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on June 18, 2012
What, I wonder, so touched me about this biography of Edgar Cayce? Was it the genuineness of Cayce's enduring covenant of service to God, remembered faithfully and fulfilled as best he was able throughout his life? Was it the way he gave himself to administer so selflessly to so many of his fellow human beings, taking so little for himself in return? Was it in the portrayal of an ordinary, modestly educated man, beset with personal challenges and a fair share of failings but whose heart was opened and who remained obedient to a higher authority, receptive in actual practice to a divine intelligence, a glowing reminder of what is possible for us all? Harmon Hartzel Bro has given us a beautiful portrait of an extraordinary human life, passed in most unusual circumstances. I found the author's thorough, factual rendering of the history of Edgar Cayce to be fascinating, insightful, sensitive and written with an uncommon depth of understanding.

Though Cayce was denied the ability to recollect in his ordinary state of consciousness the unusual trance sessions he channeled, he was nevertheless convinced that the `information' that came through the trances was from God. Harmon Bro is understandably cautious in arguing conclusions about the more mystical aspects of Cayce's reported experiences, though he must have been tempted. A reader can, perhaps, sense that Harmon Bro, an insider of long tenure with Cayce, had learned over time to believe to a great degree in the validity of Cayce's revelations, not only matters of diagnosis and cure which were usually subject to corroboration, but even the furthest reaching, difficult if not impossible to corroborate of Edgar's visions. Bro does not impose his personal beliefs on the reader, however. Writing with a certain objectivity, he leaves open the question of who or what, precisely, Cayce was channeling.

It may be of interest to some readers, as it was to me, to consider the facts Harmon Bro documents about Cayce's work in light of other lines of work that had been developing in the Western hemisphere around the same time frame. Morton Blumenthal, a Manhattan stockbroker, for instance, had come to Edgar Cayce in 1924 to get a reading in hopes of curing a health problem only to learn from a "life reading" that he had known Cayce in prior lives. After being informed he had previously lived as a sage in ancient Egypt, Blumenthal began providing financial support for Cayce, including the purchase of a house in Virginia Beach, ostensibly as a gift to Cayce, and was inspired to begin reading books of an esoteric nature, including one by Ouspensky and some "training exercises" of Gurdjieff that he had evidently acquired. Blumenthal would ask questions about these and other written materials, whereupon Cayce's entranced unconscious reacted as though it knew them all and recommended the same materials for others to read. (I'm told the Cayce Library in Virginia includes a fairly large collection of Gurdjieff material.)

Further, In 1931, a Norfolk housewife, Mrs. Barrett, brought together a group of friends in her home for a reading with Cayce to seek information on how to develop psychic powers. Instead, they got instruction on spiritual practice, bringing a new phase to Cayce's readings, now directing the formation of study groups, That first Cayce group, which became known as the No. 1 Study Group, was given the task of writing a spiritual manual, eventually published anonymously in two volumes under the title, A Search For God, (a copy of which I found, coincidentally, among the personal belongings of my father's estate.) This spiritual manual would be based on themes that came from Cayce's readings. The fundamental idea was to `live" the precepts, not just know them.

More study groups were to follow the initial activities of the No. 1 Group, in which study group members would explore for themselves the precepts in A Search for God and share their experiential findings at the weekly group meetings, a practical form for spiritual development. In Harmon Bro's words, "With these readings . . . supplemented by an entire series on healing with prayer and meditation . . . Cayce's work entered the mainstream of serious mysticism. It joined the efforts of devout men and women across centuries of Western faith that had gathered in small groups and prepared manuals for growth as they steeped themselves in prayer, study and service . . . [work] grounded in daily activity."

By Harmon Bro's accounts, Cayce was essentially a good man who cared deeply for other human beings, entities he believed, from the information he received from on High, all came into existence together at the beginning of creation and are in the process of moving through stages of existence in their journey back to the creator. In connection with a covenant between himself and God formed in childhood, Cayce prayed daily for guidance in properly serving his "Master." As for the rest of us, "I don't do anything you can't do," He said, "if you are willing to pay the price."

He appears to have lived what he preached. Cayce once indicated, "Man's pageant must pass and fade, but God works in slower and more secret ways, His wondrous works to perform. He blows no trumpet, He rings no bell. He begins from within, seeking His ends by quiet growth. There is a strange power that men call weakness, a wisdom mistaken for folly. Man has one answer to every problem - power; but that is not God's way... Humanity is doomed to failure when it trusts in its own weak self, and most of us have that failing."

Harmon Bro writes with increasing sensitivity of feeling as his book unfolds, the best material carefully saved for the final third of the book which weighs heavily on Cayce's personal life and struggles. Surely I will remember, if nothing else, the many moving stories, such as Casey's experience in a jail cell after being arrested on a charge of healing without a license.

For my friends, people who share the similar interest, I've sent out notices on this labor of love, saying, "Must Read."
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on May 22, 2012
So much has been written about Edgar Cayce but this volume is one of my true favorites. It has been a great inspiration to read such a thoughtful and erudite treatment of a man whose career is still coming into focus, more than fifty years following his death. Harmon Bro was a University of Chicago Divinity School-trained religious scholar who worked with Cayce during the last two years of the seer's life; he succeeds, as perhaps no other writer, in placing Cayce in the context of religious history as a Christian mystic and prophetic voice. Other must-reads in the field include Sidney Kirkpatrick's foundational biography, "Edgar Cayce," and Paul Johnson's wonderful (and highly readable) scholarly study," Edgar Cayce In Context." But this book holds a special place in my heart as the first volume to fully and rigorously carve out a place for Cayce in American religious history.
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on August 27, 2013
I found this book really interesting about a fascinating man. It showed the gamut of Edgar Cayce's life, challenges, successes and legacy. I got to peek into a captivating life and see the whole person. If you are interested in Cayce and his work, this book will carry you along his amazing journey.
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on April 16, 2014
This is probably one of the most important books written in the last 100 years, along with the bible I consider a "Seer out of Season" the second best guide to living a fulfilling, balanced and productive live available today.
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on January 31, 2015
I have read this book about 3 times, and I love it. It is purely awe-inspiring, deeply moving, and well-researched, amplified by the fact that Harmon Bro worked firsthand with Edgar Cayce for about one year. I find this book to be exceptionally well written, and I do not understand other reviews that it was tough to get through, and "dragged on and on." Of course we all have phases in our lives where we can't immerse ourselves in certain subjects, or perhaps the interest isn't strong enough.
Harmon admits in this book that he started out as a skeptic, or at the very least convinced that the information Cayce "channeled" regarding spirituality/religions (and historical events) was mistaken. This book beautifully describes Bro's experiences with Edgar and his family, his secretary Gladys Davis Turner, members of Cayce's non-profit Association for Research and Enlightenment (still located in Virginia Beach, VA), and people whom Cayce's readings healed, helped, and guided. It portrays Edgar as a humble man with incredible gifts whose desire and intention was to help people as much as possible, and also as a man who was not spared challenges, discouragement, and heartache. This is an inspirational, provocative, and rare firsthand account of a peerless man, and his legacy. A comparable book about Cayce is Sidney Kirkpatrick's more recent, "Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet". Kirkpatrick also was a skeptic, who set out to disprove Cayce, and ended up thoroughly researching Cayce's life for 5 years while writing his impressive, detailed biography.
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on March 15, 2013
I gave this book five stars because I love reading about Mr. Cayce and his readings. Reading about his early years and later about about his adult life was quite interesting. His psychic abilities were second to none. His abilities and how they were used for the betterment of mankind captivated me as I read each page. Buying this book was worth every penny! I have been reading about him and his incredible abilities for about eight years or more. This man was incredible and truly blessed!
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Very insightful book!! It sheds light on Edgar Caycee's most powerful gifts, that, to this day, continue to bless, as well as, haunt us!! Recommend it with all my heart & soul!!!
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on December 24, 2013
Was a complete depiction of the life of Edgar cayceWas, overlong at times. Redundant in places. Did portray Edgar n the times he lived.
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on March 21, 2014
I'm learning a lot more about Edgar Cayce and how much integrity he had as a service provider. I am enjoying reading this book.
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on May 11, 2015
There is much that is beautiful in A Seer Out of Season; however, it is unfortunate that Dr. Bro had not developed critical thinking skills regarding Cayce before writing this book. Instead he toots Cayce’s horn quite well, so he doesn’t help people separate the good from the malevolent in The Information. In fact, his gullibility sets us up to be gullible. The goodness in Cayce hoodwinks people into trusting the Information, but that isn’t wise. Just think about it: There is goodness in the Catholic Church, but they also perpetrated 4 major inquisitions.

Cayce is worth learning about and Bro’s book is insightful, but don’t look to him for answers. His desire to alleviate suffering is laudable. His past life information is useful. Cayce was a student of Aristotle named Armitidides and a lot the worldview in his readings comes from that lifetime. (relate: The universe is all there is; Soul is a microcosm of the universe; First Cause; Creative Forces; Spirit is life, etc.) The fact that Bro mentions that Cayce was a Greco-Roman soldier, Lucius, at the time of Jesus made sense after I encountered Joseph Atwill’s “Caesar’s Messiah.” Lucius is identified as a companion of Paul and a co-creator of Christianity through his authorship of the Gospel of Luke, the principal gospel to define Jesus as psychic. With Christianity in decline, it is understandable that Cayce would incarnate to redefine it. In most of Cayce’s lives, he was a political leader, a soldier or a criminal. His Information postulated an “it’s all good” philosophy of life without standards, so it is easy to see how he became a criminal. His readings claim he was ultra (good and evil), befitting of someone with a god-complex who claimed to be the Egyptian god-man Ra. Finally, Dr. Bro claimed that super-psychic Edgar Cayce was the soldier in Troy who let the Trojan Horse in, which resulted in catastrophe. The trend continued with Cayce letting the Trojan Horse of yoga enter the American psyche. (To his credit, Dr. Bro explains the destructive nature of yoga paradigms in his book.) If you understand the source of the readings then it seems probable that yoga came through because certain Glad Helpers (for whom the spiritual philosophy readings were given) were followers of Yogananda. With his at-onement worldview, it is possible that Cayce became a mouthpiece for god-complexed beings. Hopefully the soul of Edgar Cayce will lose the at-onement paradigm and cultivate greater skeptical reason along side of faith in the goodness of God, because trusting souls are likely to be taken advantage of by exploiters of religion. Oneness paradigms (like yoga) set people up for possession, especially when coupled with mediation. Be a blessing, not a channel of blessings for someone else to work through you. Once some god-complexed being gets tied into your psyche, who knows what or how long it will take to get free….

The greatest tragedy of the readings is that most of them fail to identify the source of their information. Apparently readings were co-created between the mind of Cayce and the mind of the receiver of information. (See readings 877-22, 877-22, 281-20, 507-1) The second greatest tragedy is the suggestion given to Cayce, which failed to direct him to wisdom and truth, but only asked him to provide relationship to the universe. It also failed to protect him from fallen angels like Halalliel who spoke through him. (Bro thinks the angels who spoke through Cayce may have been projections of his own consciousness.) Sadly, all Cayce material should sound a Red Alert in your psyche because so much spiritually dangerous information came through Cayce right next to beneficial information. Perhaps the greatest need in religion/spirituality is good judgment that sees past the surface phenomena to real understanding of the principles involved.
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