My Introduction to Edgar Cayce
By John Van Auken
I first read about Edgar Cayce when I was sixteen years old. My father, a naval officer, had been transferred to Virginia Beach, Virginia—home to the headquarters of the Edgar Cayce Foundation and the Association for Research and Enlightenment, founded by Edgar Cayce in 1931. The book was The Sleeping Prophet by Jess Stearn, a journalist and author of more than thirty books, nine of which were bestsellers. But it wasn’t until I got into college that I really began to study Cayce’s work. The professor of my writing class assigned us to write about a mystery, and since my mother had told me the mysterious story of Bridey Murphy, I thought that would be a good place to begin my research for this paper.
Bridey Murphy was the alleged name of a woman’s past life in the 1800s as an Irishwoman who died and reincarnated in the United States 59 years later. The book was The Search for Bridey Murphy by Morey Bernstein (published in 1952; it became a movie in 1956, starring Academy- Award winning actress Teresa Wright). It was the fascinating story of housewife Virginia Tighe (called Ruth Simmons in the book and movie), who, while under hypnosis, recalled (or virtually relived) her apparent past life as Bridey Murphy. Tighe’s hypnotic story (recorded on cassette tape) began in 1806, when Bridey was eight years old and living in or near Cork, Ireland. She was the daughter of Duncan Murphy, a barrister, and his wife Kathleen. At the age of 17, she married barrister Sean Brian McCarthy and moved to Belfast. Tighe told of a harsh fall season that caused Bridey’s death and of watching her own funeral. She described her tombstone and the state of being alive after her death—or more precisely, after her body’s death—in 1864. She said that she did not feel pain or sadness. Then, somehow, she was reborn in the Midwest of the U.S. in 1923. In this life, she had never been to Ireland and did not speak with even the slightest hint of an Irish accent—except when she was under hypnosis and “reliving” the Bridey incarnation! Then she spoke with an Irish brogue. In Bernstein’s book, he referred to Edgar Cayce and his remarkable abilities, explaining that he had investigated Cayce and could find no deception or trickery in his process. He thought that, as impossible as it may seem, the volumes of detail coming through Cayce on past lives couldn’t be anything but valid. Reading this, I decided to write my paper on the mystery of Edgar Cayce. Because it contained so many examples of Cayce’s readings on past lives and the karma that affected people’s present lives, I chose to use the best-selling book Many Mansions by Gina Cerminara. I got an “A” on my paper. But more than that, I developed an appetite for the Edgar Cayce information on past lives and karma.
Over the years, I read most every book about Edgar Cayce that there was. And though the initial “hook” that got me into the Cayce volumes was reincarnation and karma, it was the mystical, magical spirituality that filled his discourses that ultimately became my soul’s meat and potatoes. My soul and mind were being nourished by his spirituality. I could not get enough of his wisdom and stories, even though it was thick with King James biblical language and Christian terminology and concepts—things I had long ago deemed inadequate and often prejudiced, even racist and sexist, with a terrible history of violence. But Cayce’s perspective on Christian concepts was so open and so expansive, so beyond church dogma, doctrine, and historical acts, that I couldn’t get enough of it. His teachings included Buddhism and Hinduism. In fact, he taught that any faith that teaches the brotherhood and sisterhood of all humanity and the oneness of God was carrying the true message. In my twenties, this was exactly how I felt. His views found a receptive, responsive place within me. And the organization that built up around his work was open to all people from varying backgrounds and beliefs. They were “normal” people, not cultists, not living on the fringes of life, but quite a spread from our society. Now, after more than forty years of working with the Cayce material and concepts, and practicing them in my daily life, I have gathered together some of the key elements of his spirituality in this book. I’ve also added the wonders discovered by science—wonders of the outer life and outer reality, as well as wonders of the inner, unseen life and realms. And in writing this book, the material has reignited that flame of excitement that I had in my early twenties when I first encountered these ideas and their vast expansive vision into the purpose and meaning of life—of soul life. I truly would never have gotten to the awareness, vibration, and peace that I enjoy today, not to mention the quality of people I share my life with, without having studied and lived this material. I hope you find the light and inspiration that I found.
John Van Auken
is a director at Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E., and is one of the organization’s most popular speakers, traveling throughout the U.S. and abroad to address audiences on the body-mind-spirit topics found in the Edgar Cayce readings. He 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. His latest book, Edgar Cayce on the Spiritual Forces Within You is now available for purchase at ARECatalog.com.
For the Love of Animals, Part 1
By Jennie Taylor Martin
Read Part 1 |
I was born the youngest of seven children. This was in the 1960s when large families were not uncommon. Though we struggled financially, we always had pets. More specifically, we had a family dog, and I had mice, turtles, and a bird (cats, rabbits, gerbils, and guinea pigs would come later). My mom knew I had a passion for animals, and in spite of my family’s financial situation, she always supported my love for animals by allowing me to have pets and taking me to the zoo as often as we could manage.
Shortly before my ninth birthday, my dad died. It was sudden and unexpected, and it put our family on a completely different path. Wherever we were headed before, we weren’t heading that way anymore. I was young, but I understood what had happened. I knew my father was dead. I had a concept of heaven from church—I attended Sunday school each week and went to vacation Bible school during the summer. I felt confident that my dad was in heaven.
But what I wanted to know was, do animals go to heaven too? During that time period in my family’s life, while staying over my aunt and uncle’s house, my young brain was trying to sort out what I believed and what I still questioned, so I asked my aunt, “Do animals go to heaven?” Her reply was, “No, they don’t.” I adored my aunt. I admired her, and I respected her. But her response broke my heart and called into question my young faith. I told her how I felt about it. “If animals don’t go to heaven,” I said, “then I don’t want to go there either.”
Flash forward several years, and as a teen I started reading books of a metaphysical nature, like Richard Bach’s Illusions. My mom and I had the same taste in spiritual material, but though she was aware of Edgar Cayce, I didn’t find out about him until my mid-20s when, under synchronistic circumstances, I ended up working at A.R.E. in the Membership Department. It was 1988 when I first read There Is a River, and that’s when my spiritual studies really began to take off.
At the same time, I had become a volunteer at the local zoo that my family had visited for all those years of my childhood. My love for animals would always be a part of my nature, and no matter what I read or studied, in the back of my mind were my aunt’s words and my desire to prove them wrong, because I wanted heaven, but I wanted the animals too.
Back in the 1980s, the Cayce readings were not yet in electronic form. If you wanted to research the readings, you had to either read books and other materials by authors who had done the research and published their works, or you had to physically go to A.R.E.’s library and look them up directly. There were no published works on Edgar Cayce and animals that I could find.
It was only natural that I began to research what the Cayce readings had to say about animals. I wanted to know everything. What was their nature? Did they have souls? And, of course, did they live on beyond death? My research started at the beginning with this reading:
“Spirit pushed into matter—and became what we see in our three-dimensional world as the kingdoms of the earth; the mineral, the vegetable, the animal—a three-dimensional world.” (Edgar Cayce Reading 262-114)
This reminded me of the creation verses in Genesis but with an added depth. Seeing the animals as a spiritual kingdom and an expression of spirit as it had “pushed into matter” was an interesting concept for me. I wanted to understand this better, and I also needed to know what was meant by kingdom, so my research continued. I found more with this reading:
“In the material world, where we find expressions of the physical and of the spiritual, we find Mind. Yet what is known as the Group Mind—or that of the plant kingdom, the mineral kingdom and the animal kingdom...returns (as its Destiny) to the Creative Force which is its author, its maker. MAN—the free will agent...makes his Destiny as to whether his Mind...is one with or in opposition to the Creative Forces.” (Edgar Cayce Reading 262-80)
This concept of a Group Mind sounded to me like what we call animal instinct. I did not feel that this meant animals could not also be individuals, but rather I was reminded that animals are full of innocence. As this reading seems to indicate, that’s because animals are always in accord with the Creative Forces. Whereas humans—with free will—can act in “destructive” ways that are against the Creative Forces, this reading seemed to be saying that animals cannot.
Elephants at Amboseli national park against
Mount Kilimanjaro Source: Wikipedia
Animals are living in accord with natural law, or the Creative Forces; that is, unless they are under the influence of a human’s free will. And yes, a human can teach a dog not to pee in the house, and yes, a human can teach an elephant to perform in a circus, but these are unnatural behaviors brought on by the force of a human’s free will (for better or for worse) and not in accord with the animals’ Group Mind (i.e., instinct or natural nature).
Because of humans’ free will, which can be used constructively or destructively, animals are dependent upon us for their wellbeing. As was stated in the book of Genesis, we have dominion over animals and the earth. But since we have free will, it is our choice of how we wield it—for ill or for good, in discord or in accord with the Creative Forces.
Excerpt from an article published in the Jan-Mar 2014 issue of Venture Inward magazine. A.R.E. members can read the entire article in the online member section at EdgarCayce.org/members.
Read Part 1 |
Jennie Taylor Martin is the marketing director of A.R.E., and a former director of the PETA Foundation to Support Animal Protection. Out of love and respect for animals, she chose to commit to a vegan lifestyle in 1996. She is currently writing a book on this topic and welcomes stories of experiences you’ve had with possible animal reincarnation and or with animals and the afterlife. You can write to her at ARE@edgarcayce.org.
Toward a Universal Christ
By John Van Auken
“Christ is not a man.”—Edgar Cayce reading 991-1
With his outer mind quietly set aside and his deeper mind at-one with the Universal Consciousness, Edgar Cayce told us, “…know what you will do with this man, Jesus of Nazareth—Jeshua of Jerusalem, Joshua in Shiloh, Joseph in the court of Pharaoh, Melchizedek, as he blessed Abraham, Enoch as he warned the people, Adam as he listened to Eve.” (3054-4) In a reading for a person who had both Jewish and Christian training and was wrestling to decide which religion he preferred, the Source of Cayce’s readings asked: “Have you not found that the essence, the truth, the real truth is ONE? Mercy and justice; peace and harmony. For without Moses and his leader Joshua (that was bodily Jesus) there is no Christ. Christ is not a man. Jesus was the man; Christ the messenger; Christ in all ages, Jesus in one, Joshua in another, Melchizedek in another; these be those that led Judaism! These be they that came as that child of promise, as to the children of promise; and the promise is in you, that you lead as He has given you: ‘Feed my sheep.’” (991-1)
Obviously, when in contact with the Universal Consciousness, Cayce’s perspective on Jesus Christ is much different from that of the church and even of his own outer self. Cayce and his family were Bible-reading Christians. Yet, when he set aside his outer self and lifted his deeper mind into the Oneness with what the readings called the “Universal Consciousness,” a new perspective on Jesus Christ came through him to us, a perspective that is greater than one incarnation and beyond three-dimensional limitations.
From this perspective Christ is the Word, the Logos, the universal light of God manifested through an incarnate person. Cayce’s readings explain that the light of Christ first incarnated in Poseidia in Atlantis around 106,000 BC, doing so to help souls who had lost their conscious connection with God and had become trapped in matter. The attuned Cayce sees us as spirits and minds; physical bodies came long after our original creation in the image and likeness of the Universal Creator. The Christ spirit realized that it was going to take a series of incarnations in order to fully overcome the influences that had taken possession of our minds and hearts, and it came out of the heavens into matter to help us along the way.
The Christ spirit did not incarnate only in the Western world. Cayce explains that wherever the concept of one God and one brotherhood/ sisterhood was proclaimed, the Christ spirit was there. As the disciple John wrote in the opening lines of his gospel: “In the beginning was the Word [the Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were created through this One; and nothing that has been made was made without this One. In this One was life, and the life was the light of humanity. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The Word [the Christ] became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” A portion of the trinity of God came among humanity to help us. Cayce says this first happened in the legendary times of Atlantis; then again in Eden, between the Tigris and Euphrates; and again in Egypt, and again and again, continuing even today. In one of Cayce’s most often-published readings, he stated: “For the time never was when there was not a Christ...” (262-103)
Many devoted Christians wrestle with the edict that a person must “name the name” in order to achieve full resurrection, redemption, and eternal life. Even the Cayce readings quote this phrase, but with a significant twist to it: “He that would name the name must have become perfect in himself!” (254-3) How many of us Christians can say we have achieved this requirement? Another reading says: “Magnify that name—that name—that becomes on every tongue that of the crucified one in the manner that self is crucified to the fleshly desires…preferring the spirit of the Holy One before self, and considering the neighbor as yourself.” (137-118) Using this reading’s definition of the name, couldn’t a person who has heard little of Jesus be “naming the name” if he or she has crucified fleshly desires, preferring God’s will over his own, and loving his fellow man as himself? Is the name a word or is it spirit? Is salvation the name “Jesus” or is it loving God and others as Jesus instructed? Is Christ only Christian or universal? Is God and the manifestation of God among us limited to select souls? Does not God love and seek the companionship of all His/Her children?
“As an entity, a soul, a mind, enters [the spiritual dimensions] put about the self the cloak, the garment, yea the mantle of Christ; not as a man, not as an individual but the CHRIST—that universal consciousness of love that we see manifested in those who have forgotten self but—as Jesus—give themselves that others may know the truth.” (1376-1) Here we see Cayce equating Christ with “the universal consciousness of love.” This consciousness may be achieved by anyone of any religion or even no religion.
Consider the apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia, in 1981. A woman holding a baby was seen surrounded by exquisite rays of light. The young people (mostly teenagers) who saw her said that she looked like the sun, had 12 stars over her head, a luminescent white veil, and a pearl-gray dress. She introduced herself as “the mother of all people.” She encouraged one of the Christian children to follow the example of a good Moslem woman in her community. She said that her message was for all people, and “If it is necessary, I will appear in each home.” The luminescent lady warned her listeners that it is time for complete reconciliation among people. This message was given in Bosnia, where Christians, Moslems, Croats, and Serbs had much underlying hatred and prejudice toward one another.
Statue of Virgin Mary at Podbrdo,
site of the Medjugorje apparition. Source Wikipedia
We Christians need to allow Jesus Christ to be bigger than Christianity. As Jesus said (or the Christ spirit with whom Jesus made himself one), “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd,” John 10:16. Jesus said that he taught and did what he was guided to do from God, the Father, within him. And before leaving us to become completely one with God, Jesus informed us that the “Comforter,” the “Spirit of Truth,” would come to us and guide us.
Of course, not only Christians have to let go of religious elitism. Jews, Moslems, and others have contingents that believe their faith is the only true faith, and all must swear allegiance to their doctrines. As difficult as it may be, Christians, Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, and other religious groups are going to have to allow God to be the God of all people, and open their own hearts to all people. As the psalmist observed, God is everywhere and creator of everyone: “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there. If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there thy hand leads me, and thy right hand holds me,” Psalm 139:7-10. Cayce often quoted the passage: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord,” Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29.
Having presented this universal Christ, it’s important to acknowledge that in daily personal spirituality, one uses the practices, concepts, and ceremonies of one’s own religion and culture. In homes in Cairo, Tel Aviv, New Delhi, and New York, families flourish best when using their own religious customs. These evoke the spirit and love of God in particular ways that are ingrained into the nature of one’s being. These become sacred. Universalism is not a call to deny one’s unique ways. It is a call to cleanse our hearts and minds of prejudice against others in the name of God. This evil spirit of prejudice overtakes even the most well-intended, causing moral people to commit immoral acts, justified in the name of religious or ethnic purity. And this spirit does not just occur in war. It occurs in daily life, in little ways. All religious people have felt this from others. Jews, Moslems, and even Christians have felt the sting of prejudice against them. Many secularists in society today have an anti-any-religion attitude, and they base their prejudice on the negative actions of religious people throughout the ages. A new spirituality needs to be born. One that is universal. One that allows God to be God of all people. One that has faith that God can and will save all the souls that can be saved, no matter what their religious or nonreligious perspective.
John Van Auken has been studying the Edgar Cayce material for nearly 40
years. Popular with audiences around the world, he has written over 20 books
and manuals, and a dozen videos. He has led 34 tours of Egypt and has meditated
in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid over 80 times. His latest books
The Great Pyramid Timeline Prophecy,Edgar Cayce and the
Kabbalah, and From Karma to Grace and his latest videos are Edgar Cayce’s Tour of Egypt with John Van Auken and Meditation Techniques to Boost Soul Growth. John’s
extensive knowledge of the Edgar Cayce readings, the Bible, ancient Egypt, and
other world religions is combined with years of practical application of these
truths in his own life. His exciting presentations are packed with useful
information combined with insightful and revealing stories.
Remembering the Prime Directive
of the Cayce Work
By Lynne Salomon Miceli
When people think of the Edgar Cayce information, many think first of the more than 9,000 health readings that Cayce gave. Or the readings that focused on controversial Earth-change predictions. Others are most fascinated by the readings on ancient cultures. But there is one main theme that runs through the readings. It comes through in the health readings, the readings on Earth changes, and the information on Egypt, Atlantis, and other ancient cultures. And it’s as important for us today as it was at the time the readings were given.
One of the advantages of working for Atlantic University is that I can attend the weekly lunchtime meetings of the Egypt Study Group in the A.R.E. Visitor Center. Ann Clapp, who compiled the Edgar Cayce Library Series volumes on Egypt, founded the group at the urging of Elizabeth Waitekus, now co-facilitator with Ann. This group has waxed and waned during the past 16 years but its current mode is of exuberant growth. The focus of our study is the era approximately 10,500 B.C., when, according to the Cayce readings, Ra Ta, or Ra (an early incarnation of Edgar Cayce) was High Priest in Egypt. Also incarnated in Egypt at the time were numerous members of what we have come to call Cayce’s “soul group.”
This era, the readings tell us, was “one of the most momentous occasions or periods in the world’s history” (Edgar Cayce reading 900-275). Great efforts were made to develop human beings physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to fulfill our highest potential. This effort was pursued in the ancient temples: the Temple of Sacrifice, the Temple Beautiful, and the Great Pyramid. The tenets put in place in Egypt at that time were those later taught by the Master—who studied in Egypt, among other places, during his time of preparation.
Despite the archetypal enormity of their activities and the challenges they met, people of that time in Egypt seem to have been much like people of our time in so many ways—having many of the same appetites, temptations, failings, and struggles.
One theme emerges time and again in these readings, though expressed in many different words. In the Egypt Group, we keep a small bell on hand and jingle it each time this refrain is repeated in the text.
From life reading 97-2: “In the one before this we find in the land now known as Egypt. The entity then among that peoples who gave the first study of the laws as pertaining to the relationship of man to man, and man to the creative energies…”
From life reading 2652-2: “...with the acceptance of that taught by those that set up the study of the relations of man to man, and man to God, and God to man. The entity gained in the application of same…”
From life reading 355-1: “the entity...aided in bringing much to a peoples... for the maintaining of those influences where…there might be given greater expression to the manifestations of the relationships between man and man, and between the Creative Influences…”
Ra Ta and his colleagues sent emissaries to other nations to share these teachings to correlate them with the spiritual understandings of other people.
From reading 1159-1: “...The entity made for an assistance in those activities when there were the correlations of those teachings from the peoples of the land now called the Indian, or the land of Saneid, the land of On, the people from the Mongolian land, as they gathered in those experiences for their correlation of the best in each that...might be applied...as they sought to make for greater and greater manifestations of their dealings with their fellow man and their activities that brought them in closer relation-ship and understanding with the Creative Forces.”
The theme was stated clearly in a reading Edgar Cayce gave for himself: “Let’s don’t forget the thesis, or the key for which all of this understanding had come: That there might be a closer relationship of man to the Creator and of man to man.” (294-149)
In 1928, reading 254-42 was given for the Board of the Association of National Investigators—a precursor of the A.R.E—which indicated that this should remain the prime directive for the Work:
“...This, then, should be first and foremost: The determined purpose...to have whole hearted cooperation, in a one-minded purpose, and that purpose to make manifest the love of God and man; man's relation to man; man's relation to God. In THIS there must come, as has ever been given, success in such terms as the service is meted…”
In 1929, reading 2087-1, given for the development of Atlantic University (and specifically for its first president, William Mosely Brown) stated:
“This shall be kept first and foremost in the heart and minds of each and every individual. Not as a tenet to blind the eyes of any. Not merely as a catch-phrase…but rather as a living motto in the hearts, in the lives… of each and every individual, whether this be the truckman, the gardener, the instructor, the pupil, or he that would head such an endeavor - but let it ever be ‘That We May Make Manifest OUR Love, MY Love, ALL Love, for God and Man’.”
Today, written over the doorway of the A.R.E. Visitors Center are the words, “That we may make manifest the love of God and man.”
Still, we might need to remind ourselves that our organization exists—now as in ancient Egypt—to foster a closer relationship between man and God, God and man, and man and man. Let us remember this and claim the promise given in reading 2673-1:
“... may it be said of self—‘Even the stars in their courses will fight for the entity’ in aiding others to understand their relationships with the Creative Forces and their fellow man!”
Lynne Salomon Miceli is a founder and former director of the A.R.E of N.Y. Center. She lives in Norfolk, Va., and is the registrar at Atlantic University.
(Adapted and reprinted by permission from the article “The Heart and Soul of the Cayce Work” in the Oct-Dec. ’13 issue of The Open Door, newsletter of the A.R.E. of New York Edgar Cayce Center. Visit them online at EdgarCayceNYC.org.)
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