In theosophy and anthroposophy, the Akashic records (also styled Âkâshic Records) are a "compendium of thoughts, events, and emotions" believed by Theosophists to be "encoded" in a "non-physical plane of existence". The term was coined in the late 19th century from akasha (ākāśa), a Sanskrit word for "sky, (luminous) space; aether".
The Sanskrit term akasha was introduced to the language of theosophy through H. P. Blavatsky (1831–1891), who characterized it as a sort of life force; she also referred to "indestructible tablets of the astral light" recording both the past and future of human thought and action, but she did not use the term "akashic". The notion of an akashic record is attributed to Alfred Percy Sinnett, who, in his book Esoteric Buddhism (1884), wrote of a Buddhist belief in "a permanency of records in the Akasa" and "the potential capacity of man to read the same." By C. W. Leadbeater's Clairvoyance (1899) the association of the term with the idea was complete, and he identified the akashic records by name as something a clairvoyant could read. In his 1913 Man: How, Whence, and Whither?, Leadbeater claims to record the history of Atlantis and other civilizations as well as the future society of Earth in the 28th century.
Alice A. Bailey wrote in her book Light of the Soul on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 3 – Union achieved and its Results (1927):
The akashic record is like an immense photographic film, registering all the desires and earth experiences of our planet. Those who perceive it will see pictured thereon: The life experiences of every human being since time began, the reactions to experience of the entire animal kingdom, the aggregation of the thought-forms of a karmic nature (based on desire) of every human unit throughout time. Herein lies the great deception of the records. Only a trained occultist can distinguish between actual experience and those astral pictures created by imagination and keen desire.
- Ellwood, Robert S. (1996). "Theosophy". In Stein, Gordon. The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. pp. 759–66. ISBN 978-1-57392-021-6.; Regal, Brian (2009). Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia. Greenwood. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-313-35507-3.
Other than anecdotal eyewitness accounts, there is no evidence of the ability to astral project, the existence of other planes, or of the Akashic Record.; Drury, Nevill (2011). Heaven: The Rise of Modern Western Magic. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-19-975100-6.
- Brandt, Katharina; Hammer, Olav (2013). "Rudolf Steiner and Theosophy". In Hammer, Olav; Rothstein, Mikael. Handbook of the Theosophical Current. Leiden, NL; Boston: Brill. pp. 122–3. ISBN 9789004235960.
- Sinnett, Alfred Percy (1884). Esoteric Buddhism (5th ed.). Houghton Mifflin. p. 127.
- Besant, Annie; Leadbeater, C.W. (1913). Man: How, Whence, and Whither?. Adyar, India: Theosophical Publishing House.
- McKusick, Marshall (1982). "Psychic Archaeology: Theory, Method, and Mythology". Journal of Field Archaeology 9 (1): 112. doi:10.2307/529534.
- Steiner, Rudolf (1950). The Fifth Gospel. Investigation of the Akasha Chronicle. Five lectures given in Christiania, 1913. London: Rudolf Steiner Publishing.. Steiner, Rudolf (1911). The Submerged Continents of Atlantis and Lemuria, Their History and Civilization. Being Chapters From The Âkâshic Records. London: Theosophical Publishing Society.