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Published: Jun.10.2011

A Case Presentation About The Nature Of Consciousness (sponsored by Bernard Haisch)

Samuel H. Sandweiss

Is consciousness an outgrowth of the physical brain -- or is it something more fundamental, perhaps the primary substance of reality? This centrally important and relevant question in science today is addressed by the following case.

In June – July, 1983, in San Diego, CA, I observed and videotaped remarkable phenomena in the course of treating a 32-year-old female Caucasian patient who suffered from a severe pain (headaches)/pseudo-seizures disorder. Having dropped out of high school and without having had any prior knowledge of Sanskrit, my patient spontaneously began to speak Sanskrit fluently, write it down phonetically, and translate it into English. The spontaneous Sanskrit productions expressed insights from mystical Indian thought about the nature of reality and consciousness. Two Sanskrit scholars verified that most of the words were clearly Sanskrit, some were distortions that closely resembled Sanskrit words, and a very few were English. They felt that it would be impossible for the patient to have learned this language simply to impress a psychiatrist – let alone be able to express such spiritually sophisticated ideas.

What made this case even more remarkable was that vibuthi (a spiritually significant ash) and amrita (a spiritually significant nectar) formed on the face of the patient and on pictures in the home of caregivers when the patient was present. These phenomena were witnessed and described on camera by reliable observers, and videotaped by me.
This case provides compelling information about the possibility that consciousness extends beyond our physical brain and personal life experience, as my patient communicated information she had no plausible way of knowing otherwise. Although these phenomena cannot be explained by Western scientific concepts, the Sanskrit notes clearly declare the primacy of consciousness consistent with Vedantic teachings. Also, vibuthi and amrita are produced or materialize in a way not understood by contemporary science, suggesting that consciousness can create matter.

I would like to present this case by showing video clips of these unusual phenomena, while commenting about their possible significance to our understanding of the relationship of matter and consciousness.

Samuel H. Sandweiss, M.D., is a practicing psychiatrist for over 40 years and is currently living in San Diego, California USA. He has been a Medical Director of a psychiatric clinic and has taught at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine in the position of Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. He has been a consultant to the Dialysis and Kidney Transplantation Program at the Univ. of California San Diego School of Medicine, and has consulted with geriatric programs and with Hospice. Dr. Sandweiss has been interested in the relationship of spirituality and psychiatry and how spiritual practices affect the mind and expand consciousness and love.
Bio: author of three books about Sathya Sai Baba, Sai Baba: The Holyman And The Psychiatrist, Spirit And The Mind, and the recently published With Love, Man is God -- Dr. Sandweiss has also served on the Sathya Sai Baba Council of the United States since it’s beginning in 1975. He and his wife Sharon have hosted a Sai Baba Center in their home for over 37 years and they oversee Birth Day Publishing Company, which publishes books about Sai Baba by Western authors.