© 1997, Dennis Gersten, M.D. Excerpted with permission from ARE YOU GETTING ENLIGHTENED OR LOSING YOUR MIND? A Spiritual Program for Mental Fitness (Harmony, a Division of Crown Books, May 1997) This excerpt may not be reprinted without written permission from Harmony Books.

Don P., a likable, soft-spoken, outwardly tough fireman of few words, was referred to me by his oncologist who thought it would be good for him to learn some imagery skills to help him cope with the lung cancer that had spread to his brain. He had six inoperable tumors in his brain and wanted to fight the cancer with every technique he could find. In our first session, I asked Don the 25 spiritual questions psychiatrists are afraid to ask, and Don volunteered, "I don't know if you'll believe this, but as I was coming out of surgery after the first cancer operation, I had a real vision. I saw this giant eagle that swooped down and picked me up in its claws. It carried me over hills and valleys finally landing at the top of a great cliff. It dropped me into its nest. I wasn't scared at all, even when the eagle began 'tearing out my guts.' I knew it meant he was eating the cancer. Suddenly a beautiful angel appeared over me, hovering in the air."

At this point Don broke down and began sobbing. "Why me?" he asked.
"What do you mean?" I replied.
"Why would I deserve an angel? I've never done anything special." He sobbed, trying to get control of himself.
"Don," I said. "You're asking the wrong question. The question is not 'Why me?' The question is 'Why not me?'"
"Why do I deserve an angel?"
"That's exactly my point, Don. Everybody deserves an angel. To think you are not worthy of the love this angel brought you is incorrect thinking. Now I don't know if we can save your life through imagery, but I can tell you that to be open to healing your cancer, you're going to have to open yourself completely to love. You're going to need to let go of old ideas that you're not good enough, not worthy, or that God doesn't love you. The angel came to you. That's proof in itself that you deserve the experience."...              Please Read Medical Disclaimer

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