Who was Edgar Cayce?
Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), who came to be known as the “sleeping prophet,” was a Sunday School teacher and member of the Disciples of Christ Church. Despite this outward Christian identity, in his early life Cayce was open to occult practices. According to the Edgar Cayce website, Cayce was able to “see and talk to his late grandfather’s spirit, and often played with ‘imaginary friends’ whom he said were spirits on the other side” (“Who Was Edgar Cayce?” on the ARE [Association for Research and Enlightenment] website).
There was a Spiritualist influence* in Christian churches in the 1800s and early 20th century, so perhaps this is a partial explanation for Cayce’s early tendencies. However, contact with the dead and consulting those who practice it is expressly forbidden in the Bible: Lev. 19:31, 20:6; Deut. 18:11; Is. 8:19; and 1 Chron. 10:13, 14.
The turning point in Cayce’s life that would catapult him to fame began in 1901 when, after a long-term case of laryngitis, Cayce was briefly healed by a hypnotist. The affliction returned and another hypnotist, Al Layne, had Cayce diagnose the cause of the illness while in a trance. In his trance state, Cayce gave the cause as a psychological paralysis and said that the larynx needed more blood flow. The hypnotist then suggested that more blood flow to the voice box and, after 20 minutes, Cayce, still in a trance, declared he was cured. Cayce did not recall what he said during the trance state.
After suggesting to Cayce that he (Cayce) go into trance and diagnose illness and treatment for Layne, Cayce did so, the results being effective. Layne then suggested that Cayce offer trance healings to the public, which he did. Cayce would receive letters from people, go into a trance, diagnose the problem, and offer advice for treatment.
Cayce’s medical readings given in these trance states (readings would begin with the famous words, “We have the body”) made Cayce increasingly well-known. In 1923, Cayce was persuaded to do a spiritual reading for a man named Arthur Lammers, a student of metaphysics, the occult, and esoteric astrology. Cayce’s reading (in trance state) included information about astrology and reincarnation. When Cayce leaned about this, he was dubious and wondered how he could have said these things since they conflicted with his Christian upbringing.
Cayce continued to doubt this information but Lammers pressed on, attempting to persuade him. What finally convinced Cayce was the trance voice itself: “Ultimately his trance voice, the ‘we’ of the readings, also supposedly dialogued with Cayce and finally persuaded him to continue with these kinds of readings” (Most of the above information is found here; also see articles here). Thus, Cayce allowed himself to be deceived by the very voice he had been doubting!
The Akashic Record
When asked for the sources of the medical and spiritual information given during trance, two were given:
One was the unconscious or subconscious mind of the subject himself; the other was what was called the universal memory of nature, Jung’s Collective Unconscious, or the Akashic Records. This is the “Recording Angel”, or the “Book of Life” (see articles).
The concept of the Akashic Records is common in New Age and occult studies. This writer was told in psychic development classes (prior to being a Christian) that the Akashic Records were like a giant file cabinet in the astral realm. These records are accessible through certain psychic gifts or powers. Many believe this is where psychics and others retrieve information (there are other theories for the sources of information as well).
Cayce’s readings while in trance were initially medical, but later turned increasingly to the spiritual. The readings were transcribed, numbered, and carefully catalogued. In fact, they can be found today in the massive library of the headquarters for Cayce’s movement, the Association for Research and Enlightenment (the A.R.E.), in Virginia Beach, Virginia (visited by this writer in her New Age years).
Cayce’s readings fall into five categories: “(1) Health-Related Information; (2) Philosophy and Reincarnation; (3) Dreams and Dream Interpretation; (4) ESP and Psychic Phenomena; and (5) Spiritual Growth, Meditation, and Prayer.”
Pro-Cayce sources continue the myth that Cayce was a Christian because of Cayce’s religious background and due to a redefinition of Christianity. This Christianity is a counterfeit that was already in place in Cayce’s day, and which was laying the groundwork for many future New Age concepts. Numerous websites and sources claim that Cayce was a Christian.
The following is an excerpt from a pro-Cayce article:
Cayce and his family were Bible-reading Christians. Yet, when he set aside his outer self and lifted his deeper mind into the Oneness with what the readings called the ‘Universal Consciousness,’ a new perspective on Jesus Christ came through him to us…..( “Toward a Universal Christ” by John Van Auken)
The “new perspective” included the view that a Christ spirit descended on various men throughout history (including the historical Jesus), starting with, according to this teaching, the first incarnation in Atlantis around 106,000 B.C. This view of a Christ spirit, a spirit of universal consciousness that descended on various spiritual teachers, is also found in the New Thought movement (its roots going back to Emmanuel Swedenborg and which resulted in the Unity, Christian Science, and Religious Science Churches today).
New Thought teachers redefine sin as not realizing that we are inherently connected to God from birth and ignorance of man’s intrinsic divine nature. These beliefs were adopted by the New Age movement and are found there as well. This is exactly the opposite of the Bible, which teaches that only God is divine and holy, and that man is born separated from God by his sin nature, and in his natural state continues to rebel against God : “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5). Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders” (Matt. 15:19).
In two of Cayce’s readings, he said that the Christ spirit (which joined Jesus) is the “Universal Consciousness of love” and that Jesus came so that we could know we are one with the Father as the Christ knew he was (keep in mind Jesus and the Christ are distinct for Cayce):
“Christ [the spirit] is the Universal Consciousness of love that we see manifested in those who have forgotten self, as Jesus [the man], give themselves that others may know the truth. He [Jesus] came into the Earth that we, as soul-entities, might know ourselves to be ourselves, and yet one with him; as he, the Master, the Christ, knew himself and yet one with the Father.” (Readings 1376-1 and 3003-1; source is no longer online).
For Cayce, the historical Jesus was a created being who lived many lives through reincarnation.
The paragraph below is from an article explaining an Edgar Cayce reading about Jesus:
Edgar Cayce said the Christ spirit did not incarnate only in the Western world. Cayce explains that wherever the concept of one God and one brotherhood, sisterhood was proclaimed, the Christ spirit was there. ….
“Christ is not a man. Jesus was the man; Christ the messenger; Christ in all ages, Jesus in one, Joshua in another, Melchizedek in another; these be those that led Judaism! These be they that came as that child of promise, as to the children of promise; and the promise is in you, that you lead as He has given you: ‘Feed my sheep.’ (From John Van Auken)
The remainder of this article is a discussion of and response to this idea of the Christ spirit and that Christ spirit had to take on incarnations.
The Christ Spirit
The message of this reading, “Christ is not a man” is not to deny the humanity of Jesus but rather to proclaim that there is a Christ spirit that descended on Jesus, and that this spirit descends on others who express love and have “forgotten self” as Jesus did. So “Christ is not a man” means that “Christ” is a spirit that descends on certain men. Jesus was human, not God, and only one of many who had the Christ spirit.
However, the Bible teaches that Jesus is the “unique” Son of God, and he fulfilled over 300 prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures for the Messiah. This means that Jesus was unique and was the only one who fulfilled these prophecies:“[F]or the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish–the very works that I do–testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me” (John 5:36b; see also John 10:25, 38; 14:10,11). There is in actuality no “Christ spirit;” there is only Jesus and he is the only one who is the Christ. “Christ” is the Greek for “Anointed One,” which is the same meaning for “Messiah.” Only one person in history fulfilled this, and that was Jesus.
The concept of “Christ consciousness” or “God consciousness” does not originate in the Bible, but instead echoes the New Thought movement. This movement uses concepts and terms from Christianity but gives them a different meaning. New Thought leaders taught (and still teach) that man is divine and Jesus was just a man, an enlightened teacher – exactly the opposite of what the Bible teaches.
The concept of a Christ spirit or a cosmic spirit coming upon various people throughout history has its most recent roots in Theosophy, an esoteric cult started by occultist Madame Blavatsky, who claimed to receive messages from various discarnate beings. Theosophy is a fusion of Hinduism, Gnosticism, and occult esotericism.
There were numerous Gnostic sects but some Gnostic views have influenced present day beliefs. The Gnostics believed that the body and material world were evil, and therefore, a divine being could only be spirit and not truly incarnate. One of the views was that Jesus only appeared to have a body (Docetism). Another teaching of the so-called “Christian Gnostics” was that “the Christ” entered Jesus at his baptism and left before the crucifixion (taught by Cerinthus).
In time, there were beliefs that there is a Christ spirit that descends on various men who are spiritually advanced. These beliefs showed up in Theosophy and its offshoots, all of which influenced New Thought and the modern New Age movement.
These Gnostic and New Age flavored views are found in Edgar Cayce’s teachings. They are not found in the Bible. Although these groups use the Bible, they read their own meanings into the text; the biblical text actually does not support any of these views.
Jesus is Eternal
Jesus Christ has always existed as the Second Person of the Trinity with the Father. He incarnated by adding human nature to his deity, and this happened only one time in history, when he was born of the virgin Mary in a miraculous birth. This is the event that angels heralded and shepherds praised, and this is the child that the pagan Magi worshiped (see Matthew chapters 1 and 2, and Luke chapter 1). Never before had such an event occurred, because this was the only time that Jesus the Christ incarnated.
Jesus did not give up his deity to incarnate but added human nature to his deity. So Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man.
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.'” Matthew 16:13-17
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
….looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. Titus 2:13
Jesus, as the Son of God and second person of the Trinitarian Godhead, demonstrated his deity while on earth. He spoke of having glory with God “before the world began” (John 17:5).
Jesus is the only Messiah, the only Chrst
The name Jesus Christ is because Jesus is the name given to him at his incarnation on earth but Christ is his title, and he is the only one who ever had this title, and is the only one who can have this title. “Christ” is simply the Greek word for “Messiah.” There is only one Messiah, hence, only one Christ. Jesus is universal in the sense that he died to pay the penalty for sins, and anyone who believes in him is saved.
Contrary to Cayce and New Age teachings, Buddha, Krishna, or other spiritual teachers never had a “Christ spirit” or “Christ consciousness.” Jesus Christ came with a specific message, a message quite dissimilar, and even opposed, to the messages purportedly given by Buddha and others.
Jesus himself warned of false Christs:
“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many” (Matthew 24:5)
Jesus also said:
“..then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him, for false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”(Matthew 24: 23, 24)
Jesus is the Lamb and The Redeemer
Man cannot pay for his own sins and become pleasing to God because man has a fallen sinful nature. This is why Jesus incarnated, to live the perfect life and be the spotless lamb who pays the penalty for sins.
“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.'”Rev. 5:12, 13
Cayce teaches that man can be perfect, but God tells us that we are hopeless without redemption, and this redemption comes through faith in Christ:
“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.”Romans 3:21-25a
Therefore, on what basis and what authority is a claim to having a Christ spirit or Christ consciousness made? It is not made on the basis of the Bible, because we find no evidence for such a view there. Rather, this teaching about a Christ spirit or Christ consciousness originates in the teachings of various men and women who rejected the historical Jesus as the unique Son of God and the clear teachings of Scripture.
The Jesus and the Christ spirit taught by Edgar Cayce are false and contrary to God’s revelation and to the true Jesus Christ.
*Spiritualism is a systemized religion based on belief that those in the spirit world (world of the dead) can offer wisdom to those on earth. Purported contact with the dead is offered in their church services. Some of Cayce’s religious views revealed Spiritualist beliefs.