The last leg of my journey was to Virginia Beach. Ensconced
in a resort hotel, I decided to take a break and spend some
time on the beach resting my tired bones. It gave me some
time, too, to ruminate over exactly how I was going to approach
the Edgar Cayce Institute.
I knew that it was more mystically oriented--since their founder
was one of America's mystical prophets. Here was presumably
a simple man, sharp though not highly educated, who had a
propensity to enter into trances. In time, he was talking about
reincarnated lives in his "readings" that were undertaken for all
manner of people. I once heard that even the then President
Woodrow Wilson asked for a reading. Anyway, after Cayce
passed away, his children and devotees kept the institute afloat.
And it remained a major facility when it came to reincarnation.
Maybe I was tired, but I decided *not* to make any inquiries.
Rather I would just be a visiting tourist. Wandering into the
place, I browsed through its bookstore while waiting for a
docent-led tour. Our guide proved really interesting. He was
an 82-year-old volunteer who was wonderfully enthused with
Cayce and with his institute. After the tour was over, I managed
to have a nice talk with this fellow.
He was a retired engineer who moved to Virginia Beach a few
years back, in order to be near his family who lived here. A
technical sort of guy, originally he wasn't all that interested in
Cayce. Indeed, when he first moved to Virginia Beach he
hadn't even heard of Edgar Cayce! By some fluke his daughter
took him to the institute for a visit. He went home with a batch
of books about Cayce, about his prophecies, his "readings"
about past lives, and all this material really grabbed him!
So he decided to volunteer at the institute as a docent.
Anyway, I was really struck by this old gentleman. There was
a happiness in his face, no doubt in his soul. For whatever
reason, he chose to believe what Cayce had to say. Pondering
later on this, I realized whether provable or not, the sense of
reincarnation was really important for the health of the soul--no
matter whether proved or not. Reincarnation somehow gave
a person a position in their present lifetime, coming from albeit
a mystical perspective, they had *roots.* Their soul could be
likened to an eternal tree growing many branches, different
lives, personalities, yet always connected to a Soul-Center,
which was the Core of their being!
On my way out, I re-visited the institute's bookstore--and
emerged with several bags crammed packed not only
with Cayce's own writings, but those who claimed that
they were trying to understand Cayces "reincarnation"
pronouncements through a more modern lens.