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Introduction - Cayce

                                                 INTRODUCTION TO EDGAR CAYCE

                 You may have heard the name Edgar Cayce.
  You may associate his name with the search for the lost continent of Atlantis, and more lately, for the search for a written record of Atlantis that he said was buried beneath the Sphinx in Egypt. There is another side of Edgar Cayce’s reputation as a prophet, though.

In 1877, Edgar Cayce was born in Christian County in western Kentucky. He was a devout Christian and was spiritually sensitive and sensitive to spirit entities only he could see – from an early age. He had devoted himself to reading the Bible by the age of ten, and by his mid-teens, had read the Book several times through. Reverent and devout, Edgar felt alone and different from other boys his age.  Often, he took refuge in a secluded spot near his home, where he felt close to God and close to the forest and to the forest creatures. At the age of thirteen, He prayed for God to show him that God loved His creations, especially human beings, as much as Edgar loved the animals.

In response to his prayer, an angel appeared to Edgar late one night. The angel told Edgar that God would keep His promise to show His love for humankind through Edgar. Then, the angel instructed Edgar to help heal his fellow human beings. This vision changed Edgar Cayce. He knew God would keep His promise. Later that same day, in trouble with his father for being behind on his school work as he usually was, Edgar told his father that if he could sleep on his book, he would wake up and know its contents by memory. He slept on the book - a spelling book - for five minutes. When he awoke, not only could he spell any word in that book for his father, but also he could tell him what page it was on.

The young Cayce’s schooling improved, but ever the soul having a human experience, Edgar had to survive in the world, and he would struggle most of his life to do so.  When he was sixteen, he quit school to help his family earn a living. He farmed, sold books, clerked in retail stores, and with his father, sold insurance.

When he was 23, Cayce inexplicably lost the ability speak in a voice louder than a hoarse whisper, a condition called aphonia by the doctors he consulted. Cayce learned to take portrait photographs, something he could accomplish while speaking little, and he opened a photographic studio.

It was during this period that he discovered his gift for healing. In 1901, a friend introduced Cayce to a stage hypnotist who hypnotized Cayce. While under hypnosis, Cayce spoke in a normal, audible voice but resumed speaking in a whisper when awakened. Over the next several months, a doctor from New York City studied his case. The doctor suggested that Cayce put himself to sleep the same way he had done so over his school books, and he told Cayce to diagnose himself while under self-hypnosis as if he were looking at a stranger and to offer himself remedial treatment. Cayce followed the doctor’s suggestions.

By applying this method, Cayce’s voice was restored to him during the following year. This method of following the suggestions of a conductor became the pattern for Cayce’s “readings,” so-called because he diagnosed himself while in his self-imposed trance, as if reading a book.

Also during that year and at the stage hypnotist’s request, Cayce began giving readings for him and for other people who were injured or ill. Cayce was reluctant, because he believed that what he was doing too fantastic to be genuine, that there must be some trickery involved. However, since he had regained his own voice by this means, he agreed to do the readings for the friend who had introduced him to the hypnotist out of a sense of gratitude and obligation. The people for whom Cayce did readings and prescribed courses of treatment told him later that his suggestions had worked, but he was embarrassed by the praise. Even an account of a healing related by his cousin didn’t improve his opinion of his gift. No matter the benefit that resulted, using the gift simply made him feel odd. So, instead of healing people for a living, he pursued his career as a portrait photographer.

Nevertheless, by 1911, Cayce’s reputation as a healer grew, and it was enhanced by newspaper articles in New York and in Chicago and by wire service accounts nation-wide. Despite his own disbelief, he felt an inner urging to serve. The list of people who sought his counsel began to include prominent statesmen, inventors, business leaders, and entertainers.

Cayce neither took money for doing readings nor used his talent to earn money for himself in the stock market or at the horse track. He was too well aware of the divine responsibility attached to his capacity. He accepted money for altruistic purposes, such as funding the construction of a hospital where the treatments that came through his readings would be implemented. Towards this end, he formed a corporation and wildcatted for oil in Texas. The attempt to find oil failed, not because the readings were inaccurate, but because they were not followed precisely. This was usually the same cause when people complained that the readings were not helpful. 

The year 1923 marked a turning point in Cayce’s readings. Until then, the Source, which Cayce called his “higher consciousness,” had given him readings exclusively for the purpose of helping to heal the physical illnesses of his clients. During a reading and at the suggestion of Cayce’s friend, the Source introduced the subjects of astrology and reincarnation. The Source also introduced the concept of Christ Consciousness, which it emphasized was more spiritually furthering than observing religious practices. Both Cayce’s reputation as a healer and the metaphysical belief systems that were being established in the United States at that time inspired a solid following.

Through his consultations with prominent people, Cayce was befriended by a New York City stockbroker. He helped Cayce found the hospital he envisioned and a university, too, both in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

In 1929, the stock market crashed, but it took two years for the trauma to touch Edgar Cayce in a personal way. In 1931, both the hospital and the university closed - the hospital in February and the university in December. Nevertheless, he established a non-profit organization - the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) - mid-year to provide financial supervision and continuity of vision for his endeavors.

Soon afterwards, a small, loyal group of individuals offered assistance to extend Cayce’s mission of physical healing by dedicating themselves to spiritual healing. The group of women had been meeting for several years in the Virginia Beach area to explore their own spirituality. Inspired by Cayce, they wanted to explore their own psychic abilities and became close friends of the family when the Cayces moved to Virginia Beach.

After the close of the hospital and aware of Edgar’s despondency, this group asked him how they could help. Cayce held a reading to answer their question. The group was told that if they would cooperate with one another, their activities could enrich the lives of and feed the spiritual hunger of the entire world. They became the first study group, the Norfolk Study Group #1.

The group’s membership changed over the years, but it always averaged twelve members, most of whom were women but included Hugh Lynn Cayce. Every few weeks between 1931 and 1942, the Source lectured through Edgar Cayce to this small group of individuals and answered their questions. The Source gave the group instructions, lessons for living a practical, spiritual life.  The group shared these lessons with anyone who expressed an interest in them.

After eleven years, the readings numbered 124.  The topics, the first half of which are this book’s table of contents, were to be discussed, contemplated, and meditated upon, and then to be written down for distribution and use by other such study groups. 

Unfortunately, the Edgar Cayce Readings were not recorded digitally, on tape, or by any retrievable means.1 However, those present heard the readings, and stenographer Gladys Davis recorded them. They all heard the voice and felt the presence of the Source. Sometimes, they heard the voice and felt the presence of another entity whom was later identified as the archangel Michael. It was in this ambience and under this influence that the partners of the group followed the Source’s instructions and eventually arrived at the essays which is the book, A Search for God.

Today we have only the record of the readings that Ms. Davis recorded by hand to help guide ourselves in Christ Consciousness, but we can be moved by them during our own prayers, meditations, and contemplation. If we pray, that is, and if we meditate and believe that through our contemplation and our daily living, the Father will speak and act through us.


1With two notable exceptions, 442.2, an excerpt of which is available on edgarcayce.org and on You
Tube; and 3976.15, which was lost. More recordings would have been made had Edgar Cayce not been so dismayed by the sound of his recorded voice. See Gladys Davis’ notes: 442.2:R12.

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