Claiming the Most Special Hour of the Day
By Mark Thurston, PhD
The best hour for meditation is two o'clock in the morning. The better period would be that…in which the body and mind may be dedicated to that.
(Edgar Cayce Reading 2982-3)
I am not sure when I first heard this strange idea about an optimal time for meditation. It was probably more than 45 years ago-at one of my first A.R.E. conferences, or perhaps at a meeting of my first A Search for God study group. Get up in the middle of the night and meditate at this time that is perfectly suited for attunement and personal transformation. I am sure my initial reaction was similar to what most anyone else would say or think, "Oh, sure, that sounds great, but there is no way that's going to happen for me!"
But in spite of my early reluctance to embrace such a radical project, I have had periods in my life where I did, in fact, become a devoted practitioner. And I have come to believe it may be one of the most powerful and accessible tools for transformation that Edgar Cayce ever mentioned. Let's consider what he had to say. I hope it will convince you to give it a try.
In one reading, a 35-year-old woman asked, "What are the best hours for meditation?" His answer gave a specific time and emphasized dedication: "The best hour for meditation is two o'clock in the morning. The better period would be that which will be set as a period in which the body and mind may be dedicated to that." (2982-3) The same advice was given to the original A Search for God study group when they tried to find a time to meditate together daily. But was 2:00 a.m. the only time when everyone was available? Or was there a deeper spiritual or even physiological significance?
Cayce may have been pointing to a profoundly important fact of our evolutionary history and the way our brains are designed to operate. Scientific evidence for this possibility emerged more than four decades after Cayce's death. In 1992, psychiatrist Thomas Wehr published a study in the Journal of Sleep Research in which he reported on a month-long study done with volunteers who were placed in a controlled environment that had 14 hours daily of darkness. For the first few days the subjects slept an average of 11 hours, seemingly compensating for their longstanding sleep deprivation. By the fourth week a new pattern emerged: approximately four hours of sleep followed by a natural awakening for one or two hours, followed by another phase of about four more hours of sleep. That intermediary period was characterized as a period of quiet wakefulness or calmness that could be likened to meditation.
Approaching this as a historical issue, Professor Roger Ekirch's book At Day's Close: Night in Times Past describes the extensive evidence that before the modern era of electric lighting, people naturally slept in a pattern like the one Wehr had discovered in his lab: a "first sleep" for four or five hours, then a calm, meditative-like wakefulness for an hour or two, and finally a "second sleep." It sounds like Cayce's advice about a best time to meditate was really just an invitation back to making the best possible use of an hour that is already embedded in our ancestral DNA.
So why is it so hard to say "yes" to this advice? Surely, our modern culture of 24-hour news and entertainment provides a strong force to counter this innate tendency to 2:00 a.m. wakeful calm. In his recent book Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age, Clark Strand makes an impassioned plea for us to have the discipline to disengage from our computer screens and TVs in the evening and to reconnect with the natural rhythms of light and dark. In fact, he makes the case-without any reference to Edgar Cayce's work-that the survival of our civilization depends on our willingness to embrace the darkness, to reclaim the ancient wisdom of the goddess, and to make optimal use of that hour in the middle of the night when we are called to wakefulness.
Maybe you feel you want to experiment with this in your own life. Try it for 28 days. Even if you don't feel ready to make such a commitment, you'll probably still have those nights when you wake up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., and perhaps you can reframe what is going on. Instead of insomnia, you can see it as an opportunity to commune with God in the silence of the night.
It's just the way that thousands of years of human history have programmed your brain and hormonal system. It's an opportunity to use that time wisely, and there's no better use than a meditation period on those nights.
Mark Thurston, PhD, is an author, psychologist, and educator who worked at A.R.E. and
Atlantic University from 1973 through 2008. He is now a faculty member at George
Mason University's Center for the Advancement of Well-Being where he teaches
courses about consciousness, mindfulness, and spirituality; he is also the creator of
"Discovering Your Mission In Life" on DVD. More about his work can be found at
Join Mark in Virginia Beach for the Inner Life Retreat: Experiencing Your Sacred Self March 4-6, 2016. Learn more.
The Teachings, Part 3
Atlanteans in Central America
By John Fuhler
You may also want to read The Teachings, Part 1: A Firm Foundation and The Teachings, Part II: Mosaic influence.
Several of Edgar Cayce’s readings relate the establishment of Atlantean culture in the Incal land.
…the entity was in the Inca land when there had been the journeyings of the Atlantean peoples
for setting up…the Incal activities…The entity was a companion of the one that acted in the
capacity of a leader in setting up the customs, rituals and activities in that land… (Edgar Cayce Reading 3345-1)i
Elements of Atlantean rituals survive in contemporary mythologies of the Desana and their Tukanoan
cousins, as well as among the Kogi Indians, all residents of modern day Colombia. Here is an example:
In Desana origin myths, the hero searches for the “center of the day,” or that place where the sun
overhead casts no shadow. Earth and sky meet, and life unfolds around this center. The hexagon formed
by the stars Pollux, Procyon, Canopus, Achernar, T3 Eridani, and Capella define this bounded space in
which life unfolds. Epsilon Orionis, the star at the center of Orion’s belt, occupies the center.
The celestial hexagon determines the terrestrial boundaries of the Desana and their Tukanoan cousins.
"The image is that of an enormous transparent rock crystal standing upright, the six corners of which are
the six stars…on earth, the corners are formed by six major waterfalls…The center, the axis of this crystal
tower, is a vertical line between Epsilon Orionis and a large boulder covered with petroglyphs…" ii
The Tukanoan Indians divide the hexagonal territory into six phratries, representing the six equilateral
triangles of which the hexagon consists. And the celestial hexagon provides the model of the traditional
Tukanoan longhouse; its central posts correspond to the stars of Orion. “(The Desana) shamans are
quite explicit about the importance of the philosophical dimensions that capture the mind when
contemplating the sky, and will insist that the celestial vault is the one and only model for (Humanity’s)
material and spiritual well-being.”iii
The Kogi of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta believe the entire Sierra Nevada to be a magnificent
hexagon. Six sacred sites mark the corners that correspond to the six stars surrounding Epsilon Orionis,
the center star of Orion’s belt. The highest peak of the conically shaped Sierra Nevada demarcates the
terrestrial center of the Kogi Territory. The very mountain represents the primordial sacred mountain.
The sky over the mountain is a map of the land; and the temple architecture incorporates this
cosmology.vi As with the Desana and their fellow Tukanoans, a great hexagonal crystal links the
terrestrial and celestial hexagons. For these tribes the middle star of Orion’s belt represents the center
of the sky.
The Kogi mythology especially correlates to the imagery of the Temple Beautiful as reference in the
Cayce readings; the temple was said to have the form of an ovate solid surrounded by a pyramid and
topped by a hexagonal crystalline column.
It was in the form of the pyramid, within which was the globe… (Edgar Cayce Reading 281-25)
...the obelisk upon which the light is put, should be more in the shape of a six-sided figure…It is
not the attempt, in the building of the Temple Beautiful, to indicate a spire but as a source of
light… (Edgar Cayce Reading 5746-1)
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta resembles a pyramid, itself corresponding to the primordial mound in
Central American mythology. There the pyramid equates with the daytime sky. This seems to be an
attribute of the Temple Beautiful, as well.
…an inside view of the Temple Beautiful; this indicating the seven stations, or seven
centers…with the heavens seen in the dome or ceiling... (Edgar Cayce Reading 993-6)
The reading states the hexagonal crystalline column above the temple appeared as a beam of light; the
Indians of Colombia envisioned this channel as surrounding the tribal boundaries completely. As with
the Maya and Egyptians, Orion’s stars symbolize the channel linking the place of creation on earth with
the spiritual heights of heaven.
The descriptions of these Colombian cosmologies bring to mind the Tuaoi stone mentioned in the Cayce
readings as the source of energy in Atlantis until it was used for destructive purposes. Below is the
answer a question asked about the shape and form of the Tuaoi stone:
…a six-sided figure, in which light appeared as the means of communication between infinity
and the finite…In the beginning it was the source from which there was the spiritual and mental
contact. (Edgar Cayce Reading 2072-10)
In time these teachings would find their way to the Yucatan and North America.
…in that land now known as the Peruvian…the entity…led a peoples into…Yucatan… (Edgar Cayce Reading 772-2)v
…the entity was in…Florida…when there were those settlings from the Yucatan, from the lands
of On…or the Inca… (Edgar Cayce Reading 1298-1)
…the entity was in the land of the present nativity…when there were the spreadings of those
teachings from…Atlantis…Yucatan, the Inca…in…the central portion of Ohio… (Edgar Cayce Reading 1286-1)
…when those peoples first came from…the Peruvian country, to settle the plains of now
Southwestern portion of North America. (Edgar Cayce Reading 2667-5)
And thereby tenets of the children of the Law of One persist to this day in diverse tribal beliefs
throughout the Americas.
John Fuhler has been involved in the field of alternative medicine for more than 25 years. He received his BA in anthropology from the University of Illinois and studied in Glasgow, Scotland, and Portland, Ore. As an amateur archaeologist, he participated in projects in Ariz., Calif., Hawaii, N.M., and Wis.; reporting discoveries in Ore. and Scotland. His tribal affiliations include: Saxon, Friesian, Bohemian, Irish (O'Meagher clan), and Wyandot. He volunteers his skills with organizations supporting the homeless, forest services, and families. He enjoys reading the bible in Greek and Latin.
i Cf. 845-1, 1208-1, and 5750-1.
ii Reichel-Dolmatoff, G. Astronomical Models of Social Behavior Among Some Indians of Colombia. In Aveni, A.F. and Urton, G. (1982). Ethnoastronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the American Tropics. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Volume 385. 167- 169; 175.
iii Op. cit. 167- 169; 175.
iv Op. cit. 177-178; 181 n.13.
January 2016 Update
From the Desk of Kevin J. Todeschi
Hello and Happy New Year! This is the first update of 2016 to A.R.E. members and friends who are interested in the new and exciting trends occurring within Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E., Atlantic University, and the Cayce/Reilly School of Massage. A number of exciting things are happening this month! Please share the following with your friends:
CREATE CAMPAIGN WRAPS UP WITH $31.6 MILLION - TOTAL!
We announced back in October that our multi-year CREATE Campaign had surpassed its $30 million goal as it made its way to a December 31 finish. Now we are proud to announce that – thanks to your generosity – we blew past the goal by more than $1 million! The final total was $31.6 million. This total includes $7.5 million for building projects, nearly $2 million to enhance our endowment, and more than $22 million in support over the years that went into underwriting our life-changing programs and initiatives. Congratulations to everyone who helped over these Campaign years… and THANK YOU to each and every one of you who contributed to the A.R.E., Atlantic University, and/or the Edgar Cayce Foundation over the years. Well done!
What now??? Well, we still have to raise a bit more money to finish our Visitor Center renovations and HQ landscaping (lighting, parking, and other such “glamorous” projects); we still have to build a new Dining Hall for A.R.E. Camp before this summer (another $100,000 or so is needed); and, of course, we always need financial support for our ongoing programs to thrive: Prison Outreach, Library, Camp, Prayer Services, Study Groups, and so on. For more info on these projects, contact Development Director Patrick Belisle at email@example.com or – to give now – go to:http://www.edgarcayce.org/support
RICHARD COPELAND ESTABLISHES ENDOWMENT FOR A.R.E. PRISON OUTREACH
Longtime member and benefactor Richard Copeland has established the Copeland Prison Outreach Fund – an endowment that will generate funds annually to support the operation of our transformational Prison Outreach program. In the short-term, funds generated by the Copeland Fund will allow us to expand our new Prison Libraries program and begin to purchase a new paperback edition of A Search for God, Book I to mail out to requesting inmates. Since most prisoners are denied hardback books, this is a huge step in getting this material back into the hands of those who are desperately seeking a new way of life. Most importantly, this endowment gives long-term financial stability to this important program. Thank you, Richard, for making a real difference in the lives of these seeking souls. And Happy 94th Birthday to you!
U.S. CONGRESS MAKES IRA CHARITABLE ROLLOVER PERMANENT!
Now You Can Help A.R.E. and Save More on Taxes. This could be your opportunity to help "Make the World a Better Place" while saving on your taxes. Last month, Congress voted to make the IRA Charitable Rollover permanent! This law – revitalized and now permanently extended – allows anyone 70 ½ and older to contribute their Minimum Required Distribution from their IRA account (up to $100,000) directly to a non-profit (Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E.), thereby reducing their yearly taxable income. For additional information on how you can take advantage of this opportunity, please contact: Marianna Theo, 757-457-7215 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW POST TO EDGAR CAYCE BOOKS BLOG
Excerpted from John Van Auken’s new book, we hope you’ll enjoy this blog post on the supernatural, what it is, and what it isn’t: Angels, Fairies, Demons, and the Elementals. We have a natural inclination to look outside of ourselves for the supernatural world. It is not out there. Well it is, but it is not visible. And it’s important to recognize that those who “see” the supernatural do not have additional parts to their eyes that you and I lack. You can also hear John talking about the book at our ARECatalog site: http://www.arecatalog.com/ProductCatalog/Product/6892/Angels-Fairies-Demons-and-the-Elementals.
NEW POST TO OUR SPANISH-LANGUAGE BLOG
For our Spanish speaking friends, members, and supporters, we offer regular posts—often translations of our English blog—on our Spanish Wordpress blog located at this link:
https://edgarcayceespanol.wordpress.com/. Please share with your friends and family who may be interested!
Atlantic University would like to welcome Peter Woodbury, MSW, to our faculty. Peter is an accomplished psychotherapist and hypnotherapist. He is also a popular presenter for the A.R.E. and leads A.R.E. tours to South American sacred sites. Peter will be mentoring Integrated Imagery: Regression Hypnosis Level 1 in Summer 2016. This course can be taken as a Graduate Certificate or part of the Master’s in Transpersonal Studies degree.
Join Peter as he shares techniques and guides students into experiencing a psycho-spiritual experience. This experience makes deliberate use of altered states of consciousness to enable people to access the many dimensions of the unconscious mind. Classes are offered as a hybrid of online instruction mixed with a mandatory four day face-to-face residential in Virginia Beach. To register go to http://www.atlanticuniv.edu/integratedimagery.html or call 800-428-1512. Application deadline is March 27, 2016.
CAYCE/REILLY® SCHOOL OF MASSAGE
The Cayce/Reilly School of Massage will welcome its newest class of students on January 25, 2016 and will also celebrate a graduation of the June 2015 class on Sunday January 24. Our next class will start on June 20, 2016 – visit our website: www.caycereilly.edu for more details on our 700-hour program and to apply online today.
Our Continuing Education program includes many wonderful classes for massage therapists as well as a number of new courses available to the general public. Please visit CayceReilly.edu for more information. And come visit our Student Clinic to receive the unique Cayce/Reilly massage technique at a reduced price- call 757-457-7146 to schedule your appointment.
Registration is now open for the 2016 season at A.R.E. Camp! We have some fantastic programs lined up for our 2016 season, including two fantastic family camps, children’s sessions, and even young adult and adult programs too! Come spend some time in the sundrenched Blue Ridge Mountains this summer, creating magical memories with friends old and new, enjoy programs hosted by popular resource people, hike the surrounding mountains, swim in the cool crisp pond, and live life the Cayce way! To register now, or for more information, visit www.EdgarCayce.org/SummerCamp.
If you’ve been to A.R.E. Camp, you’ll know that the experience would be incomplete without the extraordinarily creative and joyful staff! Camp is so lucky to have so many people who come to help create the magic each year! If you, or someone you know, would like to join us in serving with joy on the A.R.E. Camp Staff this summer, the staff application can be found at www.EdgarCayce.org/SummerCamp, or you can contact Malenka Kaydan, A.R.E. Camp Manager, at Malenka@edgarcayce.org.
2016 A.R.E. CONFERENCES
The "Bionic Woman" is coming to A.R.E. Headquarters! Lindsay Wagner, known to many as an award-winning television star, is also a renowned spiritual teacher and author. She joins us April 1-3 for The Golden Thread of Wisdom and Oneness: The Great Teachings That Enlighten and Unite Us All along with Mitch Horowitz, Peter Woodbury MSW and others. Come discover the great spiritual teachings that unite us all, and explore the concept of Oneness, which is an important core teaching from the Edgar Cayce readings.
2016 A.R.E. FIELD CONFERENCES
Experience a vacation for the soul at A.R.E.’s spring retreat at the beautiful Lakeview Conference Center in Palestine, Texas, featuring beloved presenters and Cayce researchers Sidney and Nancy Kirkpatrick, the March 17-20. True Tales from the Cayce Archives: Lives Touched & Lessons Learned from the Sleeping Prophet will include lectures, hands-on activities, and workshops, plus time to be inspired by the lush nature trails, boating, fishing, and more. Enjoy delicious meals and cozy rustic lodging with like-minded friends old and new. For a listing of other Field Conferences near you, visit:
TOURS CORRECTION: In January-March Venture Inward, page 61 the dates of two tours were reversed. The dates you will find below are correct. We apologize for any inconvience.
- Peru and Bolivia, Where Heaven Meets Earth .
Led by Peter Woodbury with Andean Shaman, Juan de Dios Kucho, May 11 – 22, 2016, with optional extension to see and experience the Nazca Lines! This tour encompasses all the BEST in one remarkable program. Come this year and experience it for yourself!
- Ireland, Land of Leprechauns, Fairies, and Elves! – Led by John Van Auken, July 10 - 24 2016! Walk the winding paths through quaint cottages, touch the standing stone circles, wander the lush green valleys, and raise a glass at a traditional Irish Pub to toast your latest adventure!
- England, "The Sacred Mists of Avalon," led by popular tour leader, Don Carroll, September 24th to October 3rd, 2016. This tour includes exceptional, private access to the Temple of Stonehenge (where the general public is no longer allowed to visit).
- Bermuda Cruise, "The Mysteries,"
led by Patrick and Jane Belisle, October 23 to October 30, 2016. Departing from NYC on the fabulous, new, Norwegian Breakaway, enjoy past life regressions, meditations, and dream sharing on this economically priced "tour like no other." For more information and registration go to www.arebermudacruise.com.
- And in the works for early November, our first ever A.R.E. Tour to beautiful Costa Rica.
Join ever popular tour leader, Peter Woodbury, in this "Island Adventure" like no other. Visits to the Rain Forest, Quaker Peace Center, Zip Lining, Raft Adventures, and exploration of the mysterious Stone Domes. Sure to be a first-time adventure you won’t want to miss.
A.R.E. GIFT SHOP AND BOOKSTORE
The first Psychic Fair of 2016 is Saturday, January 23. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. in the Visitors Center, and the last appointment is 4:30 pm. We have some new readers, new vendors, and new speakers lined up for the new year! Space is limited so plan to arrive early! For more information, call Dalia Bassett at 757-457-7258.
Wishing each of you a Blessed start to a Brand New Year!
Kevin J. Todeschi
Executive Director and CEO
The Most Unusual Wedding Gift
From the Edgar Cayce Readings
By Alison Ray
In addition to just the text of Edgar Cayce’s readings, within the online database are amazing stories of the impact of the readings and correspondence between Edgar Cayce and many individuals who had readings plus follow-ups years later by Gladys Davis. They are accessible under Background and Reports. The Report for Reading 499-2 is a beautiful example of the accuracy of Edgar Cayce’s predictions for Ms. Fredrica Fields (1912-1992). It is also the story behind the unique stained-glass windows in the meditation room and foyer of our Visitor Center in Virginia Beach.
On January 25, 1934, a 22 year-old socialite had a life reading from Edgar Cayce. The reading, her second, had been arranged by her parents. The first reading, earlier that same day, had been for a health issue. At the time, she was in the middle of wedding plans and much too busy to pay much attention to the information.
Years later, she found her reading again among her mother's papers and opened it. She was quite impressed with the description of her mature personality, especially the section where the reading had mentioned that she would have a life-long fascination with stained-glass design.
She wrote to A.R.E. about the rediscovered reading:
"When Mother died in '46, we found amongst her papers the readings that were done for me in '34. I was married six months after this and in all the turmoil and activity of my life I forgot the contents of these readings. Imagine my surprise to find the following in my life reading: 'And there will come those periods when the activities in relation to art, that has to do with a great deal more of that as from stained glass or those that make for activities in the prism reactions to influences as related to things and to people, will be of a greater interest…' By '46 I was deep in the study of stained glass, with a real inner feeling that this was to be my life."
By this time, she had become quite famous for her artistic works, being listed in the "Who’s Who of American Women" in 1977-8. A pioneer and innovator, her unusual technique for working with glass was included in books such as The Complete Book of Creative Glass Art and Decorating Glass. The winner of many awards including the National Collection of Fine Arts at the Smithsonian Institute, a window that she designed and created was installed in the Washington Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Charles Thomas responded to her letter, writing, "For several years, we have been searching for the appropriate design and an artist, to do several small windows in stained glass for the Meditation Room on the third floor [of the new Visitor Center in Virginia Beach]... Might you be interested…?"
In the latter part of August, 1977 she and her husband, Brigadier General Kenneth E. Fields, visited the A.R.E. to plan for the stained glass windows to be donated to A.R.E. for the Meditation floor. She presented colored slides of her work and exhibited two miniature panels which contained her colored studies in three-dimensional glass. She had taken only an elementary course in leaded glass in 1940. When she developed arthritis and found it difficult to lift the heavy glass to the light, her husband developed a lighted table for her work. Seeing the smaller glass pieces, stacked on the lighted glass-top table, inspired her new method. The resulting three-dimensional creations, often made with discarded glass, became her lifelong vocation.
A.R.E. Campus Virginia Beach, Va.
It took her a full year to complete the first panels in her Greenwich home studio. The colors of deep indigo blue and violet are meaningful in meditation. The abstract center portion of one panel represents man reaching upward and the center portion of the other panel represents the power from above coming down to man. Four side panels are individual thoughts or prayer points. She gave permission for her actual name to be used, since she felt her ability was a gift of God which Edgar Cayce foresaw. The reading had indeed predicted her gift.
A.R.E. Members will find this story and more in the searchable database of all 14,306 readings and supplemental information totaling more than 24 million words at EdgarCayce.org/members. To learn more about the benefits of membership, visit EdgarCayce.org/join.
Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. blog offers opinion pieces from contributors with a wide variety of backgrounds. These opinions are valued and create points of discussion. Opinions expressed in our blog may not necessarily represent the opinion of A.R.E.