Story by Joseph Ford CottoJoseph Ford Cotto: How, in a general sense, did Cayce use his visions to improve the health of other people?
He was called "the sleeping prophet," and even the man's critics must admit that this was for good reason.
His name was Edgar Cayce. He was a humble, unassuming man who came from a region many would deride as "nowhere"; the coalfields of eastern Kentucky. His mission in life, though, was grand as can be encompassed: to improve the human condition by elevating it to a point of comprehensive understanding about health, history, and spirituality.
Cayce was, beyond anything else, a man of purpose. His search for answers to complex questions helped others find their place in a world where many are taught to shy away from difficult queries -- if for no other reason than to maintain social cohesion. Cayce was all about the individual and helping him or her become the best he or she could be.
Cayce's work was done through meditation, during which time he appeared to be asleep. When he woke, he would share information with those around him, and his words often proved clairvoyant. Those who placed their trust in Cayce frequently found his predictions to be word-for-word in alignment with what wound up taking place.
Of course, his track record was not perfect, and it declined in accordance with his physical health. Nonetheless, even for the devoutly skeptical fellow such as myself, his work is too substantive to dismiss as sheer coincidence.
Doing so, in and of itself, is a leap of faith.
Alison Ray is the head of public information at Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment. She spoke to me about Cayce's life and legacy. Some of our conversation is included below.
Alison Ray: Nearly seventy percent of the more than 14,000 psychic readings Cayce gave are concerned with the diagnosing of disease and the outlining of treatment. These readings are still being studied. Many people who came to Cayce in the early part of the twentieth century came to him as a last resort: most had been diagnosed as “incurable,” not only by private physicians, but by medical institutions around the U.S. While Cayce himself had no medical training or education, when he entered a self-induced trance state, he could accurately diagnose illness and prescribe treatment for people he had never met or seen.
The information from the readings on health included simple suggestions which indicate that Cayce's understanding of physical care was really ahead of its time. These basic principles include such items as: maintaining a well-balanced diet; regular exercise; the role of attitudes and emotions; the importance of relaxation and recreation; and keeping our physical bodies cleansed-both on the outside and the inside.
The readings make recommendations for a variety of health concerns which are available in a free online health database (http://www.edgarcayce.org/
the-readings/health-and- wellness/holistic-health- database). While the readings were given for specific individuals, the treatments seem to be applicable today on a much wider scale. Two notable examples of this are psoriasis and scleroderma. For both of these diseases, the Cayce regimen involved specific diets, chiropractic medicine, and other natural remedies and procedures. In recent years hundreds of people with these two ailments have been helped by following a similar program.
Cayce also saw total health as involving coordination among the physical, mental, and spiritual components of life. Any complete approach to health needed to consider an individual's entire being rather than simply the illness. Because of this concept, it has been said that the beginnings of present-day holistic health started from the readings of Edgar Cayce.
Cotto: How effective were Cayce's health remedies?
Ray: In our files, we have many reports of people being helped, even cured from following the information in the readings. During Cayce’s time, many individuals had trouble finding a doctor to administer the treatments suggested in the readings. That was the primary reason Edgar Cayce wanted to open a hospital. Most of the suggested treatments involved a change in the lifestyle and habits of the individual, such as diet and exercise and like today, many individuals did not follow the suggestions or only followed them until they started feeling better.
The readings challenged the individual to consider what they would do with their life if they were healed, reminding them that healing required both an inner and outer change and that healing should equip us to be more useful to others.