Carrie was sitting in her living room when Edgar Cayce entered. Her husband, Dr House, had asked him to come because of the emergency. As they entered, Carrie nursed her baby on her lap. The baby was quiet now, but not for long. Its convulsions had begun to come every twenty minutes. Two other doctors were already in the room. One of them, recognising Cayce, said, “If you’re going to fool with that faker, I’m through.” He went.
Dr House and his remaining colleague, Dr J. B. Jackson followed Edgar into the bedroom across the hall. Once there, Cayce loosened his collar, lay on the bed and went to sleep. Sitting nearby, and watched by Dr Jackson, Dr House read from a slip of paper,
“Now the body is assuming its normal forces, and will give the information that is required of it. You will have before you the body of Thomas Burr House, Jnr. You will go over the body carefully, telling us the condition you find there, and what may be done to correct anything which is wrong. You will speak distinctly, at a normal rate, and you will answer the questions which I will put to you.” After a pause, Cayce, still asleep, said in a clear voice,
“Yes, we have the body.” There followed a minute description of the baby’s illness, its causes, and what could be done to help. When Edgar woke, only Dr House remained in the room with him. Dr Jackson had gone back to Carrie and was arguing with her. “Mrs House, please don’t do as this man suggests. What he has prescribed for your baby is poison.”
Carrie’s reply came as Edgar and Dr House came into the room. “When I was pregnant with my baby, you were one of the doctors who diagnosed my condition as a tumour of the abdomen, and wanted to operate. It was Edgar who said that I was pregnant and had a locked bowel. Well, here is my baby to prove you and the other doctors wrong, and Edgar right. Again you tell me not to trust him, but I’m going to do whatever he says.”
Her husband, now sitting near her said, “What Edgar prescribes is an overdose of belladonna. You know yourself how poisonous that is. Of course, he gives an antidote, but what if it doesn’t work?”
Carrie sighed. “The baby is dying. We must do something, and what else is there for us to do to save him except Edgar’s suggestions? Go and get the belladonna, I’ll give it to him myself!”
When it arrived, Carrie administered it. Quickly the baby relaxed and fell asleep, while Dr House prepared the antidote. Edgar looked on tensely. Dr Jackson, also watching, said, “You mentioned something else, a peach tree poultice, whatever that is.” Glad of something to do, Edgar went to prepare it. Picking green shoots from a peach tree, he prepared a brew with hot water, dipped towels in it, and swathed the baby.
The hours seemed endless as they bathed and watched the baby. Then, as he arrived with yet another fresh towel, Carrie looked up smiling. “He’s better Edgar. I knew if anybody could save him it would be you!”
Moved by this demonstration of his own strange power, Edgar walked out into the garden. It was dark, and he looked at the sky. After a minute Dr House joined him. “Do you still have doubts?” he asked. “You cured Carrie, and now you have saved the boy’s life with this trance thing of yours. To most people it looks foolish, but it’s the most dependable foolishness I know. I have no other course now but to believe in it myself.”
Edgar Cayce is certainly one of the most amazing men in American history. Born in Hopkinsville, he died in his sixties in 1945, in Virginia. At an early age he discovered that he could put himself into a trance-like sleep at will. In this condition he could answer any question on any subject. His answers were couched in the terms of the question, i.e. medical, scientific, philosophical, historical, etc. Thus, although his education was little, and he was often described as illiterate, the answers given to questions were yet couched in technical terms unknown to his conscious mind. Politicians, businessmen, scientists, priests, all visited him to see how he could help them while he was asleep. In this way, he dictated fourteen million words on thousands of different subjects. When asked during a trance how he could give such varied and amazing information, he said, “Edgar Cayce’s mind is amenable to suggestion, the same as all other sub-conscious minds, but in addition thereto it has the power to interpret to the objective mind of others what it has acquired from the subconscious state of other individuals of the same kind. The subconscious mind forgets nothing. The conscious mind receives the impressions from without and transfers all thought to the subconscious, where it remains even though the conscious be destroyed.”
Whether we question this or not, his life seems to prove that he tapped the knowledge of the ages. For the sick, he would prescribe drugs not yet on the market, but being released, or those of men long dead and obscure. Once, when working with a number of doctors, he prescribed a medicine none of them had heard of, or could find listed. They advertised in a medical journal seeking its prescription, but meanwhile asked Cayce to describe it while in trance. Later a letter arrived from France, from a practising doctor. It said that no wonder they could not find the preparation, it had been invented by the man’s father, and never published. However, the enclosed details tallied exactly with those Cayce gave in trance.
First a hospital, then a large association, grew up around Edgar Cayce’s work. His life was spent helping the sick, and throwing light upon the mystery of life. His “readings” have now been collected, and are investigated by doctors, psychiatrists, priests, and thousands of laymen. Certainly his life demonstrated man’s emergence from the Timeless and Eternal.
In this sleep state he could verbally respond to peoples questions, and using medical terms he did not know consciously, diagnose illness in people, even at a distance. He could speak foreign languages he had never learned, and get information he had no conscious access to. Because of this he was asked to the White House twice. At one period a hospital was built in which he worked with six doctors, diagnosing from his sleep condition.
In his self induced sleep state, when asked how he managed to get information about the past, about people at a distance, etc., he replied that every person has access to what he called the cosmic mind – Jung’s collective unconscious – while they sleep, but few people can bring this contact through to conscious expression. He also maintained that prolonged working with one’s dreams gradually made conscious this contact with our cosmic life. The information garnered from Cayce’s unconscious in this manner, suggested that humans are cosmic beings. A lifetime is a brief interlude of learning in an eternal pilgrimage through time and space. The conscious personality we so often raise so high, is but a temporary experience assumed by an older larger being, the Spirit, the Individuality, or Self as Jung called it. The ego dies at death, but the Spirit/Individuality absorbs its experience. Dreams are the meeting point between this older self and the personality it assumes but briefly.
The phenomena of Cayce’s life is not unique. Other men and women in the past have exhibited a similar faculty. Cayce is however, a modern example of the practical possibilities connected with the collective unconscious.
Cayce’s biography is There is a River, and Seer Out of Season, are astonishing and inspiring books to read. Cayce dictated 14,000,000 words from his sleep state. A record of these is kept at The Association for Research and Enlightenment, Virginia Beach, USA.