The Sleeping Prophet, Part I: The Life of Edgar Cayce
June 30, 2012 Leave a Comment
Over the past few days, I have taken on the responsibility of writing a detailed blog post about the life and work of one of the most incredible people who has ever lived. Though he is not currently what one might call a “household name”, his influence on sincere spiritual seekers, as well as Physicians and Medical practitioners alike, can be easily spotted.
I am referring of course, to Edgar Cayce.
After finishing the research necessary to write this post, I realized that it would be too long to survive as one single entry, and therefore have separated it into four parts that I will post upon completion over the next few weeks.
Here is part one of my four part series on Edgar Cayce;
Part 1: The Life of Edgar Cayce
Edgar Cayce, known as “The Sleeping Prophet”, was arguably the most famous psychic of the 20th century. He was given this title, due to the fact that his method involved going into an unconscious, sleep-like trance, and giving people answers regarding ANYTHING they asked about. Some accredit him with being the “Father” of both the art of Holistic Healing, as well as of “The New Age”.
Born in 1877 on a farm in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Edgar was said to be especially sensitive to spiritual presences even at a young age. As he grew to understand the great potential of his mystical powers, he began to embrace them, and use them to help the world.
Being one of six children belonging to a family of Farmers, he was only ever able to complete a seventh grade education. Much of his early years were spent searching for employment and money.
In the year 1900, he formed a business partnership with his father which involved selling insurance, but was soon after diagnosed with a severe case of laryngitis, taking away his main tool used to sell insurance; his voice. This seeming stroke of unluckiness would prove to be one of the most important things that happened to him, and would lead him effortlessly on his path to fate.
Unable to work, he lived at home with his parents for a year, and then decided to take up photography, but still was without a voice.
In 1901, a traveling stage hypnotist was performing at the Hopkinsville Opera House, and upon hearing of Cayce’s condition, offered to attempt a cure in front of a live audience. During Cayce’s trance, his voice returned, however, despite the posthypnotic suggestion that his voice would continue to function after the trance was over, the hypnotism proved unsuccessful.
Afterwards, another local hypnotist by the name of Al Layne, was hired to continue treatment on Edgar. During a session, Al suggested that Edgar describe his condition and how to cure it. He abided, and after following his own advice, along with a few more hypnotism sessions, he was PERMANENTLY CURED.
Even Layne was amazed, so much so, that he decided it was possible that Edgar’s trances may hold the key to diagnosing and healing more people than just himself. Layne then became intent on getting Edgar to agree to use his powers to help humanity. Edgar reluctantly agreed, under the condition that the readings be FREE OF CHARGE.
This, to me, is a truly noble gesture that should not be taken lightly.
He began, with the help of Al Layne, healing the townspeople, and eventually word spread and he began to heal people from elsewhere. All he needed was a letter from the sick individual, or a name and location, and from a distance he was able to diagnose and cure people from his trance state.
His fame grew, and he eventually was given donations and able to practice full time. Out of the thousands of cases he took on, his success rating was over 85 percent!
Over the course of his career, many problems resulted due to the intense dichotomy between his Christian practices, and his clairvoyant practices, in the form of information emerging through his trance states contradicting that of the church.
One example of this, occurred in 1923 when a man named Arthur Lamers, a self-pronounced prodigy of metaphysics, came to him and requested he go into his trance state and allow Arthur to ask him philosophical questions.
Edgar, in trance, apparently explained Arthur’s previous reincarnations, and also, according to Arthur, confirmed many astrological and philosophical practices of the mystery schools perpetuated in Tibet, Egypt, and other places.
Being the devout Christian that he was, upon waking, he remained in disbelief that he had said those things, especially due to the fact that reincarnation is not present in the Christian doctrine.
The exact words Edgar spoke in this reading, recorded by a stenographer present at the session, reads as follows;
“In this we see the plan of development of those individuals set upon this plane, meaning the ability to enter again into the presence of the Creator and become a full part of that creation.
Insofar as this entity is concerned, this is the third appearance on this plane, and before this one, as the monk. We see glimpses in the life of the entity now as were shown in the monk, in this mode of living.
The body is only the vehicle ever of that spirit and soul that waft through all times and ever remain the same.”
In this, Edgar is referring to Arthur’s previous incarnation which was apparently as a monk.
Edgar, who was a man who not only vowed to read the bible one time through for every year of his life, but also taught at a renowned Sunday School (The Disciples of Christ), was literally in disbelief that he had supported non-Christian information…even in trance! Readings like this led him to question the legitimacy of his practice, but due to the fact that he was healing people, he realized that his gift was too important to cast aside.
In 1925, Cayce, in response to his inner voice which he believed to be the higher power providing the information, decided to move to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
By this time, Edgar had become a nationally renowned healer and clairvoyant, and had officially made it his full time job with the help of voluntary donations.
He now had a staff of people working with him, ensuring that everything went smoothly, and that all sessions were recorded and preserved for future years to come. At this point, the topics of his readings had expanded to esoteric subjects such as who built the pyramids and how they were built, where Atlantis was located (over 700 of his readings refer to Atlantis), as well as what the secret of life is, and why we are here.
In 1928, a wealthy man by the name of Morton Blumenthal helped to establish The Cayce Hospital in Virginia Beach, in which doctors used his methods of healing in order to cure many people. Then, in 1931, Edgar Cayce founded the A.R.E. (The Association for Research and Enlightenment), which eventually amounted to an archive of over 14,000 readings that he gave on various topics. The foundation survives today, which, along with a fully functioning website, is used to explain and interpret the teachings of Edgar Cayce, in order to benefit humanity.
In 1943, an article entitled “The Miracle Man of Virginia Beach” was printed in a high-profile newspaper called The Coronet, which led him to international fame.
Due to his “Saint-like” nature, he couldn’t refuse people who felt they could use his help, and by this time was doing eight readings per day. This quickly began to take its toll on him emotionally and physically, draining his energy and health and leaving him fatigued. Once during a reading, he apparently scolded himself for attempting to do too much, and was told that he needed to reduce the readings to two a day or else he would surely die.
Even though he took this into consideration, he could not refuse to help people in need, and sure enough suffered a fatal stroke, and died January 3, 1945. Amazingly enough, there is a reading that is preserved in the archives, done on January 1st, 1945, in which he reportedly announced that he would “be buried in less than 4 days.”
That the story of Edgar Cayce would end this way is truly sad, but at the same time, exemplifies the selfless nature of his life.
The legacy of Edgar Cayce will surely live on for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. The readings that he gave will continue to help cure the sick, and potentially even lead to great discoveries in the future.
Stay tuned for the next three parts;
Edgar Cayce’s Method
Edgar Cayce’s Miracle Readings &
Edgar Cayce’s Predictions