Edgar Cayce, The Sleeping Prophet

edgar-cayceFabulous documentray about Edgar Cayce – March 18, 1877 — January 3, 1945 was an American psychic who allegedly had the ability to give answers to questions on subjects such as healing or Atlantis while in a hypnotic trance. Though Cayce himself was a devout Christian and lived before the emergence of the New Age Movement, some believe he was the founder of the movement and influenced its teachings.

Cayce has variously been referred to as a “prophet” (cf. Jess Stearn’s book, The Sleeping Prophet), a “mystic”, a “seer”. While giving a reading for a seeker he at times referred to consulting the Akashic Record (the etheric imprint) of that soul’s experience.

Cayce’s methods involved lying down and entering into a sleep state, usually at the request of a subject who was seeking help with health or other personal problems (subjects were not usually present). The subject’s questions would then be given to Cayce, and Cayce would proceed with a reading. At first these readings dealt primarily with the physical health of the individual (physical readings); later, readings on past lives, business advice, dream interpretation, and mental or spiritual health were also given.

Until September 1923, his readings were not systematically preserved. However, an October 10, 1922, Birmingham Post-Herald article quotes Cayce as saying that he had given 8,056 readings as of that date, and it is known that he gave approximately 13,000-14,000 readings after that date. Today, only about 14,000 are available at Cayce headquarters and online. Thus, it appears that about 7,000-8,000 Cayce readings are missing.

When out of the trance he entered to perform a reading, Cayce said he generally did not remember what he had said during the reading. The unconscious mind, according to Cayce, has access to information which the conscious mind does not — a common assumption about hypnosis in Cayce’s time. After Gladys Davis became Cayce’s secretary on September 10, 1923, all readings were preserved and his wife Gertrude Evans Cayce generally conducted (guided) the readings.

Cayce said that his trance statements should be taken into account only to the extent that they led to a better life for the recipient. Moreover, he invited his audience to test his suggestions rather than accept them on faith.

Other abilities that have been attributed to Cayce include astral projection, prophesying, mediumship, viewing the Akashic Records or “Book of Life”, and seeing auras. Cayce said he became interested in learning more about these subjects after he was informed about the content of his readings, which he reported that he never actually heard himself.

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