About Edgar Cayce(1877 – 1945)
Edgar Cayce, also known as the Sleeping Prophet) was a devout Christian who read the Bible in its entirety once a year. He had a psychic gift from childhood, which put him on his career path at the age of 21 as a psychic and healer.
Every year, tens of thousands of people from all over the world become interested in the life work of one ordinary man. He was an average individual in most respects: a loving husband, a father of two children, a skilled photographer, a devoted Sunday School teacher, and an eager gardener. Yet, throughout his life, he also displayed one of the most remarkable psychic talents of all time.
For forty-three years of his adult life, Edgar Cayce demonstrated the uncanny ability to put himself into some kind of self-induced sleep state by lying down on a couch, closing his eyes, and folding his hands over his stomach. This state of relaxation and meditation enabled him to place his mind in contact with all time and space. From this state he could respond to questions as diverse as, “What are the secrets of the universe?” to “How can I remove a wart?” His responses to these questions came to be called “readings” and contain insights so valuable that even to this day individuals have found practical help for everything from maintaining a well-balanced diet and improving human relationships to overcoming life-threatening illnesses and experiencing a closer walk with God.
These ‘readings’, covered topics of physical health, past life readings, business advice, dream interpretation and mental/spiritual health. His success rate for physical readings was 100%, and many of his global and medical predictions have come true. In 1931 he founded the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc. (A.R.E.) in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to document, research and disseminate his information. The A.R.E. currently house all of his readings (over 14,000) and follow-ups to the readings, all of which are available to the public at the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc. (A.R.E.), in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
This material represents the most massive collection of psychic information ever obtained from a single source. Countless individuals have been touched by the life work of this man who was raised a simple farm boy and yet became one of the most versatile and credible psychics the world has ever known. In addition to the Cayce readings, the organization makes available a large collection of Edgar Cayce books, New Age books, Self-Help books and Metaphysical Books.
All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.”
Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677) was born in Amsterdam, Holland. He was a descendant of Portuguese Sephardic Jews and his name derives from the town of Espinoza in northwestern Spain. His family immigrated to Holland in order to escape the tentacles of the Inquisition and to return to the Judaism of their forefathers.
He was known as a philosopher’s philosopher. Bertrand Russell said of him that he was ‘the noblest and most lovable of the great philosophers’. Unfortunately this did not prevent him from being vilified, excommunicated from his Jewish community, and labelled a heretic during his time.
Spinoza was among the most important of the post-Cartesian philosophers who made significant contributions in every area of philosophy. Along with Descartes and Leibniz, he is known as one of the three major Rationalists.
He is best known for his work The Ethics, one of the classics of modern philosophy (published after his lifetime). In it he sets out his metaphysical ideas, which begin with the notion that reality comprises of just one substance, which can be conceived of as either Nature or God. This substance has infinitely many attributes, however, we a finite human beings can only perceive two of them, extension and thought. Unlike Descartes, who put forth that mind and body are two separate types of things, Spinoza argued that mind and body are merely different ways of conceiving the same reality. Starting from basic assumptions and by a series of geometric proofs (along with many other philosophers, Spinoza believed that mathematics was the means to discovering the truth about the universe) he constructed a universe that was also God.
Be not astonished at new ideas;
for it is well known to you that a thing does not therefore cease to be true
because it is not accepted by many.”
This is the classic example of pantheism – the belief that God and the universe are one and the same. Since God and Nature are one, God is immanent (not transcendent), self-creating and entirely free.
As far as individuals go, according to Spinoza, each individual is a localized concentration of the attributes of reality and the way to liberty is by the means of one’s intellectual powers.
Blessedness is not the reward of virtue but virtue itself.”
As the supreme rationalist, Spinoza held that there are three levels of knowledge.
1. The lowest level of knowledge or ‘vague experience’ is acquired through the senses. For Spinoza and the other Rationalists this is not knowledge at all and real knowledge is always the conclusion of deductive reasoning.
2. ‘Adequate ideas’ or common notions provide the second level of knowledge and form the basis for the third level of knowledge.
3. An adequate idea is one that is logically coherent and the test of its truth is that logical coherence.
For peace is not mere absence of war,
but is a virtue that springs from, a state of mind,
a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.”
Spinoza’s highest level of knowledge is ‘intuitive knowledge’ which uses adequate ideas to know the ‘essence of things’. This knowledge is the intellectual love of God because it comprehends everything in relation to God and recognizes God as the source and connection of all things. As finite human beings, however, we have only a limited understanding of such things. We must therefore actively seek knowledge because the core objects the mind understands by the second and third kinds of knowledge, the less it suffers from harmful emotions and the fear of death.
Happiness is a virtue not its reward.”
Spinoza’s philosophy was ahead of his time in that today our planet is viewed as a single vast organism or self-regulating cell. His system also suggested a holist ethics similar to that put forth by modern ecologists. It implied that if you harm the world, you harm God, if you harm others, you harm yourself.
Major theories – Stoicism and Morality: Epicureanism: Atomism: Hedonism
Epicurus (341-270 BC) was the founder of one of the major philosophies of ancient Greece – Epicureanism. His philosophy espoused the notion that happiness, obtained by the avoidance of physical and emotional pain and the seeking of pleasure (in moderation) was the highest good.
He believed that virtues in themselves were all purely instrumental goods, valuable solely for the sake of the happiness that they can bring to a person, not for their own sake.
… the world consists basically of atoms flying through empty space…”
He maintained that all of the virtues are ultimately forms of prudence, of calculating what is in one’s own best interest. In this, his philosophy goes against the majority of Greek ethical theorists, such as the Stoics who identify happiness with virtue, and Aristotle who identifies happiness with a life of virtuous activity.
Epicurus also taught the world consists basically of atoms flying through empty space, and he tried to explain all natural phenomena in atomic terms.
He rejected the existence of Platonic forms and an immaterial soul saying that the gods have no influence on our lives. He felt that we could gain knowledge of the world by relying upon the senses.
The common Greek view was that the chest, not the head, was the seat of the emotions. Epicurus was one of the first philosophers to put forward the theory of ‘mind’ which identifies the mind with the brain, and mental processes with neural processes.
… courage, moderation, and the other virtues are needed in order to attain happiness.”
Although Epicurus’ philosophy combined a physics based on atomistic materialism with hedonistic ethics, he insisted that courage, moderation, and the other virtues are needed in order to attain happiness.
His focus on natural science combined with philosophy were instrumental in his philosophy regarding dispelling fear of gods and death. Natural science in order to give mechanistic explanations of natural phenomena and thus dispel the fear of the gods, and philosophy to help show us the natural limits of our desires and to dispel the fear of death.
…since death is a total annihilation we need only live a simple life…”
One significant consequence of Epicurus’ philosophy of mind is that death is annihilation. According to him, upon death, the container of the body shatters, and the atoms disperse in the air. The atoms are eternal, but the mind made up of these atoms is not, just as other compound bodies cease to exist when the atoms that make them up disperse. Therefore, since death is a total annihilation we need only live a simple life and seek ways in which we can seek pleasure (in moderation) and avoid physical pain.
(The Younger) (3 BC – 65 AD) was born into a wealthy family in present-day Córdoba, Spain. His father was a famous teacher of Rhetoric
in Rome where Seneca was schooled in, and deeply influenced by, Stoic philosophy.
Seneca was not only a philosopher; he was a great orator, dramatist and statesman. In AD 49 he was made a praetor (a municipal officer of Rome) and appointed tutor to Nero, the adopted son of the Emperor Claudius.
… all men are brethren, and of the holy spirit.”
Although Seneca’s philosophy was considered to be neither original nor of particular depth, it was simple, practical, and virtuous; so much so that Christian writers on morality and ethical conduct have referred to him frequently over the centuries. In fact, his writings contain phrases that are
suggestive of some of the spiritual doctrines of Christianity including the idea of forgiveness, that all men are brethren, and of the holy spirit.
… philosophy should have high therapeutic value.”
He understood well the challenges of life and the weaknesses of human nature. He felt the role of the philosopher to be that of a spiritual
advisor. Like the Epicureans he believed philosophy should have high therapeutic value, including the Stoic viewpoint which advocates not
worrying or stressing about those things you have no control over.
Unlike the Epicureans, however, Seneca explained that by making pleasure an ideal it would mean that good resides in the senses. To the contrary,
the Stoics found that good resides in the intellect which is able to judge what is good or bad according to virtue and honor.
What matters is not what you bear but how you bear it…”
Seneca also wrote that the mind and courage are given to withstand what is sad, dreadful, and hard to bear. By maintaining poise and dealing
with everything that occurs, good people become more capable because they regard all adversity as an exercise to gain strength. They turn
hardship and difficulty into advantage. What matters is not what you bear but how you bear it. A soft and easy life tends to produce weak
… anger is the most hideous and frenzied of all the emotions … it is temporary insanity.”
His writings also include essays on anger, divine providence, Stoic impassivity, and peace of soul. He wrote that anger is the most hideous and frenzied of all the emotions calling it temporary insanity. He felt that humans were born to help each other whereas in anger, they destroy each other.
He referred to Plato’s analysis that both punishment and anger are not consistent with good because one injures, and the other takes pleasure in injuring.
A happy life is attained with courage, virtue and energy …”
Seneca adhered to the Stoic premise that the happy person is one guided by reason and free from attachment to either fear or desire. The happy
life is one attained with a sound mind that is courageous, virtuous and energetic. The mind can never be exiled, because it is divine and free to explore all time and space.
Seneca’s writings not only helped to make Stoicism a popular Roman philosophy, his philosophy greatly influenced the essays of Montaigne, Elizabethan tragedy, the theology of Calvin and the doctrines of the French Revolution.