How Listening to Out of My Mind by Alan Arkin Helped Me!

I just finished listening to “Out of My Mind” an Audible original book by Alan Arkin, which has some amazing stories in it, and this is why I’m sharing this book review with you because I think you will love these same stories like I did.

How Listening to Out of My Mind by Alan Arkin Helped Me!

If you will enjoy reading and contributing to the discussion for this post, will you please join us on the YouTube video above and leave a comment there because I read and respond to most comments on YouTube?

If you find anything helpful in this video or funny, will you please leave a like because you will feel great helping other people find it?

How Listening to Out of My Mind by Alan Arkin Helped Me!

The idea is that Alan shares some of the strangest spiritual stories he has encountered in his life. One of the ones that I loved is he had a couple of healing experiences with his son. One day his son was sick when his son was a little boy, he had a fever and a stomachache and Alan said, “Will you give me the fever and the stomach ache?”

He put his hands on his son and after a few minutes he felt like he was possessed and was thrown across the room, and felt like some kind of entity had left his son and came into him. Afterward, his son’s fever immediately was gone and he didn’t have a stomachache anymore.

One of the next stories that Alan tells in the same series with his son, his son was at the beach, he forgot to put sunscreen on him. He ran out in a panic after his son had been out in the tropical sun for about two hours with no sunscree and he was red. Alan was afraid he was going to need to take him to the hospital for a second-degree burn.

He put his hands on him again and said, “Son, will you give me this burn that you’ve got?”

After a few minutes, and this time he said there was nothing fancy, he just looked down and he realized his son had no more sunburn on him. All the redness and rawness that was the beginning of a second-degree burn all over his son was all completely gone. It was as if he hadn’t been out in the sun at all.

How Listening to Out of My Mind by Alan Arkin Helped Me!

Another story that Alan tells that’s amazing is about this surgeon in Brazil named Arigo. I guess that’s his nickname actually. I’m going to read the book that Alan recommends in here, Surgeon with A Rusty Knife.”

Alan talks about this guy Arigo in Brazil. He was a barkeep. All of a sudden he started getting these headaches, then after the headaches went away, he started slipping into these trances.

In these trances, he performed surgery on people.

There is a video that was filmed of him using a Boy Scout knife to do brain surgery on people without anesthesia. They are just sitting in a chair with their eyes open fully aware, and he just plunges the knife in and takes like one minute to cut out a brain tumor, throws the tumor in the trash, wipes the knife off on his shirt, and then he is having surgery on a ton of people like this.

There are thousands of people he worked on just like this. He had a clinic that he opened, he was prescribing prescriptions to people without having a medical license and this got Arigo into court practicing without a medical license.

They tried to send him to prison, but the police wouldn’t take him. The prison wouldn’t take him, so he took the keys and locked himself in prison and was practicing there before a judge finally dismissed the other charges of witchcraft.

The two American doctors that went down there who witnessed this, quit the medical profession after seeing what he was doing and how effective it was.

For example, there was a senator. This got more awareness I guess. This went on in the 70s. It got more awareness after there was a senator in Brazil, Arigo in his trance goes upstairs and cuts a lung cancer out of the senator.

The senator hadn’t told anyone about his lung cancer. When the senator went to see his doctor the next day, the senator told him that this just happened the previous night.

The doctor said, “No, no, no. This has been healing for two weeks. Look, it’s already scarred over. This would look a lot different if you just had it last night.”

The senator said, “No. It was just last night in the room with Arigo.”

And the doctor didn’t even know what to do with that.

How Listening to Out of My Mind by Alan Arkin Helped Me!

The inspirational part of this is that there are things that go on in this world that are so incredible, that are so out of our ordinary idea of how things work, that it’s an opportunity to open our minds.

For example, in the book Alan talks about how his mother was visited by his passed on father, and his mother had this totally grounded belief that, you know, “if I can’t see it and put my hands on it, it doesn’t exist” and this vision of his father, her husband, coming to her when he was dead totally didn’t sync up with her world vision, and I guess she just kind of dismissed it.

He references in another part of the book people seeing a video of Arigo doing these surgeries, taking a Boy Scout knife and cutting out a brain tumor out of someone while they are awake with no anesthesia, and he had no training as a medical person, in that lifetime at least.

People were seeing the video and just simply disagreeing with it, and saying, “I don’t agree with that. I refuse to believe it even though what I’ve seen looks legitimate. I can’t believe it because if I do believe it, this will shatter my entire worldview of how things work.”

I guess this isn’t why he has named the book Out of My Mind.”

Another story that I love.

Alan is an actor. Maybe I’ve seen him in something, maybe I have not. I don’t know.

Alan was doing theater one day, he was shaving and the normal announcer came on and said the play was about to start.

Alan was in his dressing room and he could hear it, and all of a sudden he got just terror that came over him and he didn’t understand what it was because he had been loving theater. The audience had been warm and receptive.

He had enjoyed doing the performances, he was really good at them, and all of a sudden this terror just came over him and he couldn’t barely go out there onto the stage and get through his play.

How Listening to Out of My Mind by Alan Arkin Helped Me!

A few years later, he is watching a French film, a film that’s in French and all of a sudden he gets this past life memory of being in the French Revolution and being guillotined.

He then asked his spiritual guru at the time, I think his name was John, what to make of all this and John asked him, “When did your terror start?”

Alan said, “In the theater” and he remembers that it started when there was a crowd making a bunch of noise and he had the razor right up to his neck in the dressing room and was shaving.

I guess it triggered off a past life memory.

I’ve had a lot of past life memory triggered off in my lifetime of World War II Germany, so I can relate with having the past life trigger you into terror and into things that don’t make sense in your present life circumstances, but with a past life memory inside you as if it’s some event.

A past life memory feels a lot like a birthday party that you had when you were a few years old. It’s just as much of an event in your mind that’s real as anything else.

I love how Alan also goes through all the different stages of his beliefs in his life. He said at one point he believed absolutely this is the way things were, and then he wanted to convert the whole world into it. I believe at one point he was really into Freud and Freud’s ideas, and he wanted to convert everyone into that.

Then, he got into something else a little later in his life, he wanted to convert the whole world to that belief system, and now that he is older he sees how silly it is to try to always want to convert the whole world into some belief system, that no belief system really covers everything, and if he had had people converted into all the different belief systems he has had in his life, they would all be opposites in many ways and disagree with each other.

I found the same thing in my life already with 34 years in this body on earth that many of the belief systems I’ve had at different points in my life completely disagree with each other and who am I in the middle of that?

Who am I?

How Listening to Out of My Mind by Alan Arkin Helped Me!

He talks a lot about meditation, having an experience where he was somewhere like Sweden or Norway or something like that. He was meditating and all of a sudden he kind of like slipped back out of his body and became this big huge consciousness where he was kind of farther away from himself looking down on his body sitting at the desk.

He relates a lot of cool experiences on meditation. He says he doesn’t usually talk about meditation unless someone specifically needs to hear it, that he used to try to preach meditation, preach spiritual principles, preach all these things, and he often found people in that context weren’t ready for it and that often if they were ready for it, they would come to him and ask. He didn’t even necessarily need to bring it up.

So, maybe I’m here to carry that to you.

It’s cool because this book was actually recommended to me directly on Audible. It just popped up as one of the recommended books. I knew nothing about it, didn’t recognize the name and for some reason, it just felt right and it’s nice. It’s about a two-hour listen, quick to go through. I listened to it on three of my different dog walks.

This is what I’m most excited about right now. I love stories like this. I’m focusing as much as I can on my business, my life on always telling stories. You can see how powerful and memorable the stories Alan tells from this book are. It’s a great format. He has just put some stories from his life together into an audiobook and I imagine if you are like me you will really enjoy it.

If you would like to give this book a try, I’ve got this on my Amazon influencer page at

How Listening to Out of My Mind by Alan Arkin Helped Me!

I’ve got it in the reading list.

If you would like to see all the books that I’ve read and that have been really helpful, will you please go to and go to my reading list because it’s where I’m putting together all the books that I found are really helpful and I’m continuing to add new books to it all the time?

How Listening to Out of My Mind by Alan Arkin Helped Me!

You might love my reading list.

Reading is probably one of the foundations of my life. I’m always reading something new. I actually listened to “Out of My Mind” on audiobook.

However, I do read some things in hard copy, paperback or Kindle as well. I’m throwing all that in the reading list for you and imagine you will love it.

Thank you very much for going through this 11-minute book review with me here, Jerry Banfield, reviewing “Out of My Mind” by Alan Arkin.

Thank you very much to Alan Arkin for narrating this book in Audible Studios. If you would like to listen to any of my books, I have like 20 books published, 10 or 15 or so on Audible.

I recommend starting with “Speaker Meeting 2017” and “Officer Banfield” because these are books filled with stories from my own life, lots of crazy, lots of wacky stories.

Thank you for listening to this on my podcast or watching it on YouTube or Facebook or reading it on my blog.

I love you.

You are awesome.

I make things that I hope are helpful for you every day and I will see you again soon.


Jerry Banfield

Edits from video transcript by Michel Gerard at