In between his hosting the second season of his TV talk show One Simple Idea, and preparing for his new book The Miracle Club, we caught up with author and lecturer Mitch Horowitz to discuss some of the most stimulating themes Mitch will be covering at our Law of Attraction conference in Virginia Beach, April 6-8.
Mitch opens the conference on Friday night with a talk on “How to Make a Miracle” (also available on live stream), and, as a special treat, Mitch remains on hand following the conference on Sunday afternoon for a free screening and discussion of the exciting new movie, As a Man Thinketh, in which he discusses the powers of the mind.
- You have written on many topics of interest to followers of Edgar Cayce, including in your book Mind As Builder. What is the key metaphysical principle that guides your own life?
My key principle is that our minds possess causative abilities. As Edgar put it: “The spiritual is life, the mind is the builder, the physical is the result.” Edgar very clearly viewed the mind as a medium between cosmic laws and human life. That places us in front of very large questions, including the mind’s full reach—and limits. Edgar was clear that, while we have an extra-physical existence and are part of an eternal spiritual and cosmic order, our lives on earth are also bound and limited by various physical laws. Within those parameters, however, the individual can aspire to become so much more than what we’ve been told is possible. In this way, Edgar’s work coalesces with many ancient spiritual teachings, including Hermeticism (the late-ancient Greek Egyptian philosophical school) and modern New Thought, which teaches the mind is a creative agent of our experiences in the most concrete sense. My search is to determine how we can use the mind’s extra-physical and creative qualities to fullest sense. We’re all part of this experiment, contributing our own experiences to a record of testimony amassed by seekers across generations.
- You are an influential thinker in the New Thought movement. Who influenced YOUR thinking?
In addition to Edgar, I have been deeply influenced by the ideas of a mystical teacher named Neville Goddard (1905-1972). Neville, who wrote and spoke under his first name, was loosely part of the New Thought tradition, although he really struck out in deeply original directions. Neville’s basic teaching is that your imagination is God. Everything that you see and experience, including these words, is the product of your own psyche, Neville taught. He saw the God of Scripture as a metaphor for the human imagination, and interpreted Scripture as an allegory of the individual’s spiritual development. Neville was probably the most radical and alluring figure to emerge from the mind metaphysics tradition. As I’ve written elsewhere, he created the closest mystical analog to quantum theory. In 1943, toward the end of Edgar’s life, Neville signed one of his books to Edgar, a copy of which sits in the A.R.E. library—I’ve included an image of it here. I was delighted to learn that two of my metaphysical heroes were in contact.
- Edgar Cayce once said, “. . . to find that ye only lived, died and were buried under the cherry tree in Grandmother’s garden does not make thee one whit better neighbor, citizen, mother or father! But to know that ye spoke unkindly and suffered for it and in the present may correct it by being righteous—that is worthwhile!” What are your thoughts on Cayce’s perspective of reincarnation?
That is a fascinating passage, which suggests a variety of things to me. First of all, I think Edgar is observing that goodness does not accrue by proximity: it doesn’t matter what one’s ancestors have done, or the background one comes from—we are products of individual merit alone. I also think that Edgar is suggesting, as Christ did, that goodness is not measured solely by how we treat those closest to us; even vipers love their own Jesus observed. Finally, I see here the insight that all time is one—that all is now, in the most absolute sense. In my book The Miracle Club, I explore the question of a “time collapse,” and the prospect that your actions right now can alter the past. It’s all one thing.
- What does the term Law of Attraction mean to you, and does it have a connection to Positive Thinking?
As I explore in my book One Simple Idea, which is a history of the positive-mind movement, the term Law of Attraction has roots going back to the work of mid-nineteenth century American medium Andrew Jackson Davis, who has been compared to Edgar. Davis used the term differently than how it is used today. In our time, the Law of Attraction is colloquially used to connote an overall mental super-law dictating that we attract and repel things according to the pattern of our thoughts. I have no problem with the term, or that usage, except when it is employed as the overarching law of life. As I’ve written elsewhere, and will touch on at the conference, I believe that we live under many laws and forces, of which the law of mind is only one.
- If you could go back in time and ask Edgar Cayce any question, what would it be?
I would ask him how the paths of personal ambition and inner development can be united, because I believe that we create artificial divisions between these pursuits, as we do among all aspects of life. I would like Edgar’s insight on this.