Association for Research and Enlightenment


Year founded: 1931

Where founded: Virginia Beach , Virginia

Size of Group: Unknown; however, the organization has regional offices throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, there are Edgar Cayce Centers operating in many international communities.


Edgar Cayce (1877-1945). Cayce was born on a farm near Hopkinsville, Kentucky. It is claimed that he showed evidence of his psychic intuition at a very early age, as he mastered his school lessons through “osmosis” by sleeping on his books. Melton describes Cayce as “the last major exponent” of a psychic ability called “travling clairvoyance: the ability to ‘tune in’ to another, even at some distance, and diagnose his condition and prescribe for it” (Melton, 668). This capacity was quite popular in the ninetheen century.

For most of his adult life, Cayce was able to provide intuitive thoughts into almost any question imaginable. He did this by placing himself in a deep, trance-like sleep, during which he would respond accurately to virtually any question asked. His responses came to be called “readings.” Eventually Cayce would give over 14,000 readings on over 10,000 different topics.

In 1930 he founded Atlantic University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which was designed to allow individuals to gain insight into the creative and intuitive mind so that they may achieve personal growth. The Association for Research and Enlightenement emerged out of this learning center.

The organization was founded to preserve,research, and make available insights from Cayce’s information, dealing mainly with medical problems. During Cayce’s lifetime, it expanded to include such topics as meditation, dreams, reincarnation, and prophecy. Today, this non-profit organization explores an even wider variety of subjects, such as health and healing, ancient civilizations, earth changes, ESP, and life after death. The A.R.E. considers themselves to be a network of people who actively study and apply Cayce’s wisdom and practical suggestions in order to experience a better life. They offer periodic conferences, workshops, lectures, home research projects, and informative mailings to those interested. These are offered in many national and international communities and are designed to allow for open discussions of the of the material contained in Cayce’s readings, as well as providing for contact with some of A.R.E.’s best resource people.


Cayce’s extensive readings are considered the primary “sacred texts.” The A.R.E. Visitor Center in Virginia Beach, VA houses a library that holds Cayce’s 14,000+ readings and a parapsychology collection of nearly 60,000 volumes.
The A.R.E. believes that by following the wisdom and practical suggestions of Cayce’s readings, one can achieve a better and more fulfilling life.


Bro, Harmon. 1970.Edgar Cayce on Religion and Psychic Experience. New York, Coronet Communications.

Bro, Harmon. 1971.Begin a New Life; The Approach of Edgar Cayce. New York, Harper & Row.

Bro, Harmon. 1989.A Seer Out of Season. New York, NAL Books.

Cayce, Hugh. 1985.Venture Inward. San Francisco, Harper & Row.

Johnson, K. Paul. 1998. Edgar Cayce in Context: The Readings. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Lucus, Phillip. 1995. “The Association for Research and Enlightenment: Saved by the New Age,” in Timothy Miller, Ed., America‘s Alternative Religions. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. 353-361.

Melton, J. Gordon. 1994. “Edgar Cayce and Reincarnation: Past Life Readings as Religious Symbology” Syzygy: Journal of Alternative Religion and Culture. 3 (1-2): Reprinted on-line in Journal of Cayce Studies

Melton, J. Gordon. 1996.The Encyclopedia of American Religions. Fifth Edition. Detroit: Gale Research Inc. pp. 690-691.

Sechrist, Elsie. 1971. Meditation, Gateway to Light: Self Discipline. Virginia Beach, A.R.E. Press.

Stearn, Jess. 1968. Edgar Cayce: The Sleeping Prophet. New York: Bantam Books.

Sugrue, Thomas. 1968. The Story of Edgar Cayce: There is a River. Virginia Beach, VA: A.R.E. Press. 1997. Revised edition. Originally published 1942.

Thurston, Mark. 1997. Edgar Cayce’s Millennium Prophecies: Predictions for the Coming Century from Edgar Cayce. New York: Barnes and Nobel Books.

A.R.E. in the News

Colton , Michael, 1997.” Prophet Center: In Virginia Beach, Edgar Cayce’s Followers Meet to Meditate With One Eye on the Calendar,” Washington Post, December 31.

Audio and Videotape Resources

The Edgar Cayce Legacy, 1994.
Videotape produced by the Edgar Cayce Foundation. A good introduction to the man and the movement he inspired. 30 minutes. Available through A.R.E. Bookstore.

An extensive collection of writings by and about Cayce, audiotapes, and videotapes are available through out the A.R.E. Bookstore A catalogue of A.R.E. publications is available by calling 1-800-723-1112 .

Developed by Hilary S. Ritter
New Religious Movement Student, Fall 1996
Last modified: 04/19/01