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Life Readings: A Study of Spiritual Evolution 


 
   
Life Readings: A Study of Spiritual Evolution
By Hugh Lynn Cayce


SUBJECT: Life Readings

PURPOSE
To estimate the value of such information in relation to the individual's desire to:
1. Study self.
2. Understand and work with others.
3. Develop talents and choose a life's work.

SOURCES
1. Eleven hundred and fifty individual Life Readings given over a period
of fifteen years through Edgar Cayce.
2. General readings on subjects referred to in Life Readings.
3. Written reports from members of the Association who have studied
their own Life Readings.
4. Observations by the Association staff.

CONCLUSIONS
1. Every individual who has made a study of his Life Reading
has expressed the opinion that it has helped him to know himself better.

2. Many individuals have been able to use their Life Readings
successfully in working out complex problems in their associations
with others.

Comparative studies of Life Readings for individuals associated
in special groups indicate cycles of development and laws of attraction
that warrant further study.

This is especially true in family relationships.
Sufficient studies have not been made to justify a report.

3. Our records contain reports from more than a hundred individuals
who have followed their readings with favorable results
in developing latent talents and choosing occupations.

There is a vast field of research work open here,
especially in relation to heredity and environment.

4. The Life Readings explain a system of spiritual evolution as connected
with this solar system, presupposing
the existence of a soul which passes
through many
states of consciousness in its growth.

Statements regarding the spiritual significance of life are consistently constructive
and in accord with highest principles or religious beliefs.

5. Life Readings contain information on such subjects as:
reincarnation, astrology, numerology, the power of thought, etc.

A comparative study and correlation of such information
would be most interesting.

6. Life Readings are proving especially helpful for children,
and are, when given shortly after birth, unusually good checks
on the value and accuracy of psychic information.

7. The Life Readings may be said to contain the philosophy
of the "readings" given through Edgar Cayce.

8. Evidence is predominantly in favor of further study and
comparative checking of Life Readings.

DEFINITIONS OF TERMS

ENTITY: This is used to denote the complete individual,
including the physical body, conscious mind; the subconscious mind,
the astral body, soul and superconscious mind.

URGES: Either astrological influences, resulting from experiences
in planes of consciousness other than earth, or influences from
the effects of retardment or advancement in previous lives on the earth.

WILL: A spiritual faculty of the soul.

SOUL: A creation of God's composed of spirit, mind and will.

PHYSICAL PLANE: Earth.

DIMENSIONAL STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS: Planes, symbolized by the
planets of this solar system, through which souls pass for experience using other forms
adaptable to the particular dimension.
In the earth we use a three-dimensional physical body.

APPEARANCE: A life on earth.

LIFE READINGS
Introduction

What will I do with my life?
Which one of us has not had to answer that question?
It faces us at least once - usually many times in the short span of human existence.
The young man leaving college must answer it.
The middle- aged mother who finds her children self-sufficient must answer it.
The successful business man ready to retire must answer it.
The girl involved in her first love affair must answer it.

Sometimes the answer to this question is more eagerly sought
when success in a worldly way has already been attained.

Often the more versatile or more gifted the questioner,
the greater the need for decision.

Too, there are times when parents ask this question a little differently
for a child whose talents and abilities they would guide and direct.

Whether for self or some loved one this question involves one's
fundamental concepts of life.

Some individuals face it courageously, others drift with the tide
of circumstances seeking temporary respite in inactivity.

Life Readings are this psychic's answer to this question.

History
The first Life Reading was given in 1924, for a gentleman in Dayton,
Ohio, who asked for a horoscope.

The horoscope was given, but in it the statement was made that
information of such character was not alone as helpful

as data which would give an understanding of urges
arising from experiences in past incarnations in the earth
and correlating such urges with the present opportunities
for spiritual development.

A series of such readings followed, first for those closely associated
with the work of the Association.

Gradually the interest in this type of reading has grown.

To date over thirteen hundred first Life Readings have been given
for individuals in all parts of the country.

What Is A Life Reading?
You are asking the question, "What Is A Life Reading?"
This question can best be answered by the individual after obtaining such a reading.

We can tell you what it contains, we can explain its peculiar language,
but for you your Life Reading will be an individual experience.

First, we will give here a general statement on Life Readings
which has evolved after study of hundreds of them.

Second, we will outline the contents of such a reading.

A Life Reading is an analysis of your soul development.

It is taken from the records of your soul's experience
through many planes of consciousness.

Its focus is upon the constructive urges in your present development.

It is concerned with your everyday efforts to live in conformity
with the spiritual laws of the universe.

It is a survey of your nature concerned with the development of your character.

Life Readings hold that individuals are spiritual in essence,
using physical bodies as temporary abodes and channels for expression.

Each individual does not have a soul, he IS a soul.

Life Readings seek to help individuals recognize their place
in the scheme of spiritual evolution and direct thought and action
toward the highest possible development in the present life.

These principles are stated here as ideal purposes of Life Readings.

As with all types of psychic information the Association holds
that the only true test is in results from application of such information.

Each Life Reading first gives an outline of the major astrological urges.

This is followed by a brief history of the more important past incarnations
which affect the present cycle of the life.

The inclinations and urges from these experiences are pointed out.

Next, an analysis of the personality is given in the light of
the attainments in spiritual development.

Finally, suggestions are made respecting the expression of certain talents
which will lead to the proper life's work or development of abilities
that will give the individual greater opportunities for expression.

At the end of each reading there is time for questions regarding
any of the subjects mentioned.

How is A Life Reading Given?
The next most natural question is,
"How is a Life Reading given?"

This involves the equally important question,
"Where does this information come from?"

To answer these questions we must turn to a study of the phenomena
as manifested through Edgar Cayce.

This, of course, brings us to fundamental considerations of all such research.

Since the average person has not made a study of the tremendous
mass of evidence accumulated by individuals and groups proving
the authenticity of extra-sensory phenomena, and since there
is still so much disagreement over the validity of sources claimed
by many persons possessing unusual powers, we will not attempt here
to argue or prove our statements regarding the procedure or
the sources for securing the information contained in the Life Readings.

What would be proof to one would be sheer nonsense to another individual.

So, if you seek proof, make an honest, sincere investigation for yourself.

From your own experiences there will grow an understanding.

Here, reduced to simple language, is the explanation of the
"how" and "where" of Life Reading data as presented
in the readings themselves.

In past incarnations, and through development on planes of consciousness
between appearances on the earth, Edgar Cayce has acquired
the mental ability which enables him to close all perception
through physical consciousness.

He suppresses the conscious mind and allows
his superconscious or soul mind to receive the suggestions
given him during the period of any reading.

This superconscious mind is not limited by time or space and is able
to focus upon whatever source is necessary to secure the information desired.

The range and clarity of this higher perception are governed,
or influenced, by many factors, some of which are:
- the spiritual development of the individual through whom the information comes;
- the purpose of the seeking for the information;
- the desire of the one seeking the reading;
- the physical condition of the sensitive;
- the attitude of those present at the time the reading is given.

In securing a Life Reading an individual is asked to furnish the name
given at birth, also the date and place of birth.

From this it is evident that the birth becomes the first focus point.

It is interesting to note that, at the beginning of each Life Reading,
Mr. Cayce reviews each year by repeating in a low voice the present date
and each year backward to the date of birth.

In many cases he has been known to comment on certain years
in the following manners, "1900...quite a change,"
or "1898...a bad accident in this year."

In some cases the remarks have been subject to check and
have been found to be accurate.

Following this enumeration of dates there is a pause and then
the reading begins.

During a number of Life Readings Mr. Cayce has had dreams.
(During Life Readings, as in the case of all readings given by him,
Mr. Cayce is not conscious of anything that he says.)

These dreams present in symbol form the experiences through which
his superconscious mind passes in securing the information for the Life Readings.

Mr. Cayce's account of these experiences is as follows:
"I see myself as a tiny dot out of my physical body, which lies inert before me.
I find myself oppressed by darkness and there is a feeling of terrific loneliness.
Suddenly, I am conscious of a white beam of light.
As this tiny dot, I move upward following it, knowing that I must follow it or be lost.
"As I move along this path of light I gradually become conscious of various levels
upon which there is movement.
Upon the first levels there are vague, horrible shapes, grotesque forms such as
one sees in nightmares.
Passing on, there begin to appear on either side misshapen forms of human beings
with some part of the body magnified.
Again there is change and I become conscious of gray-hooded forms moving downward.
Gradually, these become lighter in color.
Then the direction changes and these forms move upward and
the color of the robes grows rapidly lighter.
Next, there begin to appear on either side vague outlines of houses,
walls, trees, etc., but everything is motionless.
As I pass on, there is more light and movement in what appear to be normal
cities and towns.
With the growth of movement I become conscious of sounds,
at first indistinct rumblings, then music, laughter, and singing of birds.
There is more and more light, the colors become very beautiful,
and there is the sound of wonderful music.
The houses are left behind, ahead there is only a blending of sound and color.
Quite suddenly I come upon a hall of records.
It is a hall without walls, without ceiling, but I am conscious of seeing an old man
who hands me a large book, a record of the individual for whom I seek information.
I have had this experience some twenty-five times.
The variations have been only slight ones."

General readings of explanation state that every soul makes a record
of its experiences in every plane of consciousness.

In other words, the soul finds expression in many planes in bodies
or other suitable vehicles adapted to the dimension of that particular plane.

In the earth plane it uses a physical body of three dimensions.
All of its experience make up the soul record for that particular entity (soul).

It is these records with which Mr. Cayce makes attunement in obtaining
the data for a Life Reading.

Just where this record is or how it is recorded can not be explained here.

We are approaching some understanding of the process through
experiments with mental telepathy.

Science is beginning to realize that thought registers perceivable forms
and, like physical energy, can not be and is not destroyed.

No one has ever found a picture of an old swimming hole engraved on a brain,
but in a flash you can recall this and many other memories.

Where is this record made?
Is it in matter?

Well, probably not in matter as we know it.
This may give you some idea of the soul records which are tapped
for Life Readings.

There are individuals who can turn inward to their own soul records
and open for themselves great storehouses of power.

Our concern is with just how valuable the information, purported
to be drawn from these records, can be made in our everyday life.

The Purpose Of A Life Reading
One of the most repeated statements in the readings given
by Mr. Edgar Cayce is that the only real test of extrasensory
information lies in its application to the ordinary daily needs.

However exciting, however beautiful, in order to be of value
such information must be good when tested in the living experiences
of individuals.

The underlying principle of all Life Readings is to conform to
this point of view.

Of the thirteen hundred or more Life Readings upon which
we are basing this study, not one can be found that is
not constructive in point of view.

By no means does this imply that an individual's imperfections
are passed over; for, in many instances the innermost secret defects,
the basic causes of critical thoughts and acts, are brought to light.

But always there is constructive suggestion for meeting and overcoming
these faults.

The brief histories of past incarnations are not given with the point of view
of presenting glamorous scenes, but rather to explain deep-seated urges
that have important bearing on present thought and action.

The important consideration of each Life Reading seems to be
the presentation of information that will help an individual recognize
his spiritual nature; and to magnify this nature through directing, controlling,
conscious thought and action in constructive channels.

The Philosophy Of The Life Readings
Considered as a whole the Life Readings given by Mr. Edgar Cayce present a beautiful
system of spiritual evolution.

The human soul is explained as a significant creation having an important
place in the scheme of the universe.

Spiritual growth is the keynote of life through recognition, realization
and appreciation of the Oneness of God.

The importance of astrological urges is explained by pointing out that
each soul passes through planes of consciousness between appearances
on earth.

These planes of consciousness are represented by the planets of this
solar system - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune,
named in order of their proximity to the Sun.

In each of the environs governed by these planets
the soul takes on a form suitable to the dimension and planets
the soul takes on a form suitable to the dimension and continues its growth.

The order of these experiences is governed by the action
of the will of the soul in relation to its experiences.

Gradually there has evolved through the ages an understanding
of the urges which come from experiences in these various planes.

In attempting to express these urges in words, in relation to physical
consciousness, much is lost; and it becomes impossible to explain
the inter-action of the will as it affects the negative and positive sides
of these influences.

For general consideration we give the following parallel expressions:
Mercury - Mind.
Venus - Love, Beauty.
Mars - Force, Energy.
Jupiter - Idealism
Saturn - Purification, Change.
Uranus - Occultism, Extremes.
Neptune - Mysticism, Water.

In the light of this theory of soul experiences, astrological influences
take on a new meaning.
(It may be best to state here that Life Readings do not indicate
physical experiences on other planets but rather point out
the planes of consciousness are represented by the planets.)

The influences from the various planets may naturally at times
seem harmful rather than helpful.

The completeness and well-roundedness of the necessary experiences
are important.

Great teachers and philosophers of the world have stressed balance.

In this physical life the need for balance is but a reflection of
the necessary development in the spiritual life.

The nobleness of Jupiter without the driving force of Mars,
the love influence of Venus without the tempering action of Mercury,
are dangerous.

As you consider the multitude of complex nature represented in mankind,
know that you view many degrees of developing entities who have not
assimilated the balancing factors of all the solar experiences.

The naturalness of varied combinations and crossed manifestations
are even more reasonable when we consider the fact that the human will
may use or misuse each opportunity presented to it,
and anywhere along the path of development turn the whole entity about
and stride backward, carrying thousands of souls with it,
as many of the so-called "great" men of history have done.

In considering the theory of rebirth as presented in the Life Readings,
perhaps our first consideration should be that we are upon the earth
as we make these observations of life and it behooves us to make
the most of our experiences.

Instinctively these experiences lead us to seek an understanding
of the laws of the universe.

The simple tiller of the soil or the great scientist is awed by
the complexity of the world about him.

Reincarnation, as it is explained in the Life Readings, is a natural law,
a natural part of the plan for spiritual growth.

Theories of reincarnation have been concepts in the religious and
philosophic belief of peoples of every nation, civilized and uncivilized,
since man's appearance on the earth.

Knowledge and superstition have at times become inextricably confused,
resulting in diverse explanations of the laws of rebirth.

Uninformed persons make no distinction between reincarnation
and transmigration.

The first pertains to the soul's rebirth in the earth plane in human form,
while the latter refers to the rebirth of the soul interchangeably
in animal forms.

Those desiring a knowledge of various beliefs embodying these theories
will find of interest those of Plato, Pythagoras, the Indian religions,
African tribal religions, American Indian religions, Egyptian
and Persian Mysteries, Druidic and Christian mysticism.

Among the modern philosophies and cults Theosophy,
Rosicrucianism and the Order of Christian Mystics
present interpretations of the subject.

Spirtualism is divided as to the truth of this theory.

Information through mediums in America may be said to discount it,
while that given through those in England and on the continent
substantiates the belief.

The Following Concepts Are Presented In Life Readings:
1. The earth in its inception was a divine expression of the Creator.
Individual souls through the application of will in the expression of selfish
desires make of it a hell.

Through the guidance of the Christ-Soul the earth has been made a ladder up
which we may climb to a consciousness of an at-onement with the Creator.

Through a series of incarnations in matter in human form the soul learns
to cleanse itself of the selfish desires blocking its perfect understanding,
and to apply spiritual laws in relation to matter.

2. Urges created in the material plane must be met and overcome,
or used, in the material plane.

3. Rebirth in the earth plane occurs as a result of individual need.
It may follow a definite cycle or vary according to the development of the soul
in this and intermediary planes.

The number of incarnations is not limited.
Some souls may exercise choice in the entrance into this plane,
others according to development are drawn through a relative action
of forces for a particular type of expression.

4. Sex changes in various incarnations according to development
and expression in previous periods.

5. Throughout a given life individuals are associated with other souls
with whom they have previously been connected in past lives,
or with souls whose development has reached similar planes of consciousness.
A man builds his own station in life.

6. Forgiveness of sins in the religious sense is definitely connected
with the laws of cause and effect.
Through a personal application of the truths as expressed
in the life of the Christ an individual may make of his so-called "karma"
stepping-stones to a greater God-like expression.

7. The will's influence is always a governing factor in experience
and may alter the destiny builded by a soul's previous activity.

The stress placed upon the importance of the will as a factor
in the development of an entity and correlation of its action
with some seemingly unexplainable hereditary and environmental
influences are outstanding points of emphasis in Life Readings.

Within every being there is a force which seeks constantly
to move towards God.

This does not mean that man may always overcome
and master his surroundings in the sense that we speak of physical success,
but that always there lies within him the ability, the power,
to choose the way which will mean a step forward along the path.

If one will make an effort, the knowledge of how to use
to spiritual advantage any and all conditions, will be opened from within.

We all make the fatal mistake of over-emphasizing the importance
of the physical life.

We become blinded by its needs, which we constantly magnify.

Fear clutches at our hearts at the least sign of failure of laws
which we have considered immutable.

Food, shelter, clothing, bodily comfort, pleasure, are of paramount importance.

We have come to depend upon certain laws to provide these.
Such laws, supply and demand, tastes, etc., are man-made
and may not always exist.

We build our own environment and choose our own
hereditary influences, or are drawn to them according
to our individual needs.

There are many conditions which from a physical standpoint
seem beyond the control of our wills, but which from
a spiritual and mental viewpoint offers opportunities
for real development.

This brings us to the point of differentiation between the power
of mental control over physical action, or desire, and
the spiritual factor which is the true will.

The will must considered as a faculty of the soul,
and should be exercised and developed as such.

It must not be confused with its expression or activity in
the mental and physical worlds where it often becomes so involved
and entangled with our conscious desires that we lose sight of it.

The loss of will power results in the magnifying of selfish desires
to such an extent that the desires of the physical body and
conscious mind overshadow the inner desires of the soul,
which constantly drive us toward God and which, if magnified in
the mental and physical life, may use any condition,
any barrier, any problem, as a stepping-stone for further spiritual growth.

The fusion of this God-given faculty of every soul with the Divine Will
makes possible a perfect attunement with God.

Over and over in Life Readings we come upon the statement,
"Mind is the builder."

And each Life Reading contains some admonition and direction
for holding the mind to constructive activity through complete
and balanced expression in the physical plane.

Positive thought and action are stressed as essential for real self-expression.

The philosophy of the Life Readings is not an easy philosophy to live.
It is a challenging standard.

As we study our own Life Readings our excuses for drifting must be discarded.
No longer are we able to blame God, the Devil, or others for our misfortunes.
We can never again pity ourselves without a feeling of guilt.
We are brought face to face with the need for standing mentally
on our own feet.
In all it is sometimes a most disturbing philosophy,
but most of us must admit that we need a little "disturbing."

Using A Life Reading
The values in Life Readings seem to fall under three natural heads:
1. Better understanding of self
2. Improvement in work with others
3. Direction of talents and selection of vocation "Know thy self."
This age-old admonition has been interpreted in many ways.
The more we consider it the more complex the problem becomes,
and even modern psychology with all its explanations of complexes
and inhibitions does not meet our needs.

For many individuals Life Readings have lifted the curtain
and revealed the inner self.

One individual writes as follows:
"Then my reading came!
And I knew that to some eye I had been an open book
...a book read all the way through.
Here were my shortcomings and my dreams,
the unconfessed and hidden good and bad of me.
Here, for instance, was the rebuke to that old hesitancy of mine
to go on with life...that recurring bugaboo of 'Why am I bothering
about life at all...and is it real anyway?'
No mere human being had ever guessed at that thought
which had been at times an all-day consciousness in me.
Agnostic that I prided myself to be, I had spit mentally
at many a church door (and curled my lip at many a church member).
Yet this all-seeing eye had registered my bitterness and forgiven it
...had known what I really meant when I had said so often,
'That bunch wouldn't know Jesus if they fell over Him in the street.'
Sheer poetry spoke out of those pages to me.
I could not get it all at once by any means. I had laughed so often
at susceptible middle-aged females who talked about being born
under the sign of Capricorn.
But when the reading said I had a certain urge from one of the planets,
I did not find it so funny.
There were indeed stars in the heavens, I remembered.
So much hidden truth had been spotted that I was willing
to accept for the moment the weird implication of a star-gazer.
Here were comments on the work I had done and on the work I might do.
Here were even the ways and manners for going about it.
Here was romance at its top. For here was a drama in which I was the star.
I moved across the stage of life, according to this reading, and life had
gone on for centuries. Did I feel important? Yes, and that feeling brought
new hope, new courage and new power.
Yes, I have had a Life Reading."
(954)

Let us suppose for a moment that our souls have lived
before in this or other planes and that some of our complicated urges
are not handed down to us by heredity but have been self-developed.

Would it not be helpful to know how to direct these urges,
to understand them?

In the following instance if the Life Reading had been studied,
much suffering for many could have been averted.

Quoting from a Life Reading given in 1927, for a very
successful Florida business man:

"...and hence we find, with the greatest purport of self
to accomplish the good, many at times speak evil when no evil intent
or purpose is meant by the entity...
One that has in the present plane found that often,
on account of adverse conditions apparent when none meant,
the entity tends to appear to others as secretive in actions,
when to the entity such conditions present that as an element of safety,
rather than that of attempting to be of the undermining or secretive nature...
In the abilities of the entity, and in the application of same,
it is found that in the experience there comes, through this,
much of the ability to counsel, and many of the privileges
of monies under the control of the entity, of its own and of others..."

Warnings and spiritual advice followed. (943-2)

When this reading was given nothing was known of the man's nature.

He neglected to study the information, and he put it aside for several years.

Situations arose where others accused him of being secretive,
doubted his motives and became severely critical.

Considerable difficulties arose over the handling of monies.

In this instance all of these conditions could have been avoided
had the Life Reading been studied and the advice followed.

The Life Readings hold up the mirror of past activities.

We can see ourselves as the builders of our own present position
in the scheme of life.

We can see the source of an urge, we can view the pitfalls ahead
if we continue along certain paths.

The Life Reading is a picture of the real self.

Consider the following from a Life Reading:

"The mental development may be made useful - while purely
mental attributes of the Mercurian, as well as Aries,
may bring destructive influences in the life respecting the body
becoming one-tracked toward one influence; a theoretical and
not a real, applicable, workable, influence in a material world...
In the application of will as respecting this condition, with influences
in the active forces from the occult, there may be seen -
without balance - the body may often be (as it is at times)
misjudged by associates, connections and those related in active,
material demonstrations of mental proclivities of a body;
considered radical, and even radical to the extent of not
being practical."
(204)

When this reading was given Mr. Edgar Cayce did not know the individual.

A few years passed, bringing tremendous activity with accompanying
complications.

In the history of the section of the country in which this entity labored,
no name (and the list is long) came closer to being engraved indelibly
upon the tablet of constructive history than the name of this individual.

What was the criticism on every tongue, and most of all from those
who worked with him? Impractical!

The first storms of criticism centered about the radical attitude
and the touch of the occult.

This gradually changed with the injection of the charge of impracticality.

Here again the warnings went unheeded, were pushed aside because
at the time of the reading there seemed no foundation to this picture of self.

It proved, in the eyes of thousands, to have been worthy of consideration.
(204)

In considering the Life Readings as aids to working out relationships
with others, we may find many examples where they have proved helpful.

Family associations, friends, business associates and the like
are apparently built up, for the most part, on past incarnations.

An understanding of the urges in these past relationships is found
to be of great help in present-day association.

Let us sketch briefly a few of the problems solved by the Life Readings.

Two boys from different sections of the country met during their first year
in college.

They were naturally drawn together, yet could not get along.
Either would go out of his way to cause the other difficulty and enjoy
the discomfort.

This relationship reached in a few months the proportions
of a college feud, brought on fights and developed the worst side
of both individuals' nature.

Life Readings were secured and it was found that in past lives
these individuals had been on opposing sides in two wars
and should in this life overcome antagonism, for much could
be accomplished in work together.

Both individuals deliberately set out to destroy the antagonism
and have succeeded in building up a mutually benefitting friendship.
(341 and 849)

A young man and woman fell in love and found themselves involved
in a tangle of petty jealousy and intrigue.

Both were tormented with doubts and fears.

Life Readings described the difficulties of a past life in which their love
was frustrated because of intrigue involving the same individuals
causing trouble in the present life.

Urges from such experiences were explained and advice given
that led to marriage and happiness.
(23 and 1005)

A Life Reading was requested for a boy who was hard to manage.
The boy's mother had died and the father had married again.
The boy became gradually a serious problem and could not be kept at home.
Finally he ran away to sea. The Life Reading was requested with
the hope of finding him, or of at least giving suggestions for handling the situation.
The reading indicated that there was a definite conflict in the family
connections and that it would be much better for the boy
and the family for him to remain away from home.
The love for the sea and the way for development was indicated.
(2213)

We could go on with case after case.
These will suffice to illustrate the point.
Here we have selected normal everyday problems that have been solved
through Life Readings.

This is no recourse to a mystic formula, but practical reasoning based
on a theory that is being tested in each new case.

As we turn to the final value of Life Readings we approach one
of the most interesting phases of our studies, for here is an opportunity
for valuable contributions to a most important field of research.

On every hand we hear the cry, "Some of our best bankers are farmers,
and many great artists are working in machine shops."

There is a real need for more and more vocational direction throughout
our educational system.

Too, there are so many individuals whose lives are dull and drab
because they are not giving expression to latent talents and abilities
within them.

Life Readings have proved of great help to many in selecting a vocation
and in developing unused talents.
Here again we could describe many cases.
Consider these as typical examples.

A young man who worked in an engraving shop became interested in
and finally secured his own Life Reading.

The reading urged an escape from the binding conventions of
a possessive family and specifically stated that the young man
could be a most successful artist, especially in work with modern friezes.

It is natural that we have watched with interest this young man's
years of work and study in art school and his rise to remarkable
heights in his field.

The reading stirred a new power within him.
Anyone who could compare the suppressed young boy of a few years ago
and the young scholar and artist whose work is being recognized today
would see why we feel that the Life Readings are so worth studying.
(345)

Frequently, individuals secure Life Readings that, in their opinions
do not seem to coincide with their interests and abilities.

The following is an example.

In 1927, a Life Reading was given for a fourteen year old boy.
The information indicated that the talents and abilities lay in fields
of activity pertaining to dress.

"One that will find greater success, the greater development,
in the present experience, coming through that of association
with peoples - in the condition of the business man,
especially that as pertains to materials, clothing, or of such natures."

The following urges were indicated from various past incarnations:
"The urge as is seen - particular with self as to dress."
(Period of French court.)
"The entity then among the tradespeople of Salonica."
And another,
"Hence among those who first in the land (Egypt)
took on special kind of raiment or garments
to designate self from others..."
"...the urge as is seen, the ability to know materials,
especially that as applies to wearing apparel."

As this young man grew older he entered newspaper work.
The urges as described above were not sufficiently strong
to draw him into the type of work indicated.

Years later there came an opportunity for a connection
with a firm selling uniforms.

In this position he has been unusually successful.
Gradually, an understanding of these urges has come,
bringing greater poise and opportunities for mental and spiritual growth.

The information contained in the Life Reading and a reading
explaining these urges has opened the way for unusual development.
(641)

There can be no compromise with such information.
It must be tested.

Let us consider, too, any number of instances where specific
musical instruments have been recommended in Life Readings
and upon trials unusual aptitudes have been discovered.

Such experiences bring joy and a means of expression
to lives which in many cases never "click."

The important consideration is in learning through careful
comparative study whether or not these directions actually
open up storehouses of developed abilities.

From our present observations it certainly seems
that this is true. (275 and 276)

There have been instances where complete changes were recommended in occupations.

In one case a change was made from the grocery business
to wood and metal products, which later developed to be radios.
The success was phenomenal.

In another instance of a young man thoroughly disgusted with life,
a change was suggested that involved a type of work
never considered by the individual.
For several years the young man had been a salesman of automobiles.
The vocation suggestion was housing.
The important point is that this suggestion was followed and
the latest report is that he has never been happier
and is intensely interested in the work.
(257 and 1066)

Just one more case before closing this section.
A few years ago a young woman who was a telegraphic operator
sought a Life Reading.
An art career was recommended.
The change was made and has resulted in a new life for the individual.
She reports remarkable progress and, more important,
a deep joy in her work. (338)

Here again we have come face to face with common problems
and we see the Life Readings fulfilling a real need.
Again results count.
These readings can not be laid aside and forgotten.
They are no magic scrolls to whisk you into a land of make-believe.
They must be studied and the advice heeded, and this at times
means an upsetting of lives that have fallen into ruts.
Day by day the number of individuals who are using their Life Readings
constructively is growing.

Studying Life Readings
The following suggestions for studying a Life Reading
may prove helpful:
1. Take the attitude that your reading must be examined over
a long period of time.
Just for the sake of argument consider what it means if this particular
document in question really is a study of your soul development.
It offers possibilities. You have everything to gain - nothing to lose.

2. Be frankly critical but fair as you check over the characteristics
which are described as being yours.
Fooling yourself with a false note of laughter will not change the facts
of the suggestions given.
Make a note or two, as time goes on, so as to keep track of your
own reactions under circumstances described in the reading.

3. A number of subjects are mentioned in the Life Reading
which offer opportunity for further study.
Select one and look into it.
A dip into astrology will not age you, some modern book
on self-analysis or even a book or two on reincarnation
may prove helpful.
At least you may find it worth while to secure more information
on one or more of the outstanding past incarnations.
Hit the period as close as you can estimate it and stick to
the more informal types of writing.
You may be agreeably surprised at the interest which is aroused.

4. By all means check up on any recommendations for vocations or avocations.
Give any talent or special ability which is mentioned a fair chance to develop.
Don't push yourself, just expose yourself to the influences
that tend toward the subjects mentioned and watch the results in yourself.

5. If the study proves helpful continue your investigations with readings on each
of the appearances mentioned and check up with questions that occur to you.
Write the Association for such parallel material
as it may publish from time to time on Life Readings.
Remember the Association reflects your interest - when expressed.

There are many things in studying Life Readings that require the attention of the
Association as a research organization.

1. First the Association needs more detailed reports
on the individual Life Readings.
We understand that mental and emotional reactions are hard to describe,
but they are most important in this study.
Only through the cooperation of the members who have Life Readings
may we expect real progress for our research in this phase of the work.

2. There is a crying need for Life Readings to be given for groups
of children in special schools, and studied carefully in accordance
with the reactions of individuals in such groups,
under the guidance of trained teachers.
The Association looks forward to such cooperation with some select institution
and will appreciate the cooperation of members in making such contacts.
Reports on twenty-five children under the same group of observers
would lead to some interesting and, we believe, helpful results.

3. Members of the Association interested in the Life Readings
should encourage more such readings for children directly after birth.
Some have found the Life Readings most helpful in selecting suitable names.
At least a reading at an early date will offer more checkable information.
We want the facts. (299, 314,1208, 1346, 1958, etc.)

4. There is a real need for correlation of the information in Life Readings.
Funds for this work are needed.

Summary

In closing we feel justified in stating that all the evidence points toward
the need for further study and development of the Life Readings.
They are proving helpful for many individuals in all walks of life
and should be extended to larger groups.

The Association is dedicated to the principle of passing on
to others that which is found to be helpful in these studies.
In the light of this principle it is justly proud of the good
which has been accomplished by Life Readings through Edgar Cayce.

Cases Used In Above Study - (Twenty Individuals) -
23 - 641 - 204 - 849 -  257 - 943 - 275 - 954 - 276 - 1005 - 299
- 1066 - 314 - 1208 - 338 - 1346 - 341 - 1958 - 345 - 2213


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Updated: 7 October 2013