Spending the Night in the Great Pyramid
By Ann Jaffin, MS
In November 1976, I went on my first A.R.E. overseas tour to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. This fabulous adventure with over 100 participants was led by Hugh Lynn Cayce, the elder son of Edgar Cayce. With special permission, small groups of our members were allowed to spend the night in the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid! I eagerly volunteered and, although sleeping on a thin mat on a very dusty stone floor was uncomfortable, I was so excited that nothing else mattered.
We were locked inside the pyramid for the night with a portable toilet around the corner. Our group voted to have a candle lit since when the electricity was turned off, this mysterious chamber was totally and completely dark. Mark Lehner, who has become a renowned Egyptologist, told us that if any problem arose, we should just say “Zahi, Zahi” to the guards. For many years, Dr. Zahi Hawass was the senior official in charge of the monuments on the Giza Plateau. Mark went on to help measure and map the Sphinx with great detail and accuracy and to lead the excavation of the Lost City of the Pyramids where the workers who built these wonders had lived.
Recently I came across the notes I made during the night I spent in the pyramid:
- Our chanting sounded like pipe organs.
- During meditation, something brushed the bridge of my nose. Could it be a fly or a mosquito? (Or something else more ethereal, I now wonder.)
- Our pyramid-shaped candle cast a shadow on the wall that was shaped like a hooded figure.
- At some time, I thought I heard a dog whine. (Interesting in view of my dream below.)
The Great Pyramid
Despite sleeping poorly, I recorded a dream that revealed some of my anxiety about this unique experience:
I dreamed we were in a pyramid in Tibet. A wild and mangy dog got in the gates and came in where we were up on top of small picnic tables. I was afraid. The dogs ate and growled, and I turned over two tables in fright. Somehow I crossed the room, but I wanted to get back to where I had been. The guards were Arabs with rifles, and we all wondered how the dogs had gotten in. By the time we left, we felt better about the dogs.
During our stay in Cairo, our tour members were able to participate in three psychic experiments designed to test the effects of the Great Pyramid on clairvoyance, telepathy, and dreams:
- After meditating in the Great Pyramid, we were asked to sketch or write a description of the contents of a sealed envelope. Then after meditating outside of the Great Pyramid, we were asked to do the same thing with a different sealed envelope.
- We were asked to record our dreams, knowing that each night that we were in Cairo, Charles Thomas Cayce, Edgar Cayce’s grandson, would pray for all of us whether or not we were sleeping in the Great Pyramid. While praying, Charles Thomas would be looking at a target picture. Later, our dreams were examined to see if the target picture had been incorporated into them, and whether or not this occurred more frequently for dreamers sleeping inside or outside of the pyramid.
- Those who chose to sleep in the pyramid were asked to seek a dream by formulating a question focused on either our group’s common spiritual purposes or on a personal concern.
After we returned home and the results of the experiments were analyzed, Charles Thomas wrote a letter to the group outlining some of the results:
- With the picture-drawing experiment, there was no difference in the number of ESP hits inside or outside of the pyramid.
- With the dream telepathy experiment, there were more hits outside of the pyramid than inside it.
It seemed that the pyramid shielded individuals inside the King’s Chamber from outside influences. Since the Cayce readings say that the Great Pyramid was a temple of initiation in which Jesus and John the Baptist underwent spiritual training and had mystical experiences, it would seem that shielding initiates from external influences would have been very important.
Ann Jaffin, MS, a life member and field volunteer of A.R.E., has been a member of an A Search for God study group for 40 years. Retired from the federal government, Ann has a master’s degree in Family and Community Development from the University of Maryland. In addition to writing several articles for Venture Inward magazine, she is the author of the book Past Lives and Present Karma. She is a frequent speaker at A.R.E. events, a dedicated user of Cayce’s remedies and therapies, and she has traveled the world, often with A.R.E. Travel & Tours.
Ann and her late husband Stan were stunned to discover out that several members of Stan's extended family had Cayce readings. They identified readings for 20 family members and 14 friends and interviewed the recipients all over the U.S. and in Europe. You can learn more about the Jaffin family in our Virtual Library under the Jaffin Family Archives and Research Project.
"Crown of Thorns"
By Richard Gaspari, as told to Judy Cosgrove
Would you ever think that prayer and a painting could heal an illness? No, me neither. But something changed my mind. In 2009, I was happily employed at a medical research company. However, cutbacks were part of the industry and now it was my turn to be laid off. I started applying for positions that matched my skill and experience levels, but to no avail. I couldn’t even get an acknowledgement that my applications and résumés were even received. I noticed myself silently slipping into depression.
At that time, I didn’t consider myself a religious man, but troubled times led me to soul searching and to prayer. It was then that I started watching a religious TV station in our area. Early one morning, after a particularly sleepless night, I turned on a show entitled, “Holy Land Rosary,” which was being aired in Jerusalem, Israel.
The crucifix on a rosary.
On the show, a priest was praying the “Sorrowful Mysteries” Rosary to an audience in Jerusalem. These five mysteries describe the sufferings of Jesus on the first Good Friday over 2000 years ago. “The Agony in the Garden,” “The Scourging at the Pillar,” “The Crowning with Thorns,” “The Carrying of the Cross,” and “The Crucifixion.”
The camera led us to each ancient site. When “The Crowning with Thorns” was announced and prayers began, scenes from the Church of the Flagellation were shown. This church was built on the location where it is believed that Jesus was flogged on his way to Calvary. Icons representing the crucifixion story were displayed around the doorway to the church. Inside, hand-painted on the wall above the altar was a beautiful depiction of the Crown of Thorns, and flowers in stained glass surrounded the magnificent painting. The shades of gold, purple, deep crimson, and brown blended beautifully with the stained glass.
Jerusalem, Church of the Flagellation
It was during the “Sorrowful Mysteries” that this Crown of Thorns really caught my eye. I felt personally touched by it and a wave of comfort flowed through me. I could feel my depression lifting and hope taking its place. The Crown of Thorns painting showed me pain and humiliation, yet it also brought me comfort. How could something so painful and humiliating bring peace and comfort? This Crown of Thorns suddenly appeared as the most beautiful and multifaceted creation I had ever seen. That was when I started praying the rosary, and still do to this day.
I found myself pondering the thought of painting the crown myself, but it seemed like too complex a project. I became aware of sick people around me and wanted to share with them the comfort it brought to me. The struggle of how to paint Jesus’ intricate Crown of Thorns and bring it to justice on canvas kept me from beginning.
While I was still thinking about it, my life continued to improve. I was able to obtain a position in a pharmaceutical company. Part of the hiring agreement was for me to complete additional college-level courses. This included some elective courses, and I was able to select an art course that would help me start my Crown of Thorns painting.
As I thought about how to start, my first stumbling block was a logistical one. The crown being round would relate to a square frame versus a rectangular one, which I preferred. This problem was solved by incorporating the icons shown outside the church on either side of the crown. I now had the desirable size and shape for my picture and was ready to start.
However, just at that time I came down with a bad case of the Shingles. If you’ve ever had Chickenpox, Shingles can strike when you least expect it, and can cause a blistering rash that may bring deep, penetrating pain that can last for 30 days or longer. Most people get Shingles blisters around the middle of their body, but what became ironic for me was that my blisters wrapped around my head! My pain manifested into migraine headaches that lasted 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When I say headaches, I mean “a headache”—one long headache that lasted for five weeks. I was barely able to concentrate on work, let alone begin a complex painting. The only time I wasn’t in pain was when I was sleeping—or so I thought, but my wife told me I was even moaning in my sleep! The continuous headache eventually subsided into daily headaches starting in the sixth week. Now, stronger than ever, I had the desire to start my painting.
Using my camera, I took pictures of the crown and icons right from the TV as I again watched the “Sorrowful Mysteries” being aired on the same TV show. I was able to adjust the lens until the pictures were the desired shape. I then worked on pencil sketches until I was happy with one. I discovered in class that my favorite medium for painting was watercolor. I worked on the painting project off-and-on for 15 to 20 hours at a time.
Select image to view larger
Finally, I felt confident in my endeavor, and the painting was completed! That night, I experienced the best night's sleep I'd had in months, and the next morning my head was clear. I said to my wife, “I'm done with the Shingles!” Something within me knew that they were over and that completing the painting had brought me healing.
Now, whenever I have family or friends in need, I like to present them with a framed copy of my Crown of Thorns painting. I tell them my story and how I felt that Jesus reached out to help me through this beautiful work of art in a church in Jerusalem.
Judy Cosgrove Judy is a spiritual seeker and long-time member of the A.R.E. A certified Asian body worker and graduate from the Meridian Institute in Wayne, Penn, she practiced Shiatsu and Tendino-Muscular Meridian work at a chiropractic center and a healing arts center, both in the West Chester, Penn area. She retired from a career as an administrative assistant from a major corporation in the Philadelphia area. Following the death of her son Michael in 1992, she has been involved with “The Compassionate Friends” (TCF), a global support group for parents whose children have died. A volunteer, she leads workshops and writes articles on after death communication to help bereaved parents in their grief process. She has been married to husband Bill for 48 years, and is the proud mother of three children and two grandchildren.
The Spirit of Thanksgiving
By Brenton Bickerstaff
On November 20, 1938, Edgar Cayce was asked to give a reading for Study Group #1 to give them a greater appreciation of the true spirit of Thanksgiving. It was a challenging time, with different issues including a looming war. The world was filled with hatred, fear, and uncertainty. I’d like to paraphrase the text of Reading 3976-21. Although Thanksgiving is a holiday unique to the American spirit, the idea of giving thanks is a universal theme celebrated the world over, transcending social and cultural boundaries. My hope is that it will fill you with inspiration and a deeper appreciation of Thanksgiving.
Members of the first A Search for God group
The reading began with the importance of finding a daily appreciation of life itself, the ebb and flow, the opportunities for spiritual growth offered to us through our interaction with all those we meet. Cayce stated that the Creative Forces, often referred to as God, are in constant motion, working through us to facilitate a deeper appreciation of all things.
He reminds the group to remember and honor the lives and experiences of the special group of souls who refused to waver in their purpose and ideals of establishing a nation built upon equality and freedom. Those colonists who first shared land with the local natives were constantly reminded not to just be thankful on days of plenty, but also the importance of remaining thankful in times when in each moment they were given only what was sufficient for that day. In those trying times, it was essential that they remember to give thanks for all the joys, the sorrows, the disappointments, and the hopes for the future.
Cayce reminds us that we are the torch bearers, the chosen ones to carry on the American spirit by working together for peace. We are encouraged to give thanks for our differences, and find strength in our diversity. We are a global family with a shared ideal of unity, cooperation, and mutual respect. This idea of Thanksgiving must be in the mind and heart of each soul, as we respect all of our unique paths and embrace opportunities to support each other. It is not by judging and condemning our political leaders that we will find our answers, but rather in daily Thanksgiving for the opportunity to participate in the process that helps create and evolve an ideal-driven experiment that is the United States of America.
In this great country, we are given opportunities—ones not afforded to much of the world—to put into practice the ideals our country was initially founded upon. This is the true spirit of Thanksgiving: to give thanks for the chance to lift the spirits of those around us who have lost focus, and those who have become unappreciative of our opportunities and the basic freedoms we enjoy. Thanksgiving is a reminder that every day is an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to an ideal-driven life full of purpose and passion; a day to remind us to see the living God in all that we encounter on our path. A day when each of us may give thanks for simply being alive!
As we give thanks—in the spirit of love, truth, patience, and compassion—we will receive the gift of greater awareness and understanding. Our lives will fill with the fruits of our labor, wisdom, and depth of clarity in our purpose for being alive now. Synchronicities will provide guidance and light our path.
Cayce reminds us of the ideals established in the early days of the American colonies: “In this land you may give praise for freedom of speech, for the opportunities to raise your voice in whatever way and manner you choose…Then, as you give thanks, as you give praise to your friends for kindnesses, for gentleness, for those things that make your experience more bearable in a cruel world… Let your heart then be glad.” (From reading 3976-21)
Far too often, I find myself forgetting to appreciate the basic human rights acknowledged in our country’s constitution. I always have to take a step back and extend my heartfelt prayers to all those at home and around the globe suffering from oppression, discrimination, and inequality—as I also remember to forgive myself for any oppressive acts and remain open-minded and of service to all who are in need. I also want to give thanks to all those who selflessly step in to protect the many freedoms we enjoy in our beautiful nation; all the servicemen and women who work tirelessly to protect our basic rights. As individuals, we may label ourselves insignificant, but this could not be further from the truth. As we bring change in the hearts of individuals, we enact change on a large scale.
I strive daily to maintain an attitude of gratitude—thankful for the blessings received, but also thankful for the struggles I encounter, for these are opportunities to grow in depth of awareness. Only by applying what we have learned can we find deeper meaning in life and strengthen our purpose, opening ourselves to a life of greater love and compassion.
Let each raise his voice in Thanksgiving for all that has, that may come to pass in the experience of each soul that prays, "Your will, O God, be done in me—now. Not as I will, but as You would have me go."
Brenton Bickerstaff is the host of Reflections: The Wisdom of Edgar Cayce internet television and radio talk show. He moved to Virginia Beach from Florida to work with Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. in 2012. He has been a student of the Edgar Cayce readings as well as other metaphysical and esoteric wisdom teachings since he was a teenager, with a special interest in educating and empowering teens and young adults to find their spiritual path.
Baptism into Death and Beyond
by Dr. Pam Bro
On All Souls Day, November 2, I found myself musing about death—especially loved ones who’ve died. When I was in college, my grandmother died. My mom decided not to tell me so as not to upset my studies, but when I found out two months later what she had done, I was furious! I wanted to be able to say goodbye to my beloved piano teacher and baker and big-bosomed, great hugger, Nana—and I felt cheated. I ranted and cried but felt no relief. A few weeks later, I had a dream. In it, Nana called me on the telephone, and I was overjoyed because, though I knew she was dead, here she was talking with me. “Nana,” I cried out, “I love you so much!” And she was so happy to hear my voice that she died (again)!
I don’t possess the gift of talking to dead people, even loved ones of mine who have passed on. There are plenty of folks around this area who do, I suspect. Maybe even you, dear reader. I used to live in the world of "certainties" and PhD's, but more and more I’m choosing to live in the world of Mysteries, of the Unknown or Not-understood. I’m choosing to act on faith from what Edgar Cayce, Dr. Eben Alexander, and others tell us—that consciousness is not tied to the brain, but pre-exists our life and lives on after our death. And as the souls of our beloveds travel on to the next realm(s), they might still appreciate a word of love or encouragement from us. It can’t hurt, and maybe it even cheers them. It can certainly help us cope.
My dear friend John Alton died a year ago. He was 60 years old and succumbed to a ravaging cancer after putting up a super-human fight. When he was near the end of his journey, he wanted to come to my house to visit the bay with me one more time. He never made it. The night he died, around midnight, I jerked around in my bed sensing someone had entered my room. I suspected it was John, popping in to say farewell. Now it was my turn to say good bye.
The next day dawned, an exquisitely sunny, clear sky, fall day. As I walked out over the dunes and onto our bay beach, thinking about special times with John, I spotted fishermen desperately hauling their nets onto the sand. It seemed like they had inadvertently caught a whole school of young fish—“gilled” them, one told me. The fish were too young to eat, yet once they were hooked into the net, you couldn’t easily release them without tearing their gills and killing them. As hundreds flopped helplessly on the beach, I managed to carefully remove dozens of them, flinging them back into the life-giving salt water. Many swam back to their home in the sea, but after an hour, I was exhausted.
Reluctantly, I admitted to God, “Well, I just can’t save them all. I guess I couldn’t save John with my love, and now I have to let him go back to his home in you, don't I?”
Somehow, I felt relief as I walked back down the beach. All of a sudden, I was gripped with the notion to dive into the gentle surf, jeans and all, to baptize myself and John into our new lives. So I did it, and it was glorious! The water was warm and welcoming, the sun so bright—I felt God’s blessing all around us.
It is good to remember your life, John—our deep friendship, your death, our parting, and our baptisms—“Hey, buddy, we got to share in your final wish, after all!” Selah.
Pamela Bro MDiv, MA, PhD
Dr. Pamela Bro is a spiritual counselor for the A.R.E. Health Center & Spa, founder and pastor of Living Waters, a dynamic motivational speaker and workshop leader, and a former associate pastor at Yale University. She holds her doctorate in theology and anthropology from the Chicago Theological Seminary, her masters in divinity from Union Seminary, and her masters in theatre from Schiller College, Berlin, Germany. She has enriched her field of spiritual counseling through her work with the Lakota Indians, Mindfulness Training with Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, and more than forty years of work with the Cayce readings. She has opened to many paths of spirituality and draws upon many spiritual traditions and practices. She is also the author of the book SoulQuest: A Trail Guide to Life (womanquest.org).
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