Thursday, July 22, 2010

Edgar Cayce

Just out of interest, the subject of Edgar Cayce was raised recently and I hadn't heard of either him or his institution. So, for those of you who are equally uninformed here's a very short summary of Cayce and how he relates to Egyptology.

Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) thought of himself as a devout Christian who, in a condition of self induced trance, would answer questions on subjects on the subject of illness and diagnosis. He also made readings in response to specific questions (including what had happened to Amelia Earhart) and made prophesies, including the timing and nature of catastrophic events. He was nicknamed "The Sleeping Prophet".

One of Cayce's visions was of Atlantis and its people. He believed that Atlanteans populated both Pre-Columbian America and Predynastic Egypt. He also believed that he had been a priest in the Egyptian past, responsible for the establishment of healing and educational centres. The Atlanteans were also supposed to be responsible for the Great Pyramid at Giza and a library of Atlantean documents beneath the Great Sphinx called The Hall of Records.

Cayce is often associated with the ideas that make up much of New Age spirituality although he died before the term New Age was generally used. He did, however, establish the Association for Research and Enlightenment which is still going strong, and which has always been interested in investigating Cayce's claims about ancient Egypt. To this end they have funded work carried out on the Giza Plateau, including some of the field work carried out by Cayce follower Mark Lehner on the Giza plateau. They are reputed (though I have seen nothing that confirms it) to have funded part of Lehner's college education. The Association are said to put no conditions on their investement in field work.

Mark Lehner had visited Egypt in 1972 and in 1974 published a pro-Cayce book on Egypt entitled The Egyptian Heritage based on the Edgar Cayce readings. It was in 1974 that Lehner met Zahi Hawass and introduced him to the Edgar Cayce Foundation. Hawass has always stated that although he became lifelong friends with Lehner he never shared his beliefs in the Cayce prophesies. Hawass will be one of the featured speakers at the A.R.E.’s annual Ancient Mysteries conference which will take place between October 8th and 10th in 2010.

The Edgar Cayce Center’s Archeological Research Fund also funded Andrew Collins, who relocated the entrance to a cave system first found in 1837 by Sir Howard Vyse. According to his published findings Collins found the entrance and managed to enter the massive cave system and journey 328 feet into the system under the plateau.


Kate Orman said...

A very minor point: I'm not sure the New Age Movement has ever been formally established - it's not an organisation, but a wide, loose collection of beliefs and practices, many with their roots in the late nineteenth century - timing which I think may explain why Egypt tends to get mixed up in it all. :)

Andie said...

Hi Kate. Yes, good point and I've made a change to that sentence to incorporate it.

The late nineteenth century must have been a fascinating place to be. So many new innovations and ideas and so many existing beliefs being challenged.

Anonymous said...

Andie are you being serious about never hearing about Edgar Cayce

Andie said...

Hi Anonymous. Fraid so! Andie xx

Anonymous said...

Another detail is that Mark Lehner doesn't deny his early fascination with Cayce. (Hey we were all young once...) Nor has he denied that they paid for a portion of his early education when he first went to Egypt. He now considers it all bunk and a bit of a joke. He can laugh at his folly. I went to High School with Mark - his older brother was in my class. This was in Minot, North Dakota BTW.

Sorry to be anonymous, but blogger keeps messing up my google sign in for some reason. I'm just a reader who passes through now and again... rarely a commenter. I am also on the Yahoo Amun group that used to be so active a few years ago.