Phillip Bayless

“…Cayce was renowned for his readings related to medicine. Given only a patient’s name and address, Cayce could purportedly produce detailed diagnoses and treatments.”

Phillip Bayless, M.A., Film Studies
Lead Researcher
A Time for Seeking (ca.1975)

16mm film (orig.)
color, sound
4:56 minutes (excerpt)

Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) was a high-profile American mystic and psychic who came to prominence at the beginning of the twentieth century. Cayce was famous for his “readings,” sessions in which he allegedly dictated, while sleeping, knowledge of the divine, novel medical treatments, the past, and the future. The “Sleeping Prophet,” as he came to be known, founded the Association for Research and Enlightenment in 1931 to store the records of his numerous readings and to continue his philosophical work. After Cayce’s death in 1945, his son Hugh Lynn headed the A.R.E. It was during this period that A Time for Seeking was produced. The organization still exists and is headquartered in Virginia Beach.

The more than 14,000 “readings” made by Cayce cover a variety of subjects, but his philosophical and medical readings are the most notable. Cayce is known today mainly for his thoughts on theosophy, or the nature of God or the divine. These ideas blend traditional Christian beliefs with those of Eastern religions, such as reincarnation. Cayce is also aligned with esoteric beliefs, specifically the idea that hidden truths will lead to salvation and enlightenment. As the name implies, Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment focuses mainly on putting these ideas into practice for the welfare and development of its members.

During his lifetime, however, Cayce was renowned for his readings related to medicine. Given only a patient’s name and address, Cayce could purportedly produce detailed diagnoses and treatments. Collectively, these medical readings, specifically the recommended treatments, demonstrate Cayce’s belief in holistic medicine, or “health flowing from harmony with blood, lymph, glands, and nerves.” Cayce’s ideas about holistic medicine and theosophy flourished in the New Age movement, which was in full swing by the time A Time for Seeking was produced.

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Related documentation:
Edgar Cayce, the “Sleeping Prophet.”
Gertrude, Cayce’s wife, sits on the couch he used for his “readings.”

Credit: Images used by permission– Edgar Cayce Foundation–Virginia Beach, VA; EdgarCayce.org.