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There is a river
There Is a River
Thomas Sugrue


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Rediscovering Edgar

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Rediscovering Edgar
Mitch Horowitz


ec-there is a riverWho was Edgar Cayce, the day-to-day person?


 This past year, I came a bit closer to gaining a feeling in my heart for Edgar the man when I was given the privilege of reintroducing and narrating a new audio and print edition of Thomas Sugrue’s classic biography, There Is a River, jointly published by A.R.E. Press and Tarcher/Penguin.

I spent four days in a small recording booth narrating the full text of Sugrue’s 1942 book, along with my new introduction. There Is a River was the only biography of Edgar published during his lifetime, and the book attracted national attention and established him as the best-known psychic of the twentieth century.

My involvement with the book helped me see Edgar less as a headline-making “miracle worker” than as exactly the person he said he was: a devout Christian, a deeply loyal man of agrarian roots, and a seeker who never knew quite how to understand his psychical gift, yet who Edgar Cayce Headlinesdetermined that his trance readings would either serve the higher good or he would cease them altogether.

Edgar’s self-perception informed Sugrue’s title, from Psalms 46:4: “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God….” The seer regarded himself simply as a “channel”—a term he was among the first to use—of the Divine flow.

When encountering There Is a River, some readers are taken aback, as I first was, by its degree of family detail. Sugrue dedicates long passages to the marriages and living arrangements of various cousins, in-laws, aunts, and uncles. But I came to realize that this detail grew directly out of Edgar’s literary choices, and the author’s close proximity to him.

Sugrue spent several years in the late 1930s and early 1940s convalescing with Edgar in Virginia Beach, Va. The journalist suffered from a debilitating joint disease and credited Edgar’s readings with prolonging his life. During afternoons together, the men would talk for hours. Sugrue set the general framework of their discussions and augmented them with his own research and interviews. But it was Edgar who directed his biographer to the topics that mattered most to him.

There Is a River could not have been written any other way. For all Edgar’s reputation as a “simple” man, he set his own priorities with an iron determination. Scholar Harmon Bro, who also spent time close to the seer, noted that Edgar stood “ten feet tall” and was “as strong-willed and capable of risks as Captain Ahab in Moby Dick.” Edgar, while gentlemanly, deferred to no one. He could be overheard on the phone telling Hollywood celebrities who wanted a reading that their names would be added to the waitlist like everyone else’s. (Even Franklin Roosevelt’s vice president, Henry A. Wallace, a well-known seeker in mystical realms, sat on Edgar’s waitlist, never receiving his session by the time of Edgar’s death in early 1945.)

sugrueSugrue also devotes many pages to the details of Edgar’s medical readings. These parts of the book amass an important record: First, they capture the primary thrust of Edgar’s career as a healer, and, second, they demonstrate how hard his patients had to work on their own recoveries. Those who got better, Sugrue writes, were often those who followed Edgar’s meticulous treatments as closely as possible. This was not easy. Communication was slow between the healer and his patients, who often lived faraway; there was no Baar Products (today’s supplier of Cayce remedies) or A.R.E. catalogue from which to order materials; physicians were often hostile to the readings and would not assist; and the treatments could consume major parts of a patient’s day.

For all the focus on family and medical matters, Sugrue also maps out a coherent and compelling spiritual vision behind Edgar’s readings. In short, Sugrue finds that the teachings contain a definite theology: Men and women enter this earthly plane from prior incarnations, and are charged with balancing out karmic influences from past lives; eventually—sometimes following many lifetimes of trial, error, and resolution—they rejoin the source of Creation. At the foundation of this cosmic theology is a deep sense of Christian ethics. It has Christ at its epicenter. But Edgar’s theology also provides perhaps the nearest expression we have of a universal faith—one that unites and harmonizes the insights of the major religions, a topic I explore further in my introduction.

Hugh Lynn CayceAnother detail struck me with special poignancy—and it may be why Edgar’s name has remained widely known. After Edgar’s hospital closed, while he reeled from heartache and watched key donors depart, the seer received a renewed sense of purpose from his eldest son, Hugh Lynn.

Hugh Lynn Cayce hit upon a new idea of how the work should be carried out. “Maybe there’s something wrong with us,” he told his father in 1931. “Suppose we stop expecting people to do things for us and start doing for ourselves. The world doesn’t owe us a living because we have a psychic medium in the family; we ought to work for what we get just as everyone else does.”

then and nowHugh Lynn proposed a radical new structure for the nascent Association for Research and Enlightenment. The organization would be member-supported—no more reliance on one or two fickle donors. And members would be motivated to remain involved in order to benefit from the association’s educational resources and services. As Hugh Lynn saw it, A.R.E. would categorize the readings by topic and ailment; assemble a world-class psychical library; publish journals, newsletters, and books; and host conferences and programs. A.R.E. would fulfill its aim of “research and enlightenment”—all of it self-supported by people who felt a shared stake in the organization’s mission.

This was one of the turning points of Edgar’s life. Hugh Lynn’s vision left its mark on A.R.E. and generations of members. The currents of the river did not end with the seer, but now flow through the ongoing reach of his work.

Mitch Horowitz 04 2015A PEN Award-winning historian,Mitch Horowitz is the author of Occult America and One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life. He is vice president and editor in chief at Tarcher/Penguin, which has partnered with A.R.E. Press for the new publication of  There Is a River. Mitch’s audio narration is available from Gildan Media.


November Update 2014

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November Update
From the Desk of Kevin J. Todeschi

This is my update for November 2014 to A.R.E. members and friends who are interested in the new and exciting trends occurring within Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. and Atlantic University. Please share the following with your friends:

CREATE blog 102014

With just 13 months left in our $30 million CREATE Comprehensive Campaign (capital, endowment, and programs); we have just passed the $25 million mark! With the Cayce Hospital renovations successfully completed and over $6 million raised already toward our $7.5 million capital project goal, we have been focused this fall on building our endowment – currently $4 million in investments and $1 million in real estate. Happily, we received pledges to start 4 new endowment funds in the last month or so! We still need to raise an additional $1.8 million before the end of the Campaign next year (December 31, 2015). Want to create your own named endowment fund for our Prison Outreach or Prayer programs? A.R.E. Camp or our schools (Atlantic University and Cayce/Reilly School of Massage)? Or a new endowment to support A.R.E. in general? You are still supporting our day-to-day program operations through your annual donations as well. We have raised well over $18 million for these great programs already! Thank you.

I want to highlight this month several people who used their time as Atlantic University students to make the world a better place. Here are just a few of the ways that A.U. graduates are helping to transform the world:

AU students 2014Amy Haible, MA, LMT, helped Maine fisherman understand their exceptional human experiences. See her article in the Oct/Nov/Dec 2014 issue of Venture Inward magazine (available to members of the A.R.E.). Member Log In: EdgarCayce.org/members

Michelle Hamady, MA, healing through Mandalas—life changing not only for her participants, but also for herself. Watch her culminating project presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofztn9lQcgk. Watch for her Mandala eGroup coming in 2015!

Dustin Pack, MA, bridges spirituality with nature through the perennial philosophy. Watch his culminating project presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSxUsBiV8d4&list=UU_6vv9MEzR-CM3VlvmB3VpA. Download his free for iphone and ipad App in iTunes: Spiritual Reflections https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/spiritual-reflections/id710130406?mt=8

To find out more about Atlantic University, go to www.AtlanticUniv.edu. Come grow with us.

The Cayce/Reilly School is celebrating the graduation of students from the April 2014 and Evening Studies Programs on November 23, 2014. Congratulations to all these graduates who worked so hard the last year to complete their training and will now carry the Cayce health legacy forward! We are busy working on recruitment for our next new class starting in January 2015 and participating in many wonderful community service opportunities. As we look ahead to the new year, we are thrilled to explore more targeted military-based outreach, launch a new website and welcome many new presenters to our Continuing Education program. Thank you for all your support! If you are someone you know is interested in the incredible training that occurs at the massage school, visit: CayceReilly.edu for more information.

WATCH YOUR MAILBOX and Help Us Meet the Match!
In the next week or two, you’ll be getting my letter announcing our Year-End Matching Gift opportunity! Some of our long-time members have pooled their year-end donations to create a $125,000 Matching Gift Fund!

They will match all NEW donations to the Good Karma Club ($20+ per month), Golden Circle ($1,000+ per year), AND any increased Golden Circle-level donations (bump up to $2,500, $5,000, or $10,000+) up to $125,000 before December 31. Give more than you did last year and your donation will be matched dollar for dollar!

Will you help us get the full Match? You can also see additional information at this link: EdgarCayce.org/donate

A.R.E. 2015 TOURS
A.R.E. 2015 TOURS Get ready for a fantastic tours line up for 2015 including:

  • Our first ever tour to CUBA! [Price recently reduced!] Join John Van Auken on this one-of-a-kind journey. Visit Cuba legally on a people-to-people, cultural exchange program. This will be an opportunity like no other to experience the cultural richness and diversity of this beautiful island. January 31- February 8, 2015. Contact the travel programs office at tours@edgarcayce.org; or EdgarCayce.org/tours for details.
  • Southern Spain & Morocco – Led by Peter Woodbury, April 11 -22, 2015. Also offering an optional extension to the Atlas Mountains and into the Sahara Desert, April 22-26, 2015.
  • Old Quebec & Montreal – Led by Patrick and Jane Belisle, August 10-16, 2015.
  • JUST ADDED: China & Tibet – Led by John Van Auken, September 15-28, 2015.
  • New Mexico and Mesa Verde – Led by Don Carroll, October 24-31, 2015.

($Take part in our holiday tradition--join us for our annual New Year’s conference. [Note for families: a special youth track runs concurrent with this event – see below.] This year features lots of fun, out-of-the-box activities designed to engage the creative forces and your higher self. The Creative Edge: A Retreat for Inspiring and Unleashing Your Dynamic, Intuitive Self! will be held December 29-31 and will also feature a New Year’s Eve party with music and refreshments and a peaceful midnight meditation. Or start off 2015 with our January 16-18 Experiencing Sacred Inner Realms: Awakening to the Call of Your Soul and experience the healing power of meditation with proven techniques for reaching a deeper state of spiritual awareness and enlightenment with John Van Auken, James Van Auken, Joanne DiMaggio, and Judith Pennington. Open to all. (Life members may redeem their passes for this program.)

Field Conferences brings Headquarters -sponsored programs and dynamic speakers to cities near you! Our 2015 line-up includes new programs with favorite A.R.E. Press authors Kim O’Neil, Darrin W. Owens, Don Carroll and more! Check out our listing of programs near you in the Calendar of Events section of Venture Inward.

Youth New Years

The A.R.E. Youth will be offering two programs for Teens and Young Adults this year from December 27 through January 1. Youth participants can expect to share meals and grow together through spiritual and personal exploration; all while living an enriching and meaningful Cayce-centric lifestyle. Come experience the magic of living ocean-side as we ring in 2015.

You Can Have Your Legacy Last Forever through ECLS. There has never been a better time to join the Edgar Cayce Legacy Society (ECLS) and ensure the future of the Cayce Work! Just invest in an A.R.E. Charitable Gift Annuity OR add us to your estate plans (or notify us that you have already done so) by December 31 and, as a new ECLS member, you will:

  • Receive a FREE DVD of the recent and very popular HQ Conference “Medical Intuition: Self Diagnosis and Healing with Your Body’s Energy Systems” by Dr. Norm Shealy, author of “Living Bliss: Major Discoveries along the Holistic Path” (NOT available for purchase)
  • Be entered into a drawing that include:
    • A 50th Anniversary Edition of “There is a River” autographed by Gladys Davis Turner, Edgar Evans Cayce, Charles Thomas Cayce, Dr. Harold Reilly and other early A.R.E. luminaries
    • A 75th Anniversary Edition of “There is a River” autographed by Edgar Evans Cayce, Charles Thomas Cayce and Kevin Todeschi

Contact Susan Luscomb at 757-457-7125 or email susan.luscomb@edgarcayce.org or Marianna Theo at 757-457-7215 or email marianna.theo@edgarcayce.org for more information.

Our fall astrology sale is in full swing, saving you $5 each on all charts. There’s no limit to the amount of charts you can order, so break out your holiday gift-giving list! The sale ends December 5! View charts here: http://www.arecatalog.com/Astrology-Charts/

A.R.E. online courses are designed to allow the participant to focus on your spiritual growth and personal enrichment from the comfort of home. With 24/7 access to all lesson material, staying connected to a network of like-minded seekers is easy and convenient. Our next scheduled eGroup: Creating the Life You Want, November 19 – December 16, mentored by Patrick Belisle.

And in 2015 we are offering a Special Package designed just for you! You can enroll in all four A Search for God eGroups for the price of three! Just $165 for three courses, get one completely FREE (Offer valid until January 31st, 2015. Regularly $220, you save $55). To register for this package visit this link https://commerce.solutrix.com/are/aresecure/eGroupASfGoffer.asp

  • Book One, 1-6 February 11 - March 24, 2015
  • Book One, 7-12 April 22 - June 2, 2015
  • Book Two 1-6 July 22 - September 1, 2015
  • Book Two, 7-12 September 16 - October 27, 2015

For more information about eGroups, visit www.edgarcayce.org/egroups, or contact us at: eGroups@edgarcayce.org

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving!

Kevin J. Todeschi
Executive Director and CEO


New A.R.E. Press Book Bobbie’s Organic Planet Featured in Virginian-Pilot Article and Review

(Book Reviews) Permanent link

New A.R.E. Press Book Bobbie’s Organic Planet Featured in Virginian-Pilot Article and Review

Bobbies Organic PlanetHaving lived in six countries on three continents, Bobbie Williamson's global travels afforded her the special opportunity to absorb not only the distinct qualities of foreign cultures, but also to learn a wide variety of culinary techniques. Her unique cooking style incorporates both Edgar Cayce's healthy philosophy regarding food combinations along with Bobbie's own favorite Mediterranean, Asian, and Middle Eastern cuisines in the new A.R.E. Press book Bobbie's Organic Planet: How to Buy Local and Cook Global.

Her firm belief is that people should know the source of the foods they eat and, as the Cayce readings stress, the importance of buying locally grown and organic products as often as possible. This can be a fun experience for families while they make outings to local farmers' markets to pick their own food, or better yet, have a vegetable garden at home.

Learn more about the book and the reviews, including the listing in The Virginian-Pilot Lorraine Eaton’s Five Best Cookbooks in her blog The fattest cookbooks of the decade (and the skinniest). Read the full article from the Virginia Beach native creates locavore-friendly cookbook.

Visit BobbiesOrganicPlanet.com to learn more about the author, read other book reviews, and enjoy sample recipes. A.R.E. members save 20% on the price of the book at ARECatalog.com.

The Reincarnation of James Huston

(Book Reviews, Reincarnation) Permanent link

The Reincarnation of James Huston

Kevin J. Todeschi

I could not begin to count the number of times over the years I have heard stories about young people with seeming psychological traumas (including innate fears and reoccurring nightmares) that to students of the Edgar Cayce materials would appear to be reincarnation based. Unfortunately, almost without exception, these young people are simply treated with medications and psychotherapy in an effort to stop “the problem.” Because an understanding of reincarnation and the way in which memory transfers from one incarnation to the next has yet to enter into our mainstream worldview there has not been an openness to look at these issues from the perspective of the soul rather than simply from the perspective of the mind. That is until now. The story of downed World War II pilot James Huston reincarnating in our contemporary time as James Leininger may do much to change the way in which parents and health care providers look at fear, reoccurring nightmares, and the journey of the soul.

Book: Soul Survivor Recounted in Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot  is the story of two-year-old James Leininger who began having repetitive and horrific nightmares about a man who was stuck in a plane that was on fire, crashing toward the water. He began drawing pictures of the scene – an event that shaped many of his waking thoughts. He told his parents that the man had been shot down. When they asked by whom, the child appeared stunned by their ignorance and replied, “The Japanese.” The child stated that he had been the man in the plane and provided extensive details about the man, his name, James Huston, the ship he was from and the individuals who had served with him. In time, his parents tracked down both family and surviving servicemen who had known James Huston, and little James Leininger provided specific information that could have only been known by Huston. The Japanese even invited young Leininger to return to the place where his planned had been downed more than 60 years ago. The impressiveness of the tale has caused the Leininger story to be picked up by media throughout the country, from ABC’s Primetime to Fox News.

For me, the story of James Leininger is a refreshing reminder that we are eternal spiritual beings having ongoing physical experiences in a process of personal growth and enlightenment. There is no doubt in my mind that stories like this will become more commonplace and more accepted, for we are on the verge of a global shift in perception and consciousness – a shift that will lead us to truly understand our connection to one another and our relationship with the Divine. After all, when the workings of reincarnation became the worldview then all the things that divide us – whether religion, or power, or ideology or differences of any kind – will simply fade away.


Meet Bruce Leininger at the A.R.E. Headquarters Conference  Courageous Souls: Reconnecting with Your Past Lives, Soul Groups, and Soul Purpose, February 19-21, 2010.

Edgar Cayce’s A.R.E. blog offers opinion pieces from contributors with a wide variety of backgrounds. These opinions are valued and create points of discussion. Opinions expressed in our blog may not necessarily represent the opinion of A.R.E.