ASHOK BEDI MD, Royal Coll. Psychiatrists, DLF Amer. Psychiatric Assoc.
Clinical Professor in Psychiatry, Medical College of Wisconsin
Diplomat in Psychological Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons
Adiswarananda, S. (1996) Sri Ramakrishna Biography. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center.
Overview: This book, 'Sri Ramakrishna: A Biography' interprets the short life & teachings of modern Indian prophet Sri Ramakrishna, whose life is a story of religion in practice. It contains a brief description based on biography of the Great Avatara of Modern India - Sri Ramakrishna, compiled by Swami Nikhilananda. Also included are short explanations of several systems of Indian religious thought associated with Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual disciplines and experiences. The last part of the book, entitled, 'After the Passing Away,' gives a picture of the daily life of Sri Ramakrishna's disciple after his death and reveals the ascetic background of the Ramakrishna Mission.
Arewa, C. S. (1998) Opening to spirit: Contacting the healing power of the chakras and honouring African spirituality London, UK: Thorsons.
Overview: The chakras are very powerful wheels of energy that are present within the body. They are vital to our health and well-being and many healing and bodywork traditions, such as yoga, are based around them. This ancient system is often thought to have emerged from the yogic traditions of India, but in Opening to Spirit, Caroline Shola Arewa explores the importance of the chakras to the ancient Africans and Egyptians. She illustrates the common root of many of our spiritual traditions through the mythology and spirituality of Ancient Egypt, Early India and West Africa. The author draws on ancient Egyptian and African spirituality to create a powerful and accessible way of working with the chakras. By tapping into their healing energy we can learn how to use them for our personal growth and spiritual development.
Askin, J. (1998) Search: A handbook for adoptees and birthparents (3rd edn.) Westport, CT: Oryx Press.
Bedi, A. (2000) The path to the soul. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser
Review by Judy Fejes (2002) - The soul's essentials: spirituality and psychology: "Path to the Soul" is an intriguing and informative book on the relationship and cohesion between Eastern spiritual philosophies and Western psychiatric knowledge. It offers insight to its readers on methods to traverse that path, and ways to enhance that journey. This book is spiritually based, with the emphasis on growth of individual spirit. Psychiatric analysis is brought in to show how spiritual and psychological principles correlate in the path to the soul. Dr. Bedi has taken a complex topic and presented it in a way that is inviting, informative and detailed, yet not overly burdened with vocabulary that might challenge the average reader. Path to the Soul is an enlightening, informative, and inspirational look at the necessity and ability of each of us to examine ourselves as physical, mental and spiritual beings. It invites us to honor each part of our journey as a step toward greater freedom and connection with our souls and our Higher Spirit. The book easily transitions between psychological and spiritual discussions. Interspersed throughout are examples of patients to illustrate how he uses these foundations for his patient's well-being. Dr. Bedi really connects the interlocking of the psychological and spiritual features present in each of us. He shows how they are not separate but cohesive; and how both need tending, particularly by those in the West, where we have been entrenched in a clinical, scientific frame of mind.
Review by Roxanne Morse, PhD (2001) - The Potential for Wholeness: In "Path to the Soul" Dr. Ashok Bedi has put together a marvellous companion for the person seeking a journey of self-discovery. Readers will immediately be drawn into the careful and thoughtful merging of eastern and western wisdom and they will experience the power this wisdom holds for healing. Using a Hindu template rich in philosophy and spiritual guidance Dr. Bedi sets forth a map for spiritual wholeness that resonates to the seeker in each of us. Employing the absolute best of what current western medicine and psychological thinking have to offer, he weaves a personal program that promises meaning, fulfillment and personal freedom. Each Chapter is an introduction into a world of philosophies and ideas that call for individual action. At the end of each chapter Dr. Bedi challenges us to ask ourselves questions that will lead us deeper into our search or our "true self." He illuminates the connection between physical and emotional pain showing us how spiritual confusion and bankruptcy are part of the overall dis-ease we often feel at different points in our lives. His case illustrations are excellent examples of how ordinary people have sought to find themselves using the methods subscribed to in this text.
Path to the soul stretches beyond the confines of a self-help book. Self-help books so often tell us what we need to do to be better, to get "fixed". They imply we are bad and need to "get good". Dr. Bedi's approach assumes that the reader is good and merely struggling, seeking, to get better, to find more, to connect in even deeper ways. To connect beyond themselves to others and to the community in which they live. He emphasizes the goodness of the unique soul into which we are born and then helps the reader construct an individualized program that develops their Karmic Self to it fullest possible potential. He offers a holistic way of being in the new millennium. I recommend it highly.
Review by Jan van Schaik MD (2000) - Introduction to Hindu Teaching: 'Path to the Soul' is an excellent introduction to basic tenets of Hindu teaching. The book offers a counterpoint to traditional Western thinking by an author who is in an ideal position to integrate Eastern and Western thought. Dr. Bedi was raised in Hindu India and then subsequently educated in Western psychiatric medicine both in Great Britain and the United States. Furthermore, his Jungian training helped him to take his spiritual knowledge and put it into an emotional-psychological framework. Hence, Dr. Bedi is in a privileged position to write a valuable resource for those yearning to find a deeper sense of spiritual and emotional connection with the cosmos. Dr. Bedi deftly illustrates how ancient Vedic wisdom can help us tame the pressures of a modern day hustle-bustle lifestyle. The Western reader is initiated into a different paradigm, one that emphasizes our essential oneness with the universe, rather than the rugged individualism that epitomizes the American tradition. Dr. Bedi spurs us on to contemplate our role in the world, addressing the age old question of whether there is an ultimate purpose to our existence. He presents the thesis that our individual consciousness and being are but ephemeral transient manifestations of a larger cosmic consciousness that we would do well to honor and understand. This view adds poignancy to the altruistic Judeo-Christian teaching of Agape, that we are indeed our brother's keeper. From the vantage point espoused by Dr. Bedi, we are our brother and our brother is us. That is to say we are all part of an organic whole which comprises the universe. With this understanding, Dr. Bedi provides us with a framework to lead our lives with an eye to making the world a better place, as opposed to focusing on more parochial individual interests. Modern science emphasizes the physical realm. Bedi, drawing on the tradition of Eastern mystical teaching, presents us with a larger realm of Cosmic Soul from which the physical realm is created. Although these teachings were first outlined in the Upanishads nearly three thousand years ago, Dr. Bedi illustrates the timeless aspects of these teachings with rich twentieth century examples. Path to the Soul is a triumphant inspiration to lead a more peaceful harmonious existence. A good book often challenges assumptions that are taken for granted and stretches the reader's perspective, with the ultimate effect of expanding one's world view. Dr. Bedi accomplishes these tasks ably.
Campbell, J. (1974) The mythic image. (Bollingen Series C. ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Overview: Mythologist Joseph Campbell was a masterful storyteller, able to weave tales from every corner of the world into compelling, even spellbinding, narratives. His interest in comparative mythology began in childhood, when the young Joe Campbell was taken to see Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show at Madison Square Garden. He started writing articles on Native American mythology in high school, and the parallels between age-old myths and the mythic themes in literature and dreams became a lifelong preoccupation. Campbell's best-known work is The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), with Joseph Campbell's appearance on the TV program The Power of Myth.
During his early years as a professor of comparative religion at Sarah Lawrence College, Campbell made the acquaintance of Indologist Heinrich Zimmer, who introduced him to Paul and Mary Mellon, founders of Bollingen Series. They chose Campbell's The Mythic Image as the culmination of the series. A lavishly illustrated and beautifully produced study of the mythology of the world's high civilizations, The Mythic Image explores the relation of dreams to myth and demonstrates the important differences between oriental and occidental interpretations of dreams and life, through the medium of visual art.
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (1994). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Freud, S. (2003) The psychopathology of everyday life. New York: Penguin.
Overviews: A seminal text in psychopathology and psychoanalysis, Psychopathology of Everyday Life is Freud s attempt to explain the errors and deviations observed in everyday human behavior. By treating slips and forgetful moments as the manifestation of unconscious impulses and desires, Freud theorizes that neurosis is not the exception, but the rule. A fascinating read that still rings true today, Psychopathology of Everyday Life remains a classic of twentieth century scientific literature.
The most trivial slips of the tongue or pen, Freud believed, can reveal our secret ambitions, worries, and fantasies. The Psychopathology of Everyday Life ranks among his most enjoyable works. Starting with the story of how he once forgot the name of an Italian painter—and how a young acquaintance mangled a quotation from Virgil through fears that his girlfriend might be pregnant—it brings together a treasure trove of muddled memories, inadvertent actions, and verbal tangles. Amusing, moving, and deeply revealing of the repressed, hypocritical Viennese society of his day, Freud's dazzling interpretations provide the perfect introduction to psychoanalytic thinking in action.
According to Freud, our daily lives teem with unwitting expressions of the wishes and ideas we try to keep hidden. These suppressed notions elude our conscious control and take the form of slips of the tongue, jokes, and seemingly accidental gestures. In this classic of psychology, Freud explores the phenomenon of parapraxes: slips of the tongue commonly known as Freudian slips, acts of forgetfulness, misinterpretations, and "accidents." These simple and apparently trivial events, he explains, can possess deeper meanings with subconscious motivations — meanings that can be revealed by analysis and can ultimately offer a clearer perception of the self. Psychopathology of Everyday Life remains one of Freud’s most widely read books, full of anecdotal accounts (many of them quite amusing) and free from jargon and technical terminology. Freud draws from his personal experience to illustrate his points, citing many incidents of his own deliberate forgetting or "inexplicable" mistakes, and his conviction that these actions cannot be called truly accidental or uncaused is the primary lesson of this book. As the title suggests, this work has helped unravel the mysteries of the ordinary events of our daily lives, offering us a deeper understanding of ourselves and our motivations.
Gibson, B. (1993) The Kennedys: the third generation. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press.
Goldberg, A., & Stepansky, P. (eds.) (1984) How does analysis cure. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Overview: The Austro-American psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut was one of the foremost leaders in his field and developed the school of self-psychology, which sets aside the Freudian explanations for behavior and looks instead at self/object relationships and empathy in order to shed light on human behavior. In How Does Analysis Cure? Kohut presents the theoretical framework for self-psychology, and carefully lays out how the self develops over the course of time. Kohut also specifically defines healthy and unhealthy cases of Oedipal complexes and narcissism, while investigating the nature of analysis itself as treatment for pathologies. This in-depth examination of “the talking cure” explores the lesser studied phenomena of psychoanalysis, including when it is beneficial for analyses to be left unfinished, and the changing definition of “normal.”
An important work for working psychoanalysts, this book is important not only for psychologists, but also for anyone interested in the complex inner workings of the human psyche.
Greene, L., & Sasportas, H. (1987) The development of the personality. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser.
Overview: An exciting series by the founders of The Centre for Psychological Astrology in London. In this first volume Greene and Sasportas focus on psychological complexes and astrological factors that encompass issues from childhood. Includes: stages of childhood, the parental marriage, subpersonalities, and puer and senex. An important book helping those in the counseling process, topics include personality psychology, astrology, child development, marriage, therapy, inspirational, symbolism, and essays.
Hersh, S. M. (1997) The dark side of Camelot. New York, Toronto: Little Brown.
The Jerusalem Bible (1966) Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
Jung, C. G. (1970) The collected works of C. G. Jung [“Introduction to Wickes’s The Inner World of Childhood” (1927). In The Development of Personality] (R. F. C. Hull Trans.). (vol. 17, Bollingen Series XX. ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G. (1973a) The collected works of C. G. Jung [“The Family Constellation” (1909). In Experimental Researches] (R. F. C. Hull Trans.). (vol. 2, Bollingen Series XX. ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G. (1973b) In Adler G., Jaffé A. (Eds.), C. G. Jung letters (vol. 1, Bollingen Series XCV. ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Jung, C. G. (1974) The collected works of C. G. Jung [“A Review of the Complex Theory” (1934). In The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche] (R. F. C. Hull Trans.). (vol. 8, Bollingen Series XX. ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Kessler, R. (1996) The sins of the father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the dynasty he founded. New York: Warner Books.
Kohut, H. (1977) The restoration of the self. New York: International Universities Press.
Review: In his foundational work The Restoration of the Self, noted psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut boldly challenges what he called “the limits of classical analytic theory” and the Freudian orthodoxy. Here Kohut proposes a “psychology of the self” as a theory in its own right — one that can stand beside the teachings of Freud and Jung.
Using clinical data, Kohut explores issues such as the role of narcissism in personality, when a patient can be considered cured, and the oversimplifications and social biases that unduly influenced Freudian thought. This volume puts forth some of Kohut’s most influential ideas on achieving emotional health through a balanced, creative, and joyful sense of self.
"Kohut speaks clearly from his identity as a psychoanalyst-healer, showing that he is more of a psychoanalyst than most, and yet calling for major theoretical revisions including a redefinition of the essence of psychoanalysis.” — American Journal of Psychotherapy
Leamer, L. (2001) The Kennedy Men. New York: Morrow.
Merriam-Webster’s Deluxe Dictionary (1998) (10th collegiate edition). New York: Merriam-Webster.
Partridge, E. (1983) Origins: A short etymological dictionary of modern English. New York: Greenwich House.
Pasricha, S. K. (1998) “Cases of the reincarnation type in northern India with birthmarks and birth defects,” Journal of Scientific Exploration 12(2), 259-293.
Abstract: In an effort to contribute to the understanding of the origin of birthmarks and birth defects from the perspective of reincarnation, cases of children with memories of previous life and congenital anomalies were investigated in India, mostly in the 1990s. Reports of ten such cases are presented. The principal methods of investigation were interviews with several firsthand informants on the subject’s side of the cases as well as on the side of the deceased person whose life the subject claimed to remember. The birthmarks or birth defects were carefully examined. Their correspondence with the supposedly matching wounds on the concerned deceased person was independently verified, mostly from the medical records. Two subjects had major birth defects. One was born without his right hand and right forearm; another had a severe malformation of the spine (kyphosis) and prominent birthmark on the head. The remaining eight subjects had birthmarks corresponding to gunshot wounds, knife wounds, burns, and injuries in a vehicular accident. The birthmarks and birth defects closely corresponded to the injuries of the concerned deceased persons. The interpretations of chance, maternal impressions, super-psi, possession, and reincarnation were considered to explain the birthmarks and birth defects. The hypothesis of reincarnation seems best to explain all features of cases.
Researching the family tree with genealogical help from your public library. (1996). Milwaukee, WI: Milwaukee Public Library.
Shamdasani, S. (ed.) (1996) The psychology of Kundalini yoga. Bollingen Series XCIX. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Overview: "Kundalini yoga presented Jung with a model of something that was almost completely lacking in Western psychology -- an account of the development phases of higher consciousness... Jung's insistence on the psychogenic and symbolic significance of such states is even more timely now than then. As R. D. Laing stated... 'It was Jung who broke the ground here, but few followed him.'" - From the Introduction by Sonu Shamdasani
Jung's seminar on Kundalini yoga, presented to the Psychological Club in Zurich in 1932, has been widely regarded as a milestone in the psychological understanding of Eastern thought and of the symbolic transformations of inner experience. Kundalini yoga presented Jung with a model for the developmental phases of higher consciousness, and he interpreted its symbols in terms of the process of individuation. With sensitivity toward a new generation's interest in alternative religions and psychological exploration, Sonu Shamdasani has brought together the lectures and discussions from this seminar. In this volume, he re-creates for today's reader the fascination with which many intellectuals of prewar Europe regarded Eastern spirituality as they discovered more and more of its resources, from yoga to tantric texts. Reconstructing this seminar through new documentation, Shamdasani explains, in his introduction, why Jung thought that the comprehension of Eastern thought was essential if Western psychology was to develop. He goes on to orient today's audience toward an appreciation of some of the questions that stirred the minds of Jung and his seminar group: What is the relation between Eastern schools of liberation and Western psychotherapy? What connection is there between esoteric religious traditions and spontaneous individual experience? What light do the symbols of Kundalini yoga shed on conditions diagnosed as psychotic? Not only were these questions important to analysts in the 1930s but, as Shamdasani stresses, they continue to have psychological relevance for readers on the threshold of the twenty-first century. This volume also offers newly translated material from Jung's German language seminars, a seminar by the Indologist Wilhelm Hauer presented in conjunction with that of Jung, illustrations of the chakras, and Sir John Woodroffe's classic translation of the tantric text, the Sat-cakra Nirupana?
Reviews: "The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga serves as an excellent introduction to the higher realms of consciousness... I enthusiastically recommend this book as an introduction to realms of analytic thought generally outside the classical and mainstream views." - David Nichol, Psychoanalytic Books: A Quarterly Journal of Reviews
"In these four lectures ... Jung placed some very complex Indian concepts within the Western psychological understanding of his time, thereby helping us to grasp better both systems of thought and realization." - Betsy Halpern, Quadrant
Sheldrake, R. (1999) Dogs that know when their owners are coming home: And other unexplained powers of animals. New York: Crown Publishers.
Abstract: Many dog owners claim that their animals know when a member of the household is about to come home, showing their anticipation by waiting at a door or window. We have investigated such a dog, called Jaytee, in more than 100 videotaped experiments. His owner, Pam Smart (PS) travelled at least 7 km away from home while the place where the dog usually waited for her was filmed continuously. The time-coded videotapes were scored "blind". In experiments in which PS returned at randomly-selected times, Jaytee was at the window 4 per cent of the time during the main period of her absence and 55 percent of the time when she was returning (p < 0.0001). Jaytee showed a similar pattern of behavior in experiments conducted independently by Wiseman, Smith & Milton (1998). When PS returned at non-routine times of her own choosing, Jaytee also spent very significantly more time at the window when she was on her way home. His anticipatory behaviour usually began shortly before she set off. Jaytee also anticipated PS's return when he was left at PS's sister's house or alone in PS's flat. In control experiments, when PS was not returning, Jaytee did not wait at the window more and more as time went on. Possible explanations for Jaytee's behavior are discussed. We conclude that the dog's anticipation may have depended on a telepathic influence from his owner. - Sheldrake R. and Smart, P. (2000) “A dog that seems to know when his owner is coming home: Videotaped experiments and observations'” Journal of Scientific Exploration 14(2), 233-255.
Steele, R. (2001) Review of hostage to fortune: The letters of Joseph P. Kennedy. [Smith, A. ed.] The New York Review of Books. XLVIII (16) (October 18), 31-39.
Stevenson, I. (1966) Twenty cases suggestive of reincarnation. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia/ American Society for Psychical Research.
Stevenson, I. (1990) "Phobias in children who claim to remember previous lives," Journal of Scientific Exploration 4(2), 243-254.
Abstract: In a series of 387 children who claimed to remember a previous life phobias occurred in 14 1 (36%). The phobias nearly always corresponded to the mode of death in the life of the deceased person the child claimed to remember. They usually manifested between the ages of 2 and 5, and sometimes the child showed the phobia in early infancy before it had begun to speak about a previous life. The phobias did not derive from imitating another member of the family or from any postnatal traumatic experience. They seem to require some paranormal explanation of which, however, reincarnation is only one.
Stevenson, I. (1993) “Birthmarks and birth defects corresponding to wounds on deceased persons,” Journal of Scientific Exploration 7(4), 403-410.
Abstract: Almost nothing is known about why pigmented birthmarks (moles or nevi) occur in particular locations of the skin. The causes of most birth defects are also unknown. About 35% of children who claim to remember previous lives have birthmarks and/or birth defects that they (or adult informants) attribute to wounds on a person whose life the child remembers. The cases of 210 such children have been investigated. The birthmarks were usually areas of hairless, puckered skin; some were areas of little or no pigmentation (hypopigmented macules); others were areas of increased pigmentation (hyperpigmented nevi). The birth defects were nearly always of rare types. In cases in which a deceased person was identified the details of whose life unmistakably matched the child's statements, a close correspondence was nearly always found between the birthmarks and/or birth defects on the child and the wounds on the deceased person. In 43 of 49 cases in which a medical document (usually a postmortem report) was obtained, it confirmed the correspondence between wounds and birthmarks (or birth defects). There is little evidence that parents and other informants imposed a false identity on the child in order to explain the child's birthmark or birth defect. Some paranormal process seems required to account for at least some of the details of these cases, including the birthmarks and birth defects.
Stevenson, I. (2000) Children who remember previous lives: A question of reincarnation (revised edition). Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.
Stevenson, I. (2000) "Unusual play in young children who claim to remember past lives," Journal of Scientific Exploration 14(4), 557-570.
Abstract: Among 278 cases of children who claim to remember previous lives, 66 (23.7%) engaged in play that was unusual for their families and had no model in family members or other obvious normal stimulus. This paper reports 25 examples of such atypical play. The play accorded with claimed memories of previous lives expressed by the children when they could speak. The child’s unusual play sometimes gave its parents the first indication they had that the child was possibly remembering a previous life. In 22 cases the child’s statements were found to match events in the life of a specific deceased person. In such cases the play was also found to correspond to some aspects of that deceased person’s life, such as his or her vocation, avocation, or mode of death.
Subramuniyaswami (1993) Dancing with Siva: Hinduism’s contemporary catechism. Kapaa, HI: Himalayan Academy.
Overview: Every spiritually-inclined human being will be enriched by the path revealed in this extraordinary book. India's tolerant and diverse vision of the Divine is all here: meditative, devotional, philosophical, scriptural and yogic.
From Library Journal: This almost encyclopedic "sourcebook" of Hinduism presents Hinduism, particularly Saivite Hinduism, from the point of view of contemporary Hindus. It uses the traditional four-line presentation, followed by 21-line commentary, to explain 155 points of history, doctrine, ritual, and practice. These explanations are supplemented by verses of scripture, extensive illustrations, a Hindu timeline, a children's primer, and charts. More than triple the length of the preceding edition, this work is accessible to non-Hindus. Highly recommended.
From Scientific American: In the main body of the book, the swami concisely answers 155 key questions, ranging from "What is the ultimate goal of early life?" to "How are Hindu marriages arranged?" Other resources include a 40-page timeline, a 200-page lexicon of Hindu terms, a comparative guide to major religious traditions, and a primer for teaching religious principles to children. The book is enriched by extensive scriptural quotations and reproductions of Rajput art.
Stevenson, I. (1984) Unlearned language: new studies in xeneglossy. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.
Taylor, M. A. (1998–2002) All about adoption research. Retrieved from http://www.RootsWeb.com~rwguide/lesson31.html
Yatiswarananda, S. (1937) “A glimpse into Hindu religious symbology.” [In Sri Ramakrishna Centenary Committee, eds. Cultural Heritage of India, II. 3 vols. ]. Calcutta: Belur Math.
ASHOK BEDI MD, RC Psychiatrists, DLF Amer. Psychiatric Assoc.
Clinical Professor in Psychiatry, Medical College of Wisconsin
Diplomat in Psychological Medicine, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons