The Wisdom of the Dream Maker Within
By Barbara A. Derrick, PhD
Edgar Cayce, the most documented seer of the 20th century, made an extraordinary claim— anyone could do what he did. Not only did he make this startling claim, but he encouraged others to explore, research, and verify what he said.
While lying on a couch, Edgar Cayce could place himself into a trance and answer any question about any topic put to him using the technical knowledge and language of the finest scholar. The information, he said, came from the “Universal Consciousness” that runs like a river through time.
When asked if anyone could do what he did, his answer was, “All can do it.” (Edgar Cayce reading 3744-1)
How? “In the experiences in the earth, one only meets self. Learn then to stand oft aside and watch self pass by.”
(Edgar Cayce reading 3292-1)
Cayce gave this advice to 16 people under many different circumstances. I have applied this to my own studies, particularly of my dreams.
“In dreams…each individual soul…reviews or sees from a different attitude those experiences of its own activities.” (Edgar Cayce Reading 256-136)
In dreams, we view ourselves from a different perspective. What a gift—to see ourselves as others see us. When asked how dreams should be interpreted, Edgar Cayce said dreams are given for the better understanding of self. He answers that dreams “correlate those truths that are enacted in each and every dream that becomes a part of the entity of the individual to use (for the purpose of) better development; ever remembering that ‘develop’ means going toward the higher forces, or the Creator.” (Edgar Cayce Reading 3744-4) Often having this view isn’t pleasant, but it’s worthwhile.
I experienced this in my own dreams: I wanted a career in journalism and hoped my written work would help others and influence the world long after my death. A message came at the conclusion of a dream in which I could see myself walking down the beach looking for a treasure chest that contained my greatest gift to the world. I saw an obstacle obscuring my way to the treasure chest. Are there not always some obstacles we need to remove to reach the ultimate in our spiritual experience?
Only a corner of the chest was visible above the sand. I cleared the sand away and lifted the lid. Inside there were only pieces of paper containing some of my writings. My heart sank. How could this be of any use to anyone? This was nothing. Paper and the writing on paper were so fragile, so easily lost or destroyed. Worthless. I felt sick at heart. If this is all I have to leave to the world, I will have lived in vain. Suddenly the words came to me that I knew were coming from Christ, “I left only spoken words.”
My focus had been on what I wanted to leave to the world. My thoughts had never included leaving the harvest to a loving Creator.
Another dream alerted me to my own assessment of who I was:
I observed a child confined to a room. The child had bedsores and appeared “crazy” because she had been confined for so long. The air was stale with an unpleasant odor about it. I got the child out of the room and soon she no longer appeared “crazy” but was bright beyond belief. The child was attractive and learned rapidly once out of the room, cleaned up, and treated as if she were normal. Under good care, the child was exceptional. When it was time to take the child back, I wondered whether to report the situation to the authorities. I feared those in authority over the child would return her to the same environment.
At the time of this dream, I was launching into a new venture. Until this time, I had confined myself to my home and family, having accepted what I felt was the mandate to bury myself in service to my husband and children. Now, I was pursuing interests outside of the home. I applied to graduate school, a seminary. I felt like a child who had been confined to a room and not permitted to develop normally. Most of the people at seminary were professional people of one sort or another, and I felt “disabled” by not having more exposure to the world. I thought of myself as underdeveloped. I was the child in my dream. The dream assured me that the “child” was not only normal, but could be exceptional. My fear of returning to a confining environment was sparked by fear that perhaps I could not measure up at seminary and I would be sent home, never to venture into the world outside the home again.
The dream helped me. The child in this dream is an archetypal symbol. A child represents a new life, a new beginning. At seminary and thereafter, doors have opened for me, which never would have opened without this very first step.
So, in both of these dreams I saw myself as I had never seen myself before. I did, indeed, as Edgar Cayce said, “Step aside and watch self pass by.”
Barbara Derrick, PhD, a researcher, lecturer and writer on Edgar Cayce, is a counselor, family therapist, and mental health specialist who has successfully used a protocol suggested by Edgar Cayce to enhance and improve the lives of Alzheimer's patients. She has presented at the Edgar Cayce Health Symposium at Virginia Beach and her articles have appeared in Venture Inward magazine, available exclusively to Members by mail or online at
Edgar Cayce's Deep Meditation Method
By John Van Auken
Of all the meditation techniques I've learned and practiced over these many years, none has been as effective as Edgar Cayce's passage-in-consciousness technique. Our free online meditation course has diagrams of some of the steps, and links to those pages are included. With a little practice we can deeply attune ourselves to God and retain that essence, energy, and vibration in our daily lives.
Here is a step-by-step guide for making passage in consciousness to God-consciousness:
- Select a place and set aside a time for the practice. Go to that place and time daily. Allot a minimum of 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
- Begin with stretching exercises. Stretch by reaching up high with your arms and hands while on your tiptoes. Alternate reaching to the ceiling with one hand then the other, like a cat stretching on a carpet. After a few of these stretches, bend over and touch your toes, stretching your joints, limbs, and spinal column. Continue the alternating motion with these toe-touching stretches. Now, do the Cayce head-and-neck exercise: The key is to feel the stretching all the way down your spine.
- Now, do Cayce's breathing exercise: While inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through the right, you should feel uplifting and opening of the spiritual forces of the body. It's good to have fresh air in the room while doing this breathing exercise, to bring more oxygen into the circulatory system and brain.
- Now, get in a relaxed position that you can maintain for the whole session. If you decide to lie down, you must cover your solar plexus with your hands (this is Cayce's instruction in 440-8). If you decide to sit up, then you do not have to cover the solar plexus, just place your hands where they are most comfortable.
- From here on you will need your imaginative forces for the following: Remove your "earthly portions" (Cayce's term) and personality from your body. With your mind's eye, see your mental hands moving these earthly aspects out of your body to a place in front of your body. Hold them there. Your body feels lighter and open, ready for your soul to come forth.
- Now, subjugate (Cayce's term) control to your soul and subconscious mind. See, feel, and know that your soul and subconscious mind are taking control of the system. An indication that this is occurring is a shift in your breathing, toward deeper, steadier, slower breathing.
- Once you feel the subjugation and deeper breathing, inspire your soul to ascend and expand into the mind and spirit of God, the Universal Consciousness and Infinite Spirit. Use a directing suggestion, such as: Arise my soul and enter into the presence of God, the Mind and Spirit of God; the infinite, universal consciousness of God. Imagine and feel yourself rising; feel the expansiveness and the buoyancy of the spirit of the Source of all life. Become universal and infinite. See it. Feel it. Know it is happening.
- Draw your head back slightly and allow your soul to expand through dimensions of consciousness – upward and outwardly expanding into God's infinite presence. Keep the "movement" upward and outwardly expanding until you feel yourself becoming a part of the whole of the universal consciousness, like a drop of water becoming aware of the ocean of water within which it exists. When you sense the infinite presence of God, connect with It. Plug into It. Hold on and maintain a connection with It. Attune yourself to the Infinite Oneness. Then, shift from aggressive seeking to receptive openness to God's will. Use an affirmation, such as: Not my will, but Thy will, be done in and through me. Feel God's will, God's Spirit, flowing into you. (Despite the thrill of it, you must try to subdue emotion—stillness and universalness are necessary for ideal attunement.)
- Once your body, mind, and soul are fully imbued with this Life Force, abide silently there. Attempt to stay conscious but if sleep overtakes you, awaken slowly, sensing your deeper mind's perceptions. At first, this may be difficult. Losing consciousness, like falling asleep, is a natural tendency. Eventually, you'll be able to maintain consciousness. Your breathing is likely to become very shallow, almost not moving. Cayce says that there is magic in this silence. Allow that magic time to do its work.
- When you sense that the session is concluding, gradually begin to make your way back into physical life, bringing with you the essence, energy, and vibrations of this attunement, this oneness with the Infinite. Feel yourself moving back into the body. Take a deep breath to aid you in drawing yourself back into the body. But bring the essence, energy, and vibes of the attunement. Take another breath and draw the higher self back into the body and this dimension of life.
- Now, begin to balance the energies for proper functioning in physical life by equally distributing the energy throughout your body, not leaving supercharged energy in the upper portions (the head, neck, and shoulders). Imagine moving the energy to every portion of your body and mind—balanced, equally distributed. Cayce said that the internal organs of the body play a role in this balancing. Feel the energy in your lungs, liver, kidneys, intestines, glands, and skin. Let the energy now move from the brain to the other organs. This is an important step. Cayce suffered physically when he did not do this rebalancing. Take time to do it well.
- Now, let your daily actions, thoughts, and words reflect your attunement, not in a pious or better-than-thou manner, but in a natural, loving, cooperative manner. Simply practice the Fruits of the Spirit. These are: love, kindness, gentleness, patience, understanding, and so on.
You'll want to watch your dreams and intuitions. This practice will ignite dreaming. It will also generate intuitive glimpses from your deeper mind and the great collective mind that all souls are connected to. It's a good idea to carry a small note pad in which you can record insights and ideas that come—because, your outer, conscious mind (if it's anything like mine) will not be able to remember these. Like dreams, they are knowings of the deeper mind that creep through the veil to consciousness but are hard to hold onto. A note pad and dream journal help keep them in this dimension, this outer life.
This technique does require some time. Cayce advised setting aside an hour for the practice. In the first year that I practiced this, it would take me about 30 minutes to see, feel, and know the first 9 steps; now it takes about 5 minutes, leaving the rest of the time to be in the universal, infinite condition. Rebalancing also used to take much longer than it does now. The more you practice, the more you develop your body, mind, and spirit to know and understand the finite condition and the infinite condition, and the transition from one to the other. The overall experience is quite natural and normal when balanced and integrated into our lives and the whole of our being. One can be here, projected into individualness; or there, expanded into universalness. After a while, even when in individualness you feel the universalness. It's wonderful but much more natural and normal than I expected. Cayce always taught that that's how it would be, saying that we were in the infinite, universal condition prior to incarnating. Therefore, returning to the other condition will not feel supernatural but natural and familiar.
This meditation method allows the "magic silence" to better imbue us with the vitality, peace, and clarity of God's spirit and mind. It also brings out our better selves, which Cayce identified as one of the main goals of meditation: "let your better self come through." Cayce's readings often instructed us to let God come through us into this dimension and into the lives of people around us.
John Van Auken, a director at the Association for Research and Enlightenment, is an acknowledged expert on the Cayce readings, the Bible, ancient prophecies, world religions, meditation, and ancient Egypt. John conducts seminars in the U.S. and abroad, and is a tour guide to the many sacred sites around the world with A.R.E. Travel. He is the author of numerous books, including Toward a Deeper Meditation, Edgar Cayce and the Kabbalah, Ancient Egyptian Mysticism and From Karma to Grace.
The Snake Box
By Tina Erwin
Those [dreams] that make such an impression on the conscious forces as to become a portion of the mental activities...should be interpreted. (Edgar Cayce Reading 294-40)
As we see, all visions and dreams are given for the benefit of the individual, would they but interpret them correctly... (Edgar Cayce Reading 294-15)
All dreams have potentially several interpretations. However, there are some dreams that seem to offer the dream traveler with some pretty straightforward opportunities for insight. If we are patient, deliberate and open, we may be able to deduce quite readily the larger meaning of many dreams. Recently, a friend shared her dream with me.
I am in a room with an enormous, open box of snakes. Someone I know is helping me with these reptiles. Upon closer inspection these are huge Timber Rattlesnakes, each one almost six feet long with very big rattles at the ends of their tails.
My job, with the help of my friend, is to carefully take each snake out of the box. Then with my bare hands, gently put each snake into its own box and send it on its way. I have no idea where the snakes are being sent. I just know that I have to prepare them for their departure: I have to handle each one.
I am conscious that fear is not my friend; that using the power of peaceful reassurance and an aura of kindness and care will keep each snake calm while I handle it. As I pick one up rattlesnake after the other, I can feel the tremendous muscles in their tightly coiling bodies and the texture of their skin. The rattlers don’t know what is happening to them.
I become aware that not a single one of them is ‘rattling’ their tail. They seem curious but calm. Patiently, consistently, I stay the course of my task. Gently, kindly, I pick each one up, deliberately place it in the box, and hand it off to an unseen person for shipment.
Finally, I have finished the task, and then I feel that subtle tingle of fear go down my spine. Somehow one snake has been missed and is crawling up my body inside my clothes to be closer to me. The snake is not threatening, again, merely curious and possibly a bit cold. Again, I gently, deliberately pick up this snake and box it for transport to the correct location.
And then I wake up.
This dream not only answers the question of its meaning, it also offers us an opportunity to consider how our subconscious, super-conscious, and the Divine, communicate with us about what is to come and how we can respond to future events. If we look closely, we can also see how the dreamer’s karmic path becomes visible as well.
The dreamer in this scenario is a spiritual worker in her waking (and probably sleep) state. She works very hard. Sometimes it feels that some difficult things are overwhelming and yet, as a person of faith, she believes that she is divinely guided and she is disciplined enough to listen for that guidance. She is surprised by the crisp clarity of this dream and the critically important fact that even weeks later, she can remember this dream in exquisite detail. Perhaps that element was deliberate. She was supposed to remember that dream for the critical lesson it offered if she was savvy enough to embrace it.
What does that dream mean for her? Perhaps, each snake represents a difficult, potentially dangerous problem that is now facing her or will face her in the coming days and months. The message that comes through loud and clear in that dream is this: if she uses her power, and is courageous, patient, unemotional, and deliberate in handling each problem/snake, she will be fine. She is made to understand that she is not alone in her tasks. There are those seen and unseen people/beings who are dependably there to help her. Truly, she is not alone with even the most dangerous or scary problem/snake, yet the karma is unmistakable: each snake is her karmic responsibility to handle.
In the days and weeks that came after this dream, that is what happened. She handled each problem with the lessons she found in the snake box and she was just fine. She stayed the course, successfully navigating through even the most challenging situation.
She noticed how frequently as she faced a difficulty, she recalled the dream. She was reminded to consider that this difficulty like the previous one before it and probably the next one coming was going to be handled well if she just remembered the lessons of the seemingly terrifying box of Timber Rattlers. She also accepted that these issues were her karma/responsibility to work out and if done with the power of grace and courage, would have a positive and potentially elegant outcome.
God, our Guardian Angel, and our Higher Self work in truly mysterious and often metaphoric ways. Ultimately what might have appeared to be a paralyzing nightmare became a precious dream of great insight and comfort. And for that aspect, she was and will always be truly grateful.
...it is the individual’s job, each individual’s condition, each individual’s position, each individual’s relation, each individual’s manifestation, each individual’s receiving the message from the higher forces themselves, and for each individual to understand if they will study, to show themselves approved. (Edgar Cayce Reading 3744-5)
Do not consider so much what others should do for or to you, but what will you do for and towards others. And realize that all of these must be constructive in their nature. (Edgar Cayce Reading 1889-1)
TINA D. ERWIN, CDR, USN, Ret. has studied metaphysics all her life to enable her to understand her own psychic abilities. These intense studies were further enhanced by the experiences of a dynamic 20-year career in the Navy, working for the U.S. Submarine Force, retiring at the Commander level. Erwin is the author of the A.R.E. Press book, The Lightworker’s Guide to Healing Grief.
The Dream as a Path of Initiation
By G. Scott Sparrow
Twenty-two years ago, my friend Benny hit a palm tree driving back from Mexico late one night. Before driving while drinking received so much attention, it was customary for teenagers along the Rio Grande River in south Texas to stay up late dancing in the border lounges, and then to head for home in the wee hours of morning along a perilously winding road that followed the course of the river. Many of us who passed our teenage years on the border – where alcohol for minors was only a bridge crossing away – can recall times when we should have been dead. I still shudder at our foolishness. We were just luckier, not wiser, than Benny and his two friends who died that night.
Shortly afterward, Benny began showing up in my dreams. He appeared deranged, even demonic – intent, it seemed, on hitting or killing me. I would run from him, scared out of my mind and wondering why he would want to hurt me, his friend. In one dream, I realized it was a dream and I tried to wake up to escape him. But I couldn't escape the dream in time; and he assaulted me before I could rouse myself from sleep, terrified.
As a budding metaphysician, I realized that Benny could really have been there as an earthbound, or confused, discarnate soul, attacking me. That idea did nothing to reassure me. But as a student of Jungian psychology at the time, I also realized that Benny could
represent an aspect of myself – my “shadow” – that was profoundly disenfranchised and enraged by my neglect of him. Along these lines, I eventually came to realize that Benny represented my own aggressiveness and need for power that I had suppressed under a facade of outward spirituality. Quite possibly, he was angry that I had become such a wimp.
I also knew that both could be true. He could be “himself” and a part of me. From this perspective, our relationship was continuing to offer both of us ways to evolve toward wholeness, even though he was physically dead. Whatever I did in the encounter that represented a breakthrough for me could release him, as well, from his own commensurate soul-level dilemmas.
Benny had always scared me a bit. On one occasion, his flirtation with power almost killed me. While I was skin-diving near the Mexican town of Puerto Vallarta, Benny lofted a volcanic rock in my direction “just to see if he could reach” me. The rock plunged into the water a mere foot from my head. If I hadn't drowned from the blow, it
would have been a miracle, for I was 70 yards offshore in 20 feet of water. Benny made a lot of people nervous with such displays of uncontrolled aggression.
Before the series of dreams came to a powerful end, I had an opportunity to be “spiritual” in one dream with Benny. He appeared in front of me, holding a knife. He said, devilishly, “I want to show you my new knife.” Suddenly, I realized that I was dreaming!
I knew what to do then. At least, I thought I did. I said, “You are only a dream. May the Light of the Christ surround you. Go away.” Nothing happened, and Benny crept closer. He was obviously amused by my ineffective tactic. Without wondering how I obtained
a knife of my own, I began doing battle with him until I eventually disarmed him – an unlikely outcome, since Benny was much larger and faster than I was in real life. I did not complain.
Then came the culmination one night while I was on vacation in England. In the dream – the final one with Benny – he had me pinned down, pummeling me with his fists. I knew that he would eventually kill me if I didn't free myself. I managed somehow to free one arm. Instead of hitting him back, however, I reached up and gently stroked his shoulder. Looking back, I don't know why I thought this would do any good. But he stopped hitting me immediately and began to cry. His tears fell into my face, and he said, “I only want to be loved.”
Years before in “real life,” I had made the mistake of making an obscene gesture at him. I was about six at the time, and he was ten; so it wasn't a very good idea. Sure enough, he pinned me down; and he spit into both of my eyes to show me how foolish I had been to defy him. It was a singularly humiliating and disgusting moment. Now, however – through the avenue of powerful dream encounters – our relationship had become fulfilled. I had found the courage to fight him and then the heart to embrace him. He, in turn, found it possible to voice what his aggression had so effectively obscured – his need for love.
If one looks back on this series of dreams, one can see that the whole purpose of the dream series was to elicit new responses from me. The dream was not so much a message as it was an opportunity to respond in a new way. It was an initiation – a test that was fulfilled only by acting in a new way and by expressing a new spirit. Any interpretation of the early dreams with Benny would have been largely useless and misleading, unless they included an analysis of my inadequate response to him. That is why I often say that much of what we call dream analysis misses the whole point of the dream.
Read the entire article here. (pdf)
Edgar Cayce's Approach to Dream Interpretation.
G. Scott Sparrow, EdD, is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in therapeutic dream work and transpersonal counseling. He has written Lucid Dreaming: Dawning of the Clear Light (A.R.E. Press, 1976), I Am with You Always: True Stories of Encounters with Jesus, and Blessed Among Women: Encounters with Mary and Her Message. He is also on the faculty of Atlantic University (AtlanticUniv.edu) where he teaches online continuing education courses for counseling professionals.