The Cayce Physical Readings & ACIM
(Posted on: August 31, 2015 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of “A Search For God” a participant who was also a student of ACIM (A Course in Miracles) asked the following questions: "Do you know if Cayce discussed much about 'ego' as used in the ACIM (course)? Is it correct to say the Cayce readings focus on 'body' since most of the readings begin with the sentence such as 'we have a body here'"? The first question is addressed in another article titled: Ego And The Search For God. Below is my reply to the second question. – Dave]
I assume you may also want some comparison with ACIM because you asked that question once before and I didn't respond to it directly.
1. With regard to your question about the body, no, that is not entirely correct. That phrase (“we have the body here”) was typically used in the “physical” readings which are only a portion (a large portion to be sure) of his psychic output. But there were several other classes of readings such as:
- Mental/Spiritual (psychology and spirituality)
- Life readings (astrology and reincarnation)
- Special (such as the 262 series for ASFG)
Cayce gave so many physical readings that focus heavily on the physical body because so many people came to him seeking healing of the body. But even in the “physical” readings there is much emphasis on mental and spiritual healing as he reminded people that all illness is sin (with his own unique definition of sin); all healing is spiritual in nature and comes from the Divine within; and “mind is the builder,” etc.
2. That phrase ("we have a body here”) is actually quite interesting in terms of Edgar Cayce's psychic process. As a prerequisite for giving a physical reading, Edgar Cayce required the location of the person in need of healing. His psychic process for the physical readings (which was different than some of the other types of readings), was to actually go “out of body” to the geographic location of the person in need. Very often he would even provide details of the distant location (description of the area, house, or room and details of clothing and appearance of the individual). So the “here” used in that phrase actually is a distant “here” geographically distinct from the location of Edgar Cayce's physical body. HE WENT TO WHERE THEY WHERE, RATHER THAN REQUIRING THEM TO COME TO HIM.
Now, at a conceptual level (rather than simply geography), there is another meaning to “here.” HE WENT TO WHERE THE PERSON WAS IN CONSCIOUSNESS. In other words, he met them on their own terms with regard to their state of CONSCIOUSNESS. Here are a couple of excerpts that illustrate this point. Note the word CONSCIOUSNESS:
For, all that each soul may know of God is contained within itself. And it blossoms, it grows. For all disease is sin. Then that necessary is to eliminate sin in the lives of individuals. It requires oft the use of mechanical means of various forms [medical treatments], is true; because that entity, that soul is in that consciousness, and not in the consciousness that the Lord thy God is one. (254-114)
… for there is good in ALL methods – and they have their place. But from whence comes the healing? Whether there is administered a drug, a correcting or an adjustment of a subluxation, or the alleviating of a strain upon the muscles, or the revivifying through electrical forces; they are ONE, and the healing comes from WITHIN. Not by the method does the healing come, though the consciousness of the individual IS such that this or that method IS the one that is more effective in the individual case in arousing the forces from within. But METHODS are NOT ideals. The IDEAL must be kept in the proper SOURCE … (969-1)
ACIM acknowledges a similar model, only insisting that when an individual uses physical treatment, it is “magic.” But if the consciousness of the individual is operating at that level with too much fear to be healed mentally, then “magical” (physical) intervention is permissible, but not ideal.
ACIM reminds me of the story of Jesus and the young rich man. Jesus told him to give away all his possessions and follow Jesus. That is ACIM – give up any belief you have in physical reality – your body does not exit; the physical universe does not exist, etc. Give it all up and accept what you are told in the ACIM text. In other words, COME TO WHERE I AM. This works quite well for some individuals with that CONSCIOUSNESS (which you seem to have). But for many others, the response is like the young rich man who could only walk away and reject the offer.
Cayce used a different approach in the physical readings. HE MET EACH INDIVIDUAL WHERE THEY WERE IN CONSCIOUSNESS and allowed them to make the progress in healing based on their own consciousness, while trusting in the ultimate Source of healing and believing that the process would lead them to greater awareness of Spirit. (Cayce was criticized in the ACIM UR text for this, as you know).
BTW: This is the approach that we are using in this course. I am trying to meet each of you where you are, helping you to take the next little step based on your own consciousness.
I gave a talk at the ARE last week (general staff meeting) that mentions this point (of meeting people where they are – the principle of universality in the Search for God eGroup process). The video is available online, if you want to view it:
Hope all this makes some sense in some practical way and is helpful in your Search. Much might be given about this topic, but this eGroup process does have its limitations (as well as strengths). Thanks for asking such deep and penetrating questions. Blessings, Dave