Healing the Mind
By Dr. Harmon Hartzell Bro
For many individuals, chronic mental troubles originated in distress of the body, so the Edgar Cayce readings suggested physical measures, especially osteopathic manipulation. But this approach also took into account the whole being, not just body or mind, but body, mind, and spirit. From a trance state, Cayce examined a subject’s health and life situation and reflected patterns and symptoms that could be verified. He intervened to stop debilitating trends, but handed responsibility over to sufferers, refusing to let them become hooked on his help. He insisted on overhauling unexamined ideals. He warned against self-condemnation, yet managed to combine affirmation of one's unique
worth with rebuke of unworthiness. He challenged projection and other ego defenses, and indulgence in moods, ..opinions, and appetites.
His readings were able to break down secrecy and self-deceit, quiet the terror of isolation and feeling misunderstood, perceive growth outcomes that turmoil might portend, and monitor progress. Further, he strove to raise vibrations in a healing encounter, through a spirit of prayer and respectful comradeship that built on specific archetypes. For some, he encouraged the use of “will” to get beyond self-pity, fear, and doubt and for others he confronted their misuse of will in lives of self-aggrandizement that ignored or abused others.
His major contributions to healing mental illness lay in the sources of disorder, which he traced—each implying healing strategies for combination with other measures:
1. Look to the body! He connected distraught thought, emotions, and actions to spinal injuries or distortions, together with poor coordination of the body's systems-nerves, circulation, assimilation, elimination-and to muscles and organs too tightly bound to self-interest and self-protection.
2. Look to the Spirit! Cayce's pungent phrase, "All illness is sin," requires investigation of life's animating ideal and energy, and release of the unworthy in earnest repentance. He challenged subtle idolatries, hiding, and self-contrived existence, while calling for commitments to truth, beauty, justice, love, and holiness, which might give the spinning mind direction and meaning.
3. Feed the mind with care! Cayce insisted that ''Mind is the builder," partly through the potent suggestibility of its deeper levels, both to convictions or vows and to daily stimuli of events, companions, reading, entertainment, and one's own emotions and speech. His alternative menu for the troubled mind included nature, music, meaningful work, and forgiveness.
4. Pray! He saw prayer as capable of reaching into the darkest recesses of a tortured mind, not to force an outcome but to minimize distraction from the soul's best impulses, and to strengthen the pull of healing persons and forces as "like attracts like." Healing prayer is stronger when practiced by a family or group, when formed around the presence of the Christ, and when awakened in sustained meditation.
5. Take responsibility for your own life- and lives! In saying, "We only meet self," Cayce put an end to blaming and to demands for reparations from others. He pushed the drama of mental distress past childhood interactions to entire lifetimes that could be recalled, where destructive living so branded the soul with a growth theme as to bring it back vulnerable to traumas and stresses. Each is the agent of one's own hardships and panics, with parents, spouses or bosses more mediators than culprits.
Cayce's insistence that death is but a change in consciousness addresses not only murder and suicide (including the slow suicide of addiction), but all behavior oriented to fending off death rather than embracing living. His account of obsession and possession by discarnates, or by demonic thought forms, breaks new ground.
Excerpt from the Sep-Oct 1987 issue of Venture Inward magazine.
Dr. Harmon Hartzell Bro (1919-1997) worked directly with Edgar Cayce when he and his wife, June, came to Virginia Beach in 1943. That experience led to his doctoral thesis, which examined the life and work of Cayce. Born in China to missionary parents, he was ordained a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) before serving as associate professor of religion and psychology at George Williams College in Chicago. He was a director at the Institute for Religious Education at Syracuse University and director of the Institute for Research in Psychology and Religion. A frequent speaker at the A.R.E., he was a specialist in parapsychological aspects of religious life, including meditation, faith-healing, and mystical experience. He wrote a number of books, including A Seer Out of Season.
The Power of the Mind and Our Soul's Destiny
by Jennie Taylor Martin
The Edgar Cayce readings are full of information on the power of the mind, and one of the most frequently quoted passages from the readings is, “Mind is the builder”—sometimes with the fully extended version of: “Spirit is the life, mind is the builder, and physical is the result.
When delving into the readings on this topic, all of which are available in the Cayce series book, The Power of Your Mind, I came across a gem of information that gave me a better understanding of the full meaning of how the mind works as the builder.
In reading 262-79*, Cayce asks the group present to consider these two phrases:
First “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he” (which has a meaning very similar to “mind is the builder).
And second, “Thou canst not by taking thought turn one hair white or black, nor add one cubit to thy stature.”
At first these two statements seem to be in conflict, and Cayce states:
“Mind is the motivative influence in expression as to the growth in which the inward self would make for its expressions in materiality or in matter. What meaneth, then, those that spoke as given, ‘As a man thinketh so is he’?
“Then does this belie that the Master gave, ‘Ye cannot by taking thought add one whit or one cubit to thy stature, nor turn one white hair black’?”
Cayce then answers his own question, with this:
“There is the Mind of the soul. There is the Mind of the physical being. There is ever that battle between the flesh and the spirit...
When Cayce says “flesh” here, he is speaking of “materiality” or the three-dimensional life we are living here on earth. The battle as I see it then is between using our minds for growth in the “material world” vs. growth in the “spiritual world.” As Cayce elaborates:
“Then as the Mind dwells upon that in materiality or in the flesh or of the earth-earthy, to satisfy, to make for growth within the flesh, this—as the Master has given—does not find itself in that of growth but rather as He gave, ‘Seek first the kingdom of God within you; then all of these things may be added unto you.’
In other words, if I want to change myself in the physical, but the reasons for doing so are not grounded in spirit, I can’t “think” my way into those changes. But if I align my thoughts with my ideal, and my ideal is in line with the creative forces, surely the sky is the limit!
More from this reading:
Not as thou seest fit, not for thine own indulgences, but that ye may indeed and in truth be one in Him with the Father, and thus fulfill in each experience that which is the fulfillment of that destined for thee...”
So how does this affect my destiny … my future?
Cayce answers, “Then the question, naturally, is asked: Is the Destiny of a Mind set at the time of its birth into materiality? As to what it will think, as to what its environs will be, as to the length of its period of expression in the earth? Is it destined to lose a tooth on a certain day, a hair on a certain day, an arm, or this or that experience. These are in those signs that have been indicated, that as ye are, as ye were, so will ye be by or through that which has been accomplished in the experience of the body, of the mind, of the soul; that it, the soul (the only living portion of same), might be one. It is destined that it will pass through that experience necessary to give it, the soul, the greater opportunity for its becoming one with that purpose for which it came into being.”
The insights I gained from the study of this reading helped me to more fully understand that I am what I am, based not only on what I think, but also on what I thought that led me to where I am. And the spiritual motivation behind my thoughts—my SOUL mind from which my BODY mind’s thoughts develop—will lead me to where I’m going.
“Remember, ever, it is God that gives the increase. It is not anything that an individual may do, except keeping in that it knows to be the right.” (262-111)
*Reading 262-79 is part of a series of readings that were given to Norfolk Study Group #1 (to learn more about Study Groups, visit our Study Group web pages). This particular reading was given in March of 1935.
Jennie Taylor Martin is the marketing director of Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E., and a former director of the PETA Foundation to Support Animal Protection. She was introduced to Edgar Cayce more than 25 years ago and has considered herself a student of the readings ever since. She is currently writing a book about the afterlife and souls of animals.
The Little Prophetess
from the Cayce Readings
By Sidney and Nancy Kirkpatrick
"[Archangel] Michael's message was given with such force that I could hear the windows rattling in their frames in our home. I could even hear the cups rattling in the dish drainer in the kitchen. The vibrations nearly knocked us all out of our chairs."
– Hugh Lynn Cayce describing the appearance of Archangel Michael in one of his father's readings.
On rare occasions during an Edgar Cayce reading, an angel would speak through Cayce to impart an important message or warning. Such was the case during a reading for four-year-old Faith Hope Charity Harding, of Trucksville, Penn., known as "the Little Prophetess," Faith's was a remarkable story and is featured in our upcoming new book, True Tales from the Edgar Cayce Archives: Lives Touched and Lessons Learned from the Sleeping Prophet.
At the height of her renown in 1941, the child "oracle" was featured on popular radio shows, written about in Time magazine, had a weekly newspaper column, and was pursued by a movie studio. The whirlwind of attention was the result of psychic pronouncements that Faith's mother claimed her daughter would scribble on drawing paper or deliver in a state of near ecstasy.
Among Faith's uncannily accurate prophecies, delivered in biblical language, was the unexpected resignation of Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, FDR's decision to seek an unprecedented third term in office, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Interspersed with such pronouncements were compelling spiritual messages that included a life reading describing a previous incarnation of Adolf Hitler as Pontius Pilate.
Two Cayce readings conducted in 1940 made clear that the Little Prophetess possessed special gifts. Reading 2156-1 describes her as "a chosen channel of… love which the Father hath bestowed upon the children of men." This and the next reading suggested that she would never have a normal childhood, because she was not a normal child, having been born with gifts beyond those of even Edgar Cayce. In addition to the power of prophecy, the readings stated, she might manifest the ability to heal through the laying on of hands.
According to Cayce, previous to her present incarnation, she had been Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians; and before that, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and cousin of the Virgin Mary. She had, it seemed, represented female energy since the dawn of time, when, as the reading said, "the sons of God came together to announce… a way being opened for the… souls of God's creation."
Saint Cecilia with an Angel
Orazio Gentileschi, Created: 1618-1621
Archangel Michael made his extraordinary appearance during reading number 2156-2 (the second given for her). Accompanying his entry into the session was a strange wind that rattled the closed door and windows. The vibrational change was enough to bring about spontaneous tears to those gathered around Edgar.
"HARK! YE FRIENDS! I, MICHAEL, LORD OF THE WAY, WOULD GIVE THEE WARNING! BOW THINE HEADS, YE VILE ONES OF THE EARTH! KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO THEE!"
Michael went on to make his message clear: those who were "honored with the care of this prophetess" must protect and love her and keep strife from the door. They were to foster "patience, in love, in kindness, in gentleness, in those things that bring constructive, hopeful, helpful forces into the experiences of others."
Given Michael's message, which was both a warning and a pronouncement, Edgar invited Faith and her parents to visit Virginia Beach to attend one of the first annual A.R.E. Congresses where further readings could be conducted and the child's needs addressed. If anyone could understand what Faith was going through, it would be Edgar, who had himself had been visited by an angel in his early youth.
This trip to Virginia Beach was not to be. Against her father's wishes, her mother took Faith to North Carolina with the intention of installing her in a temple where, it was presumed, Faith would prophesy as did the Greek oracles of antiquity. A terrible situation then ensued as the six-year-old child was caught in a bitter custody battle between a mother craving attention and a father determined that Faith be just a normal child and lead a normal life. As a result, the child who might have otherwise manifested powers beyond even those of Edgar Cayce, put her psychic past completely behind her and went on to lead her life like any ordinary American woman, wife, and mother.
It is with much pleasure and humility that we have extended Edgar's original invitation for Faith Harding to visit Virginia Beach and attend this year's Congress. She has generously agreed to be our guest on Sunday, June 21, 2015, at the 84th Annual A.R.E. Congress. We hope many of you will come and join us for what will truly be a once-in-a-life-time event. Share the love as we extend a warm welcome in the spirit in which Archangel Michael admonished: "Give ye—each one—thanks and praise to thy Maker… that ye have been counted worthy to come into the presence of one so endeared to the heart of God."
Sidney D. Kirkpatrick III is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and bestselling author. Nancy Kirkpatrick is a writer who has ghost written, edited and helped publish several books on a variety of topics in partnership with Sidney. The two of them worked for five years researching and writing the book, Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet—described by The New Yorker as 'a codex for the New Age' and considered the definitive biography of Edgar Cayce. They are well known for their depth of knowledge and lively and engaging presentations. Faith Harding will be joining Sid and Nancy at the upcoming A.R.E. Member Congress in Virginia Beach from June 20-26; their presentation, Lives Touched and Lessons Learned from the Sleeping Prophet will be available online live on Sunday, June 21, 2015 from, 7-9 p.m. EST and on-demand any time after that date!
Sid and Nancy's latest title, True Tales from the Edgar Cayce Archives: Lives Touched and Lessons Learned from the Sleeping Prophet, was published by A.R.E. Press and is now available at ARECatalog.com.
Advice for Parents of Children Who Report Memories of Past Lives
By Jim B. Tucker, MD
A little boy named Joey talked a number of times about how his “other mother” had died in a car accident. One night at dinner
when he was almost four years old, he stood up in his chair and appeared pale as he looked intently at his mother and said, “You
are not my family—my family is dead.” Joey cried quietly for a minute as a tear rolled down his cheek, then sat back down and
continued with his meal. His parents—and their dinner guest—sat stunned.
At the University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies, we have investigated over 2,500 cases in which young children
reported memories of past lives. Parents frequently ask us for advice on how to handle their children’s statements. While each
case has individual differences, we can offer some general guidance that may be helpful.
First, it is important to know that these statements do not, by themselves, indicate mental illness. We have talked with many
families in which a child claimed to remember another set of parents, another home, or a previous death, and the children rarely
show mental health problems. These statements are generally made by children whose development appears to otherwise be just like
that of their peers. They can occur in families with a belief in reincarnation or in families where the idea of reincarnation had
never been considered before the child began making the statements.
When children talk about a past life, parents are sometimes unsure how to respond. We recommend that parents be open to what
their children are reporting. Some of the children show a lot of emotional intensity regarding these issues, and parents should
be respectful in listening just as they are with other subjects that their children bring up.
When a child talks about a past life, we suggest that parents avoid asking a lot of pointed questions. This could be upsetting to
the child and, more importantly from our standpoint, could lead the child to make up answers to the questions. It would then be
difficult or impossible to separate memories from fantasy. We do think it is fine to ask general, open-ended questions such as,
“Do you remember anything else?” and it is certainly fine to empathize with a child’s statements (“That must have been scary”
when, for instance, a child describes a fatal accident).
We encourage parents to write down any statements about a past life that their children make. This is particularly important in
cases where the children give enough information so that identifying a deceased individual that they are describing might be
possible. In such a situation, having the statements recorded ahead of time would be critical in providing the best evidence that
the child actually had experienced memories from a previous life.
At the same time, parents should not become so focused on the statements that they and their children lose sight of the fact that
the current life is what is most important now. If children persist in saying they want their old family or old home, it might be
helpful to explain that while they may have had another family in a previous life, their current family is the one they have for
this life. Parents should acknowledge and value what their children have told them while making clear that the past life is truly
in the past. We do not recommend that children undergo past-life regression hypnosis.
Parents are sometimes more upset by the statements than their child is. Hearing a child describe the experience of dying in a
painful or difficult way can be hard, but both parent and child can know that the child is safe now in this life. Some parents
may be comforted to know that the vast majority of these children stop talking about a previous life by the time they are five to
seven years old. This is the age at which children become involved with school and also the age at which they lose their memories
of early childhood, and the talk about a past life fades along with those memories. Very rarely, the memories will persist into
adolescence or adulthood, though with much less intensity than during the younger years. In many cases, however, as children get
older they do not even remember that they ever talked about a past life.
Overall, parents often find children’s claims to remember previous lives more remarkable than do the children, for whom the
apparent memories are simply part of their experience of life. The children then move on from the memories to lead typical
Blog from OpenCenter.org reprinted by permission of the author
Jim B. Tucker, MD, is Bonner-Lowry Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia.
He is continuing the work of Ian Stevenson at the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies with children who report memories of
previous lives. His first book on the research, Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous
Lives, has been translated into ten languages. His most recent book, Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember
Past Lives, tells the stories of recent American cases. His website is JimBTucker.com.
He will be featured at the A.R.E. Headquarters Conference Many Lives, One Soul: Reincarnation, Life Before Life, and Your Soul’s
Plan from Sept. 26-28, 2014, in Virginia Beach, Va., with a presentation entitled, Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives.
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.