Saturday, March 14, 2009

There is a River: the Life of Edgar Cayce, A Life Changing Book

Today my friend Ricky Kendall emailed me about seeing the book, There is a River: the Life of Edgar Cayce, by Thomas Sugrue, on my Favorites Book list. There Is A River, was developed during Sugrue's intimate association with Cayce and was first published by Henry Holt and Company in 1942, still regarded as the most definitive study of Cayce's life and his extraordinary psychic gift.

And Ricky told me what that book meant to him. His story is so familiar. I have heard over and over again from friends, acquaintances, and from fan mail, how they had read There is a River, usually in years past, and how the book was a catalyst for their spiritual search and understandings.

I’m not sure what year I first read it, maybe late 1950’s. It is very possible my father had it in his paperback collection when I was in Junior High or High School. I do know we had discussions about Cayce. If I had not read it then, it would have been not long after.

Ricky had this to say today:

I noticed on your "Population Unknown" blog you have Thomas Sugrue's "There is a River". Did that ever bring back memories. We used to have weekly gatherings, back home in ….Wyoming, of family and friends to hold séances. I monitored the séances because I had taken a short tutorial on hypnosis and everyone felt I could best make them feel at ease and help any medium come through [with spirit]. It worked!

My uncle was a medium until his wife put an end to it. She did not approve. We learned a lot from him. A friend of the family who was Wiccan, Bonnie ... came through as a medium later on during one of our session. She has since passed away but I have many of her letters. I couldn't bear to throw them out because of the beautiful signs and art on them. She was a member of the Scottish Wicca. She was amazing.

Our little gatherings would last about 3 hours and we'd always have some sort of treat afterward while we discussed UFO's, psychic phenomenon, ghosts, lost treasures and anything fun. I usually made chocolate chip date cake which everyone loved. It was easy to hold and no frosting. The meetings actually got out of control at one point because people in town heard about it and wanted to attend. You wouldn't believe the unfamiliar faces that would be knocking at our door before the meetings, wanting to attend.

When my uncle was a medium, he actually solved a murder case in our town before the police even knew who the murderer was. He explained the entire event from start to finish. It was a local high school student who had stabbed two girls after the annual Christmas tree bon fire at the city park. It actually scared us all half to death but it also added more interest for us and it had to become more secret. What my uncle had told us had to be kept hush, hush. How on earth would we even begin to explain to a small town police department that the information came through a séance. The murderer was finally caught about a year later and the entire series of events were a perfect match to what he had told us. It was an amazing time for me. I was a sophomore in high school.

The reason I wanted to tell you this story is that "There is a River" was a huge part of our weekly discussions. We read it together, talked about it, added our own philosophies and spiritual accents and just enjoyed the hell out of it. Sometimes I wonder if this isn't what religion is really all about. Getting together and sharing spiritual knowledge from every possible source. I hope you enjoyed that book as much as we did. I love Edgar Cayce's writings.
* * * * * * *

I think Ricky is correct; if this is not what religion is about, then it should be. A sharing of spiritual knowledge and spiritual experiences. Stepping out of the BOX, and exploring other ideas, because after all, we are all spiritual beings.

I can also relate to the situation with the uncle knowing facts about the murders. About twenty years ago, a reputable and credible psychic from Southern California received information from beyond regarding the death of a missing young boy. He headed up a very small group of sensitives who often worked discreetly with the police department on security issues and other matters. So he went to them with the information that had come to him. And the cops were very suspicious of him, suspicious enough that he become very concerned. He spoke with us about it. As it turned out, sadly, the young boy was murdered, and the details matched what he had “known.” I believe he was a little uneasy until the suspect was arrested and charged with the kidnap and murder of the boy. So I understand the uneasiness that Ricky’s family and friends felt over the information that came to his uncle.

I had mentioned to Ricky that I was surprised by an interest in the paranormal during those earlier years and in a small town in Wyoming.

And he told me, “these people have more time, slower paced and quite possibly bored. The idea of séances and the supernatural was like a new blockbuster movie to them. What is even more fascinating is the intelligent input by many of them. Deep down they had a real thirst for knowing what was around them, in this life and the afterlife. I have to say that very few of them had a religious affiliation that peaked their interest enough to go to church to find the answers. They were all looking for another [spiritual] source and they were full of questions and many had very plausible and interesting answers.”

Heck, maybe that is what it is all about. An innate thirst for knowing--a search for answers.

And for many that thirst led them to reading There is a River and within the pages of that book the American public was first widely exposed to mediumship and reincarnationist thought through the work of Edger Cayce.

Edger Cayce had a psychic gift beyond compare, but Thomas Sugru also had a gift he shared, his talent for writing an extraordinary book about the life of Edger Cayce and his psychic work.
And they both gave us inspiration.

Read Part Two: Edgar Cayce, The Mystical Odyssey


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with sharing our spiritual outlooks and knowledge in life. I find it energizing. It's hard for me to engage in chit chat now. I just smile and don't put my energy towards loops that seem to repeat themselves endlessly.

I'll be sure to look into reading the Cayce book then. Thank you.