THERE IS A RIVER The Story of Edgar Cayce by THOMAS SUGRUE Revised Edition New York HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY PREFACE HE story of Edgar Cayce properly belongs in the I history of hypnosis, as a chapter in evidence for 1 the theories of Armand Marc Jacques de Chaste net, Marquis de Puysegur. It was de Puysegur, not Mesmer, who in 1784 discovered ...
THERE IS A RIVER The Story of Edgar Cayce by THOMAS SUGRUE Revised Edition New York HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY PREFACE HE story of Edgar Cayce properly belongs in the I history of hypnosis, as a chapter in evidence for 1 the theories of Armand Marc Jacques de Chaste net, Marquis de Puysegur. It was de Puysegur, not Mesmer, who in 1784 discovered hypnotism. De Puysegurs famous subject Victor went into a sleep instead of a convulsion while being magnetized, and in that state showed remark able intelligence and apparent powers of clairvoyance. Further experiments brought the same results. Other pa tients, when put to sleep, showed like powers. Walter Brom berg, in The Mind of Man 1 says Dull peasants became mentally alert, and could even foretell events or under stand things ordinarily obscure to them. Somnambulists made medical diagnoses in other patients brought before them, and foretold the future. The magnetizer of the 1820 s merely brought his patient before a competent somnambul ist, and waited for the diagnosis. ... If only modern 1 The Mind of Man, by Walter Bromberg, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1937. vii PREFACE science had such aids The clairvoyance of somnambulists became a fascinating game. But the fascinating game was not encouraged, either by the French Academy or by the medical profession, and it suffered the fate of other fads. A generation later Andrew Jackson Davis, the Poughkeepsie Seer, was practicing medical diagnosis by clairvoyance in America, but he re mained obscure and is not even mentioned in textbooks and histories of hypnotism. Hypnotism, in fact, will have nothing to do with clairvoyance it has renounced its own mother. Edgar Cayce practiced medical diagnosisby clairvoyance for. forty-three years. He left stenographic reports of 30,000 of these diagnoses to the Association for Research and En lightenment, Inc., along with hundreds of complete case reports, containing affidavits by the patients and reports by physicians. There are hundreds of people throughout the United States who will testify, at the drop of a hat, to die accuracy of his diagnoses and the efficacy of his suggestions for treatment. He did not use his ability except to prescribe for the sick and to give spiritual advice and vocational guidance when these were specifically requested. He never made any public demonstrations of his powers he was never on the stage he never sought any publicity he did not prophesy he did not seek wealth. Often his economic status was quite pre carious at best it never rose above modest security. During the period of the Cayce Hospital he was paid only seventy five dollars a week for his services. His unquestioned personal integrity, plus the excellent and voluminous records of his work and the long period that they covered, made him an ideal subject for scientific study. But scientists shunned him. He and his friends re gretted this it might have been more evidential if they, not I, had made this report. viii PREFACE I first met Edgar Cayce in 1927. At that time I made most of the preliminary notes and sketches for this book. Since then I have continually added to the material, enjoy ing the complete co-operation of the members of the Cayce family, and being accorded access to the files at all times. From June, 1939, to October, 1941, I was a guest in the house on Arctic Crescent, seeing and interviewing Mr. Cayce every day, and examiningmaterial from the files. I spent many summers at Virginia Beach, particularly those of 1929, 1930, and 1931. In addition to the members of the Cayce family I have had the good fortune to know intimately most of the other characters in the story. One of the first and most important contributors to my dossier was Mr. Cayces father, the late Leslie B. Cayce. Another was Carrie Salter House, who with her husband, the late Dr. House, and her son, Tommy, were invaluable aids and stanch friends through the years. I was not privileged to know Mr...
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