In Theosophy the master records of everything that has ever occurred since the beginning of the universe. The records are said to exist as impressions in the astral plane, and provide a dossier of sorts for souls who wish to examine their spiritual progress through many lifetimes.
The term "Akashic" comes from the Sanskrit word akasha, defined as either the fundamental etheric substance in the universe or all-pervasive space. According to Theosophy the akasha is an eternal record of the vibrations of every action, thought, emotion, light, and sound.
Some psychics say they consult the Akashic Records either through clairvoyance or our-of-body travel, to receive information about past history or lives. The process is variously described as tuning into an astral television set, or tuning into a radio broadcast, or visiting an enormous library and looking up information in books. Some say they encounter spirit guides, who assist them in locating information.
American medium Edgar Cayce often consulted the Akashic Records to look into past lives to find reasons for health, personal, and marital problems in the current lives of clients. Cayce alternately called the Akashic Records the "Universal Memory of Nature" and the "Book of Life."
In Edgar Cayce on Reincarnation, by Noel Langley, Cayce describes an apparent out-of-body trip to the Akashic Records to get information about a client. Cayce said he felt himself leave his body and travel in a narrow, straight shaft of light. On both sides of the shaft was fog or smoke, and shadowy beings who tried to distract him from his mission. Some pleaded for him to help them, but he kept to the light. As he continued on, the beings took on more distinct form and bothered him less. Eventually, they quit trying to distract him and seemed to help him on, then ignored him altogether. Finally, he arrived at a hill, where he saw a mount and a great temple. Inside was a large room like a library, filled with books of people's lives. All he had to do was pull down the book he wanted.
Philosopher Rudolf Steiner delved into the Akashic Records, which he called the Akashic Chronicle, to produce his detailed descriptions of the mythical, lost civilizations of Atlantis and Lemuria.
According to Cayce and other psychics, the Akashic Records travel on waves of light, and anyone can gain access to them with proper psychic training and attunement.
Richard Cavendish, ed. The Encyclopedia of the Unexplained. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974; Individual Reference File of Extracts from the Edgar Cayce Readings. Virginia Beach, VA: Edgar Cayce Foundation, 1976; Noel Langley. Edgar Cayce on Reincarnation. New York: Castle Books, 1967; Robert A. McDermott, ed. and intra. The Essential Steiner. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1984; Joan Windsor. The Inner Eye: Your Dreams Can Make You Psychic. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1985.