Are You Getting Enlightened Or Losing Your Mind?
A Psychiatrist's Guide for Mastering Paranormal and Spiritual Experience

I had a darkroom in 5th grade.  In 1964, at 15 years old, I had the good fortune and blessing of photographing Dr. King from 2 or 3 feet away at the Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado...2 years before he was murdered.  The church was packed, and many of us waited in the rain to catch a glimpse. Dr. King, after speaking inside the church, spoke to those of us who had been standing in the rain. I have no words to describe the honor of photographing this great man. At the time I took these photos I was too young and naive to grasp the greatness of this man, but his life, death, and message forever changed me...and the rest of the world.
Background only Digitally Edited in Photoshop.  The background seen here replaced the original church background, which was done strictly for aesthetic reasons.
Not retouched.
Not retouched.
Click on photo to enlarge
Click on photo to enlarge
Click on photo to enlarge
Decades after I took these photos, I realized that the white electrical flames piercing the door were not an artifact. I know this camera way too well for that to be the case, and this was taken decades before Photoshop (or computers) existed. These are the flames of hatred that eventually took this great man's life. Clearly, these flames are piercing the door and reaching out toward Dr. King. I would not understand this photograph for another 30 years. Yet, I developed the film and photos in my darkroom, watched the photos emerge, just as they are now, and didn't notice anything unusual.  With that being said, these photos have been online for about 5 years without anyone noticing...except a newspaper in Slovenia that wanted to use the top photo.
Almost all human experience - normal, paranormal, and spiritual - is invisible.  The essence of “Are You Getting Enlightened Or Losing Your Mind?” is not about paranormal photographs. However, there are many questions raised after I got past the first question, namely, “Are they real?”  Every thought has a “thought form.”  A wide variety of thought forms were identified by Annie Besant and the Theosophists. If you walk into a house where a couple has been fighting, you can feel it in the air,  That's because of the negative thought form.  There are individual and collective thought forms, and I believe that these flames of hatred were the thought form of millions of people who hated Dr. King.  One (?) person pulled the trigger, but millions of people fed the thought form of hatred that was part of the full equation of murder.  I've taken 7 “unusual” photos, like this one, in my life.  How does it happen?  Why has it happened through my cameras far more often than for most people?  Perhaps, “Universe/God/Goddess of Divine Photography” knows that I'll notice and recognize the paranormal and spiritual when it is clearly captured by a camera, while many or most people simply won't see it.  And I didn't “see” this photo for 30 years. I do believe that a Greater Intelligence wanted this image captured on film so that the world would one day better understand. A final note: Dr. King was shot in the head, jaw, and neck. These flames of hatred angle toward the location of the future fatal gun shot. 
— David Gersten