I know this sounds like heresy coming from the Director of the Edgar Cayce Foundation and Cayce’s specific teachings about reincarnation; but allow me to explain. The you and I that everyone knows, and our mothers’ love, did not reincarnate. Our bodies are new, and now have the mixed gene pool of our physically new parents. Our personalities have developed through current-life processes known as the “Associative Processes.” These processes lead to the development of cognitive connections (consciously recognized associations, thus “associative”). These cognitive connections build our personality as we experience events, thoughts, and people. The adjective, cognitive, comes from the Latin cognoscere, meaning "to get to know" and refers to the ability of the brain to think and reason as opposed to feel. A child's cognitive development is the growth in his or her ability to think, make connections, and retain memories. It is how we build a mental complex of how one thing affects or depends on another. Now we can see just how new and involved our new life is – so much so that it overshadows any past-life memories. This is purposeful, too. It is intended to help us focus on this new opportunity and grow through decision-making and self-evaluation.

We are also influenced by our childhood environment; each having different circumstances, socially and economically. Some are born into material challenges and less than ideal social relationships. Others are born into material comfort and pleasant social relationships. Eventually, we interact with our peers during our high school and young adult years – adding to our complex of knowledge and behavior. Keep in mind that our behavioral habits are shaped by modeled behavior when we are in our formative years: First by our parents and siblings, then our family relatives, and eventually by others beyond our core family. Modern media – such as TV, movies, and social networking – add to our outer growth and focus on this new life.

See? The “we” that we know did not reincarnate, it was developed anew. This is a fresh opportunity, a new start for us. Now you may say, “Oh but we’re all influenced by the karma of our past lives, both good and bad karma.” Yes, that’s true, but in this new life karma is mostly subliminal, subtle, or even unrecognized. I have studied the Cayce discourses for over 40 years, and the number of times he told a person, “That is latent within you,” reveals how we don’t know we have these talents, strengths, or this weaknesses and wrong-doings that have to be met in this incarnation. Rather than give us information about our past lives, Cayce encouraged us to go within and awaken to this portion of their being. Yes, it is indeed a portion, but it is not dominant. The outer new self is dominant. Our outer self is a significantly separate individual – unless we seek an awareness of our deeper self.

Before we go further with seeking, we have to address one more influence that Cayce regularly taught, and that is astrology. Actually, Cayce didn’t use what we know as astrology, he used the person’s Akashic record or Book of Life and saw various planetary and stellar dimensions that the soul had experienced prior to being born into this life. He explained that those prior-to-birth experiences had an influence upon our incarnate perspective and disposition. For example, souls who experienced dimensions related to the three-dimensional planet Venus (not the planet itself but the dimension associated with it) had an innate interest in and likely talent with the arts, music, and creativity. On the other hand, souls who experienced the dimensions related to 3-D Mercury (not the planet itself) had an innate mental capacity and dynamic aptitude for thinking, decision making, logistics, and comprehension. These traits do follow standard astrological interpretations of planetary influences, but not because of the position of these planets during someone’s birth, but because their soul actually develop abilities and interests related to experiences in those dimensions.

Okay, let’s get to the core of this lesson. Yes, we are to focus on growing into the best person we can be in this new opportunity; but there is a higher mission where past lives and soul experiences come into play. It is good to make the most of this life, but it is better to do so in coordination with all aspects of our being and the infinite whole of all life and the Source of life. Now we see why Cayce and many ancient religions taught the importance of knowing one’s deeper, more eternal self while applying oneself in this life. As Cayce instructed, “Come to know yourself to be yourself, and yet one with the Whole!” To do this, our outer self must subdue its dominance, and seek within, and then allow the deeper self to have expression in this incarnation. This is not schizophrenic double-mindedness; it is joint, cooperative togetherness for a higher purpose. That purpose being to know our true, whole self, not just this outer portion. The outer self only gets 80 to 100 years to do its thing, then it has to go! When it goes, does it have awareness of other dimensions of its being or not? Instead of using the term reincarnation or the cycles of reincarnation, Cayce preferred “continual life,” a term that included soul experiences beyond this world and united all aspects of our being in one, infinite, immortal life essence of mind and spirit.

We have not reincarnated, but a deeper portion has, and it is worth including this portion in this new opportunity, this fresh opportunity.

This blog is part of our 2020 Enlightenment Series. Members can access all of the available material, which includes an online video and downloadable monthly lesson, in the Member-only section of our website at EdgarCayce.org/members. Not a member? Join now.