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Best Book 2005 Award Winner!

"Breakdown is a modern day Dante's Inferno--a riveting spiritual and intellectual journey."
- Will McCaughey, former Editor-in-Chief, Vatican Radio


Questions for reflection and discussion

1. Several incidences of coincidence and synchronicity (a ‘meaningful’ coincidence of a psychic-spiritual nature) occur throughout the book. Discuss your beliefs as they relate to the nature of synchronicity and describe any events in your life that you may consider synchronistic.

2. The character Elmarilla claims to ‘channel’ an integrated stream of frequencies. She also claims that all humans, to some degree, are channelers, and that it’s a perfectly natural process. Discuss whether you believe this is true. If so, point to any examples from your own life experience.

3. Sai Baba claims that he is an avatar (an embodiment of God in the flesh), much the same as Christians believe about Jesus. Do you believe this could be true? Discuss your thoughts about Sai Baba’s manifestations.

4. Greg mentions his belief that the structure of the Church parallels the patriarchal and hierarchical structure of the Roman Empire and the modern day Mafia. Discuss your thoughts on this topic. Discuss whether you believe “the feminine” is denied and repressed by the Church.

5. Discuss how the discoveries of modern physics demonstrate that reality may not be as it appears. Do the parallels between physics and the Eastern mystic traditions deepen your faith in spiritual and metaphysical principles?

6. Greg meets several famous people throughout the book. Have his encounters with these people changed your perception of celebrities?

7. Has your concept of homosexuality changed as a result of reading this book? If so, describe how.

8. Has the book changed your conception of God or some other higher form of consciousness? If so, discuss how.

9. Greg suffers from an inability to trust in the life process, which manifests in issues relating to control. Discuss how this issue may or may not affect your own life experience.

10. Prior to his conversion experience, Greg suffers from a lack of self-acceptance. Identify those aspects of yourself or your life circumstances that you may have trouble accepting. Do you believe that these aspects are diminishing your life experience and sense of serenity?

11. Discuss Greg’s conversion experience following his ‘surrender’ at a Twelve-Step meeting. Has the concept of ‘surrendering to win’ played a role in your own life experience? Discuss how ‘surrendering to win’ may or may not be central to the cultural values in the United States and what implications this may have for America’s foreign policy.

12. Discuss the concepts of duality and polarity. How do these concepts play out in your own life? Do you believe that by integrating the ‘male’ and ‘female’ within you, as well as by assimilating the philosophies of the East and the West, can lead to a higher state of conscious awareness?

13. In chapter 19, Greg and Tony discuss the possibility that the world is a single organism that is reflective of each individual human. Discuss your thoughts about this. Do you believe that the world’s problems can be solved through an understanding, acceptance, and mutual integration of each other’s beliefs and philosophies?

14. The character Yosef in Jerusalem claims that Jesus’ bloodline is still alive today. Discuss your thoughts about whether Jesus had children and whether you believe it is possible that any descendents may be alive on Earth today.

15. Tony tells Greg that he was given “the gift of desperation” and that reaching any point of powerlessness, hopelessness, or despair is a vehicle for growth and spiritual transformation. Discuss whether you believe it is necessary for something inside you to ‘break-down’ or ‘die’ in order to transcend to a higher level of consciousness.

16. Discuss your thoughts over the coroner’s report in Chapter 3, as it relates to the state of “perfect preservation” of Paramahansa Yogananda’s deceased body, even twenty days after his death.

17. Discuss your thoughts over the scene in Chapter 16 where a halo is seen over Greg’s head. Do you think this is possible or do you think it was a drug-induced hallucination?

18. The book discusses a quantum jump in consciousness from ape to human and the possibility of another leap to a higher level of “cosmic consciousness.” Do you believe this is possible, or do you believe that humans were created in their present form and will remain much the same throughout the ages?

19. In Greg’s journey, we see that his following his head instead of his gut (such as accepting the position with the advertising agency) led to trouble. Conversely, when Greg follows his heart and his “truth,” we see him heal. How have these themes played out in your own life experience?

20. Discuss how this book may have changed your perception of life, its meaning, its purpose, and its possibilities.


Diamonds, Death, and
Second Chances
Gregory John DiStefano

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Size : 6 x 9
Pages: 248
ISBN: 0-595-34292-2

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