The Edgar Cayce Approach to Depression

Depression — a very common problem, and … here are some of the symptoms. I won’t read them off for you
but just look through those and you can kind of identify with some of those. You
probably felt depressed at some point or other. Very common. I mean life can be depressing — sometimes
that’s an appropriate response to life. It’s just when it goes on and on … or it’s
out of proportion to what’s going on, or it’s
inappropriate to what’s going on, that it gets to be a symptom. For example, when
you’ve had a great loss, like … a death of a family member, or friend, or
loved one — or a loss of a job, or some type of loss, and you feel depressed — we
call that grieving. So we distinguish between appropriate,
sort of depression, and when it is inappropriate — that so we’re talking about
when it’s inappropriate and it gets out of balance …. it gets out of
proportion of what’s going on. These are some of the symptoms. Note
there’s quite a few physical symptoms going on there as well and there’s
reasons for that. Edgar Cayce talked about depression
in many, many readings — and I like this quote because it connects Edgar Cayce to
the modern psychiatric version of depression, in terms of what’s going on. He said: “Impulse in brain forces are of
two natures — the white and gray matter … one an impulse, the other the active
force that carries on same. In the body … we have that of the activity without the
impulse to carry same forward. Hence we have what is commonly known or called
melancholia, or depression, or the inability to carry out the impulses of
the body.” Now the reason I think that’s so significant is that that’s the model used to explain depression, by and large. It’s a biochemical model. It’s saying that depression is a problem
in the nervous system. That there’s a lapse of nerve impulse — and you need to
understand this about the nervous system. We think of the nervous system as being
sort of like electrical wiring with nerves and there’s electrical impulses. That’s true, there is a form of
electricity that is carried through the nerves, but when one nerve goes to
connect with another — to communicate with another, there’s a gap in there and it’s
called a synapse. It’s like a channel between the nerves
and actually what happens is that one nerve sort of squirts a chemical onto the
other across this synapse. And that’s how it tells the impulse to carry through. So
the next nerve will pick that up and then carry the
impulse through the system. So when Cayce is talking about impulse and activity, those
are keywords. You’ll find those over and over in the readings and he will connect
those with the gray matter in the white matter — one an impulse, the other the
activity to carry it out. And so in depression we’ve got this
lapse of nerve impulse and maybe there’s some kind of chemical process going on
here that would account for that, and maybe drugs like Prozac or some of these
other drugs, they work in that nerve channel — that synapse, so that they
facilitate more of that chemical, perhaps going through there or maybe staying
longer in the synapse, so it will have its effect. That’s the current model for
treating depression — and here Edgar Cayce is using a similar kind of model to
describe depression many, many years before that. And so this
idea of the impulse and the activity — sometimes in depression, you can have an
impulse … you’re lying in bed, you know you need to
get out of bed, but yet you just can’t make it happen. It doesn’t carry forward,
so you end up laying in bed for hours — or you know you need to do this — to do that,
you know it — you have this impulse, but it doesn’t carry through. You see that’s what he’s describing. And
the technical term for that process is called neurotransmission. Those are
neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that go across the synapse.
And in the Edgar Cayce readings he talked about “lapses of impulse” in many
of those readings on depression. He talked about the “nerve plasm,” which we
now call neurotransmitters — the chemical messengers. He talked about the “nerve channels” and
the “infinitesimal feelers” associated with these “nerve channels” — these
“infinitesimal feelers” that are sent out to connect the nerves. And what he’s
describing is what you would see now with electron microscope when you look
at nerves. But he didn’t have an electron microscope, he just had his consciousness.
But somehow he was able to go within and even at a cellular level, to describe
this process of what was going on. Isn’t that fascinating. That’s the sort
of thing — when I find that in the readings and I find it modern science, it
makes the readings come more real to me. And I see this over and over and over in
the Cayce readings where modern science has validated what Cayce was saying. Now
what is it that can produce this lapse of impulse, that Cayce said is
melancholy or depression? There are many things that can produce
it — physical, mental, and spiritual. At a physical level, one of the most common
was toxicity. And here’s a case where he was asked: “What causes me to feel
so sad and depressed and how may I overcome same?” The answer: “The poisons that are accumulations
in the system. These work upon the nerve forces through
those branches as has been indicated to the sympathetic nerve force.” In another
reading, question: “How may I overcame my periods of despondency? Are they due to physical or mental or environmental conditions?” What
a lovely question! This person is really tuned into a multi-dimensional model, weren’t they — a holistic model. The answer: “Physical and the effects of the poisons —
that will be cleansed by the cleansing of the colon, when the other applications are made,
purifying and removing toxins.” And in this particular pattern of depression what he said happens is that these
toxins, that can accumulate in the system from the colon or from other places in
the body, actually sort of seep in … he would use that term, sort of seep in
the nerve cells and sort of deaden this impulse, as the impulse is
carried through, it will deaden that impulse — whether in the nerve or maybe in
the synapse. Who knows exactly where it is. But the toxicity actually causes that
lapse of nerve impulse. So cleansing the system — internal cleansing, and this is
one of the traditional models for treating depression in the spas of
Europe, and so forth, with hydrotherapy, colonic irrigations, steam baths, diet,
anything that will help clean up the system — will help the nervous system and this
impulse to carry through better — very practical. At a mental level, one of
the most common things that could cause this lapse of nerve impulse was
self-condemnation. We get down on ourselves: “And the self condemnation has
produced in those portions of the cerebrospinal system such activity
upon the nervous system as to produce a reaction that is contrary to the
activities of the nervous body. Hence those periods of melancholia, those
periods when there is the determination for self-effacement in one manner or
another.” In other words, to condemn self, to
put self down — self-effacement — get down on yourself. And that happens a lot,
doesn’t it, in depression. You probably sometimes get down on
yourself and sort of spirals down — the more you get down on yourself the worse the
depression gets.

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