"Seat of the Soul" in the Cayce Readings
(Posted on May 31, 2013 by David McMillin)
Three Cayce readings explicitly described the Leydig (lyden) and pineal as the "seat of the soul." One discussed this association in the context of deep meditation. Another explained Edgar Cayce's psychic process. The third instance involved mental and physical illness – the depressed and debilitated individual was said to be "soul sick."
Reading 281-13 was one of the core readings used in the creation of the meditation section created by the first study group. This reading lays out the premise of the Leydig and pineal glands as the “seat of the soul’s dwelling” that is awakened during deep mediation:
As has been given, there are DEFINITE conditions that arise from within the inner man when an individual enters into true or deep meditation. A physical condition happens, a physical activity takes place! … there is the arousing of that stimuli WITHIN the individual that has within it the seat of the soul's dwelling … it rises from the glands known in the body as the lyden, or to the lyden [Leydig] and through the reproductive forces themselves … The spirit and the soul is within its encasement, or its temple within the body of the individual – see? With the arousing then of this image, it rises along that which is known as the Appian Way, or the pineal center, to the base of the BRAIN, that it may be disseminated to those centers that give activity to the whole of the mental and physical being. (281-13)
Note that the activity that is awakened rises from or to the lyden and then passes through the reproductive organs. One of the hypotheses that we are exploring in this project is that the Leydig (lyden) gland is not in the reproductive system (in terms of anatomy) but its activity stimulates the reproductive organs (in terms of physiology). We will be coming back to this point later because it is easy to become confused about the location of the Leydig gland and the possible distinction between the Leydig gland and the cells of Leydig.
Edgar Cayce's Psychic Process
Here is another excerpt from a reading given for Edgar Cayce that concisely defines the seat of the soul with regard to the Leydig and pineal glands:
… the genitive organism [reproductive system] is as the motor, and the Leydig as a sealed or open door … Hence these may literally be termed, that the pineal and the Leydig are the SEAT of the soul of an entity. (294-142)
In addition to the Leydig and pineal glands being described as a sealed (closed) or open door that are the seat of the soul, note the differentiation between the reproductive system as “motor” and the Leydig that functions like a switch that turns the motor on. This appears to be establishing a distinction between the Leydig as a seal apart from the reproductive system but its activity stimulates or activates the reproductive organs. For now, let’s stay focused on the Leydig and pineal glands as a door within the body that can be opened to allow access to higher states of consciousness, including psychic phenomena:
… the lyden gland, [Leydig] which has within itself that closed door, or open door, as makes for activity through that to the base of the brain, or the PINEAL gland – as is at the base of the brain itself – which opens up for its activities and associations to those other portions of the brain … (294-141)
The lyden, [leydig] or 'closed gland', is the keeper – as it were – of the door, that would loose and let either passion or the miracle be loosed to enable those seeking to find the Open Door, or the Way to find expression in the attributes of the imaginative forces in their manifestation in the sensory forces of a body … (294-140)
The above quotes come from readings for Edgar Cayce (294) to explain his psychic process. Thus we find another aspect of opening the door at the physical level as a means to altered consciousness in service to others. The seat of the soul is a means of attuning to the Divine within.
Edgar Cayce scholar Mark Thurston has pointed out the unique relationship between the Leydig and pineal as a door in consciousness during meditation:
And so, a special relationship exists between the cells of Leydig and the pineal (i.e., between the closed and the open door). The readings suggest that the most effective way to work with meditation is to raise the energy associated with the cells Leydig directly to the level of the pineal temporarily by-passing the other lower centers. That energy then awakens the highest center (associated with the pituitary) and flows back down to cleanse the patterns of consciousness related to the lower centers. (Thurston, 1976, p. 88)
This excerpt very nicely emphasizes the activity of the Leydig and pineal as a door in consciousness that can be opened during meditation. The reference to the “cells of Leydig” when discussing the Leydig gland is actually quite common amongst Cayce scholars and writers. However it is problematic and can be confusing. For instance, Paul Johnson, in his book Edgar Cayce in Context (The Readings: Truth and Fiction), used the common association of the Leydig (lyden) gland with the cells of Leydig as example of how the readings were sometimes mistaken. Johnson’s logic was based on the premise that the cells of Leydig secrete testosterone in males, therefore females would not a have a Leydig gland. There are a couple of fallacies here (females actually do have cells of Leydig in much less quantity than male), but the main problem is the equivalence of the "Leydig (lyden) gland" with the "cells of Leydig." Actually this is one of the reasons for doing this project – to determine to the best of our ability just what the "Leydig" is in the readings and how it works in various conditions as the "seat of the soul."
Here is one final example of the seat of soul in the readings. This is the case of a man that the readings describe as "soul sick."
In the glands in the system, there the lack of – or, through inhibitive or prenatal forces, a weakness that is shown in the action of tissue in the nerve itself as it manifests, and the condition existent is a reflection of that incapacity of system to divide or devise from the system through that of assimilated and the blood building plasma to supply that necessary for this action in sympathetic and coordinating system, which occurs through the action of the lyden [leydig] gland with that of the pineal, in its recurrence to bring forces along those of the sympathetics coordinating with cerebro-spinal centers. Now these, as seen then, a reflex – or an affectation from an existent condition. The basis, the seat of the soul, then, in that of the lyden gland, with the pineal reaction in the system, and this the activity that brings about psychological conditions. Hence when there is reaction in this body, it becomes that of the body turned inward toward the ego, or self, and self-pity, condemnation, and the inability to return same in outward activity; or, as has been given, in the living physical force we find the reversing of the body toward that of what has been termed deterioration, which means in the end REBUILDING; and will continue to bring deterioration unless that is added to the system that will bring about nominal impulse and the ability of the system to replenish within that necessary force to overcome these conditions from the physical sense, and add to the self that sufficient to carry on nominally.
IN THE FUNCTIONING OF THE ORGANS THEMSELVES, these very good, as may be seen, even from the existent condition in the body, from the description as of the body more soul sick than physical; yet physical conditions are existent, or those conditions that are within the body such as may be aided, through physical and MENTAL means, to bring about the better cooperation, coordination, throughout this body of .
Then, add to that vibration of the body that which will bring sufficient in the system first to be able to leave off that which is gradually bringing deterioration to the sensibilities of nerve reflex. This may be added in that of electrical forces, for nerve reflexes are the electric system of the human body; with these carry those properties that will build in the glands' reaction that which will bring resuscitation to the lyden [leydig] and pineal glands, and thus build up that which the body needs through the assimilation as takes place for replenishing the cellular force from blood supply. This will be found in the Radio-Active Appliance with that of the alternated forces of Gold (Chloride) and of muriated Iron. These would be added through the battery appliance, carried to the umbilican center and radiated to the extremities, through wrist and ankle – see? This should be added to the system at least two hours each day when the body is ready to retire. When using the gold, first begin by applying the positive to the wrist. When using the iron, apply the positive to the ankle. The NEXT time, the GOLD is applied to the ankle. Continue to reverse these in each application. Also give those manipulations that will bring about the correction of those subligations as exist in various centers along the cerebro-spinal system, especially those in the cervical and coccyx. (3969-1)
Note the role of the leydig and pineal glands in this case: "The basis, the seat of the soul, then, in that of the lyden gland, with the pineal reaction in the system, and this the activity that brings about psychological conditions." The soul was having trouble manifesting through the physical body leaving the man depressed and physically debilitated. As was common in such cases, electrotherapy with gold was prescribed (with iron – sounds like possible anemia as well).