Edgar Cayce: Shaped By Early Life Experiences

Edgar Cayce May Have Acquired His Psychic Gifts In Previous Incarnations, but, His Experiences Early in Life Certainly Shaped America’s Greatest Psychic

Kentucky native Edgar Cayce was one of the most celebrated psychics who ever lived. Edgar Cayce’s Legacy is certainly one of the most impressive for a psychic in modern history. Born into an agrarian culture in Hopkinsville, Kentucky in 1877, he seemed to be a normal young boy in a typical, large, farm family. But that apparent normalcy evaporated as his more predominant psychic faculties began to emerge. Even the so-called ‘normal’ influences on Cayce’s young life (psychological, sociological and family influences) were in many ways exceptional. Whether or not his impressive gifts were largely derived from some prior existence (as his son later claimed) the person who Edgar Cayce would become was also certainly shaped by his own contemporary life experiences. Personal relationships, community influences, and certain international personalities were definitely formative factors.

It would not be until adulthood that Edgar’s psychic abilities found full bloom. But, even very early in his childhood, there were indications of what would eventually become the most significant psychic personality of his era. Much later, noted psychic Jeane Dixon is quoted as saying that Cayce was "Clearly one of the most remarkable psychics who ever lived."

young Edgar Cayce Hugh Lynn Cayce, Edgar’s son, said that his father’s psychic ability was "something he had carried over with him from a past incarnation". According to this theory, it wasn’t so much the influences in Edgar’s early and young adult life that brought about his remarkable abilities, as something mysteriously transposed from a prior existence. Though some carry over from prior incarnations is well worth considering, one will also find that Edgar Cayce’s experiences in this life also played an impressive role in his development (perhaps setting the stage so that skills acquired in previous reincarnations could surface in Cayce’s current life).

Even as a young child Edgar experienced psychic phenomena. Once when he was being instructed by his father, Edgar fell asleep on one of his books. As the story goes, Edgar Cayce awoke quite surprised to find that he had learned some of the written material by literally sleeping on the book.

Another experience when he was 15 dumbfounded his parents. Edgar Cayce was struck in the back of his head by a baseball and that night fell into an apparent coma after displaying unusual, erratic, and disruptive behaviors. While in that apparently comatose state, Edgar communicated to his parents that what he needed was a specific poultice placement to regain his normal composure and behaviors. The poultice was made and applied, after which Edgar seemed to fall into a normal sleep. The next morning he emerging with his customary personality and behavior patterns restored.

The Influence Of Tom Cayce – Edgar Cayce’s Grandfather

Raised a Christian, Edgar had a defining experience that placed his religion at the heart of his later psychic endeavors. Once after church services, while praying alone in the woods, Edgar experienced a certain radiance that came upon him, advising him that he would, indeed, go on to help the needy as he had requested in his prayers. The experience connected Edgar’s abilities to his Christian upbringing in a permanent and unshakable manner despite some of his later readings and personal beliefs which ran counter to accepted Christian beliefs of the day.

Edgar’s father was for various reasons distant from his son. But Edgar had strong and even highly dependent relationships with both his mother and his grandfather. His grandfather, Tom Cayce, in particular was an extremely formative influence on the young Edgar. The two were deeply bonded in friendship, but there were other factors as well. Tom Cayce was said to have the "gift" of second sight, a propensity for psychic awareness. Unlike his grandson, though, none of Tom’s gifts were never for public display and were only spoken of among close family and friends. Tom Cayce’s psycho-kinetic abilities were kept a closely guarded family secret.

Edgar is quoted as saying that his grandfather "could make a broom appear to ‘dance’ by merely holding his hand over it, or move a table without touching it." While Edgar may have had some of his psychic abilities carried over from a prior existence, he also might have inherited some of those gifts through a slightly more conventional means: Genetics. Also, one has to figure that Tom Cayce, Edgar’s grandfather, helped Edgar accept his psychic abilities and likely even helped Edgar develop those talents.

Local Influences Certainly Contributed To Edgar Cayce’s Early Development

Tom Cayce’s unusual abilities also paved the way for acceptance by the family of Edgar’s psychic gifts where other families would have deemed Edgar’s talents and experiences as inappropriate (or even frightening). Edgar’s family already had an awareness of, and appreciation for, various psychic abilities. The backwoods farming culture into which Edgar was born in the late 1800s also had an unusual acceptance of people who showed psychic talent. Locals accepted many beliefs and practices that would be characterized today as superstitious. Many rural Kentuckians accepted, for instance, that the dead do sometimes appear in spirit form. And, there were long-standing local beliefs that spiritual healing of the sick was possible and that those with ‘second sight’ could help solve personal problems. Two notable psychics of the time were a Dr. Schlatter of Henderson, Kentucky, who healed by the laying on of hands, and Blind Mary, a sightless African-American medium who lived outside of Hopkinsville who was so well respected that the mayor was said to routinely consulted her on business and family decisions.

And as if local influences were not enough, the international scene involving psychic phenomena had intensified quite noticeably, as well. By this time there had been considerable attention paid to the work and writings of the Russian, Madame Helena Blavatsky, as well as the related work of psychiatrist Carl Jung and philosopher P. D. Ouspensky. All of them were well known and very probably influenced the knowledge base of Edgar Cayce. Some of Edgar Cayce’s posthumous critics have pointed to the influential mystics and thinkers of the times as possible sources for much of Cayce’s information revealed in his readings. But regardless of this possibility, there still exists the high probability that the work of these now famous individuals directly influenced Edgar Cayce.

As previously mentioned, the relationship between Edgar and his grandfather was strong. The family noted that there was no place the young child would rather be than in his grandfather’s arms. "They didn’t just spend an hour or two together at a time, but three or four days in a row. They were … cut from the same tree."

At the tender age of four Edgar witnessed the death of his beloved grandfather in a horseback riding accident. However, Edgar’s sense of loss seemed surprisingly light, especially since they had been so close. Later, the cause of Edgar’s lack of remorse was soon apparent as he was discovered having "discussions" with his deceased grandfather. These and other experiences with so-called "imaginary friends" left Edgar’s younger sister apprehensive about playing with him.

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And, Edgar Cayce’s revelations to an aunt on events from the family’s history, independently confirmed events about which Edgar should logically have no knowledge, led to further concerns.

At a young age, Edgar’s psychic abilities had begun to grow and dominate his young life. But, the natural and fully explainable influences shaping his early development were striking and powerful, regardless of how much of his ability had actually been "carried over" from a previous lifetime. The Edgar Cayce that the world remembers as perhaps the most striking psychic of all time, lived and learned from life’s experiences despite the fact that much of his remarkable ability may have come packaged in more unusual ways.

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Edgar Cayce History