A SEER OUT OF SEASON: The Life of Edgar Cayce by Harmon Hartzell Bro

A SEER OUT OF SEASON: The Life of Edgar Cayce

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In spite of the title, only the last third of this volume offers a standard, birth-to-death biography; the bulk consists of Bro's friendly analysis of clairvoyant Cayce's trance readings, peppered here and there with personal reminiscences. Author of six earlier books on Cayce, Bro worked as the Virginia seer's assistant for a time in the 1940's, and reveres him to this day. In other words, this is hardly an unbiased report, although Bro does a good job of presenting the misses as well as the hits in Cayce's psychic revelations. Bro begins by examining Cayce's working methods: a trance twice a day for 40 years, during which the ex-photographer was able to diagnose and suggest treatment for thousands of ill people, many of them thousands of miles away at the time. Although this by itself is enough to cuff the hair of the scientific establishment, Cayce's "readings" went much farther: Bro describes Cayce's past lives--as an Egyptian priest, a grandson of Louis XIV, an American colonist, etc.--and his claims about Jesus, the Akashic records, astral travel, clairvoyance, and a host of other parascientific material, concluding that Cayce's power was "a joining of power with love." At times, these trance revelations startled Cayce; he comes off here as a deeply religious Middle-American farmboy inexplicably beset by childhood visions that blossomed into the most spectacular (and still hotly disputed) psychic powers seen on this continent. Bro is intelligent in his assessments, resourceful in his scholarship, and about as objective as one can expect under the circumstances. A jackpot for true believers, and not a bad introduction for the open-minded.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1989
ISBN: 453-00625-6
Publisher: NAL/Berkley
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