We are often told that the Cayce readings predicted only gradual Earth changes. Here are three examples:
First and foremost we need to state that there aren't any readings in which Cayce was asked directly if the Earth changes would be catastrophic. He was asked in 1602-3 if the rising of Atlantis would "cause a sudden convulsion." The answer was, "This [rising of Atlantis] is a gradual, not a cataclysmic activity in the experience of the Earth in this period." (The differences between a geophysical cataclysm and a less severe catastrophe are discussed below). And in reading 311-10, Cayce was asked, "Are the physical changes in Alabama predicted for 1936-38 to be gradual or sudden changes?" The answer was, "Gradual."
These are the only two readings that say anything about gradual Earth changes. And they are specific to 1) the rising of Atlantis and 2) the sinking of portions of Alabama. Other predictions in Cayce's readings will all involve geophysical catastrophes of various kinds, like upheavals in the Arctic and the Antarctic, changing of the upper portion of Europe "in the twinkling of an eye," shifting of Earth's poles in the 2000-2001 period, inundations caused by earthquakes along the southern California coast, shaking of South America from end to end, and the destruction of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Readings that describe these changes are in no way "ambiguous" with respect to their catastrophic implications.
As mentioned in Coming Earth Changes (4) a geological catastrophe is "a violent and sudden change in a feature of the Earth," while a cataclysm is "a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition" (Webster's Dictionary). The largest earthquake swarm ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere qualifies as a catastrophe because so much of the Mississippi River valley was altered in the area near New Madrid, Missouri. The valley's features were altered during three great earthquakes in December 1811, January 1812, and February 1812.
An example of a cataclysm is the worldwide impact on climate and life produced by the huge comet or meteorite that slammed into Earth at the end of the Cretaceous. It is believed to have caused the demise of the dinosaurs. To most geologists, use of the term cataclysm implies severe worldwide effects. Earth scientists have documented at least four times during the last 600 million years when cataclysms knocked life for a loop. The most severe of these killed 95 percent of all marine species. A pole shift would be a cataclysm because it would have severe worldwide effects.
Consider now the following two reading fragments and their clearly catastrophic implications.
Q Will there be any physical changes in the Earth's surface in North America? If so, what sections will be affected, and how?
A All over the country we will find many physical changes of a minor or greater degree. The greater change, as we find, in America, will be the North Atlantic Seaboard. Watch New York! Connecticut, and the like.
Q When will this be?
A In this period. As to just when?.(311-8)
Portions of the now east coast of New York, or New York City itself, will in the main disappear.(1152-11)
The coming Earth changes detailed in the Cayce readings are not garden-variety earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or crustal movements. The readings generally imply geologic catastrophes in every sense of the word. Our conclusion is that while we may expect many historically-unprecedented geophysical catastrophes in the years ahead, in at least two instances -- the rising of Atlantis and the sinking of portions of Alabama -- the changes will be gradual.