Current Update as of August 07, 2002
Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies
Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.
Mr. Todeschi points out that as a child, Cayce told his parents that all he wanted to do was to help people. He thought he would fulfill that dream by becoming a medical missionary. We are also reminded that Cayce had many imaginary friends as a child and once had a vision that a beautiful woman appeared to him and asked him what he wanted most in life. He told her that he wanted to help sick people, especially sick children. The ability to help people medically would be the first way in which his psychic abilities would manifest. He had other paranormal incidents in his childhood but nothing that stands out as a marker for the extraordinary talents that would later make him known to the world.
As a young man, he suffered from a severe case of laryngitis that would not respond to treatment. As a last resort Edgar agreed to an experiment with a hypnotist. To everyone’s amazement, Edgar could speak normally while under hypnosis but would lose his voice upon awakening. Upon the advice of a specialist from New York, Edgar was again put under hypnosis but instead of being given a post hypnotic suggestion to be able to speak normally, he was asked to talk about what was causing the condition. Cayce spoke very clearly and knowledgeably about his condition and what was needed to cure it. The hypnotist, Al Layne, who suffered from stomach problems, decided to conduct another experiment where he would put Cayce under and asked him to recommend a treatment. This experiment, which also proved to be successful, provided the circumstances that would bring Edgar Cayce to world wide attention.
The problem was that Edgar was very uncomfortable with this situation. He could only give this advice to people while he was sleeping. He made Layne promise that he would stop the readings if he ever said anything that would be harmful to people. Throughout his life, he would need someone to give him the suggestion or ask the question and to write down what he said. In his waking state he had no knowledge of the medical advice he was giving to people, he’d never been trained medically. Edgar was very uncomfortable but since he was helping people, he agreed to continue.
As his notoriety grew, Cayce was tested many times by the medical profession. His own wife, Gertrude, became extremely ill. Cayce was told by her doctors that she had tuberculosis and was dying. Out of desperation, Edgar decided to do a reading for her. He gave explicit instructions for her care, which were then carried out by their Dr. and after only two days of this treatment Gertrude was feeling better and by after only a few months her doctors decided she would recover.
Edgar’s readings in the beginning were limited to medical conditions. However, in 1923 after being asked to give a reading he spoke the words, “he was once a monk.” Kevin Todeschi points out that it was at this time that Cayce’s greatest dilemma surfaced. He was okay with giving people medical advice that proved helpful to them but this kind of advice went directly against his fundamentalist view of Christianity. Todeschi explains that Cayce managed to reconcile his beliefs with his God-given abilities and thus would continue not only to advise medically but also spiritually help those who came to him. Mr. Todeschi tells us how through founding the A.R.E. and his life-long work giving readings, Cayce was able to help people with the philosophy that “oneness of all life, tolerance for all people, and a compassion and understanding for every religion in the world,” was not a contradiction to his Christian beliefs.
Mr. Todeschi then gives an overview of the Cayce material. He tells us that Edgar Cayce gave over 9,600 health readings, over 1,900 life readings that concern reincarnation and more than 2,700 special readings dealing with a variety of topics. Mr. Todeschi then tells us that the readings may be grouped into five themes: health and healing, philosophy and reincarnation, dreams and dream interpretation, ESP and psychic phenomena and spiritual growth.
One proof of the psychic nature of his abilities with regards to the medical readings was that once Edgar was given a suggestion regarding a certain person, he didn’t need to be in the same room or even the same state as the subject. His sleeping self could find the person the request was being made for and still accurately diagnose and advise on the medical condition of the subject. When he started giving readings on philosophy and reincarnation, Mr. Todeschi writes that Cayce’s thoughts were that in knowing about past lives, we could come to learn about what is important in our current life. We realize that we have lessons that we learned and that we still have lessons to be learned. In a quote from one of the readings Cayce states, “In the studies, then, know where ye are going.
… to find that ye only lived, died and were buried under the cherry tree in Grandmother’s garden does not make thee one whit better neighbor, citizen, mother or father!
But to know that ye spoke unkindly and suffered for it and in the present may correct it by being righteous – that is worthwhile!” 5753-2
As the subject of dreams and dream interpretation is broached, Mr. Todeschi first explains some of the thoughts on the subject first studied by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Jung was the one who coined the term the “collective unconscious.” This meaning that through our subconscious we are connected to a lot more information, through the use of universal symbols, than we have access to in our waking life. Mr. Todeschi then gives examples of some of these symbols that are meant to help us interpret the information given to us in our dreams. One example he gives is that dreaming of water has to do with spirit or emotion. He says that even though most symbols are universal, we are not limited to only those. We have our own symbols that mean something to us personally. One example of this type of interpretation comes from a reading given to a person who dreamed of a headless man in uniform. Cayce’s interpretation was that he was getting too caught up in his job and losing his head over his duties (137-36).
Dreams can also give us guidance and help us determine what course of action to take to solve our daily problems. Mr. Todeschi gives us a five step approach to working with our dreams. A summary of his approach includes:
-Write down your dreams each day
-Begin by realizing that the feeling about the dream is just as important as trying to interpret it.
-Realize that usually every character represents a part of you.
-Watch for reoccurring symbols, characters and emotions.
-You may not realize right away what the dream means but it will become apparent eventually. All dreams are important.
In giving a definition of ESP Extra Sensory Perception, Mr. Todeschi says that it’s knowing information without the aid of any of the five known senses. He explains that through the Edgar Cayce readings we come to know that the unexplained perceptions we have sometimes can be further broken down into the following categories: telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and retro-cognition. One example from the readings that Mr. Todeschi gives regarding telepathy is when Cayce’s wife Gladys, who would often be writing down the information from the sleeping Cayce, was trying to figure out how to punctuate what she was hearing. The sleeping Cayce answered her unvoiced question and gave her further help with the proper grammar (531-2).
An example Mr. Todeschi gives of clairvoyance (clear seeing) is one reading in which Cayce was asked to track a person during the course of one day. Cayce “saw” the man in New York City and described his activities. He “saw” the man enter a cigar store and noted that while he was inside he smoked a cigarette and bought a certain brand of cigars. The reading goes on to describe in more detail what Edgar Cayce saw as he psychically tracked this man. When all the information was compiled, it was sent to the man Mr. (740) in New York. His return reply stated that the reading was for the most part, correct.
Precognition is the ability to see into the future. One of the examples of a Cayce reading that Mr. Todeschi cites is (900-425) in which he told a New York stockbroker that there would be a great disturbance in financial circles. This was told to the stockbroker six months before the stock market crashed in 1929. In another reading regarding information on a Jewish sect called the Essenes, Cayce’s information came eleven years before the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Cayce’s information on this sect was verified through archeological excavations after his death.
Retro-cognition deals with the events from the recent past and is much easier to verify. Mr. Todeschi gives the example of a reading given to An Aimee Dietrich (2473-1). Cayce correctly diagnosed her condition and treatment but he was also able to pinpoint that the cause of her condition was due to a fall that she had as a toddler. Mr. Todeschi points out that Edgar Cayce’s view of psychic abilities is one that we all share. That psychic “is of the soul.” He also points out that Cayce encouraged us to use our psychic abilities for spiritual growth and learning. Mr. Todeschi notes that rather than see psychic information as unusual Cayce felt we should use this type of information as something natural, as another tool to be utilized in making decisions.
Mr. Todeschi notes that there are more than 14,000 documented readings on file along with letters of corroboration. He states that Mr. Cayce was the most carefully witnessed, investigated and documented psychic of all time.
Edgar Cayce gave 130 readings to a group of people in Norfolk, Va. who were called Study Group #1. These people were interested in learning how to live by and work with the spiritual laws in the earth. Mr. Todeschi points out that this group originally formed to learn how to become more psychic but through Cayce they realized that their goal was to become more spiritual and through that they would become more psychic. From this original group came the essays that form the teachings in the Search for God books. There are now interdenominational Search for God study groups spread across the entire world all working towards higher spiritual purpose.
In the third chapter, Mr. Todeschi deals more specifically with the telepathy and clairvoyance included in the Cayce readings. As he describes there were many times when the sleeping Cayce seemed to be actually “seeing” the things he was talking about. As though he were actually there. One humorous example involved a physical reading for a subject but the first words out of Cayce’s after being asked if he had the body in question was, “ yes, not bad-looking pajamas!” (5196-1). After completing the medical part of the reading and sending the information to the subject, a letter was returned from the subject stating that he had indeed put on a new pair of pajamas and that they were very bright in color. Mr. Todeschi lists several examples of this type of reading which involved clairvoyance and telepathy. One of the most unusual was the one done for 308. Cayce had just finished readings for the people who had asked for help but instead of waking up, he continued to talk. He then went on to give a reading for a person who was currently on the phone to a member of the staff in an office down the hall. Everyone in the room was confused and only later through discussion with the staff member was this unusual situation cleared up. The follow up letter from the subject’s mother verified what Cayce had said and also that the treatment had worked for her daughter.
The exactness of the Cayce information is given in an example from a reading that was given to subject 565. Mr. Todeschi in sharing this reading shows us how Edgar Cayce would describe the subject’s entire medical condition, explain all that needs to be done and then provide a COMPLETE prescription and description of the remedy needed for the ailment. At the conclusion of the reading Mr. Todeschi includes a letter from her doctor stating that under the treatment recommended, subject 565 was doing splendidly. He also points out that Cayce never considered himself a psychic healer, he was someone who helped by giving intuitive information regarding a subject’s health. However he received his information, as Mr. Todeschi points out, Cayce was able to go beyond the data received through the usual five senses.
In chapter 4, Mr. Todeschi takes on the subject of pre-cognition in the Cayce readings. The theme he keeps referring to throughout the entire chapter is that Cayce always said the future is not set in stone. We are the co-creators of the future and through our own choice and free will we can affect the changes that may or may not be predicted. He cites several examples of the different types of pre-cognitive readings. Some include the prediction of a world war, the assassination attempt on Pres. Franklin Roosevelt, the future of Norfolk and Va. Beach, Va., a life reading for a child, future earth events, future scientific technology, instructions for eye surgery that had never at the time they were given, been performed, hope to someone looking for a job, hope to someone looking for a life partner, the end of prohibition, information on the birth of an unborn child, the stock market crash, avoiding an accident and many more. Mr. Todeschi also includes the follow up reports and newspaper articles showing the success or the direction the predictions of the future took in the life of the subjects. These reports cover predictions sometimes as long as 40 years later.
Two examples of pre-cognitive readings that are described in great detail involve the stained glass artist Frederica Fields and a former secret service agent, Colonel Edmund Starling. The reading given to Ms. Fields was a gift from her mother when she was 19 years old. At the time, she reports, she really hadn’t paid much attention to what was being said. It wasn’t until around 40 years later that she happened upon a copy of the reading and decided to contact the A.R.E. She found that Cayce had predicted the exact course of her life especially with regards to her work as an artist. The guidance that was given to Colonel Starling resulted in a book about his career in the White House, which was extremely successful and enlightening.
Mr. Todeschi then discusses Mr. Cayce’s Earth change predictions. He says that these predictions are the ones that have most often been taken out of context with regards to their interpretations. An example of this is the dream Mr. Cayce had about being born in the future on the coast of Nebraska, which many have taken to mean that California would fall off the face of the earth by the date mentioned in the dream. Todeschi explains in this instance that Edgar Cayce through a reading on this dream twice stated that the meaning wasn’t as literal as that. It was more about how his work would endure than the state of the earth at that time. Mr. Todeschi reminds us that the future can only be predicted so far. We all have an individual responsibility as to the outcome. He states, “when enough individuals use their free will in a positive direction, the potential future is altered. He also cites the many positive things that have happened on a global scale in the years since Edgar Cayce predicted they would happen. We must respond to any negativity with all the positive spiritual light that is within us and then we can make a “collective change.”
Retro-cognition (chapter 5) is the knowing about events that have happened in the past. This could be events from the recent past or could include incidents from past lives. Mr. Todeschi supplies us with a variety of examples in which the Edgar Cayce readings provided helpful and very accurate information. In diagnosing a medical condition, Cayce revealed an earlier injury that led to the subject’s current problems. In giving a dream interpretation, he filled a part of the dream that was missing because the subject had forgotten it. Often Cayce would surprise the subject he was reading for by referring to a past life and how they way they were then was affecting the way they are now.
In several readings Cayce stated that the Nile River had once emptied into the Atlantic Ocean and that the Sahara desert had once been fertile. Mr. Todeschi reports that in an article written in Science magazine in 1986, evidence was stated that shows Cayce’s statement to be a possibility. Mr. Todeschi then writes that the Cayce readings tell us that since no mind is an entity to itself that we are able to put ourselves in certain places just by thinking it so and then letting our subconscious remember. This statement came from report 531-4.
Cayce once told a woman that she had lived in Rome during the persecution of the Christians. She later felt that this information might have explained the reason for her extreme life long phobia involving lions and tigers. Cayce also did a reading for a baby who was only 1 month old. He examined the baby’s life through several incarnations with the result that, if he wanted to, he could become a great physician. In a report that followed this child all the way to adulthood, Mr. Todeschi shows us that he did have a tendency even as a very young child towards the medical and eventually this child went to Harvard and did become a distinguished medical doctor.
Mr. Todeschi relates something interesting that happened at the end of a reading for subject 1315. Instead of coming out of the trance, he actually became a part of the Last Supper. He described the food, the setting, the clothes, the color and style of the hair and beards of the apostles and the physical and spiritual characteristics of Jesus Christ. An article was printed in 1964 for Woman’s Life magazine titled, “Letter to Tiberius.” This was supposedly written by Publius Lentulus to the Emperor Tiberius 2,000 years ago and only recently found and published. In this letter Publius describes the man known as the “Great Prophet” in exactly the same way that Cayce did in his trance. Mr. Todeschi tells us that some predictions Mr. Cayce made based on retro-cognition took many years to prove true but through careful documentation, most have proven Cayce correct.
The final chapter of the book deals with Mr. Cayce’s dreams, visions and other psychic experiences. Mr. Todeschi relates the dream that Edgar Cayce had about being born in the year 2158 A.D. in greater detail and has also included the interpretation of this dream which was given in reading 297-189. One of the most interesting dreams Mr. Cayce had would occur often when his subconscious was looking for information on a subject for whom he was giving a reading. He would picture himself outside of his body and through a beam of white light he would travel through several levels eventually coming to a room where he would be handed a book that contained the information he was looking for. He called this book the Akashic record and said that each one of us has a book that has all the data of all our former lives written in it.
Mr. Todeschi writes of some of the other types of dreams that Mr. Cayce had such as one that gave him the complete recipe for a cough syrup when he was suffering from a bad cough. There is also great detail given on a dream that Cayce had that made him consider that the dead really could still be alive just on another level of existence. Further proof of this fact was given to Cayce as Mr. Todeschi relates a story about when a young woman, who Cayce knew had passed on, visited him at his home in order to ask his advice on a problem she was having. In a letter he wrote about why he felt re-incarnation was possible, he tells the story of having done a reading for a baby who, it turned out, had the spirit of his long dead brother Thomas. A few years later, when he comes into contact with the boy again, the two-year old ran to him and called him brother. It was very disconcerting to Cayce but also a very strong proof to him that re-incarnation was real.
Edgar Cayce was definitely psychic during his trance and sleeping states, but he was also psychic in his waking state. Mr. Todeschi tells us how he could read people’s auras, the energy light that surrounds all of us, and there are several examples of the type of information he could get just from reading this energy. He also had a very psychic childhood that involved imaginary playmates and elves and fairies. Mr. Todeschi includes a letter that Mr. Cayce wrote to a woman whose daughter was very interested in fairies. He explains in the letter that it would be almost impossible to describe every detail of his visitors except that he was about two years old when he first came in contact with a little friend. He thought his friends were real until he realized that they would always disappear whenever someone approached him. His mother also could see the friends and the fairies but only through the kitchen window. In the letter, Edgar Cayce even describes a technique he says would enable us to talk to a tree.
Towards the end of his life he started having dreams that related
to the deteriorating physical condition of his body and Mr. Todeschi suggests
that one dream he had of dying in a bathtub was foretelling his eventual
death which occurred on 1/3/45 from a condition in which he actually choked
on water in his lungs.
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