By Deirdre L. Aragon
Metaphysics teaches that in order to change a situation, a person should first begin with self. To heal others, you must first heal yourself; to love others you must first love yourself, etc. As simple as this may seem, it is one of the hardest concepts for people to accept and practice.
Regardless of the desired outcome, each person must meet their self. This leads to the questions, “Who is self,” and “how do I meet self?” According to Edgar Cayce there are ample opportunities to meet self each and every day.
Merriam Webster defines self as the person that someone normally or truly is. The Cayce readings describe self through the concepts of personality and individuality. Personality is that seen by others. Individuality is that which shines out from within, separating one from another. (345-2)
There are many methods to meeting the personality of one’s self. Perhaps one of the most comfortable ways to meet self is in meditation. A quiet, safe, and familiar atmosphere is the ideal environment to begin this self-discovery. Through focused intentions, an individual is able to make sense of their thoughts and truly meet their self.
In my meditation, I focus on my breath. Reducing my body to a simple function allows me to quiet my mind and listen to my inner self. During this stillness I am able to commune with the Christ within and bring myself into peace.
Meditation is a practice that takes work and it does not call to all people. Another opportunity to meet self is through dreams. It is a simple fact that all humans dream and this is the perfect way for self to speak to the conscious mind.
Throughout the ages dreams have affected individuals in their waking lives. Cayce spoke about the importance of dreams and provided invaluable insights to people through his readings. He recommended that people record and analyze their dreams, for dreams are that of which the subconscious is made, for any condition ever becoming reality is first dreamed. (136-7)
As a child I was seldom affected by my dreams, but in the winter of 1990 I was startled by the following dream:
“I was on a space ship leaving the Earth. Everyone was forced to evacuate to avoid danger. As my futuristic family and I flew away, the Earth imploded. We watched the whole destruction from an observation room. We were safe, but the Earth was gone.”
As a young child, I awoke from this dream terrified. My mother soothed me, assured me it was just a dream, and I went back to sleep. A few short months later, at the age of 10, I fell into a coma and had a near-death experience. My prophetic dream was spot on. My world had imploded, but just as in the dream, everyone was safe in the end. Although I did not understand the message of my childhood dream, self was sending me a warning of things to come.
Meditation and dreams are personal ways of meeting self. Another, sometimes less pleasant way of meeting self is through another person. Cayce mentioned on several occasions that self is constantly meeting self. (1771-2) When there is an encounter with someone who appears to be unpleasant, that person is generally reflecting an aspect of ourselves that needs our attention. Sometimes the attribute is from a previous lifetime, at other times it reflects our current life.
I remember my first several encounters with a very unpleasant woman at my church. She was grumpy and unapproachable, yet she was an active member in the community. While attending a class, I was randomly placed into a workgroup with her. This did not please me whatsoever, but it was only for a short project, so I just accepted the assignment. At the beginning of the second class, this woman ran up to me as I entered the sanctuary and she scolded me for not responding to the group email she had sent out. I informed her that between my mother’s chemotherapy treatments, my two children under the age of three, and my full-time position as a store manager, her email was not a priority. I walked away from her, took my seat, and prepared for class.
A couple of years after that encounter, the same woman came to me and informed me that shortly after we met she had made it a personal goal of hers to make me smile. She said I looked so unhappy when we first met and she found me difficult to approach. I laughed and told her of my first impression of her. She was shocked that anyone would think of her that way, but she appreciated the feedback and acknowledged the importance of our conversation. After coming to know one another through a common service to our church, we had become friends. I supported her when she decided to serve as a board member, and she took the time to get to know me and my family.
My experience with this woman is the perfect example of meeting self through another person. Through mirroring negative aspects of one another we were given the opportunity to change ourselves. Both of us met this opportunity and we each grew as individuals and friends.
Keep in mind that life is filled with opportunities to meet self. Be thankful for the pleasant encounters in life and be prepared to work at the unpleasant ones. Know that each soul constantly meets its own self. No problem may be run away from. Meet it now! (1204-3)
Deirdre L. Aragon is a Laguna Pueblo Indian, who spent the early years of her life on the Laguna Pueblo Reservation in New Mexico. Her paternal grandmother and aunt, who were tribal healers, taught Deirdre the wisdom and teachings of her tribe. She was raised in a home where metaphysical principles and holistic healing were accepted and practiced as a way of life. During a near death experience when she was ten years old, Deirdre was given the "mark of the shaman" from the Spirit World. Accepting her abilities, Deirdre has designed several healing techniques based on her personal experiences and knowledge gained through various sources and is an active speaker. She is actively involved with A.R.E. in Northern Virginia and has participated in A.R.E. Search for God Study Groups since she was a child. She has been a student of the Unity Movement for over 15 years. You'll find her website Noble Minds, a companion on the path of enlightenment, online at Noble-minds.com.
Breast Cancer Dreams Research Project
By Larry Burk
Can dreams warn us about important health concerns? Two of my close friends, who had no symptoms, experienced very vivid dreams about breast cancer that prompted them to get breast imaging studies leading to diagnosis. Never having heard of this phenomenon before, and being a radiologist, I started on a quest of study that led me to Virginia Beach, Va., in June 2013, where I presented on the topic at the International Society for the Study of Dreams annual conference. It happened to be co-sponsored by the A.R.E., which was a timely synchronicity as I discovered my friend Jerry Lazarus (Venture Inward’s dream columnist) had quoted an Edgar Cayce reading in his Dreams book stating that “any condition ever becoming reality is first dreamed.” (136-7)
Warning Dream Messages from Deceased Relatives
A third friend of mine was not so fortunate, as her dream of breast cancer was dismissed by her doctor, and she was diagnosed with Stage 3 disease a year later. Concerned that the significance of these remarkable stories could be overlooked, I was fortunate to discover Wanda Burch’s She Who Dreams. She wrote about a dream warning from her deceased father that led her to seek medical advice and another dream that localized the tumor for her surgeon to biopsy when he could not find it on physical examination or on radiological studies. Wanda also found another nine women in a breast cancer support group who had very similar dream warning experiences involving deceased relatives as messengers.
Online Breast Cancer Dreams Questionnaire
When I gave my presentation in Virginia Beach, the founders of Dreams Cloud, a social networking website devoted entirely to dreams, were in the audience and generously offered to assist me with a formal research project. After we got research approval through the Rhine Research Center, we decided to launch it during October for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women with proven breast cancer who have had warning dreams can participate by signing an online consent form, filling out a 19-item questionnaire limited only to dream information, and posting narrative descriptions of their breast cancer dreams on the social networking site using a pseudonym to maintain confidentiality.
Dreams Cloud Research Study Launch Page
This launch page can be found at www.dreamscloud.com/en/breast_cancer_dreams_study
and the dream stories at
Please spread the word, especially to breast cancer support groups around the country. The study will help inform healthcare professionals in the future about the most important aspects of warning dreams, so they know what to pay attention to when taking care of your loved ones. To quote Edgar Cayce again: “And too oft, ye disregard them; or too seldom do ye pay attention to them! They are parts of thy experience. How oft have ye visioned in symbol or in dream those very things that happened to thee later.” (1537-1)
Larry Burk, MD, CEHP, is a Certified Energy Health Practitioner and president of Healing Imager, Inc., in Durham, N.C., specializing in teleradiology, EFT, hypnosis, and dreamwork. Dr. Burk went to medical school and did his radiology residency at the University of Pittsburgh. He lived in Norfolk, Va., from 1991-1993 and was on the staff at Virginia Beach General Hospital. Dr. Burk is a long time member of the A.R.E. and has attended many conferences at A.R.E.’s headquarters in Virginia Beach. He was former associate professor of radiology and director of integrative medicine education at Duke University Medical Center and board president of the Rhine Research Center from 2007-2008. Dr. Burk is the author of the book, Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist, and is a blogger for the Huffington Post. His scientific articles, newspaper columns, newsletters, and video blogs are posted at www.letmagichappen.com.
Why Edgar Cayce?
By Jerry Lazarus
“Each of us has the same spirit that gives us the ability to interpret our dreams.”
Over the years people have asked me why I’m interested in Cayce’s approach to dream interpretation. While I’ve studied Freud, Jung, and many contemporary dream theorists, none offer the depth, breadth, and scope of Cayce’s understanding of dreams.
Cayce started interpreting dreams in 1923, some two decades after Freud published his work Interpretation of Dreams. Cayce placed an extraordinary emphasis on dreams, along with prayer and meditation. In reading 3744-2, Cayce said: “In this age, at present, 1923 … there is not sufficient credence given dreams; for the best development of the human family is to give the greater increase in knowledge of the subconscious, soul or spirit world. This is a dream.”
Cayce interpreted 1,500 dreams for 69 people over a 20-year period. These dreams were by no means unique; they were the everyday dreams of Everyman and Everywoman. It was his interpretations that set him apart from most dream theorists. Here we find a parallel to Cayce’s medical readings. Repeatedly, many doctors completely agreed with Cayce’s diagnoses, but they disagreed with his treatment methods.
Such immediate and accurate analysis, whether of dreams or of illnesses, poses an enormous challenge to conventional minds. How can we begin to fathom Cayce’s extraordinary abilities to work with dreams? His skills included but were not limited to:
- interpreting anyone’s dream with swiftness, surety, and accuracy
- recalling parts of or entire dreams forgotten by the dreamer
- correcting parts of dreams inaccurately recalled by the dreamer
- predicting when a person will dream about a certain topic, sometimes pinpointing the exact night
- interpreting the dream’s symbols and message before hearing the dream;
- connecting the theme in a current dream with a past one, describing what the dreamer had done or not done about it
- commenting on the dreamer’s undisclosed intimate details, including those of dreamers he wasn’t acquainted with
A study of the large collection of dreams Cayce interpreted shows that he departs from dream interpretation techniques embraced by popular culture, including the views of many psychologists and psychiatrists. Dreams are not mere fantasies, and they deal with more than psychological issues. They address and enrich all aspects of a person. Dreams reflect an individual’s purpose, makeup, and destiny. This destiny is to become well-rounded and complete individuals, fit to be companions and co-creators with God. Embarking on a spiritual journey and being open to making changes, we can expect much understanding from our dreams. They are telling us about our attitudes and aspirations, characteristics and capabilities, strengths and sincerity. Our dreams address all these in some form, at one time or another, but not randomly, for dreams are perfectly timed and sequenced.
Someone asked Cayce, “What state or trend of development is indicated if an individual does not remember dreams?” His answer was direct and succinct: those who do not recall and apply their dreams show “negligence” in their association with God. The desire to know God and oneself impels an individual to pay attention to his dreams. (5754-3)Even Cayce, with all his psychic abilities, was repeatedly told in the readings to study his dreams—which he did. Cayce encouraged someone, “And too oft, ye disregard them; or too seldom do ye pay any attention to them! They are parts of thy experience. How oft have ye visioned in symbol or in dream those very things that happened to thee later!” (1537-1)
Cayce’s interpretations demonstrated his ability to tap into a higher level of knowing: what has been, what is, and what might be for each person. However, narrating facts of past events without reflection and challenge carries little meaning; speaking of current events without regard for their implications has no transformative value; commenting on the future without a spiritual framework for growth and change does not fully engage the dreamer. Dreamers are to work with what they have in hand, within the time, place, and circumstances, applying the highest ideals they know.
A spiritual force operated within Cayce. That force was not merely churning out data about a person or topic; anchored in love, it encouraged everyone to grow to their highest potential. Cayce assures us that we too have the same spiritual force, giving us the ability to interpret our own dreams.
Jerry Lazarus is a spiritual life coach, speaker, and author. He has a master’s degree in religion and meditation, and has studied Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Christianity. Jerry is the dream columnist for Venture Inward magazine, a frequent speaker for A.R.E. conferences, and teaches a course on dreams at Duke University. He leads workshops and retreats on dreams, meditation, ideals, comparative religion, and other spiritual and mystical topics across the United States. His book, Dreams: Listening to the Voice of God, is available at his Web site: jerrylazarus.com.
Want to get active in an A.R.E. Dream Group or try our free Dream Dictionary App for iTunes and Android? Visit EdgarCayce.org/dreams.
By Brent Parisen
My experience started in 1970, when a friend told me how she and her friend had personal experiences with Jesus. They were delivered from an addiction and subsequently converted to Christianity. Then she asked me if I was saved. I replied that I didn’t even know if Jesus was real, having grown up in an agnostic household that did not attend church.
Several nights later, out of a heartfelt desire to know the truth about Jesus, I asked if he existed, feeling that if God is omniscient and all powerful, He could easily hear me and answer in a way that I would know beyond all doubt it was not my imagination. I felt that my asking needed to be totally heartfelt, wanting to sincerely know the absolute truth of the matter. Several nights later, I dreamt of Jesus with my head on His shoulder, feeling love, which was so strong that it woke me up with tears. Then, thinking about it, focusing on Jesus, the love grew stronger and stronger to the point where all I wanted to do was be with Him, and absolutely nothing else mattered. As I continued focusing on Him the love continued to grow, to be like fire, becoming more unbearable due to the intensity.
I had the impression that I was experiencing only one photon of the sun as His expression of love, which was becoming unbearable and really just the beginning. In retrospect, this makes perfect sense, since I’m finite and He’s infinite with infinite love, and it’s just not possible for the “finite” to manage the infinite in our limited form. By at the time, I felt like my nerves could handle no more, so I stopped focusing on Him and the experience stopped. My impression was that it’s impossible to carry on life in this three-dimensional world while fully sensing Him, since the experience is all consuming.
After that experience, hearing the right kind of music or devotional material would put me in a receptive state to sense Him, and I would break down in complete absorption. If I’m out in public and start to think about Him, making a good connection, I get the same heartfelt love and have to shut it off so as not to make a scene in front of other people.
Around 2001, I had a strong impression that I was now to focus on the Father. So I did and did not feel any difference in the energy; they were absolutely identical. This made me wonder if I was really focusing on the Father since there was no difference. My next thought was “what about the Holy Spirit?” I thought it would probably be the same, but I did change my attention, and to my surprise I felt a strong feminine, very demure presence. So then I returned to the Father and had a number of strong impressions:
- We need the veil to function on earth; otherwise, it’s impossible to carry out our purposes due to the all-consuming distractions, and our bodies cannot handle the intensity of the influence. There would be no desire to live.
- The intensity of love (from Him, and to Him) is like fire that is agony and ecstasy. I’ve recently read that souls in purgatory suffer due to a longing, fire of love for God that burns out their sins so they can enter Heaven.
- What I find interesting whenever I read that “God loves us” is that it is a vast under-statement, it doesn’t even begin to describe the amount of His love, which is infinite, way beyond our comprehension. As I’ve indicated, full experience of Him would burn us out.
- There is such a strong sense of life from Him that when I moved away in consciousness, there was utter emptiness, no life, absolutely no desire to live, it was truly horrible.
- Since God is everywhere, it’s not physically possible to move away from Him, only in consciousness.
- When I focused on His presence, He was truly everywhere and so strong—stronger than the physical world we live in—I wondered if the physical world is real. Truly ironic that in reality He is more real than the physical world. I had the impression that He doesn’t want to impose Himself in our lives, so he remains incognito.
- I felt that He was truly understandable, straightforward, and unchangeable; whereas mankind is a veritable hodgepodge, Gordian knot, mass of contradictions. It seemed like there is no mystery in God, only in man.
- Going to Heaven is not enough, only union with the God is enough.
- Looking at Him, there is such beauty that all I wanted to do is praise Him; I could not help it, it was involuntary.
- God has and continues to create unimaginable universes, physical and non-physical, in multi-dimensions; however, He values heart-to-heart communion with us more than anything else.
Looking back, I can see that I have to first ask Him before I can receive an answer.
That way He knows I am truly ready to receive and make use of an answer, and He doesn’t want to impose on me.
I certainly appreciate the Cayce material stressing the importance of seeking God in everything, including meditation. As said, seek and ye shall find. So, the initiative is on our part, we must first seek Him. I remember Cayce saying to settle for nothing less than walking and talking with God.
Brent Parisen graduated with a BSEE degree from the University of Michigan in 1969. After college he worked at Hughes Aircraft in California, where he had his spiritual awakening while living near the beach. Later, he worked at Nortel, until his eventual retirement in 2000. He and his then-wife Barbara were active in study groups, and he has been an A.R.E. member for several years.
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