An Excerpt from Edgar Cayce on the Spiritual Forces Within You
By John Van Auken
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 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.
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.
“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)
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?
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.)
“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 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.