Edgar Cayce 1877 – 1945

Edgar Cayce 1877 – 1945 was an American psychic.

Edgar Cayse was an advocate of homeopathy (Sidney Kirkpatrick, Edgar Cayce: an American prophet, (Riverhead Books, 1 Sep 2000). Pages 88 and 144), and he often recommended homeopathy (Thomas Sugrue, There Is a River, (Read Books, 1 Mar 2007). Multiple pages) to people in his readings. Cayce also recommended osteopathy to people in his readings. Cayce himself was healed by hypnotist Al Layne.

His father Leslie Cayce introduced Edgar to homeopath Wesley Harrington Ketchum (1878-1968) (who wrote The Discovery of Edgar Cayce), who was astonished at Cayce’s psychic diagnosis of his abdominal pain. Edgar Cayce and Wesley Harrington Ketchum worked together for a while (Sidney Kirkpatrick, Edgar Cayce: an American prophet, (Riverhead Books, 1 Sep 2000). Pages 88, 144 and 161). Edgar Cayce gave a reading to homeopath Guy Beckley Stearns (254-97 on file at the ARE in Virginia Beach, Virginia).

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Cayce ‘… Edgar Cayce was born into a farming family on March 18, 1877 near Beverly, seven miles (11 km) south of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

In December 1893, the Cayce 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 ninth grade because his family could not afford the costs involved. A ninth grade education was often considered more than sufficient for working class children. Much of the remainder of Cayce’s younger years would be characterized by a search for both employment and 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 supposed 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. 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 apparently returned while in a hypnotic trance, but allegedly 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 supposedly became flushed with blood and his chest area and the throat turned bright red. After 20 minutes Cayce, still in trance, declared the treatment over. On awakening, his voice was alleged to have remained normal. Relapses were said to have occurred, but were said to have been corrected by Layne in the same way and eventually the cure was said to be permanent.

Layne had read of similar hypnotic cures effected by the Marquis de Puysegur, 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 said he could diagnose the physical and/or mental conditions and provide corrective remedy. He became popular and soon people from around the world sought his advice through correspondence.

Cayce’s work grew in volume as his fame grew. He 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 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 not successful when he used his ability for such purposes, doing no better than chance alone would dictate. These experiments allegedly 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, who, by his own admission had been “studying metaphysics for years”. While in his supposed trance state, Cayce is told by Lammers that he spoke of Lammer’s past lives, Reincarnation something Lammers believed in, and which was a popular subject of the day, but is not an accepted part of Christian doctrine. Cayce questioned his stenographer as to what he had said in his trance  state, and remained unconvinced. Cayce himself, challenged Lammers’ charge that he had validated astrology and reincarnation, in the following dialog:

Cayce “I said all that?… I couldn’t have said all that in one reading.” “No,” Lammers said; “but you confirmed it. You see, I have been studying metaphysics for years, and I was able by a few questions, by the facts you gave, to check what is right and what is wrong with a whole lot of the stuff I’ve been reading. The important thing is that the basic system which runs through all the mystery religions, whether they come from Tibet or the pyramids of Egypt, is backed up by you. It’s actually the right system.”

Cayce’s stenographer recorded the following:

“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.”

Cayce was quite unconvinced [that he had been referring to and, as such had validated the doctrine of reincarnation], and the best Lammers could offer was that the reading “opens up the door” and went on to share his beliefs and knowledge of the “truth” of the medieval Rosicrucians, Nostradamus, Enneads of Plotinus, Eleusis, Bacchus, Mithras, and Osiris, lost keys of Freemasonry, Hindu samandhi, Saracen mathematics, tarot cards, precession of the equinoxes as it related to bull and ram worship, the meaning of the scarab and the Tetragrammaton of the Jews, and details of the Zodiac.

It appeared Cayce’s instincts were telling him this was no ordinary reading. This client who came for a reading came with quite a bit of information of his own to share with Cayce, and seemed intent upon convincing Cayce, now that he felt the reading had confirmed his strongly held beliefs.

It should be noted, however, that 12 years earlier Cayce had briefly alluded to reincarnation. In reading 4841-1, given April 22, 1911, Cayce referred to the soul being “transmigrated.” Because, as noted below, there are several thousand missing Cayce readings from the period up to 1923, it is possible that he may have also mentioned reincarnation in other readings as well.

Cayce, reported that his conscience bothered him severely over this conflict. Lammers overwhelmed, manipulated, confused, reassured and argued with Cayce. Ultimately 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.

Cayce’s mature period, in which he created the several institutions which would survive him in some form, can be considered to have started in 1925. By this time he was a professional psychic with a small staff of employees and volunteers. The “readings” increasingly came to involve occultic or esoteric themes.

In 1929, the Cayce hospital was established in Virginia Beach sponsored by a wealthy recipient of the trance readings, Morton Blumenthal.

Cayce gained national prominence in 1943 through a high profile article in Coronet titled “Miracle Man of Virginia Beach”. He said he couldn’t refuse people who felt they needed his help, he increased the frequency of his readings to 8 per day to try to make an impression on the ever growing pile of requests.

He said this took a toll on his health, as he said that it was emotionally draining and often fatigued him. He even went so far as to say that the readings themselves scolded him for attempting too much and that the reading had limited his workload to just 2 readings a day or they would kill him.

Edgar Cayce suffered from a stroke and died on January 3, 1945. He was buried in Riverside Cemetery in Hopkinsville, Kentucky…’

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