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Communicating with the Dead (Original)

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Sandra
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« Reply #300 on: January 20, 2008, 10:25:36 pm »

Pagan

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   posted 09-26-2005 10:05 PM                       
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Halloween Vampires and Ghosts
All Reflect Truths About Yin and Yang

Did you ever notice that really long lasting literary pieces or literary characters are often the embodiment of cultivation knowledge and theory? In fact, people don't usually recognize this, but that's actually the factor which accounts for their longevity.

Let's take a look at the myth of the vampire to understand this.

Everyone knows a bit about yin and yang. Yang stands for positive things such as sunshine, good fortune, energy, movement, kings, men, luck and so on. Yin stands for dark things, bad fortune, sickness, scary things, the moon, the night, females and so on.

So what about the vampire?

Guess what? He's the archetypal example of yin. After all, he's dead (yin), comes out at night (yin), lives in his own coffin (yin), can't stand sunshine (yang) yet needs blood (yang) to survive. He's invisible in mirrors (yin), cannot stand garlic (yang) or holy images (yang), and if you get rid of the head vampire (the source of yin), all the others fade away.

All right, what about the green hulk, who is popular in the movie theaters at present?

Well we know from Chinese medicine that getting angry involves the liver chi, which is green just like bile. Whenever people get angry they lose their heads as well. Put two and two together and you have a successful cartoon character, namely the Hulk. He's green like liver chi and when angry all his chi comes up and he gets powerfully strong.

Smash, smash, smash!

In JOURNEY TO THE WEST, which is a famous Chinese literary classic, most people don't know that the Monkey king stands for the sixth mind (discriminatory consciousness). The Pig stands for the six senses which always want to be fed (that's why he's always after food and women). The monk, Xuan Zang, is totally useless because he stands for the indeterminant alaya consciousness which is simply a receiving, not a doing consciousness. If you want more info on that, grab a copy of How to Measure and Deepen Your Spiritual Realization which has all sorts of goodies inside, just like this discussion.

Whenever Xuan Zang is riding on his horse, it means he's cultivating his breath and whenever anyone recites the correct mantra, the Monkey King is subdued because mantras calm the mind and keep it under control. It's all cultivation science! As to Chuang Tzu, most of his stories involve cultivation topics as well.

Now on to ghosts - why is it you never see their feet? Even pictures of ghosts in books rarely show their feet. Why?

As we've told you many times, it's very hard to open up the chi channels to the bottom of the feet. If you can do that you can even transform your hell karma. In fact, that's why medieval pictures of the devil represent him with a cloven foot. It all has to do with the chi not being able to reach the bottom of the feet because if it truly can, then your yang chi can arise. Yang chi, as you know, scares ghosts away because ghosts are yin. That's why they give you the willies and why you usually encounter them in the twilight (yin) hours, or at certain hours of the day when yin chi is strong. When people are sick and dying, their chi is quite yin and that's when they can start to see other spirits too. It all has to do with chi communication.

Which tells us that if you want to connect with higher spiritual beings, then cultivate and mantra!

Ghosts and spirits and sickness brings up the topic of hospitals.

Many people tell me they're quite sensitive and hate going to hospitals. Not just because of the smell of all those disinfectants, but because they just feel "ucky" due to all the yin chi. It feels like their chi is drained every time they visit friends who are sick.

Here's what Master Nan always tells people when visiting hospitals or places full of yin chi.

Open up your palm, and look at your left hand. Now take your thumb and touch the base of your third finger. Close your fingers over the thumb and while you're in the hospital, or in any place with energy sucking beings, keep the hand closed. They won't be able to see you or bother you if you do it.

Does it work?

I don't know but since it costs nothing to do and no one sees you doing it, then why not? There's always an esoteric reason behind things like this, and this one would presumably have protective characteristics due to the fact that the pressure of the thumb on that point would activate a certain chi mai and chi flow in the body to produce certain effects. That's the sort of thing martial artists and acupuncturist study.

Once my teacher showed me how to move my fingers in a certain way to open up a particular chakra and BAM! the result was instantaneous. You could even feel all the chi mai that were activated because of the strange finger positions. So that's the science behind the procedure. The idea of people exercising their tongue in order to help their hearts, since the two are connected, also falls into this realm of interconnections.

Many folks who are sensitive have said this closed fist procedure helps, so even if it were just a placebo rather than an esoteric factoid, why not? What's wrong with placebos if they produce the desired effect? I'd use any placebo if it "helps."

Think about it.

Now you already know that as you get more advanced in meditation, your chi changes. When your chi changes, you'll start to get more sensitive and notice that there's lots of sentient beings that live off human beings just as we live off animals. Many people notice these things in their dreams.

So what do you do inside your dreams when some thing is chasing or attacking you?

One word answer: MANTRA.

The yang power of a mantra is usually enough to scare any baddies away when they aren't just the psychological manifestation of a bad tummy and so forth. Mantras call the attention of protection deities to your plight and if you don't have the karma for it, away the baddies must go.

People who make it a habit to mantra usually find it easy to mantra in heir dreams when they get scared, so mantra is a very good cultivation practice. Actually, part of your reason for being here in this world is that you want to MANTRA anyway that lower level sentient beings get saved so that they can stop any evil ways and leave their unfortunate lower realm of existence. That's true mercy and merit making.

You want to help beings that come at you with a mind of greed or hate, not hurt them or destroy them. After all, most beings turn to evil ways when they have no other choice. You're not out to punish or destroy, otherwise the circle of karma will come back to you. You want to turn a yin situation into a yang situation so you want to help them with a mind of mercy. You want to help them and convert them. You want to transform the situation since you only encounter what you karmically merit.

As an aside, you shouldn't be scared of this sort of thing in the first place. Why? Because a virtuous life never attracts trouble. Whatever comes to you is always due to karma, so the key is learning how to TRANSFORM any situation that arises. That's what a Zen master does, he tries to transform hate into something positive. Playing in the dharma realm of "existence" is simply a matter of using the right wisdom and skillful means to transform things for the better. That's what it's all about.

As Master Nan also says, if you just associate with "good people" and people you like instead of also with demons and the baddies of the world, you'll have no one to teach by the time you become a Buddha. These guys need it the most, so they are the ones you have to save! Also, if you don't bother to save them, then who will? So as Ma Tse said, just throw an extra pound of these troubles on my shoulder for after all, they're not REAL anyway.

You can meet all sorts of sentient beings in the universe which are stronger than you and scarier looking than you, but actually there's never any reason to get scared. They're just doing what they do to make a living. Even if their appearance is quite startling (an apt Halloween topic for sure), on the topic of frightening appearances we have to adopt the cultivation mindset as well.

There's trillions, gadzillions of sentient beings in the universe and all of them just look different, not scary. Who's to actually say what's ugly, scary, frightening or beautiful? To a crow we look ugly and frightening; to us the crow looks ugly. Even Halle Berrie, as beautiful as she is, will scare away a pond fish if it catches a glimpse of her face. So just because sentient beings look different doesn't mean they're really ugly. That determination is a product of discriminative thought and the workings of the sensation skandha. In cultivation, that's something you have to detach from.

As another example, for the life of me I cannot say that one elephant looks prettier or is more handsome than another but I'm pretty sure they have their own way of differentiating. So who are we to judge?

Now "hungry ghosts," in particular it's reported, look unusually odd. Some have big stomachs and small mouths, others strange heads and bodies, and there are all sorts of deviations because they are suffering from bad karma. If you ever hear them speak it sounds like doves cooing.

Here's what you can do to help them if you want to be a real Buddha and gain lots of merit at the same time.

First, RECITE the Diamond Sutra for them. Recite any sutra for them because it does indeed help. Prayers show concern, but sutras can affect a transformation in their minds and thus fortunes. Their bodies, since they are made of chi, can change in an instant due to pure thoughts, so if they learn something through the sutra they hear, they can often leave their lower state and transmigrate in an instant. Plenty of people have dreams where some spirit asks them to help it and after reciting a sutra so that the being catches some understanding of emptiness, they can let go of their lower state and move ahead.

That's being a real Buddha or Bodhisattva.

Second thing you can do is MANTRA for them. The Zhunti mantra, Amitofo mantra, Hell Buddha and Kuan Yin mantra are great. The Catholic idea of saying prayers for those in purgatory is exactly this idea.

Last, MAKE OFFERINGS.

Every night you should take a few grains of rice (or vegetarian food) and some water and bless them, mantra over them and offer them to sentient beings. You pray that this food is blessed and purified through the power of the Buddhas, and that it thereby can reach and feed the hungry ghosts who are permitted to consume it. Also, dedicate the merit to your parents and others you may feel you owe, such as the Buddhas. After you bless the food, put it outside or on a window sill -- some place that becomes a habitual spot the hungry ghosts can visit. Don't worry about how they can get to it ... they have their ways.

You can make up your own little hungry ghost blessing to do this if someone hasn't taught you (see the PLUM VILLAGE CHANTING AND RECITATION BOOK for the larger ceremony), but you SHOULD do this every night. Just a few bits of VEGETARIAN food and water offered to lower sentient beings to help them out.

Everyone wants help from Buddhas and other higher beings for all sorts of projects and situations, but we never ask what we can do for those in more unfortunate situations than us. Here's your chance and it doesn't even cost you anything! A low energy, no cost way to actually be a Buddha for other sentient beings and make a difference. My teacher does this every night religiously, despite his high stage of attainment, and I can attest to its results. If you feed these sentient beings, you'll not only help them but they'll help you. But don't go at this with the idea of getting something in return. After all, it is an OFFERING, not an investment.

It only takes me a few minutes to do this every evening, like brushing your teeth which you do without thinking about it, and Master Nan actively encourages everyone to do this as it's a way to pay off sentient beings you may owe and gain tremendous merit in the process. As Taoism says, you need at least 3000 good deeds to become an immortal, so we need all the merit we can get.

In Buddha's time a blind monk asked for someone to thread his needle and he was shocked that Shakyamuni did it himself. Shakyamuni explained that despite his advanced stage of attainment, he was always greedy to accumulate merit, even the merit from something as small as threading a needle for a blind man. So you should always be greedy to accumulate merit.

That's a good lesson.

It's hard to be a Buddha for other human beings, but easy to be a Buddha for animals and ghosts and others down the ladder, so don't miss the nightly chance to do this and pay off your debts. It's very hard to accumulate merit but this is a cost free way - even spitting in the desert and praying that the water can help hungry ghosts will do exactly that, so please cultivate the mind of mercy and discipline to do this.

The scary thing is not the ghosts and ghouls and demons that parade in front of us, but our own demonic minds of anger, greed and hate and that we don't seize any chances to accumulate the merit nor clean our minds so that the lower pathways are closed off to us.






Meditation Home Meditation Articles Measuring Meditation Change Your Fortune

Copyright (c) 2005 William Bodri
All Rights Reserved in All Media

This article can be freely copied, reprinted or transmitted in any form without request
as long as credit is given to the author William Bodri and the originating site http://www.meditationexpert.com.

http://www.meditationexpert.com/Articles/HalloweenGhosts.htm

[ 09-26-2005, 10:13 PM: Message edited by: Pagan ]

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« Reply #301 on: January 20, 2008, 10:26:56 pm »

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   posted 09-26-2005 10:16 PM                       
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Guidelines for Ghost Hunters
by Fiona Broome and the Hollow Hill staff ©2005


No one can enforce rules upon independent ghost hunters. For that same reason, Hollow Hill cannot assume responsibility (or credit) for what happens during ghost hunts.
Also, remember that the media often portrays ghosts and hauntings as something more dangerous and spectacular than they actually are. In fact, it's usually the small and subtle things which will startle you.

For example, it's not the eerie moaning noises which will raise the hairs on the back of your neck, but the fact that the surroundings are far too quiet.

Never use movies or TV shows as guidelines for your encounters with the paranormal.

Here are our strongest recommendations:

1. Above all, use your common sense.

2. Never go ghost hunting alone. Hunt with at least one companion.

3. Verify location, accessibility, safety, and related issues ahead of time. Check each site during daytime hours to identify parking, paths, and hazards.

4. Wear suitable clothing, including sturdy footwear. Carry a working flashlight, even during daytime ghost hunts. Do not drink or use drugs before or during a ghost hunt.

5. Never trespass on private or posted property, without specific permission from the owners or authorities.

6. Leave immediately and cheerfully if the police or owners ask you to, even if the property is not posted. Provide photo ID if the police ask.

7. If you become unreasonably frightened, leave. Always follow your gut instinct if you are prompted to leave.

8. Remember, you have more to fear from the living than from the dead. Haunted sites are often isolated and deserted. That makes these sites attractive to people engaged in illegal activities. Use caution and common sense.

9. As your mother taught you, never speak ill of the dead. Avoid sarcasm and jokes in haunted settings. Sometimes, the spirits "get even."

10. Ghosts do not follow you home. If you are frightened and leave a haunted location, the spirits generally do not go with you and they cannot affect your thoughts.

11. If you are troubled by unwanted thoughts after leaving a haunted location, relax. Eat some comfort food. Watch a happy movie or TV show. Talk it out with a skeptical friend. Spend some time in a church. If the unwanted thoughts persist, see a professional.

12. Ouija boards are not inherently evil. The biggest problem with them is that you don't know who or what is directing the platen, and if the entity is lying. We don't rely upon them during investigations.

13. Never rely upon cellular phones in haunted settings. Often, they won't work. Step across the street and the phone usually resumes power/range.

14. Remember that you are visiting a location that a ghost considers "home." Behave politely as you would in someone else's home.

15. Ghosts do not "possess" people without their consent. If someone or something seems to be taking control, tell it to stop. Think rude thoughts at it, and generally picture yourself as a bigger bully than the spirit is. This does work in most cases. If you--or someone you know--seems "possessed," consult a professional and/or a member of the clergy. It may not be a ghost.

16. Generally, you cannot help a ghost. You can advise them to move on, but don't waste more than about ten minutes discussing this. If you aren't making any progress, it's best to leave that kind of work to a professional. Most ghosts are tied to their earthly locations because they want to change something that happened in the past.

You can't change the past, and most ghosts aren't really interested in anything else.

And frankly, some ghosts just like attention. Don't take their ploys seriously.

17. There are no documented cases of someone being seriously physically harmed by a ghost. If you're worried about this sort of thing, choose a different hobby. Ghost hunting should be fun.

18. It is reasonable to reimburse someone for their time and expenses, if you accompany them on a ghost hunt. However, if someone is charging you money as if they're providing a show... perhaps they are. Caveat emptor.

If you disagree with these guidelines, we urge you to create your own website and offer alternative opinions.

Other people may be frightened by shadows, or take risks that we avoid. We choose not to. We're simply looking for scientific evidence to explain what happens in "haunted" settings. We pursue this for fun, and to satisfy our intellectual curiosity.


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Hollow Hill is a ghost information site; our information is only as reliable as readers' reports.
We assume no credit for your adventures, and accept no liability for your misadventures.
Use common sense. Read our ghost hunting recommendations. Before visiting any "haunted" site, verify the location, accessibility, safety, and other important information.
Never trespass on private and/or posted property without permission from the authorities.

All photos and text at Hollow Hill are copyrighted by the authors:
Fiona Broome, Eibhlin Morey MacIntosh, and staff.


http://www.hollowhill.com/rules.htm


Children and Ghosts
by Tina (Tarianna@theshadowlands.net)
The existense of ghosts has been debated for centuries. It is only in modern times with technology having advanced to it's current stage that we may now capture on film and audio what many believe to be images of the supernatural. The questions of why some can and yet others cannot see or sense the presense of these entities has been contested with numerous theories both for and against the subject of spirits. One such cause for speculation is do our children see and sense what many adults either cannot or will not see?
One theory is that children have not had years to adjust their thinking and have not had the time to train themselves as to what to accept or not accept as reality like adults have. Adults program their thinking and consequently refuse certain images, noises, and feeling as real simply
because in our minds we cannot accept impossible or unproven science.
Some parents unknowingly start to teach and train their children at a very young age to block these images. They do it out of protection and misunderstanding of the situation. How many parents have tucked their little ones back into bed with the words that they thought were reassuring; there are no such things as ghosts, you just had a bad dream, it wasn't real, it
was just your imagination? I think most parents are guilty of this including myself. How many parents are guilty of telling their children that their imaginary friend is not real, maybe not realizing that not only is that friend real but a ghost? I am sure it has happened before. Do you ever wonder if any of those bad dreams, those images seen in the night, those imaginary friends how many may actually be ghosts that for whatever reason have shown themselves to a child?
When we tell our children it was just a bad dream we may inadvertently teaching them to mistrust what they may have actually be seeing. Eventually training themselves to block what they have been taught cannot be real. Where as the opposite side of this theory; the parent who teaches their children that sometimes for whatever reason, a spirit may linger after death,
is leaving a space in that child to be able to accept the vision, the noise or the feeling of the supernatural. Could this be why some people are able to accept the supernatural with an open mind and yet others cannot? Does the door get shut at childhood or can it remain open? This is just one of the may theories used to explain why children see more of the supernatural world
then adults do. Comments are indeed welcome!



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http://theshadowlands.net/ghost/children.htm

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« Reply #302 on: January 20, 2008, 10:27:47 pm »

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   posted 09-26-2005 10:21 PM                       
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I REALLY like this one, it comes from a "krishna" website:

Ghosts and Spirits Are Real!




Web Krishna.org

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When a man dies, he is called dead, but when he again appears in a subtle form not visible to our present vision and yet acts, such a dead body is called a ghost. Ghosts are always very bad elements, always creating a fearful situation for others. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (05-10-05)

It is practically experienced. I know that the ghost, if you go in a house ghostly haunted, if you chant Hare Krsna mantra, they'll go away. They cannot tolerate. In my life there was several incidences like that. In my household life, I was doing business in Lucknow. So there was one house, very big house, worth thousands of rupees' rent, but it was ghostly haunted. So nobody would take that house. I took it at two hundred rupees, (laughter) and very big house. And I was... All the servants, they complained, "Sir, there is ghost." So I was chanting. He was living in several spots, especially on the gate side. So I could understand, but I would chant Hare Krsna, and I was saved. Everyone was saved. There was... And, say, in 1969 I was guest in the house of John Lennon in London. So there was a ghost in... It was a big plot. There was a guest house. So they complained, "Sir, here is ghost." So I advised them to chant Hare Krsna, and the ghost went away. Yes. This is fact. When there is Hare Krsna chanting, these ghostly, demonic living entities, they'll not be able to stay there. They'll go away. [750203BG.HAW]

Those who are very sinful and attached to their family, house, village or country do not receive a gross body made of material elements but remain in a subtle body, composed of mind, ego and intelligence. Those who live in such subtle bodies are called ghosts. This ghostly position is very painful because a ghost has intelligence, mind and ego and wants to enjoy material life, but because he doesn't have a gross material body, he can only create disturbances for want of material satisfaction. It is the duty of family members, especially the son, to offer oblations to the demigod Aryama or to Lord Visnu. From time immemorial in India the son of a dead man goes to Gaya and, at a Visnu temple there, offers oblations for the benefit of his ghostly father. It is not that everyone's father becomes a ghost, but the oblations of pinda are offered to the lotus feet of Lord Visnu so that if a family member happens to become a ghost, he will be favored with a gross body. However, if one is habituated to taking the prasada of Lord Visnu, there is no chance of his becoming a ghost or anything lower than a human being. In Vedic civilization there is a performance called sraddha by which food is offered with faith and devotion. If one offers oblations with faith and devotion--either to the lotus feet of Lord Visnu or to His representative in Pitrloka, Aryama--one's forefathers will attain material bodies to enjoy whatever material enjoyment is due them. In other words, they do not have to become ghosts. [SB 4.18.18]

The word eka-pada, "one-legged," refers to ghosts, for it is said that ghosts walk on one leg. [SB 4.29.2]

Because of his desire to enjoy the material world, the living entity is dressed with the material gross and subtle bodies. Thus he is given a chance to enjoy the senses. The senses are therefore the instruments for enjoying the material world; consequently the senses have been described as friends. Sometimes, because of too much sinful activity, the living entity does not get a material gross body, but hovers on the subtle platform. This is called ghostly life. Because of his not possessing a gross body, he creates a great deal of trouble in his subtle body. Thus the presence of a ghost is horrible for those who are living in the gross body. [SB 4.29.6]

Sometimes the living entity is forced to give up his body and enter another one according to the judgment of Yamaraja. It is difficult, however, for the conditioned soul to enter another body unless the present dead body is annihilated through cremation or some other means. The living being has attachment for the present body and does not want to enter another, and thus in the interim he remains a ghost. If a living being who has already left his body has been pious, Yamaraja, just to give him relief, will give him another body. Since the living being in the body of the King had some attachment to his body, he was hovering as a ghost, and therefore Yamaraja, as a special consideration, approached the lamenting relatives to instruct them personally. Yamaraja approached them as a child because a child is not restricted but is granted admittance anywhere, even to the palace of a king. Besides this, the child was speaking philosophy. People are very much interested in hearing philosophy when it is spoken by a child. [SB 7.2.36]

After giving up the body, one is transferred to another body, but sometimes, if one is too sinful, he is checked from transmigrating to another body, and thus he becomes a ghost. To save a diseased person from ghostly life, the funeral ceremony, or sraddha ceremony, as prescribed in authorized sastra, must be performed. Ravana was killed by Lord Ramacandra and was destined for hellish life, but by Lord Ramacandra's advice, Vibhisana, Ravana's brother, performed all the duties prescribed in relation to the dead. Thus Lord Ramacandra was kind to Ravana even after Ravana's death. [SB 9.10.29]

We have heard of people's being haunted by ghosts. Having no gross material body, a ghost seeks shelter of a gross body to stay in and haunt. The Sakatasura was a ghost who had taken shelter of the handcart and was looking for the opportunity to do mischief to Krsna. When Krsna kicked the cart with His small and very delicate legs, the ghost was immediately pushed down to the earth and his shelter dismantled, as already described. This was possible for Krsna because He has full potency. [SB 10.7.9]

If a man becomes disappointed and he cuts his own throat or hangs himself, some way or other, eats some poison, to finish, does it mean that he is finished? Na hanyate hanyamane sarire. He is rascal. He does not know. By finishing this body he is finished--no, that is not possible. The result is, because he violated the rules of nature, he becomes a ghost. That is his life. One who commits suicide, he becomes a ghost. Ghost means he does not get this material body. He remains in the subtle body, mind, intelligence. Therefore ghost can go because he is in the mind. Mind speed is very strong. If you have got this material body, you cannot go immediately hundred miles off. But if you are in the mental body, you can go immediately, thousand miles immediately, within a second. So the ghost, they can play something wonderful because... But they are not happy because they have no gross body. They want to enjoy. He's materialist. He has committed suicide for some material want. So he is want of material..., fulfilling material desire. He could not fulfill in this body; therefore commits suicide, but the desire is there. The desire is there, and he cannot fulfill it. He becomes perplexed. Therefore the ghost create disturbance sometimes.

You mention ghosts. So far I have experience, the best way to remove them is to chant Hare Krishna very loudly and have jubilant kirtana until they leave. In England, on Mr. John Lennon's house where I was staying in 1969, there was one ghost. But as soon as the devotees began chanting very loudly, he went away immediately. [71-12-03]


His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Send this story to a friend This story URL: http://society.krishna.org/Articles/2000/11/00195.html

http://society.krishna.org/Articles/2000/11/00195.html

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« Reply #303 on: January 20, 2008, 10:28:26 pm »

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   posted 10-17-2005 09:46 PM                       
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Academia Embraces Spooky Studies


By Randy Dotinga | Also by this reporter

02:00 AM Oct. 11, 2005 PT


At the University of Arizona, a psychology laboratory devotes its time to investigating "dynamic info-energy systems" and a "survival of consciousness hypothesis." University of Virginia cardiologists have been studying whether heart patients enter "transcendental environments" in the operating room. Meanwhile, a psychiatrist colleague compiles records of alleged "transmigration" events from around the world.

Sure, plenty of scientists throughout history tried to uncover the mystery of life after death, from Aristotle to Thomas Edison, who took time off from activities like electrocuting an elephant to contemplate a megaphone for the dead. But current-day afterlife research? At accredited institutions of higher learning? Who knew?

Science journalist Mary Roach, author of the new book Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, said that institutions are looking at the debate over the existence of the afterlife and declaring, "'We can study it, we can apply principles of peer-reviewed research, we can do it.' People say, 'Yes, we can figure it out.'"

Roach is a natural-born skeptic based in Oakland, California. She became interested in soul science while writing her best-selling 2003 book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, in which she briefly touched on the bizarre story of Dr. Duncan MacDougall, the New England doctor whose findings were immortalized in the title of the 2003 Benicio del Toro movie 21 Grams.

MacDougall assumed the soul has mass, and figured he could measure it by putting a dying consumption patient on a scale. At death, the weight of the soul would presumably leave the dearly departed's body; in one experiment on a dying man, 21 grams seemed to vanish, joining the patient's dignity in the ether somewhere.

Roach loved this turn-of-the-century example of "American can-do spirit," even though MacDougall's work was discredited and he's now known as a bit of a nutball. So Roach set out to chronicle the history of afterlife research and the related field of afterlife-research debunking. Among other things, she made forays into topics like "vaginally extruded" ectoplasm (don't ask) and how infrasound might explain ghostly visions.

Nowadays, the study of the afterlife is a fringe subject in academia, Roach said. "There's very little of it going on," she said. "It's hard to get funding for legitimate research these days, and you can imagine (the struggle for) something as seemingly frivolous as parapsychology."

Even so, your taxpayer dollars -- and a private grant or two -- are supporting paranormal studies. "There are people who think it's outrageous that money is being spent on such a stupid topic, and others that feel like it's an important question that medicine or psychology should address," Roach said.

At the University of Arizona, for example, researchers at the innocuously named Human Energy Systems Laboratory -- with a total annual budget of about $500,000 -- have been busy asking psychics to pose questions to dead people. One subject was Allison DuBois, who inspired the NBC show Medium. The center is also looking into topics like "energy healing" and "non-contact therapeutic touch."

http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,69086,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

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« Reply #304 on: January 20, 2008, 10:29:25 pm »

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Academia Embraces Spooky Studies

By Randy Dotinga |

02:00 AM Oct. 11, 2005 PT

"Our work is in three areas: The first is really controversial, the second is very controversial and the third is super controversial," said psychology professor Gary Schwartz, the center's director.

In that third category is Schwartz's new medium-by-e-mail project, which is now recruiting psychics. Researchers will talk to relatives of the dead and then e-mail questions about the deceased to mediums. According to Schwartz, the mediums won't know any details about the dead person other than his or her name. (Perhaps the world of the dead has its own handy 411 service?)

For example, a medium might get e-mailed questions from "Jim" about his dead wife "Abigail" and from "David" about his dead wife "Victoria." The questions, according to Schwartz, will be along the lines of, "What did Abigail look like?" and "What did Abigail die of?"

If Jim looks at the two sets of answers -- without knowing who's who -- and picks those about his wife, that will be a sign that the medium may be onto something, especially if similar experiments beat the odds.

The University of Virginia's Division of Personality Studies is another hotbed of afterlife inquiry. It's home to both near-death studies (why do people have visions on the operating table?) and a researcher who compiles reports of children who talk about their past lives.

Have these researchers actually found anything to suggest the existence of a soul or afterlife? Schwartz said his research with about 20 mediums proves that some do indeed have a connection to the dead, or at least a way to glean details about them.

"Some mediums get information, and it's not fraud, it's not cold reading, it's not through any conventional mechanisms," said Schwartz, who's written a new book tied to NBC's Medium.

Nonsense, scoffs über-debunker Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptical Inquirer magazine and a Scientific American columnist. He thinks paranormal studies are a failure.

"After a century and a quarter of serious scientific research without any reliable, consistent, repeatable positive results, what's the point of continuing to spend money, energy and research time on the subject?" he asked. "If they haven't found something by now, they're probably not going to."

After traveling from India to England in search of everything from ghost hunters to reincarnation trackers, Roach has her own thoughts on the matter of paranormal research. She was taken aback a couple times, especially during a personal encounter with DuBois, the Medium medium. And she's intrigued by near-death research that suggests there may actually be something to patient visions.

Despite those glimmers of something concrete, Roach reports being "profoundly disappointed" that paranormal research isn't more convincing. Still, "I'm more open to the possibility that we haven't figured it all out," she said. "Science doesn't necessarily have all the answers."

http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,69086-2,00.html?tw=wn_story_page_next1

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Edgar Cayce and Reincarnation: Past Life Readings as Religious Symbology

J. Gordon Melton

J. Gordon Melton is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books on New Religious Movements (NRM's), and is the editor of several standard reference works including the Encyclopedia of American Religions. Dr. Melton heads the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, and is frequently approached by the media for his perspective on alternative religious movements. He earned his Ph.D. in religion from Northwestern University, and is a United Methodist minister. This article originally appeared in Syzygy: Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture (vol. 3 no. 1-2, 1994), and is based on a paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion at Virginia Beach, Virginia on Nov. 9-11, 1990.


When Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) died, he left behind a unique resource, complete transcripts of over 1600 readings he had given in the last decades of his life to the hundreds of people who came to him for help and advice. Subsequently, under the leadership of his son Hugh Lynn Cayce, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) and the Edgar Cayce Foundation mobilized thousands of people to explore and study the transcripts which were cross-indexed and proved the inspiration for numerous books which have attempted systematically to present the information and teachings scattered in bits and pieces haphazardly through the readings. Thus by compiling the many life readings on Atlantis, ARE writers developed a coherent picture of what Cayce taught about that lost continent.

In more recent years, the publication and spread of the Cayce literature became a major factor in the emergence of what is loosely termed the New Age Movement. For example, one can trace the speculation on crystal power which has emerged as such a prominent teaching among New Age groups directly to the compilation into a booklet of Cayce's rather meager and scattered references to crystals in the readings.

Among the major themes in the readings are several other key New Age concerns including alternative health (possibly the most explored material in the Cayce readings), astrology (the least explored in relation to the significant amount of attention Cayce devoted to it), and reincarnation. Reincarnation, as developed in the hundreds of past-life readings given by Cayce, could be seen as the single most prominent concern of the Cayce materials. For over thirty years, Cayce went into trance and offered people information on "previous lives lived in planet earth" while interpreting their significance for present existence. These life readings, along with readings which specifically asked for elaboration on the material given in the life readings, presented a cosmic metaphysics which many have accepted and used for guidance in their lives. (1) The importance of the reincarnation theme in the Cayce readings has taken on added dimensions in this present generation with over 20 percent of the American public now professing a belief in reincarnation.

The emergence of reincarnation and Cayce's past life readings

The idea of reincarnation and the possibility of exploring past lives did not just suddenly emerge in the Cayce readings. Cayce demonstrated his psychic talents on many occasions and had gained some reputation nationally. That fame brought Arthur Lammers to his door. Lammers, a wealthy printer from Dayton, Ohio, walked into Cayce's Selma, Alabama studio in 1921. He is described by Cayce biographers as a man interested in and a deep student of metaphysics, the occult, esoteric astrology, and Eastern religion. Tibet, Theosophy, and the Great White Brotherhood were his intellectual playground. Initially, Lammers questioned Cayce about these matters only to handle the skepticism of the Bible-believing Christian that Cayce then was.

In November 1923, Lammers paid for Cayce to come from Selma to Dayton, Ohio, along with his wife Gertrude. Lammers supplied a stenographer while Cayce gave two readings a day for a week. It was at the end of the third of these readings that the famous quote concerning Lammers appeared: "Third appearance on this plane--He was a monk." In between readings there were extensive conversations on Lammers' favorite subjects. The final reading consisted of three life readings (the first of many that Cayce would later give)--for Lammers, Cayce and a third participant. As a result of the readings and conversations with Lammers, Cayce became quite familiar with the Theosophical cosmology which began to fit conveniently into his other psychic work. Beginning during the week in Dayton, the role of past lives assumed an ever-increasing prominence in Cayce's psychic work and his readings, often under the questioning of those present when he went into trance, enlarged upon themes first mentioned in the past life readings.

Researching the Cayce material

While encouraging this vast amount of writing concerning the Cayce readings, the ARE has offered little encouragement to what might be termed scholarly treatments of Cayce and his readings. The material remains virgin territory to the intellectual historian ready to discover the many elements of metaphysical/occult thought which Cayce, largely unknowingly, synthesized into the teachings now lodged within the readings. We are completely lacking data of a social scientific nature. Sociologists have neither collected data on the current membership of the ARE or attempted to use the tools of the social sciences in examining the highly quantifiable material Cayce left behind. The motivation to examine critically the Cayce readings is provided both by the extraordinary claims made by the ARE leadership for Cayce's abilities, as well as the continuing popularity of Cayce's teachings.

Also, while much of the Cayce material is purely metaphysical speculation and hence primarily a matter of faith, the readings do make a number of claims concerning many points of prehistory and medical advice which are subject to at least some level of independent verification. Reincarnation is an area in which the metaphysical assertions and the more mundane verifiable claims overlap. Thus individuals may adhere to the basically Theosophical worldview of the readings on purely philosophical grounds (primarily a solution to the problem of evil in the concept of karma). However, many ARE members were initially attracted to the readings and now support their acceptance of the metaphysical perspective because of the claims of the confirmed accuracy of the more mundane material in the readings concerning historical events or medical advice, only a miniscule part of which have ever been subjected to critical scholarly scrutiny.

One major discouragement to scholarly research is the very bulk of the Cayce records, which consist of the verbatim transcripts from several decades of readings. To make sense of the records a substantial number would have to be read and analyzed.

The ARE has, to be sure, conducted some important research as attempts to gain some external validation of the teachings. Researchers have asked how the Cayce material conforms to independently verifiable data from other areas of knowledge. Such attempts follow closely the pattern set in The Search For Bridey Murphy as attempts were made to track down the truth of Bridey Murphy's previous existence and gather any information about her life in Ireland. (2) Parallel research with the Cayce material has centered upon information gleaned from the life readings, especially claims about Atlantis and the Holy Land in the time of Jesus. One researcher, following the Bridey Murphy pattern, tracked the evidence of a possible return of nineteenth-century feminist / prohibitionist Frances Willard. (3)

Attempts to verify the Cayce material in this manner have always followed a fairly consistent pattern. Much general data has a high correlation, while specific data is neither falsifiable nor verifiable due to lack of records. (Such proved true in Bridey Murphy's case also.) (4) Such a lack of specifics is most evident in the Atlantis material. No single relic of Atlantis exists, though it remains a speculative possibility. There is no record of one Ra Ta, a priest of Egypt and a major recurring character in the Cayce life readings, yet there is also no list of Egyptian priests to check it against. The evidence is consistently inconclusive.

Research has also sought to highlight discovered patterns of internal consistency within the Cayce readings. Does it present an internal wholeness in its philosophy and content, which in spite of its speculative nature is a reasonable and satisfying approach to life? The philosophy and worldview found in the readings and articulated through ARE literature has proved satisfactory to many but, for those who lack a previous interest in Theosophical or Eastern worldviews, is of no particular interest. After all, numerous other psychics have "channeled" a consistent workable speculative cosmology and ethic. The metaphysical speculations become interesting primarily because of the independently-verifiable material on such topics as healing, Atlantis, and past lives.

A variety of ways could be suggested to test the Cayce material. However, in spite of its name, with a few rare exceptions the Association for Research and Enlightenment has demonstrated little interest in, and on occasion even discouraged, "research" in the commonly-understood sense of that term. Rather it has behaved in ways more consistent with what we generally think of as a "religious" organization. It has devoted its energies to evangelical (spreading the teachings of Edgar Cayce), organizational (recruiting individuals into study groups), and educational activities (through seminars emphasizing the spiritual, metaphysical and practical life-situation implications of the teachings). It has even encouraged several major apologetic volumes to handle the problem of those incidents in which Cayce 's psychic abilities undeniably failed him. (5)

Understanding Cayce essentially as a religious teacher (and mythmaker), and the Association for Research and Enlightenment as a religious body, suggests a way to move beyond a mere exposition of Cayce's teachings, and at the same time resolve some of the problems in the readings which arise as soon as they are taken literally as presenting either historical or scientific information. Thus laying aside for the moment the immediate question of the factual nature of Cayce's assertions concerning, for example, ancient history or modern medicine, this paper focuses upon the elements of the readings which have emerged as religious symbols and attempts to suggest to manner in which these symbols function.

The great majority of Cayce's readings were for individuals and included (besides an astrological reading) the delineation of (usually) four past lives, each of which was having some karmic effect in the present. As one begins to read a sample of the life readings it is soon evident that the number of different settings of the past lives presented in Cayce is relatively small. That is, in giving readings to his clients, Cayce chose from a limited number of points in time and places in the world--what I have termed a time-culture slot. Further reading reveals not only a repetition of particular time-culture slots, but of actual content, so that after a cursory reading of several past-life accounts one could begin to predict the content. When a person is told that s/he once lived in, for example, ancient Rome, the reader would know immediately what effect that life will have on the person presently. The time-culture slots function as basic symbols to carry the message of the readings.

The high level of repetition in the life readings makes them ideal subjects for a quantitative approach, and quantifying elements of the readings proved immensely useful in uncovering the underlying patterns within the readings and thus revealing some of the symbology employed by Cayce. The quantifying effort began with a count of the total number of past incarnations discussed in the Cayce transcripts and then a selection of a smaller sample for closer scrutiny.

Patterns--the basic data

The ARE's efforts to cross-index the Cayce readings greatly assisted in the process of dealing with the material in a quantitative way. Figure 1 is a table of incarnations. (6) It shows the locations of all the incarnations noted in the life readings. (Column B shows the number of incarnations in the life readings numbered 1400 to 1599, which were used as a representative sample.)

Figure 1


Egypt
America

(Settler)
(Revolution)
(Other)

Persia
Atlantis
New Testament
Old Testament

(Ezra)
(Nebuchadnezzar)
(Other)

Rome
England
France
Greece
Crusades
India
Peru
Gobi
Scandanavia
Troy
German
Yucatan
Spain
All Others
_________
Total Total

1300 +
1200 +


600 +
500 +
500 +
400 +


400 +
300 +
250 +
250 +
139
97
79
73
74
52
52
41
34
173
_______
6517 Sample

60
64

(31)
(19)
(14)

31
19
36
19

(9)
(3)
(7)

16
13
23
8
14
2
0
9
3
0
1
4
1
5
______
316


The figures were taken from the index card file at the ARE Library. Those numbers below 150 are exact counts. Those above 150 are approximations made by measuring the thickness of the index cards. They are not exact but close enough for this study.

By time-culture slot is meant the particular place and moment in time and history that an incarnation takes place. Cayce's readings show an extremely limited number of time-culture slots. For example the largest number of incarnations are listed for Egypt, but they do not cover Egypt's whole history. They are limited to the Egypt during the time Ra Ta was the main priest. The second entry shows a slight variation in the time-culture slot in that these incarnations vary over America's pre-colonial history, but always represent the incarnated person as a settler. The remaining time-culture slots are presented in descending order: Persia during the time of Uhjldt, etc.

There was one difficulty in quantifying the material, in that some countries are mentioned only in connection with another country. Thus, Peru and the Yucatan are significant as locations for incarnation only as places to which Atlanteans migrated when their home was destroyed. Some Grecian incarnations relate to Uhjldt's rule in Persia. Thus, a mere fifteen time-culture slots account for approximately 90 percent of all the incarnations which Cayce recounted. Also of note, Cayce asserted that the most recent incarnation mentioned of each sitter was, in almost all cases in which it was mentioned, in America.

The basic symbols of the life readings are the time-culture slots which provide the settings for the particular incarnation and message that incarnation was said to contain. As shall be seen, the variety of messages given in relation to a time-culture slot is also equally limited.

The sample

The task of covering the life readings of over 1600 individuals would be a monumental one, both statistically and in terms of the time consumed in study. The possibility of giving statistical consideration to the whole of the material is open only to someone who is capable of a lengthy stay at Virginia Beach, which has not been possible for this author.

In lieu of a general survey, a more modest project was conceived. A representative sample consisting of all life readings between # 1400 and # 1599 was selected to be quantified. Singled out for special consideration were the Atlantean and Egyptian incarnations.

Results of this survey indicate that the sample followed the overall pattern of the readings' incarnations. It was from these incarnations that some of the patterns in Figure 1 emerged. First, American incarnations were discovered to be divided three ways: those identified as settlers in some part of colonial America, those who took part in the Revolutionary War, and others who include a number involved in either the Gold Rush of 1849 or the New England witchcraft trials. Secondly, the Old Testament references are primarily from two eras, the time in which Ezra and Nehemiah rebuilt the Wall of Jerusalem and the time of Nebuchadnezzar.

Noticeably absent from the life readings are references to incarnations outside of the mainstream of Western cultural history (less than 100 out of 6,516) including neglect of Africa south of the Sahara, China, Russia and Latin America.

Since the vocation followed during the past incarnations was a noticeable, consistent bit of information in the life readings, it was singled out as an item of interest. Because the largest number came from the Ra Ta period of Egypt, and because of the paucity of published material on this era, it was used as an illustration.

The general picture of Egypt presented in the readings is of a time of a civil war in which the pharoah's brother revolted but was defeated. Egypt was the recipient of immigrants from Atlantis. Much of the real power was in the hands of Ra Ta the high priest (Edgar Cayce in a former life) who ran the Temple Beautiful and the Temple of Sacrifice. Ra Ta attempted to "organize religious practices and bring the people to the idea of the one creative principle through the symbology of the sun and the continuance of individual life." (Cool Of the people who supposedly survived from this era to seek a Cayce reading, they roughly fall into three categories as pictured below in Figure 2.

Figure 2


Ra Ta Incarnations

Total in sample

King's household
(Prince/princess)

Temple
(Priestess)

Other
(Hospital)
(Granaries) Number

60

20
(6)

23
(4)

14
(4)
(3) Percentage


33 %
(10 %)

38 %
(6 %)

23 %
(6 %)
(5 %)


The sample indicates that over three-fourths of these incarnations were either of the king's household, ruling officials and royalty, or temple workers. Of the remaining 23 percent two occupations, hospital work and being in charge of granaries took up half. In the relatively small sample three people are designated as the ruler over the granaries. (9) The designated vocation also served as a symbol and people with the same vocations were given essentially the same information. For example, people who were told that they were priests in their Egyptian incarnation would also be told that they had educational abilities and would find present happiness in an activity that included instructing others.

Beyond the general vocational patterns, a more important pattern of repetition occurs when two individuals are given the same exact reading. This happened more than once. Just in the representative sample three different men were told that they were the ruler of the granaries in Ra Ta's Egypt. (No count is available as to how many other times this happened.) Significantly, in several occasions two people were specifically identified as a particular person. The subject of reading # 1432 was identified as the woman taken in adultery in the famous biblical story. # 295 was also identified as this personage. Two different people were identified as the central figure in the biblical story of the rich young ruler (# 2677 and # 1416). These patterns indicate the symbolic nature of the material in the life readings.

Further illustration of vocational material came from the most publicized segment of incarnations, those concerned with Atlantis. To give added information, all references in chapter three of the popular book Edgar Cayce on Atlantis were added to the sample. A picture of Atlantis according to Cayce can be found in this book. These incarnations are listed in Figure 3.

Figure 3

Total number of Atlantean incarnations--500+


Total in samples

Prince(ss) and ruler

Priest or temple official

Technicial

Other

Unknown Chapter 3


47

9

10

14

8

6 # 1400-1599


19

6

6

2

3

2 Total


67

15

16

16

11

8 Percentage


------

23 %

24 %

24 %

17 %

12 %


In Atlantis as in Egypt, there is a large number of rulers and priests, though the significantly large number of technicians and engineers manifest a difference from Egypt. Little or no recognition in the literature published by previous writers on Cayce is given to the vast percentage of references to royalty in the Atlantean readings. In like measure, the writers on Cayce and Atlantis seem to have missed the connection between the vocation and the repetition of what is said to different people who received the readings. (10)

Patterns of deviation

Even though 90 percent of the incarnations fit into fifteen time-culture slots, a total of 537 (out of 6516) do not fit. In the sample 23 of these deviating incarnations appear (out of 316). The question was asked, is there some reason for the variation? Unfortunately for the researcher there is a cloak of anonymity thrown around those people whose readings are on file. (This anonymity, though frustrating, is a necessity for the protection of those who sought a reading.) Because of the anonymous nature of the material, the search for patterns ended almost before it began. However, from the little bit of biographical data given (date and place of birth), one correlation appeared so often that it could not be ignored. Where there was a deviation in the time-culture slot pattern, it was often related to the place of birth of the individual (which may account for the large number of American incarnations). In the representative sample # 1476 has a Polish incarnation, and was born in Poland in this life. The other Polish incarnation was for # 1869, who in this life was born in Warsaw. Many of the Norwegian (and "Scandinavian") incarnations are of Norwegian birth (or in one case of Norwegian ancestry). Numbers 1431, 1437, and 1450 are such cases. The Norwegian incarnations are in most cases also related to either Eric the Red or Lief Erickson--the only Norwegians of which most Americans have even heard.

While a biography of each person who got a life reading would be a researcher's delight, at least one pattern of deviation relative to the present life of the sitter was revealed. Deviating incarnations are tied to the present birthplace of the individual. The deviating incarnations revealed the symbolic nature of the first life Cayce tended to note in giving a life reading. It occurred in the land in which the client was born in this life.

Glamorization of the past

As a by-product of reading over a hundred of the past-life readings in order to quantify them, one further reflection emerged from the study. It is quite common in the psychic community for psychics to receive mediumistic revelations from the famous. These revelations have most often come through mediums supposedly channeling from famous personages. This author has known numerous mediums who regularly channeled from the likes of Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King, Albert Schweitzer, and Gandhi. There is a noticeable attempt to enhance the medium by an association with the famous. Since Cayce was not a traditional medium and hence did not contact spirit entities, this process is absent.

However, there is present in Cayce material a similar occurrence in the enhancement of the subjects for whom life readings were given by either identifying them or associating them with famous personages in past incarnations. This process began with the very first life reading in which Lammers was identified with Hector (of the Trojan War). A more recent instance was a young woman who was identified with Frances Willard and about whom a book was written. There are, of course, several hundred readings which identified people as being among the very elite few mentioned in the Bible.

One might expect a famous person or two to appear in the over 6000 incarnations, but the process becomes suspect when there are so many. The number of the famous is further highlighted by the percentage of royalty and other elites (priests, generals, etc.) in the readings--as high as 50 percent in some time-culture slots.

Conclusion: Toward a new way to understand the Cayce material

Reincarnation scenarios offer a rather dramatic setting in which to place an otherwise mundane psychic reading. Cayce's adoption of reincarnation and past lives as the religious symbols through which advice and counsel was offered to his clients also provides some insight into the development of his talents. Once Lammers' ideas were lodged within that part of Cayce which came to the fore when he was in trance, they were allowed to expand and grow. Elaboration on the material was continually encouraged by the entranced Cayce being questioned on specific issues by those who were present for his reading sessions.

The understanding of the reincarnation material as symbolic, not literal, does much to explain the repetition in the Cayce readings. When Cayce clairvoyantly picked up certain data about present conditions of the sitter (either psychically or from readily-available information), such data would be translated symbolically into a certain time-culture slot. A foreign birth was translated into a previous incarnation in that land. The symbolic understanding also explains why the fifteen time-culture slots concentrated on ones relatively well-known to the average American in the early twentieth century. Cayce was using those eras about which he had been taught by his public school education, church school, and the Theosophist Lammers. Thus American pioneers, the Crusaders, the fall of Troy, Old Testament times, Jesus' era, mystic Egypt and occult Atlantis all appear. Even the Essene material is directly derivative of two occult best-sellers--The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, by Levi H. Dowling; and The Mystical Life of Jesus, by Rosicrucian author H. Spencer Lewis. (12)

The reincarnation material functions as a convenient tool to self-awareness, a fact being exploited by a number of present-day counselors. (13) By highlighting facts about a sitter through a reincarnation symbol one can, to many people, reveal self-truth in a way that is acceptable to the conscious ego. The insight about the sitter's state is accepted as true, and because the self is picking up a strain from a past life, the self is responsible for the situation and bears the responsibility for overcoming it. At the same time, since the cause of the situation is from a past life it comes as an intruder into this individual existence. The conscious self (the personality?) is not responsible, and thus can resign itself to paying a karmic debt.

This modest study does suggest several needed areas of further research. A full quantified survey of the life readings touching on the several other elements besides vocation would, of course, provide valuable information as well as confirmation of the symbolic nature of the readings. Secondly, a search for like patterns in the astrological and medical readings should also prove fruitful. The medical readings especially need to be subjected to some critical review as they have become the source for a broad program of medical advice to ARE members and friends.

Finally, a study of the sources of the material which elaborate on certain time-culture slots could prove most enlightening. A study initiated contemporaneously with the work being reported upon in this paper has found that the material on the Essenes in the Cayce readings also has mundane sources, namely some popular turn-of-the-century psychic books. The furtherance of studies of the extensive Cayce records will have as a long-term payoff not only an understanding of this one important psychic figure, but will also make a major contribution to our understanding of the process by which a public psychic operates.

Endnotes

1. Cayce, unlike many of his professional psychic contemporaries, did not go into trance in order to contact spirits. Rather, in trance, he was able to read what was termed the akashic records (an idea derived from Hindu thought), believed to be a cosmic record bank of data on all past events. Information on Cayce, life readings, and the cosmology can be found in the several general works on Cayce, the best of which are Thomas Sugrue's There is a River (New York: Dell Books, 1967) and Hugh Lynn Cayce's Venture Inward (New York: Harper & Row, 1967). Both are in easily-obtainable paperback editions.

2. The Search for Bridey Murphy, by Morey Bernstein (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1956).

3. The Return of Frances Willard, by Jeffrey Furst (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1971).

4. Cf. the symposium on the Bridey Murphy case in Tomorrow vol. 4 no. 4 (Summer 1956), pp. 4-49.

5. See Edgar Evans Cayce and Hugh Lynn Cayce, The Outer Limits of Edgar Cayce's Power (New York: Harper & Row, 1971) and Lytle Robinson, Is It True What They Say About Edgar Cayce? (New York: Berkley Books, 1979).

6. By "incarnation" is meant a reference to one particular past life about which a person is told. In the average Cayce reading four previous incarnations or past lives are recounted.

7. The major item on Egypt is a booklet by Mark Lehner, The Egyptian Heritage (Virginia Beach, VA: ARE Press, 1974, 1981). Cayce's life as Ra Ta is covered in W.H. Church, Many Happy Returns: The Lives of Edgar Cayce (New York: Harper & Row, 1984).

8. Life reading # 294-153.

9. Life reading # 1442-1; # 1574-1; # 1587-1.

10. Though large numbers of the Atlantean royalty's readings are quoted in Edgar Evans Cayce's Edgar Cayce on Atlantis (New York: Paperback Library, 1968), almost no reference to their subjects' princely states is made (a fact which accounts for the large number of eclipses in the text). Also, the Atlantean random sample (from # 1400-1500) indicates a much higher percentage of royalty and religious functionaries than the quotes from chapter three of Edgar Evans Cayce's book. This additional fact would tend to call into question the reliability of Edgar Cayce on Atlantis as a source for understanding the actual content of the Edgar Cayce material.

11. The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, by Levi H. Dowling (Los Angeles: Leo W. Dowling, 1911). This volume has been frequently reprinted.

12. The Mystical Life of Jesus, by H. Spencer Lewis (San Jose, CA: AMORC: 1929).

13. Cf. Morris Netherton and Nancy Shiffrin, Past Lives Therapy (New York: Avon Books, 1978); Edith Fiore, You Have Been Here Before (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1978), and Denys Kelsey and Joan Grant, Many Life Times (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1967).

14. This study should not be interpreted as an attack on a belief in reincarnation in general, merely as a suggestion that basing a belief in reincarnation on the Cayce material is basing a significant part of one's worldview on weak ground. This study says nothing about a belief in reincarnation based on other research--hypnotism (which has its own problems), the remembered past-life research of Ian Stevenson, and the testimony of spirit entities through mediums. Each of these methodologies must rise or fall on its own.

http://www.ciis.edu/cayce/melton.html

--------------------
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« Reply #306 on: January 20, 2008, 10:31:23 pm »

Mish

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  posted 10-18-2005 06:53 AM                       
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Hi again everyone! Does anyone here have any sort of past-life memories? I don't, but all the info about children being closer to the 'other side' and therefore able to sense it better (thanx Pagan :-) hit home since I have kids that are 3 & 5. I'm not the kinda mom that tells them 'ghosts aren't real' or 'dreams aren't real', because by my own experiences it would make me a liar. I've lived in a haunted house, and had precognitive dreams myself. So, I tell them so. The confusion lies with the things they have learned from TV about ghosts and such (especially this time of year)so I yanked the cable last year - except in my husband's office - so now my babies are being totally braiwashed by their crazy, ghost-seeing mom instead of the media!Oh boy! Ha!

My son, the 5 year old, has always had very vivid dreams. For example, I just had tree trimmed that hangs over my house because my son took me out there last winter, pointed up to one particular, large, dead branch and told me he had a dream that it fell through the window of the house. He has had plenty of imaginary friends too, including an older woman who he said was a teacher named Miss Maury who would come and teach him things until me or daddy came in the room - then she 'shrinks into a little ball and flys off to the universe where me and daddy can't see her.' (Though, Miss Maury hasn't made an appearence since two years ago when we first moved to this house so I wonder what happened to her.) My son also says he sees my cats (both of whom are dead now and have been for years) all over the house. One cat never even lived at this residence. The cat visions scare him, and it has made him afraid of real cats somewhat. Do you suppose animals 'hang around' their former owners after they die? Two of my 'ghost sightings' in my haunted house back in the 80's were of animals, so between that, and my son's visions of my cats, I have always wondered...

Obviously, I take my sons dreams seriously because he does this kinda thing a lot and it seems that HE takes them very seriouly too, even at 5. I also think I mentioned before how when I asked my son if he remembered anything before me and daddy, he says he 'picked me out at the mommy store'.

Do any of you remember past lives, or have odd dreams that seem to reflect that? Do you think we are communicating with another realm when we dream sometimes? (I've personally had amazingly real dreams of talking with dead relatives in the past) Maybe when I 'go with my gut' on things, I am just doing what other lifetimes have taught me, and not really aware that that is what I consider my 'gut'...? I'm not sure if I believe in reincarnation myself, but I've always wondered... okay, I'm rambling now.... :-)
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« Reply #307 on: January 20, 2008, 10:31:56 pm »

Allison
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   posted 10-18-2005 11:25 AM                       
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quote:
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Does anyone here have any sort of past-life memories?
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Yes, but not in the conscious state.


quote:
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 Do you suppose animals 'hang around' their former owners after they die?
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Absolutely. I know this first hand.


quote:
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Do any of you remember past lives, or have odd dreams that seem to reflect that?
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Yes, as I said - not in the conscious state.


quote:
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Do you think we are communicating with another realm when we dream sometimes?
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Not sometimes, but all the time, well at least that is how it is for me. I leave my body to journey very easily and very often.


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 I'm not sure if I believe in reincarnation myself, but I've always wondered...
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well, that is a bit of a paradox. You tell all these tales about your son's experiences saying you don't doubt or discourage it and then you ask this question. I think you may have already answered that without knowing it 
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« Reply #308 on: January 20, 2008, 10:32:16 pm »

Mish

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  posted 10-18-2005 03:24 PM                       
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Allison - I'd LOVE to hear your first hand stories of animal 'ghosts'. You've got me curious now.
Also, I still maintain that I am not sure I believe in reincarnation. I just don't dispute other's beliefs. Even my 5 year old son's. I guess you could just say that I am an eternal skeptic. :-)
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« Reply #309 on: January 20, 2008, 10:32:46 pm »

Allison
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I'm not sure what you mean when you say "ghost" - do you mean apparition or presence and do you mean in this world or the astral world. I'll try to explain this sensibly. First a short background where I am coming from with this - I travel freely between the worlds and so most of my contact with the disembodied spirits takes place on their turf. I had these 2 cats - Cozy and Melon. They were twins and I got them when they were 5 weeks old. I had a very strong psychic bond with Cozy. I brought these cats here from England with me. Melon passed away at age 9 from an accident and I was devastated. He was a large coal black cat and had this streak of mischief in him - he was extremely intelligent. I used to have to have a lock on the fridge to keep him out of there because he was forever opening the fridge and helping himself to whatever he wanted. Cozy never did these sort of things, she had quite the opposite kind of personality. Anyway, for quite a time after Melon died, I'd see or hear the fridge door open when nobody was anywhere near it. I'd often wake up to find the fridge open. It was Melon doing it. I'd sometimes hear him meow in that distinctive deep me-howl that he had. I think that Cozy would see him too because she was not as hisser or growler and she would sometimes fix her gaze intenty in the thin air at seemingly nothing and and hiss or growl. It was so unlike her. Melon used to like to steal Cozy's catnip and I think he was playing with her from the other world.
Now when Cozy passed away at age 16 - she died naturally - but all her life this cat and I could communicate telepathically. many is the time that Cozy warned me of impending danger - you know, little things. She would get this urgent tone to her meow and I knew that I needed to either stop what I was doing or in some cases go and follow her to what she wanted to show me. She knew when I was pregnant before I did. And tried to tell me too. She was very protective and possessive of me and of my son when he was born - she used to "wash" his head just like he was a kitten and I saw no reason at all to disallow it. Anyway, after Cozy died, she made it very well known to me that she was staying around as a spirit guide and to this day, that is exactly what she does. My encounters with her are all in the astral world, but she's there. She takes me on journeys to show me things - like symbols and signs - to help in solving dilemas. Almost I guess like a guardian angel, but in animal form. I know that I will never again in this lifetime have a cat like her or a bond like that with another animal. Now I have been to intuitive readers who I never saw in my life before I sat down with them and they have all seen Cozy too.
I hope this doesn't sound too crazy to you, but this is what I have experienced and continue to.

[ 10-18-2005, 06:56 PM: Message edited by: Allison ]
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« Reply #310 on: January 20, 2008, 10:33:06 pm »

Trent

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   posted 10-18-2005 11:33 PM                       
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Very cool pet stories, Allison & Mish! It's encouraged me to do some checking into animal ghosts. There are cases of that and they aren't always pleasant, too.

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"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."

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« Reply #311 on: January 20, 2008, 10:33:45 pm »

 
Mish

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  posted 10-19-2005 06:03 AM                       
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Allison - 'Crazy' doesn't get used much in my vocabulary after some of the stuff I've seen. :-)
I love your cat stories and am glad Trent is looking into it since two of the sightings I had in the haunted house I lived in here of a cat, then a dog. It was very strange when I had never even heard of, or thought about animals having 'spirits' at the time.

To be honest, Allison, I'm not even sure what a ghost is, and I've been looking into the phenomenon for about 20 years now. I believe there are different types of ghosts - some are residual (like a seeing an old, harmless recording)and some are definately NOT... like the ones who push people or who play pranks on them. So definitions differ depending on who you talk to.

I get the feeling that at Spring Cottage the ghost animals I saw were residual - not interactive. However, the images of PEOPLE I saw seemed to be trying to purposly get my attention, so I believe they were cognitive beings of somesort - certainly not a residual recording. I say 'ghosts' for lack of another term to describe what I saw, tho it has been suggested to me here that maybe the 'people' I saw were not ghosts, but spirit guides. The 3 people-visions I had at Spring Cottage always appeared right in front of me (about 2ft), looked light a muti-coloured light (I could see no features, only an image like what you see after you look away from a lightbulb and blink to still see the image - tho even then, I got the 'sense' all my sightings were male.)

I'm not so sure I believe in the spirit guide thing (there's that non commital thing again!Ha!) - but the descriptions of them, and sometimes of auras, more accurately describes what I saw than what many people who have seen 'traditional ghosts' have seen... the glowing form floating above the ground, or the more solid version that appears exactly lifelike... my sigtings looked like neither, so I've always wondered myself if I actually saw ghosts, or something else. I saw SOMETHING. That's all I know. :-)
It's been mentioned here that animals have a sort of fragment of a soul, so they are not possibly the reincarnation of Uncle Al or anything. Hmmmm. Well then, I wonder what happens to our pets when they die? I've heard of a seperate place where they wait for their dead owners, but that seems a little like wishful thinking to me. If their death is like ours, don't you think our pets would be more inclined to stay with us than go the the next plane since they normally have a huge loyalty factor - more so than most humans certainly! The is a monument near here to a dog who waited for every train for 4 years after his owner died, until he finally died himself. Pets are like that, and if so, are we always surrounded by our old pets, do you think?

Oh, and Allison, I'm curious...are you a medium?
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« Reply #312 on: January 20, 2008, 10:34:11 pm »

 
Allison
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   posted 10-19-2005 11:57 AM                       
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quote:
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Originally posted by Mish:
[QB] Pets are like that, and if so, are we always surrounded by our old pets, do you think?
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I think we are.


quote:
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Oh, and Allison, I'm curious...are you a medium?
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Not to my knowledge. I don't believe in channelling as in summoning spirits. They come to me if they so choose when I visit their world. I am more what you'd call a Light Worker, I guess. I recently had a very profound "class action" experience regarding these matters.
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« Reply #313 on: January 20, 2008, 10:34:41 pm »

Mish

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  posted 10-20-2005 06:31 AM                       
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"Class Action?" What's that? I'd love to hear...

Also a little more detail on being a Light Worker would be interesting if you care to share... :-)

Do you 'see' spirits? If so, I'd be curious to hear what you see too. (Questions, questions...Sorry, it's a vice.)
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« Reply #314 on: January 20, 2008, 10:35:03 pm »

 
Allison
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   posted 10-20-2005 01:36 PM                       
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You mean do I "see" spirits in the physical world? No, not in the form where they would appear human as they were in life and with clothes on and all that, no I don't see that in the physical realm, but I do in the astral. I occasionally in the physical realm will see what could I suppose be described as "energy" - it doesn't have any form and I don't communicate with it. It's just there and I am there. As far as "hearing", it's mainly repercussion from the astral. I don't sit down to tea and conversation with the spirit world. When I am in their world it's more like a city and just people passing each other on the street, and there are times when I do have interaction or get tasked with something but I don't ever initiate the contact.

That's sort of where the Light Worker thing comes in. I'm a natural healer basically, I use energy/vibration to heal others - in both worlds. More commonly, I'm a chakra cleaner and go-fer for the angelic realm. Just doing the job I am contracted here to do.


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"Class Action?" What's that? I'd love to hear...
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I was tasked with healing a large number of souls the same time. It was the most painful thing I have ever done.

[ 10-20-2005, 01:43 PM: Message edited by: Allison ]
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