of the early centuries of Christianity, and even within the Hasidic and Kabbalist traditions in Judaism. In fact, at times it virtually flourished and, especially in the case of Christianity, almost became the predominant belief system during the first few centuries of the Church’s existence until it was forced underground by the more traditional, non-reincarnationist branches of Christianity. Its proponent’s writings declared heretical and burned, the concept was so successfully suppressed by the Church of Rome that few Christians today even realise it was ever a part of their own faith.

Why was it suppressed? The obvious answer is because it threatened authority. Western religion is largely dependent upon the belief that man is destined to “die once and then be judged” to maintain control. In promising multiple rebirths, however, reincarnation renders the proclamations of the Pope or the Grand Mufti or whomever was the ruling head at the time transitory and, the truth be told, irrelevant. As such, reincarnation threatened the Church’s very livelihood, making it a very dangerous idea that had to be either suppressed or labelled as heretical in order for the Church to maintain its power base. As a result, the concept remained largely unknown outside of Asia for probably seventeen of the last twenty-one centuries.

Its revival in the West was imminent, however, with the arrival of the Age of Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. Once the long forgotten writings of the ancient Greeks again became available and one could hold to previously forbidden ideas without forfeiting their lives, such once forbidden concepts as reincarnation became increasingly popular, especially among the intellectual elite of the era. Amongst those who held to some form of multiple rebirths are such notables as Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Voltaire, among others.

Interpreting What it Means to Reincarnate

However, since its reintroduction into the Western consciousness, reincarnation has undergone a transformation. It is no longer the unending “cycle of life” wheel taught by the Hindus and Buddhists, but has become a “school of higher education” designed to bring us to ever greater levels of spiritual enlightenment. This is why when a Hindu or a Buddhist and their fellow Western reincarnationist talk about the subject, it often appears as though they are speaking two different languages. This is because in some ways they are, which is where the confusion comes in.

To the Hindu, the soul is essentially stuck in a never ending cycle of rebirth which can never be broken due to the continual need to balance one’s karma. In effect, with each incarnation into the flesh, the human personality – a by-product of the underlying soul that birthed it – accumulates a degree of bad karma that must be worked off in order to restore balance to itself. Some of this karma can be worked off in life in the form of good works, but this is seldom sufficient to work off the entire debt, which must be accounted for in the next life by having the soul take on an incarnation that may be more difficult so the ongoing karmic debt can be worked off.

On rare occasions, a life may be so exemplary that the person might be born into a higher station (or caste in Hindu parlance) but as a rule, bad karma tends to outweigh good karma and, in being continually accumulated through each lifetime, adds to the growing debt that remains to be balanced and so perpetuating the rebirth cycle. (Of course, if one accumulates too much bad karma, they may not be reborn as a person at all, but could come back as an animal or even, in some teachings, an inanimate object such as a stone. This belief is called “transmigration of the soul” and is also a major element of Hindu teachings.)

Buddhism, on the other hand, while understanding the process of reincarnation in much the same way as does the Hindu, differs in that it teaches that the cycle of rebirth can be broken through achieving nirvana (literally, enlightenment), at which point the cycle is broken.

Enlightenment means essentially to be become aware of one’s true nature and to the realities contained within the Four Noble Truths as articulated by Gautama Buddha over two thousand years ago. These are: first, to be alive is to suffer due to the imperfection of human nature and the world around us; second, that the cause of suffering is attachment to transient things (in effect, craving or desiring things); third, that one can learn to let go of these attachments; and, finally, that the process of achieving enlightenment is progressive and may itself extend over many lifetimes.

In sharp contrast, to many Western reincarnationists, the purpose of rebirth is to learn the lessons we need to learn in each incarnation in order to advance to the next spiritual level which, while having some similarities to the Buddhist concept of slowly achieving enlightenment over a number of incarnations by practicing the Buddha’s Eightfold Path (right view, right intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration), is actually quite different.

The Buddhist does not believe that one is “learning” new lessons with each lifetime, but simply applying the principles contained within the Eightfold Path until craving, ignorance, delusions and its effects gradually disappear as progress is made towards enlightenment. To the Western mindset, attachment is not seen as the source of the problem (though it does generally acknowledge that an obsessive attachment to things can be detrimental to spiritual growth).

Another significant difference between Eastern and Western concepts of reincarnation have to do with the perception of what it is, exactly, that is reincarnating. The Hindu sees the soul – the divine essence of God – as being the generator of each incarnation, with the individual personality or ego a transient expression of that soul.

In marked contrast, the Buddhist doesn’t believe in individualised souls at all, but believes the sense of self is merely an illusion created by our own perceptions – a conscious “memory” if you will, conceived by our assumption that we exist separately. To the Buddhist, we are all a part of a larger, divine consciousness that has simply taken on the very brief “illusion” that it is separate. The Buddhists compare our sense of existence to the waves upon the ocean; just as a wave is a temporary phenomena caused by wind and currents, our personality is equally as transient and is, upon death, absorbed back into the divine consciousness in the same way that a wave upon the ocean is eventually swallowed up by the ocean itself.

In the West, however, the personality – or ego – is more robust and generally considered immortal. To many, the soul and the personality are considered essentially synonymous, so as a result, when we die, our basic personality – complete with all its memories, life experiences, knowledge, and traits – returns in another body to continue its existence. It may not have a direct memory of its past life – though some people claim to be possess the ability to consciously remember their previous incarnations – but it is essentially the same personality starting life over again in another context.

The personality may experience dramatically new surroundings – for example, it may experience one incarnation as an Indian girl who lived and died in the nineteenth century and then return as a Spanish man in the twentieth century – but it is still the same “person” underlying each “role.” Of course, the experiences and environment it finds itself in through each subsequent incarnation will affect the base personality in both subtle and sometimes substantial ways, but this too is a part of the process. This is why the Westerner sees reincarnation in the context of “lessons.” After all, the Indian girl was able to experience and learn only so much in her short time on Earth, mandating that she return again – this time as a Spanish male – to learn those things she either neglected to learn or hadn’t the opportunity to learn in her previous incarnation.

This makes spiritual enlightenment a type of “to do” list that needs to be checked off in its entirety before we can cease the process of rebirth. (What happens after that is equally open to speculation among Westerners: some imagine we come back as avatars or spiritual teachers; others speculate that we start the process over again on another planet, while still others maintain that we move onto other dimensions. Apparently, the options available to the enlightened soul are extensive.)

I wonder, however, if the truth is not a conglomeration of each of these perceptions? Clearly the Eastern concepts of a parent soul that births each and every individual personality has merit, as does the Buddhist belief in the transient, temporary nature of the ego that is birthed. And the Western concept that we reincarnate until we learn what we need to know also has some validity and seems to parallel in some ways the Buddhist idea that the cycle of rebirth ends upon achieving enlightenment – however one chooses to define the term.

I often wonder if we aren’t all looking upon the same phenomena and not simply seeing only those parts of it that speak to us personally. I suspect our understanding of the purpose for reincarnation is lacking in many ways and may never be entirely complete, though I also believe we are making progress in coming to a fuller appreciation for its complexity and sophistication. Perhaps one day East and West will come together and merge their different perceptions and in so doing, form a complete whole that answers everyone’s questions.

Of course, I recognise that such may sound like a contradictory process. After all, how can there be a soul and yet not a soul, and how can the ego be immortal and yet transient? To combine both Western and Eastern concepts of reincarnation would seem to embrace paradox, but I have found it is often within the complexities of paradox that the truth exists. In fact, it is only our limited ability to understand that makes these apparent contradictions paradoxes in the first place.

I wonder if they would still appear as such were we to find the capacity within ourselves to truly understand on a level our current mental capacity does not permit. On the other hand, perhaps understanding these concepts is not done at a mind level, but on a spiritual level, which is a difficult place for many people to go.

Maybe in the end we were never meant to fully understand how reincarnation works, and that may be where the adventure really begins. Perhaps the question of what happens to us when we die was never meant to be answered but merely explored, for it is in seeking – not necessarily finding – the answer that growth can take place.

It may be, in fact, that it is only in abandoning our need to find the answers that we give them the ability to find us. In effect, we may be like the man who is so busy looking for treasure that he fails to realise he is searching for it within the bowels of a gold mine. Were he to but look up and see the treasure that shimmers all around him, he would realise how silly his fervent quest had been all along. Perhaps we need only do the same.

Jeff Allen Danelek’s latest book The Case for Reincarnation: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Soul (Llewellyn, 2010) is available from all good bookstores or via www.newdawnbooks.info.

If you appreciated this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.

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A native Minnesotan who currently resides in Colorado, JEFF ALLEN DANELEK has been working as a graphic artist and technical illustrator since leaving the Navy in 1984. He has been writing as a hobby for fifteen years, and enjoys presenting alternative theories on increasingly popular subjects dealing with the strange and inexplicable world around us. Danelek is regularly featured at seminars, conferences, and has been a frequent guest on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and the X-Zone with Rob McConnell. His books include The Case for Ghosts, Atlantis: Lessons from a Prehistoric Civilization, UFOs: The Great Debate, and 2012: Extinction or Utopia: Doomsday Prophecies Explored. His latest book is The Case for Reincarnation: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Soul. Danelek is also a novelist and instructor at Colorado Free University. His website is www.ourcuriousworld.com.

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue 14.

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission granted to freely distribute this article for non-commercial purposes if unedited and copied in full, including this notice.

© Copyright New Dawn Magazine, http://www.newdawnmagazine.com. Permission to re-send, post and place on web sites for non-commercial purposes, and if shown only in its entirety with no changes or additions. This notice must accompany all re-posting.

Why I Believe in Rebirth – Manly P. Hall

I absolutely loved this short version of a lecture by one of my heroes Manly P Hall. I hope you will take a minute to see the links to his youtube channel in my links box, along with the archived lectures of Alan Watts, Terence McKenna and Joseph Campbell. These men are a few of our modern day Socrates, Plato and Pythagoras. We need to pay attention.

– Lecture by Manly P. Hall

via Manly P. Hall – Why I Believe in Rebirth – YouTube.

Tom Campbell: “Afterlife” Within The Context Of A Big TOE…And More

I “know” because it works.” When you logically derive a Big TOE (theory of everything) and have tested it out personally such as Tom has, it makes answering even the most esoteric questions possible.

In this interview, Tom expands on questions that have received much attention in some of his previous interviews, and those are “What happens after we die?”, and How can one “know” these things?
And, from “Who are we in this reality?, what are the real consequences (in detail) of our good and not so good choices?

His theory from his book My Big TOE rests on the conclusion that we are living in a virtual reality simulation, and that all of reality is information at the core.

With this in mind, he answers the questions of afterlife and how we can know about the process involved in transitioning from “here” to “there”. He normalizes the “paranormal”. His theory logically bridges Quantum Mechanics and Relativity, thus explaining the much sought after question of what is “other” that Edward Fredkin referred to in his presentations.

He also comments on Dr Bruce Lipton’s work,The Biology of Belief, and how Lipton’s work with cells mirrors the fractal nature of our reality that Tom describes.

In one of his most recent interviews with scientist Dean Radin, Dean is quoted as saying (in reference to his experiments with the paranormal) , “Proof is about alcohol, I don’t need proof, I have evidence” Evidence (your own subjective evidence) is what Tom values as well.

For our dear friend Marla Frees, psychic medium (host, Whitney Streiber’s Dreamland), he comments on “alien” encounters, and how they can be possible and real (an interpretation of information from external sources).

These subjects are diverse, esoteric and mysterious, unless you have developed a true Big TOE (theory of everything) as Tom Campbell has, and then they are all logically explainable.

Note: Chakras are discussed as metaphors, but the information received through this metaphor is the real thing.

To those of you just new to Tom’s work, the “Larger Consciousness System” is interpreted by some to be God.

http://www.mybigTOE.com
http://www.deanradin.com
http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/
http://www.tiller.org/
http://www.monroeinstitute.org/
http://www.brucelipton.com/
http://www.marlafrees.com/
http://www.unknowncountry.com/dreamla…
http://www.brianweiss.com/
http://mbtevents.com

Interview by Donna Aveni

via Tom Campbell: \”Afterlife\” Within The Context Of A Big TOE…And More 9/28/12 – YouTube.

Reincarnation and the early Christians

By Kevin Williams

In December, 1945, early Christian writings containing many secrets of the early Christian religion were found in upper Egypt, a location where many Christians fled during the Roman invasion of Jerusalem. Undisturbed since their concealment almost two thousand years ago, these manuscripts of Christian mysticism rank in importance with the Dead Sea Scrolls. These writings affirmed the existence of the doctrine of reincarnation being taught among the early Jews and Christians. These Christian mystics, referred to as Christian Gnostics, were ultimately destroyed by the orthodox Church for being heretics. Their sacred writings were destroyed and hidden with the belief that they would be revealed at an appropriate time in the future. The discovery in 1945 yielded writings that included some long lost gospels, some of which were written earlier than the known gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Brian A. Bain, M.A., has this to say about the 1945 discovery:

“Long considered to be heretical, ancient Gnostic Christian texts unearthed this century display compelling similarities between Gnostic conceptions of life and death and modern near-death experiences. The Gnostic texts devoted extensive tracts to what readers could expect to encounter when they died. Other passages make numerous allusions to near-death-like experiences that can be realized in this life, most notably the human encounter with a divine light. The Gnostic Christian literature gives us one more example of NDEs and similar experiences in the ancient world.”

Another interesting fact comes from Edgar Cayce (a near-death experiencer) who affirmed that Gnosticism is the highest form of Christianity.

The Christian Gnostics were regarded by some as a new Jewish sect who believed they had finally found the long-awaited Messiah and not a new religion. Some of the apostles became Gnostic and because of this, Christianity could well have grown up as a Gnostic religion had it not been for their eventual persecution by the organized Church centuries later. 

Table of Contents
1. The Secret Teachings of Jesus
2. Origen: The Champion for the Secret Teachings of Jesus
3. The Theology of Christian Gnosticism
4. Christian Gnostic Writings
5. The Gospel of Thomas
6. The Apocalyptic Texts
7. The Apocalypse of Paul
8. The Suppression of Christian Gnosticism

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