The akashic records (akasha is a Sanskrit word meaning "sky", "space" or "aether") is a term used in theosophy (and Anthroposophy) to describe a compendium of mystical knowledge encoded in a non-physical plane of existence. These records are described to contain all knowledge of human experience and the history of the cosmos. They are metaphorically described as a library and other analogues commonly found in discourse on the subject include a "universal computer" and the "Mind of God". Descriptions of the records assert that they are constantly updated and that they can be accessed through astral projection. The concept originated in the theosophical movements of the 19th century, and remains prevalent in New Age discourse.

A theosophical term referring to a universal filing system which records every occurring thought, word, and action. The records are impressed on a subtle substance called akasha (or soniferous ether). In Hindu mysticism, this akasha is thought to be the primary principle of nature from which the other four natural principles, fire, air, earth, and water, are created. These five principles also represent the five senses of the human being.

The records have been referred to by different names: the cosmic mind, the universal mind, the collective unconscious, or the collective subconscious. Others think the akashic records make clairvoyance and psychic perception possible.

It is believed by philosophists, trained psychics, mystics, and Reiki practitioners that the events recorded upon that akasha can be ascertained or read in certain states of consciousness. Such states of consciousness can be induced by certain stages of sleep, weakness, illness, drugs, and meditation so not only mystics but ordinary people can and do perceive the akashic records. Some mystics claim to be able to reanimate their contents as if they were turning on a celestial television set. Yogis also believe that these records can be perceived in certain psychic states.

An example of one, who many claimed to have successfully read the akashic records, is the late American mystic Edgar Cayce. Cayce did his readings in a sleep state or trance. Cayce's method was described by Dr. Wesley H. Ketchum who for several years used Cayce as an adjunct for his medical practice. "Cayce's in direct communication with all other subconscious minds, and is capable of interpreting through his objective mind and imparting impressions received to other objective minds, gathering in this way all knowledge possessed by endless millions of other subconscious minds." In the book The Law of One: Book One, a channeled entity identifying itself as Ra stated in 1981 that Cayce did in fact channel the Akashic records, as opposed to an entity.

Believers in the existence of the akashic records assert that they were accessed by ancient people of various cultures throughout history. Despite this claim, there are not any direct references to the akasha to be found in any of the historical documentation of the aforementioned groups. The term akasha itself, along with the concept of an aetheric library, originated with Indian philosophy and was incorporated into the 19th century movement of theosophy.

Individuals who claimed to have consciously used the akashic records include: Charles Webster Leadbeater, Annie Besant, Alice Bailey, Samael Aun Weor, William Lilly, Manly P. Hall, Lilian Treemont, Dion Fortune, George Hunt Williamson, Rudolf Steiner, Max Heindel, Madam Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Edgar Cayce and Michael J. Dickens.

According to believers, the akasha are the library of all events and responses concerning consciousness in all realities. Every life-form therefore contributes and has access to the akashic records. Any human can become the physical medium for accessing the records, and that various techniques and spiritual disciplines (e.g., yogic, pranayama, meditation, prayer, visualization) can be employed to achieve the focused state necessary to access the records.

Just as conventional specialty libraries exist (e.g., medical, law), adherents describe the existence of various akashic records (e.g., human, animal, plant, mineral, etc.) that in their summation encompass all possible knowledge. Most writings refer to the akashic records in the area of human experience but adherents believe that all phenomenal experience as well as transcendental knowledge is encoded therein.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Akashic Records. The Official Guide to Akashic Records is Lumari. Lumari is prominent Spiritual Teacher, Psychic Consultant and Author living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She provides pragmatic, accurate and confidential psychic and spiritual guidance for an international clientele. She is dedicated to helping her clients and students understand the deeper meanings of their lives and to move gracefully into the joyous expression of their personal fulfillment and spiritual harmony.

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