by Edgar Cayce

6/30/32 GD's note: Thursday 8:00 P.M. at his home on Arctic Crescent, Virginia Beach, for the First Annual Congress of the A.R.E., Edgar Cayce gave at talk on the subject HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR PSYCHIC POWERS, using Readings #5752-1 and 5752-2 as the basis:
Unfortunately, we have all come to think of "psychic" as something very unusual, especially since the dictionary gives as one definition of psychic as follows: "having abnormal powers, especially the power of automatic writing or of conversing in a trance."

If we understood the real meaning of psychic forces, however, we would have a different conception as to the significance of developing such powers within ourselves. Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, all of us have psychic forces. Whether we want to develop them or not is a different question. When people go about to develop any special ability or faculty, we know that they go into training with that object in view. One training for the prize ring has certain things that must not be done. In order to develop the ability to use some portion or function of the physical body, specific preparation must be made. One developing the voice trains that special ability or faculty. Certain rules must be followed in order to sing, to play the violin or piano. What is that faculty which goes through the process of being trained? Is it simply a portion of the physical body?

As we begin to develop such faculties or abilities latent within every individual - such as discernment of color, or the differentiation in how to apply it to visualize or picturize for others something we have seen in nature - these faculties partake of more than just the ability to draw the hand across the palette, the canvas or a piece of paper. Something within is being expressed. What gives the expression? Our psychic forces!

Now let me give you just what "psychic" means and say how it should be properly used. Do not think that every person you hear spoken of as "psychic" has something very peculiar about him; for you are afflicted with the same condition! You are just as peculiar as he; possibly more so.

Webster gives this primary definition of psychic or psychical: "Of or pertaining to the human soul. Of or pertaining to the living principle in man. Sometimes pertaining to the human soul in its relationship to sense, or to appetite, and the outer visible world as distinct from the spiritual or the rational faculties." The second definition is "Of or pertaining to the mind, the mental contrasted within the physical body."

Perception of the physical mind must come through the senses. Development of a faculty within means development of the acuteness of a sense. We know that what we seek to understand or comprehend reaches us physically through the five senses. As we draw comparisons, we get the differentiation and the ability to evaluate tone or color. Just as a photographic print has to go through a certain process in being made, so in perception we develop the power or ability to discern with the faculty we possess.

People are sometimes afflicted with psychic blindness, consisting of an inability to recognize objects as they are seen. I once knew a man who saw everything upside down. He could not see any other way; everything was upside down to him. He was psychically blind!

There are also those who are psychically deaf, which consists of an inability to comprehend the significance of harmony or sounds heard. We have seen people who were able to hear over a telephone but could not hear while sitting in a room talking with anyone; or they could hear while riding on a train but not while walking down the street. That is because some portion of the psychic functioning in the body is deficient.

Then we know from these things that there is a definite faculty within our bodies which we may call psychic forces, or psychic powers. This faculty pertains to the soul and also to something physical. Hence the great difference in the French and in the Grecian definition of psychic. To the French it means "animal" or "carnal"; while the Grecian meaning is "of the soul life." These two meanings are just as foreign to each other as possible! No wonder we find so many different meanings of the word as used by others!

When we used a word, what do we mean to imply or convey to others? This depends upon the ability of those listening - and also upon our ability to describe, through psychic forces, or through the development obtained through psychic forces. Only like begets like; only like can understand like. It is very hard for an engineer to describe to a musician just what his work is like, or for the musician to describe his work to an engineer. This is because of individual training of physical faculties - but also the portion which gives a perfect understanding or comprehension of those physical faculties: that is, the psychic force.

There is also such a thing as psychic medicine, that department of science which treats of mental disease. If the psychic forces are not developed, there's something wrong with the mental abilities, something wrong with the abilities to comprehend. Because the ability to feed our souls (and that is why we are here) depends upon our ability to supply ourselves from our surroundings with that which will enable us to develop the power of comprehension within.

If you are a musician, you can easily understand what is meant by psychic rhythm. It is the rhythmic form in which the mind tends to perceive monotonously repeated stimulation. That's why we pray and why we should also pray audibly, because the sound stimulates the ability to awaken our senses, in order to arouse the forces which will strengthen the psychic abilities within.

Another definition of psychic forces would be found by comparing the finite and the infinite. These convey entirely different impressions to our minds. The finite mind pertains wholly to our faculties or abilities - which may feed the soul, provided we give it whatever may build to sustain its life. But the infinite mind, about which the first question would be, "How can you know the infinite?" cannot be discerned through reason. It is the finite mind which tries to reason, to distinguish and to define by comparison - processes which are only a portion of the faculties called psychic forces. Thus infinite mind is outside the realm of ordinary reasoning. We can comprehend the infinite only by a faculty that is superior to reason. That faculty is the psychic force. One must enter a state in which the finite self no longer exists!

So often we pray as did the old lady who prayed for the hill to be moved; and every morning she looked out and said, "It is still there. I knew it would be." We haven't gotten out of our finite reasoning self, so that the infinite can come in and aid. We must develop the faculty BETWEEN the finite and the infinite, so that the infinite may become a portion of us. We seek to become one with the infinite by the reduction of our soul to its simplest self - its divine essence - and realize this union and identity.

Now, we might well go back and question how man developed this PERSONALITY (finite) and how he lost his INDIVIDUALITY, by losing the place he occupied with his Creator, in the beginning. This individuality is ever seeking to find expression through the faculties with which man has been endowed; for through these there may come expressions of the infinite, or God, into our lives. We know that we have gradually lost our association, by our inability to close off our outer finite selves. In other words, we have thought so much about ourselves and the supplying of the needs of the physical, that we have gratified the fleshly desires until we have forgotten there is still an association of our soul with its Maker. That association is what we may choose to term PSYCHIC FORCES, or psychic abilities.

No one would deny that such faculties may be used by those who lose their physical consciousness; or that they may be discerned in a gathering which has been attuned to influences from within or without.

When we attempt to be very close to - or even on speaking terms with - our God, do we expect an answer? When we pray, do we always expect to get an answer? We must lose the finite self and be willing to be used, in whatsoever way or manner He sees fit. "Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him." He was not found among his brethren, because his faith was counted to him for righteousness. If our faith or if our abilities for that psychic faculty we all possess have been so abused and we have allowed them to be ridiculed because we see visions or hear things; then we have built a barrier which prevents the faculties latent within each individual from developing us toward the Infinite. All that tends to purify and elevate the mind will assist us in this attainment, and will facilitate the approach and reoccurrence of these happy conditions. There are, then, different roads by which this end may be reached. The love of beauty which exalts the poet; that devotion to the One; that ascent of present science which makes the ambition of the philosopher; that love and those prayers by which some devout and ardent soul tends in its moral purity towards perfection - these all are the great highways conducting to the heights above the actual and the particular, where we may stand in the immediate presence of the Infinite which shines out from the depths of the soul.

The adherence to and developing of the ability to see and appreciate the beautiful, the pure, and the lovely in everything and everybody we contact - everything within the scope of what affects our body, mind and heart - will develop in us the abilities to be in closer attunement with the Infinite. And this is developing our psychic abilities within.

The answer comes to each one of us, as to whether these abilities are worth developing or not. If we have the proper conception of what psychic means, then we know it is a faculty which exists - has existed, and is ours by birthright; because we are sons and daughters of God. We have the ability to make association with the Spirit; for "God is Spirit and seeks such to worship Him." John 4:23

3/26/82 GD's note: This lecture appeared in mimeographed form for years. In 5/46 it was included by Gina Cerminara with six of Mr. Cayce's lectures in a booklet entitled WHAT I BELIEVE; in 1/69 by Hugh Lynn Cayce with other lectures by E.C. in THE EDGAR CAYCE READER. This particular reprint is from The [A.R.E.] SEARCHLIGHT of January, 1962.