Edgar Cayce on ESP by Doris Agee

Edgar Cayce was an American psychic who lived from 1877 to 1945. The majority of his work consists of channelling answers to questions while in a hypnotic trance. This was called giving a “reading.” Readings consisted of: giving general advice on life from an astrological basis; giving medical advice on ailments; helping to locate missing persons; providing information about ancient Atlantis and the future of the planet.

Interestingly, Cayce was a devout Christian throughout his life, which is hard to marry with his use of astrology, given Christianity’s condemnation of magic. It is claimed that he had no education in this art, which is hard to believe, since his language mimics the general practice of astrology, which is, in my opinion, a rather flawed magical art.

The book begins, very interestingly, with a chapter entitled “The Universal Mind,” which is concerned with where Cayce obtains his information. The idea is that there is a sea of consciousness, of which our individual minds are just an aspect. Cayce’s trances allowed a greater flow of information from the Universal Mind than his normal waking consciousness would be able to process. I resonate very much with this way of thinking, and I was eager to know more.

Unfortunately, after a few chapters of this nature, the book changes tack, and concerns itself with raising Cayce on a pedestal rather than teaching anything useful about psychic abilities. I quickly grew bored reading case after case of supposedly accurate psychic readings. All the while, the sceptic in me was making note of the fact that, while the author Doris Agee had access to “The Cayce Files,” she chose to relay the stories to using aliases, which makes any verification of facts impossible.

When reincarnation was mentioned, Cayce’s readings always fell into a pattern that I see so often with frauds. Have you ever noticed that when a psychic talks about somebody’s past life, that life is always special: he either lived in Atlantis, or he was an Egyptian priest, or he was present with Jesus at the cruxificion, and so on. Statistically speaking, why would your past life be any more special than your present? But it always is. And that’s very telling, isn’t it?

The clincher came when Cayce offered some prophecy about the world’s future, that great “earth changes” would take place between 1958 and 1998, including the destruction of Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. FAIL.

I get frustrated when reading books about psychic matters, because it’s hard to tell the genuine information from the fraudulent. All things considered, I have to categorise Edgar Cayce in the latter group. What a waste of time.

Mental Radio by Upton Sinclair

I discovered this little 1930s book by accident whilst browsing the Sacret Texts website (given the book’s age, it’s legally available there in its entirely to read online). The title intrigued me, because I’ve recently been doing my own personal experiments into psychokinesis (a.k.a. telekinesis, the moving of objects with the mind), and getting results, I might add! The topic of this book is telepathy (mind-reading), something which I’m eager to try.

First, who is Upton Sinclair? A writer of some standing in Socialist circles, it appears. That means little to me, but of more import was something I discovered when hunting for a cover image of the book to go with this review. You can’t see it on my scaled-down image, but it says “Foreword by Albert Einstein.” Sadly, the version of the book available on the website lacks this foreword, which I would have loved to read. Nevertheless, the presence of Einstein should at least lead readers not to dismiss a book of this nature out of hand.

The first two thirds of the book consists, for the most part, of a menagerie of drawings and notes made by Upton Sinclair and his wife Craig. The most frequent experiment involved Upton making a series of drawings in private, enclosing each one inside a sheet of paper, then giving the set to his wife. She would then enter a trance-like state and attempt to “see” what was drawn. After leaving the trance, she would then make her own reproduction on paper. The results were often far from perfect, but continually showed astounding similarities that could not have been random.

A book like this does, of course, stand or fall on the reader’s willingness to believe that the author is writing an account in good faith. People who are desperate to hold onto the view that physics is the cornerstone on which reality hangs will no doubt dismiss Sinclair as a crank. As for me, I got the distinct impession of a sincere and level-headed man. Since my personal discovery of psychokinesis, I have felt that this kind of knowledge is vitally important in helping us understand what consciousness actually is, in determining whether there is more to being human than just a physical brain and body. And after reading this book, I feel the importance of that study reaffirmed.

The last third of the book got me really excited. Here Sinclair makes some rational deductions about the mind, in light of his experiments, and I was ecstatic to hear him coming so close to the view that I hold – that the universe is essentially an expression of consciousness, that we are all aspects of a single gigantic mind expressing itself. He doesn’t quite make the leap, but he’s right at the gate.

Here are a few extracts. Sinclair’s attitude reminded me a lot of David Icke:

If what I publish here is mysticism, then I do not know there can be such a thing as science about the human mind … Those who throw out these results will not be scientists, but merely another set of dogmatists – of whom new crops are continually springing up, wearing new disguises and new labels. The plain truth is that in science, as in politics and religion, it is a lot easier to believe what you have been taught, than to set out for yourself and ascertain what happens.

The deduction that all our minds are connected at a deeper level:

I think a study of them [these experiments] shows that a true vision comes into the subconsiousness, not directly from the drawing, but from another mind which has some means of knowing, and sending to consciousness via the subconsciousness whatever I ask it for. Of course, I cannot attempt to prove it here. It was one of the questions to which I was seeking an answer, and the result seems to point to the existence of a deeper mind …

The suggestion that the universe is made of mind, not matter:

But I insist that until Craig and Dr. Watson, Professor Eddington and Mrs. Eddy have found out positively whether the universe is all mind or all matter, I must go on speaking in the old-fashioned way, as if there were two worlds, the physical and the mental, two sets of phenomena which interact one upon the other continuously, even though the manner of this happening is beyond comprehension.

Again, our deeper, connected minds:

What telepathy means to my wife is this: it seems to indicate a common substratum of mind, underlying our individual minds, and which
we can learn to tap.

The book concludes with these words:

We present here a mass of real evidence, and we shall not be troubled by any amount of ridicule from the ignorant. I tell you – and because it is so important, I put it in capital letters: TELEPATHY HAPPENS!

I think this book is an absolute gem. One of the most important things I’ve read thus far in the quest to understand the nature of what we are.