Edgar Cayce (18 March 1877-3 January 1945) also known as “The Sleeping Prophet” was born on a farm near Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He was a lifelong student of the Bible. When he was aged between 6 and 7 he discovered one evening at home when trying to learn his spellings that he had the ability to “fall asleep” for a few minutes with a school book and when he awoke he not only knew the spellings but could tell on what page and what line the word would be found. From that evening onwards he had no more trouble and used this gift at home to memorize his lessons. Then in his early twenties for no apparent reason Edgar lost his voice and could only talk in whispers for about a year. Doctors were baffled. When a local hypnotist gave him the suggestion to describe what was wrong, in an induced unconscious state similar to the sleep state he had used as a young boy to learn his lessons, Edgar indicated the condition was paralysis of the vocal chords due to nerve strain. This was reported to be a psychological condition producing a physical effect and could be removed by increasing the circulation to the affected area through suggestion. This was Edgar’s very first Reading and when he awoke after giving himself the recommended suggestion his voice had returned to normal. He soon discovered that he could do the same for others by going into a self-induced sleep and answer questions that were put to him. Word of his gift soon spread. After the Readings saved his wife, Gertrude’s, life and his eldest son’s eyesight he make the decision to give up his job as a photographer and use this gift on a full-time basis During a period of 43 years (1901 to 1944) Edgar gave over 14,000 "Readings" while in a hypnotic or “sleeping state”. His wife, Gertrude, conducted and guided the readings while his secretary, Gladys Davis, recorded them.
With dedicated family and supporters, Edgar Cayce was the moving force, that established The Association for Research & Enlightenment, formed in 1931 and based in Virginia Beach, America. Since then the A.R.E has remained the Headquarters and is an open membership research and educational organization publishing books and promoting conferences, seminars and lectures and studying information emanating from the “Readings”. When the Readings were finally catalogued it was discovered they covered 10,000 different subjects. Membership and affiliated groups are worldwide.