A Study of Spiritual Evolution Part 1
By Hugh Lynn Cayce

(Note: The following is an excerpt of an article written in 1943 and included in the report document for reading 2265-1)

The first Life Reading was given in 1924, for a gentleman in Dayton, Ohio, who asked for a horoscope. The horoscope was given, but in it the statement was made that information of such character was not alone as helpful as data which would give an understanding of urges arising from experiences in past incarnations in the earth and correlating such urges with the present opportunities for spiritual development.

A series of such readings followed, first for those closely associated with the work of the Association. Gradually the interest in this type of reading has grown. To date over thirteen hundred first Life Readings have been given for individuals in all parts of the country.

Spiritual Evolution 5-11A Life Reading is an analysis of your soul development. It is taken from the records of your soul's experience through many planes of consciousness. Its focus is upon the constructive urges in your present development. It is concerned with your everyday efforts to live in conformity with the spiritual laws of the universe. It is a survey of your nature concerned with the development of your character.

Life Readings hold that individuals are spiritual in essence, using physical bodies as temporary abodes and channels for expression. Each individual does not have a soul, he is a soul. Life Readings seek to help individuals recognize their place in the scheme of spiritual evolution and direct thought and action toward the highest possible development in the present life.

These principles are stated here as ideal purposes of Life Readings. As with all types of psychic information the Association holds that the only true test is in results from application of such information.

Each Life Reading first gives an outline of the major astrological urges. This is followed by a brief history of the more important past incarnations which affect the present cycle of the life. The inclinations and urges from these experiences are pointed out. Next, an analysis of the personality is given in the light of the attainments in spiritual development. Finally, suggestions are made respecting the expression of certain talents which will lead to the proper life's work or development of abilities that will give the individual greater opportunities for expression. At the end of each reading there is time for questions regarding any of the subjects mentioned.

The next most natural question is, "How is a Life Reading given?" This involves the equally important question, "Where does this information come from?" To answer these questions we must turn to a study of the phenomena as manifested through Edgar Cayce. Here, reduced to simple language, is the explanation of the "how" and "where" of Life Reading data as presented in the readings themselves.

In past incarnations, and through development on planes of consciousness between appearances on the earth, Edgar Cayce has acquired the mental ability which enables him to close all perception through physical consciousness. He suppresses the conscious mind and allows his superconscious or soul mind to receive the suggestions given him during the period of any reading.

This superconscious mind is not limited by time or space and is able to focus upon whatever source is necessary to secure the information desired. The range and clarity of this higher perception are governed, or influenced, by many factors, some of which are: the spiritual development of the individual through whom the information comes; the purpose of the seeking for the information; the desire of the one seeking the reading; the physical condition of the sensitive; the attitude of those present at the time the reading is given.

In securing a Life Reading an individual is asked to furnish the name given at birth, also the date and place of birth. From this it is evident that the birth becomes the first focus point.

It is interesting to note that, at the beginning of each Life Reading, Mr. Cayce reviews each year by repeating in a low voice the present date and each year backward to the date of birth. In many cases he has been known to comment on certain years in the following manners, "1900...quite a change," or "1898...a bad accident in this year." In some cases the remarks have been subject to check and have been found to be accurate. Following this enumeration of dates there is a pause and then the reading begins.

During a number of Life Readings Mr. Cayce has had dreams. (During Life Readings, as in the case of all readings given by him, Mr. Cayce is not conscious of anything that he says.) These dreams present in symbol form the experiences through which his superconscious mind passes in securing the information for the Life Readings.

This article will continue next week with Part 2 and include an overview of Mr. Cayce's experience accessing the Hall of Records.


Hugh Lynn Cayce (1907-1982) was the eldest son of Edgar Cayce and a leading thinker, author, and spokesperson for psychological and paranormal subjects. Before his death, Hugh Lynn served his father's Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc. (A.R.E.), as chairman of the board. He was also author of the book Venture Inward, an examination of safe and unsafe methods of exploring personal psychic experiences and The Outer Limits of Edgar Cayce's Power which explores the relatively small number (200) of readings that appeared to be inaccurate. Visit EdgarCayce.org/radio to download podcasts of Hugh Lynn Cayce’s lectures from the Archives.