Cayce Comprehensive Symptom Inventory (CCSI)
  Workbook and Manual
Version 1.0



    The purpose of this lesson is to help you understand and appreciate the introductory section of a typical physical reading.


    By studying and applying the information in this lesson, you should be able to:

  • identify the introductory section of a typical physical reading,
  • understand some of the common elements of the introduction section.


    A typical physical reading begins with an "introduction" section which may consist of one or more paragraphs.  Gladys Davis Turner, Edgar Cayce's personal secretary for many years, calls the introduction section "a general description of the condition to be met by that body."  In other words, the introduction section provides an overview of the individual's situation.

    The introduction section begins with a hypnotic suggestion given by the person directing the reading.  Edgar Cayce initiated each reading by putting himself into an altered state of consciousness.  Within a few minutes, the hypnotic suggestion to give a reading was provided.  Without the suggestion, the reading would not be given.  The early readings were directed by Edgar Cayce's father, L. B. Cayce and other individuals.  After some unpleasant experiences in which Edgar felt that he had been misled, Edgar's wife, Gertrude began directing the readings.  Other individuals (such as Hugh Lynn Cayce) sometimes directed readings.

    Although the hypnotic suggestion varied during the early period of readings, it became standardized into the following phrase:

    "Gertrude Cayce (GC):  You will go over this body carefully, examine it thoroughly, and tell me the conditions you find at the present time.  You will diagnose the case thoroughly, giving the cause of the existing conditions, also the treatment for the cure and relief of this body."

    Edgar Cayce often responded with the simple statement, "Yes, we have the body here."  Sometimes Edgar Cayce gave a brief description of the physical surroundings of the person receiving the reading.  It seems that Cayce was able to project his consciousness to the location of the person getting the reading.  When such clairvoyant items were researched, they were usually found to be precisely accurate.

    The introduction section may also contain the following information:

  • Preview - a preview focusing on the main themes of the reading;
  • History - a brief history of key experiences (such as infection or trauma) is sometimes given;
  • Cause/Effect - patterns of cause and effect may be defined;
  • Prognosis - a general prognosis may be provided;
  • Psychology - psychological dimensions of the case may be discussed;
    The sections which follow will explore each of these categories in detail.  Take as much time as you need to complete each section.  The psychological section is more extensive than the other sections because it is associated with Scale 18 from the CCSI.


    The introduction section of a typical physical reading will often contain a preview of the reading which follows.  The preview is a "thumbnail sketch" of the information that follows.  Here is an example of a "preview" contained in an introduction section.

    EC:  Yes, we have the body here, [1607].
    Now as we find, the conditions that cause the greater distress are the results or effects of disturbances in the eliminations through the system.
    Thus we find that the poisons or refuse forces that should be eliminated through other channels have set up an activity in the superficial circulation.
    Hence we have an infection from an affected influence in the body.
    These then, through the great aggravation that has been aroused by the irritation, the rubbing, the reinfection, have produced rather a constitutional disturbance.
    So, as we find, to bring any character of relief other than temporary, we must first break down those resistances, or change the attitudes and the activity as it were of the functioning organs of the system; before a permanent or any lengthy period of relief might be brought.   (1607-1)

    So, in this case, we are instructed to pay particular attention to poor eliminations which may predispose to infectious disease.  This elderly man was suffering from skin irritations to the groin.  In the background report for this reading, the man noted, "I have suffered with constipation all by life."  In addition to providing short-term symptomatic relief, the treatment plan included recommendations to improve eliminations through the alimentary tract.  Addressing the cause of problem takes longer but is essential for permanent relief.  In other words, don't stop the treatments just because the symptoms decrease.


    Taking a history is a standard procedure in a medical examination.  Edgar Cayce also recognized the importance of chronology in the development of illness.  However, instead of taking a history, he usually gave one.  Edgar Cayce sometimes used the expression "in times back" when providing historical information.

    Now, the abnormal conditions as we find in this body begin in times back, and with very poor eliminations and by the lack of excretions through the portions of the system, for the blood carried those bacilli known as that of a malarial nature, and so congested the forces in the body as to produce the same effect over much of the body.   (4608-1)

    Injury to the nervous system is one of the most common historical observations made in the readings.  Often, pressure upon the nerves along the spine is cited as the cause of illness.  Here is a case of diabetes which Cayce traced back to an injury to the lower and middle sections of the spine:

    Yes, we have the body here, [5659].  Now, the conditions as we find that have to do with the disturbing forces in the physical functioning of this body are of rather the specific nature, and taken in time may be practically eliminated from system.  Though the effect as is being had upon the functioning of the organs is of such nature as has been termed by some as practically the incurable, yet we find - were these conditions adhered to as may be given - this condition might be abated to such an extent that, while the body would not be able to return to the full diet as SOME might, without being fearful of troubles, yet these conditions may be ALMOST eliminated.
    The tendency of the diabetic, or of the over activity of the functioning of the system as regarding making sugar, and of the heaviness as is apparent in the heart's action, and the conditions as exist in kidneys, and the functioning of the bladder - these, as WE find, are conditions produced by that injury sustained to the body in years back, and exists in the lumbar and in the 8th, 9th, 10th, 7th dorsals - see?  and affect the body, or the effect has BEEN to bring about these disturbing forces within same.   (5659-1)

    Many cases of diabetes were described in a similar manner - pressures on spinal nerves which effected the organs of the system.  Ms. 5659 decided not to follow the reading.  She had been helped by some basic dietary changes and was afraid to digress from her doctor's treatment plan.


    Just as reading 5659-1 immediately focused on basic causes as well as the effects that were produced through the system, the introduction section of many readings lay out the complex etiological (causal) patterns.  Reading 4410-1 was given for an osteopathic physician who was suffering from rheumatism (muscular aches and pains).  The introduction section of the reading clearly pointed out that the doctor was confusing effects with causes.

    Yes, we have the body here, [4410].  Now, we find there are conditions as are disturbing in the physical forces of the body.  The conditions as we find at present are rather the complication of both causes and effects as have been and are created in the system.  At times there seems that the effect is the predominating condition, and called oft the cause.  These are some specific conditions, some reflex conditions.  They have to do with the assimilations, and the organs as are affected BY disturbances IN the assimilating system.   (4410-1)

    The rest of the reading discusses the relationship between the basic cause (which is in the stomach and digestive system) and the various effects through the system.  There is not follow up report for this reading, so we do not know if the man followed Cayce's recommendations for colon cleansing and mild electrotherapy.


    Edgar Cayce often included a provisional prognosis, usually near the beginning or end of a physical reading.   Sometimes the prognosis was as much a warning as a prediction.

      If these disturbances are corrected pathologically in the early developing years, so that those pressures apparent in the areas from the 9th dorsal to the 1st cervical are corrected, we may allay oft those bronchial-asthmatic reactions that take the life and breath from the body.   (3906-1)

    You will be asked to study reading 3906-1 in its entirety in a later section.


    When psychological factors were involved, the introduction section of a reading usually called attention to this aspect of the condition.  Edgar Cayce used the expressions "psychological" or "psychopathic" in three hundred eighty seven readings.  While some of these readings addressed what might be regarded as mental illness, most often Cayce was referring to "psychosomatic" factors.  In other words, attitudes and emotions are intricately interwoven into the fabric of our beings: physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Thus, thoughts and feelings affect our physiology.  The reverse is also true - the biology of the body produces psychological effects.

    Certain attitudes and emotions were cited as particularly noteworthy with regard to
psychosomatic effects:

     ... an attitude of RESENTMENT will produce inflammation ... (1005-7)

    No one can hate his neighbor and not have stomach or liver trouble.  No one can be jealous and allow the anger of same and not have upset digestion or heart disorder.  (4021-1)

    For Edgar Cayce, psychology takes on a broader meaning than modern systems of thought which strongly emphasize the material aspects of our being.  "Psyche" means soul - "ology" means
"knowledge of."  Literally, psychology means soul knowledge.

    Cayce's view of the soul includes concepts such as reincarnation.  Therefore "karma" is regarded
as a psychological factor often manifesting through thoughts and feelings:

     ... from the psychological come a karmic condition.  (3221-1)

     Psychologically, these have to do with the karma of this body ...  (3075)

    (Q)  Why does she have such a fear of falling?
    (A)  This is part of its karma - for it made many others fall far!  (3057-1)

    Karma is an ancient concept which refers to the "law of cause and effect."  The Cayce readings
present a panoramic view of the human condition which parallels the Eastern religions (particularly
Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism).  From this perspective humans are regarded as immortal beings
evolving toward unity with the divine source of being.  This view includes reincarnation and the ability of each individual to choose certain key probabilities concerning a particular lifetime.  Naturally,
genetics play an important role because heredity provides a relatively stable and predictable means
of having the necessary life experiences to encounter one's personal karma.  Cayce sometimes
traced physical illness to genetic tendencies with a past life source:

    Karma is cause oft of hereditary conditions so called.  (3313-1)

    In cases involving karma, Cayce typically emphasized the mental and spiritual aspects of healing.
"Soul development" was sometimes given as the purpose for illness and healing.  However, even in
instances involving significant karma, physical modalities were often strongly encouraged in addition
to mental and physical therapies.

    In readings in which psychological factors were said to be involved, Edgar Cayce sometimes noted the following tendencies:

  • anger or hate,
  • resentment, bitterness, or jealousy,
  • anxiety, worry, or fear,
  • depression,
  • hereditary predisposition for illness or prenatal condition.
    For the most part, these symptoms fall under the heading of "attitudes and emotions."   Scale 18 of the CCSI addresses psychological factors.


    Study reading 3906-1 in Appendix D.

1.  Pay particular attention to the date that the reading was given and how the chronology of the reading relates to the structure and content of the reading.

2.  Pay attention to the psychological/karmic aspects to this case - how the physical effects are linked to the karmic/psychological pattern.  Note that physical treatments were recommended even though the basic cause involved soul patterns.


    Complete Scale 18 of the CCSI for yourself.  Are you aware of any psychological issues such as attitudes and emotions?  Are there any karmic patterns that manifest as hereditary tendencies in your life?  If applicable, do any of the treatment recommendations provided with Scale 18 make sense for your situation?

Click here for Lesson 3.

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