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 as containing all knowledge of human experience and the history of the cosmos. They are metaphorically described as a library; other analogies commonly found in discourse on the subject include a "universal supercomputer" and the "Mind of God". People who describe the records assert that they are constantly updated automatically and that they can be accessed through astral projection or when someone is placed under deep hypnosis. The concept was popularized in the theosophical movements of the 19th century and is derived from Hindu philosophy of Samkhya. It is promulgated in the Samkhya philosophy that the Akashic records are automatically recorded in the atoms of akasha ("air" or "aether"), one of the five types of atoms visualized as existing in the atomic theory of Ancient India. The term akashic records is frequently used in New Age discourse.
In his books Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls, Evidence of Life between Lives, Michael Newton, a hypnotherapist who has worked with subjects in deep states, has many accounts of the akashic record, or "Book of Life". Souls prior to being incarnated go to a 'library' and view the pages associated with the life they are considering. The pages are not necessarily sequential. Although there may be definitive way points along the course of our lives, our free will can change paths, events and outcomes. As the soul prepares for a life with the intent of learning a particular lesson or satisfying a karmic debt, the soul will also choose a family and a body that will help them with the lessons for this incarnation. For many, some of those images survive "birth amnesia" and become our intuition serving them during their lives.
C.W. Leadbeater, who claimed to be clairvoyant, conducted research into the akashic records. He said he inspected them at the Theosophical Society headquarters in Adyar (Tamil Nadu), India during the summer of 1910 and recorded the results in his book Man: How, Whence, and Whither? The book records the history of Atlantis and other civilizations and the future society of Earth in the 28th century.
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."
"Future Life Reading" - Helen Stewart Wambach, Ph.D (1925–1985), who lived in Concord, California, claimed to be able to read the Akashic Record. She said she could hypnotize people and enable them to experience their possible future lives in various alternate universes.
Usage in popular culture
In June 1976, Thea Alexander published a science fiction novel called 2150 AD that pictures a future society that has supercomputers capable of routinely accessing the akashic records. People can see scenes from their past lives displayed on video screens attached to the supercomputers.
The manga series Kanna features a storyline about a parallel universe. The main characters unearth a "mokkan" (a wooden tablet) written in an ancient language, though not Sanskrit. Once translated by one of the characters, it turns out to be the akashic records. The concept is described in great detail, with the crucial plot point being that the actual events begin to diverge from the written about twenty years before present day.
The television series Eureka features a story arc involving "The Artifact", supposedly a relic from the universe which existed before the Big Bang, which served as an antenna for the Akashic Field.
In the anime series Outlaw Star, the Galactic Leyline holds similar properties to that of the Akashic records, in that it records everything, and holds the advanced knowledge of a forgotten race.
Another anime called Betterman makes a continuous reference through-out the series. Several organizations are trying to find man's perfect evolution, and they quote the Akashic Records several times. The characters visit the Ajanta Caves in India when the Records are first mentioned.
In Type-Moon series such as Fate/Stay Night and Kara no Kyoukai, a Magi's ultimate goal and their family line's is to seek Akasha, the Akashic record: the root of all things, storing all events, realities and possibilities while existing outside of time. Also in Tsukihime, Roa, nicknamed the Serpent of Akasha due to his ability to reincarnate, where upon death he migrates his knowledge and memories to a preselected new host.
In the animated series Futurama, there is an episode in which the main character, Fry, gains access to a giant brain in outer space which functions exactly like the Akashic Records.