Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce

The methods of Edgar Cayce are still used to cure untreatable illnesses.

In 1986, 27-year-old Cathy Comora visited her ophthalmologist after having some minor vision problems.  She was horrified when her doctor told her she had optic neuritis, a severe inflammation of the optic nerve.  Cathy was told she would probably go blind:

“It was a very frightening experience.  He said I wouldn’t want to run out right away and buy a white cane, but it’s very serious and I was scared.  I mean, I suddenly realized that there is a possibility that I could go blind.”

Since there is no known cure for the disease, Cathy chose to look for an alternative treatment.  She found a doctor who was familiar with the mysterious methods of a man named Edgar Cayce.  Edgar Cayce became famous in the 1920s for diagnosing illnesses, even though he had absolutely no medical training.  In his lifetime, Cayce made more than 9,000 diagnoses, or “readings” as he called them, while in a deep, self-induced trance.  Even though Edgar Cayce died in 1945, many practitioners still follow his teachings.  Some dismiss the cures as mere lucky coincidence.  But for those diagnosed with a disease that modern medicine cannot cure, Edgar Cayce’s methods continue to hold out hope.

Edgar Cayce discovered his mysterious ability when he was just 13-years-old.  A borderline student, one day he fell asleep on top of his spelling book.  When his father later quizzed him, Edgar could spell every word in the book, and he even knew the page numbers where each word appeared.  According to his son, Edgar Evans, it was at that moment that his father knew he was gifted:

“All he had to do was sleep on his books at night, and he’d moved along very rapidly, whether it was spelling or math or history or whatever.  And he became an exceptional student, rather than an average student.”

When Edgar was 23, he suddenly lost the ability to speak.  For an entire year, physicians were unable to explain, or cure, his illness.  As a last resort, Edgar’s parents convinced him to see a hypnotist.  His family physician attended and recorded the session in exact detail.  According to the physician, Cayce sank into a deep sleep.  When Edgar awoke everyone was shocked.  According to his son, Edgar, his father then spoke for the first time in a year:

“He started to talk and say yes we have the condition—it’s a constriction of the throat… constriction of the blood flow so we will collect it.  And when later the hypnotist told him to wake up he sat up, and coughed up a little blood, and he could talk.  And I think that was probably the first reading.”

Cayce received truckloads of letters

Cayce received truckloads of letters

Cayce’s doctor persuaded him to attempt diagnoses on other patients who had not responded to traditional medicine.  Cayce agreed, but according to his son, the end result left him disillusioned:

“The problem developed when, at the end of some of the readings, people would start asking him questions about… what horse was going to win a race what was going to happen in the… stock market, results of the ball game, and when he found out… what people were doing, he said, I’m giving it up.”

Cayce abandoned his psychic readings, married, and moved to Alabama, where he worked as a photographer.  By 1914, he had two sons, Edgar Evans and Hugh Lynn.
When Hugh Lynn was just eight years old, he was seriously injured in a darkroom explosion.  According to Edgar Evans, the local doctor was not very hopeful:

“The doctors examined him and said, well, we think we’re going to have to take out one eye.  He’s probably going to lose the sight in both of them.  And my brother said, Daddy, give me a reading.”

For Edgar Cayce, it was the ultimate test.  He had not attempted a reading in years.  Could he now save his own son from a life of blindness?  Edgar Evans recalled what happened:

“He described an application for the eyes that included tannic acid.  Well, that was unheard of at the time, and the doctors thought it was too strong, but they thought he was going to lose his eyes anyways, so it wouldn’t hurt to try.  And when they first put it on, well Hugh even said, this must be Daddy’s medicine, it doesn’t hurt.”

It seemed like a miracle.  Within six weeks, Hugh Lynn’s sight was completely back to normal.  Word of the boy’s recovery spread, and soon Cayce became famous.  In 1925, he moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, and opened a center.  According to his son, over the next 20 years Cayce received thousands of requests for readings:

“He felt like he couldn’t refuse people so he started doing two and three and four and five and it got up to… nine and ten a day, and it was just too much for him.”

On the brink of exhaustion, Edgar Cayce suffered a massive stroke.  He died on January 3, 1945, leaving behind more than one hundred and twenty thousand pages of readings.  These readings continue to serve as a wellspring of hope for those in search of cures that may have eluded modern medicine—people like Cathy Comora.  When her optic neuritis was diagnosed in 1986, Cathy went to Dr. John Pagano, a chiropractor in New Jersey who had studied Edgar Cayce’s readings for 30 years:

“Cayce was very specific on what areas of the spine to adjust.  The fact that Cayce suggested this certain procedure for eye problems does not mean that he specifically diagnosed it as optic neuritis.  He talked about vision problems.  Blindness.  And that’s what I approached it as.  Not as optic neuritis.”

Within seven days, Cathy’s eyesight was fully restored.  Dr. Pagano believed that Cayce’s treatments were responsible for her recovery.  However, skeptics like Professor Paul Kurtz of the State University of New York, Buffalo, vehemently disagreed:

“I think that much of the Cayce material is based upon illusion.  And I think there’s a placebo effect here at work.  Often if you believe that someone is going to cure you, you give them white sugar pills, and they might be cured.  So the power of the mind can have a powerful effect.”

How can the unique life of Edgar Cayce be explained?  The medical world has refused to endorse his methods, yet at the same time, is unwilling to dismiss them.