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



    The purpose of this lesson is to introduce you to the roles of the major organs in maintaining health and healing illness.


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

  • identify the ORGAN section of a physical reading,
  • recognize the major components and factors of organ functioning as emphasized by Edgar Cayce,
  • become knowledgeable about the general functioning of the primary organs as described in the Cayce readings,
  • understand some of the major pathological patterns that can manifest in organ functioning and the treatments Edgar Cayce recommended for them,
  • become more aware of your own organs and how they maintain health in your body.


    After the nerve system section, Edgar Cayce usually focused on the organs of the body.  In a typical physical reading, this section deals with the following organs:

    In reviewing the "functioning organs," Edgar Cayce usually began at the head and proceeded down the body as if doing a body scan.  Some readings address all or most of the organs listed above.  Other readings only mentioned the ones most directly involved in the pathological process.


    It is interesting that Edgar Cayce usually listed the brain as an organ rather than including it in the nerve system section of a reading.  Brain dysfunction (Scale 25) covers a broad range of pathology from relatively minor functional disorders (such as occasional lapse of memory or poor concentration) to the most severe neurological diseases (such as cerebral palsy or stroke).

    The following excerpts cover some of the characteristics evaluated with regard to "brain forces" in two cases in which some mental impairment is noted:

    IN THE ORGANS OF THE BODY THEMSELVES, in the brain forces we find these, as suggested, active, in that the discriminations, the discernments, the activities of the mental forces are good; not always are they coordinative with the abilities to carry out in the cerebro-spinal's reactions those mental forces of the body, and it makes for a combativeness in the activities; yet in the general the body is one that might be termed active in the way of a generalship, or managership, or secretarialship, that has to do with a great deal of detail activities for others.   (4758-1)

    The brain forces at times are not as keen in their perception, and the body at times feels there is not as keen a response to the manner the body would think things out in its way of discernment - and these make for those disagreements, as it were, with self, and the seeking out for the causes of these; and a tendency to feel there should be stimulation in some way or manner for a more keen perception.  Hence throws the whole general system out of balance without being able to say just WHAT is the reason, or the cause, and - as we find - this then is rather of a subtle nature, but - as we shall see - may be removed from the system so there may be a better reaction.   (4345-1)


    When speaking of sensory system dysfunction, Edgar Cayce most often focused on the organs of sight, hearing, smell, and taste.   As with the brain, Cayce tended to discuss sensory problems in organs section rather than the nerve system section of a reading.  Apart from the obvious dysfunction that can result from direct injury or disease of a sensory organ, the Cayce readings also frequently noted systemic problems which can cause or contribute to sensory system dysfunction.  Systemic dysfunction can thus affect the sensory system as a whole.  In such cases, the sensory system was viewed as a unit rather than individual organs.

    Sensory organism all under strain.  All more or less in that condition of being either over supplied or under nourished, and one showing one way, one another - that is, in the auditory and in the sight, in the effect as is produced in the taste, or sense of smell - both working opposite in each instance, see?  That is, overtaxed in certain portions, the sense of hearing acute; overtaxed in others the sense of hearing deficient; of sight and of taste deficient, and vice versa in feeling and in the sight and speech.   (4555-1)

    Reading 16-1 contains an excellent dissertation the "sensory organism:"

(Q)  Why does he not talk?
(A)  This is that pressure that we are removing!  as is given as respecting how this has affected, from the beginning, the SENSORY organism.  The sensory organism - let's describe this, so you will understand here:  The sensory organism meaning the eyes, the ears, the sense of smell, the sense of speech, the sense of touch and their coordinating centers, are the gradual development of the imaginative and the SYMPATHETIC system of nerves in body coordinating with centers in the cerebro-spinal, that register in the brain.  The sense of speech is the highest developed vibration in an organism, for it partakes of the vision, the hearing, the feeling, and ALL to combine same.  Hence these are ACTIVE from those coordinating forces of the other sensory centers, which range from sympathetic system to the cerebro-spinal and register impulse in brain.  As given here, brain forces
are good with the body, as is the bodily development, as is the vision, as is the hearing, as is the sense of touch; for the body may be termed OVER sympathetic.  In the vibratory forces as come from those centers on each side of the plexus opposite the first of the sacral plexus, these produce that drawing to the back of head or neck, in the 2nd dorsal, 3rd and 4th cervical, as prevents same from producing other than a not FULL vibration, see?  Hence the backwardness in the talk, the tendency to grunt and indicate with hands, eyes, feet, or body, rather than ATTEMPT to try full expression, for fear of producing an over vibratory force in body.  Follow these and we will get it properly!   (146-1)

    Nerve pressures affecting the upper spine (upper dorsal and cervicals) were often cited in readings in which the sensory organism was disturbed.  Spinal manipulation was the common treatment in such cases.   Scale 7 addresses sensory system dysfunction.


    Edgar Cayce would often provide an assessment of the respiratory system which would include the throat, bronchials, lungs, and larynx.  Problems with the respiratory system range from the simple acute infections (such as cold) to chronic and life-threatening illnesses (such as asthma or pneumonia).  Scale 24 addresses the respiratory system.


    In discussing the heart, Edgar Cayce typically noted the "heart action."  In other words, he was interested in the functional aspects of the organ.  Most frequently he mentioned heartbeat (fast, slow, or irregular) and blood pressure (high, low, or erratic).  Scale 26 addresses abnormal heart action.  Of course, if organic problems with the heart were present, Cayce would also describe anatomical pathology as well.


    The stomach is a "J" shaped pouch consisting of two chambers - an upper portion ("cardiac end," currently called the fundus) and a portion ("pyloric end," currently called the antrum).  Each portion has its own nerve supply which can become disordered, thus interfering with digestion.

    Sometimes the stomach can become out of position causing serious digestive problems.  If the stomach is tilted too straight, food passes through too quickly and is not allowed enough time for the proper action of digestive juices.  If the stomach is "dropped," food lingers in the stomach too long producing a fermentation effect.  Either problem of stomach position upsets the digestive process throughout the intestinal tract.  Scale 13 addresses abnormal stomach position.

    Sometimes the pH balance (acid/alkaline) of the stomach becomes distorted.  Ordinarily, the stomach pH is extremely acidic.  If insufficient hydrochloric acid is present in the stomach, certain foods (especially proteins) do not digest properly.  This condition is referred to gastric (stomach) hypoacidity (Scale 3).  On the other hand, too much acid can also be a problem, producing the symptoms of gastric hyperacidity (Scale 4).


    The liver is one of the most complex organs in the body.  Due to its large size and the number of complex chemicals it produces, the liver is regarded as the largest gland in the body.  Edgar Cayce often noted that the liver is unique in that it secretes and excretes chemicals.  In other words, it produces substances carried in the blood stream (secretion or secretory function) which are the basis for diverse chemical reactions throughout the body.  The liver also excretes (excretion or excretory function) chemicals for elimination from the body.  The gallbladder and kidneys are two primary routes of elimination for the excretions from the liver.

    When the liver is underactive or sluggish in its activity, it is said to be "torpid" in its functioning.  Torpid liver (Scale 6) was sometimes cited as a contributory factor in a wide range of illnesses related to systemic toxicity.  The following excerpts describe the effects of torpid liver:

(Q)  Why do I stagger, and am so unsteady on my feet?
(A)  From toxic forces in system, produced by torpidity in hepatic circulation, especially in the liver and its functioning portion of system.  With the cleansing of the system, both as to activities in alimentary canal and as to the stimulation in the circulatory system so as to furnish the renewed energy through the blood supply, taking same from those portions where they are slowed THROUGH the system to the capillaries, to the exterior portions, and to those of the locomotions - this dizziness, this tendency of vertigo, disappears.   (5696-1)

    In those specific centers where the troubles arise, through the dullness, the laggardness, the tendency for headaches, the slow reaction in response to effort of study, the slow reaction as is seen in the activities of the body, comes from the torpid liver condition, and from that comes the congestion through the mesenteric system, and especially through the absorption and re-absorption of toxins from constipation, as produced by the non-activity of these conditions.  (341-23)

    In the torpidity of the liver, from toxins - this, with the pressure in the blood supply, is that of which the body should take the greatest warning; for these either must become such as to form in the extremities or in the locomotory centers pressures - from condition in the intestinal tract, or about the covering of same those that will make for rheumatic, neuritic, or arthritic conditions; that is, the inflammation produced in such coverings bring about these conditions, as a result; without the removal, with the continuation of torpidity in liver, it must also bring something of a hardening [cirrhosis] of the liver - unless conditions are corrected.   (331-1)

    As an additional resource, Scale 6 contains a section of osteopathic treatment of torpid liver.


    The Cayce readings regard the kidneys as the negative pole of the body's battery which maintains an intimate relation to the liver (positive pole) in maintaining balance in the body and eliminating wastes.  Problems with the liver are often reflected in the kidneys and vice versa.  The other organs of the hepatic system (pancreas, spleen, and gallbladder) are also closely linked to kidney functioning.  Thus the kidney can be regarded as the focus of the lower hepatic circulation while the liver regulates the upper hepatic circulation.  Scale 8 addresses the problem of underactive kidneys.


    The intestines (small and large bowel) are the lower end of the gastrointestinal tract.  The small intestine is described as consisting of three sections: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum.  The large intestine is described as consisting of ascending, transverse, and descending sections terminating in the anus.

    Most absorption of nutrients is accomplished in the small intestine.  The large intestine functions to recycle water and salts just before fecal wastes are eliminated from the body.  A certain degree of bowel permeability is required for nutrients to pass through the intestinal wall into the circulation.  However, when the walls of the intestine become "thinned" or smoothed to the extent that abnormally increased permeability is present, toxins that would normally be eliminated through the lower intestine are absorbed into the system.  This process is sometimes called "leaky gut syndrome" and has been linked to numerous systemic conditions such as psoriasis, bowel disease, and arthritis.
Scale 14 addresses abnormally high intestinal permeability.

    Edgar Cayce also sometimes noted that infectious agents (such as flu virus) can "settle" in portions of the body, especially the bowel, as an after effect of intestinal flu.  Persons with this problem may experience bowel symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis). Scale 22 addresses symptoms which are common after effects of intestinal flu.


    The Cayce readings place great importance and significance on glandular functioning.  Cayce stated that the role of a gland is to assist the body in replacing itself through cellular reproduction.  Therefore, almost any organ can be considered to a gland.  However, the endocrine glands were especially emphasized as "spiritual centers" which regulate the lifeforce energy of the body in addition to the common chemical secretions that these organs are known to produce.  The adrenal and thyroid were two of the most often mentioned endocrine glands in a wide variety of conditions.  Thus hypothyroid (Scale 15) and hypoadrenal (Scale 19) functioning are particularly relevant to understanding pathology involving the glandular system.


    The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum (first section of the small intestine). The pancreas secretes powerful digestive enzymes that enter the small intestine through a duct (exocrine gland functioning - Scale 27).  These enzymes help digest fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

    The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream (endocrine gland functioning). These hormones play an important part in metabolizing sugar.  High blood sugar (Scale 28) can result if the endocrine functioning of the pancreas is inadequate.


    The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ located beneath the liver on the right side of the abdomen. The gallbladder's primary functions are to store and concentrate bile, and secrete bile into the small intestine at the proper time to help digest food.  The gallbladder is connected to the liver and the small intestine by a series of ducts, or tube-shaped structures, that carry bile.  Collectively, the gallbladder and these ducts are called the biliary system.  Gallbladder dysfunction (Scale 23) can result in gallstones and gallbladder attacks.


    The spleen is a small organ about the size of the fist, located on the left of the abdomen below the diaphragm.  The spleen consists of two distinct areas, the red pulp and the white pulp, the latter occupying the larger portion of the spleen. The white pulp acts like a large lymph node, being involved in immunological functions, such as the production of antibodies and the maturation of B-
and T-lymphocytes, and Macrophages.  The red pulp's function is as a blood filter to remove waste, including damaged red blood cells and bacteria, through phagocytosis by macrophages and neutrophils.  Scale 29 addresses spleen dysfunction.


    Lacteals are small lymph capillaries which absorb lipids (fats) and proteins from the small intestine.  Lacteals join together to form ducts which are especially associated with the Peyer's patches (lymphatic nodes) along the right side of the abdomen in conjunction with the ileum portion of the small intestine.

    Edgar Cayce stated that various etiological factors (e.g., high fever, abdominal injury, reflexes from other portions of the nervous system) could produce "adhesions" in the area of the lacteal ducts.  Adhesion refers to holding together by new tissue [e.g., scar tissue], produced by inflammation or injury, of two structures which are normally separate.   Adhesions may interfere with circulation of blood and lymph and nervous system activity and impulse.  Lacteal duct adhesions (Scale 17) were frequently mentioned in the Cayce readings, particularly in cases involving digestive problems and neurological incoordination.

    Lacteal duct adhesions were a major etiological factor in Cayce's model of epilepsy.  He noted that adhesions to the lacteal duct area could be produced by a variety of sources including high fever, abdominal injury, and nerve  reflexes from injured spinal centers.  Here are a couple of examples of Cayce's description of the pathophysiology of abdominal epilepsy.  The first case involved an eighteen year old male. Cayce stated that there had been a spinal injury producing nerve reflexes to the abdomen which:

    ... caused a slowing of the circulation through the areas of the lacteal ducts, thus producing a cold area there, that has produced a partial adherence of tissue.
    With the activity of the lymph through the area, we find that periodically, when there is the lack of proper eliminations through the alimentary canal, there occurs a reflex to the coordination between sympathetic [abdominal brain]  and cerebrospinal [central nervous] system area; that takes the governing of the impulse, as it were, to the brain reactions; or a form of spasmodic reaction that might be called epileptic in its nature.  (Cayce, 1939)

    Note the reference to adhesion ("adherence of tissue") and a slowing of circulation through this area.  Cayce believed that  restricted circulation produced coldness in the area of the lacteal ducts (on the right side of the abdomen).  According to Cayce, "From EVERY condition that is of true [idiopathic] epileptic nature there will be found a cold spot or area between the lacteal duct and the caecum."  (Cayce, 1934)

    Also note the reference to periodicity associated with "activity of the lymph through the area" and "proper eliminations through the alimentary canal."  In other words, cycles of seizure activity were linked to activity of the gastrointestinal tract (i.e., digestion and eliminations).  Hence seizure activity may be associated with digestive problems with certain types of foods (e.g., carbohydrates and fats) and/or with improper eliminations (diarrhea or constipation).

    Another important point is the importance of  "coordination" between the nervous system in the abdomen and the nerves of the brain.  Consistent with the growing body of medical information on the "abdominal brain" and enteric nervous system, Cayce referred to the abdominal brain as the "solar plexus brain," (1921 & 1926),  the "secondary brain" (1944), and the "central brain in the solar plexus" (1927).  He noted that the brain in the abdomen with its nervous system (the "sympathetic" system) and the brain in the head with its nervous system (the "cerebrospinal system") must coordinate to maintain physical and mental health.  When these two systems are out of harmony with each other, various forms of illness usually result.  Epileptic seizures might be regarded as the most severe form of incoordination between these two brains and nervous systems of the body.  Actually, the extent of nervous system incoordination might be described as almost a complete dissociation.

     Here is another description of the basic nervous system incoordination by Edgar Cayce given for an adult suffering from epilepsy:

    As indicated, the lesions - or adhesions and lesions - in the lacteal ducts are the basic cause for the disturbance in the nervous system.... When there is an expression or activity from the sympathetic nervous system ... we find there is movement or impulse to and from the brain centers themselves.  Then with a lesion or adhesion the impulse is cut off - or deflected.... Then this ... connection with the solar plexus nerve centers [abdominal brain], making for an incoordination with the cerebrospinal nerve system, produces at the base of the brain - or through the medulla oblongata - an incoordinant reaction [seizure] ...
Q.  Do you find any condition existing in the brain, or is it reflex?
A.  As we find, and as indicated, the accumulations that have been there [in the cerebral brain] are rather reflex - and are produced by the condition in the lacteal duct area.   (Cayce, 1935)

    Note that the reflex from the abdomen produced "accumulations" in the cerebral brain .  Perhaps a modern brain scan or electro- encephalogram would have detected a focal lesion in the brain as the source of the seizure.  Yet, Cayce insisted that the source of the condition was in the abdomen.  Also note that the reflex from the abdomen was mediated through the medulla oblongata, a important nerve center  at the upper portion of the spinal cord where it enters the skull.  This is significant because Cayce sometimes recommended that a piece of ice be placed at this area during the aura or at the beginning of the seizure.  This simple technique has proven effective in several contemporary cases where Cayce's therapeutic model has been utilized.  Incidentally, this technique for preventing seizures  was also used by osteopathic physicians during the early decades of this century.

    The readings also linked lacteal duct adhesions to other conditions involving involuntary nervous system spasm (such as asthma) and developmental abnormalities.


    Complete the organs scales of the CCSI described in this lesson.  How are your functioning organs?  Are there any therapeutic recommendations for these scales that may be helpful for you?

Click here for Lesson 6.

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