Will the Real Edgar Cayce
Please Stand Up?
By Kevin J. Todeschi
Answering my office phone, I heard an all-too-familiar greeting: "Hello, I was told to call you … I think I'm the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce." Although this time the caller was a woman, I had heard her story, her "memories," and her conviction more than 100 times before. Over the years so many individuals have contacted A.R.E. about being the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce or about being in ongoing psychic communication with the soul of Edgar Cayce that the organization has created form letters to respond.
This phenomenon is not new. Edgar Cayce's elder son, Hugh Lynn Cayce (1907-1982), used to tell a variety of stories in his lectures about individuals claiming to be the reincarnation of his father, or about people who were convinced that they were in psychic communication with his father. So insistent were many of these individuals about the validity of their contact with Edgar Cayce that finally Hugh Lynn began testing them with a question that Edgar Cayce himself would know the answer to: "What can you tell me about Gail?" The correct answer was that Gail was a female member of the Cayce family, but no one responded correctly.
Many people are not aware of the fact that information can come from the "other side" without being from the individual who claims to be giving the information. Although it may sound unusual, it is possible that individuals are actually "hearing" or "receiving" information from a discarnate entity (deceased individual) who claims to be Edgar Cayce but is not. In other words, discarnates can and do lie. This phenomenon is simply an attempt, by dead individuals who don't want to be dead, to regain a connection to the physical plane. These discarnates know that well-meaning and psychically open people are much more likely to maintain an ongoing communication with a famous personality than from Mike Smith of Toledo.
Hugh Lynn considered this type of psychic communication an "unwanted psychic experience." In addition to hearing voices, other unwanted experiences included such things as feeling the presence of a ghost, sensing that someone is invading your thoughts psychically, picking up on unsought psychic information, etc. The suggestions for treating and overcoming the experiences often included a variety of approaches designed to bolster the body's natural defenses—physically, mentally, and spiritually. Some of the most frequent recommendations included seeing an osteopath or chiropractor; eating a healthy diet; reading spiritually-focused, uplifting material; working with prayer; and refusing to become fascinated by the experiences.
Perhaps surprisingly, this last suggestion is one of the hardest for many people to accept. I have personally spoken to dozens of individuals who have no intention of "stopping" the phenomena; instead, many of them truly want the experiences to continue because they have somehow acquired a sense of "importance." Some have even stated that their life wasn't really that interesting or rewarding until the experience started to happen.
In terms of the bodily reincarnation of Edgar Cayce, there are several reasons why individuals may honestly think, feel, and "remember" being the reincarnation of Cayce without its being a valid reincarnation recall experience. Those reasons include the way in which the process of soul awakening works, as well as the possibility of past-life connections with Edgar Cayce or one of his previous incarnations.
During the process of "soul awakening," an individual may experience feelings and even memories from the past that resurface in the present. Part of the challenge in this process is sorting through all of the images, memories, and feelings, and attempting to separate what is "real" from what is caused by something else. Sometimes individuals have such strong feelings and images about a particular person from history that they may actually begin to personally associate with those memories.
For example, in 1936 a 47-year-old man asked Edgar Cayce during the course of a reading about his own connection to a famous personality. The man was convinced that he was the reincarnation of President James A. Garfield. Not only did he have memories and feelings of being the 20th president but another psychic had also confirmed the connection. Cayce, however, stated that the individual had simply been a very close friend and associate of Garfield's and not the president himself (1151-4).
With this in mind, it is very likely that individuals who think they were Edgar Cayce may have had a close association with him and his work, or they may have been connected with Cayce in one of his previous incarnations. According to Cayce's own readings, his soul had accomplished a similar work in both ancient Egypt and ancient Persia. In addition, a variety of readings suggest that many individuals who have a strong interest or familiarity with the Cayce work or with Edgar Cayce are actually part of a "soul group" that has returned from time to time.
When Edgar Cayce does decide to reincarnate, it is unlikely that he will pick up his personality as Edgar Cayce. Undoubtedly, he will begin a new life with new opportunities and new lessons. In fact, any individual with a valid past-life memory of Edgar Cayce would, in all likelihood, want to keep that memory to him- or herself, because the notoriety of that information might jeopardize the purpose for which the soul entered into its present incarnation.
Even when all of the above is sincerely explained to individuals, many persist in their claims that they are in communication with Edgar Cayce or that they are the physical return of Edgar Cayce. Oftentimes, they are not really concerned about the way soul memory works. They don't want to hear about lying discarnates. They are not really interested in the possibility of having been associated with Cayce in one of his prior incarnations.
Hugh Lynn Cayce used to say that it really doesn't matter who we were in the past. What's important is who we are in the present, and what we are doing about who we are right now. Surely, the soul of Edgar Cayce himself would be familiar with that principle.
Kevin J. Todeschi is Executive Director and CEO of Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. and Atlantic University. He oversees activities of the Cayce work worldwide. As both student and teacher of the Edgar Cayce material for more than 30 years, he has lectured on five continents in front of thousands of individuals. A prolific writer, he is the author of numerous articles and more than 20 books, including Edgar Cayce on Vibration, Edgar Cayce on the Akashic Records, and The Rest of the Noah Story
Excerpt from the January / February 2004 issue of Venture Inward magazine. The magazine is available exclusively for A.R.E. members online.