Are you a 7th Grade reader?: Perspectives on The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy

The problem with reviews, whether on Amazon, Goodreads, or Yelp, is that they are unreliable. A wonderful restaurant is degraded because the service was too slow or the reviewer didn’t like the waiter’s expression. The subjectivity taints the report and it does about the food, but other things (“I didn’t like the decor.”

Now, knowledgeable readers are familiar with Kirkus, Portland, Midwest, and San Francisco Book Reviews. Their staffs are professional critics who read for story, writing skills, and to be transported into the world of the novel. Not all submissions are reviewed. Here are some examples:

–Brian Allen, Editor of Phenomena Magazine, says, “Anyone who has seen the film ‘Lucy’ will get the idea, but more so… [This] is an absolute thrill ride of a book that is almost impossible to put down.” 

–Kirkus Review–“an exuberant and involving read,” 

–Portland Book Review–“having the right amount of adventure and romance, this crisscrossing genre tale isn’t just a good read, but may also look great on a big screen,”

–Self-Publishing Review–“the book mixes uncommon palettes and manages a masterpiece with it. If The Andromeda Strain was analyzed in four dimensions, The SHIVA Syndrome might be the result,”

–Midwest Book Review– “highly recommended, indeed; especially for thriller and sci-fi readers who have become deluged with too much predictability and who seek cutting-edge action, believable protagonists, and action that is solidly intense throughout,”

–San Francisco Book Review “Science fiction fans will love The SHIVA Syndrome. Fans of paranormal fiction, psychological thriller, philosophy and fantasy will love it, too.”

Some lay readers, it seems, want their literary food chewed for them. They are turned off by being challenged by a novel, made to think, opened to new areas they’ve never explored.

Harold Bloom, an American literary critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University is a prominent Shakespearean lecturer. He refers to some of Shakespeare’s work as “elliptical,” or ambiguous. The author/playwright intentionally doesn’t shed light on all aspects , but leaves the readers/audience guessing. For example, it’s hinted that Brutus is Julius Caesar’s illegitimate son as Hamlet is that of Claudius.

As a psychologist/author, I examined the reviews of ordinary readers of The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy, I found interesting trends. Many readers wanted an easier read. Hollister Creative (Jun 20, 2017) writes, “Do you read like a 7th grader? Actually, the question should be, “Do you like to read like a 7th grader?” If so, you are like most people who read website and blog content. The average American adult reading level is that of a 9th grader. But popular mass-market novels are written at a 7th grade level because studies show adults prefer reading two grades below their ability.”

Here some very different examples:
“5.0 out of 5 stars Long and Exciting Thriller June 28, 2019
The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy is a long and exciting thriller that contains three books in one. Dr. Walker, the protagonist has special powers. Born to an African American mother and Native American father, he is blessed (or cursed) with a higher sensibility. He could read people’s intentions and their lives with a single touch and could also feel the intense pain of people many miles away. He possesses a deeply analytic and receptive mind and due to it gets involved in a high-secret mission. There are other gifted people in the team, but it is difficult to maintain the trust factor and know who is his alley and who an enemy. The story is filled with numerous revelations and contains many elements like paranormal and psychotic. There are many frightening pieces of stuff like drug-induced mind control of soldiers which in real-life could create havoc on the earth. The plot is a mixture of fantastical and realistic. It is brilliantly written and maintains the interest from the first page to the last. “

4.0 out of 5 stars Complex, Exciting, and Thrilling June 21, 2019
This exciting sci-fi trilogy deals with subjects like psychology, biotechnology, spirituality, and more. I thought that the story was well-written and full of some very captivating plot twists. There is a lot of complexity in the series; it has a lot of interesting layers that all come together in unique and interesting ways, but I would definitely say make sure you are paying attention while reading or you might get lost and confused. This book is action-packed and explores some really thought-provoking subjects, making it both a thrilling read and fascinating book. I really appreciated having all three books in one so that I did not have to stop while consuming the entire story. There is a lot going on, and it is all very exciting. This book makes for an excellent read.

4.0 out of 5 stars Intense and Detailed June 20, 2019
The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy: (The Mind of Stefan Dürr, The Cosmic Ape, The Interdimensional Nexus) by Alan Joshua is a trilogy that will blow your mind. The first book itself opens with a creepy scene, a man floating in a tank much like a fetus in the womb. This book crosses the genres of thriller, sci-fi, and the paranormal. If you like any of those, you will most likely dive into this book and never look back. The story line itself is fairly complex, and a bit difficult to keep track of, the author has definitely done his research when it comes to scientific matters. The average reader may find these things hard to follow, but nonetheless the story is interesting and clever. A thought-provoking and riveting read, set aside a few hours to fully delve into this heady book. It will make you question your perception of reality and more. There’s a little bit of everything here from the paranormal to anthropology, making this a challenging and substantial book. Highly recommend.

In contrast, here is a review from another pole:

“This is a trilogy, released here as one book, though you can purchase and read them separately if you wish…I admit, I’m very confused as to why the option; if this shouldn’t be experienced fully as separate novels, then it should simply be one novel instead of three. [This has nothing to do with story and was a New York editor’s suggestion]. Anyway, “The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy” consists of “The Mind of Stefan Dürr,” “The Cosmic Ape,” and “The Interdimensional Nexus.” Alan Joshua gives us nearly 700 pages of science fiction mixed with paranormal cut with psychological thrills and mythology, and then double dipped in social and philosophical dilemmas. There is nothing simple about this story, so much so that it can be quite hard to follow at times. [Not true, but why should there be? This is written for adults reading above the 9th grade level.] Characters are plentiful, nearly to the point of over-saturating the plot, [Subjective: not said elsewhere] and never mind that I actually couldn’t stand any of them and couldn’t possibly care less about what happens to them [No one criticized the “plentiful” characters; she could not relate to any Sounds like a rush read and or lack of empathy.]. I tried to give this a fair chance and I believe I made a good effort. The fault doesn’t lie with me. I think this author should go back to the drawing board, take only the bare bones, core concepts, and give this sci-fi idea a brand new lease.”

Always interested in my readers, I discovered that she is not a sci-fi buff and should not have been chosen as a reviewer. She says, in relation to another book says, “Well, simply reading the summary, I would have had zero idea what “XXX” is about beyond it being in the science fiction genre.  I feel guilty ripping this to shreds [which she would do] because if the blurbs are true, “XXX” has been a hit with readers from South Korea to the United States. It could be that I am not the intended audience [sci-fi] the author was writing for, and that’s okay. Based on positive feedback from others and overall good press surrounding this sci-fi book, I am settling on an intermediate rating. [This rating is based on guilt and the reactions of others]

So, in assessing readers, I have learned many prefer to read below their education level, many do not like to be encouraged to explore new ideas, and their reviews–as on Yelp–can be biased by choosing the wrong genre. Others become frustrated if they have to consult a dictionary, this lowering their rating. What subjectivity and dishonesty–rating a book based on the blurbs of others!

After two years, The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy has 66 reviews on Amazon (4.3 average) and 49 reviews on Goodreads (4.29 average).

I hope I haven’t offended anyone. My intent was to clarify the subjectivity of readers’ reactions. After all, who of us liked Shakespeare while in high school only to discover his brilliance as adults?

Goodreads Review: 98% of people liked The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy

Cold Coffee Cold Coffee rated it 5 stars

From the very first paragraph, I was hooked on this prize-winning, sci-fi, paranormal adventure. If you are not afraid of the unknown and are willing to become part of this suspenseful page-turner, I strongly recommend this book.

Alan Joshua begins The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy in the basement of a Russian brain research institute. If you’ve ever wondered if humans are being used in mind control experiments hidden in the underbelly of governments as scientific research, this realistic, fictional account will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and pulse pound. Full of astonishing detail, it reads like a handbook for psychic development: “Stefan Dürr’s wiry frame hovered in a transparent, liquid-filled, vertical sensory deprivation tank. Naked, with the exception of a soft weight belt, straps battened down a round, silver helmet covering his head and shoulders. When he exhaled, a plastic umbilical line at the top released a stream of bubbles that crept through the viscous solution toward the surface.”

In a time where understanding and controlling horrific catastrophes, far beyond the threat of climate change around the world, researchers conclude that the evolution of human consciousness might be our only salvation. For those of you who have seen or read Chayefsky’s Altered States, this is similar but Altered States on speed, reaching far beyond.

This is great storytelling and is striking in its visualizations. It is filled with dialog that will hold your interest as well as believable characters, like disgraced research professor Dr. Beau Walker. For example, in Philadelphia, Walker resigns himself to a weekend of scoring his students’ booklets on basic psychology. But the weekend is not what he imagined. As he naps, the Russian city of Podol’sk is inexplicably vaporized in deadly silence. Unaware of his paranormal bond with the event, Walker “clawed at the sweat-saturated shirt, now tinged pink with oozing blood, rolling his head back and forth on a damp pillow.” What is this puzzling link with event 5,000 miles away?

Walker’s nightmares continue when he is snatched by the government and coerced to join a U.S./Russian multidisciplinary scientific team, searching for the cause of the disasters. Their descent into a Russian crater will have you on the edge of your seat.

This trilogy is for any sci-fi, paranormal, or action-adventure fan. Certainly, worthy of a movie, it is full of surprises and twists and turns. I urge you to step into a story where science, the paranormal and human consciousness meet with unexpected and devastating results. Be prepared for the “after sense” as I call it, the lingering thoughts after you close the book. I recommend that you buy this combined version of the trilogy.

The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy is not limited only to sci-fi fans. It is for thinking people seeking stories of some complexity that can be intriguing and mentally stimulating. If you love science fiction and are tired of the lack of imagination found in many books and movies today, this psychological thriller should be your next read.

I expected to hate this book but wow was I wrong!

 

Wendy L, Reviewer #SFRTG

I expected to hate this book but wow was I wrong! While Thrillers and sci fi are my favorite genres
the paranormal is not my thing. This book blends all three in an unexpected and interesting way.
The research that went into this book is exhaustive. It's a bit hard to follow at times due to how the
author refers to the characters (first names then last names) but it's worth it.

Beau Walker is asked to join an expedition to find out what went wrong with a laboratory experiment in
Podolsk Russia. All that is left of the lab is a huge crater that is slowly expanding. What they find
there and what follows will make you really stop and think. 

I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in sci fi, thrillers, paranormal and spirituality.

The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy

More than a scientist, more than the offspring of a Mohawk–African American marriage–and far more than human, Beau Walker holds the key to human evolution…and its annihilation. A disgraced researcher, Walker is snatched by the military and forced to join a U.S./Russian scientific team, searching for the cause of the disaster. Beginning with a terrifying descent into the mile-deep Russian crater where he finds an American astronaut’s arm, he is hurled into the worlds of advanced biotechnology, biowarfare, paranormal research, and military intrigue.
The stakes are unimaginable: Find and control the cause of the events or face planet-wide obliteration.
—————————————————————————————————
Dr. Stanley Krippner, internationally known parapsychologist, writes: 
5.0 out of 5 stars
A remarkable book!
After a Russian mind-research project opens a black hole in a Moscow suburb, researcher Beau Walker is coerced into joining the ensuing investigation. He soon realizes that anomalies worldwide–including the loss of an American space shuttle and a bizarre personal experience–coincided with the Podol’sk singularity. As events escalate, Walker embarks on an epic journey to come to terms with his personal demons, even as he struggles to save humanity from itself.

In The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy (by Alan Joshua), the author (a clinical psychologist) skillfully and ingeniously interweaves altered states of consciousness and parapsychology with genetics, paleontology, mythology, and religion to produce a frightening, brisk, and film-worthy story building to an intense climax. The story challenges conventional notions of reality, ultimately concluding that human consciousness extends well beyond the flesh–and offers enormous potential for both creation and destruction.
————————————————————————————————-
Amazon:
Feb 27, 2019 Sherry rated it it was amazing
The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy is destined to become a sci-fi classic. The excitement never lets up and it would take years to fact check all of the information it contains. The scope of the story reveals a lifetime of research and deep thought. It spans almost every hard scientific field and delves into psychology, anthropology, religion and the paranormal. Alan Joshua’s rich and grounded imagination manages to connect all of these seemingly disparate systems into a thought provoking unity of human experience. The writing is totally engaging and the sustained intensity makes it hard to put down, except to catch your breath.
—————————————————————————————————
KIRKUS REVIEW: “Deft dialogue, crisp plotting, and a likable central figure make this multidisciplinary scientific adventure an exuberant and involving read.”

PORTLAND BOOK REVIEW: “Having the right amount of adventure and romance, this crisscrossing genre tale isn’t just a good read, but may also look great on a big screen.”

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW: “Highly recommended, indeed; especially for thriller and sci-fi readers who have become deluged with too much predictability and who seek cutting-edge action, believable protagonists, and action that is solidly intense throughout.”

IND’TALE MAGAZINE: “a riveting, page-turner, right from the start!”

PHENOMENA MAGAZINE: “Well plotted and written, this is an absolute thrill ride of a book that is almost impossible to put down: it might also cause the reader to wonder what really does go on (MK-Ultra for example) in some of the secret government laboratories dotted around the world.”

Amazon and Goodreads Readers:
“The Shiva Syndrome is in the top 10 books of the best sci-fi/fantasy books I have read in over 40 years and I read over 200 books a year!”

“Let’s get straight to the point: The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy is one of the best-written stories I’ve read in years.”

“I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a science fiction journey that is so well researched that it truly could be happening right now! This was one book that caused me to rethink what happens behind closed doors.”

 

The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy: Mind control experiments hidden in the underbelly of governments

Cold Coffee

From the very first paragraph, I was hooked on this prize-winning, sci-fi, paranormal adventure. If you are not afraid of the unknown and are willing to become part of this suspenseful page-turner, I strongly recommend this book.

Alan Joshua begins The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy in the basement of a Russian brain research institute. If you’ve ever wondered if humans are being used in mind control experiments hidden in the underbelly of governments as scientific research, this realistic, fictional account will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and pulse pound. Full of astonishing detail, it reads like a handbook for psychic development: “Stefan Dürr’s wiry frame hovered in a transparent, liquid-filled, vertical sensory deprivation tank. Naked, with the exception of a soft weight belt, straps battened down a round, silver helmet covering his head and shoulders. When he exhaled, a plastic umbilical line at the top released a stream of bubbles that crept through the viscous solution toward the surface.”

In a time where understanding and controlling horrific catastrophes, far beyond the threat of climate change around the world, researchers conclude that the evolution of human consciousness might be our only salvation. For those of you who have seen or read Chayefsky’s Altered States, this is similar but Altered States on speed, reaching far beyond.

This is great storytelling and is striking in its visualizations. It is filled with dialog that will hold your interest as well as believable characters, like disgraced research professor Dr. Beau Walker. For example, in Philadelphia, Walker resigns himself to a weekend of scoring his students’ booklets on basic psychology. But the weekend is not what he imagined. As he naps, the Russian city of Podol’sk is inexplicably vaporized in deadly silence. Unaware of his paranormal bond with the event, Walker “clawed at the sweat-saturated shirt, now tinged pink with oozing blood, rolling his head back and forth on a damp pillow.” What is this puzzling link with an event 5,000 miles away?

Walker’s nightmares continue when he is snatched by the government and coerced to join a U.S./Russian multidisciplinary scientific team, searching for the cause of the disasters. Their descent into a Russian crater will have you on the edge of your seat.

This trilogy is for any sci-fi, paranormal, or action-adventure fan. Certainly, worthy of a movie, it is full of surprises and twists and turns. I urge you to step into a story where science, the paranormal and human consciousness meet with unexpected and devastating results. Be prepared for the “after sense” as I call it, the lingering thoughts after you close the book. I recommend that you buy this combined version of the trilogy.

The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy is not limited only to sci-fi fans. It is for thinking people seeking stories of some complexity that can be intriguing and mentally stimulating. If you love science fiction and are tired of the lack of imagination found in many books and movies today, this psychological thriller should be your next read.

2018 New Apple Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing: The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy chosen as one of 3 “Official Selections”

Your book ‘The Shiva Syndrome Trilogy‘ was chosen as an “Official Selection” in the SCIENCE FICTION category of our Fifth Annual Indie Book Awards! 
“Official Selection” status is an Honorable Mention.

Each category receives a solo Medalist Winner.  When the judging panel for the category can not come to a unanimous decision for the medalist winner, they will select up to three Official Selections out of all the entries within the category.  These receive honorable mention distinction.  The Official Selections are all equal in their honors, not second or third, etc.

The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy: The Dream Culture of the Neanderthals

Mankind’s Origins by Stan Gooch
The Dream Culture of the Neanderthals: Guardians of the Ancient Wisdom

The Dream Culture of the Neanderthals explores the influence of Neanderthal man on the cultural and biological development of humanity. It traces the power of long-held beliefs and superstitions to the influence of Neanderthal lunar and dream-based traditions. This work offers a compelling vision of a unified humanity that can benefit from the gifts of both its Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon ancestors. The Dream Culture of the Neanderthals provides evidence that direct descendants of the Neanderthal race may still be alive in Central Asia. A number of long-standing beliefs and superstitions show how the ideas that dominated the lives of our ancestors still have a powerful influence on us today.

Contrary to current theories, Stan Gooch maintains that the Neanderthals were not destroyed by the younger Cro-Magnon culture but were incorporated into that culture through interbreeding. The blending of the disparate influences of the lunar, matriarchal-based Neanderthals and the solar, patriarchal Cro-Magnons may explain the contradictory impulses and influences that have generated human conflict for millennia. There is evidence that direct descendents of the moon-worshipping, dream-cultivating Neanderthal race are still living in Central Asia today. While their physical descendants may be almost extinct, the influence of Neanderthal occult wisdom remains strong and can be found throughout history among witches, kabbalists, the Knights Templar, Rosicrucians, and even in Christianity.

About the Author
Stan Gooch began his career as a highly regarded psychological researcher who studied the evolution and history of the brain in his books Total Man and Personality and Evolution. His research on paranormal influences and Neanderthal culture appear in his books The Double Helix of the Mind, Cities of Dreams, and The Secret Life of Humans. He lives in Wales.“Stan Gooch is a brilliant, bold, and original thinker.”

From The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy

Walker moved down the rough walls of the hillock and worked his way along a game trail. A sudden, resounding roar from a ledge above made him freeze in place. Holding his breath, he raised his eyes slowly. Overhead, a huge, slavering cat’s head peered down, its lips drawn back, revealing four-inch long, scimitar-shaped teeth. He pressed into a niche in the rock wall, screwed his eyes shut, and tried to deny the reality of his situation.

Another thunderous roar confirmed its actuality. His eyes darted about wildly, searching for an escape route.

The sinister, striped beige-and-white beast appeared at the bend in the path. It sniffed the air as if relishing his scent, then moved closer. Slowly, gracefully, its sinewy body wound around the curved path. Its green eyes fixed on him, it dipped, coiling into a crouch, readying to spring.

A dark object shot out of a recess in the wall. The thick spear plunged into the cat’s side with such force, it was almost tipped off its feet. With a piercing screech, the cat writhed to free itself. Thick, steely arms forced it toward the edge, pushing it over the side, crashing into rocks below before it slammed to the ground.

Walker released the breath he held, but his relief was short-lived. A barrel-chested figure draped in animal skins stepped into view, holding the blood-slicked, stone-tipped spear. The hulking man watched him expressionlessly. Thick, protruding brow ridges sloped back to reddish-brown hair, merging into a scraggly beard that framed his crude features. Was that a glint of intelligence in the man’s deep-set eyes? He seemed as baffled by Walker’s appearance as Walker was by his.

Could he be…A Neanderthal !

He stepped away from the wall and held up his hands, showing empty palms. He forced a strained smile and pointed to himself. “Walk-er, Walk-er, Walk-er. I-am-Walk-er.”

The Neanderthal’s head tilted inquisitively as Walker spoke, his spear held in readiness. He listened intently, then tried to imitate Walker. He pursed his protruding lips and bellowed a loud, high-pitched, “W’gee! W’gee!” He moved closer and circled Walker carefully. “W’gee!”

The Neanderthal stretched his neck to sniff him, then tugged at his clothes. He reeked of body odor, foul breath, and sweat. Although Walker wanted to draw away from the disgusting stink, he remained still.

After a long moment, he held up his palm. The Neanderthal seized his wrist in a beefy fist. Walker grimaced in pain and dropped to one knee.

The empathic effect of the physical contact was immediate and powerful. His mind filled with intense sensations, images, and primal emotions. A verdant valley, others of his kind huddled around a fire pit, the burial of an ochre-covered child in a fetal position under a wildflower blanket, the deep pain of a wolf’s jaws locked
onto his forearm.

The man pulled him to his feet and, thankfully, released his wrist. He stared into Walker’s eyes, then slapped his great chest with his hand. “Ruh!” he exclaimed forcefully. “Ruh.” He struck his chest again.

Walker was confused. He forced a smile and shook his head, trying to convey his lack of understanding.

The Neanderthal watched Walker, as if he were attempting to work out the problem. Then his eyes gleamed with what seemed to be an insight. He reached out and tapped Walker’s chest with a thick index finger, pushing him back with his extraordinary strength. “W’gee.” The Neanderthal tapped him again. “W’gee.” He turned his finger toward himself and tapped himself twice. “Ruh!” He paused. “Ruh!”

Walker nodded his understanding. He pointed to himself and said “W’gee.” Then he pointed to the man and said “Ruh.” The man dipped his head and drew his protuberant lips back into what seemed to be a smile of acknowledgement. So, your name is Ruh.

Using short, shrill phrasings, Ruh pointed ahead and down, urging Walker to descend.

They soon reached the bottom. Walker’s captor pushed at his back, directing him toward the dead cat. Ruh moved around the animal cautiously, poking it with the spear.

Walker stopped cold. The creature’s front paws twitched in a death reflex. With a piercing scream, Ruh’s spear smashed into the animal’s skull, crushing it and showering himself and Walker with blood and blobs of brain tissue.

He took a finely chipped hand axe from a fur pouch at his waist and whacked at a long tooth until it broke away. With a guttural grunt, he offered the tooth to Walker.

Walker smiled and accepted it, then stuffed it in his pocket. Apparently satisfied, Ruh screeched a long and short burst that sounded like a command toward a nearby thicket.

Two figures appeared from behind the dense bushes and approached slowly.

To Walker’s surprise, the taller one had the proportions of a modern human. Exposed, drooping breasts identified her as female. She was slightly taller than the Neanderthal, with a narrow head, lighter skin tone, and dark brown hair. Unlike the Neanderthal, her brow did not protrude and she had a conspicuous chin. She remained at a distance, kneeling, avoiding Walker’s probing eyes.

A child hid behind her.

“They don’t belong together!” he gasped. “A Neanderthal male and a Cro-Magnon female?”

Cinematherapy: Take a Spielberg and call me in the morning

Living Stories of  Achievement and Healing

In National Psychologist (May edition, 2006) by Richard E. Gill Assistant Editor and Allan Cooperstein, Ph.D. (Alan Joshua).

Sounds absurd, but watching a film may not be for entertainment alone. It can be a type of therapy that enables the viewer to explore and experience deeper layers of one’s being by identifying with film character to develop mental strength and gain lost, forgotten or undeveloped inner resources. Exposing a patient to a film in which the character suffers similar symptoms or situations may catalyze healing by allowing identification with the character and thus move toward resolving problems, said Allan Cooperstein, Ph.D., a clinical and forensic psychologist. “Cinematherapy allows a person to gain awareness of deeper layers of themselves, to help them move toward a new perspective in their behavior as well as healing and integration of the total self. It’s possible for the person to connect with the film’s character to help resolve problems and to broaden the scope of meanings,” Cooperstein said.

Of the film-watching process, Cooperstein said, “Subconscious changes are intensified via the viewer’s sympathy and hope – attributes that make people human. The film is a perfect example of a man with unresolved PTSD and hidden pain who, unlike Viktor Frankl (see Man’s Search for Meaning) is trapped in horror of his past, Cooperstein explained. A patient suffering similar symptoms might be able to identify with the film’s character, empathize with him and, in watching, realize that he is undergoing similar symptoms never before made conscious or even denied.

Cooperstein, presently writing an article on A Christmas Carol, said Charles Dickens’ 19th century offering provides an extraordinary example of how Cinematherapy works. Taken on a tour through time by “spirits,” Ebenezer Scrooge, a Victorian anti-hero, becomes an observer capable of seeing his past shortcomings and missed opportunities. Although taking place in fantasy, reverie or altered consciousness, it demonstrates Scrooge’s reclamation through his experiential “mind movie” and leads to healing and a richer, happier life. The theme of conversion is prevalent among Dickens’ works, but nowhere is this more desired, welcome, beneficial and joyous than in this tale of a misbegotten life in which Scrooge’s dream has the suggestion of a form of hypnotic psychotherapy, offered Cooperstein.

One of the benefits of Cinematherapy is to have a person watch a film that expresses the type of mental distress they are experiencing. “By watching a film that has something to do with you, subject-object barriers between you and the story begin to break down,” Cooperstein suggests. Another example is a person who is extremely depressed. A psychologist would ask the person to watch a film in which the character is suffering from the same illness and had success overcoming it. The character’s road towards progress, while not necessarily the same as the patient’s, can offer exemplars that may generate others better suited to the patient’s life. “The patient could model himself after some of the character’s successes modify his own behavior but keep his own identity, allowing him to become the same individual who would be more effective… while developing inner strength and coping skills.”

It’s very important, Cooperstein said, to bring back into therapy what a person has discovered or learned from watching the film. Cooperstein likens the process to a hypnotic state in some susceptible patients and has even coupled the process to biofeedback to enhance the effect. During therapy, Cooperstein attempts to have the person model or try to implement some of the successes the character has demonstrated in the film.

Cinematherapy also can be used for patients who are mentally challenged (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?), or chronically ill (Whose Life Is It Anyway? and Bigger Than Life), or narcissistic (Schindler’s List) or have poor self-esteem (The Color Purple). It provides situations and role models to which they can relate, human constructs of which they may have not conceived before.

While somewhat outdated, Rebel Without A Cause still brings the same message of a troubled teen with ineffectual parents, as it did when James Dean burst into the public’s eye portraying an adolescent plagued by the troubles of youth and how he goes about resolving those problems. The film could be used today for a youth suffering similar problems. But, Cooperstein warned, although watching a film might help identify problems and potential solutions, they must be tailored to the individual’s dynamics and do not, however, tell the person fully how to resolve their personal problems or situations. “That’s where nothing less than a comprehensive therapeutic approach comes into play.”

Of the film-watching process, Cooperstein said, “Subconscious changes are intensified via the viewer’s sympathy and hope – attributes that make people human. The film is a perfect example of a man with unresolved PTSD and hidden pain who, unlike Viktor Frankl (see Man’s Search for Meaning) is trapped in horror of his past, Cooperstein explained. A patient suffering similar symptoms might be able to identify with the film’s character, empathize with him and, in watching, realize that he is undergoing similar symptoms never before made conscious or even denied.

Cooperstein, presently writing an article on A Christmas Carol, said Charles Dickens’ 19th century offering provides an extraordinary example of how Cinematherapy works. Taken on a tour through time by “spirits,” Ebenezer Scrooge, a Victorian anti-hero, becomes an observer capable of seeing his past shortcomings and missed opportunities. Although taking place in fantasy, reverie or altered consciousness, it demonstrates Scrooge’s reclamation through his experiential “mind movie” and leads to healing and a richer, happier life. The theme of conversion is prevalent among Dickens’ works, but nowhere is this more desired, welcome, beneficial and joyous than in this tale of a misbegotten life in which Scrooge’s dream has the suggestion of a form of hypnotic psychotherapy, offered Cooperstein.

One of the benefits of Cinematherapy is to have a person watch a film that expresses the type of mental distress they are experiencing. “By watching a film that has something to do with you, subject-object barriers between you and the story begin to break down,” Cooperstein suggests. Another example is a person who is extremely depressed. A psychologist would ask the person to watch a film in which the character is suffering from the same illness and had success overcoming it. The character’s road towards progress, while not necessarily the same as the patient’s, can offer exemplars that may generate others better suited to the patient’s life. “The patient could model himself after some of the character’s successes modify his own behavior but keep his own identity, allowing him to become the same individual who would be more effective… while developing inner strength and coping skills.”

It’s very important, Cooperstein said, to bring back into therapy what a person has discovered or learned from watching the film. Cooperstein likens the process to a hypnotic state in some susceptible patients and has even coupled the process to biofeedback to enhance the effect. During therapy, Cooperstein attempts to have the person model or try to implement some of the successes the character has demonstrated in the film.

Cinematherapy also can be used for patients who are mentally challenged (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?), or chronically ill (Whose Life Is It Anyway? and Bigger Than Life), or narcissistic (Schindler’s List) or have poor self-esteem (The Color Purple). It provides situations and role models to which they can relate, human constructs of which they may have not conceived before.

While somewhat outdated, Rebel Without A Cause still brings the same message of a troubled teen with ineffectual parents, as it did when James Dean burst into the public’s eye portraying an adolescent plagued by the troubles of youth and how he goes about resolving those problems. The film could be used today for a youth suffering similar problems. But, Cooperstein warned, although watching a film might help identify problems and potential solutions, they must be tailored to the individual’s dynamics and do not, however, tell the person fully how to resolve their personal problems or situations. “That’s where nothing less than a comprehensive therapeutic approach comes into play.”

Allan Cooperstein, Ph.D. writes fiction as Alan Joshua. His The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy has received considerable praise:
Kirkus Review “Deft dialogue, crisp plotting, and a likable central figure make this multidisciplinary scientific adventure an exuberant and involving read.”
New Consciousness Review “A thrilling read”
Portland Book Review “Having the right amount of adventure and romance, this crisscrossing genre tale isn’t just a good read, but may also look great on a big screen.”
Self-Publishing Review “Any attempt to describe the book in a single statement is difficult, but the book mixes uncommon palettes and manages a masterpiece with it. If The Andromeda Strain was analyzed in four dimensions, The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy might be the result…The book mixes uncommon palettes and manages a masterpiece with it. It is a surprising, suspenseful, and utterly superb read from start to end.”
Midwest Book Review “…highly recommended, indeed; especially for thriller and sci-fi readers who have become deluged with too much predictability and who seek cutting-edge action, believable protagonists, and action that is solidly intense throughout.”
San Francisco Book Review “Science fiction fans will love The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy. Fans of paranormal fiction, psychological thriller, philosophy and fantasy will love it, too.”

The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy:


ON SALE AT AMAZON FOR LIMITED TIME AT $2.99 

uk.businessinsider.com reported, “Presently, the Office of Naval Research calls this program Anomalous Mental Cognition,” Jacobsen says, referring to a $3.9 million program founded by the ONR in 2014 to investigate the existence of precognition — which they refer to as “a spidey sense.”
Based on my paranormal research and integrating other studies, I created a reality-based sci-fi novel–The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy–involving the military’s research into the enhancement and use of psi abilities. As seen above, this research continues to this day and is fraught both with dangers and enormous positive potential–depending on its use.
Brian Allen, the editor of PHENOMENA MAGAZINE (UK) wrote, “THE SHIVA SYNDROME: SCIENCE FICTION OR SOMETHING ELSE?
One gets the feeling from the subjects mentioned in the book, shamanism, The Stargate Project, the frequently strange goings on at Ft Meade, Jim Channon’s First Earth Battalion, hemi-synch technology and experiments at the outer edges of consciousness, that this might also be a handbook describing what could actually happen should science and technology succeed in expending the limits of what is possible in terms of consciousness and how this might intersect with our perceived ideas about reality…Anyone who has seen the film ‘Lucy’ will get the idea, but more so. Well plotted and written, this is an absolute thrill ride of a book that is almost impossible to put down: it might also cause the reader to wonder what really does go on (MK-Ultra for example) in some of the secret government laboratories dotted around the world.”
Stanley Krippner, internationally known parapsychologist, wrote, “In The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy , the author (a clinical psychologist) skillfully and ingeniously interweaves altered states of consciousness and parapsychology with genetics, paleontology, mythology, and religion to produce a frightening, brisk, and film-worthy story building to an intense climax. The story challenges conventional notions of reality, ultimately concluding that human consciousness extends well beyond the flesh–and offers enormous potential for both creation and destruction.”
Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove, Moderator of Thinking Allowed, said, “I’m enjoying it immensely. I find the treatment of parapsychology (and other sciences) to be sophisticated and sufficiently plausible to make for very good reading. The arguments on philosophical topics are also stimulating.
Respected review organizations have written the following:
  • Kirkus Review “Deft dialogue, crisp plotting, and a likable central figure make this multidisciplinary scientific adventure an exuberant and involving read.”
  • New Consciousness Review “A thrilling read”
  • Portland Book Review “Having the right amount of adventure and romance, this crisscrossing genre tale isn’t just a good read, but may also look great on a big screen.”
  • Self-Publishing Review “Any attempt to describe the book in a single statement is difficult, but the book mixes uncommon palettes and manages a masterpiece with it. If The Andromeda Strain was analyzed in four dimensions, The SHIVA Syndrome might be the result…The book mixes uncommon palettes and manages a masterpiece with it. It is a surprising, suspenseful, and utterly superb read from start to end.”
  • Midwest Book Review “…highly recommended, indeed; especially for thriller and sci-fi readers who have become deluged with too much predictability and who seek cutting-edge action, believable protagonists, and action that is solidly intense throughout.”
  • San Francisco Book Review “Science fiction fans will love The SHIVA Syndrome. Fans of paranormal fiction, psychological thriller, philosophy and fantasy will love it, too.”

The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy: eBook and now Paperback Edition

Now in paperback, The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy includes The Mind of Stefan Dürr, The Cosmic Ape, and The Interdimensional Nexus.
Editorial Reviews

  • Kirkus Review  “A professor and parapsychology researcher discovers a key to mankind’s evolution or destruction…In the Russian city of Podol’sk, a project based on Walker’s work has gone horribly awry, killing thousands and leaving traces of mysteries that threaten humanity’s scientific understanding. Discovering what occurred, and how to prevent it from happening again, falls on Walker and his new friends…As secrets and revelations accumulate, the team’s combined knowledge and abilities may be inadequate to stop what’s coming…Deft dialogue, crisp plotting, and a likable central figure make this multidisciplinary scientific adventure an exuberant and involving read.” 
  •  New Consciousness Review “A thrilling read” 
  • Portland Book Review “Having the right amount of adventure and romance, this crisscrossing genre tale isn’t just a good read, but may also look great on a big screen.” 
  • Self-Publishing Review “…the book mixes uncommon palettes and manages a masterpiece with it. It is a surprising, suspenseful, and utterly superb read from start to end.”
  • Midwest Book Review “…highly recommended, indeed; especially for thriller and sci-fi readers who have become deluged with too much predictability and who seek cutting-edge action, believable protagonists, and action that is solidly intense throughout.” 

Readers’ Reviews

  • 5.0 out of 5 stars I hate to see this series end! My favorites sci-fi series!!!
    on October 10, 2017
    Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I didn’t want to see this end. I hope he adds another set to this. So much action, thrills, things wrapped up, and so much goes wide open in this exciting finish. I loved this series. Science, the power of thoughts, the brain, corruption vs goodness, who are we vs the universe, it is a deep book. LOVED it. Sci-fi at it’s finest! Must get!
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie if done right.
    By Buzz on November 27, 2017
    Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This is the third and sadly last book in the series. Although there is room for more or a spin off. Just love the Beau character! Thrilling series that I would recommend. No spoilers but a good ending, but would like to read more. This would be a great movie – if done right.
  • 5 stars A gem of a bookPaul Lappen Amazon VINE VOICE
    This is a gem of a book, and is very much recommended.
  • 5 stars Managed to overcome my expectations Denis Vukosav Amazon TOP 100 REVIEWER
    The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy written by Alan Joshua is one of those books that managed to completely surprise me in the positive manner – a combination of thriller and mystery delivered in non-typical way will grab your attention and will not loosen its grip to the very last page.
  • 5 stars A real thrill ride! Floyd Largent
    The SHIVA Syndrome Trilogy is one of the best-written stories I’ve read in years. It’s rare to even see a book that combines science fiction and spirituality effectively, especially when the very nature of reality is thrown into the mix as a major theme…Most authors have tended to avoid mixing mysticism with their science fiction, much less adding in the Clancyesque thriller elements that Alan Joshua includes here. The result is an easily readable, believable, and above all human story. It’s a big story (in more ways than one), but I guarantee, once you get into it, it won’t last long. You’ll gulp it down and go looking for more. That’s how good this story is.