The Sleeping Prophet, Part II: Edgar Cayce’s Method

Part I: The Life of Edgar Cayce

Upon discovering that through hypnosis, he was able to speak articulately on subjects that he had little to no prior knowledge about, Edgar began to experiment with different states of Trance.

Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce

For the first few years, a professional hypnotist would need to be present in order to help propel him into this state.  The hypnotist would assist him as he went from fully conscious, to fully unconscious, and upon entering his sacred trance, he would answer any questions that were asked to him by the designated questioner, regardless of the topic.

For those of you who missed my last article, here is a brief recount of how he managed to discover his ability.

When Edgar was 23, he was diagnosed with severe laryngitis, and completely lost the ability to speak.  Despite the attempts of many doctors, his voice was seemingly gone for good.  After over a year of medical consultations, a traveling hypnotist agreed to attempt a cure in front of a live audience.  Edgar’s voice reportedly returned while under hypnosis, but upon waking was still severely impaired.  This brief glimpse of success encouraged him to try again with a new hypnotist named Al Layne, and when Al asked Edgar to diagnose himself, he not only diagnosed his own condition as psychological paralysis, but stated that it could be treated by increasing blood flow to the voice box.  It worked, and Cayce was cured within a matter of weeks. Edgar even correctly diagnosed Al with a stomach ailment that he was unaware of, which effectively saved him from years of pain and suffering.

During the beginning stages of his “career”, Edgar and Al worked together side by side, healing the sick.  Al would help Edgar into hypnosis, and Edgar would effortlessly answer questions regarding topics he had no previous knowledge of.

It is reported that during the first session done by Al Layne, he spoke about his own illness from a first person plural point of view, referring to himself as “we” instead of “I”.  In fact, for the duration of his life as a clairvoyant and healer, he often spoke from this point of view, usually referring to himself as “we”.  This seems to imply something separate from his ego self being present as the source of information. (Langley)

It is important to note that Edgar never hesitated or failed to answer a question that was asked to him when in trance, as long as procedure was followed correctly, meaning that the designated questioner was the only one talking.  If procedure was broken, he often paused for a moment, and said “we are through for the present”.

His hypnotic state was in no way shape or form hoaxed or faked.  Edgar knew he was putting himself at risk for the sake of selfless service to humanity.  At one point, procedure was broken, and he remained in a catatonic state for THREE DAYS, and was twice given up for dead by the doctors present. (Langley)

edgar cayceAfter Al moved away to pursue his own endeavors, his wife and eldest son learned how to help him into trance, and successfully took over the role of Al Layne.  By now, Edgar had also become quite good at the process, and was almost able to do it himself by simply laying down in a comfortable position on a couch or chair, crossing his arms, and putting himself in a deep, peaceful, relaxed meditative state.  At this point, only a suggestion that he go into hypnosis was needed.

The current website of the A.R.E. (Association for Research and Enlightenment), which was founded by Edgar Cayce, has this to say about his method;

“Cayce would find that he had the ability to put himself into a sleep-like state by lying down on a couch, closing his eyes, and folding his hands over his stomach. In this state of relaxation and meditation, he was able to place his mind in contact with all time and space — the universal consciousness, also known as the super-conscious mind.”

According to Edgar himself, after a session, he almost never remembered anything that he said.  He explained that the reason he felt that his method worked, was that the “unconscious mind” had access to information that the “conscious mind” did not.

It seems that what the paragraph taken from the A.R.E. website above deemed the “super-conscious mind” is synonymous with what Edgar called the “Unconscious mind”.

That the unconscious, or super-conscious mind had access to more information than the conscious mind, was, and still is, a commonly accepted idea.

Even more amazing, is that when Edgar was asked, in trance, where he was channeling this knowledge from, he responded by saying that he was retrieving this knowledge from a place which stored all information and wisdom, as well as every thought and deed of every entity that had existed since the dawn of creation.

In a lecture Edgar gave in the late 1940’s, he described a large library-like place existent on the ethereal or spiritual plane, which stored all the information on every incarnation of every soul.  He referred to this place, as the AKASHIC RECORDS.

A more in depth description of the routine by which he entered his trance, can be seen by this paragraph from the book “On Reincarnation”.

“In response to Alice Greenwood’s request, Edgar pursued his usual routine of reclining on a couch, hands folded across his chest, and breathing deeply.  Then his eyelids fluttered– the signal for the conductor to close them and make contact with Edgar’s subconscious by giving the suggestion for the life reading… Unless this procedure was timed to synchronize with the fluttering of his eye-lids, Edgar would proceed past his trance to a deep normal sleep from which there was no rousing him until he himself chose to wake.” (Langley)

The universal mind of which the divine thought of existence emanated from, can be contacted if the right steps are taken.  The spiritual path is one of miracles and mystical powers, which are often given to people in order to test their progress.

Edgar never used his powers to profit, and lived a life of little luxury from birth to death.  He never refused to help someone who couldn’t pay him, and asked for donations only from those wealthy enough to afford it.

It seems that we are on the verge of a mass spiritual awakening, in which the abilities of Edgar Cayce will be common to many people.  Edgar served as an important role in this by showing the amazing possibilities of human potential.  In fact, one theme often repeated in his readings was his powerful message;

“What I can do today, every man will be able to do tomorrow”.

Part III: Edgar Cayce’s Miracle Readings 1-3


Langley, Noel. Edgar Cayce on Reincarnation. New York: Castle Books, 1967. Print.


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