Paradigms for Creativity

Creative-Synergy-BookBy Bunny Paine-Clemes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Edgar Cayce: Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Messenger

There Is a RiverBy Mitch Horowitz

The year 1910 marked a turning point in Western spirituality. It saw the death of some of the most luminous religious thinkers of the nineteenth century, including psychologist-seeker William James; popular medium Andrew Jackson Davis; and Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy. These three figures deeply impacted the movements in positive thinking, prayer healing, and psychical research.

Their death that year was accompanied by the rise to prominence of a new religious innovator – a figure who built upon the spiritual experiments of the nineteenth century to shape the New Age culture of the dawning era.* In autumn of 1910 The New York Times brought the first major national attention to the name of Edgar Cayce, a young man who later became known as the “father of holistic medicine” and the founding voice of alternative spirituality.

The Sunday Times of October 9, 1910, profiled the Christian mystic and medical clairvoyant in an extensive article and photo spread: Illiterate Man Becomes a Doctor When Hypnotized.At the time Cayce (pronounced “Casey”), then 33, was struggling to make his way as a commercial photographer in his hometown of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, while delivering daily trance-based medical “readings” in which he would diagnose and prescribe natural cures for the illnesses of people he had never met.

Cayce’s method was to recline on a sofa or day bed, loosen his tie, belt, cuffs, and shoelaces, and enter a sleep-like trance; then, given only the name and location of a subject, the “sleeping prophet” was said to gain insight into the person’s body and psychology. By the time of his death in January 1945, Cayce had amassed a record of more than 14,300 clairvoyant readings for people across the nation, many of the sessions captured by stenographer Gladys Davis.

In the 1920s, Cayce’s trance readings expanded beyond medicine (which nonetheless remained at the core of his work) to include “life readings,” in which he explored a person’s inner conflicts and needs. In these sessions Cayce employed references to astrology, karma, reincarnation, and number symbolism. Other times, he expounded on global prophecies, climate or geological changes, and the lost history of mythical cultures, such as Atlantis and Lemuria. Cayce had no recollection of any of this when he awoke, though as a devout Christian the esotericism of such material made him wince when he read the transcripts.

Contrary to news coverage, Cayce was not illiterate, but neither was he well educated. Although he taught Sunday school at his Disciples of Christ church – and read through the King James Bible at least once every year – he had never made it past the eighth grade of a rural schoolhouse. While his knowledge of Scripture was encyclopedic, Cayce’s reading tastes were otherwise limited. Aside from spending a few on-and-off years in Texas unsuccessfully trying to use his psychical abilities to strike oil – he had hoped to raise money to open a hospital based on his clairvoyant cures – Cayce rarely ventured beyond the Bible Belt environs of his childhood.

Since the tale of Jonah fleeing from the word of God, prophets have been characterized as reluctant, ordinary folk plucked from reasonably satisfying lives to embark on missions that they never originally sought. In this sense, if the impending New Age – the vast culture of Eastern, esoteric, and therapeutic spirituality that exploded on the national scene in the 1960s and 70s – was seeking a founding prophet, Cayce could hardly be viewed as an unusual choice, but, historically, as a perfect one.

A Seer in Season  

It was this Edgar Cayce – an everyday man, dedicated Christian, and uneasy mystic – whom New England college student and future biographer Thomas Sugrue encountered in 1927. When Sugrue met Cayce, the twenty-year-old journalism student was not someone who frequented psychics or séance parlors. Sugrue was a dedicated Catholic who had considered joining the priesthood. Deeply versed in world affairs and possessed of an iron determination to break into news reporting, Sugrue left his native Connecticut in 1926 for Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, which was then one of the only schools in the nation to offer a journalism degree to undergraduates. (Sugrue later switched his major to English literature, in which he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four years.)

As a student, Sugrue rolled his eyes at paranormal claims or talk of ESP. Yet Sugrue met a new friend at Washington and Lee who challenged his preconceptions: the psychic’s eldest son, Hugh Lynn Cayce. Hugh Lynn had planned to attend Columbia but his father’s clairvoyant readings directed him instead to the old-line Virginia school. (The institution counted George Washington as an early benefactor.) Sugrue grew intrigued by his new friend’s stories about his father – in particular the elder Cayce’s theory that one person’s subconscious mind could communicate with another’s. The two freshmen enjoyed sparring intellectually and soon became roommates. While still cautious, Sugrue wanted to meet the agrarian seer.

Edgar and his wife Gertrude, meanwhile, were laying new roots about 250 miles east of Lexington in Virginia Beach, a location the readings had also selected.  The psychic spent the remainder of his life in the Atlantic coastal town, delivering twice-daily readings and developing the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), a spiritual learning center that remains active there today.

Accompanying Hugh Lynn home in June 1927, Sugrue received a “life reading” from Cayce. In these psychological readings, Cayce was said to peer into a subject’s “past life” incarnations and influences, analyze his character through astrology and other esoteric methods, and view his personal struggles and aptitudes. Cayce correctly identified the young writer’s interest in the Middle East, a region where Sugrue later issued news reports on the founding of the modern state of Israel. But it wasn’t until Christmas of that year that Sugrue, upon receiving an intimate and uncannily accurate medical reading, became an all-out convert to Cayce’s psychical abilities.

Sugrue went on to fulfill his aim of becoming a journalist, writing from different parts of the world for publications including the New York Herald Tribune and The American Magazine. But his life remained interwoven with Cayce’s. Stricken by debilitating arthritis in the late 1930s, Sugrue sought help through Cayce’s medical readings. From 1939 to 1941, the ailing Sugrue lived with the Cayce family in Virginia Beach, writing and convalescing. During these years of close access to Cayce – while struggling with painful joints and limited mobility – Sugrue completed There Is a River, the sole biography written of Cayce during his lifetime.  When the book appeared in 1942 it brought Cayce national attention that surpassed even the earlier Times coverage.

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

* The term “New Age” is often used to denote trendy or fickle spiritual tastes. I do not share in that usage. I use New Age to reference the eclectic culture of therapeutic and experimental spirituality that emerged in the late-twentieth century.

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

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Edgar Cayce’s Guide to Colon Care

Edgar Cayce's Guide to Colon Careby Sandra Duggan, RN


For forty-three years, Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) provided clairvoyant, medical diagnoses and treatment suggestions for thousands of people who requested readings. His psychic source drew on a vast knowledge of herbs, nutrition, hydrotherapies (colonics, steam/fume baths, whirlpool baths, etc.), osteopathy, mechanical and electrical devices, and much more. Usually twice a day, he would lie down on a couch, go into a trance state, contact the unconscious mind of an individual and Universal Consciousness, and respond to the seeker’s questions. The response was then transcribed by Cayce’s secretary.

These readings are available to the public. Names have been replaced with numbers to preserve the privacy of the individuals who received the readings. For example, if a person’s first reading is numbered (2056-1), the second reading will be (2056-2), and so on. Of the 14,256 readings given, almost 9,000 are on the topic of health.

The Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), is a non-profit membership organization formed in 1931 to preserve and research the readings. The A.R.E. Library/Conference Center houses the largest collection of documented psychic information in the world. The A.R.E. offers such member benefits as a newsletter, a magazine titled Venture Inward, lessons for home study, and a lending library by mail. Study groups meet in private homes worldwide and apply the Cayce material for personal growth. Conferences and seminars are offered year round, and the Visitor Center has daily tours; free lectures on dreams, meditation, healing, and other topics; a movie on Cayce’s life; and audiovisuals and exhibits. The bookstore, meditation room, and library are also open to the public.

The readings on colonics are indexed in the A.R.E. library under “Intestines: colonics,” in the card catalog. About 1,350 readings were given on colonic irrigation, 500 on colon problems, 1,000 on enemas, 10 on diarrhea, 300 on colitis, 175 on constipation and almost 2,900 on laxatives. Cayce obviously had a great deal to say about the importance of colon health. For 20 years, colonics, massages, and other hydrotherapies were available at the A.R.E. Therapy Department, which opened in 1966. At that time, it was directed by Dr. Harold J. Reilly, DPhT, DS, a physiotherapist (one who uses physical and mechanical remedies, such as massage, hydrotherapy, electricity, heat, etc. in the treatment of disease) who also held degrees in naturopathy and chiropractic, and completed two years of osteopathy. He studied with John Harvey Kellogg, MD, of Battle Creek, Mich., and owned the Reilly Health Institute in Rockefeller Center, New York. In January of 1920, a woman came to see Reilly, saying that she had been specifically referred by Cayce, in a reading, to have massage and hydrotherapy with Dr. Reilly. Reilly had never heard of Edgar Cayce, and could not understand how Cayce knew not only his name, but also the therapies he offered in his practice. The two finally met in person two years later and developed a close, working partnership. Reilly himself later had several readings from Cayce and learned that he had spent many past lives as a healer, working with massage and hydrotherapy. Reilly continued to work with the guidance given in the readings long after Cayce’s death, for he fully believed in drugless therapies that allow the body to heal itself. Reilly was a good example of health and productivity and lived well into his nineties.

Dr. Reilly “retired” from his practice in 1966, became Director of the A.R.E. Therapy Department, and donated all of his equipment: Dierker colonic machines, massage tables, a whirlpool bath, and two porcelain Sitz baths.

In 1986, the Therapy Department closed and the Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy was founded. It offers a 700-hour program teaching the Cayce/Reilly method of massage, hydrotherapy, Cayce remedies, sports massage, anatomy/physiology, and related body therapies. In May of 1995, the Therapy Department was reborn as the Health Services Department of the A.R.E., offering massage, hydrotherapy (including colonics), and related services. Today, the A.R.E. Health Center & Spa is open for therapies seven days a week.

Sandra Duggan, RN, BS (1934-2012), the author of Edgar Cayce’s Guide to Colon Care, maintained a private practice while working for several decades as an instructor with the Cayce/Reilly® School of Massage. She developed and taught the Colon Therapy program used at the school and at the Association for Research and Enlightenment’s (A.R.E.) Health Center and Spa. She is also the co-author of Edgar Cayce’s Massage, Hydrotherapy & Healing Oils.

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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 ( 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]

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 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.)

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

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