Edgar Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) (pronounced /'ke?si?/ or "Casey") was an American psychic who channeled answers to questions on subjects such as health, astrology, reincarnation, and Atlantis while in trance. Although Cayce lived before the emergence of the New Age movement, he remains a major influence on its teachings.
Cayce became an American celebrity towards the end of his life and the publicity given to his prophecy has overshadowed what to him were the more important parts of his work such as healing (the vast majority of his "readings" were given for people who were sick) and theology (Cayce being a lifelong, devout member of the Disciples of Christ). Skeptics challenge Cayce's claim to psychic prowess, while conservative Christians also question his unorthodox answers on religious matters (such as reincarnation and akashic records). He may have been the source for the idea that California would fall into the ocean (though he never said exactly this).
Today there are several tens of thousands of Cayce students. Most are located in the United States and Canada, but Edgar Cayce Centers are now found in 25 other countries. The Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE), headquartered in Virginia Beach, is the major organization promoting interest in Cayce.
1 Purported psychic abilities
2 The Readings
3 Major themes
4.1 1877 to 1920—the Kentucky period.
4.2 1920 to 1923—the Texas period
4.3 1925 to 1945—the Virginia Beach period
7 Other Cayce-like figures
9 Sources of Cayce's beliefs
10 Evidence for Cayce's abilities
11 The ARE Summer Camp
12 See also
13 External links
Purported psychic abilities
Edgar Cayce has variously been referred to as a "prophet" (cf. Jess Stearn's book, The Sleeping Prophet), a "mystic", a "seer", and a "clairvoyant". Cayce's business card described him as a "psychic diagnostician". 
Cayce's method of clairvoyance involved lying down and entering into a trance or sleep state, usually at the request of a subject who was seeking help with health or other personal problems (subjects were not usually present). The subject's questions would then be given to Cayce, and Cayce would proceed with a "reading". In the early part of Cayce's career, all readings were given on health issues; but then during a reading, Cayce asserted that the subject had at one time been a "monk" (presumably in a previous life), and after that Cayce gave both "health" and "life" readings, the latter involving a description of past lives and "karmic influences".
Cayce said under trance; that his trance statements should be taken into account only to the extent that they led to a better life for the recipient: "Does it make one a better husband, a better businessman, a better neighbor, a better artist, a better churchman? If so, cleave to it; if not, reject it."  Moreover, he invited his audience to test his suggestions rather than accept them on faith.
Other abilities that have been attributed to Cayce include astral projection, prophesying, mediumship (communication with the dead), viewing the Akashic Records or "Book of Life", and seeing auras. Cayce became interested in learning more about these subjects after he was informed about the content of his "readings", which he reported that he never actually heard himself.
Edgar Cayce gave perhaps 25,000-30,000 "readings" during a period of 43 years (1901 to 1944); however, until 1923, most were not preserved. Accordingly, only about 14,000 Cayce readings are currently available. When out of the trance he entered to perform a reading, Cayce claimed generally not to remember what he had said during the reading. The unconscious mind, according to Cayce, has access to information which the conscious mind does not — a common theory about hypnosis in Cayce's time. From the time Gladys Davis was hired as Cayce's secretary in 1923, all readings were preserved and his wife Gertrude Evans Cayce generally conducted (guided) the readings.
The available readings are customarily divided into the following categories:
Physical Readings: 9,603 extant readings.
Otherwise known as "health readings" in which (typically) a patient would be diagnosed and a cure prescribed. For some reason Cayce needed to be told the patient's physical location, though this might easily be in another city or state (in the case of patients inquiring by letter). Cayce lore describes various incidental examples of clairvoyance in the course of Cayce's psychically "searching" for the patient.
Life Readings: 1,920 extant readings
In a life reading, Cayce describes the client's present physical, emotional and mental condition in terms of past life experience. Most inquirers were assigned past lives from about twelve main "periods" including Atlantis, Ancient Egypt at the time of "Ra Ta", ancient Persia, Palestine at the time of Jesus Christ, and colonial America. A number of people were told of famous past lives. Cayce's son Hugh Lynn, for example, was told that he was the apostle Andrew.
Business Readings: 747 extant readings.
Cayce occasionally gave business readings including advice on business partners, the stock market, business models, etc.
Dream Readings: 630 extant readings.
Edgar Cayce encouraged everyone to interpret and use his or her own dreams in day-to-day life. A dream reading involved Cayce interpreting the dreams of clients. As he did with readings on many subjects, Cayce would often interrupt the person reading the dream and give an interpretation before the dream had been completely read. He would sometimes fill in parts of dreams that the dreamer had supposedly forgotten. Unlike Jungian or Freudian dream interpretation, Cayce did not emphasize highly the importance of symbols. He said that every individual has his or her own unique symbols. Cayce claimed that in dreams people could receive valuable insight into their own lives and that the insight was always of use to the dreamer. Besides regular daily insight into one's life, he claimed people could communicate with loved ones dead or alive, remember past life experiences, see a possible future and experience many other psychic phenomena. He stated that these paranormal abilities were something anyone could learn.
Mental and Spiritual Readings: 450 extant readings
These readings were often short and were Cayce's favorite type of reading when not in his supposed trance state. They focused on what an individual could do to achieve a better mental/spiritual life.
Other Readings: 954 extant readings
Other Readings are miscellaneous subject matter that does not fit into an above category. The subject matter included missing persons, buried treasure, readings given to a spiritual development group, psychic abilities, auras, prophecy, structure of reality, geology, and many other topics.
Cayce readings are usually referenced using a numeric tag in which the first number is a code representing the recipient (most of their identities remain secret), while the second counts which reading it is, in the case of a person who receives more than one. 5749-14 for example is the fourteenth reading given for person # 5749 (whose assigned number is essentially arbitrary).
The choice of which elements of the Cayce corpus to emphasize is fraught with hermeneutic hazards. The health readings are most numerous, and they involve many alternative health concepts and practices. Cayce described his work in terms of Christian service. Finally, people with esoteric or metaphysical interests have focused on a somewhat different set of topics.
Origin and destiny of humanity. "All souls were created in the beginning, and are finding their way back to whence they came."  The Cayce readings suggest that human souls were created with a consciousness of their oneness with God. Some "fell" from this state; others —led by the Jesus soul— volunteered to save them. The earth, with all its limitations, was created as a suitable arena for spiritual growth.
Reincarnation. Cayce's work teaches the reality of reincarnation and karma, but as instruments of a loving God rather than blind natural laws. Its purpose is to teach us certain spiritual lessons. Animals have undifferentiated, "group" souls rather than individuality and consciousness. Humans have never been incarnated as animals. He describes a very complex design arranged between souls and God to "meet the needs of existing conditions", which was a reference to the souls who became entrapped in the Earth's physical materiality which was not intended for a habitat of the soul. Spirit "thought-forms" stayed near and guided the anthropoid ape which was chosen to be the most ideal vehicle for the human physical race to be created from, and psychically guided their separate evolution into a Homo sapiens species. Cayce's view arguably incorporates Theosophical teachings on spiritual evolution.
Astrology. Cayce accepts astrology on the basis that our souls spend time on other planets (or perhaps their spiritual counterparts) in between incarnations. The position of the planets at our birth records these influences.
Universal laws. Souls incarnated on the earth are subject to certain spiritual laws such as, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap" (karma) or "As ye judge (others), so shall ye be judged." Properly regarded, such laws represent an aspect of God's mercy whereby no matter what our circumstances, he has promised to guide us in our spiritual path.
Jesus and Christ. Following New Thought precedent, Cayce distinguishes between Jesus and Christhood. Briefly, Jesus was a soul like us, who reincarnated through many lifetimes (and made many mistakes). "Christhood" is something which he achieved, and to which we also ought to aspire. Cayce accordingly calls Jesus our "elder brother."
Unknown Life of Jesus. Cayce presented narratives of Jesus' previous incarnations, including a mysterious Atlantean figure called "Amilius" as well as the more familiar biblical figures of Adam, Enoch, Melchizedek, Joshua, Asaph, and Jeshua. Cayce describes Jesus as an Essene who traveled to India in his youth in order to study Eastern religions.
Ideals. Cayce repeatedly stresses the choice of an ideal as the foundation of the spiritual path. "And O that all would realize... that what we are... is the result of what we have done about the ideals we have set" (1549-1). We may choose any ideal we feel drawn to. As we attempt to apply it in our lives, God will guide us further, perhaps inspiring us to revise our choice of ideal. The highest ideal, says Cayce, is Christ; however, the readings recognize "the Christ spirit" in some form as the basis for religions other than Christianity.
Body, Mind, Spirit. Cayce often invokes these three terms, or their equivalents, to describe the human condition. "Spirit is the life. Mind is the builder. Physical is the result." (conflation of various readings). The concept has application not only to holistic health but also to the spiritual life.
Meditation. While Cayce sometimes describes particular meditation techniques of sitting or chanting ("Arrr--eee-oommm" which is strikingly similar to popular Hindu mantra "Hari Om") the crucial element is that of opening up to divine influences. The Search For God books say that "Through prayer we speak to God. In meditation, God speaks to us." Cayce's concept of meditation has some aspects in common with Hinduism or Buddhism (the chakras, kundalini) but is most similar to Christian versions of New Thought. The symbolism of the Book of Revelation, he says, is based on meditative experiences.
ESP. Cayce accepted psychic experiences and ESP as a natural by-product of soul growth. God may speak to us through dreams (many readings consist of dream interpretation), or through intuitions similar to the pangs of conscience. However, Cayce does not endorse Spiritualism or mediumship on the grounds that entities thus contacted are not necessarily particularly lofty. Instead, he encourages seekers to focus on Christ.
Atlantis. The Cayce readings affirm the existence of Atlantis, a vast continent with an advanced technology whose refugees peopled ancient Egypt as well as pre-Columbian America. Cayce's description of Atlantis has much in common with that of Ignatius Donnelly. According to Cayce, Atlantean society was divided into two long-lived political factions--a "good" faction called the "Sons of the Law of One," and an "evil" faction called the "Sons of Belial." Many people alive today are the reincarnations of Atlantean souls, who must now face similar temptations as before. In this regard Cayce also predicted the coming of a certain 'blue stone' of Atlantean origin, that was to be found on "an island in the Caribbean" and was to have the power to heal. In 1974 a Volcanic blue pectolite now known as the Larimar was found in the Dominican Republic. In metaphysical circles this colored gemstone is said to have healing powers; as with most crystals and gemstones, there is no scientific evidence that it has any special properties. Atlantis suffered 3 major destructions one of which was the deluge. According to the readings, a major source of turmoil was the Sons of Belial's desire to exploit the Things, sub-humans with animal appendages and low intelligence, and the movements to protect and evolve them by the Sons of the Law of One. The final destruction was the overcharging of the Crystal which caused a massive explosion.
Egypt. Next to biblical times, the most significant era for the "life readings" was a pre-dynastic Egyptian civilization consisting of Atlantean refugees. Cayce purported to have been an otherwise unknown pharaoh named "Ra Ta" who built a spiritually-based healing center (the "Temple of Sacrifice") and educational institution (the "Temple Beautiful"). His diagnostic readings and narratives about the past and future were supposed to be a continuation of his ancient work. This civilization also built monuments on the Giza plateau, including the Great Pyramid, and left records of Atlantis in a "hall of records" located somewhere beneath the Sphinx. These readings bear a close resemblance to books by AMORC founder H. Spencer Lewis.
Earth changes. Some Cayce readings allude to massive earth changes—perhaps in conjunction with a pole shift—in the 1930s, 1960s, or 1990s. Cayce people have developed several creative ways of interpreting such passages, although some were disappointed with the failure of 1998 to bring either the rising of Atlantis, the sinking of California, or the Second Coming of Christ. Although he didn't actually state these would happen at this specific time, the period was referred to as a pivotal point that could see the beginning of many of these prophecies. Cayce however, stressed repeatedly that free will influenced all facets of what will become reality and even something predestined to happen can be postponed or altered.
"Cayce cures." Cayce's medical readings typically prescribe poultices (often of castor oil), osteopathic adjustments, colonic irrigation, massage (often with peanut oil), prayer, folk remedies (e.g. charcoal tablets), various forms of electric medicine and patent medicines (such as Atomidine), and specific recommendations concerning diet and exercise. Cayce is often seen as a practitioner of holistic medicine, and has particularly strong philosophical ties with naturopathy.
The "Cayce diet". Major dietary recommendations include the avoidance of red meat (esp. pork), alcohol (except red wine), white bread, and fried foods; a preference for fruits and (above-ground, leafy) vegetables over starches; and a high ratio (80:20 %)of alkaline foods over acidic. One meal per day should consist entirely of raw vegetables. Under strict circumstances, Cayce advocated both coffee and pure tobacco cigarettes to be non-harmful to health. “Food Combining” was also a central idea in the Cayce diet. Several food combinations that are contraindicated are coffee with milk or sugar, citrus fruit with starchy foods and high protein foods with starches. Cayce followed very few of the dietary recommendations that were suggested by the readings.
Edgar Cayce was born into a farming family on March 18, 1877 near Beverly, seven miles south of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. One convenient way to divide Cayce's life is according to geography:
1877 to 1920—the Kentucky period.
In December 1893 the family moved to Hopkinsville, Kentucky and occupied 705 West Seventh, on the south-east corner of Seventh and Young Street. During this time Cayce received an eighth-grade education; discovered his spiritual vocation; left the family farm to pursue various forms of employment (at Richard's Dry Goods Store, then in Hopper's Bookstore both located on Main Street).
Cayce's education stopped with the eighth grade, not because of his incapability but because his family could not afford the costs involved. Additionally, at that time a great deal more advanced material (especially in mathematics and practical sciences) was presented at an earlier level in public schools; an eighth-grade education might be the equivalent of high school today, at least in some subjects, and was often considered more than sufficient for working-class children. Much of the remainder of Cayce's life would be characterized by a forlorn search for employment and/or money.
Throughout his life Cayce was drawn to church as a member of the Disciples of Christ. He read the Bible once for every year of his life, taught at Sunday school, recruited missionaries, and is said to have agonized over the issue of whether his psychic abilities--and the teachings which resulted--were spiritually legitimate.
In 1900 he formed a business partnership with his father to sell Woodmen of the World Insurance but was struck by severe laryngitis in March that resulted in a complete loss of speech on April 18. Unable to work, he lived at home with his parents for almost a year. He then decided to take up the trade of photography, an occupation that would exert less strain on his voice. He began an apprenticeship at the photography studio of W. R. Bowles in Hopkinsville.
A travelling stage hypnotist and entertainer called "Hart-The Laugh Man," was performing at the Hopkinsville Opera House in 1901. He heard about Cayce's condition and offered to attempt a cure. Cayce accepted and the experiment took place on stage in front of an audience. Remarkably, Cayce's voice returned while in a hypnotic trance but disappeared on awakening. Hart tried a post-hypnotic suggestion that the voice would continue to function after the trance but this proved unsuccessful.
Since Hart had appointments at other cities, he could not continue his hypnotic treatment of Cayce. However a local hypnotist, Al Layne, offered to help Cayce in restoring his voice. Layne suggested that Cayce describe the nature of his condition and cure while in a hypnotic trance. Cayce described his own ailment from a first person plural point of view — 'we' — instead of the singular "I." In subsequent readings he would generally start off with "We have the body." According to the reading, his voice loss was due to psychological paralysis and could be corrected by increasing the blood flow to the voice box. Layne suggested that the blood flow be increased and Cayce's face became flushed with blood and his chest area turned bright red. After 20 minutes Cayce, still in trance, declared the treatment over. On awakening his voice remained normal. Relapses occurred but were corrected by Layne in the same way and eventually the cure was permanent.
Layne had read of similar hypnotic cures effected by the Marquis de Puységur, a follower of Franz Mesmer, and was keen to explore the limits of the healing knowledge of the trance voice. He asked Cayce to describe Layne's own ailments and suggest cures, and reportedly found the results both accurate and effective. Layne suggested that Cayce offer his trance healing to the public but Cayce was reluctant. He finally agreed on the condition that readings would be free. He began with Layne's help to offer free treatments to the townspeople. Reportedly he had great success and his fame spread. Reports of Cayce's work appeared in the newspapers, inspiring many postal inquiries. Supposedly, Cayce was able to work just as effectively using a letter from the individual as with having the person present. Given the person's name and location, he could diagnose the physical,mental conditions and provide corrective remedy. Cayce's accuracy in diagnosing the problems and providing effective cures made him more popular and soon people from around the world sought his advice through correspondence.
Cayce's work grew in volume as his fame grew. He reluctantly asked for voluntary donations to support himself and his family so that he could practice full time. He continued to work in an apparent trance state with a hypnotist all his life. His wife and eldest son later replaced Layne in this role. A secretary, Gladys Davis, recorded his readings in shorthand.
The trance reading produced a visible strain on Cayce's health. He attributed the occasional failure in his accuracy to the stress involved in his work. He was scrupulous in giving refunds to unsatisfied clients.
1920 to 1923—the Texas period
The growing fame of Cayce coupled with the popularity he received from newspapers attracted several eager commercially minded men who wanted to seek a fortune by using Cayce's clairvoyant abilities. Even though Cayce was reluctant to help them, he was persuaded to give the readings, which left him dissatisfied with himself and unsuccessful. A cotton merchant offered Cayce a hundred dollars a day for his readings about the daily outcomes in the cotton market. However, despite his poor finances, Cayce refused the merchant's offer. Others wanted to know where to hunt for treasures; some wanted to know the outcome of horse races. Several times he was persuaded to give the readings as an experiment. However he was unsuccessful several times when he used his ability for such purposes. These experiments left him depleted of energy, distraught and unsatisfied with himself. Finally he came to the conclusion that he would use his gift only to help the distressed and sick.
He was persuaded to give readings on philosophical subjects in 1923 by Arthur Lammers, a wealthy printer. While in his supposed trance state, Cayce spoke unequivocally of past lives. Reincarnation was a popular subject of the day, but is not an accepted part of Christian doctrine. Cayce reported that his conscience bothered him severely over this conflict. Lammers reassured and argued with Cayce. His "trance voice", the "we" of the readings, also supposedly dialogued with Cayce and finally persuaded him to continue with these kinds of readings. In 1925 Cayce reported his "voice" had instructed him to move to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
1925 to 1945—the Virginia Beach period
Cayce's mature period, in which he created the several institutions which would survive him in some form. By this time he was a professional psychic with a small staff of employees and volunteers. The "readings" increasingly came to involve metaphysical or esoteric themes.
In 1929 the Cayce hospital was established in Virginia Beach sponsored by a wealthy beneficiary of the trance readings, Morton Blumenthal.
Cayce gained national prominence in 1943 through a high profile article in Coronet. Feeling he couldn't refuse people who felt they needed his help so desperately, he increased the frequency of his readings to 8 per day to try and make an impression on the ever growing pile of requests. Eventually this took a toll on his health, as he said that it was emotionally draining and often fatigued him. The readings themselves scolded him for attempting too much and warned Cayce that more than 2 readings a day would start breaking down his physical health and would result in his death. Unfortunately when he finally stopped in order to recuperate his failing strength, it was too late.
Edgar Cayce suffered a stroke on January 2nd, 1945. He died a day later on January 3rd.
1877 Born March 18 into a farming family in Beverly, seven miles south of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
1887 Volunteers as church sexton, the first of many church roles.
1889 Resolves to read the Bible cover-to-cover once each year (and does so).
1890 Baptised at 13, experiences angelic vision. "Spelling book incident," in which he remembers contents of speller after sleeping with it under his pillow.
1892 Knocked unconscious while playing baseball; suggests application of poultice. The incident is later remembered as a possible first "reading."
1893 Family moves to Hopkinsville, followed later by Edgar. First love (Bess). Works for a dry goods store and bookstore (the Hopper store).
1895 Meets Dwight L. Moody.
1897 Engaged to Gertrude Evans.
1898 Moves to Louisville, Kentucky where he works for a book wholesaler (the Morton store). Meets a woman named Margaret from a wealthy family. Some allege they had an affair.
1900 Returns to Hopkinsville. Forms business partnership with his father to sell Woodmen of the World Life Insurance but was struck by severe aphonia or laryngitis that prevented him from performing sales work. Begins apprenticeship in Bowles photography studio.
1901 A travelling stage hypnotist and entertainer called "Hart-The Laugh Man" hears about Cayce's condition and offers to attempt a cure. Cayce accepts and the experiment takes place on stage in front of an audience. Cayce's voice returns while in a hypnotic trance, but disappears on awakening. Another hypnotist, Al Layne, works with Cayce to restore his voice. Layne gives hypnotic suggestion that Cayce describe the nature of his condition and cure. According to the reading, his voice loss was due to psychological paralysis and could be corrected by a suggestion to increase the blood flow to the voice box. This treatment was largely successful.
1902 Moves to Bowling Green and works at bookstore there (the Potter store).
1903 Marries Gertrude Evans.
1907 Son Hugh Lynn Cayce born.
1910 Dr. Wesley Ketchum mentions Cayce in an article to the American Society of Clinical Research. New York Times reports in article entitled Illiterate Man Becomes A Doctor When Hypnotized, Cayce's career as a psychic and healer begins in earnest. People begin to visit him at his house in Kentucky.
1911 Son Milton Porter Cayce born; dies in infancy.
1915 "Graveyards of the world" vision; last recurrence of aphonia.
1918 Son Edgar Evans Cayce born. Cayce rumored to have visited Washington to give readings for President Wilson's administration, possibly on the Fourteen Points.
1920 to 1923 Cayce and friend David Kahn go to Texas to look for oil (using Cayce's abilities). Results inconclusive, but at any rate do not get them rich. At this time some allege that Cayce had several affairs and a falling-out with Gertrude.
1923 Reconciles with Gertrude. Hires Selma, Alabama native Gladys Davis as stenographer. Some suspect Cayce and Davis of having an affair, but a medical examination conducted after Cayce's death to treat Davis's uterine cancer allegedly showed that she was still a virgin at that time. In Dayton, Ohio gives readings for Arthur Lammers, a wealthy printer, on metaphysical or esoteric topics. On awakening, is reportedly astonished to learn that the trance source accepts reincarnation and astrology as parts of Christianity. Cayce had had a number of previous contacts with astrologers, Theosophists, and the like.
1925 Moves to Virginia Beach, based on instructions from his "voice". By this time Cayce is a full-time professional psychic.
1927 Founds "Association of National Investigators" (ANI), a membership organization devoted to Cayce's work. Main sponsors are Morton and Edwin Blumenthal; David Kahn remains a major influence.
1928 Cayce Hospital for Research and Enlightenment established in Virginia Beach, with 60 beds.
1930 Atlantic University founded.
1931 ANI disbanded; hospital folds due to conflicts with donors and the Great Depression. A new organization, the "Association for Research and Enlightenment," forms with much the same purposes. "Study Group #1" begins meeting.
1932 Atlantic University folds. First ARE Congress held (attendance: 16).
1933 Gives reading 3976-13 in November, which praises Adolf Hitler.
1934 Gives reading 3976-15 in January, which calls into question Hitler's destiny because he has allowed imperialism to enter in.
1938 Gives reading 1554-3 in March, which calls Germany "a smear upon its forces for its dominance over its brother; a leech upon the universe for its own sustenance."
1939 Gives reading 257-211 in September, less than a month after the beginning of World War II, which states that Hitler's future will be "death."
1942 First "Search for God" book published.
1943 Cayce gains national prominence through high-profile articles by Margueritte Harmon Bro in Christian Century and Coronet; and then by Thomas Sugrue's book There Is a River. Increases the frequency of his readings to 8 per day to try to keep up with the level of interest.
1944 Suffers stroke, enters coma in December.
1945 Dies January 3, Gertrude dies three months later. Hugh Lynn Cayce returns from the war to rally ARE members.
1947 Edgar Cayce Foundation established; to this day it claims the copyright to the Cayce readings. Its board of trustees once overlapped, and is now identical, with that of the ARE.
1950 Gina Cerminara's Many Mansions and Morey Bernstein's Search for Bridey Murphy published.
1955 University of Chicago accepts the first doctoral dissertation on Cayce: Harmon H. Bro's Charisma of the Seer.
1956 ARE buys the former Cayce Hospital building for use as headquarters; some members live on-site.
1958 The ARE Summer Camp for children is started. Participants stay in the hospital.
1959 to 1960 Cayce readings microfilmed by Remington Rand Corp..
1966 The ARE Summer Camp opens in its new location near Rural Retreat, VA.
1967 Jess Stearn's Sleeping Prophet published.
1971 Indexing of Cayce readings completed; "circulating files" compiled and circulated among ARE members.
1976 Hugh Lynn Cayce retires. Leadership of ARE passes to his son (and Cayce's grandson) Charles Thomas Cayce.
1982 Hugh Lynn Cayce dies.
1984 First issue of Cayce magazine Venture Inward. While there have been many newsletters and magazines, this one is the longest-running.
1986 Gladys Davis (later Gladys Davis Turner) dies.
God is not mocked; what you sow, so shall you reap. - Often mentioned Bible quotation.
What you condemn in others, you become. - Reading concerning a man who satired homosexuals.
Take advantage of what is at hand and better opportunities will be opened. - Reading as an advice to people with very few opportunities.
He inherited from himself. - Question on a child about whose genes he inherited the most from.
Mind is the builder.
Other Cayce-like figures
Trance states have also long been used by shamans, mystics, and fakirs in healing rituals, being particularly cultivated in some religions, such as Tibetan Buddhism.
Mesmer's patron the Marquis de Puységur was able to "magnetize" an illiterate shepherd named Victor, who then spoke with a vastly greater intelligence.
The career of nineteenth-century American seer Andrew Jackson Davis also has many points in common with Cayce's. "Medical clairvoyance" was apparently a familiar category from the Spiritualist movement. The origin of Cayce's trance activity is very similar to that of Davis sixty years earlier.
A number of people have sought to identify possible contemporary metaphysical or occult sources for Cayce's teachings. Suggested influences include Spiritualism, Theosophy, New Thought, AMORC Rosicrucianism, the Aquarian Gospel, Baird Spalding, William Dudley Pelley, Manly Palmer Hall, Ignatius Donnelly, Marie Corelli, and Frederick Oliver's book A Dweller On Two Planets
In recent years Elder Porphyrios of Mount Athos was reported to possess a kind of clairvoyance which he called "spiritual television," which he used in ways similar to Cayce.
The American author Jane Roberts channelled a large amount of documented material during the 1970s and 1980s which was published as the Seth books. She has been likened to Cayce both in the type of material channelled and the audience she has garnered.
Students of Cayce point out that his particular form of trance work differed significantly as to quality, tone, and voice from almost everyone else in the field, living or dead. In particular, the Cayce-style trance is hallmarked by a total absence of Ego. The voice is always, and most clearly, first-person plural; and the response to questions invariably shows a decided lack of personal interest in both the questioner and the topic. Unlike, for example, Jane Roberts, whose "Seth" books are the best example of "personality" trances. The pure Cayce-style trance is exceptionally rare. Only a handful of individuals since Cayce have ever been successful in duplicating this particular phenomenon. One group in particular, calling itself Cosmic Awareness, and based in the US north-west, claims to be longest-standing source of serial trance material of this particular type.
Skeptics of Cayce's purported powers point out that the evidence for Cayce mostly comes in the form of anecdotes and testimonials, none of which is considered scientifically rigorous. They are also critical of Cayce's support for various forms of alternative medicine, which they tend to regard as quackery.
Cayce's followers accept that he was sometimes inaccurate, and occasionally totally wrong. Cayce's sons, Hugh Lynn Cayce and Edgar Evans Cayce, even co-authored a book called The Outer Limits of Edgar Cayce's Power detailing some of their father's mistakes. They theorize that Cayce's accuracy depended on many variables, such as the spiritual motivation of those seeking the reading. Skeptics identify these theories as excuses intended to prevent paranormal claims from ever being disproven. The majority of errors found in his works are perceptual errors. They are often based on the misuse of words describing what he saw in his trances.
Cayce's prophecies occupy somewhat shaky ground; Examples of erroneous Cayce prophecies include him stating that 1933 would be a "good year", when in fact it was one of the worst in the Great Depression; predicting that China would one day be "the cradle of Christianity as applied in the lives of men" (while this has not occurred there is no reason to discard it, as many foreseen events are not immediate, including events relating to the 'End Time'); stating that US scientists would discover a "death ray" from Atlantis in 1958; and predicting massive earth changes that have not occurred.
Cayce's supporters, however, point to successful predictions of the Great Depression, a non-Communist Russia, and the establishment of peace in 1945. They argue that the "Atlantean death-ray" could refer to the laser, first demonstrated in 1960 by Theodore Maiman at Hughes Research Laboratories in California. They further claim that he foretold the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in April of 1941, when he stated in Reading 3976-26: “Watch for strife in ... the Indian Ocean.... Ye say that these are of the sea; yes, for there shall the breaking up be."
Another common source of criticism has been from conservative Protestantism and most of Catholicism, which rejects reincarnation and other of Cayce's teachings. Most Christian critics agree with the skeptics, and doubt that Cayce possessed paranormal abilities as claimed. Some accept that he possessed such abilities, but suggest that they were Satanic in origin. The fact that by all accounts, some of Cayce's prophecies have failed has led some Christians to cite Isaiah [t.k.] which demands complete accuracy of any prophetic claimant, on pain of death should any prophecy fail. Cayce's supporters however point out that he did not personally claim to be a "prophet" on a par with those of the Bible.
Sources of Cayce's beliefs
Hopper's Bookstore in Hopkinsville where Cayce worked for many years as a young man specialized in occult and osteopathic works and he may have consciously or otherwise absorbed much of this material. However, knowledge of this material cannot account for most of Cayce's specific diagnoses, such as directing that osteopathic adjustments be given to a developmentally-delayed and seizure-ridden child named Aime Dietrich. She was restored to normal health by Cayce-directed treatments after conventional doctors had pronounced her case hopeless.
Books such as Frederick Oliver's Atlantean fantasy A Dweller On Two Planets and Marie Corelli's novels were probably accessible to Cayce at his bookstore. Corelli's writings in particular seek to reconcile mystical beliefs such as reincarnation with Christianity, and Cayce may have been subconsciously trying to accept this idea. Some books of this type refer to Jesus as "elder brother". However, Cayce's life readings show remarkable consistency over many years. In fact, it has not been demonstrated that Cayce ever was inconsistent in his chronology. (For example, telling a woman whose reading was done in the 1920s that in a lifetime in ancient Persia she was one of three sisters of a warrior; then telling a man whose reading was done in the 1940s that he was that warrior and had two sisters.)
Regardless of the accuracy of the information Cayce provided, those who accept that Cayce was unconscious during his "trance" state generally agree that Cayce was not likely to have been an intentional fraud.
Evidence for Cayce's abilities
Gina Cerminara published books such as Many Mansions, The World Within and Many Lives,Many Loves which provide compendious information about Cayce's works and buttress his claimed abilities with real life examples.
One such example from the book Many Lives,Many Loves, chapter 2 : Clear Seeing People :
"Cayce once gave a reading on a blind man, a musician by profession, who regained part ot his vision in one eye through following the physical suggestions given by Cayce. This man happened to have a passion for railroads and a tremendous interest in the Civil War. In the life reading which Cayce gave, he said that the man had been a soldier in the South, in the army of Lee, and that he had been a railroad man by profession in that incarnation. Then he proceeded to tell him that his name in that life was Barnett Seay, and that the records of Seay could still be found in the state of Virginia. The man took the trouble to hunt for the records -- and found them, in the state capitol at Richmond: that is to say he found the record of one Barnett Seay, standard-bearer in Lee's army who had entered and been discharged from the service in such and such a year."
The ARE Summer Camp
In the late 50's, the ARE opened a summer camp for teens based in the Hospital Building. In the early 60's it moved to its current location in the mountains of southwest Virginia. The summer camp focuses on giving children and families a chance to experience the lifestyle recommended in the Cayce readings, especially in the areas of diet, health, exercise, and nature. While the camp does have a strong focus on spirituality, it does not stress any one religion (or even religion in general) in particular, preferring, instead, to offer "a buffet of spirituality" as it were.
Karma in Christianity
Edgar Cayce on Karma
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Association for Research and Enlightenment
Detailed Chronology of Life and Work of Edgar Cayce
Cayce's list of incarnations of Jesus Christ
Edgar Cayce's Earth Change Predictions
On whether the Essenes believed in reincarnation
The Edgar Cayce Virtual Library
Why Edgar Cayce Was Not a Psychic: Typological Issues and Their Social and Religious Consequences
The Skeptic's Dictionary on Cayce
An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
The Sleeping Prophet Fortean Times profile of Cayce
The Straight Dope: What's the scoop on Edgar Cayce?
James Randi: Cayce Flimflam
An American Prophet: Yeah, Right - ABCNews column on Cayce
^ Bro, Harmon Hartzell, Edgar Cayce: A seer out of season, Aquarian Press, London, 1990, p
Bro, Harmon Hartzell, Edgar Cayce: A seer out of season, Aquarian Press, London, 1990, ISBN 1-85538-408-6
Campbell, Dan, Edgar Cayce: On the Power of Color, Stones, and Crystals, Warner Books Inc., New York, NY, 1989.
Cayce, Edgar, Auras: An Essay On The Meaning of Colors, A.R.E. Press, Virginia Beach, Virginia, 1945 , ISBN 87604-012-1
Cayce, Edgar Evans. Edgar Cayce on Atlantis. New York: Hawthorn, 1968, ISBN 0-312-96153-7
Cerminara, Gina. Many Mansions: The Edgar Cayce Story on Reincarnation. orig. 1950; Signet Book, Reissue edition 1990, ISBN 0-451-16817-8
Kirkpatrick, Sidney D. An American Prophet. Riverhead Books, 2000, ISBN 1-57322-139-2
Kittler, Glenn D. Edgar Cayce on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Warner Books, 1970, ISBN 0-446-90035-4
Stern, Jess. "The Sleeping Prophet". Bantam Books, 1967, ISBN 0-553-26085-5
Sugrue, Thomas. There Is a River. A.R.E. Press, 1997, ISBN 0-87604-375-9