Edgar Cayce Edited  EdgarCayceEdited

What if Edgar Cayce had spoken plain English? 
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My 2 cents worth






                    



                                                    I began this website


in October 2011 because I wanted more control over navigation than
Blogger let me have.  And for visibility, because, after all, my aim is to involve as many of you as I can in this translation work.  Along the way, I wondered if I was being fresh.  Had no one before me really tried to make the readings easier on the brain?  An editor from A.R.E., or a contributor to one of its magazines?

 

After joining the Members' Forum at edgarcayce.org in May 2012, I posted this:

Edgar Cayce's grammar is awful. Has A.R.E. begun rendering the readings into plain English,
yet? I've read the apologies for his grammar, but the Bible itself has survived translation, hasn't it, and that from Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic? From the King James Bible to Eugene Peterson's Remix, the interpretations keep this spiritual landmark current.

EC spoke English. We speak English. Yet the readings remain obscure. Even if our understanding is intuitive, we express that understanding in words. As we're untangling EC's syntax, we're saying to ourselves, he means, in other words. . . We're mentally breaking, rearranging and correcting his sentences, and it's exhausting!

EC needs our help. We could do no harm to the readings' integrity by publishing plain English translations of his readings -- on our own, as laymen, if need be. The readings aren't going anywhere. I mean that literally. Spiritual seekers ten generations down the road will still get EC second-hand, through the interpretations of the well-read, rather than by way of the readings, themselves.

How many of us hear Beowulf, or Chaucer, or Shakespeare in their original English? Sure, nuances will be lost in translation, but how do we as EC adherents get his wisdom out into the English-speaking world, let alone to Asia and the Middle East, unless we have literate documents to begin with?


I followed up with a post that duplicated most of what is on the Translations guidelines page.

I haven't yet provoked a response.

Struggling with the readings has brought me closer to the source behind A Search for God and Virgina Beach Study Group No. 1 -- they have become human.  Not only that, but I've been getting a lot more out of the scriptures than I ever have, thanks to the different versions of the Bible I've discovered online.  (See the Links page for the URLs.)  And that's a good thing.  The Bible, like Christianity, has always felt distant.  Now I have a completely different reason for consulting the Book: understanding Cayce's and the readings' point of view; and the joy of the language and clarity of meaning that the plain Engish translations of the Bible bring me.

Cayce and Christ Consciousness may turn me to Christianity, yet.

The readings, if you want to make them plain to yourself, may bring you a similar surprise.

I'm nearly 60.  I love my wife.  I have a dog.  I work for a living.  I try to get enough exercise.  I'm like you.  I continue to believe that there is some area of the readings that you find so worthwhile that you, too, will want to make their source transparent.

It's hard work, but it's satisfying, and it's a service for which readers will offer their unspoken thanks.

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Filling in the gaps:
The early years

Whenever I land on a blog or on a personal website, I automatically want to know more about the voice behind it.  I don’t consider myself nosy; I just want to know more of the story.  I want more details. 

You might wonder why I care about words, what my background with words is, and what led me to edit Edgar Cayce’s words.  I’d like to share the answers with you during the next few columns.  There’s plenty I’ll leave out.

In the first place, my mother read to me.  She read with expression in her voice and excitement in her face.  My dad told me stories at bedtime, adventures whose hero was a little boy like me – but a child with more scientific curiosity than I had.  My favorite record was Peter Ustinov’s narration of Peter and the Wolf.  Words and narration hooked me early in my life.  Words changed feelings and appearances as if by magic.  I had a grasp of the wand.  I wanted to practice.  I wanted to conjure with words.

Next: My first poem.

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My own room - and my first poem

I was a daydreamer when I was a kid.  I lived in my head.  I still do.  

When I was young, I never wanted the day to end.  My parents had other ideas.  They were gentle, especially my father.  On the nights when I had eluded my mother long enough for her to feel I was taking advantage of her good nature, Dad would wander into my bedroom.  “Okay,” he’d say with mock gravity, “it’s time to go to bed.  Hippity-hop to bed!”

That vignette was repeated often.  My feelings of disappointment that the day was really over sprouted a paean to my inner night owl.  The way I remember it, my first poem went like this:

It’s hippity-hop to bed,
I’d rather stay up, instead.
It doesn’t seem late,
But it’s already eight,
So it’s hippity-hop to bed.


I never had children of my own.  I don’t know what age of kid stays up until 8:00 P.M.  I’m trying to remember what grade I was in when I wrote that.  I had my own bedroom.  That first happened in the third grade, when my brother left for college, and my sister moved to his room. We were in Kyushu, Japan.  If I was in the fourth grade, then we were in Wichita, Kansas. I wrote my first poem when I was 9 or 10.

My father was an Air Force chaplain.  His family members, everyone but his younger brother, were strong evangelical Christians of the Free Methodist denomination.  He was originally a mining engineer student in Michigan when WW2 gave him the chance for a military career.  He started out by earning his wings as a B-17 pilot.  He was bound for Japan when the war ended;  he landed in seminary, instead.  Dad said that was the result of a conversion experience, but he never related anything more about it.  Fitting together the pieces of that contradiction in character, engineer/bomber pilot/evangelical preacher, as well as my family’s rootlessness, is probably where my search for answers began.  I chose written and spoken words to help me understand my life.

Next: Who are the real people?

                                                   
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