Edgar Cayce Health Database
Introduction to the Cayce Readings on Health and Healing
by Mark Thurston, Ph.D.
No matter what illness or ailment concerns us, certain basic principles about health and healing are relevant. These are the premises upon which all of the Cayce health information rests. For those who would like to make a more careful study of these basic principles, the recommended Circulating File is entitled "Principles of Healing."Here, in essence, are the ideas found in that file. They may prove to be very useful to your more in-depth study of the specific ailment that requires healing for you.
The first fundamental idea about healing requires that we maintain a creative balance between two principles:
- All healing comes from the infinite -- that is, from attunement and harmony with our spiritual source. The infinite is just as accessible and available in the visible, physical world as it is in the invisible realm.
- At the same time, each person must take responsibility for his or her own healing process. No one can simply sit back and wait passively for healing to occur.
This second principle -- the need for self-responsibility -- can take many forms. For example, healing requires attunement, and no one knows better than ourselves exactly what has gotten us out of attunement in the past. Often, if we'll look closely at our lives, we can see (without needing a gifted medical clairvoyant such as Edgar Cayce) what's causing our illness.
To illustrate self-responsibility further, the human body has a marvelous, innate drive to heal itself, but we've got to do our part to help. A broken bone will naturally try to mend; however, the fracture needs to be set properly for the healing to be complete and effective.
Another important principle relates to energy medicine, a new field for which Edgar Cayce was a pioneer. His readings consistently speak of the roles played by vibrations or vibratory forces -- right down to the level of individual atoms. According to Cayce, there is a type of consciousness that exists in each atom. Although most of the passages about the atomic physics of healing seem rather esoteric, it might be easier to follow the analogy of the attunement of a stringed musical instrument. A violin or piano that is out of tune makes sour, discordant music -- symbolic of disease or illness. Just as a skilled musician can bring the instrument back into attunement, we experience healing when our vibrations -- right down to the atomic level -- are adjusted in a correct manner. In essence, all healing is the changing of vibrations from within.
Balance among body, mind, and spirit is another key to Cayce's philosophy of healing. For healing to be complete and lasting, we must recognize and meet the needs of each of these three levels. Virtually no illness or disease can be treated successfully at only one of these three levels.
What's more, Cayce affirms that the human body will naturally stay healthy -- and even rejuvenate itself -- if a kind of internal balance can be maintained. "Dis-ease" starts when one part of the body draws energy from another part. One portion of an organism may become overcharged with the creative life force, while another portion becomes undernourished. The result is a gradual disintegration of the body and the onset of illness.
The opposite of this sort of disintegration is rejuvenation. The readings assert that we are continuously rebuilding our bodies. Within any seven-year period, each cell is replaced. If we'll allow it, our bodies will transform any problem and resuscitate any condition. But our ingrained habits usually block this healing potential -- the habits of action and, even more potent, the habits of mind.
What role do drugs and medicine play in the healing process? Cayce's philosophy clearly sees a place for them, but warns of misunderstanding how they work and of expecting more of them than is possible. Any healing method attempts to create an experience of oneness, in hopes of then stimulating a similar response in the body. For some people in some situations, a drug may be the best way to accomplish this -- just as in other cases, surgery may be the best way to stimulate healing. Medicines can be a practical application of the one life force. Occasionally they must be very potent in their reactions in order to get the patient through an acute illness. But Cayce from time to time encouraged people to consider the herbal formulas he recommended to be tonics and stimulants, rather than medicines.
The dangerous side of medicines is their potential to diminish the body's own healing work. This is what Cayce alluded to when he warned about "palliatives" that deceive the soul with half truths and temporary relief. It's also what he meant when he warned that we shouldn't come to rely on any condition outside of ourselves that could be assimilated by the body inwardly. All of this is to say, take the medications prescribed by the physician you trust. But keep in mind this thought: what those chemicals can do is temporarily -- and somewhat artificially -- give your body an experience of greater oneness. Healing that really takes hold and lasts must come from changing one's inner consciousness and vibration. That happens most effectively from consistent and persistent human effort (i.e., engaging one's desires, purposes, and will) -- something that pills all too easily allow us to skip.
Cayce's healing philosophy includes other insights that can help us avoid misunderstanding. For example, one principle states that the best treatment procedures sometimes cause a temporary worsening of conditions. If we didn't recognize this possibility, we might give up just before the benefits begin to appear. A closely related principle states that when a body is re-establishing its attunement, it tends to be more sensitive. Again, if we misunderstand that heightened sensitivity, we might not see the good that is slowly being affected.
The mind is a focus of other healing principles. The unconscious mind plays a role in many illnesses and diseases. One example of this is the karmic factor in health problems. Memories from previous incarnations, stored in the soul mind, can trigger problems in the body. Of course, we shouldn't go so far as to suppose that every health challenge has past-life roots; nevertheless, the perspective of reincarnation can help us understand what we could possibly be dealing with as we seek healing.
The familiar Cayce axiom, "Mind is the builder," leads us to wonder exactly which attitudes and emotions best foster healing. The readings emphasize several:
- Self-acceptance. As we rid ourselves of self-condemnation, we make room for healing forces to enter.
- Optimism and hope. We're encouraged to expect healing.
- Patience. It's much easier and quicker to destroy health than it is to rebuild it. We need to be willing to patiently invest whatever time is required.
Alongside these specific attitudes and emotions, we're invited to use the creative potential of visualization to stimulate our own healing. The mind's image-making capacity can be directed in such a way that we "see" the healing transformation taking place. This is not something that's accomplished in a single visualization session. Like all the Cayce health-promoting approaches, it requires persistence and works best in conjunction with other healing methods.
Perhaps the most important principle of the mind's relationship to healing concerns purposefulness. A person can experience temporarily an outer healing -- that is, in the physical body only -- yet still be spiritually sick. What cures the soul? A commitment to a purposeful life. Not just any purpose, but instead one that reflects care for other people.
On occasion a reading from Cayce would pose this question to the person who was ill: What would you do with your life if you were healed? The position of Cayce's psychic source was simply this: Why correct the physical condition unless there's also going to be an inner correction?People who are looking for both inner and outer healing are the best candidates for restored health and vitality. In Cayce's philosophy, healing should equip us to be more useful to others.
With this ideal of service in mind, we might also wonder just how we can be channels of healing to others. What principles govern our efforts to be healers to those for whom we have concern?One principle is based on the spiritual connections that exist between all people. It states that as we bring the experience of oneness into our own consciousness, it can profoundly help someone else experience oneness, attunement, and healing. Cayce's way of putting it was, "...raising the Christ Consciousness in self to such an extent as it may flow out of self to him thou would direct it to." (281-7)
For this to be most effective, the recipient must desire such help and have requested healing prayer. Of course, we can always pray for someone, even if that individual hasn't asked us. But it's important that we not assume we know what's needed in any person's life. For one who hasn't specifically asked for prayer, we can simply offer prayers of protection and blessing, rather than try to direct healing energies to that person or for a specific condition.
In summary, the Cayce readings remind us that our natural state is wholeness and health. An innate wisdom within ourselves knows what's needed for healing. We should expect to get well, and we should be willing to do our part to make it possible.