I often feel like I’m lead to read a particular book. Like God’s saying, check this one out–I have something I want to tell you.
When I was at Virginia Beach over Thanksgiving with my family, my brother took us to the boardwalk and asked in passing if I’d heard of Edgar Cayce, one of the few documented psychics. Even though he only had a high school education, he could diagnose people’s medical conditions in his sleep and prescribe treatment. There’s his institute over there (a block from the boardwalk).
I thought that was kind of interesting. Especially when he said Cayce lost this ability when other people encouraged him to try to use it for money. Which is exactly why I don’t think psychics can use their powers to tell you what numbers to pick for the lottery. Otherwise, why would they need to be charging you for their services?
That night, my other brother also took us to the boardwalk to see the Christmas lights, and he also mentioned Edgar Cayce when we drove past his institute. Later I found out that, even though they live together at the beach, they had never talked about Cayce with one another. They both learned about him from TV: one of them saw his story on the Discovery Channel, and the other one saw it on the History Channel.
When I got home, rather than trying to go to bed at a reasonable hour, I spontaneously decided to look up this guy and find out more about him. He has a biography called There is a River, so I thought I’d buy it and get the in-depth story.
The book doesn’t get interesting until Cayce does his first reading. What happened was, he developed severe laryngitis that lasted for several months, and no doctor could find a cure for it. At the time, hypnotism was becoming popular, so some famous guy (I’m not good with names) tried to hypnotize him to see if that helped. Cayce was able to talk while he was in a trance, but the suggestion that he would be able to talk when he woke up never worked.
Then this other dude who was doing some self-study on hypnosis but had no formal training got the idea that if Cayce gives himself the suggestion to talk, it might work. And sure enough, when he was given the suggestion while in a trance to say why he had laryngitis, Cayce gave a detailed account of what the problem was, how it developed, and what the cure was. And then the hypnotized Cayce told the guy to give him a suggestion to increase the blood flow to the neck. So the guy did, and he could actually see Cayce’s neck area get red. And after Cayce was instructed to wake up, he was able to speak again, but he had no memory of what had happened.
So then this guy decided to use Cayce to open his own hypnosis practice. Cayce agreed to it but was conflicted because he didn’t know what to make of the readings. He was really religious, and he was worried that maybe they came from the devil. Or maybe he would give bad medical advice and he would end up killing someone. Or maybe going into a trance would make him go crazy–because that’s what they thought at the time, since they didn’t know that much about hypnosis.
One of the things I found interesting about reading Cayce’s story is the realization that when people have a gift, they’re usually not like, oh cool! I have a gift! They’re afraid of it. They don’t know what it means. And it often feels like it’s more of a curse than a gift. They don’t know what they’re supposed to do with it, and often other people use their gift for selfish purposes.
There’s a lot more interesting stuff about the book but I thought I’d see what the response is to this blog post before I talk about it more.