PureInsight | February 10, 2003
[PureInsight.org] He lay on a bench, with his eyes closed and his mind calm like still water. His consciousness entered a state similar to that of a meditative state in the Buddha School. When given the name of a stranger even more than a thousand miles away, this man, once in this meditative state, was capable of piercing through time and space, reading the stranger's current situation, diagnosing his illnesses, and suggesting medical cures. He was also capable of reading the karmic relationships of a man's past and the present lives. This man was Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), an ordinary Christian and an extraordinary prophet.
Throughout his life Cayce's supernormal abilities were questioned. Harvard University sent Dr. Hugo Munsterberg to investigate Cayce's supernormal abilities. What Dr. Munsterberg witnessed convinced him beyond any reasonable doubt that Cayce did have supernormal abilities. While Cayce lived in Virginia Beach, many came to check on Cayce's extraordinary abilities. Among them was Thomas Sugrue who, after a thorough investigation and verification, not only acknowledged Cayce's abilities, but in 1942 also wrote a book about Cayce , titled Story of Edgar Cayce: There Is A River.  Cayce was a devout Christian, and a simple and sincere person. He never used his supernormal abilities to seek fame or fortune. In the half-century after his death, many books about Cayce were published.
Throughout his lifetime, Cayce did about 15,000 recorded readings, many of which were readings of people's past lives. Dr. Gina Cerminara carefully compiled and analyzed Cayce's readings of past lives, and published them in 1950 in her book titled, Many Mansions: The Edgar Cayce Story on Reincarnation.  We will describe some of these readings about patients who had abused their power to hurt other people in their previous lives and ended up living in poverty, and/or were plagued with illnesses, in their present lives as repayment of their karma, [or punishments for their sins.]
Many people may have heard that in the Middle Ages, when religion was the law, many women were falsely accused of being witches and burnt to death at the stake. One of Cayce's patients had been an upper-class gentleman in a previous life, responsible for judging cases of witchery and witchcraft. In other words, he was responsible for the persecution of falsely-accused witches. Superficially, he was safeguarding religion and so-called social morality, whereas in fact, to satisfy his lusts, he sexually assaulted these innocent women during their trials. When he came to Cayce for reading, he was an eleven-year-old boy living in poverty with his mother. The boy suffered from severe epilepsy that left him paralyzed on the left side of the body and incapable of speech. He was not even capable of dressing himself because his shoulders were so crooked. During one period, which lasted several days, his epileptic fits occurred every twenty or thirty minutes, causing him to completely lose the ability to lift his head or sit up straight. The files of Cayce's recorded readings suggest that epilepsy was often a result of extreme sexual misconduct previous lives. In the boys' case, it seemed that his suffering was augmented as a result of having abused his official power to persecute innocent people on top of his sexual misconduct in his previous life.
Another of Cayce's patients was a military officer during the era of the Roman Empire. He abused his official power for personal gain and wealth. Cayce did not elaborate on how he had abused his official powers. He only said that the man had profited materially, but had lost a great deal spiritually. In his present life, the man was poverty-stricken. He was homeless and tormented by hunger. He had to rely on the charity of his relatives in the United States to survive in the slum of London. In his past life he stole from others by force, a crime that resulted in poverty, hunger and a lack of shelter in his present life.
In another example, a female patient of Cayce's had been a revolutionary in the French Revolution in her previous life, encouraging the French people to rebel against the aristocracy. During the French Revolution she devoted herself to realizing her ideals, and made great strides on the spiritual level. But once she attained power after the success of the revolution, she became as corrupt as those aristocrats she once fought against. This lady was already 40 years old, had been widowed for 10 years, and was raising a daughter on her own when she came to Cayce for a reading. She fought hard to make ends meet. Her lonely and boring life made her despair. Because she had driven others to despair with her abuse of authority in a previous life, she tasted the same despair in her present life. It may seem that she was a victim of the economic system and of unjust fate, but in fact she was the victim of her own crimes in her previous life. Confucius said, "Never serve a stew that you don't want to taste yourself." There is another old saying, "One reaps what he sows." This is really true.
Of course, the tribulations in one's life may not all result from mistakes made in previous lives. It may be arranged for some people to encounter tribulations all their lives in order to help them upgrade their spiritual levels through these challenges. People are arranged to suffer from illnesses, tribulations and injustice in human world, either to eliminate karma from previous lives or to temper their spirits. The misfortune of others, regardless what form it takes, is no laughing matter. One would be creating karma if one were to be oblivious to or even laugh at others' miseries and misfortunes. Eventually one would have to repay with equal an amount of tribulation in a future life.
Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa, explained the cause-and-effect relationships between karma and retributions in "Falun Buddha Fa, Lectures in the United States":
"Humans are generating karma lifetime after lifetime. A person's own karma brings him hardship, suffering, tribulations, lack of money, and many illnesses in this life and the next. Only after paying off your karma can you get happiness and become well off. It's unacceptable if wrongdoing isn't paid for—this is a principle that exists in the cosmos. You might feel that the things that happened in the previous life and the things that happen in the next life have to do with two different people. Actually, when others look at you, they look at the course of your entire existence. It's like your waking from sleep and saying that what you did yesterday has nothing to do with what you do today, and that what you did yesterday wasn't done by you. But they're all done by you, and that's how they view a person's life."
At this moment many corrupt government officials and policemen in China have made a career of persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. The crimes they have committed are far worse than just the abuse of authority and power. If they do not stop their crimes and make up for what they have done, they will face more than simple retribution for their crimes in the next life.
 Thomas Sugrue, "Story of Edgar Cayce: There Is a River." Publisher: A. R. E. Press; Revised edition (February 1997)
 Gina Cerminara, "Many Mansions: The Edgar Cayce Story on Reincarnation." Publisher: New American Library; Revised edition (July 1999)