BLUEPRINT TO THE BOOK
“Are You Getting Enlightened Or Losing Your Mind?” is one the most complete compendiums of paranormal and spiritual experiences. But it’s not an encyclopedic dictionary. I want everyone who’s had an unusual paranormal or spiritual experience to be able to find their experience in these pages and know what to call it. There is power and comfort in knowing what to call your experience. After you know what to call it, you’ll find techniques and guidelines to help you integrate and work with that experience.
The number of these experiences is vast. I’m comfortable living in the soup of “normal” reality as well as “unseen” mysterious realities. In the early phase of writing this book, I wanted to create a map for you, a map of consciousness. There are not “enlightened” people and “crazy” people. There are only — People! And this map does not make one person better than another or one experience better than another.
We have a “normal state of consciousness” (NSC). From our normal state, we can pop in and out of a variety of experiences: Split Consciousness, Identity Switching, OBE, External Spirit Influence, Mental Illness, Delirium, Narrowed Consciousness, and Mystical States. We can have one of these experiences and then return to “normal.” However, through spiritual practice, deepening spiritual connection, truth, and high-integrity action, our normal state of consciousness rises up the Central Path. When that happens, you have a new “normal.” When your “NSC” has risen all the way up the Central Path, you ARE the white sphere with the golden light at the top of the page. This blueprint is not within the pages of the book. When you walk into a beautiful building, you never see the blueprint, but it’s the foundation without which there is no building.
It took six months to work out all the details of this map, this blueprint. You may want to return to it over and over again to help understand your experiences and how they fit into your life. — David Gersten
ABOUT DAVID GERSTEN Dr. Gersten practices integrative psychiatry and nutritional medicine out of his office in Encinitas, California. He writes from his personal experience, his work with patients, and the wisdom of the ages. Author The POW Survival Guide (dedicated to the Allied Troops of Operation Desert Storm), Mental imagery consultant to Rodale Press on 18 books, columnist on Alternative Medicine for The Life Connection, publisher Atlantis the Imagery Newsletter, and author of more than 300 published articles. He has consulted to the White House on alternative medicine. Dr. Gersten is also an accomplished musician and composer of 2200 songs and 7 symphonic works. Being half doctor/healer and half artist/musician allows him to bring a wide breadth of experience to his work with patients. While psychiatry tends to focus on what’s wrong, Dr. Gersten strives to place as much emphasis on “what’s right,” helping through his clinical work, personal experience, and writings, to help people deepen their spiritual connection, find their purpose or mission and remove the obstacles to their dreams.
He has worked in most aspects of psychiatry, from suicidal, homicidal, and psychotic hospitalized patients…to out-patient strategic psychotherapy…to state psychiatric hospitals…to peak performance, training LPGA and high level amateur golfers in the mental game. His expertise in mental imagery has created the possibility to help people beyond the scope of traditional psychiatry.
An ancient East Indian concept of human beings is the five sheaths. The soul or spirit is believed to be the center, like an onion, with five layers that surround the Center. The outer layer is the physical body. Inside that is the “vital energy sheath” and inside that is the “mental sheath” or the mind. Inside the mental sheath is the “wisdom sheath.” Between the wisdom sheath and the soul is the “bliss sheath.”
The path of the great Indian saint Ramana Maharshi was the quest for, “Who am I?” Am I the body? No! If you or I lost a foot in an accident, it would be a trauma, but our core “I” would remain unchanged. If our vital energy dropped, it would be unpleasant or debilitating but the soul remains unchanged. The five sheaths is a good way to understand the enormously complex question, “Who are we?” In Maharshi’s path, a person would disidentify with one layer after another, until he reaches the core of being, namely “I am.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD by Larry Dossey, M.D.
Experiences of Spirit in a Secular World
Finding Meaning in Your Own Miracle
Part I — Opening the Mind to Spirit
1 OPENING TO THE POSSIBILITIES
A Powerful Mystical Experience
A Spiritual Teacher remakes a Psychiatrist
Illness: A Doctor Learns Compassion the Hard Way
2 TWENTY-FIVE SPIRITUAL QUESTIONS
PSYCHIATRISTS ARE AFRAID TO ASK
Who is God and Where does She Live?
3 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SPIRITUAL PSYCHIATRIST
4 THE HEALING POWER OF HUMAN VALUES
5 PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL ASSESSMENT (PSA)
6 BELIEF MEDICINE
Shamanism and Soccery
Eastern Healing Systems
Universal Healing Principles
Folk Medicine of the American Tribe
Mixed Messages About Healing
7 GETTING CONSCIOUS ABOUT CONSCIOUSNESS
The Language of Consciousness
Kundalini: A Great Masquerader
PART II — Getting Enlightened
8 HIGHER STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
9 VISUAL PARANORMALEXPERIENCES
Visions Versus Hallucinations
Visions of the Departed
Ghosts and Hauntings
Psychic Attack and Spirit Possession
The Human Aura
10 EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION
ESP of Sound
ESP of Smell
ESP of Empathy
The Power of Prayer
God’s Invisible Hand
Part III — The Lost Mind
12 WHAT IS THE MIND?
Organic Brain Syndromes:
When the Chemistry Isn’t Right
When the Brain and Mind Drive Each Other Crazy
Mania: When the Brain Goes on Overdrive
Borderline Personality Disorder:
When Spirit and Mind Collide
Multiple Personality Disorder:
When Dividing Is Surviving
13 WHEN THE SPIRIT CAN HELP THE MIND
Depression: When the Past Won’t Let Go
Anxiety Disorders: When the Future Takes Over
Neurosis and Suffering
14 MIRACLES OR MADNESS
Part IV — Tools for Transformation:
Making Your Own Miracles
15 SPIRITUAL FIRST AID
How to Recognize the Real Inner Voice
How to Diagnose Your Own Miracles
16 SPIRITUAL EMERGENCY:
OPENING THE DOOR TO CHANGE
One-Minute Imagery Rituals
17 SYMPTOMS, PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Love and Money: Learning Abundance
18 Total Transformation
19 The Tao of Love
20 FACING THE VOID:
HOW PROFOUND EMPTINESS IS CURED
Exploring the Void
The Inner Abuser
THE ANSWER TO THE BOOK’S TITLE:
Are You getting Enlightened?
APPENDIX A: MENTAL FITNESS TECHNIQUES
APPENDIX B: GUIDELINES
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