on September 26, 2000
In a way, I'm sorry to trounce a book that so many have found helpful. But I think that a dissenting opinion may be more helpful than hurtful.
I have had my own encounter with the spirit realm, and in my eagerness to explore what others have experienced I have found helpful books from James Van Praagh and Michael Newton. There is also a Usenet newsgroup, alt.consciousness.near-death-exp, where one can meet and talk with people who have had NDEs themselves. For the most part, Betty Eadie's book strikes me as largely fictionalized. There are elements in it that ring true, and I hope those are what are changing people's lives. Many of these truths are partially or completely hidden by accounts and rationalizations that gave me the impression that this book is a tract meant to pull wayward NewAgers into a particular religion (many have mentioned Mormonism in this context; from what little I know of Mormonism, it appears they may be correct).
One of the major, telling flaws is the effect (or lack thereof) that Ms Eadie's experience has on her. She says that she experiences the total, unconditional love that exists for all of us, and she says that she is told by Jesus himself that she has a mission to accomplish on Earth. Yet, when it is time for her NDE to end, she throws a temper tantrum like a spoiled child. And, after her physical recovery she becomes fearful, agoraphobic, loathing life and praying for death. This simply does not make any sense for a person who has had her consciousness exposed to unconditional love and been given a sense of purpose.
The other telling flaw is the way Ms. Eadie contradicts herself repeatedly, sometimes managing to say one thing and then contradict it on the very same page, such as when she mentions abortions. The contradictions reach a peak in her repeated references to Satan. First she says that Eve did not fall to temptation, but made a conscious decision to bring about conditions necessary for her spiritual progression. Two paragraphs later, she says that Satan will continue to use temptation just as he did in the Garden of Eden to destroy humanity. What do we have here, then? A necessary progression, or on-going destruction? She seems very fixated on Satan, which is an anomaly in my experience of NDE accounts. She is apparently unaware that she negates all her tales of Satan's power when she views her own "sins" as tools to aid her learning and progress.
About three-quarters of the way through the book, Ms. Eadie states, "If we're kind, we'll have joy." It's much simpler than that, Ms. Eadie: Once we are aware of Love, we have joy. Kindness follows as a natural result.
on May 16, 2014
It was between this book and the little boy's book..I rolled the dice with this one and lost. I really tried to wrap my mind around this book. I am a devoted Christian but some of what was 'preached' here wasn't for me. Perhaps I have been reading the wrong bible all these years. The concept of all of us as spirits eternally is one thing..but to say we spiritually helped God draw up the blueprints for the universe, our bodies/humanity, earth and then just let God put the plans into reality is just too wild to even consider. Also the fact the everything .. even plants have intelligence in them ,,come on!.. As a Christian the bible teaches that there is one way to get to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Mrs. Eadie seems to say that all religions get to the same place but on different levels. I am not God and can't say what happens to everyone of varied faiths..I only perhaps naively know what I have been taught. I thought the bible was the 'inspired' word of God. Back to the book.. After the intro by the MD that went on for what seemed like forever I then had to read through the next 20% of the book hearing of the author's whole life before Mrs. Eadie even 'died'. I question the fact that even on change of shift there are not monitors or staff in place to monitor someone after surgery. All of 70% of the repetitious book could have been summed up in 1 sentence...Good begets good...evil fosters evil..and all you need is love. and how convenient that most of her 'important' memories were 'removed' prior to her return. Sorry but I couldn't finish the book as the thought of us all sitting up there, and picking a womb to slip into for our gestation borders on creepy. I do look forward to going to heaven some day and meeting Jesus face to face..but for now I'll just rely on my bible to tell me all I need to know about my final resting place.
on September 6, 2001
I had seen an interview with Betty Eadie a few years ago, where it was revealed that she has consistantly refused to let anyone view her medical records. If she really did die, then she wouldn't have anything to hide, now would she? However, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, me being into spiritual things. So I read her book. What garbage! As a nurse, I know what happens when a person goes into cardiac arrest, as she claims happened to her. The description she gave of her resuscitation was hilarious. And then the next day the doctor asks her "What happened to you last night?" Is this comedy fiction or what? Later on in the book, she says she went to see the doctor and asked if she really did die that night. He looked up the record and lo and behold, Betty had died.
When a patient arrests or codes, as it is called in hospital talk, CPR is begun, a lot of drugs are given, and they usually end up on a ventilator in intensive care. In her case, since she was bleeding from surgery, she would have been taken back to the operating room and opened up again. When she woke up she would've been hooked up to all kinds of monitors and machines, and probably not even able to speak. It's not exactly kept a secret from the patient! People know that they arrested. Only if they were under anesthesia, or in a coma, would they not know that something terrifying was happening to them.This would all be in her medical record if it happened, which it probably didn't. No wonder she doesn't let anyone look.
Next, her view of the afterlife. Very Christian in nature, but if this is what happens when everyone dies, what about non-Christians? Do they get to meet Jesus and get converted? Do they get a crash course on the Christian Bible? And armies of angels going off to fight battles? Is this Star Wars, biblical style? Why on earth does God need an army? God is almighty and omnipotent and can do whatever. Angels in armor--I almost choked. And the fact that men rule heaven...hmmm. Twelve men sitting around a table. Do we have such mundane things in heaven as tables? It seems that according to Betty, we still retain our skin and genital organs when we die. I was under the impression that spirits were sexless, that being male and female was a human thing. I wonder if female angels are in charge of serving the coffee to God and washing up the dishes.
All in all, this book is a mishmash of Betty's own beliefs, upbringing, and distorted images. Maybe she dreamed she died, or she hallucinated one night. Or maybe she originally wrote this as a novel, and when it didn't sell, decided to pass it off as a real life story.
on June 20, 2008
Embraced by the Light is one cliche after another. This book is written as 'proof' that Jesus is God, and affirms the faith of the author and anyone willing to believe her words.
Most of the story on her early struggles with faith, her near death experience, visions, etc are no different than any other near death account from a devoted Christian. Her vision seems to me to be something similar to an acid-trip, as the vividness and 'knowledge' she discovered is much like that of one using psychedelics.
The authors style is one of cheap religious inspiration...no wonder this was a bestseller. It preys on our desire to find deeper meaning in the world and to affirm existing faiths as truths.
on July 17, 2014
Many years ago I read Raymond A. Moody's Life After Life and I was thrilled by his accounts of near death experiences. Since then I read five of six similar books. But after I read Betty J. Eadie's Embraced By the Light I was so disgusted by her incredible elaborations that I concluded that this whole genre has become unreliable. I'm done with it.
on October 24, 2012
Do not buy this book because it's fake. Over the decades I have read dozens of books about Near Death Experiences from the classic modern Life After Life to the relatively ancient Death Bed Visions. All have common threads in them that this book does not have. Consider that the author's alleged NDE experience happened unwitnessed. The content of the book was clearly "made-up". "Embraced by the Cash", is a far better title for this book. If you have to read it, get it from the library, and you will agree with me, sorry to say. There are many wonderful books on the topic out there, pick one or more of them! When the author was on Opra, at the time, discussing her new book, a famous NDE experiencer was asked his opinion and he was polite and professional, yet he was scowling big time because he experienced a real NDE, and he knew the book was hookum.
on August 3, 2010
This book could have used some serious editing. It's poorly written and doesn't convey very much. It doesn't even begin to touch THE MESSAGE by Lance Richardson, which is far superior and much easier to believe. Betty Eadie claims to have seen and interacted with Jesus Christ, going so far as to gently scold the Master. She doesn't go beyond what anyone could get out of an LDS theological manual. She also was asked once in an interview about the brisk sales of her book and I got the feeling it was going into her own coffers. To think that someone could have an experience like this and then sell it for profit doesn't settle well with me. It's a sacred experience and if published should be given freely, not sold. I can't judge the woman. Maybe she's telling the truth, maybe not. But she's not telling me anything that can't be gleaned from many, better accounts. Based on my own view, this sounds as though the author read other accounts and simply wrote her own. Again, I could be wrong, but this is my take. Read Richardson's THE MESSAGE and stick with that one. Although I've never met Richardson, I have friends and family who have, and they assure me his credibility is rock solid. Eadie's may be rock solid, too, but many readers, including myself, don't want to see someone treating Christ so casually in their stories. Indeed, does Christ have the time to appear personally to everyone who has an afterlife experience? Eadie's book is vague in its descriptions. It begins with her seeing three "monks" whom she said she knew before she was born into mortality. She chats with them telepathically a few moments, then races home to check on her family. The kids are having a pillowfight and her husband is reading the paper. This sounds a bit stereotypical in itself. They're pillow fighting while mom is at the hospital fighting for her life. Now she has no desire to speak to them, but instead races back to the hospital where the three monks are still waiting for her. They do little for the story and are mere props, having no real purpose or contributions to the story. And it goes on from there. Everyone tends to be rather faceless, and the story quickly bogs down. This shouldn't happen in such a short book. Had I been ghostwriting it for her, I would ask, "What were their names? What did you talk about? What did they say? When you got to the spirit world, what did the ground look like, the sky, the vegetation?" Another thing that bothered me is that the "monks" were emanating a brownish light. Most people who see the spirit world report that everyone is emblazoned with white light -- light that is extremely bright, but which doesn't hurt the eyes. I feel uneasy with these beings, which wear brown and appear, as I said, as props, with no substantial purpose. They just take up space, and are nameless, faceless entities. In the end, you be the judge.
on November 12, 2014
My name is Collette aka Coco Mojo and I buy books on Amazon with Ron's help.
Betty Eadie sounds like a very nice, well-meaning person, and I almost feel bad about giving her work only ONE star. That being said, I had a hard time with her book. I'm not even sure her NDE is authentic, as she apparently has refused to release her medical records (unlike many other books on NDEs I have read, in which sufficient medical documentation/evidence was provided).
Ms. Eadie's NDE is obviously heavily filtered by a fundamentalist Christian worldview (she was raised Catholic and apparently was a Mormon at the time of her NDE). Her book is sketchily written, and is a strange fusion of fundamentalist and so-called New Age ideas, making it inconsistent at best -- it's hard to know just where she's coming from.
However, according to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, one typically spends time in what the Tibetan's call "The Bardo," shortly after death. In this subjective state of awareness, one's perception of the Other Side can be (at first, anyway) heavily influenced and filtered by one's previously held (religious) beliefs and concepts. It sounds like this may have happened to Eadie -- however, her mind while on the Other Side may have opened up somewhat and thus been enabled to perceive and integrate a modicum of NEW ideas and information as well. Perhaps this accounts for the strange admixture of typical Christian (fundamentalist) concepts and perceptions along with so-called New Age (non-fundamentalist) concepts and perceptions (it is this unheard-of juxtaposition of "old" and "new" convictions that many people find so confusing, in Eadie's account).
There is also much fundamentalistic sexism in this book. According to Eadie: Unlike men, we women are simply "emotional" (and hence no doubt rather "feather-brained" as well!) and this renders us unfit to be judges or to hold other similar authoritative positions (Uh, EXCUSE ME? MEN are NOT emotional? Just because men REPRESS their emotions DOESN'T mean they aren't emotional! This is a false premise, to begin with!). UTTER NONSENSE! In fact, there are many fine female judges on earth (as fine, fair, intelligent, calm, competent, rational, and JUST as any male judge!). SO -- WHY NOT IN HEAVEN, AS ON EARTH?
I have an article a friend sent to me, entitled, "I'm HAPPY With My Life," by Judge Heidi Fendler of Frankfurt, Germany (Christian Science Sentinel, July 19-26, 2004). Judge Fendler has not let her handicap (dwarfism) stop her from doing what she loves best. I quote: "I have found wonderful qualities in me as well as in others, such as openness, joy, love, intelligence, patience, creativity, equanimity, a sense of justice, humor, and spontaneity." And: "I realized I could be happy at learning so many new things. I had decided to study law, and I was happy for the opportunity to study and become a judge...I'm grateful to God for a loving family, many friends, and a fulfilling profession." And, most tellingly, she states: "I've learned that it's a God-given right to be happy, and I claim this right for myself."
Imagine Ms. Fendler (after a lifetime of doing what she loved on earth, which was being a JUDGE in a court of law and doing that job well) going to heaven and being told she'd been sadly mistaken while on earth -- that as a woman she'd actually had no right to be a judge, she was simply out of her league -- and then subsequently being DENIED the right to sit at the heavenly Council or to hold similar positions of authority simply because of her SEX? ("We're sorry, but we're now REVOKING the privileges you took for granted while on Earth"). I ask you -- does that make one iota of cotton-pickin' sense? (Heaven is a place of far GREATER -- not lesser -- freedom and equality than is Earth! I have had more than one glimpse of the Other Side myself -- in one experience I was in the Presence an infinite Being of Light -- so Eadie's "take" makes no sense to me whatsoever.)
Interestingly, Sylvia Browne in her book, Temples on the Other Side, describes (on pages 26-30) a Council of Elders (who reside at the Hall of Justice), which she claims to have witnessed firsthand. This Council consists of a group of highly evolved souls, wise male judges and WISE FEMALE JUDGES, as well. They sit at a symbolic "table" and help spiritually guide incoming souls.
Similarly, in his book Life Between Life, Joel Whitton M.D., Ph.D., has regressed many clients into past lives and also into the heavenly state BETWEEN lifetimes (this is a book about heaven AND reincarnation). Page 123 portrays the regression of one individual who re-experiences the in-between state, wherein she is spiritually guided by three Elder Judges. One of these Judges is FEMALE, in the guise of the goddess Isis.
Dannion Brinkley in Saved By The Light describes his NDE, in which a council of thirteen powerful, beautiful, authoritative spiritual beings came forward to guide and instruct him on the Other Side. He also met a loving, utterly magnificent Being of Light that "engulfed him," whereupon he had a Life Review. He states on page 10, "Although I refer to the Being of Light as a 'he,' I never saw this Being as either male or female. I have gone over this initial meeting many times in my head and can honestly say that NONE OF THE BEINGS (capital letters are mine) I MET HAD GENDER, JUST GREAT POWER." (This parallels my own experience of the Being of Light.)
Obviously -- one cannot make absolutist "blanket statements" regarding there being "no female Elders or Judges" on the Other Side!
Anyways -- I recommend the following two books on NDEs. These books are everything Eadie's book is not, as they exhibit incredible love, joy, clarity, consistency, depth, freedom of being and freedom of thought (according to these books, one has UNLIMITED FREEDOM TO ACTUALIZE ONE'S POTENTIAL, on the Other Side. Truly, there ARE no limits!). The first book is Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani, and the second is Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander (please see my Reviews of these two books).
BEST OF ALL -- there is NO SEXISM in either of these two books. Mr. Alexander's book consistently employs gender-inclusive language, and God is gender-neutral as well. Ms. Moorjani describes how her life was severely impacted by the cultural pressure of sexism, which was one of several deleterious factors that led to her illness and subsequent NDE. After her wondrous and liberating NDE, she was so EMPOWERED in every facet of her being that she was enabled to renounce her restrictive cultural programming altogether (she is of East Indian extraction, a culture which is even more rigid and extreme regarding sex roles and a woman's "place" than is ours here in the U.S.).
Sadly, I wasn't at all inspired by Ms. Eadie's book. There are vastly superior books out there on the subject, and these I will pass on to others.
on August 2, 2015
I immediately recognized that Betty's alleged experiences are at complete odds with the Bible. I don't know whether Betty is herself a victim of demonic deception, or whether she is intentionally writing fiction. Beware of false "revelations." Satan would have us believe anything rather than the Word of God.
on October 18, 2003
If you are someone who 'wants' to believe in an afterlife, but are the LEAST bit skepical in its existance, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK ! This book will increase any doubts that you now have.
I am sure that her comments on love of your fellow man are sincere, however I find the whole "story" quite disturbing. This book belongs in the catagory along with Jack and the Beanstalk and Humpty Dumpty. Jesus pleading with her to reconsider her decision to stay, meeting with the Council to evaluate her decision, warring Incredible Hulk like angels rushing off to fight demons ?? ... c'mon, .... she needs to check with the hospital records to find out just what type of drugs she was on prior to her trip to near sainthood.
I am somewhat skeptical of NDE's, but I am also one who is searching for a reason to believe in them. Betty J. Eadie's "trip" to heaven has only increased my uncertainty. I now have increased doubts about the credibility of other authors in this same field. I truly regret reading this book.