- Series: Signet
- Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Signet; Signet edition (October 5, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451168178
- ISBN-13: 978-0451168177
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 115 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Many Mansions: The Edgar Cayce Story on Reincarnation (Signet) Mass Market Paperback – October 5, 1988
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Bottom line--if I had encountered this book in my youth before my exposure to, and interest in, Buddhism, I might have considered the book to the ravings of a mad person. But from my current perspective, it's doubly compelling because of the close match in Cayce's pronouncements with the Buddha's teachings.
And like the founder of Christian Science, or the modern-day Medical Medium, Cayce is another who indicates that the ultimate source of our health, or lack thereof, is spiritual and mental and not a function of the individual parts in a machine.
Nevertheless the book does have its faults. Most notably, it lacks numbered footnotes and a bibliography, an unforgiveable omission by a titled academic. Plus an index. We are left to guess what Dr. Cerminara read in addition to the Cayce files in order to arrive at her conclusions. Equally glaringly, none of the Cayce files she refers to are individually identified, so were are unable to examine her source material for ourselves! Thus we are left to take what she says on faith, though I see nothing she had to gain by falsifying the evidence, and she herself points out on a number of occasions that her claims can only really be inferences in many cases. She does much extrapolation from the Cayce records and fills in a certain amount of blanks. Some of her inferences are made on the basis of as few as 3 presented Cayce files. While she generally succeeds in convincing me, more sceptical readers would require further evidence.
In her defense, the writer throughout the book attempts to answer some of the most common queries made about reincarnation, such as can someone create bad karma just by following the norms of their time, what keeps the physical body alive until the soul enters, when does the soul enter the body, the role of free-will in spiritual development, the soul's power to choose the circumstances of its incarnation, how to think, speak and act to strive towards the Divine, are all physical handicaps karmic, are all accidents or misfortunes karmic, how it is ethical to punish a soul for wrongdoings done in a previous life which cannot now be remembered, how phobias come from past lives, why we should still help those who are being punished in this life for past-life deeds, the meaning of many of Jesus' pronouncements, where our interests and talents come from, reincarnation and gender, reincarnation and personality types, the role of grace in overcoming karma, why sudden infant death syndrome occurs, why there are delays in karmic cause-and-effect, why there is poverty and inequality in the world, the existence of Atlantis, and so on.
The fact that many (most?) of the cases selected for evidence seem to come from people who had previous lives in a small number of historical epochs, Atlantis, Ancient Egypt, Rome, Crusades, colonial North America, France during the 16-18th centuries, the American Civil War, the Maya and Aztec civilizations is worrisome. To be fair, the author does attempt to offer a reasonable explanation for this remarkable circumstance.
In the second half of the book a discernable pro-feminist slant comes to the fore.
While the book holds up the Christ, and to a lesser extent, the Buddha, as ideals of correct action and thought, and the author adopts Cayce's own view of the origins and destiny of mankind and his place in the cosmos, it's hard to really call this is a pro-Christian book. Pro-Christ, yes, but that's different. There is no attempt made to explain and justify the Trinity, for example. Nor are we told that regular reading of the Bible is useful. In fact, one gains the impression that large parts of our scriptural heritage are peripheral. What only matters are the words and deeds of the Christ. "God" is scarcely portrayed in a Biblical way at all in the book.
There is MUCH good wisdom in this book, not only from Cayce himself but from the author as well, and many questions are answered.
This book is more than worth its weight in gold for the open-minded reader, regardless of his or her religious affiliation. Its message is universal and it will repay careful rereading and putting its advice into action ten-zillion-fold.
BEWARE: "Many Mansions PART II" was formerly titled "The World Within." So if you buy one, do not buy the other.