Dealing with Fear (from Contemporary Cayce)

Contemporary CayceExcerpted from Contemporary Cayce: A Complete Exploration Using Today’s Science and Philosophy

By Kevin J. Todeschi and Henry Reed

During his first inaugural address at the height of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” The suggestion was that fear is primarily an internal issue, not an external one. During the same period in history, Edgar Cayce was giving readings that stated exactly the same thing about fear. We have all experienced fear, and it can be anywhere from annoying to unpleasant to downright paralyzing. Most of the time, it is an invisible influence functioning as a destructive paradigm that forms our misperceptions, misunderstandings, and maladaptive responses. By distracting us from our resources, sometimes it can bring about, paradoxically, the very conditions over which we have worried so much.

The Cayce readings suggest that one of the leading causes of individuals failing to achieve and live out their soul’s purpose was fear and not dealing with longstanding patterns of fear. After studying and working with his father’s material for many years, Hugh Lynn Cayce concluded that fear was humanity’s biggest stumbling block. In his book, Edgar Cayce on Overcoming Fear and Anxiety, he described the main sources of fear that had prompted individuals to seek his father’s help. These sources were physical conditions, thoughts of death or the unknown, unconscious fears remaining from childhood, fears associated with religion or God, and fears that were connected to past-life experiences.

We distinguish fear from anxiety. Fear is the adrenal fight-or-flight response to the perception of imminent danger. Most of the time, the fears that affect us exist in our minds—a virtual danger rather than a literal one: the anticipation of danger, the possibility of danger, or the conditioned response to past danger. Such manufactured fear is nevertheless an effective disabler. Most fear active in humans today is of this anxious, conditioned sort, as most of us lead lives that are predominately safe from physical harm. Even if it is virtual danger that provokes it, fear is nevertheless a significant inner condition that can prompt both internal and external response patterns.

The best reason to be concerned about fear itself is that it kidnaps our abilities and holds them hostage, disguising its crime with various rationalizations assembled with half-truths. One of the first things we can do in response to fear is begin to recognize if we are coming from a place of fear and then decide what it is we can best do about it.

If you are feeling angry, you are coming from fear. If you find yourself being in a hurry, you are coming from fear. If your friend is talking to you, and instead of listening carefully, you find yourself thinking about what you are going to say in response, deep down you may be motivated by fear. If you are envious of someone’s success, there is some underlying fear around that topic. If you are overly obsessive about the pure food you eat, you probably are coming from fear. If it is easy for people to “push your buttons,” somewhere there is fear. If you are finding it difficult to be patient about something, fear may be to blame. If you know you shouldn’t, but do it anyway, fear may have you hypnotized.

With practice, we can begin to tell when the fear paradigm is active in our thoughts and planning. Begin by exploring the difference in how your body feels when you think “Yes!” in contrast to when you think “No!” Can you tell the difference between how it feels when you have an “open” mind versus a “closed” mind? Explore the difference between seeing the glass as half full in contrast to seeing it as half empty. In each of these contrasts, there is a definite shift in the body sense. It could be the difference between tight and loose, tense and relaxed, or pessimistic and optimistic.

After encountering so many examples of fear in the lives of individuals (as well as in his own life), Hugh Lynn Cayce created a list of eight approaches to working with personal fears, all focused on becoming cognizant of where an individual places her or his mind in the present:

1)    Set and work with spiritual ideals.

2)    Focus the mind on constructive thoughts.

3)    Use the mind to influence the body (and work with the body through relaxation and massage).

4)    Cultivate the systematic control of thought.

5)    Use inspirational reading.

6)    Watch your dreams as a means of observing your real attitude.

7)    Use pre-sleep suggestion (or for long-standing fear issues, consider hypnosis).

8)    Develop your sense of humor.

The use of ideals is important, because they help to create an ongoing focus for the mind in terms of what the individual is trying to create. Things like, “to become more loving,” “to be at peace,” “to embody Oneness,” and “to be more forgiving” are all examples of possible ideals (more on working with ideals can be found in Chapter 6). The key to working with spiritual ideals is simply to train the mind to focus on attitudes and thoughts that cultivate that spiritual ideal and then to follow through on activities (doing for self and others) those things that will enable you to experience and maintain that positive attitude.

In terms of constructive thoughts, influencing the body with thought, and controlling thoughts, the readings repeatedly counseled individuals that if they desired to overcome their fears and anxieties, they needed to change their mental attitudes. Many individuals may be aware of a slogan from A Course in Miracles: “Love is letting go of fear.” The origin is the Biblical verse, “perfect love drives out fear” (John 4:18). The implication is that fear and love are incompatible frames of mind. With this in mind, one possible approach to try when fear arises is to think about something you truly love or truly enjoy doing. What is it that brings a sense of well-being, joy, or fulfillment to you? It is possible to switch from fear to love, and when that happens, many other derivative qualities switch as well. For some, it is a matter of switching from head to heart. For others, it is a matter of switching from a cold, hard heart, to a warm, soft heart.

As we meditate on the bodily felt experience of shifting paradigms of love and fear, we might realize that fear is our response to the perception of separation, while love is the experience of oneness and connection. If you can shift your perspective from separation to oneness or connectedness, you have a chance to shed the fear. In this way, we learn how to recognize fear and use that mindfulness as an opportunity to affirm once again our kinship with the Creator.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 13 of Contemporary Cayce: A Complete Exploration Using Today’s Science and Philosophy.

Kevin J. TodeschiKevin J. Todeschi, is executive director and CEO of the Edgar Cayce work worldwide (EdgarCayce.org). The author of 25 books, he is also a nationally recognized resource on the interpretation of dreams. As both student and teacher of the Edgar Cayce material for more than 30 years, he has lectured on five continents. His books include Edgar Cayce on the Akashic Records, Edgar Cayce on Auras & Colors, and Contemporary Cayce: A Complete Exploration Using Today’s Science and Philosophy,  among many others.

Henry Reed PhDHenry Reed PhD, is Director of  the Edgar Cayce Institute of Intuitive Studies. He is also a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in intensive, transformational work centered in dreams, energetic healing, and creativity. Among his publications are five books dealing with the enhancement of intuition: Awakening Your Psychic Powers, Edgar Cayce on Mysteries of the Mind, Channeling Your Higher Self, Dream Solutions, and The Intuitive Heart.

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Life Purpose and Direction

The Way of Knowingness: The Intuitive Path to Your Spiritual DestinyPurpose and Direction, excerpted from The Way of Knowingness: The Intuitive Path to Your Spiritual Destiny

By Kim O’Neill

OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY continues as we focus on how to navigate the path toward accomplishing your dreams. In earlier chapters, we’ve explored how you journeyed from the heavenly plane to spend time on earth to achieve a specific destiny. To help you remember your destiny, you may want to practice my simple “Climbing the Stairs” meditation exercise, which will allow you to erase confusion and reframe any sabotaging limitations you had unknowingly set regarding your potential. Next, we’re going to discuss how you can build upon this foundation to create a sense of momentum in your life that will be fueled by a steadfast commitment to your individual purpose and direction.

Think of achieving your destiny, or spiritual goals, as your birthright on the earthly plane. It is impossible to fail in your quest to accomplish your spiritual goals because the path you chose in heaven is waiting for you. If you follow the path that represents your destiny, it will be impossible to fail.

To build the greatest level of success, you need to live with a clear, positive focus on your spiritual goals and a resolute determination to accomplish them. By doing so, you’ll create a new sense of confidence that will fuel all of your endeavors.

Failing to acknowledge your spiritual goals is very much like getting into your car and driving aimlessly with no particular destination in mind. You’re driving, but you’re not getting anywhere. If you’ve been busy, but not productive, this is a perfect time to evaluate where your life is headed. Why is this a perfect time? Stating the obvious, because there is no time like the present! The sooner you begin, the faster you’ll feel increasing levels of success and fulfillment.

There are two vital reasons why you should become an active participant in consistent goal setting. First, it will help you organize and establish suitable priorities. Second, you’ll discover how to set realistic time periods in which to achieve your goals.

The process of goal setting will compel you to focus on the present and near future. If you’ve had a hard time setting goals in the past, you’re likely to discover that one of the reasons for the difficulty lies in the fact that you’ve been primarily concentrating on what you don’t want. Have you ever found yourself saying, “I have no idea where I’m supposed to be going or what I want—but I can definitely tell you what I don’t want!”?

An awareness of what you don’t want has been born out of your troubled encounters with people, places, or things that have provided difficult, but necessary, learning experiences. Recognizing what you don’t want is very positive because it’s a starting point in setting future goals. A prolonged fixation on past lessons will actually prevent forward movement. Instead of contemplating the present or looking into the future, you’re maintaining a backward focus—like being stuck in a learning-experience time warp.

But there is a big, bright light at the end of the tunnel. If you’ve been focusing on issues from the past, this fact tells you that you have the ability to focus! When you feel ready to change your life, all you have to do is redirect your focus. Instead of concentrating on what you don’t want any longer because of disheartening past experiences, begin to ask yourself what you do want now so that you can start to develop a richer life in the present and future.

It’s important to remain patient during this process. If you’ve truly been living in the past, don’t be surprised by the fact that when you first begin to shift your focus, it might be disheartening. You might discover that your present quality of life is actually much more empty and uninspiring than you realized. Be aware of avoiding the self-destructive trap of complacency. You might tell yourself: “I’m lonely and unhappy, but at least my life is so much better than when I was married to so and so.” “I hate my current job, but I remember how much worse my old job was and how badly my boss treated me.” “I know I’m drowning in debt and am incredibly stressed, but at least I’m no longer a child in the miserable household where I grew up.” If you allow your thoughts to continually return to the past to justify an unsatisfying present, you’re destined to remain stuck.

Remember that you are the architect of your life on the earthly plane. Your destiny was not meant to be an endless series of traumas and hardships. One of the most important things to remember is that learning experiences were never intended to derail your forward movement—they were meant to inspire and fuel it. Because you chose the specific dynamics of your current destiny before you were born in this lifetime, you’ll begin to feel that you are taking control of your life when you develop an awareness of your spiritual agenda. It’s that simple.

Think of your life on the earthly plane as a page in a very personal spiritual coloring book. Your outline, or spiritual blueprint, is already there. You simply have to add the colors you desire to bring the page to life through your free will as each new day unfolds. The colors are symbolic of the actions that move your life forward in appropriate and satisfying directions. As you act, you add color to the outline and bring to life the page of your coloring book. But first, you must be able to recognize your spiritual outline by reconnecting with your soul so that it can relay what your blueprint holds in store.

Once you begin to open the lines of communication with your soul and are learning more each day about your spiritual purpose, you’ll be eager to attain as much support, encouragement, and assistance as possible to help you forge the new path you’re meant to take. Your guardian angels can dramatically help with this process. By learning how to become aware of all of the angelic messages that are available, you’ll be tapping into one of the most powerful sources of energy in the universe, which will augment your efforts and move things forward much faster.

[This excerpt is from Kim’s latest book, The Way of Knowingness: The Intuitive Path to Your Spiritual Destiny, which available from ARECatalog.com.]

Kim O’Neill, voted Houston’s Top Psychic by Houston Press Magazine, has been a Kim O'Neillpsychic channel for more than 25 years. She conducts private channeling sessions for an international list of clients from all walks of life—physicians, attorneys, entertainment professionals, religious leaders, fellow psychics, and many more. Her “Ask Kim” column is a prominent monthly feature in Indigo Sun Magazine. She has established international motivational seminars and workshops designed to help people transform their lives and develop greater spiritual awareness. She is a frequent guest on radio and TV talk shows, providing accurate and specific psychic information covering a wide range of topics. Kim is also the author of The Calling: My Journey with the Angels.

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Life Forces

Edgar Cayce on the Spiritual Forces within YouAn Excerpt from Edgar Cayce on the Spiritual Forces Within You

By John Van Auken

Life Forces

In several ancient cultures, the life forces were depicted in the form of a raised serpent, and this serpent had wings or feathers—the idea being that the life forces can “fly” to greater heights of expression. In fact, in Yucatec Maya Kukulcan may literally be translated “feathered serpent,” as can the Aztec name Quetzalcoatl (Quetzal being a bird and coatl being a serpent). And throughout ancient Egypt, we find winged serpents. In ancient Yoga, Kundalini refers to the life energy being “coiled” like a serpent in the lower chakras, ready to be raised up as a cobra rises into the striking position. (See illustrations section.)

The two Aztec illustrations depict the life forces, one is rising with our mind leading the way, and then the other is when we’re losing our head as the life forces overwhelm us—thus being swallowed up by the forces.

Let’s explore how Edgar Cayce’s readings explain the life forces and guide us to use them for better health, clearer mind, and a happier life.

Here’s what we would want to hear if Cayce gave us a reading: “The life forces are gaining more and more the better concept of efforts and activity in this material experience; and the purposes, the aims, the desires, are being broadened; and there is more joy, more harmony, gradually being experienced by the body.” (274-4)

That’s what we would all like to hear, but life doesn’t always flow this way, does it? We are often struggling to keep our heads above water as we flow down the river of life to wherever it takes us! But it doesn’t have to be this way; according to Cayce’s readings, and many other sources of guidance and understanding, we have within us the power to take hold of the life forces and guide them toward that which we seek to live and become.

Let’s gain some understanding of what the life forces are.

Breath

Breath is often identified with the life forces, as it is expressed in Genesis: “The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7, Revised Standard Version [RSV], my italics) And later in Job: “It is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.” (Job 32:8, RSV, my italics) And the prophet Ezekiel conveys a message from the Lord: “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.’” (Ezekiel 37:5, RSV, my italics) Breath is a quality of the life forces.

Spirit

Breath is often associated with spirit, and spirit with the life forces: “It is the spirit that gives life.” (John 6:63, RSV) We will go into this in more detail later in this chapter.

 Light

“Life is light” (412-9); Cayce also equated life with light. In another of his discourses he explained what this light is:

“What is light? That from which, through which, in which may be found all things, out of which all things come. Thus the first of everything that may be visible, in earth, in heaven, in space, is of that light—is that light!” (2533-8)

From Cayce’s expanded consciousness view, our true nature is, “as light, a ray that does not end, lives on and on, until it becomes one in essence with the source of light.” (136-83)

In these next readings, he added to the concept that light—in the sense that he is using it—is the light of consciousness, or mind.

“The Spirit moved—or soul moved—and there was Light (Mind). The Light became the light of men—Mind made aware of conscious existence in spiritual aspects or relationships as one to another.” (1947-3)

“As you open your consciousness to the Great Consciousness within, there will arise more and more the white light.” (987-4)

“The soul seeks growth; as Truth, as Life, as Light, is in itself. God is, and so is life, light, truth, hope, love. And those that abide in same, grow. Those that abide in the shadow of the night, or the conditions that become or make for the fruits of these, do not grow.” (257-123)

Vibrations

Yet, Cayce’s readings add vibrations to the list of the life forces, stating, “Life—God—in its essence is vibration.” (281-4, my italics) And, “Life in its manifestation is vibration” (1861-16). In this same reading, and as we’ve already noted how the life forces can add to our life or take from it, Cayce warns: “Vibration that is creative is one thing. Vibration [that] is destructive is another.” The life forces can be life-giving or life-taking, so the question remains: Do the life forces have a hold of you, or do you have a hold of them?

Kundalini

In addition to breath and vibration, Cayce associated the ancient Kundalini with the life forces, particularly in the body but also in the mind, and his readings have much to say about how best to manage them. He said the Kundalini is “the seat, or the source of life-giving forces in the body.” Adding, “The effect upon the body depends upon the use to which an individual entity puts same. Thus the warning, as to how and for what, such influences are raised within the body itself.” (Both quotes are from reading 3481-3.)

Here’s more:

“As the body-mind … enters into the raising of the kundalini influence through the body, surround self with the light of the Christ-Consciousness—by thought, by word of mouth, by impressing it upon self. And in that light there may be never any harm to self or to the emotions of the body, or any fear of the mental and spiritual self being entertained or used by the dark influence.” (2329-3)

Cayce encourages us to direct the life forces of the Kundalini “to be a blessing to others. These arise from the creative center of the body itself, and as they go through the various centers direct same; else they may become greater disturbing than helpful. Surround self ever with that purpose, ‘Not my will, O God, but Thine be done, ever,’ and the entity will gain vision, perception and—most of all—judgment.” (2823-3) Ah judgment, the true guide to making better life decisions.

Cayce continues when he is asked:

“(Q) What are the reactions of the Kundaline forces—physically, mentally, spiritually?

“(A) We might write five or six books upon this! Just which one is desired to be known? There are twelve centers acted upon, each in a different manner, and from the varying sources from which these vibrations are raised in and through these centers—and for what purposes. How many characteristics and desires does the body have? Figure those and multiply it by about fifteen, and you’ll have just how much variation there may be in such activities in the body! How many dispositions have you seen in the body? These are all activities of the kundaline forces acting upon some reactive force in the centers of the body. These are well to be controlled, or maintained, but purposely—not for selfish motives; to be sure, individual, but creative.” (1861-11, my italics)

In this reading, we see that the Kundalini life forces generate reactions in the spiritual centers of our bodies, often called chakras. And since Cayce wants us to consider our purposes and motivations, we should include the spiritual centers that are in our mind, often called lotuses. As consciousness awakens and broadens its view, it opens the lotuses in the mind-body connections. Yes, the subconscious mind is in this body with our conscious mind, and it is the bridge to the Christ-consciousness or God-consciousness. As the energy moves through the physical body, it awakens and enlivens the chakras, which Cayce correlates to the powerful, hormone-releasing endocrine glands. Both of these mental and physical movements cause life-giving reactions within us, reactions that change our lives—physically, mentally, and spiritually. Cayce warns us to discern carefully whether we are accentuating self and selfish interests or filling the lives of others with creative, uplifting energy and light. In many of Cayce’s readings this energy and light contain the qualities found in the “Fruits of the Spirit,” which are: Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Patience, Faith, Meekness, Humility, Kindness, Gentleness, Peace, Joy, Goodness, Temperance, and Long-Suffering. And, as the disciple Paul so wisely noted, the greatest of these is Love.

Notice how Cayce’s readings are blending physical and mental influences in building a healthier, happier life for those around us, as well as ourselves. As the late Sister Mary Rose McGeady of Covenant House, a Manhattan-based home for homeless youngsters, said so well: “There is no greater joy, nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.” And the Cayce readings agree: “[T]he entity may find in the present that helping others to help themselves will bring joy, peace, happiness, contentment, and a life much worthwhile.” (431-1)

Here’s an affirmation that we may use to lift and center our mind. It’s a blend of several in the Cayce readings:

“May the desire of my heart, O Father, be ever in keeping with Your will this day with everyone I meet. Let Your life forces flow through me as a blessing to all I meet. Let Your ways be my ways.”

Taking hold of the life forces with God’s help is the ideal from Cayce’s perspective. We’ll discuss this at greater length throughout the book.


John Van AukenJohn 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. A popular author of many books, John’s latest title, Edgar Cayce on the Spiritual Forces Within You, is now available for purchase at ARECatalog.com.

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Mysteries of the Supernatural, Foreword

Mysteries of the SupernaturalMysteries of the Supernatural by Darrin William Owens

Foreword by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

There are three ways that people are inspired to probe into the paranormal and metaphysical realms. One is having an awareness of the unseen from earliest memories. Darrin W. Owens is such a person, born with a gift to see and experience beings and phenomena that pass by most people.

The second is through having a personal experience that one cannot explain rationally according to what is considered “ordinary reality.” Often these experiences rock a person’s world and even turn it upside down, blowing away all preconceived beliefs. Many people are drawn into the field in this manner.

The third is curiosity that has been piqued by television, films, books—our pop-culture—and the experiences of those we know.

In all three cases, when people are motivated to a new search for truth, they need solid information to help them find their way. In Mysteries of the Supernatural: A Psychic’s Guide Beyond the Veil, Darrin has written one of the finest guides to date for the spiritual seeker, the curious, and the experienced explorers of other realms. He covers every base important to the quest, whether it is pursuit of paranormal phenomena or experiences with the dead and with beings in other realms. Even more important, he tackles the dark side as well as the light side.

In my own thirty-plus years of researching and investigating the paranormal and metaphysical fields, I have always advocated getting a grounding in as many subjects as possible. Like Darrin, I had experiences from an early age, which I took for granted as reality for everyone. As I got older, I soon realized that awareness of non-physical realities are not readily available to all, and that experiences have common ground but a great deal of personalized subjectivity to them. I realized how deeply interconnected are all the phenomena and experiences. And, I realized how important it is to have knowledge of both sides of the fence—the good and benevolent, and the bad and malevolent. Sooner or later, the seeker encounters both.

Thus, the good seeker needs a broad base of knowledge. I have always said that no matter where you enter the Path, be it ghosts or angels or ETs or something else, if you stay on the Path long enough and go deep enough, you will see the interconnectivity and realize the importance of a broad education. The realms beyond the physical have no sharp boundaries, but overlap and even seep into each other.

Discernment becomes a crucial skill in navigating these realms and validating experiences and communications of all kinds. Without knowledge and experience, there is little, if any, discernment. Darrin’s fine guide will help you learn solid basics and fill in the blanks of your education.

I am often asked by those new to the paranormal, “Where is all this going?” “What am I supposed to do with it?” Stepping onto the Path is a quest and a journey, and usually we do not know where exactly we will go. But if we have discernment, an open mind, fearlessness, and trust in good guidance, the journey unfolds in a meaningful, purposeful way. The journey is different for everyone, even though we share the Path with others.

Darrin makes the point that the veil between realms is opening at an increasing pace, with impetus from both sides. We are increasingly drawn (or even plunged) into experience, and the beings in other realms are increasingly drawn to interact with us, some for better, some for worse. I have found this to be the case in my own work as well. The “interdimensional earth” is already the new reality, and those of us who take time to study will be prepared to meet the challenges of living in it. It’s actually quite exciting—we are all pioneers pushing out new frontiers!

I have long admired Darrin’s work and the integrity he brings to it. He tells it as he sees it and knows it, from his own experience and careful research. This book will stand the test of time, a classic in the literature of the field. What’s more, Darrin brings a delightful sense of humor to it all. You’ll enjoy reading this book—it’s fun as well as profound. It is truly a handbook for visionary living, the focal point of my own work as well.

Mysteries of the Supernatural is now on my Essential Reading list, and I recommend this book as an excellent, well-rounded guide for both beginners and the experienced. There is always something new to be found around the next bend, and you’ll reach for this book again and again.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley Author and President of Visionary Living, Inc.

Mysteries of the Supernatural: A Psychic’s Guide Beyond the Veil by Darrin William Owens is published by 4th Dimension Press, an imprint of A.R.E. Press, and available at ARECatalog.com.

Author Darrin William Owens is an internationally renowned psychic medium, Darrin William Owenssupernaturalist, and bestselling author with 20 years of intense research and spiritual experiences. He is an acclaimed expert in the fields of the supernatural, spiritual healing, and mysticism. He is also the author of Reader of Hearts: The Life and Teachings of a Reluctant Psychic and  Becoming Masters of Light: Co-Creating the New Age of Enlightenment. Owens travels throughout the U.S. for speaking engagements.

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Kabbalah and Cayce Highlights

Edgar Cayce and the KabbalahAn excerpt from Edgar Cayce and the Kabbalah: A Resource for Soulful Living

by John Van Auken

From a human perspective, the information you are about to read is perplexing. It does not fit with the evolution of matter. It does not fit with the visible universe. It does not even fit with much of what we know about ourselves. And yet it is a story that has been with humankind since the most ancient of times. It is a story of humanity that humans have treasured. They have guarded it for millennia, occasionally risking their lives to keep it alive. They have passed it along from generation to generation, as one would a most valuable family heirloom. Elements of this story can be found among people around the world. All people have their version of this story.

Now some will say that the ancient origin of these teachings causes them to be of no value, because everything old is primitive, that our generation is the pinnacle of evolution. They will say that the tales and lore of earlier humans are superstitions. They will say that the ancient ones did not understand the physical laws governing the material universe and the chemistry influencing their bodies and minds.

Some will say that the Kabbalistic version of this story of humanity appeared during a terrible time in human history: the “Dark Ages,” the medieval period, the dreary Middle Ages—a time so filled with plague, inquisition, ignorance, and cultural decline that we may rightly ask how anything coming out of that period could be of value to us. This view overlooks the dating of Kabbalah’s ancient sources and the geographical breadth of its recovered remnants of these teachings: from Spain to India, from Turkey to Egypt.

This story is about an invisible universe that exists just behind, closely around, but especially within the visible one we know. It is about a whisper, a whisper in the depths of human consciousness that says, We are more than we appear to be. It says, The origin of our life began long before the physical world. It whispers that there was an involution into matter from realms of energy and dimensions beyond the three-dimensional realm. It whispers of angels, planes of existence, and reincarnation. It whispers that we are celestial soul minds, only temporarily incarnated in terrestrial bodies, and that we are destined to return to the heavens and nonphysical soul life.

Of course, to the materially minded, these ideas are impossible; they don’t fit with “reality.” And yet this soul portion of our being is just on the other side of the thinnest, most subtle veil between human consciousness and soul consciousness. Fortunately, despite the opacity of this veil, the soul and its story slip through from time to time, and humans speak of these ideas again, as they have for ages. Many feel that they have become better persons for having learned and practiced the wisdom of Kabbalah and that it has made their physical lives more meaningful and fulfilling.

Kabbalah, or Qabalah, comes from the Hebrew word QBLH (there are no vowels in the language), which is derived from the root QBL, meaning “to receive” but with the nuance “to correspond” in a manner that is “face to face”—as Moses received from God and communicated with God face to face, such that his face “shone” from the experience. (Exodus 34:29) The term is sometimes written “Qabalah” or “Cabala” but better reflects its origin and sounding when written in English as “Kabbalah”—pronounced variously as ka-bal-lah, kab-ba-lah, and kaba-lah, although most Westerners pronounce it ka-bal-lah, associated with the word cabal (of French origin), meaning a group of persons secretly involved in artifices and intrigue.

Legend holds that Kabbalah was first taught by God to a select group of angels. Then, after the fall of the angels [which is explained in chapter 8 of this book], Kabbalah was taught to humans—many of whom were fallen angels. The wisdom was then progressively passed down from Adam, Enoch, Moses, Jacob, Joseph, Elijah, Ezekiel, and Daniel and traveled from Eden to Egypt, the ancient land of mysteries. Here the knowledge spread beyond the initial group to many others, even non-Jews, who made it their own, adding their perspectives and experiences to the wisdom. This may have been the origin of Hermeticism (based on the teachings of the Egyptian god Thoth; in Greek, Hermes), Gnosticism (from the Greek word gnosis, meaning “to know”), and Neo-Platonism (from a school founded by Plotinus and based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists).

Some may say that Hermeticism, Gnosticism, and Neo-Platonism predate Kabbalah, but the stories, characters, mythology, and motifs in ancient Judaism reach back thousands of years before such similar teachings. Many date Adam and Eve of Genesis to about 4000 BCE; Abraham, 1800 BCE; and Moses, 1500 BCE. The Torah, “The Book of the Law,” is dated to 1446 BCE. Even so, some separate ancient Mosaic Judaism from Rabbinic Judaism, and Rabbinic Judaism from Kabbalah, which they will only date to the works of medieval writers (from about the seventh century, reaching its peak in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries). Yet major portions of a most important book of the Kabbalah, the Zohar, are attributed to the writings of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, who lived in the 100s! Also, the oldest book of the Kabbalah, Sefer Yetzirah,

“The Book of Creation,” is traditionally ascribed to Abraham! Its actual authorship is uncertain, yet scholars consider it to be at least 2,500 years old.

Another point of uncertainty argues that rabbis of the first and second centuries simply adopted Gnostic teachings to create Kabbalah. However, this is just too uncharacteristic of these men, their lives, and their writings to be the case. These men were raised and deeply studied in the particulars of their own faith and traditions. And even though they were open-minded seekers of truth, it is unlikely that they adopted an alien philosophy and its terminology. Rather, it is more likely that there was an enlightened realization that these philosophies and mythologies shared much in common, as did Neo-Platonism and Hermeticism. One of the most convincing arguments to counter the view that rabbis adopted Gnosticism can be found in the book The Impact of the Kabbalah in the Seventeenth Century by Allison P. Coudert (Brill, 1999). Professor Coudert writes:

The frontispiece of the Kabbala denudata [Kabbala Unveiled] shows the high expectations Knorr [Christian Knorr von Rosenroth, 1636-1689] and van Helmont [Francis Mercury van Helmont, 1614-1698] had of the Kabbalah in terms of religious peace and unity. It also reveals their conviction that the Kabbalah offered a key to understanding the natural world as well. The figure of a beautiful maiden with flowing hair and Grecian robes gazes skywards as she runs along a narrow ledge of earth separating the sea from a cave. Her destination is a doorway marked “Palatium Arcanorum” (Place of Secrets). “Intrat” (she enters) is written on the threshold of this palace, while the word “domat” (she calms, subdues) appears under her right foot and “alterat” (changes for the better, transmutes) under her left. The cave is designated “antrum materie” (the cave of matter) and within it appear the astrological and alchemical signs that stand for the planets and their comparable metals. In her right hand, which is stretched over the swelling waves, she holds a burning torch, under which is written “mare concupscientiarum” (the sea of concupiscence) [which, in this context, likely means ardent longing rather than sexual desire]. In her left she carries a scroll representing the Scriptures, on which is written “explicat” (she explains). A ship sails in the distance; while on the edge of the shore, almost submerged by waves, a tree grows. A great circle of light breaks through the clouds and darkness, and within this light are three circles, which in turn enclose three smaller circles. These stand for the ten kabbalistic sefirot [emanations], or the ten faces (parzuphim) of the hidden deity as he revealed himself in the act of creation. Where the sea meets the sky the words “Metaphysica gentiles” are written, suggesting that gentile wisdom has clear limits—it does not reach to, or come from, heaven the way the Kabbalah does. We have seen that Knorr attributed the divisions among Christians to their misplaced dependence on Greek wisdom, which far from being the source of true philosophy had simply muddied the pure water of divine Hebrew wisdom. The female figure in this complex landscape is, of course, the Kabbalah, and the keys hanging on a cord from her wrist indicate that the Kabbalah alone is able to unlock the secrets of both the Old and New Testaments. Kabbalists considered their concepts to be the wiser and older teachings, not extensions of Grecian Gnosticism.

Finally, there has been a modern movement that presents Kabbalah as a social and moral teaching, ignoring the voluminous material on esoteric realms, angels, numerology, magical incantations, and much more. Because the Edgar Cayce volumes contain the esoterica found in classical Kabbalah, this book includes the whole of Kabbalah teachings. This is not to imply that Kabbalistic wisdom is not social or moral, it is, but there is so much more that should not be ignored, even though it adds much volume to the knowledge.

Though Kabbalah’s mystical wisdom was always cast as secret knowledge to be kept from the mundane public and from the ruling authorities who opposed anything alien to the establishment, elements are found in the most popular and public of Scripture. For example, in 1 Chronicles (ca. 500 BCE) we find some of Kabbalah’s secret sefirot (emanations). Chronicles is called “The Words of the Day” in the Hebrew “Bible” (Tanakh), and 1 and 2 Chronicles are combined in this Bible. Follow along with the Tree of Life illustrations to see the emanation numbers that correspond to this passage: “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness [emanation 10, which is also considered to be majesty], and the power [5, which is also judgment], and the glory [8, which is also splendor], and the victory [7], and the majesty [10]; for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom [10], O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all [1, the crown or the “I AM” of the “I am that I am”].” (1 Chronicles 29:11; Revised Standard Version, RSV) A portion of these emanations is also found in the Lord’s Prayer as recorded in select versions of Matthew 6:13 (King James Version, KJV, and World English Bible, WEB):

“For Thine is the kingdom [10], the power [5], and the glory [8] forever. Amen.”

John Van AukenJohn 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, including tours to Egypt.

His book Edgar Cayce and the Kabbalah: A Resource for Soulful Living can be found at ARECatalog.com.

 

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Beyond Soul Growth: Why Evolution Matters

Beyond Soul GrowthBy Lynn Sparrow Christy

An Excerpt from Beyond Soul Growth: Awakening to the Call of Cosmic Evolution

“ . . . The earth’s sphere, with the first creation in the mind of the Creator, has kept its same Creative Energy, for God is the same yesterday, today and forever . . . ”                                                                – Edgar Cayce reading 900-340

“The creation of the world did not take place once and for all time, but takes place every day.”                                                                                      – Samuel Beckett, Proust

 

Mine is the generation that came of age as strains of “this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius” wafted through the airwaves to our car radios. A lot of us eagerly looked for the signs of that dawning any day. Now, more than forty years later, we can look back on a number of dates and years that various prophetic voices declared to be the Big One. We’ve harmonically converged and fired the grid. We’ve awaited 1998, and once that year came and went, set our sights on 2012. It seems to me that for my whole lifespan thus far we have been waiting for the Big Event that would transform our world.

It’s understandable, really, this human tendency to latch on to particular times and dates as the fulfillment of our spiritual yearnings and the answer to the problems we face as a human race. Who can deny the allure of the expectation that in a single day or year all of our spiritual yearning will be fulfilled and that all of our unfinished business, our failures of will, discipline, and purpose, and our too-often lackadaisical service to a higher good will be swept aside in an influx of transformative grace such as this world has never known? And lest we think this date watching is a distinctly New Age phenomenon, we need only look to the Left Behind books, enormously popular among evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, as just one recent link in a chain of apocalyptic expectations that stretch all the way back to Jesus’ disciples asking, “What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?”

Nor can we deny that, historically, there have been many threshold times of great transformative significance. The harnessing of fire, the development of agriculture, the first writing of language, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution—these are just a smattering of examples of transformative epochs that forever changed the face of humankind on the earth. Each furthered the reach of our combined knowledge, culture, and know-how, and thus in each of these we can see what was, in its time, a truly new age that brought the peoples of the world a little closer together.

Living on the Threshold of Change

Looking around us at the world today, it does not take much of a stretch to think that we, too, are on a major threshold. Global challenges on the economic, political, and environmental fronts rivet our attention. An unprecedented worldwide cross-pollination of spiritual perspectives as well as scientific breakthroughs and technological advances hint at solutions that will be a quantum leap beyond old ways of dealing with our problems. Perhaps most significant of all, the effective shrinking of the world through the Internet and other modern communications systems suggests that, for the first time in human history, a unified humanity is within the realm of possibility. Add to that the astronomical fact that, because of the precession of the equinoxes, Earth’s vernal equinox is transitioning from the constellation of Pisces to that of Aquarius, and maybe the dawning of the Aquarian Age does not seem so far-fetched after all.

The interesting thing about dawns and crossing over thresholds, however, is that these movements are processes that occur over some period of time. There are multitudinous factors leading to the approach of a threshold, and complex internal forces propel individuals to become pioneers in its crossing. Who can delineate, for example, all of the influences of philosophy, science, mathematics, art, and politics that came together to produce the Renaissance? And what forces were at work within the makeup of an Isaac Newton or a Leonardo da Vinci to propel them over the threshold, thereby making them such influential figures in the widespread and lasting transformation that the Renaissance became?

Unlike a fix that swoops down from above, transformative epochs have always tended to rise up from within the participants. Even the birth of Jesus, held by those of Christian faith to have been the major transformative event so far in human history, was described by Edgar Cayce as coming in response to “continued preparation and dedication” on the part of those who knew the potentials of their day and organized their lives around it accordingly.3 We should expect no less a requirement of us if our day is truly to be one of transformation to a new age. In that context, we might look at the Aquarian Age as an invitation for us to participate in the next stage of a process that is synonymous with evolution.

At least that seems to be the Cayce readings’ take on it. The only time that the readings spoke about the Aquarian Age by name occurred in 1939, when Edgar Cayce was asked if he could name the date when the crossover from the Piscean to Aquarian Age would happen. His response was that “In 1998 we may find a great deal of the activities as have been wrought by the gradual changes that are coming about. . . . ” He went on to further clarify that “ . . . This is a gradual, not a cataclysmic activity in the experience of the earth in this period.” This emphasis on process and gradual transformation rather than sudden, cataclysmic change matches the very essence of evolution (which is defined as a process in all of its dictionary definitions).

Elsewhere in this same reading he said that where the Piscean Age brought the consciousness of Emmanuel or “God with us,” the Aquarian Age would mean the full consciousness of the ability to communicate with or be aware of our relationship to “Creative Forces” and the use of these creative forces in a material world. The opportunity of our day, then, would seem to be conscious engagement with the Creative Force behind all things and our own use of such creative capacity right here in this world. This is, in essence, a call to an evolutionary lifestyle, a spirituality based not on seeing how quickly we can “graduate” from the earth, but instead on how well we can participate in the process of creation. What else might we expect from a body of spiritual teaching that consistently links co-creatorship to our core purpose?

For us in this early twenty-first century world, so fraught with both peril and potential, the stakes have never been higher. The potentials of our time call us to engage with processes that will take us over the threshold into the attributes of the Aquarian epoch, rather than wait for particular dates that will bring it all together for us. In the language of the Cayce reading cited above, our astounding opportunity is to learn how to use creative forces—the same forces that have brought worlds into being—right here in this material world where we find ourselves. The perils of our day make the maxim that we cannot solve a problem from the level of consciousness that created it all too obvious.

Rather than fix our gaze on some hoped-for event on the horizon, where a previously unattainable state of spiritual consciousness will fall like refreshing dew, today is when we must actively engage in pushing past the boundaries in our own consciousness to be that consciousness which will approach the world’s problems in an entirely new way. It is time for us to find the ways we are called to be the embodiment of evolution—a process that is leading us toward a new threshold for life on this planet. As we learn to nurture those forces within us that will help nudge us over the inevitable hurdles that any threshold will entail, we will rise to the evolutionary potential of our age.

[This is an excerpt from Beyond Soul Growth, publishing by A.R.E. Press and available at ARECatalog.com.]

Lynn Sparrow ChristyLynn Sparrow Christy is a teacher, writer, and hypnotherapist-life coach. With more than 40 years’ experience in both traditional and alternative approaches to spirituality and personal growth, Lynn is committed to helping today’s spiritual seekers find authentic and practical pathways to growth. She is the author of two previous books and numerous home-study courses based on the Cayce material. Lynn has also served as a Licensed Minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Virginia.

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