The Sleeping Prophet
Who was Edgar Cayce and what are Edgar Cayce Readings?
Every year, tens of thousands of people from all over the world become interested in the life work of one ordinary man. He was an average individual in most respects: a loving husband, a father of two children, a skilled photographer, a devoted Sunday School teacher, and an eager gardener. Yet, throughout his life, he also displayed one of the most remarkable psychic talents of all time. His name was Edgar Cayce.
For forty-three years of his adult life, Edgar Cayce demonstrated the uncanny ability to put himself into some kind of self-induced sleep state by lying down on a couch, closing his eyes, and folding his hands over his stomach. This state of relaxation and meditation enabled him to place his mind in contact with all time and space. From this state he could respond to questions as diverse as, “What are the secrets of the universe?” to “How can I remove a wart?” His responses to these questions came to be called “readings” and contain insights so valuable that even to this day individuals have found practical help for everything from maintaining a well-balanced diet and improving human relationships to overcoming life-threatening illnesses and experiencing a closer walk with God.
Though Cayce died more than half a century ago, the timeliness of the material in the readings is evidenced by approximately one dozen biographies and more than 300 titles that discuss various aspects of this man’s life and work. These books contain a corpus of information so valuable that even Edgar Cayce himself might have hesitated to predict their impact on the latter part of the twentieth century. Sixty years ago who could have known that terms such as “meditation,” “akashic records,” “spiritual growth,” “auras,” “soul mates,” and “holism” would become household words to hundreds of thousands? Further details about his life and work are explored in such classic works as There Is a River (1942) by Thomas Sugrue, The Sleeping Prophet (1967) by Jess Stearn, Many Mansions (1950) by Gina Cerminara, and Edgar Cayce-An American Prophet (2000) by Sidney Kirkpatrick.
Daily for over forty years of his adult life, Cayce would lie down on a couch with his hands folded over his stomach and allow himself to enter a self-induced sleep state. Then, provided with the name and location of an individual anywhere in the world he would speak in a normal voice and give answers to any questions about that person that he was asked. These answers, which came to be called “readings” were written down by a stenographer, who kept one copy on file and sent another to the person who had requested the information.
Today on file at the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc. (A.R.E.), in Virginia Beach, Virginia, are copies of more than 14,000 of Edgar Cayce’s readings. These are available to the public and have been filed along with any follow-up reports received from the individuals who had asked for the readings. This material represents the most massive collection of psychic information ever obtained from a single source. The organization founded by Cayce in 1931 to document, research and disseminate his information has grown from a few hundred supporters at the time of Cayce’s death in 1945 to one which is worldwide. Countless individuals have been touched by the life work of this man who was raised a simple farm boy and yet became one of the most versatile and credible psychics the world has ever known. In addition to the Cayce readings, the organization makes available a large collection of Edgar Cayce books, New Age books, Self-Help books and Metaphysical Books.
Since 1901, the information in the Cayce readings has been explored by individuals from every imaginable background and discipline. In addition to individuals from all walks and stations of life, this vast scope of materials has come to the attention of educators, historians, theologians, medical professionals, and scientists. No doubt, part of the attraction has been that regardless of the field of study, Cayce has continually proven himself years ahead of his time. Decades ago, he was emphasizing the importance of diet, attitudes, emotions, exercise, and the patient’s role – physically, mentally, and spiritually – in the treatment of illness. As a result, he has been called “the father of holistic medicine” and has been recognized for describing the workings of the human body and foreseeing the direction of health care.
In the field of psychology, he has often been compared to Carl Jung. In the realm of education, he stands with Rudlolf Steiner. Dr. Richard H. Drummond, one of the world’s most renowned theological scholars, called the Cayce information on spirituality “the finest devotional material of the 20th century.”
In history, the Cayce readings gave insights into Judaism that were verified a decade after his death. In world affairs, he saw the collapse of communism nearly fifty years before it happened. Even in the field of physics, a professor and fellow of the American Physical Society theorized a connection between the elementary-particle theory and the way in which Edgar Cayce received his information. Repeatedly, science and history have validated concepts and ideas explored in Cayce’s psychic information. The wealth of these insights has resulted in hundreds of books that explore various aspects of this man’s life and work, not to mention foreign translations around the globe.
As fascinating as the breadth of the material and its accuracy is the activity level of Cayce’s mind while he was in the reading state. It was not unusual for Edgar Cayce to be giving a reading, laying on his couch, somehow mentally in touch with another individual and his or her surroundings, activities, and relationships, providing answers to any question imaginable or any time-frame in history, and at the same time have a personal dream that Cayce could recall upon awakening. Occasionally, it was found that at the same time all this was going on, if an individual in the room with Cayce thought of something, he could respond to their query without even being asked! Even a casual perusal of the Cayce information makes it quite evident that the capacity of this man’s mind was not limited to what we might call the conventional parameters of time and space.