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Edgar Cayce on the Book of Revelation

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The Book of Revelation, often called the Revelation of John, or the Apocalypse of John, is a book of the New Testament that occupies a central place in Christian eschatology. Its title is derived from the first word of the text, written in Koine Greek: “apokalypsis”, meaning “unveiling” or “revelation”. The Book of Revelation is the only apocalyptic document in the New Testament canon although there are short apocalyptic passages in various places in the Gospels and the Epistles. The author names himself in the text as “John”, but his precise identity remains a point of academic debate. Second century Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Clement of Alexandria identify John the Apostle as the “John” of Revelation. The bulk of traditional sources date the book to the reign of the emperor Domitian (AD 81-96), and the evidence tends to confirm this. The book begins with John, on the island of Patmos in the Aegean, addressing a letter to the “Seven Churches of Asia“. He then describes a series of prophetic visions, including figures such as the Whore of Babylon and the Beast, culminating in the Second Coming of Jesus. Wikipedia has an excellent chronological list of events in the Book of Revelation and an outline of the book. The obscure and extravagant imagery has led to a wide variety of Christian interpretations: historicist interpretations see in Revelation a broad view of history; preterist interpretations treat Revelation as mostly referring to the events of the apostolic era (1st century), or, at the latest, the fall of the Roman Empire; futurists believe that Revelation describes future events; and idealist or symbolic interpretations consider that Revelation does not refer to actual people or events, but is an allegory of the spiritual path and the ongoing struggle between good and evil. As you will see, Cayce gives an idealist interpretation to the Book of Revelation.

1. Introduction to Cayce’s Interpretation of the Revelation

Edgar Cayce

Through his otherworldly journeys, Edgar Cayce learned the true interpretation of the Bible. According to Cayce, the Bible is the symbolic account of the fall of the human soul from its divine origins (as symbolically described in the Book of Genesis) and restoration of the human soul to heaven (as symbolically described in the Book of Revelation). In other words, Genesis is the symbolic testimony of humanity’s fall from heaven and paradise lost. Revelation is the symbolic testimony of humanity’s restoration to heaven and paradise regained.

In the Book of Revelation, John records a vision he experiences, probably while dreaming or meditating. This vision contains a tremendous amount of symbolism; the same kind of symbolism one would see in a dream, a vision of the spirit world. In fact, the Book of Revelation contains the same symbolism found in the symbols in the Prophet Daniel’s dream. All Biblical dreams, such as those of Joseph, Gideon, Daniel, Paul, and Peter, are very symbolic and therefore had a hidden spiritual meaning rather than a literal interpretation of the symbols. Such is the case with the Book of Revelation.

During several of Cayce’s journeys into the spirit realms, he was able to unlock the secrets to the symbolism in the Book of Revelation. He gave a large amount of information specifically for the purpose of discovering the book’s hidden meaning.

Cayce described the true nature between humanity and God. Cayce revealed that humans have three different dimensions of human awareness: the conscious mind (personality), the subconscious mind (soul) and the superconscious mind (spirit). An important goal in everyone’s life is to awaken our superconscious mind to attain what Cayce called “at-onement” with God.

The superconscious mind is called by many names by many religions in many different cultures. Some of these names are: Buddha consciousness, Christ consciousness, the Collective Mind, the Universal Mind, the Collective Unconsciousness, the Holy Spirit, Brahman, God, the Clear White Light, Allah, Higher Self, the Mind of Christ, etc.

Cayce’s references to the Christ, the Christ consciousness and the Mind of Christ, has little to do with the personality known as Jesus. Cayce revealed how Jesus became the Christ — a full manifestation of the Christ consciousness — the perfect union of the human with the divine. It is God’s desire for all of humanity to attain “Christhood” (or “Buddhahood” if you live in the East). Such an “enlightened” condition will truly bring the Kingdom of God to this world. Cayce revealed the Book of Revelation is the symbolic story of how humanity in general (and a human being in particular) attains this union with the divine.

Cayce’s dream interpretation of the Book of Revelation can be contained in a book all by itself. In fact, a whole book has been written about Cayce’s interpretation of Revelation. It is entitled Edgar Cayce’s Commentary on the Revelation. There is also a video on this subject from the A.R.E. Foundation (the Cayce organization).

What follows is a very brief summary of the information he received.

2. Chapters 1-3: Letters to the Churches

Literal meaning: On the island of Patmos, John explains how he was in the Spirit when Christ appears to him standing in the midst of seven candlesticks. Christ then tells John to write down what he sees and hears concerning seven churches. (Revelation 1-3)

Cayce Interpretation: While in meditation, John’s conscious mind becomes open to his subconscious mind and his superconscious mind. The seven churches and the seven seals represent the seven spiritual centers (i.e., chakras) of the body where the physical, mental and spiritual forces all come together. The superconscious mind within John, tells him that anyone who can regain control of these spiritual centers within their bodies can access the superconscious mind and never need to reincarnate again (Revelation 3:12). The following is a chart of the spiritual centers in the body represented by the endocrine glands, the corresponding Chakra and Church, and the astrological influence upon the spiritual centers of the body toward spiritual awakening.

Laodicea Pituitary Jupiter
Philadelphia Pineal Mercury
Sardis Thyroid Uranus
Thyatria Thymus Venus
Pergamos Adrenals Mars
Smyrna Lyden Neptune
Ephesus Gonads Saturn
The Seven Churches of Asia and Their Corresponding Gland and Planet

The following are other symbols of Revelation interpreted by Cayce:

Angel of the Church The intelligent force governing a spiritual center within the body
False Apostles Self-righteousness
Left “first love” The fall from the spiritual ideal
Tree of Life The spiritual centers of the body becoming synchronized
Paradise of God The original consciousness of humanity before its fall into flesh
Satan The force of self-centeredness, self, ego, the “false god”
Synagogue of Satan Falseness in self
Second death Falling away after having passed into understanding
Where Satan dwells Where there is jealousy, greed, hate, etc.
Hidden manna Spiritual food
The Morning Star An awakening, the Light, spiritual awareness
Open door Opening of the spiritual centers of the body
Throne of God Within the head of the body, where we meet God
24 Elders The 24 cranial nerves controlling the five senses
Book of Life The collective unconscious record (memory) of all souls
The symbolism of Revelation and their metaphysical meaning

3. Chapters 4-11: Christ Opens the Seals of the Book in Heaven

Literal meaning: John now appears at the throne of God and sees four beasts and twenty-four elders around it. On the throne sits God who has a book with seven seals. John weeps when he learns that no one can open the seals to the book. One of the elders tells John that Christ is able to open the seals. Christ then opens the seals, resulting in many Earth changes. The seventh seal unleashes seven angels who sound seven trumpets which are sounded one by one. (Revelation 4-11)

Cayce Interpretation: John has a mental awakening when he attains the spiritual level of the superconscious mind, within the throne of his own body. The four beasts are his four lower spiritual center’s animalistic desires and the twenty-four elders are the twenty-four nerves from his brain leading to his five senses. The superconscious mind, is now in full control of John’s body. The body is symbolized as a book with seven seals which “no one has the ability to open on his own” (Revelation 5:3). Only through the development of the superconscious mind within a person, can these spiritual centers within the body be opened (i.e., spiritually activated). As each spiritual center within the body is activated, different parts of the body are purified and upheavals of the body occur mentally, physically, and spiritually. The superconscious mind spiritually activates the seventh spiritual center (the Pituitary, the master gland of the body). As a result of this, it becomes “quiet in heaven for one half hour” (Revelation 8:1). This is symbolic of the perfect control of the mind for one half hour through meditation. Below is a table of the seals of the Revelation corresponding to the opening of the seals and the spiritual centers in the body represented by the endocrine glands:

7 Pituitary Silence
6 Pineal Upheavals
5 Thyroid Souls slain
4 Thymus Pale Horse
3 Adrenals Red Horse
2 Lyden Black Horse
1 Gonads White Horse
The Seals of Revelation and the opening of spiritual centers in the body

The following are other symbols of Revelation interpreted by Cayce:

Seven Lamps The wisdom of the seven spiritual centers
Four Beasts The physical desires of the four lower spiritual centers: (1) self-preservation, (2) sustenance, (3) Propagation of species, (4) self-gratification
Book of Seven Seals The physical body with seven spiritual centers
Seven Seals The seven spiritual centers which may be closed or opened
Lamb Christ Consciousness
Four Horses Four emotions
Nakedness The exposure of faults
The Earth The physical body in a state of transition
Mountain of fire The forces within the body which are constantly at war
Fire Purification
Sounding of Seven Angels Experiences during physical purification
Angel with golden censer Influence of good that goes out from each soul
Great star from Heaven Influences from without
Third part of rivers and fountains A third part of bodily activities getting better – less of self
Third part of the sun and stars smitten Vibrations and emotions being aroused, getting better – less and less of self
Bottomless Pit The gonads, the roots of the Tree of Life
Four Angels bound The four influences of Air, Earth, Fire, Water
Temple The mental body
Two Witnesses The subconscious and superconscious
Egypt Release from bondage
Sodom, Gomorrah A reckoning with sin
Reviving of Witnesses Spiritual renewal
The symbolism of Revelation and its metaphysical meaning

4. Chapters 12-14: A Woman, a Dragon, Two Beasts, and a Lamb

Literal meaning: John sees a woman with twelve stars about to bear a child. Next to the woman is a dragon that is ready to devour the child she is giving birth to. After the child is born, the child is taken to the throne of God. Afterward, a war in heaven occurs and the devil and his angels are cast out of heaven to Earth. John also sees a beast rise out of the sea which the world worships. John then sees a lamb on the Earth and angels proclaiming the fall of Babylon. (Revelation 12-14)

Cayce Interpretation: John is shown a picture of the soul of humanity in its development since the days of eternity. The woman symbolizes the soul of humanity crowned with twelve stars, the twelve basic patterns of human personality as described in the zodiac. The child she bears is the conscious mind. As the conscious mind is born, a rival force of the self occurs, which brings about recurring periods of rebellion in humanity. Through divine intervention, the conscious mind is protected while the unconscious mind, from which it sprung, is withdrawn below the conscious level. This is the same story as symbolized as the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Rebellion from the physical brings conflict into the soul but the soul can remain above it by remaining concealed from the forces of self will. The “beast rising out of the sea” is the selfish animalistic desires that arise which are capable of ruling humanity. These desires spring from the self-will of the unspiritual intellect of humanity whom the world worships as a symbol of material success. The human intellect, lacking spiritual orientation, cuts itself off from all that is divine. The lamb that John sees are the forces of the superconscious mind in the world going into action. “Babylon,” the human desire for earthly riches and success in the gratification of the flesh, begins to be destroyed as humans are shown the consequences of their prostitution of their higher faculties.

The following are symbols of Revelation interpreted by Cayce:

Woman giving birth The source from which all materiality is to become a conscious thing
Child being born The outgrowth of the application of the Word upon self
Word of God The Gnostic “logos”, the Christ consciousness, the fully evolved pattern for humanity
Dragon That through which man’s rebellious forces against God arise
Book of Life The record and knowledge of the soul’s experience in time
Two Horns Doublemindedness
Mark of the Beast The unevolved animalistic influence within humans
Mark of the Lamb The evolved divine force within humans, Christ Consciousness
The New Song A new understanding that comes to each soul when spiritually awakened
Angels Those influences making aware of the necessity for active spiritual service
Harpists playing Harps Those souls that in the beginning were as the sons of God on earth
The symbolism of Revelation and its metaphysical meaning

5. Chapters 15-18: Seven Angels, Seven Vials of Seven Plagues, and a Prostitute Riding Beast

Literal meaning: John is shown seven angels each of whom holds a vial containing a plague which they pour upon the Earth one at a time. John then sees a woman sitting on a seven-headed beast with ten horns. The woman wears on her forehead the name Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. John is told the seven heads symbolize the seven mountains on which the woman sits and the ten horns symbolize ten kings. These make war against the lamb and the lamb conquers. (Revelation 15-18)

Cayce Interpretation: John is seeing within the soul of humanity, the collective unconscious, that the souls of individuals are purified and tested on seven levels of consciousness symbolized by the seven plagues being poured out by the seven angels. When all seven levels of consciousness have been purified, then and only then can a person control the physical, mental, and spiritual forces within his body. Physical diseases arise from the misuse of the forces and self-gratification of the flesh, wars against universal truth. This brings about conflict in the world against groups and governments. The end of the seven ordeals comes when humanity’s social institutions and concepts collapse, leaving universal truth to be realized. The Whore of Babylon symbolizes humanity’s desire lust for riches and gratification of the flesh. The beast it rides on are man-made ideas stemming from self-gratification. It is explained to John that these forces have taken control of the seven spiritual centers of the human body, thereby becoming possessed and ruled. However, as the highest forces of evolving humanity overcome the forces of self, even the ten basic urges of the body, symbolized by the ten horns, will in time fulfill the divine pattern. As the divine nature in humanity becomes less realized, society is destroyed by its own hand through self-gratification.

The following are symbols of Revelation interpreted by Cayce:

Seven plagues The purification and tribulation experienced by souls in order to overcome negative karma
Vial’s of God’s wrath Karma, eye for an eye, sowing and reaping, the consequences of our negative acts
Armageddon The spiritual conflict within humans
False Prophet Self-delusion
Temple The akashic record or the Book of Life of the individual
Temple filled with Smoke The final steps in the spiritualization of the body
Antichrist The spirit that is opposed to the spirit of truth; the spirit of hate, contention, strife, faultfinding, lovers of self, lovers of praise, etc.
Babylon Self
Scarlet-colored Beast That which made for the projecting of man into matter through the associations that brought carnal relationships
Seven Heads and Mountains The seven spiritual centers within the body
The Great Tribulation The experiences of every soul, arising from influences created by man
The symbolism of Revelation and its metaphysical meaning

6. Chapters 19-22: Rejoicing in Heaven, the Devil Thrown into a Pit, a New Heaven and Earth

Literal meaning: John now sees much rejoicing in heaven and the appearance of Christ. An angel casts the devil into a bottomless pit for one thousand years. John then sees a new heaven and a new Earth come into being. (Revelation 19-22)

Cayce Interpretation: What was the final salvation of the bodily, mental, and spiritual forces described within John, now are shown to take place in collective humanity. When humanity recognizes the divinity within them as the controlling force in the world, and turns away from their own selfish pattern of living for self alone, the old pattern disappears and the Christ pattern emerges. John is told that the merging of the evolved self with the divine superconscious, which has taken place in John, must also take place in all humanity (Revelation 19:7). The fulfilled pattern of evolved humanity, the Christ (i.e., superconscious mind), is now shown in a position of power (the so-called “second coming of Christ”). Now the archetype of humanity’s continual rebellions, the self-willed intellect symbolized as the “devil“, is confined for a time in the collective unconscious mind. During this period of one thousand years (the 1,000 year reign of Christ on Earth), only the evolved souls will be permitted to incarnate the Earth (Revelation 20:4). At the end of this period, the remaining souls begin to incarnate, bringing with them their unsatisfied ambitions and desires. This, of course, brings about the former conditions of imbalance (wars and plagues). These conditions, all man-made, are now themselves eliminated and all mental forms and patterns not formed by divine will are purged (Revelation 20:14). The “new heaven and new Earth” John sees is humanity’s perfected state of consciousness and regenerated body. The human mind at this point is now one with the divine in the perfection of control and is free from outside limitations. The human conscious mind merges with the superconscious mind. John states that if anyone adds or takes away from this book, that person will experience the plagues in this book. The book is the body, which is the vehicle for human experience in the world. Through it, the lessons of the soul are learned. There can be no shortcuts or meanderings without dire consequences to the body.

White Horse The symbol of the messenger during spiritual awakening
The Rider of the White Horse Jesus Christ, the messenger
The Bride The body raised as a new being
Marriage of the Lamb The union of the body and mind with the Christ Consciousness
Lake of Fire The subconscious mind’s area of repression, the “id”
Fire and Brimstone Purification
The First Resurrection The reincarnation of advanced souls to Earth
Gog and Magog Worldly influences
The Dead in Judgment Reincarnating souls
Hell Remorse, self-condemnation, guilt and frustration
The Second Death The destruction of all man-made unevolved conditions
12 Tribes, 12 Gates, 12 Angels The 12 basic patterns of the human personality as revealed in the Zodiac
Temple of God The superconscious mind, the Christ Consciousness
New Jerusalem The superconscious mind awakened, the evoloved soul in oneness with divinity
The symbolism of Revelation and its metaphysical meaning

7. Conclusion by John Van Auken

According to Cayce scholar, John Van Auken, John the Revelator’s experience was made possible because Christ is a channel, a door, a mediation to the Father; and each of us can apply this in our lives. The Revelation represented a new connection between God and each of us through Christ. John’s vision reveals the transitions, passages, and stages he went through and we may go through to make a new relationship with God, similar to the one we originally had in the Garden where we walked and talked with Him. Remember, in the Cayce paradigm, characters and events in the Bible not only represent individual souls but also all souls as a group. Adam therefore is an individual and a group. The experiences recorded in the Bible are those that all souls experience. Therefore, my soul and yours were created by God in the beginning, in God’s image, and walked and talked with Him in that primeval Garden of the original consciousness. Today, in this present incarnation which so captivates us, it is hard to believe that somewhere within each of us is a godling created in the image of God, who once had regular, conscious contact with its Creator.