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:
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 🙂
- The book that stole my mind… (heartsongsblog.wordpress.com)
- The Story of the Soul (heartsongsblog.wordpress.com)
- The Past Lives of Jesus Christ According to Edgar Cayce (rawlifewizard.wordpress.com)