By Peter Woodbury
I learned about Edgar Cayce during a series of lectures given by Harmon Bro, Ph.D. Many of you remember Harmon, and what a powerful and insightful speaker he was. Harmon and his wife, June, had spent almost a year with the Cayce’s and were present at hundreds of readings. While Mr. Cayce’s trance readings are well documented, you may not be aware of some of the phenomena that also occurred during his readings. Harmon told us about some of these incredible experiences that he had witnessed while Edgar Cayce was under trance. On one occasion, someone present for the reading, could not hear Mr. Cayce and said “Up…Up” meaning for Mr. Cayce to raise his voice. Mr. Cayce then subsequently levitated! Harmon also heard Mr. Cayce speak foreign languages on several occasions while Mr. Cayce had no conscious knowledge of any language other than English! In earlier experiments with hypnosis, Edgar Cayce once played piano expertly, while again not having any conscious knowledge or training playing piano!
I began working with hypnosis ten year ago and I also began witnessing unusual phenomena. I travel frequently for the A.R.E. and usually stay on for a few days after a conference to provide private past life regression sessions for those who may be interested. In Florida, I was working with a woman and going thru the process of trance induction. I oftentimes use the image of a field of grass. I was describing the field of grass, when she interrupted me and said, “It’s not grass, it’s wheat and I’m a child running through the field!” and she then proceeded with her regression experience. It is fairly unusual for someone to jump into a regression so spontaneously! Her experience was about being a madam in the Old West and having met a customer who used his time with her to teach her how to read. This changed her life. The very next day, I was working with another woman, not acquainted with the first woman. Again, during the induction, while I was describing the grass, she interrupted me and said, “It’s not grass, it’s wheat and I’m a child running through the field!” Her regression proceeded and she was also a Madam in the Old West! Her story varied only in that she was befriended by a young woman school teacher who also changed her life by teaching her how to read.
Then I began to notice themes when I did regressions in a particular city. I usually conduct about 5 to 6 regressions a day for about 3 days (by the end of which I have no idea which life I’m in!) For example, in New Mexico, several regressions were to past lifetimes as “earth healers”. I had never heard of such a thing. In California, the theme was about contact with Jesus. In Michigan, almost everyone who came to see me was involved with animal rescue! I have also noticed that it is common for people who do not know each other and book appointments one after the other, to subsequently have a tremendous amount in common! I feel I am a sort of inter-dimensional “
match.com” and should have a mixer at the end of my stay where I introduce these “soulmates” to each other!
My experiences in Michigan fundamentally changed the work that I do. Let me first explain that regression is a form of hypnosis and hypnosis is based on the capacity of the mind to open to suggestion while in “trance” state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. A past life regression, for example, is a form of hypnosis that builds towards the suggestion, “behind the door is a past life experience that you are ready to receive at this time”. The individual under trance accepts the suggestion and opens the “door” and begins to describe their experience. Now in Michigan, something different started to happen. When given this same suggestion, a client opened the “door” and entered an unusual space. He described it as the “space of the inception of thought”. It was a very vast space and gave him the feeling of being in the presence of God. He then continued to the other doors and they were each a place of consciousness. They had a basic color and there was a combination of healing and revelation that would occur. And he didn’t ask for his money back that he didn’t have a past life memory! For the remaining three days, almost everyone had a similar experience: entering “spaces” of color/vibration with what seemed like a spiritual consciousness. People were happy with this alternative experience to a conventional regression. One of the nights, I began to intuit something about having had a deepening of my work and that new guides had come to work with me. I always pray and ask for guidance and protection, but I have limited sense of guides or presences. I think I am unusual as a New Ager because as much as I love and believe in this work, I tend to be skeptical. I question a lot.
My first client the next morning came in nervous, but not unusually so. I took it as excitement and also healthy apprehension about working with a relative stranger. As we spoke, she became more relaxed and subsequently had a very successful regression. As we were processing the session, she told me that she was initially apprehensive, but once she saw “the man in the white robe that I work with”, she felt completely at ease! Please note that I work “alone” with no men in bathrobes walking about! Oddly enough, I had also felt a supportive “presence” during that session.
Over time, I have deepened my connection to my “guides” and have changed my suggestion from “behind the door is a past life experience that you are ready to receive at this time” to “behind the door is just what you need at this time”. I now find that clients have varied experiences from past life memories, to entering places of consciousness and healing, to contact with their own guides and masters. With more experience in the “space of the inception of thought” which is also called “the space of infinite potentials”, I have learned what Jesus may have spoken about when He said, “There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. There is nothing kept secret that will not come to light” (Mark 4-22). This space opens the individual to far reaching exploration and understanding. For example, in this space, a woman asked a question that had bothered her since childhood: “Why are people so mean? Why are the people we put in places of power and trust, so oftentimes selfish?” Her answer came as a visualization of seagulls on a beach fighting over scraps. She came to see this from God’s perspective and that we are all like seagulls fighting over scraps. She felt God’s infinite Patience and Love, as well as experiencing timelessness. She learned that consciousness is an evolution and God is always present. We will get there in the fullness of time, she understood. She came out of the experience, with a deep sense of peace and that her life-long question had been answered in an unusual by very effective way.
A gentleman from Canada came to meet with me at my office in Virginia Beach. He was curious and open to whatever might be most helpful at this time. The regression was proceeding smoothly. He opened the door, and entered a very peaceful place. He described it as feeling like a Zen Buddhist monastery he had once visited in Japan. But no sooner had he said that, then he began to moan as if he were in intense pain! In moments like these, my experience as a clinical therapist is helpful as I have learned how to work with and tolerate intense feeling states. I knew that he had just felt completely safe and relaxed. I trust this process as it has always been safe, guided and constructive. So I prayed, asked for help, and was ready to get him out, if his pain did not abate. Then it appeared that the intensity was subsiding. He was eventually able to speak. With tears streaming down his face, he explained, “It’s the strongest, most intense feeling of love, pure love, that I have ever experienced! My body is just not capable of taking it all in. It hurts…” He then spent the next hour going in and out of this experience of “pure love”. He came out of the session exhausted, but deeply grateful. We have kept in touch and he tells me the experience remains as one of the most powerful of his life.
Let me conclude with some of what has become clearer to me through this work and what I have learned about the soul and life on earth. It seems that before we incarnate, we gather with a group of souls that will become our guides. We have oftentimes been the guides of our guides when they have been incarnate. I call this collection of guides a council. We have a certain amount of karma that we wish to resolve in any particular lifetime. The soul, in conjunction with the council, comes to make its plan for the incarnation. Souls are very industrious and want to maximize the karmic release. It somehow seems easier from this vantage point! The council’s job is to modulate the choices, but the soul has the final say.
The soul sees the path of the lifetime and many of the possible variations. It looks like a river with many tributaries. The river is the desired path. The tributaries are karmic potentials and risks to best be avoided, as they are patterns that the soul has succumbed to in past lives. As the soul incarnates, it becomes largely unconscious of the soul and the guides. It is during sleep, meditation and hypnosis that the soul comes into consciousness. Again, when we are in the waking state, the soul is “asleep” or unconscious. When we “sleep”, the soul is awake, while the “waking consciousness” subsides. The goal of life is to awaken the soul mind in the waking, everyday consciousness. This is what is called enlightenment. Hypnosis offers the possibility of keeping waking consciousness active as we cross “beyond the veil” into the soul mind. In these experiences, we become consciously aware of what happens every night while we sleep. Cayce advised to note how you feel when you awake each morning. You have either been soberly reminded how deeply you are on a tributary or how well you are staying with the river!
I have come to understand that after physical death, the life evaluation is done by the individual’s soul consciousness, in its heightened state. I have learned that “God” is not the judge. God is purely Love, Law and Truth. Those three aspects apply to our lives and to our evaluation, but we ourselves (our souls) judge the efficacy of our life. How close did we stay to the intentions before birth, how well did we resolve karma, did we overcome or fall into past life traps? All these are part of the souls own evaluation. The soul understands if there has been gain or loss, as weighed against the intentions, the plan and the God’s Spiritual Laws. It is almost a mathematical formula that the soul follows in its self-evaluation. There is no possibility of “cheating”.
I believe this is what Jesus may have meant when he said: (I have added my comments in parenthesis)
“Therefore if you are presenting your offering (your soul record) at the altar (life evaluation), and there remember that your brother has something against you (unresolved karmic tie), leave your offering there before the altar and go (reincarnate); first be reconciled to your brother (forgive or ask forgiveness), and then come and present your offering (the soul record from the after-life evaluation).” Matthew 5: 23-24.
This is essentially the story of the soul and reincarnation. As souls, we entered the earth pure and we create karmic ties which need to be released in order that our soul may once again have that purity with which it was created and be “presentable” unto God.
In summary, hypnosis seems to offer a third way to access the soul mind (sleep and meditation being the other two). If the purpose of life is to awaken soul consciousness into waking consciousness as the great masters have shown, then hypnosis is a great tool on the spiritual path. In meditation, the soul slowly comes through into waking consciousness and eventually, through diligent practice, comes into bloom in this world. Hypnosis offers a glimpse of the enlightened consciousness and can serve as a motivator to deepen our soul development practices. I have found that hypnosis serves to deepen meditative practice and jump start those who find it so difficult to quiet the mind. And in this process, we have taken a step away from the “seagull consciousness” and one step closer to Oneness.