In theosophy and anthroposophy, the Akashic records (a term coined in the late 19th century from akasha or ākāśa, the Sanskrit word for "sky", "space", "luminous", or "aether") are a compendium of thoughts, events, and emotions believed by Theosophists to be encoded in a non-physical plane of existence known as the astral plane. There are anecdotal accounts but no scientific evidence for existence of the Akashic records.
Akasha is a Sanskrit word meaning "sky", "space", "luminous", or "æther", and it entered 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. According to Marshal McKusick, former professor of Anthropology at the University of Iowa, the term Akashic record was created by Rudolf Steiner.
Accounts of purported akashic access
Readings of the akashic record were central to theosophist writings, but also appear in writings of other related figures. Among the former, Leadbeater's book Man: How, Whence, and Whither? claims to record the history of Atlantis and other civilizations as well as the future society of Earth in the 28th century. Rudolf Steiner referred to the Akashic Records and reported about Atlantis, Lemuria, the evolution of man and earth, et cetera.
Alice A. Bailey wrote in her book Light of the Soul on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 3 – Union achieved and its Results:
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.
In The Law of One, Book I, a book purported to contain conversations with a channeled "social memory complex" known to humans as Ra, when the questioner asks where Edgar Cayce received his information, the answer received is:
We have explained before that the intelligent infinity is brought into intelligent energy from eighth density or octave. The one sound vibratory complex called Edgar used this gateway to view the present, which is not the continuum you experience but the potential social memory complex of this planetary sphere. The term your peoples have used for this is the "Akashic Record" or the "Hall of Records".
- 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.
- McKusick, Marshall (1982). "Psychic Archaeology: Theory, Method, and Mythology". Journal of Field Archaeology 9 (1): 112. doi:10.2307/529534.
- Besant, Annie; Leadbeater, C.W. (1913). Man: How, Whence, and Whither?. Adyar, India: Theosophical Publishing House.
- 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.
- Elkins, Don; McCarty, James Allen; Rueckert, Carla (1984). The Ra Material: An Ancient Astronaut Speaks. The Donning Company. p. 141.