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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Little Anna from Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet

By Sidney D. Kirkpatrick

Edgar Cayce’s parents were relieved when, at age six, he made friends with neighbor Barney Seay’s daughter, Hallie, a petite dark-haired girl who was called “Little Anna” because she shared the same first name as her mother.

Little Anna and Eddie quickly became inseparable. In the winter they would run through the fields trying to catch snowflakes in their mouths or play under a covered bridge. Their summer activities included chasing dragonflies and collecting violets, running along the banks of the Little River, or watching the farmers haul corn to the local mill. Most important to Edgar, the “little folk” liked Anna as much as he did. They didn’t disappear in her presence.

And she—according to Eddie—got to know them better than he because she was always plying them with questions.

Edgar and Anna’s favorite place to play was in a nearby barn. Perched on the upper rafters, they had great fun leaping onto a haystack and then sliding down the side.

They also hollowed out a hiding place inside the haystack, which they entered through a narrow tunnel. This was where they would “play house” together. Edgar would be the husband, she would be the wife, and the little folk would be their children.

Their greatest adventure was during a trip to the Little River. They came upon a boat that had come loose from its mooring and drifted downstream, and Edgar and Anna availed themselves of the opportunity to take a boat ride. They paddled out into the current until they came to a small island near a fork in the river. As Edgar later related the story, the little folk joined them on the island, where they introduced the two children to creatures who were smaller than the little folk, but larger than insects. Edgar described these creatures to his parents as fairies or “sprites” and said they came in a variety of shapes and colors.

He and Anna didn’t get to spend much time with the creatures because they reportedly didn’t like to play with children. They apparently wanted nothing to do with human beings, whom they viewed as interfering in their affairs.

Edgar’s family naturally dismissed the notion of fairies as yet another figment of their child’s over-active imagination, but Eddie would never agree that he hadn’t really seen them. He just learned not to talk about them, a lesson he carried with him when he later had visions of angels and other “spiritual guides.” Many years would elapse before he would describe to friends his belief that these colorful “energy forms” lived in and among plants and trees and played an integral role in their growth process. Like the “little folk” he played with in the barn, the colorful bundles of energy were transformed into shapes and forms to which a young child could relate. It is interesting to note—given the many parallels that Cayce’s later work shared with that of his contemporary, Rudolf Steiner, the spiritual psychologist who founded the Waldorf school system—that Steiner also reported childhood visions of gnomes and elves, as did Eileen Garrett, the famous Irish-born psychic.

Edgar’s parents described the 18 months he spent with Little Anna as the happiest of his childhood. Unfortunately, their relationship ended all too quickly. Edgar’s father uprooted the family to a home several miles from Little Anna’s farm.

Their separation was made permanent in 1887 when she contracted and died of pneumonia. Edgar, age 12, was reported to have walked the several miles through deep snow to be with his childhood friend when the end came, only to arrive too late to say goodbye. She was buried in a small coffin near her home, where she was soon joined by her father, Barney Seay, who died a day later from pneumonia contracted while nursing her.

Forty-eight-years later Little Anna would reappear in Edgar’s life, but not as the delicate brown-haired young girl with whom he had explored the Little River. The contact came about through correspondence with a 29-year-old bookkeeper, Beatrice Coffing, the fiancé of a violinist and music teacher from Altadena, California, who had sought and received trance advice for a blinding case of cataracts. Edgar, then 64 years old and living in Virginia Beach, had provided three physical readings which resulted in the violinist’s complete cure.

For the first time in nearly half a decade, he could read the notes on a page of sheet music. Beatrice wrote to Edgar to request physical and life readings for herself, and to say that she and her fiancé would be driving from California to Virginia, with her fiancé behind the wheel, to thank Edgar in person.

The information that came through in Beatrice’s life reading captured the entire Cayce family’s attention, for rarely did a reading suggest as many prior connections between two people as there were between her and Edgar. The two had been together during Edgar’s sojourns as Ra Ta and Uhjltd, and even as recently as Edgar’s present incarnation in a rural farming community in Kentucky, through which flowed the Little River. And yet, in the correspondence Edgar sent to Beatrice with the life reading, he remained unusually circumspect about sharing with her how they had known one another.

It was not until he met Beatrice in person that Edgar let the “secret slip out.” He had to “see the truth” for himself before he could, as he later said, “be absolutely certain.” That day, when Beatrice and her fiancé arrived on the doorstep of the Cayce’s Arctic Crescent home, Edgar stood in the doorway, unable to move, or even speak to her after she had exited the car and she raised her hand to greet him. Tears began to pour down Edgar’s cheeks. He could barely put together more than two words.

“Little Anna . . . Little Anna,” he kept saying. “It’s true.” Before coming to Virginia Beach, Beatrice had read everything she could about Edgar, and though she believed him to be a “kindred spirit,” she was not prepared for the outpouring of affection that Edgar, a relative stranger, showered upon her, or the curious way he addressed her. Who was Little Anna? Why the tears?

Edgar’s wife Gertrude, and his secretary Gladys Davis, were equally mystified. They too had never heard of Little Anna, nor could they guess why Edgar was moved to tears.

When Edgar and Beatrice sat down in his study and talked together she began to understand what seeing her meant to him. She also gained a startling insight into her previous karmic relationship with her fiancé, Richmond Seay, whom she had cared for during his years-long ordeal with cataracts.

As Edgar had figured out from studying her life readings, Beatrice, in her most recent incarnation, had been Edgar’s beloved childhood playmate, Little Anna Seay. Her father, Barney Seay, who had cared for her when she contracted pneumonia and who died the day after she did, according to the readings, was reincarnated back into the same family, this time as Richmond Seay.

Little Anna and her father Barney Seay, who had both died of pneumonia in Kentucky in 1887, were now, in 1941, Beatrice and Richmond Seay, soon to be husband and wife. She cared for him in his hour of need as he had once cared for her.

Sidney KirkpatrickSidney D. Kirkpatrick is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, New York Times best-selling author, and a Pulitzer nominee. His critically acclaimed non-fiction books include A Cast of Killers, Turning the Tide, Lords of Sipan, and Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet. The Smithsonian, National Archives, HBO, the History Channel, Travel Channel, and the A & E Television Networks have all featured his work. Profiles of Kirkpatrick have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, and The New Yorker. He lives with his wife Nancy, a long-time student of the Edgar Cayce work, in a turn-of-the-century inn in Huntsville, Ontario, at which they host the Edgar Cayce Canada Family Camp each summer.

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Divine Visits, Foreword

Divine VisitsForeword by Kevin J. Todeschi, best-selling author and executive director/CEO of Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E.

Perhaps more than anything else, the most compelling premise presented in Josie Varga’s Divine Visits is the fact that God in spirit can and does impact things physical. To be sure, there are  times when the demands of life can numb us to the ever-present reality of the Divine, but God never leaves us. It is only our awareness and consciousness that have erred and shifted in perception. The variety of ways in which people have encountered divine messengers, helpers, guides, mentors, and supporters should give us all hope in our own lives and an understanding that spirit cares and is very much cognizant of each and every one of us. We are not alone; we are never alone.

What may be surprising to a number of readers is the frequency with which divine visits occur in people’s everyday lives. Whether it is Carolyn’s story of her face-to-face encounter with a guardian angel during a blizzard; or Lisa’s experience with the consciousness of the Other Side during a heightened meditation; or Uva, who was in reality an angel in disguise who assisted a family in need—these stories paint the image of a divine world very much concerned with the affairs of humankind.

The regularity of this  phenomenon of divine visits  resulted in my own  book, God in Real Life: Personal Encounters with the Divine, a number of years ago as people from every imaginable walk of life and religious (and  non-religious) background sought me out with stories that frequently began, “You are never going to believe what I am about to tell you …” But the truth is, there are countless stories of how this phenomenon can and does happen and numerous examples of how even the most skeptic can’t help but believe after having divine visitors of their own.

Collected here are stories that hold true to the biblical claim that oftentimes individuals who have encountered (the Bible uses the phrase “entertained”) strangers have entertained angels unaware. (Hebrews 13:2) This same assertion was echoed by famed psychic Edgar Cayce when he told individuals to become aware of how they treated one another: “…be ye mindful in every association and manner when ye entertain strangers, for often ye entertain angels unawares.” (520-3) In this wonderful volume there are a startling number of divine visits collected for easy reflection and contemplation. This fact caused me to wonder—as Cayce suggested—just how many divine visits forever remain unrecognized. In our own lives, how often have we entertained angels and divine messengers without ever becoming consciously aware of what truly transpired?

I had personally heard of literally dozens of divine encounters from all kinds of individuals before encountering one for myself.  Although I  truly believed the  stories I was  hearing, it was only after my own experience that I understood the depth of meaning that these encounters have for individuals firsthand. For a number of years I was very close to a woman named Angela Marsh Peterson. Angela lived for 98 years and had a very full life. An amazing woman from many different perspectives, Angela experienced just about everything available to a woman of the 20th century: motherhood, career, travel, the military, owning her own business, divorce, the death of a child, founding her own museum, teaching, serving as a house mother to college students, living overseas; the list goes on and on. Because of her incredibly varied life, Angela had been encouraged on at least a dozen different occasions to compile her life’s story. Although there were numerous attempts, the story was never completed. Then Angela and I met, and something clicked. For more than four years, we worked on her story, which was eventually published as One Woman’s Century. Although Angela never lived to see the book in print, she did read all but the last 30 or so pages.

About one year after Angela’s death, I was asleep (or so I thought), and I had a dream. In the dream I was in my bed and the lights were off. I could see myself, the room, the bed, and a flicker of moonlight through the window. All at once, as though bathed in bright light, Angela appeared in the bedroom. She was smiling, energetic, and no longer crippled with her 98-year-old body. She thanked me for finishing the book, leaned over, and gave me a very brief kiss on the lips. As soon as her lips touched mine, it was like being shot full of electricity! I sat up immediately in bed, wide awake, fully conscious, and very much aware that I had just had a divine encounter of my own. Not only had Angela come to give thanks but her presence reassured me, because at that time I was losing one of my very best friends to cancer.  The Divine in spirit is interested in the concerns of the material world.

On a number of occasions, Edgar Cayce told stories of his own divine encounters throughout the years. Those experiences began when he was less than two years old and had “invisible playmates” that he eventually recognized as young children who had passed away and were not quite ready to move on to the next experience in consciousness. As a young boy, he had an encounter with an angelic woman to whom he told his dream to be helpful to people, “especially children when they were sick.” She acknowledged the dream, promised it would be answered, and then disappeared. As an adult and an accomplished speaker, Cayce occasionally had the experience of lecturing to a room of people and becoming aware of the fact that “invisible people” would come in and take seats where no one was sitting in order to listen to what was being said.

I believe that these stories give credence to the ever-present reality of the Divine in our lives. Sometimes they come in the form of chance encounters. Sometimes they are the flicker of a dream or a simple divine insight. Sometimes they are an angel that we entertain unaware. Sometimes all we have to do is look beyond ourselves, and we will find the very thing we need. But the fact is that the Divine is very much cognizant of us; perhaps the time has come, at  last, for us to become cognizant in return.

Kevin J. TodeschiKevin J. Todeschi is the Executive Director and CEO of Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. and Atlantic University, as well as a popular author and speaker. As both student and teacher of the Cayce material for more than 30 years, he has lectured on five continents. A prolific writer, he is the author of 20 books including the best-seller Edgar Cayce on the Akashic Records. His latest book, Edgar Cayce on Auras & Colors, was co-written with professional psychic Carol Ann Liaros.

Josie-VargaAuthor Josie Varga had a passion for writing as a little girl growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She went on to earn a degree in journalism and later became a successful communications consultant while authoring her first book. Her best-selling “Visits” series includes Visits from Heaven, Visits to Heaven, and most recently Divine Visits.

 

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Alzheimer’s Disease: A Holistic Approach

Azheimer's Disease: A Holistic ApproachWhen the German neurologist Alois Alzheimer first identified Alzheimer’s disease as a disorder in 1906, it was considered to be psychological, and the patient was most likely institutionalized after the diagnosis. Nowadays, it is known to be a degenerative neurological disease characterized by a particular set of changes in the brain that, once started, are progressive and irreversible.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Dementia is not a disease in itself but rather a term used to describe a group of symptoms. These symptoms may include the decline of mental functions such as memory, reasoning, and language ability, as well as changes in personality, mood, and behavior. Dementia develops when parts of the brain are injured or diseased. There are over fifty known causes of dementia, and most of them are quite rare.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. Other major causes of dementia from degenerative neurological diseases are Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and some types of multiple sclerosis. Vascular dementia can be caused by multiple strokes in the brain. Traumatic head injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents, falls, or numerous hits to the brain as seen in football players and boxers can cause dementia.

Dementia may also be caused by infections of the central nervous system such as meningitis and HIV. Even nutritional deficiencies, depression, the chronic use of alcohol, or drug abuse can cause dementia. Alzheimer’s disease represents over half of all causes of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is an extremely complicated and devastating disease. It is complicated in that it involves related yet separate parts of the brain that combine to manifest the disease. Understanding how these separate parts of the brain become dysfunctional enough to produce a cascading effect that corrodes the brain is very complicated indeed. This corrosion leads at first to cell dysfunction, then to a loss of areas of the brain that communicate within itself, and eventually to a loss of communication between the brain and the entire body. As many of us have witnessed, the result is a human being who has lost all of his or her dependability and proficiency.

Research has shown that the road to memory loss in our senior years may start as early as our teen years! All of us begin our lives with clear arteries, but before some of us finish our adolescence, fatty streaks (cholesterol and other lipids that have accumulated on the arterial walls) have already begun to appear. By early adulthood these fatty streaks turn into fibrous plaques that begin to calcify and become raised lesions (Berenson, G., et al., 1998). As we age, these lesions may become sites of low-grade, chronic inflammation. The lesions eventually grow larger and more numerous, restricting blood flow throughout the body. Blood restriction is the hallmark of atherosclerosis, which is the leading cause of heart disease. Research suggests that the risk factors for heart disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure, a highfat diet, elevated homocysteine levels, cigarette smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle are also factors in the development of AD (Snowdon, D., et al., 2000 and Weir and Molloy, 2000). Thus the evidence of plaque buildup, or atherosclerosis, in the teenaged years leads many researchers to speculate that AD plaque may start its gradual corrosive process that early, as well. Nutritionally, this finding indicates that a diet that is good for the heart is also good for the brain.

Introduction

I wrote this book to empower people to take control of their own health. Even though we are aging, certain lifestyle changes can and will improve our nutritional, environmental, and emotional well-being. There are many simple things that we can do to improve the overall health of our bodies. At present, it can be stated with certainty that the whole body is affected by its nutritional status. As demonstrated by many studies, dietary factors play major roles in determining whether the brain ages successfully or declines as a result of neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, the rewards of consistently eating a nutritious diet are definitely worthwhile. With this book, I hope to show how easy it is to make lifestyle changes that will allow us to reap the rewards of growing old gracefully.

The information in the readings of Edgar Cayce inspired me to change my life for the better by making numerous small changes not only for my body’s physical health but also for my mental and spiritual health. The amazing insights of the Cayce readings and the latest medical research on Alzheimer’s disease and inflammation compelled me to write this book.

My introduction to Edgar Cayce happened in 1982 when I Introduction read Jess Stearn’s book Edgar Cayce: The Sleeping Prophet. I signed up as an A.R.E. member halfway through the book and have been studying the Cayce readings ever since. Edgar Cayce is considered the “father of holistic medicine,” and his work inspired me to achieve a PhD in Holistic Nutrition.

The Edgar Cayce readings have always fascinated me because they were meant to engage our very being, or essence, on so many levels. His language requires concentration to read and understand what he was trying to convey on those different levels. The first sets of levels were personal, universal, and metaphysical. Within those he incorporated more levels: the spirit, the mind, and the physical. As I have matured, I have noticed that the same reading or passage that I read in previous years will give me a new meaning—as though I were reading it for the first time. I believe that an important part of sustaining a healthy brain is learning to understand various aspects of our lives on a completely new level. Allowing our perceptions to change helps our brains to stay fit.

Following are some of the Cayce “gems” that have helped me on different levels. The numbers after a quote relate to the person who received the reading and the number of readings that the person received. Edgar Cayce’s readings were organized this way because he gave over 14,000 readings, and these assigned numbers protected the person’s identity. The numbered readings allowed anyone to reference a reading for research—hence the name of the organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.).

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

. . . But hold to the ideal. Choose aright, and then go straight ahead; knowing that the Lord helps those who help themselves provided their purposes are not of a selfish or egotistical nature.

– Edgar Cayce reading 2437-1

The “ideal” is central to Edgar Cayce’s philosophy. It is your guiding light in this world. My personal ideal is the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.” My other ideal, which incorporates my main outlook on life, is “Celebrate the work of the Creative Spirit through nature.” Everyone’s ideal will be different and in tune with his or her unique life.

 … For the only sin of man is selfishness!

(Q) How may it be overcome?

(A) Just as has been given; showing mercy, showing grace, showing peace, long-suffering, brotherly love, kindness—even under the most trying circumstances . . .

– Edgar Cayce reading 987-4

Cayce called these attributes the “fruits of the Spirit.” He states repeatedly in his readings that “Mind is the Builder” and that the fruits of the Spirit are love, peace, patience (long-suffering), kindness, gentleness, mercy, and grace.

. . . but learn to use well that had in hand, then more may be given thee. Remember the talents!

– Edgar Cayce reading 2254-1

(Q) How can people avoid aging in appearance?

(A) The mind!

– Edgar Cayce reading 1947-4

This idea is intriguing on so many levels! And finally, I like this quote from the readings:

Let not thy heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Him—who is able to quicken the life as it flows through thy body, thy mind, thy soul, to a full regeneration in the material world, then hope in the mental, then truth in the spiritual . . .  — Edgar Cayce reading 2448-2

Michelle Deetken PhD BioAuthor Michelle R. Deetken PhD is a holistic nutritionist with a doctorate in Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and a BS in Biology from the University of Nevada-Reno. Deetken’s introduction to the holistic health readings of Edgar Cayce in the 1980s was the reason for her pursuit of a holistic education. Through her experience and research, she has found that simple, positive lifestyle changes can prevent and even reverse some diseases.

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Prelude to Beneath the Pyramids

The Lost Underworld, Prelude to Beneath the PyramidsBeneath the Pyramids

By Andrew Collins

The possibility of actually locating Giza’s lost underworld had been a fantasy for so long that I expected myself to be cool, calm, and collected if ever I found it. But as I peered through the small opening into a large, natural cavern, partially hewn by human hands, my heart raced and I gasped for breath. No one knew what lay ahead or even how safe it might be after thousands of years of decay and neglect.

Standing on a stone precipice, surveying what lay ahead, I almost turned back. Inside me now was a mixture of trepidation and fear, tinged by the overwhelming stench of bat guano, which seemed to pervade the very darkness. Yet I knew there was now no other option but to step inside.

Apprehensively, I descended, somewhat cautiously, into Giza’s subterranean realm and was struck by the knowledge that so many others searching for the Hall of Records had experienced the same dream—yet here I was at last, actually entering a cave system long rumored to exist beneath the plateau.

As I navigated the fallen rock debris in an attempt to reach the floor of the vast cave chamber, I could not help but think about the two men who had explored this network of “Catacombs” nearly two hundred years earlier. Henry Salt (1780-1827), the British consul general in Egypt, and his colleague, the redoubtable Italian explorer and former sea captain Giovanni Battista Caviglia (1770-1845), had chanced upon the cave system during their systematic search of the plateau. They penetrated several hundred yards into the rock before finally coming upon an entrance into a “spacious” chamber, which connected with three others of equal size. Who carved them and in what age was the mystery to be solved.

By now, Salt and Caviglia had seen enough, and without so much as a sniff of hidden treasure, the British consul general had ceased his exploration and exited the caves, leaving the Italian to pursue them further. Caviglia later advanced in another direction for “three hundred feet further.” Yet having found nothing of significance, he too gave up, leaving this labyrinthine world, never to return.

After that time, the entrance to the cave system was eventually forgotten. It has remained obscure through to the present day, and never in a million years did I expect to find it in quite the manner we did.

Never could I have hoped to walk in the footsteps of great adventurers such as Salt and Caviglia, exploring a subterranean world that might well hold the key to understanding the very origins of ancient Egyptian civilization.

Discovering unexplored caves may not seem earthshaking in archaeological terms. Certainly, Giza’s underworld may pale into insignificance when compared to the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb or the opening of a tomb live on TV. Yet the idea that a subterranean world exists in the vicinity of the Giza pyramid field has enthralled Egyptologists and explorers alike ever since the age of Salt and Caviglia, and for good reason. Ancient Egyptian texts dating back three thousand years allude to the existence here of a secret chamber known as the Underworld of the Soul and the Shetayet—literally, the “Tomb of God.” All pharaohs wanted to learn the secrets of this hidden chamber in order to create their own final resting place, otherwise their souls could not return in death to the cosmic source of life among the stars of the northern sky Roman writers perpetuated the mystery of an underworld beneath the Pyramids of Egypt, while much later, Arab travelers—influenced by tales heard from Coptic Christian monks and priests—spoke specifically of an antediluvian race depositing a record of its arts and sciences in subterranean corridors deep below the plateau, prior to some universal conflagration and deluge. The more superstitious of the local population spoke of the existence of a vast network of catacombs that stretched for miles beneath the plateau. They were haunted, they said, by spectral beings, and in here a man could very easily lose his mind, or even his life. Such legends sprang from the existence everywhere on the plateau of hundreds of tombs and sepulchres. Many of these open out to reveal spacious rooms, adorned with broken statues and fading frescoes that have fired the imagination for thousands of years.

So why should the discovery back in 1817 of a natural cave system, enhanced in places by human hands, be of even the remotest significance when so much more still awaits investigation in Giza? The answer is that not only did the entrance to the caves become obscure, but their very whereabouts was almost entirely lost. It is easily understandable how this came about, for since Salt and Caviglia found nothing of significance, very few people ever came to know of their existence.

A knowledge regarding the existence of Giza’s hidden underworld spurs on more recent claims that the discovery of this subterranean realm will herald a new dawn of enlightenment. Yet these claims come not from some wizened Arab mystic encountered in Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili bazaar or a dusty Coptic text languishing in the neglected library of a desert monastery, but from the “readings” of America’s most well-known psychic, Edgar Cayce. Since his death in 1945, the Edgar Cayce Foundation has established a large headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and set up affiliated groups in thirty-two countries. Among its aims are to promote and to confirm the prophecies and predictions of its mentor and founder and—under the auspices of its research body, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.)—discover what Cayce’s readings refer to as the “Hall of Records.”

For six decades the A.R.E. has encouraged and supported exploration of Giza in an attempt not only to verify the existence of the Hall of Records but to seek its entrance, which the readings imply will be found in the vicinity of the Sphinx monument. Indeed, it is no secret that the organization has been behind a good deal of the archaeological work carried out on the plateau since the 1970s. Without its help and support in this project, Giza’s lost underworld would have remained just a few throwaway lines in Salt’s forgotten memoirs. It is thus only fitting that we begin this journey with an account of just how Edgar Cayce came to instigate the greatest quest of discovery Egypt has seen for a very long time.

Andrew CollinsAndrew Collins was raised in the Essex town of Wickford. As a teenager, he became a UFO investigator, and in 1977 he investigated the first-ever missing time abduction case reported in the UK, and that investigation changed his life. He became a journalist with the magazine Strange Phenomena and openly sought the help of psychics in an attempt to better understand the relationship between UFOs, prehistoric sites, earth energies, and the human mind. As a science and history writer, he has authored a variety of books that challenge the way we perceive the past, including his best-selling The Cygnus Mystery, that delves into how ancient monuments and temples, that are still standing today, were built with an orientation towards Cygnus. He continues to speak and travel throughout the world and is currently working on a book about Gobekli Tepe. He leaves near Marlborough, Wiltshire, in the UK.

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