If we wake someone from a deep sleep, he may either regain waking consciousness without ado or he may respond to us more or less haphasardly. Compare the sleepwalkers who may talk and do many ordinary things, but out of control, for example when they walk about in the wrong place for a pyjamas stroll.
This brings us to the American sleep talker Edgar Cayce. He was asked many things when he was sound asleep, and because he talked then, what he said was recorded and filed. Books have came out of it, many books, classes and seminars.
After all, deep sleep talk requires thinking from the deeps. A deep thinker is the same as a philosopher. Thus, Edgar Cayce was a philosopher.
Philosophy is largely propositions (talk) that sre not verified. Some may be verified later on, but if so, it is no longer pure philosophy, but part of some other scientific or scholarly discipline, just because it is grounded.
As for the content of Edgar Cayce's deep sleep answers to questions put to him, it may be sorted and compared to what others have expressed - through comparative endeavours. If what he has said seems illogical or does not make sense, there is wisdom here:
There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it. [Cicero, De Divinatione.]
While deep asleep, Cayce said things after others had put him questions. What he was asked and what he answered were recorded, and the corpus is known as the Edgar Cayce Readings. Others have taken out some parts of it for topical collections, like "Cayce Astrology". Such collectons consist of gleaning of his general advice and details for the rounds of questions and answers, as the case may be. In two books on Cayce the term Philosophy appears as a topic. One is There is a River by Thomas Sugrue, and another is Many Mansions by Gina Cerminara. Further book data is near the end of the page.
The Cayce Philosophy
The system of metaphysical thought that emerges from the readings of Edgar Cayce is a Christianised version of faiths that may at least be partially tracked to ancient Egypt, Chaldea, Persia, India, and Greece. It puts the Church-invented Christ into the tradition of one God as the capstone of talk, so to speak, writes Thomas Sugrue (1907-1953) in There Is a River, a biography of Edgar Cayce, first published in 1943.
Now, Gina Cerminara writes in Many Mansions, in the chapter "A Philosophy to Live By":
A study of the recommendations given in comparable cases is helpful . . . Almost invariably, people were told that the ultimate source of their painful situation lay within themselves. This is the first thing, according to the readings, that troubled persons must accept . . . but it is frequently difficult to accept. . . .
"I wish it was so simple," you may well say and list other causes than deep, inner ones. Betrayals, being swindled, lied to, falling on ice, neglecting your astrological bangle you were once given, being given rat poison by an ex lover, may be due to other causes than inner, well hidden ones.
Cerminara cites several of Cayce's postulates of existence and sums up that as a human on Earth you are enjoined to first realise your relationship to the creative forces, and formulate your ideals and purposes in life [if you should find them]. Then strive to achieve those ideals, and rather be active - and also patient and joyous and not seeking to evade any problem - a channel of good to some other persons. (cf. p. 226)
Each one of us, according to the readings, is a soul, a . . . drop of water to the ocean. We stand in relation to our body as a man to his house or his garment. (p. 227)
Living very well is to get out of ignorant attachments to materiality and out of a sense of separativeness - (p. 228)
And, as Cayce puts it. "You don't go to heaven; you grow to heaven!" A good question is how to do it.
"Do not let periods of abject indifference arise in your present experience." . . . (p. 228; 230). Again, how to? There are many counsels for health and wellbeing in the Cayce material, and many books derived from his readings.
Man is free-willed within . . . cosmic laws. Penalties are visited on man . . . if he violates those laws. His will acts as the propulsive force of his destiny; his mind, however, acts as the directive and formative agent. That is why the first step in any program of self-discovery and self-improvement is formulating specifically one's ideals. Moreover, mind is the builder. This refers to the Universal Mind of which each one of our minds is an individuated fragment. Mind, on all planes of existence, creates the pattern from which material things are formed.
"Thus, as the self has applied the self, so are the patterns of life cut," says Cayce. (p. 231)
There remains in the unconscious mind the memory of all things that have ever happened to us since the beginning of our individuation. Thus there is within us a storehouse of knowledge which is available to us . . . in the process of meditation. (p. 232)
Cayce: "Cultivate the ability to see the ridiculous, and retain the ability to laugh." (p. 245)
Deep within some there is imprisoned splendour. The way from every problem is to turn within to that radiant energy. (p. 232)
In the self one may find the answer to all the problems that may confront you. . . . All that the entity may know of . . . international relationships . . . already exists in the consciousness for you to be made aware of. (p. 232)
"There, according to the Cayce readings, are the basic truths about man and his relationship to the universe . . . these postulates lead naturally to a practical philosophy of living," Cerminara sums up.
Cayce, further: "Do not allow yourself to pity yourself or condemn yourself." (p. 235)
One more subtle Cayce point: "The best way to help anybody is to let your life be the reflection of what you think of your God . . . what you do to your . . . friend, or your foe, is a reflection of what you think of your Creator." (p. 233)
Destiny, or karma, depends upon what the soul has done about what it has become aware of. (p. 234)
Hence, main Cayce postulates are attuned to the ancient wisdom that teaches the soul passes through a series of lives on earth and in the beyond within the reach of what is called karma and reincarnation in Sanatana Dharma, for example. (McClelland 2010; O'Flaherty 1980; Tull 1989).
Cayce, who lived in a house, often talks for Jesus - Jesus who did not even have an igloo of snow to keep warm inside. He who said his followers should not take thought for tomorrow, but embrace poverty and some other foolhardy ways, such as sticking to tyranny, sacrifice of animals and self-maining on occasion (Matthew 5, passim). After all, let us not forget to see how the praise and the living often are two very different things, and with a gap between them filled with such as blood food and wrangled poultry, if not adultery in the "classical" way of the Old Testament. What is worst of these three things? It is hard to say, but they are three of the four requirements for Gentile Christians, that is, non-Jewish Christians, according to the New Testament (see Acts 15 and 21:25).
There is more: Hypocrites are condemned by Jesus. Do not let that happen to you. Get informed; it often pays. Look, now:
1. Bible scholars today tell that Jesus in the gospels hardly called himself Messiah, a Hebrew forerunner-term for the later translated and hugely expanded term "Christ", which the expanding church found useful to form.
2. Dr Bart Ehrman and other bible scholars document how the early church falsified gospels and other documents - twisted and invented parts of them to suit the church by forgeries, editing and much else. By way of example, the missionary command at the end of the gospel of Matthew is a later addition, and probably another swindle - a non-benign forgery.
3. The term "son of God" had another meaning among Jews at the time of Jesus than the meanings that were added to it long after he has been executed. The phrase 'son of God' was current among Jews and was synonymous with 'son of Israel' or 'a Jew very close to God'. (Vermes 2010:38) [Details]
4. It is high time that this comes to the fore as well: Jesus says in Matthew 10:5-8 and 15:24 that his teachings are for Jews only. Are you a non-Jew Christian? It is not enough to cut off your foreskin for that to happen. Then the gospel teachings of Jesus are not for you. Think better! It is as simple as that. Dr Geza Vermes:
During his days of preaching, Jesus of Nazareth addressed only Jews, "the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:5; 15:24). His disciples were expressly instructed not to approach gentiles or Samaritans (Matthew 10:5). On the few occasions that Jesus ventured beyond the boundaries of his homeland, he never proclaimed his gospel to pagans, nor did his disciples do so during his lifetime. The mission of the 11 apostles to "all the nations" (Matthew 28:19) is a "post-Resurrection" idea. It appears to be of Pauline inspiration and is nowhere else found in the Gospels (apart from the spurious longer ending of Mark [Mark 16:15], which is missing from all the older manuscripts). Jesus' own perspective was exclusively Jewish; he was concerned only with Jews. (Vermes 2012).
To clarify these matters still further:
Jesus reserve his teachings and salvation for Jews (Matthew 15:24; 10:5-8; Vermes 2012), but only depraved Jews: those of sound moral and spirit are not called by him, and the healthy do not need him (Mark 2:17; Matthew 9:12-13; 12.11). Jesus further puts his sheep on a path to perdition in that he teaches his sheep what is opposed to sound self-preservation. Thereby eyes, limbs, property, fit living-conditions and life itself soon enough are at risk (Matthew 5: 29-30; 39-42). Finally, marring losses come to those who call him 'Lord, Lord' without doing as he tells. (Luke 6:46)
That sums up much. Based on what many Bible scholars have uncovered it follows that a host of Cayce's ideas about Christ may be dropped, for many reasons. It you do not do that, you are no good follower of him who said his teachings are for Jews only, and that true followers could cast mountains into the sea, for example. It comes down to this.
Do not despair when you realise: "He spoke to others than me." You can do well without Jesus commands. Consider, rather, how this knowledge is a jewel! You are no longer obliged by his commands to embrace poverty, short-sightedness and non-planning ahead, giving way to bullies, and sawing off your hands and one more member because of lust, for example. And rejoice to escape the tyranny of slavery and sacrificing victims that Jesus vouches for in Matthew 5:17-19 as well. You should indeed do better without that one! [The benefits of getting rid of Jesus like a dead potato in the ground]
Yes, take heart and understand that Jesus sayings were not needed in the early church: Acts 15 and 21:25 show how all the apostles and the Ghost decided that no teachings of Jesus are needed for non-Jewish Christians. And the early church for non-Jews was established and expanded without any gospels we know of. They were added in the first centuries after Jesus had been executed, almost like a mad dog.
The church branched out and got many more gospels than the four gospels in the New Testament. They were selected and edited from the many gospels that were around in the early church. There are only four things needed for Gentile Christians. Not to eat black pudding, blood sausage, and wrangled poultry are parts of two of them. It is in the Bible, in two different places. This decision is part of what founded Christianity in 49 CE.
We have to stay awake to the facts.
Cayce's sucking of handed-over Christiany and the traditional Christ-figure is not necessary. His Jesus Christ-figure should be dispensed with since Jesus of the gospel tells his teachings are for Jews only, and to keep to the Deal of the apostles and the Ghost for non-Jews.
Either you show the teacher enough respect and stay away from his teachings for Jews only, or you do not. Either you stand by the four requirements for non-Jews - the ones that early Christianity and all later branches of it are rooted in, made by all the apostles and the Ghost for non-Jews - or you think you know much better than God. It is up to you. Shared hubris in a tradition or group is hubris still. Granted that, it should not be too difficult to stay firm or just.
What Kevin Todeschi writes
The prolific writer is an executive director and CEO of Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. and Atlantic University. He is known for his ability to explain complex subjects in a straightforward and easy-to-understand manner, and is popular for his sense of humour.
Todeschi explains that the subject of reincarnation came up in 1923 during a sleep reading by Cayce, given to a printer from Ohio. Reincarnation had also been talked of by Cayce in an earlier Cayce reading in 1911, but no one among Cayce's associates was familiar with the idea. But after some decades the subject was examined in detail in nearly 2,000 psychic readings, called "Life Readings," as examined by the sleeping Cayce.
The teachings of reincarnation are old. Some of them suggest a soul goes through a series of lifetimes for the purpose of spiritual growth and soul development. The opposite may happen as well, depending on the roads or avenues entered on. Cayce does not talk about that human beings may be be born again as animals.
The Cayce approach to reincarnation provides a philosophical setting for dealing with this life: living, growing, and being and becoming, if that can be where one lives, right here and now. One's choices, actions, and decisions in life would co-determine the experiences lived. In another jargon: "Play the cards you get as well as possible. If you cannot win, stop playing a lot, And, rather than being fatalistic, go for opportunities."
In his sleep, Cayce spoke about karma and reincarnation, but also the person's good opportunities and grace. He understood persons as influening co-players and not just spectators and recipients, in short. Thus, the Cayce approach to karma is not so fatalistic.
A few words on karma and reincarnation
The word karma is Sanskrit for "work, deed, or act"; it has also come to mean such as "effects of former deeds and current deeds". It has an inner aspect, maybe a bad conscience; and an outward aspect that bind you a lot or threated to cause you pain, or ruin your life, as the case may be. Some sources say karma can be averted by yogic means, and Gautama Buddha says man should create much good karma for himself, and thereby improve a future fare - maybe not in this life, but some other life, if there should be a need for one.
Against effects of bad neighbours and long forgotten goings, a free will can work better than decorum. It depends on how we steer along, how we live, and the degree of freedom and influence our wills have too. Factors are very often interlaced and intertwined.
It follows that if we improve, we will improve the world, at least influence it somehow in that direction. And if not, we have it in us to improve our world a lot!
The Cayce readings provide the idea that the influence of karma is a matter of one's own self. If we are constantly drawn toward certain individuals and groups, it could be an aspect of "meet self", but there are other fine explanations for it too. And now for something different: a favourite poet!
A man and a woman
One thing is poetry, and one thing is philosophy; one thing is old and one thing is new - all are one-things. They appear to be different, but all are made of the same - if you believe old teachings and Edgar Cayce. Ekam sat, Oneness is, is a grand saying from the Vedas. Cayce too tells of the young and old One and the children of that sameness behind forms and names.
If we we read "Jesus" instead of blackbird, it makes figurative sense, ample figurative sense. Verse 3, for example, is "Life of Jesus", and Verse 7 is "Duping and astray teachings are not good for women" - not to say children and men in troubles.
But as it is said, why drag Jesus and his Forbidden Sayings (gospel utterances) into life today? The blackbird did not sing to people on the pavements in the asphalt jungle (in modern times), and that's it. Cayce's phrases about Jesus are avoidable, and they are forbidden for non-Jews, according to Jesus himself in the gospel of Matthew (10:5-8; 15:24).
Aligned to the "All-Oneness is", Cayce stated that we never meet anyone by chance, and that major relationships are ongoing experiences - and all experiences are of our own creation. That idea certainly clashed with the idea that our relationships are of their creation as much as ours, and maybe more so too. It also depends on the surrounding web(s) of life, as the poet Kahlil Gibran pointed out: If a thread in a loom breaks, it may not be the thread that is to blame. It could be the loom that is too tightly woven, or skewed or faulty in some other way. To enlarge on this network view: It depends in part on how many they are, and how the leaders are, and who are in the majority, and how the rule or rules are. This means that a part of Cayce's ideas is merely fractional - they don't paint a complete pictures. So perhaps you should not take the full blame for crimes others do against you.
One more thing -, as Columbo in a TV series often said: Is there room for serendipity? that is, of making fortunate discoveries by accident, and interesting or pleasant happening by chance? On everyday levels - sure. But answers depend on how deep you go, which depends on how deep you are.
Reincarnation is a complex faith about many rebirths.
Speaking of his ancestry, Lincoln once humorously remarked,
Grandfather: effects of past lives.
Grandson. You here and now and forwards.
See one of the Cayce readings:
In the studies, then, know where you are going .. . to find that you only lived, died and were buried under the cherry tree in Grandmother's garden does not make you one whit better neighbour, citizen, mother or father! But to know that you spoke unkindly and suffered for it, and in the present may correct it by being righteous - that is worthwhile!" (Cayce reading 5753-2)
Essential Cayce Lore
Some parts of the following are extracted from There Is a River, the biography of Edgar Cayce by Thomas Sugrue.
Edgar Cayce was raised in a strict nineteenth-century Bible tradition, amd discovered that in his psychic readings he declared such thoughts that are known from some mystery religions. However, much that he has sleep-talked about is not found in surviving mystery records.
When we strip off Jesus' gospel teachings out of respect for his teachings there and go to the kernels of Cayce, some make sense. Here is are some Cayce tenets, or parts of the Cayce philosophy, if you like:
Man's "conscious mind" . . . is the device by which he experiences earth: physical body, five senses, glandular and nervous systems.
The soul was the greatest thing that was made . . . Gradually it acquired experience, becoming a complementary rather than an imitative force. . . . The individual became more concerned with, and aware of, his own creations than God's.
A solar system like ours represented an opportunity for development, advancement, and growth toward the ideal of complete companionship with God.
The life essence . . . was a power sent out [and furthered] a pattern of differing forms, substance, and movement.