Question: does Edgar Cayce mention anything about a hell? or is hell made up, is Satan or the devil made up?
Although the Edgar Cayce readings do refer to terms like “hell,” “the devil,” and “Satan,” the meaning of each of these terms is very different then what most individuals associate with them. From Cayce’s premise, there is not the dichotomy of Good and Evil being equal and opposing universal forces that are somehow struggling with one another; instead, the struggle is essentially between those things which are in accord with spiritual laws and those things which are not. It is the struggle between an individual’s Higher and Lower Self that occurs for each and every one of us. It is a struggle portrayed in the imagery of the Book of Revelation, and it is ONLY a struggle for humankind. In fact, Cayce states that only the human creature has forgotten the reason for which it was created:
Thinkest thou that the grain of corn has forgotten what manner of expression it has given? Think thou that ANY of the influences in nature that you see about you - the acorn, the oak, the elm, or the vine, or ANYTHING - has forgotten what manner of expression? Only man forgets!
-- Edgar Cayce reading 294-189
Ultimately, we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, and we were created to bring spiritual laws into the earth. That is why we are here.
Most often, the readings would suggest that whatever struggle or challenge we our facing is something that we have created. To be sure, it is not always something we have created in the present, but it is ours nonetheless. The readings do not believe that God randomly bestows hardship, challenge, or sorrow upon anyone. Rather, it is the soul’s higher self that has chosen a particular challenge or experience so that the soul might have the opportunity to learn a lesson. Ultimately, our lives are not created by what happens to us but instead by how we choose to respond to what happens to us. The readings often use the admonition to “do what you know to do, and the next step will be given.” It is when we ignore the best we have within us or turn instead to addiction, escape, or selfishness that we create further problems for ourselves that will eventually need to be met and overcome. These challenges that we create for ourselves are essentially our personal hell on earth:
From what may ANYONE be saved? Only from themselves! That is, their individual hell; they dig it with their own desires!
-- Edgar Cayce reading 262-40
(Q) What is holding back my spiritual development?
(A) Nothing holding back - as has just been given – but SELF. For know, as has been given of old, “Though I take the wings of the morning in thought and fly unto the uttermost parts of the earth, Thou art there! Though I fly into the heavenly hosts, Thou art there! Though I make my bed in hell, Thou art there!”
And as He has promised, “When ye cry unto me, I WILL HEAR - and answer speedily.” Nothing prevents - only self. Keep self and the shadow away. Turn thy face to the light and the shadows fall behind.
-- Edgar Cayce reading 987-4
On a number of occasions, individuals asked Edgar Cayce to explain what was meant by the “devil” as described in Scripture. The answer is essentially that the devil is representative of the “spirit of rebellion” within us that wars against our spiritual (or higher) self. The will is the determinant factor in terms of whether or not we pursue “good” (the spiritual laws that we came to manifest) or “evil” (selfishness).
Hence, will is given to man as he comes into this manifested form that we see in material forces, for the choice. As given, “There is set before thee (man) good and evil.” Evil is rebellion. Good is the Son of Life, of Light, of Truth; and the Son of Light, of Life, of Truth, came into physical being to demonstrate and show and lead the way for man’s ascent to the power of good over evil in a material world.
-- Edgar Cayce reading 262-52
Interestingly enough, the readings do suggest that there were a group of angels that chose to help individuals whenever they chose evil or separation from God. In other words, the “fallen angels” were not those angels that chose to part from the Divine but instead those angels that chose to help humanity “become aware of its separation from the God-force.” (262-89)