You and I have taken this journey before. We know all the traffic signals, all the landmarks. Once we set out on this path, we begin to remember each step. We see lighted passageways and familiar faces. We know that we have done this before. Departing on this trip should be like any other important leave-taking. It should be a comfortable, even a peaceful takeoff. And yet, facing death brings up many fears. Is this truly the end, or a new beginning? Is there a hell and is that where I’m headed? What about all the mistakes I’ve made? Can they be forgiven? Will I see anyone familiar or will I be all alone?
According to Edgar Cayce we don’t die at all: we just leave one lifetime with its gains and losses and move to another realm to prepare for the next one. The soul never dies. The brain may die but consciousness continues. The truth of this is corroborated in many exciting stories of near-death experiences. Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, who has spoken here several times, tells the story of his own near-death experience. His book is entitled, "Proof of Heaven." If you have any doubts about the next world, read this book.
Dr. Alexander had believed that the brain is the beginning and the end of consciousness. After a severe case of meningitis he was pronounced dead. He could see his body on the bed, with the doctors and family members standing around, the life supports removed. His brain was dead and yet he was aware of all that was going on in that hospital room. How could that be? Then he found himself traveling in the beautiful life-after-death-mode. His story is inspiring and this experience completely changed his understanding of death, the brain, and consciousness.
A question was asked at his last conference here. "Did Edgar Cayce ever have a near-death experience?" There were serious accidents in Edgar’s childhood when he might have had one, but I had seen Edgar Cayce go into his prayer/trance state and I was aware of his disciplined focus and complete offering to God of his body, mind, and spirit.
Hugh Lynn Cayce told my husband Harmon and me that every time his father gave a reading, he moved into a prayerful, focused state that was more like a death state than anything else.
When he was giving a reading, he was in the Spirit and it would have been very easy for him to leave his body for good: the threads between this life and the next were very delicate in this trance state and needed to be treated with the greatest respect and prayer. The vibrations around Edgar always needed to be of the highest order. The pull of the ‘other side’ with its freedom from the responsibilities of the physical realm, and the peace and joyful atmosphere of the spiritual realm, could be very enticing,
Hugh Lynn also told us about a time at the end of a reading period, when Gertrude was slow in giving Edgar the suggestion to return to consciousness, and his breathing became slower and slower and more and more shallow, until Gertrude, Gladys and Hugh Lynn all got down on their knees beside the cot to pray for his life. Finally, his breathing became more normal and he returned to consciousness.
There is no way that Edgar Cayce was afraid of death. On his own deathbed he heard the music of the spheres—heavenly choirs. For him, the passage to the other side was easy. He had been practicing it for most of his life.
Some of you will remember Jim Dixon who was bead of the Study Group Department for many years. When his wife was dying of cancer, he invited my husband and me to visit them in Arizona. His wife Beth and I were very close because she had a beautiful soprano voice and whenever we got together we would spend hours at the piano making music together. I had a dream shortly after this visit.
In the dream, I saw Beth sitting on their king-size bed. In front of her lay shells of all sizes, colors, and shapes which she had arranged in beautiful designs. In the dream I started to weep. I turned to Jim who sat on a chair near the bed and I said through my tears, "Beth is not afraid of dying, Jim. Look at these designs! She trusts the beauty of the process. But there are so many people who don’t know how to die!" Jim nodded in agreement. I awoke, my face wet with tears.
Then there should not be sorrow and sadness in those periods when the physical turmoils and strifes of the body are laid aside, for the moment, for the closer walk with Him. For indeed to be absent from the material body is to be present with the Lord… And then when…there is the meeting at the river, there will be indeed no sorrow when this barque puts out to sea.
--Edgar Cayce Reading 1824-1
Excerpt from June Bro's The Art of Living from the Jan-Mar 2015 issue of Venture Inward magazine available to A.R.E. members at EdgarCayce.org/members.