The Biochemistry of Music
What the Edgar Cayce readings tell us
*The numbers referenced in this article refer to Edgar Cayce trance readings that can be accessed on the members’ homepage at edgarcayce.org
The Boswell Sisters singing trio was so popular in the 1930s that Bing Crosby opened their shows. What their fans never knew was that Edgar Cayce was not only helping to guide their careers, he was providing one of the sisters with life-saving medical advice
"MAKE MUSIC!" Edgar Cayce tells a 43-year-old divorcée looking to heal emotional wounds and jump-start her career (5201-1).* Similar advice, with an emphasis on stringed instruments, is given to a New York socialite suffering depression (1804-1). The parents of a 5-year-old are told their daughter should study music to ensure her proper spinal development (5263-1). Treatment for an adult mental patient is listening to the Blue Danube, by composer Johann Strauss (2712-1). Music could help the blind to regain their sight (453-2), the deaf to hear (2527-1), overcome the effects of aging (949-2), and improve appearance (5256-1).
These are but several references in the Cayce medical readings to the biochemical healing properties of music. Even more remarkable statements appear in Cayce’s life or vocational readings.
Among them is encouraging news for a 20-year Broadway dancer. She has gained greatly by mastering the musical arts and is now one of eighteen people out of nearly 6,000 reading recipients for whom reincarnation is declared unnecessary (4353-4).
Reincarnation is also unnecessary for a middle-aged teacher whose attunement to the "divine from within" has resulted in her joining what Cayce describes as the "heavenly choir" (115-1). Let us also not forget that Edgar Cayce himself, in his previous incarnation as Ra Ta, was "rejuvenated" by the vibrations of sound—adding some hundred or more years to his life (294-150)—and that with techniques pioneered in Atlantis, he and his Egyptian engineers used song to raise the stone blocks used to build the Great Pyramid (2462-2).
Cayce credits no less than the creation of the universe to sound. This is the suggestion in 262-78 and 281-29, and is implicit in 2533-8, in which an esoterically minded insurance salesman asks the Source to reveal the penultimate vibration—God's WORD—that is referenced in the first sentence of the Gospel of John, and what scientists describe as the "Big Bang." Cayce gives the salesman much the same answer as he does to a scientist who has asked for the formula for anti-gravity. Mankind isn't yet ready.
Conductor and composer Richmond Seay (#1861), pictured here with his wife Beatrice, received a comprehensive series of readings on the power of music
Conventional music history, of course, does not reach back to the moment of creation, let alone Atlantis. Nor has sound or vibrational medicine studies reached the clinical trial stage. There is, however, growing acceptance of the therapeutic value of music along with scientific evidence to support many of Cayce's claims. The best news is that musical talent—even the ability to read music—isn't required. In other words, one doesn't have to play the harp to go to heaven, though it arguably could help (324-5 and 275-36)! Learning to listen to God's harmonies, what Cayce calls the "music of the spheres," is what's important.
"For it has been truly said," Cayce tells us in 933-1, "music alone spans the sphere of spiritual and mental attainment."
Edgar himself, in a waking state, didn't likely know that the phrase "music of the spheres" originated with Pythagoras some 2,500 years earlier. That some scholars think Cayce was Pythagoras in a previous incarnation, and so might have been channeling himself on the subject, is beside the point. The concept had spread far beyond Athens before Cayce revisited the subject in Virginia Beach in 1933. It was considered science in the Middle Ages, was credited with inspiring the Renaissance and lived on for centuries in European thinking. Da Vinci, Raphael, Durer, and many other great artists affirmed its truth, as did the engineers who built the Notre Dame cathedrals, theologian Saint Augustine, pioneer physician Robert Fludd, and astronomer Johannes Kepler.
Underlying the music of the spheres concept was the belief that the stars and planets were held in place by a Divine harmony that could be expressed in mathematical ratios and tonal patterns played on musical instruments. Everything in the universe either obeyed God's vibratory harmonies or suffered the consequences. Stated most simply, all creation could be conceived as existing in God's giant musical instrument. Playing the correct notes, chords, and scales brings harmony, health, and healing (along with construction stability and aesthetically pleasing artwork). God, in this sense, was not only the Master Musician but the Master Geometrician and Great Architect of the Universe.
This concept is also fundamental to the Cayce readings. Life in its manifestations (or spheres), Cayce tells us, is vibration (699-1). Thoughts too are vibrations, as "mind is the builder" (906-3). Vibration which is creative or building, creates harmony or attunement, which brings us closer to God or Christ Consciousness (900-422). Vibration that is destructive or combative (driven by self-gratification, and disregarding universal law), brings us further away from God (1861-6 and 1602-5). An individual or group may raise their vibrations such that it can become "Divine Force" (281-3). Disease is dis-harmony, a body or its organs out of balance (2533-3), and healing is "attuning to the divine" (1967-1).
The term Master Musician is also interchangeable in the readings with Christ, as exampled in 281-8, a reading for the Glad Helpers prayer group:
(Q): I saw each one on the prayer list as notes in music. Through our attunement and their seeking, the Master Musician began to play the notes and harmony reigned throughout. I felt this was an illustration of vibrations in healing. Is this how the healing takes place?
(A) Very beautiful illustration; but don't think it's all of it! No one mind may conceive all that may be done through the power of the Master Musician; for it may bud as the rose, it may be the song of the frog, or of any, even those that would be to SELF as those that would be GRATING vibrations… but to some would bring harmony and peace.
(Q) Is this why in meditation I often hear music and the words of a hymn present themselves?
(A) Then sing it! [The hymn] will help someone.
Cayce readings identified orchestra leader Vincent Lopez (#2897) as a musician in several past incarnations, most notably in ancient Egypt
The above reading equates prayer with music and the healing "help" that results. Attunement to God's vibration provides the Glad Helper the conduit through which she can reach out to others through song and vibration. Similarly, according to Cayce, sound and music were used for healing, cleansing, (and surgery too) at the Egyptian Temple Beautiful and Temple of Sacrifice.
Among those whose previous incarnations were described as having taken place back then, one entity's vocation was to raise the consciousness of initiates through dance. "Bestial desires" were transformed by example through "beauty, harmony, and rhythm," Cayce tells us, such that there could be the "building of self in body, mind, and spirit" (3418-8). This concept can also be found in 281-25, which provides insight into how the Broadway showgirl was able to transcend the cycle of reincarnation: "with music came the dance that enabled… [others] to become more erect, upright in body, in thought, in activity."
Cayce also reveals how Atlanteans used sound and song to not only connect with the Divine, but harness its power to accomplish massive engineering projects (519-1 and 2462-2). Cayce isn't alone in making such claims. Examples in the Bible are numerous and include young King David using his harp to drive evil spirits from Saul, and Elisha using music to channel God's words. Most famously there is Joshua 6:20, when temple priests use trumpets to bring down the walls of Jericho.
Difficult as it may be to accept the notion that our ancestors used sound as a motive force, one need only consider operatic tenor Enrico Caruso, who entertained audiences by using his voice to shatter glass, and how sonic weapons, once considered science fiction, are today cutting edge technology. And however quick skeptics are to dismiss the source and context of the information presented about how the Great Pyramid was built, acoustic levitation is scientific fact. Researchers haven't yet progressed beyond moving pencils from one place to another, but we need only remember that Back to the Future skateboard hovercrafts and driverless cars were mere science-fiction less than a decade ago.
Archaeologists are also helping to substantiate claims that were once dismissed as fantasy. Among the more recent findings is evidence that some 40,000 years ago Australian aboriginals used the equivalent of the didgeridoo to speed the healing of broken bones and torn muscles. Ancient Babylonians similarly used rattles and drums, the earliest known instruments, in their healing traditions. Pre-Columbian cultures in Peru used bells during surgical procedures for skull fractures.
The medical profession is also playing catch-up.
Among the many benefits today accorded music therapy is help for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's patients. Listening to music has been used to facilitate weight gain in preemie babies, boost the immune system, stimulate recovery from brain injuries, increase sensitivity, lower blood pressure, enhance athletic performance, make food taste better, and promote growth in plants. Most encouraging has been developments that came with ultrasound technology, which include breaking up kidney stones and shrinking tumors. Studies have been shown that sound frequencies can be used to help regenerate damaged optic and auditory nerves, just as Cayce suggested. Further, in development are technologies that detect weak vibrational signals and simultaneously deliver corrective frequencies.
Not to rain on the scientific breakthrough parade—so to speak—but Cayce discussed just such an "etheronic" device 80 years ago (440-3), and prototypes can be found in the Cayce archives in Virginia Beach!
Author Sidney Kirkpatrick checking out the Etheronic device in the Edgar Cayce Foundation archives
The Cayce readings also deliver a wide spectrum of sound and musical insights that exist nowhere else.
One gem can be found in a reading for an eight-year-old (3621-1). The distraught mother wants to know why her child walks and talks in her sleep. Cayce tells the mother that her daughter is listening to the music of the spheres. "(She is) close to the music that spans the distance between the finite and the infinite." (Recently deceased, Mrs. 3621 was remembered by her children and grandchildren as a deeply religious and devoted member of her church choir.)
Another thought-provoking reading is for a woman who has reached such attunement that her akashic record is in the shape of a harp (1473-1), which the readings coincidently indicate was Jesus's instrument of choice (5749-1). Then there are compelling business-related readings for such top entertainers as the Boswell Sisters (887 and 938), who are advised to put off marriage because they have so much still to give to the greater world. They are, in short, doing God's work by making music. Other advice was given to big-band conductor Vincent Lopez (2897), who was told that he had been a great artist in a previous incarnation just as he was in this one.
As so many music-related readings make clear, much can be gained by studying music. "If you learn music you will learn something about everything," Cayce declares in 3063-1.
Here again, modern science proves Cayce correct. Studies show that music-making children are "happier, more intelligent, and more creative" than their peers. Their cognitive and communication skills also measurably improve. Further, music-making students are not as aggressive, a subject that Cayce too touches upon in reading 622-6: "When the entity has sung Halleluiah, it was much harder to say 'dammit.'"
But what exactly constitutes good or healthful music?
Cayce provides commentary on different instruments—among them the banjo (2780-3), stringed instruments and the organ (3234-1) and reed instruments (1566-1; 276-3). He also offers advice on mantras or chants to be used in meditation (1861-18). There are also references to various composers—among them Chopin (949-13), Franz Liszt (2584-1) and Beethoven (3697-1 and 3633-1).
Cayce does not, however, offer specifics about what music to listen to. This is likely for the same reason that the readings don't endorse a specific Bible or church. Whichever Bible that someone will read and the church that they will attend is best. "The choices must be of themselves!" Cayce goes on record in 852-16. This is restated in 1861-12: "[Find] that to which the body-mind responds; not just what it likes or dislikes, but that which strikes a vibrant chord within the consciousness of the individual."
Further, reaping the benefits of listening to and appreciating music, or of learning to play an instrument, does not require having musical ability or talent. This was the declaration of 5201, who expressed shock and surprise to be told that she ought to make music. "I seem so inept in that field," she declared, and admitted "being unable to distinguish a baritone voice from a tenor." Yet, five years after taking Cayce's advice, she wrote to express her happiness. Where music was concerned, the reading was "very, very true!"
Cayce doesn't provide us with an iTunes shopping list, but he does explain why seemingly meaningless tonal patterns that are unnecessary to man's biological survival—what in essence music is—have been so central to the human experience, and why certain melodies or masterworks have such staying power.
Cayce tells us that this is because each entity has a soul memory of hearing the music of the spheres. We heard the real thing after having passed through "God's other door." Certain composers are able to capture or imitate it better than others because they are able to more effectively tap into their subconscious memory. This is perhaps one of the keys to understanding the phenomenon of children born with astonishing musical talents, and why so many people who have had near-death experiences reference what they describe as "otherworldly" music. All of us, however, can learn to appreciate or be benefited from such divinely inspired masterworks because God's harmonies are everywhere around us.
"Listen to the birds. Watch the blush of the rose. Listen at the life rising in the tree. These serve their Maker… [through] that psychic force that is Life itself, in their respective sphere—that were put for the service of man. Learn thine lesson… from that about thee! (364-10)
"Think for a moment of the music of the waves upon the shore, of the morning as it breaks with the music of nature, of the night as it falls with the hum of the insect, of all the kingdoms as they unite in their song of appreciation to an all-creative influence that gives nature consciousness or awareness of its being itself, and harmonize that in thine own appreciation, as to bring music akin to the song of the spheres." (2581-2)
The message is clear: God's music can be experienced in the harmony of nature. By listening and trying to imitate His resonating harmonies, we are imitating our creator, becoming co-creators.
"Make music!" isn't just good health advice, it's an invitation to connect with God, and a prescription for raising our own vibrations and those of others, one note at a time.