Edgar Cayce used a self-induced meditative trance to provide psychic readings by using two "secrets of the universe": the subconscious mind of the seeker to whom he gave the reading and the "Akashic Records," a universal database for thoughts, events and emotions of all people who have ever lived on earth. Cayce's other alleged abilities included astral projection, prophesying, mediumship and seeing auras, and he believed in reincarnation and the existence of aliens.
The information that Cayce obtained while in his sleep-like trances came from his subconscious mind communicating with like minds, or a universal force. Modern scientists claim that most human brains filter out about 99 percent of available information. Cayce may have been able to tap into the power of his mind by overcoming the "filters" that block out sensory information that would cause an overload for most people.
Cayce first discovered his talent for providing psychic readings when he lost his voice for months due to laryngitis. Local hypnotist Al Layne worked with him through hypnosis, discovering that Cayce could state in his regular voice the reason for his loss of speech and how his speech would return while in this hypnotized state. Soon after, Layne hypnotized Cayne again, and Cayne revealed to Layne how to cure his stomach issues. Layne followed the advice that Cayce gave him, and his stomach was indeed cured. Layne then told Cayne he had a gift that must be used for the greater good of healing others, and Cayce provided thousands of successful readings over the years.