The Religion of Edgar Cayce

The following is an excerpt from Tom Sugrue's excellent book, "There is a River."

The system of metaphysical thought which emerges from the readings of Edgar Cayce is a Christianized version of the mystery religions of ancient Egypt, Chaldea, Persia, India, and Greece.   It fits the figure of Christ into the tradition of one God for all people, and places Him in His proper place, at the apex of the philosophical structure;  He is the capstone of the pyramid  -  the Stone the builders rejected.

The mysteries were concerned with man's problem of freeing his soul from the world.  In the mystery symbologies the earth was always represented as the underworld, and the soul was lost in this underworld until freed from it by wisdom, faith, and understanding.  In the Greek mysteries, Persephone, was abducted by Pluto, Lord of Hades.  Persephone is the soul of man, whose true home is in the heavens.

Jesus said He came to fulfill the law, and part of that law was the Kabbalah, the secret doctrine of the Jews - their version of the mysteries.

It is interesting to speculate on the fact that Edgar Cayce was raised in strict nineteenth century Bible tradition, and suffered the greatest mental and emotional shock of his life when he discovered that in his spiritual readings he declared the truth of the mysteries and acclaimed Jesus as their crowning glory.  Edgar Cayce had only a seventh grade education and consciously knew nothing of what he said under hypnosis.  He was only versed in the Bible and had no high school or college background of any kind.  Up until his revelations, Cayce had never heard of the mystery religions. Yet his readings check with everything about them that is known to be authentic.

The mystery religions were a preparation for the coming of Jesus.  He was the fruit of their efforts, and His message was a fuller revelation to the people at large of the mysteries themselves.  In the scramble which Christianity made to establish itself as the dominant religion of the decaying Roman Empire, the mysteries were denied their proper place, since to grant that they had truth in them would justify their further existence.

The complex symbology employed by the mystery religions has survived fragmentarily in Christianity, notable in church architecture and in the sacrifice of the Mass.  The early Christians used every means possible to conceal the pagan origin of their symbols, doctrines, and rituals.  They either destroyed the sacred books of other peoples among whom they settled, or made them inaccessible to students of comparative philosophy, apparently believing that in this way they could stamp out all record of the pre-Christian origin of their doctrines.  The doctrine of reincarnation and the Gnostic mysteries of Christ were declared heresies by the Church in 553 A.D.

In the beginning God "moved."  God from the beginning could be called multiple, for "in the beginning was the Word, the Word was God, the Word was with God."  As God moved, souls - portions of Himself - came into being according to the Cayce readings.  Therefore, there was a "time" when souls, as separate consciousness from God, was not separate. This includes all souls, both living and dead, and all were created in the beginning.  All souls preexisted, having their origin in God the Father, but all existed in a spiritual realm prior to coming into the world. The origins of sin, according to Cayce, lay in souls seeking expression of themselves outside of the plan or the way in which God had expressed.

Jesus the Christ, according to the Cayce readings, is the central instrument of God to make it possible for all souls to fulfill the original purpose of their creation.  Cayce affirms the Godhead to be three dimensional, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, when viewed from the level of earth consciousness, which itself is a  "three dimensional plane in one."  The Godhead in Its multiplicity can be perceived as more complex than three dimensional when viewed from the perspective of higher levels of consciousness.  Nevertheless, the Christ, whether one speaks of the Godhead as three dimensional or multidimensional, is seen as an essential part of the Godhead.  Indeed, Cayce says the body of Christ is the Father, the mind of Christ is the Son, and the Spirit of Christ is the Holy Spirit.

Jesus, who became the Christ, the full manifestation of the divine consciousness in flesh, also known as the Messiah, was also a human - specifically, a soul created with other souls in the beginning and, like them, a part of God's Universal Consciousness.  This is not to say that the Christ Consciousness is a created being. In the Cayce readings, the Christ Consciousness is integrally being one with God. The union of the Christ Consciousness and the human Jesus constituted, according to the readings, a unique divine-human unity, although this relationship is properly the ultimate goal of all entities and is spiritually possible for all.  Cayce affirms that there seemed to be two wills - divine and human - in Jesus Christ.  Cayce flat out states that Jesus was also the first Adam of the book of Genesis.

It is well known that the apostle Paul wrote of Adam as "a type of the one who was to come"  (Rom 5:14) and drew between Adam and Christ a parallel that was also a contrast:  "The first human Adam became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit." (1 Cor 15:45).  Christ is thus seen as the last Adam, the "one man" who by his obedience undoes the results of the disobedience of the first (Rom 5:12-21).  Jesus Christ recapitulated the stages of Adam's fall, but in reverse order and quality.  It is understandable how shocking this statement of Cayce's is to most fundamental Christians, that Jesus whom they have always believed to be sinless had been not only guilty of sin, but the very person who has been traditionally regarded as the author of sin on the human level.  However, Cayce in no way states that Jesus as the Christ was guilty of any sin of any kind.  At that stage of His personal and cosmic development His obedience was flawless, His relationship with God perfect.  In Cayce's words: "the perfect relationship to the Creative Forces or God, the Father - which the human Jesus attained when He gave of Himself to the world, that through Him, by and in Him, each entity might come to know the true relationship with the Father."

The Cayce readings, however, go on to speak of the singular appropriateness of Adam finally emerging as Jesus, the man, to become the Savior of the world, the Christ.  It must also be noted that sin did not begin with Adam, according to Cayce, but it had its origins in spiritual realms before even the creation of the earth.  We can therefore assume that this was Adam's redemptive intent all along, that is, to be Savior of the world.

The perception that Jesus had previous human incarnations did not originate with Edgar Cayce.  For example, the early Jewish Christian group known as the Ebionites taught that the Spirit had come as Adam and later reincarnated as Jesus.  Other Jewish Christian groups such as the Elkasaites and Nazarites also believed this.  The Clementine Homilies, an early Christian document, also taught many incarnations of Jesus.  

According to Cayce, the incarnations were as follows:  Adam, Enoch, Melchizedek, Joseph, Joshua, Jeshua  (the scribe chiefly responsible for forming the Hebrew Bible according to Cayce)  and finally Jesus.

How will Jesus come again?  The Cayce readings affirm the second coming of Jesus:   "He shall come as you have seen Him go, in the body He occupied in Galilee."  So Cayce expects a literal return in body from the sky in the same manner He departed.  Cayce often stated in his readings that  "the day of the Lord is indeed at hand".  When asked how soon the second coming will be Cayce responded:  "When those that are His have made the way clear, passable, for Him to come."

According to the Cayce readings, our solar system is a cycle of experiences for the soul.  It has nine dimensions, corresponding to the planets; they represent focal points for the dimensions, or environments in which the dimensions can express and materialize themselves - although materialization of each dimension is different.  The earth plane is the third dimension, and it is a sort of laboratory for the whole system, because only here is free will completely dominant.  This is also the only planet where three dimensional physical life exists.  On the other planes, souls exist in spirit form corresponding to that dimension.  On the other planes, or dimensions, some measure of control is kept over the soul to see that it learns the proper lessons.

The control is usually by the soul itself, if it has evolved sufficiently, because once the body of this dimension has been left and the consciousness of this life has been absorbed into the subconscious, the separation between the two is lifted.

The subconscious is the record of all the lives of the soul, in this system and in other systems, out among the stars.  It is the story of what we do with our spirit - the portion of God that is given to us for life, with the gift of individuality, or separate existence from God.  Our problem is to perfect our individuality, and then we return to God. Our spirit and soul, or individuality, are joined to Him.

Our astrological influences from the planets, or dimensions, we have inhabited will be good or bad, weak or strong, according to the experiences we have had there, and how we handled our problems.

For example, we react to the earth according to the manner in which we have handled the problems of earth in our other lives - brotherly love, material possessions, sex, food and drink.  Sometimes we are working on an earth problem to the exclusion of any influence from the stars or planets at all.

The stars represent soul patterns, not experiences. The twelve signs of the zodiac are twelve patterns from which the soul chooses when coming into the earth plane.  They are like races - patterns of temperament, personality, etc.

Astrology is mentioned all throughout the Bible.  People had believed in the stars in Biblical times.  Everyone knew the influence of the sun on the earth, and the sun was a star.  It certainly made a pattern, so far as life on earth was concerned  -  it shaped everything, or at least nourished everything - and the shape had to be such as to allow the sun to give life to it.  The other stars, the signs of the zodiac, for instance, influence people in subtler ways:  by making them bullish, or lionish, or airy, or introspective.  The afterlife planes, as represented by the planets, are old dwelling places of the soul.  They influence people when they come to a point of prominence in the sky just as a person who had once lived in a certain city would be influenced by reading of it, or meeting someone from the town, or by seeing photographs of it.

Take the moon, for instance.  It's influence is obvious on such things as the tides and the female cycle.  These things are observable because the moon was so close.  The word "lunatic" stems from "luna" meaning moon.   Law enforcement officials are well aware of the affect a full moon has on the crime rate.  The other planets are farther away, and the stars are far beyond them.  But their light comes to the earth, and they influence in some way the heart, or the brain, or the emotions.

One of the great astrological stories in the Bible is the story of the star of Bethlehem.  It is written that the star was a sign from God signaling the birth of the Messiah into the world.  The three Magi, Persian astrologer-kings, determined the time of this birth by the position of this star.  In 1600, Johannes Kepler hypothesized that this star was actually a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.  Confirmed by modern astrology, this symbolism ties in with the prophecies of that era concerning a Messiah amongst the Jews.  The conjunctions occurred at the end of Pisces, ruled by Jupiter. Jupiter is the planet of kings.  Saturn is the planet that rules the Jews, thereby giving the king of the Jews.  This was a very infrequent triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn and it occurred in the year 7 B.C.

Every 2160 years a different sign of the zodiac is in the position dominating earth.  It goes backward, and is therefore called a precession.   During the heyday of Egypt the sign of Taurus, the Bull, was in the commanding position.  So the people worshiped the bull.  But Taurus ruled only by reflection, as it were.   It was the overt sign.  The sun, actually in Scorpio, was shining across into Taurus.  So Scorpio, the real sign, the spiritual guide of the searht, appeared on the foreheads and staffs of the priests of the time.

We are now at the tail-end of the Age of Pisces, the fish (the Church Age) and will enter the Age of Aquarius (the Age of the Water-Bearer, Christ) around the year 2300 AD.  Christ was born as the last Lamb of the Age of Aries (the Ram) and the first Fish of sacrificial Pisces.  The two fish of Pisces show Christianity's split between spirit and matter.  The Equinox reached the first star of the second fish in 1817, and the rise of secular science in this year fulfills ancient predictions of "antichrist".  Jesus recruited fishermen as disciples to make them fishers of men.  He fed the masses with a miraculous draft of fishes. His followers were know as "pisciculi", the "little fishes".  The sign of the fish has been know the world over to be the sign of Christianity.

With the Age of Aquarius, after much earth upheavals, the true Water Bearer, the Christ Consciousness, the divine consciousness, will rule this planet.  The Christ Consciousness is the one who will bring Living waters to humanity that bring eternal life.   Many believe this Age will bring heaven on earth.  This is the time when the prophet says, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares".   Jesus said there will be wonders in the sun, moon, and stars signaling His return.  This is why it is wise to seek these signs in the heavens for guidance.

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