Here is some interesting reading on reincarnation as discussed in the amazing Edgar Cayce material. Enjoy!

Edgar Cayce and Reincarnation: Past Life Readings as Religious Symbology

J. Gordon Melton

J. Gordon Melton is the author of numerous scholarly articles and books on New Religious Movements (NRM’s), and is the editor of several standard reference works including the Encyclopedia of American Religions. Dr. Melton heads the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Santa Barbara, and is frequently approached by the media for his perspective on alternative religious movements. He earned his Ph.D. in religion from Northwestern University, and is a United Methodist minister. This article originally appeared in Syzygy: Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture (vol. 3 no. 1-2, 1994), and is based on a paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion at Virginia Beach, Virginia on Nov. 9-11, 1990.

When Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) died, he left behind a unique resource, complete transcripts of over 1600 readings he had given in the last decades of his life to the hundreds of people who came to him for help and advice. Subsequently, under the leadership of his son Hugh Lynn Cayce, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) and the Edgar Cayce Foundation mobilized thousands of people to explore and study the transcripts which were cross-indexed and proved the inspiration for numerous books which have attempted systematically to present the information and teachings scattered in bits and pieces haphazardly through the readings. Thus by compiling the many life readings on Atlantis, ARE writers developed a coherent picture of what Cayce taught about that lost continent.

In more recent years, the publication and spread of the Cayce literature became a major factor in the emergence of what is loosely termed the New Age Movement. For example, one can trace the speculation on crystal power which has emerged as such a prominent teaching among New Age groups directly to the compilation into a booklet of Cayce’s rather meager and scattered references to crystals in the readings.

Among the major themes in the readings are several other key New Age concerns including alternative health (possibly the most explored material in the Cayce readings), astrology (the least explored in relation to the significant amount of attention Cayce devoted to it), and reincarnation. Reincarnation, as developed in the hundreds of past-life readings given by Cayce, could be seen as the single most prominent concern of the Cayce materials. For over thirty years, Cayce went into trance and offered people information on “previous lives lived in planet earth” while interpreting their significance for present existence. These life readings, along with readings which specifically asked for elaboration on the material given in the life readings, presented a cosmic metaphysics which many have accepted and used for guidance in their lives. (1) The importance of the reincarnation theme in the Cayce readings has taken on added dimensions in this present generation with over 20 percent of the American public now professing a belief in reincarnation.

The emergence of reincarnation and Cayce’s past life readings

The idea of reincarnation and the possibility of exploring past lives did not just suddenly emerge in the Cayce readings…

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