Dr. Gersten reports that, "From the moment I first stepped on to the sand of Prasanthi Nilayam in
1978, I noticed that amazing connections, synchronicities, were so common
that one could dove-tail right into the next one. While I personally
experience a lot of synchronicity in America, the accleration of these
events in the immediate presence of Sai Baba is extraordinary.
In 1983 I was sitting in the sand, waiting for Sai Baba to come out of the temple. I noticed that the man next tome had a backpack with the words "Clairment Men's College" written on it. I struck up a conversation. "So, you're from Clairemont California?" "Yes I am," He replied. "Well, that's amazing. You see, I attended Pomona College, one of the Clairemont colleges. You must know of it." "Oh yes, of course. But, actually, I'm from Denver." "No kidding," I replied. "So am I. What part of Denver are you from?" "I grew up around 14th Street and Detroit." "Wow, I bet you went to East High." "Yes, I sure did," Bob replied. "I went to East High School also."
The synchronicity was just getting intense, amazing, miraculous . . . and very funny.
Bob continued, "So where did you grow up?" "Oh, I grew up at 14th and Forest." "No kidding. My father owned Fairfax Hardware. Do you know the place?" "Do I know it? It was just one and a half blocks from home and I must have been there hundreds of times. I loved hardware stores." "Well . . . I worked in the store on weekends." "Then I must have run into you many times while I was growing up."
Three years later, 1986, I was back at the ashram. I ran into Bob and his wife, Jenny, who invited me over for dinner. Bob was sitting at a table reading the East High Spotlight. I think he had received it his entire life. As he was reading the paper, I commented about our experience three years earlier. Bob had forgotten, but quickly remembered the experience. And then I read the East High Spotlight for the first time in twenty years.
It is quite stunning to have this kind of interaction 13,000 miles from home in a remote village in India, but I have had many such experiences. The first odd experience I had, like this one, occurred the first day I was at the ashram in 1978. I had traveled with two other psychiatrists.
Dr. Samuel Sandweiss ran into a friend of his (a long-time devotee of Sai Baba) and introduced me to him. "Jack, this is my friend Dennis Gersten." "Is Dr. Gersten your father?" Jack replied. "Dr. Jerome Gersten is my father. Yes, how do you know him?" "Well, I used to sell medical equipment and your father was the Chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado."
My father (now departed) was quite famous in his medical specialty, world-famous in fact. I had grown up hearing, "Ooh, Dr. Gersten's your father?" I had lived in the shadow of a medical giant, but it was indeed strange to hear the very same words I grew up with . . . in Prasanthi Nilayam, Sai Baba' ashram, that is next to the tiny rural village of Puttaparthi.
As if having my childhood and family brought dramatically to my attention in this way was not enough, a week later I was touring India and had a repeat performance. I took a bus tour from New Dehli to Agra to see the Taj Majal. I overheard the couple next to me talking about a fire that had burned some condominiums in Estes Park, Colorado. I struck up a conversation and learned that these people owned a condominium only a mile away from my parents condo in Estes Park. It was good to know that my parents' condo had not been burned."
- Dennis Gersten