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Edgar Cayce

Virginia Beach-The shelves in the library are full of bound readings by Edgar Cayce. Rows of filing cabinets with little drawers full of cards. "This drawer full just on Karma, for instance," Mrs. Sinclair says.

I wonder if there's something on how to cut out cigarettes.

In the book room there are tapes of Hugh Lynn Cayce reading from his father's readings. Edgar Cayce books on Atlantis, Religion, IVledical. . .so many. It's really a beautiful sunny room with Edgar Cayce coming out at you from all directions.

I meet James Alwyn Baraff. He works there. We sit on this big comfortable sofa in the sitting room. People are wandering in and out. Some young beards. Some old respectables. One Hell's Angel. Everyone IS met and shown around if they wish it.

Questions are asked. For example, the Hell's Angel asks for a cigarette. Jim gives him one and shows him where the pamphlets are and takes him into the back room.

Every day at 12:15 there is a meditation session in the auditorium, which is in another building, quite nearby, just a little garden between. On the way I see the room where they do their printing. I go to sleep and wake up coughing and unable to sleep.

So as not to disturb the meditating I go back to the main building and drink a lot of coffee. A young man named David starts talking to me. He is studying carpentry because he likes it, and from the Cayce readings he has developed a critical physical ability. I asked him if that's what he said and he laughed. I am so tired I'm going deaf now.

What he really wants to be is an astrologer. Someone on the staff of A.R.E. teaches astrology. I walk around snapping pictures of everyone and everything in case I remember nothing of the whole day.
Jim takes me up to meet Edgar Cayce's grandson, Charles Thomas Cayce. The three of us sit around and they tell me about the 10,000 study groups they have all over the country.

Cayce's readings cover organic farming, music, palmistry, numerology, health and countless others. But they have a oneness. Because of the Law of One we are One. Cayce's readings show an awareness of the power, of the small group when it has to do with a shared ideal, interpreted in action in many ways but always towards a common goal-love-peace.

I'm feeling good now and awake. Laughing, taking things in; hopping about the room. They tell me about their summer activities coming up for children, youth and family. Charles asks can he send me some children's books to read and give my opinion on their value to children?

There is just time before I leave to catch the first 15 minutes of a talk on reincarnation by Everett Ireon. He investigated this subject very fully in 1929-30 and rejected it. He returned to it in 1959, investigated it again and stayed.

In Biblical times the word resurrection meant reincarnation.     I  had to tiptoe out.

The Work      

  It would be very difficult to enter into the work of the A.R.E. without sooner or later coming into contact with the life and  personality of Edgar Cayce.  For it was this man who not only provided a channel for the information that makes up the basis of the A.R.E.'s work, but whose personality and attributes even to this day mold the direction of the Association. Edgar Cayce appears as a rather improbable and reluctant psychic. After becoming acquainted with his story it is hard not to wonder at his courage and strength. He was an unschooled man, but by no means an unintelligent one. A man deeply religious in his beliefs, who overcame his own doubts only after an agonizing search within himself.

Perhaps most interesting of all, however, is that once he did resolve his doubts, and had committed himself to the unorthodox road of the psychic, he never sought the limelight. He preferred instead to let the readings and the results they produced become the center of attention.

For a man who lived such an unconventional public life, Edgar Cayce came from deeply traditional American roots. Born in 1877, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, of an old Kentucky family, he led a normal childhood except for a vision he had when he was seven years old. He was asked what he wanted to do with his life. He said simply that he wanted to help others, especially children. He was told his prayers had been answered but it was seventeen years before he realized just what lay before him, and even he himself said later that he had no concept of the implications of what was to come.

Through the toss of his voice, and a subsequent attempt at a cure through hypnotic suggestion, he discovered that he could go to sleep and answer questions put to him. He lay down and entered a sleep-like state and talked; spoke on any subject about which he was queried, at any length necessary to answer the question.

The talking was hard enough for him to accept, - but the fact that he seemed to have contact with a river of infinite wisdom-much of which was in conflict With his upbringing and beliefs, was even more disturbing. The fact that the information known as readings, proved correct time and time again did not make the problem easier.

It is this relation between Edgar Cayce and his work that provides one of the most poignant aspects of the whole story. He himself never heard a word he said, nor remembered it when he woke up, and he freely admitted that he did not know how it worked. He said only that if it ever hurt anyone he would stop, but that as long as people asked and were helped he would continue.

For most of the next forty three years, until his death at 67 in 1945, he lay down and entered this sleep state at least twice each day. "The Work", as he called it, came before all else, and to it he sacrificed privacy and all hopes tor financial achievement. His dream is coming true, however, for through his efforts thousands have been and are being helped,


The Edgar Cayce readings were given from 1901 until 1944, shortly before Edgar Cayce's death. It is estimated that he entered his sleep like state at least 16,000 times during those years, although there is no way of definitely knowing the total. The earliest reading in the files dates back to 1909, but regular records were not kept on a systematic basis until Cayce's lifelong secretary, Gladys Davis, joined hire in September, 1923. With but few exceptions all the readings given from that time on. a total of 14.249, are on file along with related correspondence and reports. The great majority of this has been carefully cross-indexed, and a compilation of over 200,000 file cards makes location of a given reading or topic mentioned in a reading possible at the Virginia Beach Headquarters library.

The records defy easy precise categorization, since each one may deal with many topics, and the range of material, when viewed as a whole, is as broad as man's history and man himself. For the purpose of explanation, though, rough categories are traditional.

Of the entire number by far the largest section, totaling 8,985, is concerned with the mind and the body. This group, popularly known as the "physical readings", deals with diagnosis of a specific individual's problems in this area, and a specialized recommendation for his treatment.

The   next   largest group is generally known as the "life readings". These 2,500 readings deal with vocational, psychological, and human-relations problems. It was in this group, which Cayce only began giving many years after he had started the "physical   readings" that the concept of reincarnation was introduced. There are also 667 readings dealing with dream interpretation. The information indicated that dreams were powerful tools for man to use in his search for inner knowledge, and that interpretation of the symbols contained in the dreams was the key to understanding their content.

Of the remaining 1,995. a rough break-down would yield almost as many categories as there are readings. This miscellaneous group covers a diverse field ranging from comments on geology to organizational advice on the A.R.E. itself.

Perhaps the most generally applicable information given by the sleeping Cayce is contained in the thousands of references to the Bible and the message it carries to all men. These references suffuse the readings in all categories, and serve to point up the unifying principle that underlies all the Cayce material. While advocating no specific philosophy, religion or ism it expresses a deep belief in a Divine Creator of whose plan man is a part. The readings make it clear that if man would know himself, he must seek to live in harmony with this Creator's plan.