How Can I Develop ESP?

By Carol Ann Liaros

Unlocking Your IntuitionThere is nothing difficult about developing ESP. In fact, it is such an easy and natural process that most of us simply overlook it. The most difficult task I have consistently faced in my workshops is convincing students how easy it is to use. Once that hurdle is passed, individuals are able to see some clear evidence of their own intuitive abilities.

The real question may be “Why develop your intuition at all?” Some individuals have cited very practical reasons, such as wanting to use it to help solve problems or for obtaining insights in order to make better decisions. Others hope to gain objectivity for setting realistic goals or perhaps in order to increase their own creativity. Many are interested in using ESP in their daily lives, in their personal situations, and at the workplace. Some people clearly want to help in understanding personal psychic experiences which may have started at a very early age. Regardless of the reasons, everyone can benefit from getting in touch with the intuitive capabilities which we all possess. After forty-five years of experience, there is no question in my mind that developing ESP broadens self-understanding and brings people closer to one another. Many individuals see positive results in every area of their lives: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as soon as they begin working with the additional insights that intuition has to offer. In fact, psychic development offers a larger perspective on life and a new sense of connectedness with family, friends, and all of humanity.

Unfortunately, there is still a common misconception that intuitive experiences happen infrequently and only to a handful of “special” individuals. However, the truth is that most people have experienced extrasensory perception numerous times in their lives, and for many it is actually a very common experience. Regardless of how common it is, many people remain skeptical of psychic phenomena and most never seriously considered the thought that they may be psychic themselves.

I would describe people who are psychically aware in this way: they are warm, sociable, and easy going; they are quick, alert, and show their emotions easily; they are adventuresome and show enthusiasm for life; and they are practical and realistic. In short, these are the very characteristics one would expect to find in any healthy, well-balanced individual. All healthy, grounded individuals have the ability to utilize psychic information in their everyday lives. Those who are out of touch with this fact are ignoring one of life’s adventures as well as an incredibly useful asset. Most of us haven’t begun to imagine the capacity of the human mind. Experts agree that we’re using only a small fraction of our brain capacity, perhaps as little as five to twenty percent. Regardless of the percentage, it’s an established fact that we are not using our full potential. Part of this untapped potential relates a heightened sensory system that each individual can become aware of through experience and training. It is something that everyone can develop because psychic awareness is not so much a thing as it is a process. Intuition makes use of the intellect and the imagination—both attributes of the brain. To understand how it works, it is helpful to understand how the brain functions.

Some of the earliest brain research was done with individuals who had suffered brain damage through accidents or illness. Researchers discovered that the two hemispheres of the brain controlled not only different sides of the body but also different brain functions. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and is involved with rational, analytical thought processes, for example language and mathematics. The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body and specializes in spatial and holistic functions, integrating many operations at once. Imagination, visualization, and psychic processes are all examples of right-brain functioning.


Neither hemisphere of the brain is smarter nor more advanced than the other. But in most individuals it is common to see one hemisphere more developed than the other. Ways in which connections between the left and right hemispheres can be accomplished include relaxation and meditation, creative imagery, intuition and laughter. The exercises in Unlocking Your Intuition can assist individuals in integrating the left and right hemispheres of their brain as they learn to balance the functions of the intellect, the imagination, and the intuitive processes. The result can be a more fully integrated, balanced personality and a balanced-brain individual, who can be more successful both personally and professionally. And, as an individual works at such integration, psychic or extrasensory information can be made extremely practical as well as much more readily accessible.

Psychic processes know no boundaries of space and time. Therefore, the impressions you receive may concern events from the past, the present, or the future. Precognition involves knowledge of future events obtained through psychic means. Retrocognition, on the other hand, involves having or perceiving knowledge of the past through the intuitive processes.In my experience, I have found that working in groups of two or more is one of the most productive environments for beginning students of ESP. A shared experience seems to enhance the process, for students learn as much from each other as they do from the material. Also, another person or a group provides immediate, direct feedback and support, which makes the whole experience more enjoyable. However, Unlocking Your Intuition does provide exercises for practicing on your own, and many of the group exercises can easily be adapted to try alone as well.


Although the advantages of obtaining psychic insights into the future are innumerable and obvious, the ability to obtain knowledge about the past is also quite useful. Archeologists have used it to help locate buried sites and gain information about artifacts and ancient civilizations. The police have used it to help solve criminal cases and find missing persons. Mental health professionals often use retrocognition in therapy with clients who may need to remember past events and experiences that have been repressed or forgotten. Retrocognition also allows for the ability to see into past lives. You should be aware that retrocognition and precognition impressions may be experienced through clairvoyance, clairaudience, or clairsentience. For information about future events, try concentrating on moving ahead in time. For information from the past, concentrate on moving back.

intuitionAs you can see, there is more than one way to receive information psychically. A common misperception is that all psychics are clairvoyant, receiving most of their impressions visually. This isn’t always the case. In a typical reading, various impressions of all kinds may be perceived. For example, I once gave a reading for a Chicago man who had come to me for a consultation. As I concentrated on him, I saw three arrows connecting him to three foreign countries. I wasn’t sure what countries were represented, but I told him my impression and he offered to get me an atlas from the next room to help identify the locales. As he got up, I heard these words spoken silently: “India, France, and England.” As I concentrated on his next question concerning his connections with those countries, I had strong feeling responses that provided the additional information he requested. I felt that his lifelong dream was to go India, that his ring was from France, and that he would be making a business trip to England. The man confirmed each of my feelings and in fact, stated that he would probably have to go to England within six months since he was collaborating on a book with an individual from that country.

This is a typical example of the kinds of psychic impressions you may receive in a reading, all in a very short span of time. In this case, the first impression was clairvoyant (symbols representing arrows and foreign countries). The next impression was clairaudient (the words “India, France, and England” spoken in a thought). The final impressions were clairsentient (an inner knowledge about his connections with each country).

The intuitive process utilizes unconscious material and brings it to conscious levels of awareness. However, when a barrier exists between these levels of awareness, it can be more difficult to obtain the information. Fear, tension, and interference by the intellect are all barriers to the unconscious mind; these are also the most common problems experienced by individuals beginning to work with their ESP. Some people are afraid to contact the unconscious mind. They may have had negative or frightening psychic experiences as children, or they have learned to be frightened of them from parents or religious authorities who believed that it was “the work of the devil.” At the root of this fear is the belief that psychic processes are uncontrollable and therefore dangerous; the fear in losing control is a problem only if an individual is unbalanced emotionally or if he chooses for it to be a problem. The exercises in this book are all safe and manageable; at no time will you be out of control of your experience. Throughout all of these exercises you will be in complete control and have the choice to turn on and turn off the psychic process at will. Many priests, nuns, ministers, doctors, health care professionals, business people, parents, students, and children have been able to make personal intuition extremely practical, benefitting greatly from their own psychic abilities in the process.

There are many ways to develop intuitive abilities. The exercises here offer an approach I’ve been using for over forty-five years in workshops and training programs. These techniques have proven themselves again and again. They offer a wide range of learning experiences. Some of them will appeal to you more than others. I encourage you to find and use the techniques that work best for you. Although you may find that you are more naturally adept at one more than another, it is to your benefit to develop all of your psychic senses.

And one more thing: it’s important to have fun while you’re exploring your intuition. It is a process of self-discovery, personal unfoldment, and nearly limitless insight.

[This blog post is excerpted from the book Unlocking Your Intuition: 7 Keys to Awakening Your Psychic Potential by Carol Ann Liaros.] Continue reading

Posted in 4th Dimension Press, Afterlife Communications, Psychic Development, Spiritual Guidance | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Edgar Cayce?

An excerpt fromTrue Tales from the Edgar Cayce Archives
By Sidney and Nancy Kirkpatrick
True Tales from the Edgar Cayce Archives

Like many journalists, I once arrogantly believed that psychic phenomena was a subject unworthy of serious study and that anyone who put his faith in a trance medium was either fooling himself or the unwitting victim of fraud. Then along came Nancy Webster, who would become my writing partner and wife. “Edgar Cayce is going to be the subject of your next book,” Nancy prophetically declared. Not wishing to be rude or condescending, I politely declined further discussion. But Nancy, a dedicated student of Cayce’s work since she had been in high school, was unrelenting. Books and articles about the socalled “sleeping prophet” of Virginia Beach appeared in my mail box with such regularity that to finally put the matter to rest, I read one.

To say that the Cayce story challenged my imagination is an understatement. A backwoods Kentucky farm boy with an eighth grade education, he allegedly had the ability to enter into a deep hypnotic trance from which he could diagnose illness, witness events in the distant past, preview the future, and converse with angels. No subject was off limits, regardless of how simple or complex the question—whether it was help finding a lost pocket watch, how to perform a surgical procedure, or what to expect in the hereafter. Cayce would lie down on a couch, fold his hands over this stomach, seemingly drift off to sleep, and miraculously answer any question put to him. Rarely, if ever, was he proven wrong.

IMG_4424In the course of his forty-one year career, Cayce reportedly saved hundreds of people from intractable diseases and crippling injuries. A hospital dedicated to his healing arts was built in Virginia Beach where patients received his trance readings, and specialty technology, years ahead of its time, was used to treat them. He guided the business interests of Detroit auto-parts manufacturers and helped New York stockbrokers along with Texas oilmen become millionaires. He identified the location of buried treasure, solved a murder, and dictated trance-induced Hollywood screenplays. Yet Cayce and his family led lives of constant struggle and hardship, moving from home to home often under threat of being persecuted for fortunetelling or practicing medicine without a license. He didn’t profit from giving trance counsel nor did he promote himself. For much of his life he earned his livelihood as a portrait photographer and was a much-admired husband, father, and church deacon.

Cayce’s story was altogether too incredible to be true. This was why, I suspected, fifty years had elapsed since a comprehensive biography of Cayce had been written. No serious writer or journalist would devote time to making a rigorous examination of the facts because they wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny. Dig deeper and Cayce’s story was sure to unravel. Or so I supposed.

IMG_0100Always a step ahead of me, Nancy would send me transcripts of Cayce’s trance readings. Accompanying them were physician’s reports and convincing first-person testimony of how his recommended health treatments—frequently dismissed in his lifetime as the fanciful products of his imagination—had later become fully accepted by the mainstream medical community. Trance discourses he gave on such subjects as foods for health and healing, hydrotherapy, massage, and the intimate connection between psychological and physical health would earn Cayce distinction as the undisputed father of today’s holistic health movement. Information he gave on world history, physics, electrical engineering, and earth sciences also proved uncannily accuxiv rate. And though he died decades before widespread popular interest in paranormal phenomenon, Cayce’s trance readings on subjects such as remote viewing, life after death, reincarnation, the secret of the Sphinx, and the lost continent of Atlantis would set the standard by which nearly all metaphysical information has subsequently been judged. He was to the world of psychics and mediums what Babe Ruth was to the world of baseball.

Most compelling, Cayce didn’t speak in vague, ambiguous terms that were open for interpretation but used precise medical and scientific terminology well beyond his education and training. Further, he didn’t perform these superhuman feats a few hundred times in the course of his career. He gave well over sixteen thousand trance readings, each one different, and some lasting thirty minutes to an hour. On many occasions professors from Ivy League universities, notable church leaders, bank presidents, historians, physicians, inventors, and scientists attended his trance session. Master magician Harry Houdini, having dedicated himself to exposing the fraudulent practices of hundreds of occult mediums and spiritualists, failed to debunk or explain the Cayce phenomenon, as did Hugo Münsterberg of the Harvard Medical School.

Even this, however, was not what made the Cayce material most relevant. As his trance readings make clear, their ultimate purpose was not simply to provide diagnostic insights to aid physicians, bring about miraculous cures, locate lost treasure, or to excite the intellect. They were provided to help individuals to understand and accept the truth of the multidimensional world in which we live. Cayce had provided incontrovertible evidence for the existence of a consciousness beyond our five senses. His work was an open door into another dimension through which we can more fully understand ourselves and our place in the universe.

The question that I was soon asking myself was not whether Cayce did what he was alleged to have done—the evidence was overwhelming—but how he did it. Thus began our study of Edgar Cayce, and along with it, a partnership was formed between myself, a nonbeliever, and Nancy, whose faith in Cayce never faltered. Together we would research Cayce’s life and work as it had never been conducted before, producing his definitive biography, Edgar Cayce, An American xv Prophet; authoring numerous articles; contributing to movie and television projects; and most important, endeavoring to apply his trance guidance into our everyday lives and those of our four children.

IMG_0091A trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia, was our starting point. Here, at the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) are housed the Edgar Cayce archives, which consist of an estimated half-million pages of trance readings, correspondence, family papers, and photographs. As Cayce primarily gave readings for particular individuals who requested his help and follow-up biographical research had been conducted to determine the effectiveness of his advice, we had a massive collection of additional reference material which we would use to track down the people who received the readings and judge the truth for ourselves. The vast majority of names of these individuals meant little or nothing to us at the onset of our research, for they had led otherwise undistinguished lives as farmers, housewives, building contractors, musicians, students, and nurses—even an Alabama tombstone cutter. Children and adults from nearly any profession one can name came to Cayce for advice.

However, among these individuals were names that we instantly recognized. Composer George Gershwin and Hollywood film pioneer Jesse Lasky had readings, as had inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, electrical engineers at RCA and NBC, and the president and founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Readings were conducted for the mother of Ernest Hemingway, on behalf of the husband of aviator Amelia Earhart, and though shrouded in secrecy, for President Woodrow Wilson. This aspect of Cayce’s work had not heretofore been called attention to because Cayce had never promoted himself. He didn’t trade on the names of the rich and famous who consulted with him for the same reason he didn’t charge a fee for giving readings. He believed that his gift was from God and not to be used for selfish or self-serving purposes, but for the brotherhood of man; what the readings say is our collective purpose or soul’s destiny.

In Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where Cayce lived and worked for the first half of his career, Nancy and I camped at the edge of a farmer’s field, walked the woods where Cayce played as a youth, and visited the tobacco barn where he had first begun communicating with the spirit world. 5-CIn Selma, Alabama, we visited the First Christian Church, xvi in whose archive we read the minutes once kept by its church secretary, Edgar Cayce. In Cleburne, Texas, we met the son of a newspaper reporter who had worked with Cayce to develop the Desdemona oil fields, one of the largest petroleum and natural gas deposits ever found. In Dayton, Ohio, we interviewed a man whose employer’s dream was to build the hospital dedicated to Cayce’s healing arts. Many others who knew Cayce personally or had received readings came forward with stories that had previously gone unrecorded. As we would discover, their enthusiasm for Cayce went beyond the trance counsel he provided. They enjoyed his company—whether he was teaching Bible study, working alongside them in the photo studio, or joining him at his favorite fishing hole. A humble, kind, and affectionate man, he preferred the company of children, friends, and co-workers over and above his many rich and famous acquaintances. He touched their lives, and they touched his.

Herein lies the theme of this book. Edgar Cayce could not do what he did alone. Deep in a hypnotic trance, he had no conscious memory of anything that was said. He needed someone—more often than not his wife, Gertrude—to guide him into trance and put questions to him. He also needed someone to record and transcribe what he said, a task which would ultimately fall to his devoted secretary, Gladys Davis. He needed plenty of others—physicians, nurses, physical therapists, scientists, engineers, and biblical scholars, even an Alabama tombstone cutter—to help recipients of the readings make the most of the advice that was provided. Most important, he needed someone who genuinely wanted his help. The more deeply felt and true the desire for that help, the longer, more detailed and often more profound was the information that came through. He needed a team, just as the trance readings tell us that all of us need a team or partners with whom, and by design, we are to share life’s experience.

Now, more than two decades after first entering the Cayce vault in Virginia Beach, it is not just Edgar that keeps us coming back for further research and study, but the many people whose lives gave shape and meaning to his trance readings. Understanding their challenges, triumphs, failures, and desires is to understand the higher purpose of our own life’s journey. This is what is meant by “Cayce’s work.” It’s not just his work, but our work, too.

[This blog post is excerpted from the book from True Tales from the Edgar Cayce Archivespublishing by A.R.E. Press and available at]

Sidney Kirkpatrick is an award-winning filmmaker and international best-selling author. Sidney partnered with his wife, Nancy Kirkpatrick, to write Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet before partnering again to write  True Tales from the Edgar Cayce Archives.

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Thoughts on Suicide and the Afterlife (from We Are Never Alone)

By Anthony Quinata

We-Are-Not-AloneQ. My son died of suicide, depressed, and addicted. What was his life review like? Was he instantly healed of those issues or does he have something to do before he finds peace? Is he okay now?

A. First of all I want to thank you for having the courage to ask this question. As I said before, suicide is the skeleton in all of our closets. I’m going to answer your questions from the point of view of my experience as a medium, dealing with suicides, and not as a counselor or therapist.

Whenever I have a session during which a soul who has crossed himself over comes through, one of the first things he wants to assure his loved ones of is the fact that he is at peace and safely in the arms of God. Whatever torment caused him to choose to end his live here no longer exists for him on the Other Side. Souls have said that the Eternal Light of Love understands that those who take their own lives didn’t want to die as much as they wanted only to end their torment. These souls simply don’t have the strength or desire to continue any longer in this life than they have to. Many of these precious souls have said during my sessions with them that even though they functioned in a way that allowed them to get through the day “normally,” their mental torment was a huge factor in their decision.

Your son was not judged for what he did nor was he condemned to “hell.” It’s quite the opposite, actually. Based on what the souls have said to me before, he may have been taken to a place where he could reflect, and heal, from the anguish that he had endured and had thought there was no way out of. During this time and in this place, there is no one to get in his face, so to speak. His companions during this period will be small creatures such as birds, rabbits, kittens, puppies, cats, and dogs as well as other animals that are there to help the healing process by offering unconditional love to souls such as your son’s.

Only when he is strong enough, will relatives, friends, and guides appear to help him understand and learn what he needs to know to continue on his spiritual journey. Christ also appears, not as a judge, but more as a consoler, helping him through his hurt and confusion over what he’s done.

God doesn’t make mistakes, but understands when we do. The souls have told me over and over that suicide is a mistake on the part of those who have ended their time here in this way. It’s a blunder they committed in their confusion. They take complete responsibility for what they’ve done and insist that there’s nothing for their loved ones, who are still here, to feel guilty about.

Finally, your son would want you to know that you will be reunited with him on the Other Side, when you’ve learned the lessons you’re here to learn, and not see suicide as a way to speed up the reunion. Until then he will continue to be with you as your “guardian angel,” never abandoning you or leaving your side. He will continue doing the best he can to help you understand that everything which happens in this life benefits you in the next—even surviving the tragedy of his suicide.

Q. From what I’ve read, you say that you’ve never heard from a soul who took responsibility for ending its own life express regret over what it had done. Yet, you also say that souls discourage their loved ones from doing the same thing, saying that what they did was a mistake. Is it because suicide is not part of any soul’s plan for when they incarnate in the first place?

A. First of all, let me just say that while the souls who have crossed over by their own hand don’t talk about “regret” with regards to what they did, they understand that it probably wasn’t the best decision on their part. Due to the constant confusion in their lives, many, if not all, of those, who pass by their own hand, thought that the decision to end their lives was a good one. These souls are not judged by the Eternal Light of Love but are treated in a very special way because the anguish they went through was to their spirit as cancer is to the physical body.

For that reason, whenever the souls speak of “regret,” it’s not over anything that they’ve done, but the things that they didn’t do. When they ended their life by their own hand, they also cut short the opportunities to learn from the experiences that life has to offer to us. But as the souls once told me, “When someone doesn’t like himself, his soul
shrivels up.” A woman named Debbie booked an appointment to see me. Even though she paid for a medium session, she wasn’t sure that’s what she needed. “I just felt compelled to call you. I don’t know why, but it was like the spirits wanted me to talk to you.” The last time I had seen her was probably three years before. Since that time she had divorced a man who was mentally and emotionally abusing her, telling her she wasn’t lovable which, unfortunately, she believed. She told me that since her divorce she had tried to take her own life twice in two weeks. The first time she was saved, ironically enough, by her ex-husband. The second time she told me that she knew God was telling her that this wasn’t the right thing to do, so she took steps to get help after she took an overdose of pills. Since she didn’t book an appointment to help her with her grief over losing someone she had loved, I felt the souls wanted me to help her deal with her distress over being alive. I shared with her a little of what the souls have told me about suicide, and I thought I’d share the same with you in this post.

Whenever someone comes across who has taken his own life, one of the ways I know is that his energy is as heavy at it gets. After doing a number of readings in which victims of suicide come through, I’ve come to understand that suicide is a disease that slowly erodes the person’s will to live. For most of us, when we experience times that make us question how much more we can take, we respond by developing ways of coping until the pain passes or we overcome whatever obstacles are in our way. For these precious souls however, they just don’t seem to be able to do that. I don’t think it’s because of a weakness in their character. In fact, it may be the opposite . . . they may just be too good for this world. Whatever the reason, they aren’t able to develop the protective barrier around themselves that they need to withstand the trials and tribulations we must all face during our life here. When this happens, they choose to learn the lessons they need in a world of peace. I have never had a soul that chose this route say that it regretted its decision, but every one of them cautioned their loved ones against doing the same. Why? Because the lessons are so much easier to learn here.

Darlene wanted to take her own life because she felt unlovable. She married a man who constantly reinforced this belief. The lesson she’s meant to learn is that she is lovable. She was created by the Eternal Light of Love who finds her impossible not to love, especially in her darkest moments. If she were successful in either one of her attempts, she would still have to learn why she’s lovable, ironically, in an environment in which she is surrounded and supported by God’s love. In other words, she’ll find herself overwhelmed by love, not knowing why, because she crossed over not believing she was worthy of being loved. Not only that, but she’ll have to learn why without the benefit of anyone getting in her face.

What I did with Debbie that night was to have her question whether she truly was unlovable. “I see you the same way God sees all of his children,” I told her. “I see you as perfect, just the way you are. What’s not to love?” I then helped her find all the reasons she is lovable. She left our appointment shining with joy and hope. “Besides,” I told her, “You still have lessons to learn and to teach others.” “How do you know?” she asked me. “You’re still breathing.”

[This blog post is excerpted from the book from We Are Never Alone, publishing by 4th Dimension Press (an imprint of A.R.E. Press) and available at]

Anthony_Quinata_011813_croppedAnthony Quinata is a gifted medium, speaker, and author. Anthony is furthering his work with this new work that reads as a Q&A to the spirits on the other side, covering 52 topics in a discussion format that is both readable and dynamic. Questions answered from the other side are those that have arisen around his work as a medium. His first book, Communications from the Other Side, is also available from

Posted in 4th Dimension Press, Afterlife Communications, Edgar Cayce Readings, Life After Death, Soul's Purpose, Spiritual Guidance | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Over the Edge (from The Quickening)

By Gregg Unterberger, M.Ed, LPC

The QuickeningMy head violently slammed against the Prius’ passenger front seat window as the driver rocketed around the curve. “For God’s sake, slow down!” I blurted. But the driver, steely-eyed and deaf to my cries, glared resolutely straight ahead, wraith-like hands clutching the wheel. I was seeing stars and was somewhat in shock. After all, I had known the person behind the wheel for years and had trusted her. I had never seen her drive this way.

My new Prius had been a dream car for me. I had purchased the hybrid, brand new, just a few months ago. It was better for the planet, saved me money on gas, and admittedly, while not a Lexus, was comfortable. I had bought it with all the bells and whistles I had wanted. I regretted allowing her to take the wheel.

The car swerved again to the left, this time not as dramatically, narrowly avoiding some large metals bowls in the road. My head was still muddled, but out of the corner of my eye, in the side mirror, I caught a vision of some kind of scraps in the bowls. Isn’t that bizarre? It’s as though someone put out some food for some stray dogs, but not on the sidewalk. They put them almost halfway out in the road. If the dogs come out to eat, surely they will get hit by traffic, I thought. Silently, I cursed the unknown perpetrators.

But those thoughts spent only microseconds in my mind as we rapidly approached a bridge that I knew was under construction. One of the lanes of the bridge was complete, while the other was only half finished. “Turn right, turn right, turn right!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, reaching towards the wheel, while the driver yanked it to the left, rumbling over discarded construction lumber, taking a dangerous fork. She shifted gears and stomped on the gas, the car rocketing forward, my neck snapping backwards, my skull banging on the upholstered headrest. Why was she doing this?

In the dim light, I could see we were hurtling towards a black-and white stripped barricade dead ahead, supported precariously by two sawhorses. The bridge was incomplete; the only thing standing between 2,000 pounds of rolling steel and a 200-foot drop were paltry two-by-fours and flashing yellow lights. “Please,” I begged, our speed increasing, “please stop! You’re going to kill us!”

But she was hell-bent, the car racing towards a destiny that I didn’t choose, didn’t want, and couldn’t stop. The sound of the nose of the car breaking the barricade was sharp and deafening; the wood retching as it splintered, the headlights shattering, tinkling: ghastly chimes in a symphony of destruction. In an instant, time slowed down beyond slow motion, like something out of a Hollywood action film. I was both in the car and out of the car, observing omnisciently. Outside the car, I could see it arching upward, wheels turning slowly, releasing their grip on the pavement, splintered planks and dust suspended in mid-air. The automobile hung briefly in the sky, all but motionless, reaching its apogee. For a moment, I thought it might take flight, soaring off towards the full moon. But a second later, gravity kicked in, and as the black-and-white lumber pirouetted and spiraled below the wheels, plunging downward, the front of the car began following the debris obligingly, nosing towards the water, hundreds of feet below.

Simultaneously, I was inside the doomed vehicle, gripping the dash, preparing myself for the inevitable impact that would take forever and come too soon. I could hear the metal groan and the low roar of the wind as my field of vision through the windshield tilted from a star-lit night sky, to the cityscape on the horizon before me, and then finally to the waters below as gravity’s unrelenting grasp took hold. It was too late: too late to decide not to get in the car, too late to get out of the car, too late to stop the driver. My fate was sealed, certain death was seconds away.

Two very strange thoughts crossed my mind.

First: Maybe, just maybe, if I keep breathing and relax into the present moment, I could live though this. Second: If I live through this, I will have to get a whole new car.

And then below me, water, crystal clear, illuminated by some unseen subterranean luminescence, glowed and rushed to meet the windshield of the car.

I awoke from the dream with a start. My eyes did not open. Mother Nature, in her wisdom, protects the body from acting out dreams physically during sleep as the base of the brain shuts down the neurons in the spinal cord. The formal term is sleep paralysis. But my experience was sheer terror. My heart was pounding, I was breathing heavily, but my body was frozen for several minutes. Gradually, my appendages stirred as I realized I had been dreaming and that I was safe in a hotel bed cocooned in Egyptian cotton, surrounded by fluffy pillows. But that momentary relief transformed into panic as I spontaneously began interpreting the dream. I have learned that with my eyes still closed and my mind close to the sleep state, profusely cycling theta and alpha waves, I can often intuitively understand my dreams. The dream symbols were familiar ones and the meaning was clear, horrifyingly clear.

My new car was the reflection of my new affluent life: my private practice as a therapist was increasingly successful, and I was lecturing all over the country. But the woman behind the wheel had taken control of our very lives: she was “in the driver’s seat,” not me. I could protest all I wanted, but it was too late. There were scraps to be had; enough to live on, but to stay like a starving dog and eat them might kill me. The bridge, a symbol of transition from one arena of life to another was ahead of us, but she did not take the “right” path, which could take us safely across the water, but instead chose to take the left fork. I would be left. She was literally “driving us over the edge.”

[This article is an excerpt from the book from The Quickening: Leaping Ahead on Your Spiritual Journey.]

Gregg Unterberger

Gregg Unterberger, M.Ed., LPC, is a former instructor in Psychology at Texas State University and a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with offices in Houston and College Station, Texas. He has trained with leaders in the field of “accelerated” healing modalities, such as Dr. Allan Botkin, Dr. David Grand, Dr. Stanislav Grof & Grof Transpersonal Training, and Dr. Brian Weiss, author of the best-selling Many Lives, Many Masters. His case studies are featured in Dr. Weiss’s latest book Miracles Happen. He is the developer of two cutting-edge psycho-spiritual modalities: Transpersonal Breathwork and Spiritual Activation. His work has touched millions through his appearances, talks, and writing and his unique ability to help catalyze spiritual experiences.

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Paradigms for Creativity

Creative-Synergy-BookBy Bunny Paine-Clemes

Our paradigms determine how we view creativity. Hence Amit Goswami says that creativity theories “are as diverse as the worldviews in which they are wrapped.” He identifies three major categories. In the “mechanistic” or “materialist-realist” views, the mind operates as a “Newtonian” “machine” to create logical innovations based on past models and experiences. These theories view creativity as “continuity in human behavior,” with “only one domain of reality in the worldview underlying these theories—matter moving in space-time.” Such “materialist-realist” theories would include problem-solving techniques and emphasize Preparation and Concentration. Barbara McClintock, for instance, testified that her “Aha” moments consisted of lightning-fast integration of previous facts. The “materialist-realist” theory, then, views creativity as thinking based on practice and technique. In contrast, says Goswami, “organismic theories” stress “becoming” and “development,” with a focus on “a creative unfolding of purposiveness of the universe and of the individual.” Vera John-Steiner traces, in Notebooks of the Mind, the way that early childhood interests develop “through multiple apprenticeships.” When Einstein was a child, he was given a compass. He testified later to the way in which this gift unfolded the “purposiveness” of his talent by inspiring him with the wonders of science.

The fact that the magnetic needle behaved as if influenced by some hidden force field, rather than through the more mechanical method involving touch or contact, produced a sense of wonder that motivated him throughout his life. “I can still remember—or at least I believe I can remember—that this experience made a deep and lasting impression on me,” he wrote on one of the many occasions he recounted the incident. “Something deeply hidden had to be behind things.”

More than simply solving problems based on past experience, he was fired by what Sternberg calls the “decision to be creative.” His “development” unfolded as a result.

Finally, says Goswami, “In the idealist worldview, consciousness, not matter, is assumed to be the ground of being. There is transcendence in creativity because consciousness is transcendent.” In certain types of creativity, inspiration seems to come from beyond past experience; it is “discontinuous” with past knowledge and practice and seems a gift from the universe. The same idea may be coming to many different artists and thinkers, but its expression will be different, depending on the individual artist, the unique filter through which it emerges. There seems to be a Unified Field, the equivalent of a radio station, beaming information to receivers on its bandwidth.

All of these explanations are complementary rather than exclusive. Like the blind men touching different parts of the elephant, they explain different aspects of the same beast.

For instance, Einstein said, “‘A new idea comes suddenly in a rather intuitive way . . . But . . . intuition is nothing but the outcome of earlier intellectual experience.’” Each theory of creativity would have a different explanation for why the “earlier experience” is necessary. The “materialist” would say that practice is necessary to lay down neural patterns and habits. The “organismic” view would say that each experience contributed to Einstein’s development, based on the “purposiveness” created upon receiving the compass. The “causal” or “idealist” view, while not disagreeing with these explanations, would add that practice fine-tunes an individual mind or talent to a portion of the Unified Field. Like the phenomenon of non-locality in quantum physics, creative people need not be physically close to one another to resonate to the same ideas. What is necessary is resonance to the same universal, acquired by empathy with a particular domain or part of the Unified Field. The “materialist” and “organismic” views would claim that Mozart’s genius arose from his childhood experience, hard work, and family background. The “idealist” view would add that Mozart was attuned to musical ideas, so he got symphonies easily. Einstein, attuned to a different part of the Field, received insights about physics Goswami distinguishes between his “idealist” view, which he calls “fundamental creativity,” and every day “situational creativity” that entails “creating a new product or solving a problem” in a new way. He establishes a theoretical groundwork for this “idealist” view by explaining how new discoveries of quantum physics echo ancient East Indian philosophy. In quantum physics, particles become “entangled” and communicate with one another even when they are separated in space, a phenomenon known as non-locality. In ancient Indian philosophy, “monistic idealism” says that everything in the universe is based on the same interconnected consciousness.

This unity of physics and monistic idealism appears also in new theories of cosmology that seem to be echoing ancient Eastern texts such as the Bhagavad Gita. It is possible that we may soon integrate diverse fields such as science, mysticism, and art in a “Unified Field theory” that explains phenomena of nature and art and the connection of universal patterns with individual efforts. By doing so, we will examine the deep structure of theories about the creative personality, process, and product. We will learn to see patterns and follow heuristics that will enrich our understanding and practice of creativity.

A case in point is that concentration techniques developed in other traditions enhance creativity. This book contains some suggestions on how to use them but is by no means the only source. The text for a Stanford course, Creativity in Business, abounds with yogic exercises and concentration techniques. It supplements anecdotes from businessmen with philosophy from the conjunction of Eastern thought and science. Those who integrate the best of many traditions are being practical in this era of globalization.

The fact is, we are now in the midst of an integrative paradigm shift.
[This article is an excerpt from the book Creative Synergy:Using Art, Science, and Philosophy to Self-Actualize Your Life.]

Bunny-Paine-ClemesBunny Paine-Clemes, PhD, is a professor of transpersonal studies at Atlantic University (AU). For 20 years, she was a professor of Liberal Arts at Cal State Maritime, specializing in humanities, world culture, and creativity. She has an AM and PhD in British literature. She lives with her husband, father, and many cats in an 1887 home once owned by a sea captain who corresponded with Albert Einstein and Edgar Cayce and is the subject of a novel by Jane Smiley. Her interests include creativity, metaphysics, Eastern philosophy, non-ordinary states of consciousness, reincarnation, and European culture. She is the author of the novels A Winter’s Day and Love and Death in Vienna, and many small works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

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Edgar Cayce: Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Messenger

There Is a RiverBy Mitch Horowitz

The year 1910 marked a turning point in Western spirituality. It saw the death 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 October 9, 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 encyclopedic, 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 characterized 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 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.

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 parlors. 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 center 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, analyze 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 fulfill 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.  When the book appeared in 1942 it brought Cayce national attention that surpassed even the earlier Times coverage.

[The previous is an excerpt from the Introduction of the newly reprinted version of There Is a River by Thomas Sugrue (introduction by Mitch Horowitz).]

* 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.

Mitch HorowitzMitch Horowitz is vice-president and editor-in-chief at Tarcher/Penguin, the division of Penguin books dedicated to metaphysical literature. He is the PEN Award-winning author of Occult America (Bantam) and One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life. The Washington Post says Mitch “treats esoteric ideas and movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness that is too often lost in today’s raised-voice discussions.” Mitch has written the new introduction to the reprint of There Is a River, the classic biography of the famous psychic Edgar Cayce. The Occult America DVD of his talk at A.R.E. is available on He frequently discusses spiritual issues in the national media, including CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, and NPR’s All Things Considered. He is the host of ORIGINS, a new web series on the history of superstitions, and he narrates popular audio books including Alcoholics Anonymous and The Jefferson Bible. He and his wife raise two sons in New York City. His website is

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