What Are Edgar Cayce’s Essay Dreams?

An illustration imaging what Atlantis might look like under the sea.

Sometimes dreams have obvious messages; other times, they’re not clear at all. We don’t understand the message. Even if we chart the dream using the SOM framework going point by point, for one reason or another, our conscious mind still doesn’t understand.

This happens to the best of us. You can ask for a clarifying dream. The one known as the “sleeping prophet,” Edgar Cayce, noted that often when this happens, the subconscious responds with a dream similar to an essay.

It was probably natural to refer to that type of dream as an “essay dream.”

What is an essay dream?

An essay is a short piece of writing that states an opinion along with reasons the writer holds that opinion. The essay dream has these features expressed in feelings and symbols.

The dream will be a clear communication with thoughts and feelings about a topic the dreamer cares about, sometimes very intensely. As with a written essay, the general idea behind the dream is to get the dreamer to take some action.

Presumably, when Cayce was receiving information about the history and the political situation that led up to the destruction of Atlantis a lot of clarification was needed. The society he described was very different from the one he lived in. That means there were a number of essay dreams involved.

My dreams usually aren’t as intricate as ones that could describe Atlantis or what some other people could have. I’m not a psychic.

However, in my experience, I’ve asked for and received a clarifying dream when I haven’t understood something about one of the dreams. Sometimes, I’ve received a clarifying dream, too, when I haven’t asked for it. Not because I haven’t understood the dream, but to expand on another point.

Who was Edgar Cayce?

Known to some as “the father of holistic medicine,” Cayce remains influential in what became the New Age movement. He was famous for transcripts of sessions where he’d lay down and go into a trance. While he was asleep, he’d receive all kinds of information. Many of the things he learned when he was asleep were things he would have had no way of knowing. While sleeping, he’d answer questions about healing, the afterlife, past lives, nutrition, Atlantis, and future events. Cayce said his responses came through his subconscious, which worked to relay information from universal intelligence.

A good book on his life is Edgar Cayce Story: There Is a River by Thomas Sugrue.

For further reading:

What are dreams?


James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life. 


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