History of The Who Was Who:

A Past Life Directory based on the Edgar Cayce Discourses


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In the early 1970's while living in Virginia Beach, I conceived the idea to write a book about the incarnations of Edgar Cayce.  I told Gladys Davis about this.  She thought it was an excellent idea and gave the project her blessings.   In the process of researching the lives of Edgar Cayce, it was a major effort for me to stay focused and not get caught up in the maze of characters in his soul group from Atlantis to Early America because the material was so fascinating.  After months of research in the library, I came up with a synopsis and outline of the chapters, which I submitted to Hugh Lynn and Gladys.  Being a playwright, I used some of the dramatic vernacular, like “setting the stage,” the “cast of characters,” etc.  Hugh Lynn thought the book was a good idea, but felt that the time was not right, because they hoped to have a film of Edgar Cayce coming out soon.  He thought it would conflict with the movie (which, unfortunately, never got made).  Interestingly, the vernacular of my synopsis for the Lives of Edgar Cayce later appeared in a version of that story.


More than twenty years later, the original research that I painstakingly did in 1973, before the readings were available on CD Rom, became the basis for the Who Was Who.  Published in 1996, it not only documented the incarnations of the Edgar Cayce soul group, but listed the complete 7,499 entries gleaned from the 1,919 Life Readings and incarnations of others given through association. Relatives and acquaintances often incarnated in the same eras and were advised to parallel their Readings for past relationships, which I did in the Who Was Who.  This work, which Jeannette Thomas, who followed in Gladys’ shoes at the Edgar Cayce Foundation, called an invaluable research tool, became a boon to researchers later as the Who Was Who became their bible.  With the exception of 150 universally recognized prominent personages, most of the incarnations were of ordinary people. A few noted persons, like Nicodemus and Bartholomew were mentioned in other types of readings for those individuals or in Life Readings for other people. Judas was confirmed as being a present acquaintance of one of the soul group.  Past lives of some prominent persons like Henry Ford (See [464]) and the Duke of Windsor (See [3031]) (who were in the earth plane at the time of the individual Readings) also came through.  Most significantly, many of the characters that interacted with Jesus were identified by name as were his past incarnations. This became Son of God/Son of Man, another challenging offshoot of the Who Was Who in the 1970’s, which I corroborated strictly with historical data. 


Both The Edgar Soul Group and the Who Was Who were cited in Louis Fournier’s new book, Dictionary of Edgar Cayce Identities, as thanks for the contributions to his work.


Two books deserve special mention:  Past Lives The Edgar Cayce Soul Group and Who Was Who, both by Dr. Elyse Curtis.  The first provides a great deal of information about how Cayce family members and friends were associated in past lives and their names in past lives as well as their I.D. numbers.  Dr. Curtis is a graduate of Atlantic University, a former resident of Virginia Beach, and a member of the New York ARE.  She still maintains many active courses and programs about Edgar Cayce and related subjects….”  

Who Was Who became the source for the twelve-volume Past Lives series that covers the individuals and eras from Atlantis to Early America.  The Who Was Who, a crowning research project by an ARE of NY member, which was submitted to ARE Press at the suggestion of Jeanette Thomas, from the Edgar Cayce Foundation, was rejected and published as Edgar Cayce on the Reincarnation of Famous People, Edgar Cayce on the Reincarnation of Biblical Characters, The Persian Legacy, Mythic Troy,  Edgar Cayce’s Egypt.   Also, according to Sidney Kirkpatrick it was an invaluable research tool for Edgar Cayce An American Prophet.