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Excerpted from Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick. Copyright 2000 by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"The mere arrival of Cayce at The Hill was enough to provoke Dr. Haggard to pack his bags and leave."

  Sidney D. Kirkpatrick
Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet

Part 2

The infant had been suffering convulsions since his premature birth three months earlier. The convulsions had become so frequent that they now occurred every twenty minutes, leaving the helpless child too weak to nurse from his mother's bosom or to wrap his tiny hands around her fingers. Tommy House was literally dying from malnutrition and lack of sleep, a diagnosis confirmed by the child's father, a doctor, and by the family's two personal physicians, Dr. Jackson, a general practitioner in Hopkinsville, and Dr. Haggard, a pediatric specialist from Nashville who had been attending the child since birth. Although the three doctors disagreed about what treatment they should provide, all agreed that Thomas House Jr. had little or no chance of living through the night.

They now turned to Edgar Cayce, a photographer with an eighth grade education and no medical training, to save little Tommy's life. Carrie wasn't sure Edgar could help her son - no more than Edgar himself - but she wanted him to try. In previous "experiments," Cayce had demonstrated to her a remarkable ability to put himself into a hypnotic trance and obtain medical and other information that she believed was beyond the grasp of ordinary people.

Even as a child, Edgar only had to close his eyes to locate a lost ring or pocket-watch. He could read a deck of playing cards that were face down on a table and recite the contents of a closed book or sealed envelope. By merely thinking about someone he could wake the person up from a deep sleep, induce him or her to make a telephone call or write a letter, or in the case of young children, hold them in a particular pose long enough to have their portraits taken. He had solved a murder, found missing persons, diagnosed illness and disease, and recommended cures. He didn't use a crystal ball, playing cards, or ouija board. Nor did he belong to a temple or arcane spiritual fraternity. He needed only to close his eyes, as if putting himself to sleep, and after a short period of quiet and meditation, he was able to help any person who asked for it. The greater the person's need, and the more sincere their motivation, the more astonishing the results.

The mere arrival of Cayce at The Hill was enough to provoke Dr. Haggard to pack his bags and leave. Like many doctors in Hopkinsville and the surrounding area, he had heard accounts of Cayce's alleged powers and wanted no part of his "trickery." Dr. Jackson shared his colleague's skepticism, but as the family's long-time physician, he had seen Cayce do things that he could not readily explain. Dr. House was also skeptical, but he also knew Cayce too intimately to believe that trickery was involved. The Cayces were simple tobacco farmers from the rural hamlet of Beverly, and Edgar was the least educated and most unassuming of the lot. House had reluctantly agreed to call Edgar to The Hill only because House's headstrong wife, Carrie, had insisted he be consulted.

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