In the face of personal financial challenges and an uncertain economy it is easy to become anxious, discouraged, and even fearful. Thoughts like, “How can I pay these bills?” “How much longer will I be out of work?” “Why is this happening to me?” become all-absorbing. Thoughts of personal survival for one’s self and one’s family can’t help but push everything else aside. Who has time to work with meditation and spiritual growth in the midst of such extreme challenges?
Considering the fact that many of the readings took place during the Depression and War years, it is not surprising to find that many individuals asked questions about their own troubled finances, their lack of work, their fears and anxieties for the future. Edgar Cayce himself had severe financial challenges that were overwhelming at times.
In 1934, things had become so bad for Edgar and Gertrude Cayce that they were unable to keep up the monthly payments on their home – eviction and repossession seemed imminent. In September of that year, Cayce did not wake up at the end of a reading but instead volunteered a “message of encouragement” that said in part: “…how happy those should be that have been called to a purposefulness in relieving suffering… in giving hope to those who find life’s pathway in the material world beset with shadows and doubts…” (254-79) In other words, they were encouraged to find joy in the fact that they were able to help others, even in the midst of their own personal challenges. Similar advice was often given elsewhere: “More individuals become so anxious about their own troubles, and yet helping others is the best way to rid yourself of your own troubles.” (5081-1)
Shortly after the voluntary reading, the owners of the property had it resurveyed and discovered that the house had been built partially on the lot next door – the home wasn’t even “owned” by the loan company. It took almost a year to get everything straightened out and during that time the Cayce family did not need to make payments!
On another occasion, the lack of readings had caused the Cayce finances to reach an all-time low. Edgar Cayce was overwhelmed and uncertain as to what to do. One night he had a dream:
In the dream Cayce was walking down a street in Paris with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Jesus. They came upon a sidewalk café at which point Cayce suggested that they all have a glass of champagne. During the course of the conversation, Cayce became worried, wondering why he had invited everyone for a drink as he only had three cents in his pocket. Finally, the Duke and Duchess got up to leave and Cayce looked about nervously, finally pulling the three cents out of his pocket. In the face of his confusion, Jesus smiled and laughed and finally asked Cayce, “Will I have to send you after a fish too?” A reference to the book of Matthew, when Jesus sent some of the Apostles out to catch a fish to pay a tax that was due. When the fish was caught, it contained a coin in its mouth – the exact amount of the tax due. Obviously, the dream was about having faith.
In all, the readings contain over 180 references to economic healing during times of challenge. Cayce told individuals not to lose faith in the divine, or in their own abilities and talents. He encouraged some to see the challenge as a purposeful experience that would bring them to where they really needed to be in life. He advised helping those who were less fortunate with time, money, prayer, or simply a listening ear. And he assured them that God had not forgotten their needs or remained ignorant of their challenges: “Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened to you … The supply will come from that storehouse that is of His building … Be thou faithful, then, guided, guarded, directed, by Him.” (294-41)
From Cayce’s perspective, at least, personal challenges with finances are perhaps some of the best opportunities to place more focus on spiritual practices, and reaffirm our connection to the divine.
By Kevin J. Todeschi, Executive Director and CEO; from the Jan/Feb 2009 Venture Inward Magazine.