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Beyond the Light Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Atwater explores her own and others' near-death experiences, presenting both heavenly and hellish views of the afterlife.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Books chronicling near-death experiences, like Betty J. Eadie's recent best seller, Embraced by the Light (Gold Leaf Pr., 1992), tend to find an eager audience among readers who are fascinated by psychic phenomena or who seek assurance of an afterlife. With its detailed examples of near-death experiences ranging from ecstatic to hellish, this book will surely find a receptive audience too. About half the book is devoted to the apparent aftereffects on near-death survivors, including psychological and physiological changes as well as enhanced psychic powers. In contrast to this work, Susan Blackmore provides a more skeptical and scholarly approach in Dying To Live: Near-Death Experiences (Prometheus Bks, 1993). Whereas Atwater presents all reported phenomena as evidence of an afterlife, Blackmore offers explanations based on the natural biological responses of a dying brain. Most public libraries would do well to have both books.
Ilse Heidmann Ali, Kyle Community Lib., Tex.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380725401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380725403
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,875,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

An international authority on near-death states, PMH Atwater is the author of 10 books, her writings have also appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. She has lectured twice at the United Nations and guested on tv and radio talk shows such as Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King Live, Entertainment Tonight, Regis & Kathy Lee, Geraldo, and The Shirley Show in Canada. Recently she was awarded the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapists and the "Outstanding Service Award" from IANDS (where she has also been a 2 term board member).

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a near-death experiencer I am always interested in reading other's near-death experiences. One half of this book or less is devoted to that, and I wish it were more. But the experiences included were of a variety that we don't hear enough about or at all, such as: near-death like experiences when one's life is not lost or endangered; hellish or unpleasant experiences; and seeing long lost pets or other animals. This book is also a wealth of references to sources on every possible subject relating to this subject. It, unfortunately, contains far too much personal opinion and interpretation and unfounded and biased commentary. To the author I would say, just give the information and let the reader form their own opinions. There were also some outlandish statements that are unlikely to be truly known or for which no substantiation is provided. Such as (paraphrased) we are being prepared for higher awareness evidenced by the fact that more people today than those before 1850 recognize the color blue. (!) Or (paraphrased) it is estimated that far more people have near-death experiences while temporarily dead than believe they do, but they don't know they did because they forgot. If someone has no memory of having a near-death experience, how can another decide that they had one but just forgot?
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52 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I divide Atwater's book into two parts. The first half is an interesting overview of the near-death experience (NDE). The second half deals with New Age-like, occult-like issues that depart from NDE. The second section is so New Age-y and off-the-point (and so counter to my beliefs religious and otherwise), that I could only stand to thumb through it. This half of the book contains the silly remarks that draw many complaints in reviews. The purpose of the book really seems to promote interest in all sorts of occult practices (especially in light of her anti-Christian attitude, described below, and her occupation as a psychic advisor and as a writer in occult topics). My questioning of her motive for this "bait-and-switch" book is supported by her wanderings into non-NDE topics (such as the alien abduction) and her claims to have had every type of paranormal experience (including both types of "walk in" phenomena: now that she has a different soul, doens't that make her a different person?).
Secondly, I object to Atwater's contemporary politically correct way of joyfully respecting all belief systems and cultures except for Christianity. Christians come in all varieties and cannot be stereotyped. In every reference to Christians the tension begins and Ms. Atwater never misses an opportunity to stab them in the back and twist the knife. She can't be respectful to Christianity at all for one second. Not once. I think that this blind anger invalidates her overall judgment and might turn readers away from more NDE research. How can I trust someone whose writing is always biased and whose conclusions are partial? Real research must be objective, but Atwater redefines the word.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book as the standard in Near-Death Studies. Not only is it well documented but written in a style that is easy to comprehend with a fresh new look at four types of Near-death experiences. Near-Death Experiencers (NDErs), Spiritually Transformative Experiencers (STErs), researchers, and anyone interested in helping experiencers understand and integrate the physiological, psychological and spiritual aftereffects of such experiences, this book is invaluable. Dr. Atwater has received awards and accolades for her work in Near-Death Studies and lectured around the world. Reading this book is like having a conversation with a knowledgeable friend who is helping us understand a "homework" assignment on the Near-Death Experience. Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on April 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
The classical books on near-death experiences by Raymond Moody or Melvin Morse paint the phenomenon in a very bright light. NDEs are virtually always positive and have positive after-effects on those who experience them. I'm sure the Unitarian Universalists love Moody and Morse. And who knows, maybe they are right.

And then there's P.M.H. Atwater.

"Beyond the Light" gives a somewhat different view of the other side than the all-positive works of Moody. Atwater mentions the heavenly encounters, but also details hellish near-death experiences. They are apparently relatively common. She also makes a connection between NDEs and other paranormal phenomena, including UFOs. The most interesting part of the book deals with after-effects of the NDEs. It seems that even positive NDEs can have "negative" effects, including missing time, oversensitivity to light, the strange malfunctioning of electronic equipment, and virtual hauntings. Some people who experienced NDEs see more UFOs than usual. The subjects are frequently misunderstood by their spouses, relatives or peers. Occasionally, they feel a strong drive to convert the rest of the world to some kind of "message" given them while on the other side.

The same kinds of after-effects are also reported by Albert Budden in his book "Electric UFOs". That book, however, is not about NDEs but rather deals with supposed encounters with aliens or ghosts! Budden believes that the experiencers have been exposed to strong electromagnetic fields, making them prone to hallucinations. This explanation is difficult to apply to NDEs, unless one can prove that the resuscitation attempts in hospital beds are "major electric events", to use Budden's terminology.
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