Many Mansions: The story of reincarnation

From the back cover :

“Many Mansions is Dr. Cerminara’s account of these healing – and an affirmation of the age-old  belief in reincarnation. She tells how Cayce saw past the barriers of space and time, how he penetrated the “previous” lives of his subjects, and performed fantastic cures and prophecies that made him the most remarkable clairvoyant in modern history.”

    The first thing I would like to say is that Edgar Cayce never wrote a book. He did readings that were either medical in nature to help those afflicted with medical problems to help them heal; and he did life readings for those who needed or wanted to find resolutions to current life issues brought from the past. He also did readings which lent towards a better understanding of certain subjects of a “metaphysical” or “spiritual” nature. All the readings were meticulously recorded by his secretary as he was doing the readings, compiled and filed.

So any and all books which have “Edgar Cayce readings” within their titles are by authors and researchers who have studied his readings housed in the A.R.E institution in Virginia Beach; and who each have interpreted his readings based on their knowledge and understanding.

So now we come to the review of the book Many Mansions: The Edgar Cayce Story on Reincarnation,  authored by Gina Cerminara who had a PhD in psychology and researched parapsychology. The book’s publisher is Signet from the Penguin group and was copy righted in 1950, with a renewed copyright in 1978.

I bought this book to do further reading for a Project Paper on the subject of Karma and Grace.

What is the book about:

As the title indicates, Dr. Cerminara uses this platform to expand on the understanding of not only reincarnation and karma, but also takes us through the different types of karma, how it plays in relationships with others and our abilities. There is even a chapter about karma and mental disabilities.

My general thoughts on this book is: Very interesting take on the subjects of reincarnation and karma from a psychological perspective…by a psychologist (from the 1950’s)

What I like about the book:

Dr. Cerminara shares with is an understanding of how reincarnation works, in more detail compared to the Herbert Puryear book, which is that reincarnation involves our soul’s active participation and is not a fatalistic predestined drama which has to be played out, a drama that we have no control over.

She details how a soul chooses the perfect time, place and situation to meet with itself and the lessons one needs to learn. I also like the fact that she quite kindly states that we really shouldn’t over analyze EVERYTHING that happens to us, as that would mean a life lived full of caution and fear about karma…when that is not the purpose at all. Sometimes a stubbing of your toe in the door just means you weren’t looking where you were going and really nothing to do with some universal soul lesson …well, unless it’s a lesson to pay attention where you’re going…hehe.

Another interesting finding of her’s (from the Cayce readings) is her observation that we don’t come down into a lifetime to learn ALL our lessons at once. We pick and choose what lessons we want to learn and experience over others and the lifetimes we choose will reflect our choices. The aim, according to the author is that of “soul development” and we are entitled to whichever condition that allows for that to occur.

She gives good psychological arguments about the presence of karma and reincarnation, like she says in any condition science, logic and reason can only answer “Why?” to a certain extent after which we really don’t know why. For example, why is does one person have Diabetes and why not the other? Medical science maybe able to answer down to the individual’s genetic code but then…WHY him and not her?

She also presents on pages 80 to 81 of the book, what she terms the treatment of karma:

“… the treatment, it seems, should make honest acknowledgment of past obligation, then express honest willingness to meet that obligation, and finally affirm that particular strength the absence of which led to the karma to begin with.”

” Similarly, karma is made possible, in one important and fundamental sense, only by the absence of spiritual qualities; only by the lack of awareness of one’s spiritual identity. The proper correction of karmic conditions, then, consists in supplying the spiritual qualities the deficiency of which induced the condition to begin with, and in evoking the awareness of spiritual identity… its redemption must be approached n a spirit of willingness rather than of rebellion…for such a “denial” is expressive of the self-will and desire for convenience of the present personality, rather than of the long-term wisdom of the eternal identity.”

What I did not like:

It was more of a discomfort rather than an outright dislike of it,  this overall feeling that the author leans towards a portrayal of karma as a retributive process. It sounds as if it is a punitive action that has to be taken because we went against Universal law and therefore have to face its consequence – which is nothing more than “a meeting with ourselves”. While Herbert Puryear seems to describe Karma and Reincarnation with a more “grandfatherly” approach, Dr. Cerminara makes me think of the strict house mistress who though is kind can be tough!

Here’s the strange thing and may either shed more light to what I felt (…or maybe it might add more puzzlement) :

” My thoughts: If God is all forgiving, the loving Father, then wouldn’t it be that the soul in wanting to achieve unity with Him collates experiences to bring the ultimate balance? Free will and choice to reincarnate to meet with oneself within the Universal law of “as one sows, he reaps” ?”

I basically restated what she states in the book but because I felt there was this air of punishment…I just had to “clear said air”!

Another thing that bothered me was the equation of karma with it being like a leash, in which she states that karma is the length of the leash and man is free within that radius. I don’t agree with this, unless it’s an expandable leash, meaning to say based on our choices now, in this life, we are able to expand or further restrict, depending on how aligned we are with our soul purpose.

Rating and recommendations:

3 stars

Even though the book was written many years ago, the basic principles of the Cayce readings still stand true, even today. The fact is however we twist and turn it, we are truly ultimately responsible for our lives here on earth as well as in our previous lifetimes, and the ultimate aim of us, as souls is to go back to the Source from which we came from…on our own free will.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is particularly interested in exploring the subject of Karma and Reincarnation. It is after all almost a whole book on the subject so…be warned! Having said that, it is interesting just to have a read…and maybe allow our minds to wander a little…wondering 🙂

23 thoughts on “Many Mansions: The story of reincarnation

  1. Shree,
    Would you beleive me if I told you I was going to devote some of my day to rereading this book? It is on my nighttable. I chose to watch a Star Trek movie instead. Now that I have read your review, I am even more motivated to revisit the book. I like how he explains romantic and marital difficulties. I do not know where I stand with karma, but I do stub my toe often 🙂


    1. Linda….no joke….but yes I believe you!!!!!! More and more I try not to take stuff for granted….unless I get lazy…then I do…sigh…;)

      I liked the examples that she used through out the book and the information itself was interesting…but it was punishment sort of tone I didn’t feel comfortable with…even though she explicitly states that Karma is NOT punitive in any way….I find it so strange…hmmm

      Take care of your poor little toe!! 😛


      1. I am rereading it from cover to cover this time. It was written in 1950 which was a very different time. I am going to ignore the negative judgmental aspects and focus on the data.
        My goal is to improve my understanding of the links between lifetimes. we will see what happens …


    1. Yes…so many chances to get it right…and I would like to think that we do…at some small level we do, though we may fumble in other areas….Drop by drop the bucket is filled (read a quote about this on Anyes’ blog)..:)


  2. As you know, I love Edgar Cayce. Pity there are so many bad books about him. I think the best thing would be to just let the man speak for himself, like they did with Krishnamurti, who also never wrote any books. I have just finished a particularly bad book on Cayce and astrology…


    1. Oh dear…there are many “bad books”….that’s sad 😦
      I sometimes feel I have been “spoiled” by reading Thomas Sugue’s autobiography of Cayce and Herbert Puryear’s book…because they were both awesome!

      I read the “Story of the Soul” (can’t remember author’s name)…it was interesting but for some reason I felt he was trying a little too hard to convince the reader….

      I am not familiar with Krishnamuti…must remember to Google him 🙂


    1. Yes, he was Peter! And it’s cool 🙂 The thing that is important to remember is that we live the best lives we know how to…with goodness. That in the end is all that matters 🙂


  3. Loved your review of this Book Shree… one I haven’t read! hehe! ( you should see my book shelves ) 🙂 I have always as you know found Edgar Cayce fascinating, and I believe in Karma and re-incarnation.

    I can quite understand your ‘uncomfortable’ feeling on how Karma seemingly is portrayed as retribution.. What I like to think is that there is ‘Balance’ we may have created unbalance, so we then choose to create Balance ..
    If we take the view that both types of Energy is needed here in the physical for us to experience both good and bad…., Positive and Negative energies, without the bad we would not experience the good… So do we then perhaps volunteer to create bad deeds in order that others know good? we could go around and around with these thoughts… and I often have…

    I remember reading a book by ( let me go find ) LOL here it is.. ‘Many Lives Many Masters’ by Dr Brian Weiss…. this is a story of a prominent psychiatrist and past life therapy which shows how the influence of past lives affects our present behaviours and experiences ..
    He also wrote ‘Through Time into Healing’ and Messages from the Masters… all fascinating stuff!

    You have given your readers much food for thought, and I just love it when we open our minds as we come to understand that we are far more than mere flesh and blood…And yet so many have their minds closed to such infinite possibilities

    I am so pleased our paths crossed… 🙂 and I also believe there is no coincidences in life 🙂 hehe!

    Great post Shree thank you x


    1. Thank you Sue 🙂 And I truly am blessed and am now in wonder at all the new friends I’ve made when I decided to take my sister’s advice and change the whole theme of this blog…from a place where I usually ranted about stuff to writing about things that I’m interested in!! I too am really happy that our paths have crossed 😀

      Love your comment on the review and about reincarnation. I totally agree with you, that it is just a form of realigning and balancing, in fact at a soul level we have chosen the themes of lessons we want to learn in any lifetime…which is why I loved the take by Herbert Puryear in the Edgar Cayce Primer…like I mentioned, he sounded more like a kindly grandfather…hehehe.


  4. I really enjoyed your review of the book “Many Mansions”. It seems like you are on the spiritual path, which is great. If you are really a truth seeker have you discover the videos of Teal yet? Here is a quick link to what she says about karma (she was born into this incarnation without forgetting her past lives):

    Let me know if you think this link helped your spiritual journey!


    1. Hello! Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts!
      I am on the spiritual path …well I used to think of it that way until recently when I am slowly realizing we are all spiritual beings on a journey…now I’d like to think that I’m on the path of consciously learning to become aware and remembering my connection to God / Creator / Source..or however one prefers to call it 🙂

      Yes, I’ve seen Teal’s video…I saw the one about her views on Transgender and Homosexuality…got to it through Spirit Science YouTube channel 🙂

      I didn’t realize she was born with memories of her past lives…that’s mind blowing! I’ll probably check her out some more to see what I can learn from that!

      Saw the video (thanks for the link, by the way) and I agree with what she says. Karma is basically a sort of balancing mechanism and it is true, we as souls decide to come down to learn by different experiences. This is why I loved the way Herbert Puryear from the book The Edgar Cayce Primer discusses Karma. It’s not punitive…it is the way it is.


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