How the Cayce Family Legacy Changed My Life
by Judith Munns
It is well known that the work of the late Edgar Cayce is still a catalyst for positive change in the lives of people throughout the world. Known as the Christian Mystic and the Sleeping Prophet, Cayce was dedicated to helping every person who requested his assistance. In all humility, he stated repeatedly, "What I do, you can do, too." Proof of the truth of his words is in the ever-increasing numbers of people who, through their own spiritual growth, are developing their own "link to the Source." Less well known is the fact that a similar kind of life-enhancing work has been and still is being carried on by other members of his family.
Edgar Cayce's son, Hugh Lynn Cayce, was president of the nonprofit organization that researches and promulgates the vast amount of information in Edgar's work, and he spent much time writing and lecturing about the importance of a life bounded by spiritual values. After Hugh Lynn Cayce's death in 1985, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) was headed, for several years, by his son (Edgar's grandson), Dr. Charles Thomas Cayce, who is currently chairman of the Edgar Cayce Foundation. Dr. Cayce, a child psychiatrist, also lectures and writes about the importance of spiritual integrity in personal and family life. It is this man, more than any other, who said the words that helped me to see the light.
Years ago, in Vancouver, B.C., a small ad for an upcoming weekend conference jumped out at me from an inside page of my daily newspaper. I clipped it, studied it, and agonized over and over whether I could really afford to attend. I had been sending money to a daughter in Alberta, a single mother with two small children. With a lifetime of conditioning and a great deal of guilt, I couldn't believe that I was now really thinking about "taking" money from my daughter and grandchildren to spend on myself.
But here was my chance to meet and learn from the grandson of Edgar Cayce! Could I justify using $85 for myself? I waffled back and forth, prayed about it, meditated, and finally felt somehow that it had been decided for me. It suddenly became clear that I needed to attend the conference. I called my daughter and told her that I couldn't send money that month (still feeling strangely absolved, as if someone else had made that decision).
It turned out to be the best thing I ever did for myself.
My history with Edgar Cayce's work went back a long time before that eventful 1985 weekend. In 1959, when I was 17, a small paperback fell off a public library shelf near me. I picked it up and put it back. It fell again. I picked it up, looked at it, and put it back on the shelf, firmly. It fell once more. I picked it up and took it home. That book was Thomas Sugrue's biography of Edgar Cayce, There Is a River. As I read it, I felt I was coming home.
You see, from my earliest childhood I carried a horrible secret, one that I could speak of to no one. My grandmother's horrified reaction when I tried to tell her of a very real memory about "when I was a big lady and wore long dresses in the daytime," like the white cotton nightgown she had just hung on the line, made it clear to me, that I must "never ever talk about 'that' again!" Her absolute dismay and revulsion made such an impact on me that the most trivial details of that day are distinct memories today.
For a long time, I thought that everyone could remember other lives, other homes and families, and we were absolutely not allowed to talk about them. Then, when I was about nine or ten, I read a book that said some children in India remembered their own past lives, too. I quickly learned from my teacher that everyone in North America was too intelligent to believe "that nonsense," so I came to believe that there was some terrible mistake in me. Clearly, I must have been born in the wrong place and the wrong time!
It is no wonder that the concepts in Sugrue's book seemed familiar to me. As I read, it was as though doors were opening in my mind and I was being validated. It was thrilling to learn that there were people on this continent who knew about reincarnation. It never occurred to me that I would ever actually meet any of them, or the Cayce family, or get to know any of the places and people in that little book.
Sugrue's book marked the beginning of my conscious spiritual search. From that moment on, I read every book about spirituality and the faculties of the mind that I could find. I learned to measure everything I read against the ring of truth I found in Edgar Cayce's body of work. Was it any wonder that I was anxious to attend Charles Thomas Cayce's conference?
If Sugrue's biography of Cayce marked the beginning of my conscious spiritual search, the weekend conference with Charles Thomas Cayce proved to be the beginning of my conscious spiritual life. There, for the first time, I finally heard that it was not enough to know spiritual ideas, but that our purpose on the earth is to live those spiritual concepts, to bring them into this physical world consciously, daily, hourly, and, especially in this holy instant.
I tend to remember concepts visually, and for me, actual words sometimes get in the way of understanding. For that reason, I can only report what I learned personally at that momentous weekend conference. I cannot remember the title of that conference now, nor can I remember Charles Thomas Cayce's actual words. I only know that my life changed in a profound way as a result of concepts he was able to make crystal clear to me.
For instance, Charles Thomas told me that if too many areas of my life needed changing, the complexity of the task might be overwhelming. But, he said that if I focus only on the opportunity for decision-making that comes to me in this moment and act as if my highest self was in charge, moment by moment, everything would take care of itself, in God's time! He said that the wonderful truth is that only one decision needs to be made in any one moment!
He told me that it is important to have a conscious, purposeful ideal by which to measure every single thing in my life, and that I could choose to simply let go of whatever in my life does not fit that ideal. He said for me to live up to my own highest ideal, no one else's.
He told me that, by living consciously, choosing consciously, acting consciously, my life would be the best it could possibly be. Once I have done the best I know in this moment, I would automatically move into my next "best possible moment."
I went home from that conference and cleaned house, unequivocally. That Sunday night, unmindful of the fact that I had to be at work at 8:00 the next morning, I worked purposefully until around 4:00 a.m. I resolutely rid my life of books, pictures, knick-knacks, relationships, games, and situations that did not measure up to my highest ideal (which, I decided, was "truth"). I got rid of every single thing in my apartment or my life that made me squirm, that labeled me "unworthy" in any way. I became, for the first time in my life, truly me.
I made a list of precious qualities that I wanted in my life, starting with peace and love and truth, and I made a list of the personal qualities of the people I would, from that point on, allow into my heart and my life. I resolved that anyone who lived less than truth would not even be considered. I decided to become worthy, in the moment I was in, to be just one more example of God's love in this physical reality we call Earth.
I bought the first flowers I had ever bought for myself, a beautiful azalea plant. I bought a new set of dishes and new shoes. The plant symbolized my willingness to accept new spiritual growth; the new dishes, my intention to nurture myself with blessings; and the new shoes meant walking into my future with new "understanding." For the first time in my whole life, I became deeply joyful.
On Thursday, that very week, I attended my first A.R.E. "A Search for God" study group, and have attended one almost every week since then. Within the small group format, along with other seekers, I have learned many lessons about bringing spiritual integrity into my life and therefore into the earth. Through the study group program, I even met my wonderful husband, William, who lives every personal and spiritual quality on the list I wrote all those years ago.
Charles Thomas Cayce has become a treasured friend over the years, but I don't think I have ever shared with him how much of an impact he made on my life. I'm sure that he does not know that I left a career in the public library system to became a family counselor and hypnotherapist because of the powerful changes I experienced myself. I'm very certain that he has no idea that I have used at least some of the concepts he taught at that conference in almost every counseling and hypnotherapy session I've ever done.
I have no idea what others heard at that conference, but the lessons I learned from Charles Thomas touched my heart and my mind as nothing else ever had. Those concepts have assisted me in helping others over and over. My life changed completely. Victim became victor, and from that day on I have chosen to make every decision in my life with the absolute knowledge that only I can be the best "me," and it is my soul's mission to fill that position in this scheme of things. I can be all that I can be, one moment at a time, and I am in charge!
Dr Charles Thomas Cayce is an inspired speaker, a gentle, compassionate man whose family heritage continues to change attitudes and impact lives daily. He is keynote speaker at A.R.E.'s annual Seabeck, Washington retreat. With author and lecturer Rob Grant, he will present "A Gathering of Forces: The Return Home" August 8-12. To register, or for more information, call (509) 325-5374.