on December 23, 2000
This book helped me greatly in dealing with the death of my mother. It gave me a different concept of the afterlife. I was also greatly helped by the book An Encounter With a Prophet. I would recommend reading both books if you are dealing with such issues
on October 14, 2001
Oh, how these reviews have evoked emotion in people...talk about religion and the afterlife and people just can't deal with each other. Many are afraid to face their imminent deaths.
I gave this book 4 stars because it doesn't matter whether or not it's true. What Ms Eadie describes is a heaven where people do nice things for others, and love is unconditional. They have learned the principles of life: faith, hope, altruism, patience...and LOVE...things most people in our world have yet to learn. If this is indeed, as Ms Eadie states in her book, why we have come down to earth, then it is obvious by our world's problems that the education is much needed.
Whether or not it is true is irrelevant. I am an educated woman, not a religious zealot but not a close-minded skeptic either. I read the book with open eyes, and was entranced by her images of a perfect heaven. This book brought peace to a woman terrified of death; now my visions of a cold grave are replaced with a heaven full of singing flowers, perfect buildings and unconditional love. If the only thing that awaits me is indeed a cold grave, will it have hurt me that I lived my life with a beautiful vision of the afterlife?
Will I have lived in vain if I learned from this book to love others unconditionally, to give of myself, of patience and faith that my purpose will be fulfilled?
Judge for yourself how you will view heaven, but for God's sake don't attack a woman for her views.
on May 8, 2000
Embraced By the Light is one of the most beautiful books on NDE that I have ever read. Betty's amazing journey while she had "died" is truly extraordinary. After reading this book and the 2 books by Dannion Brinkley, I would have to say that I do not have a fear of dying! Dying is just the start of the next stage of one's life - not something to be feared. Our spirit lives on, and just sheds the physical body.
Our society thinks of death and speaking of death as "taboo". Yet Betty shows us that death is beautiful and loving. The love Betty experienced just overwhelms you and her love comes through this book to you. You cannot help but cry. There are many quotes in this book that you will definitely want to write down. This book will definitely change your life in someway and bring great comfort for those you have recently lost a loved one. Betty's life was forever changed because of this experience and her awareness and love of God shines through. It is amazing to me how many of us were raised to think of an angry, vengeful and hurting God, yet this is never seen by those who see God in the NDE. Again, Betty is her own worst judge as she reviews her life - not God or the light beings that she meets.
Melvin Morse, MD, another author/pioneer in the NDE field wrote a most inspiring introduction to the book. He describes this book as "a journey into the meaning of this life." He also states that this book teaches us "that our own individual lives are important and filled with meaning." Those returning back from NDE's bring back the simple and beautiful messages - "Love is supreme. . . Love must govern. . . We create our own surrounding by the thoughts we think . . . We are sent her to live life fully, to live it abundantly, to find joy in our own creations, to experience both failure and success, to use free will to expand and magnify our lives."
Once again, simple, timeless messages are brought back and those are of love, kindness, service and forgiveness. Nothing new, just presented in a different way, through a different messenger. As Betty says of the "clearly expressed Savior's message, Above all else, love one another."
I cannot recommend this book enough. I actually had to read it two times to make sure that I did not miss anything! It is glorious and the scenes that she paints when she is in the Garden, is remarkable. Passages of the book with stay with you, uplifting and encouraging you. You will think of this book during the day, as Betty's words slowly sink into your soul and ignite. This book can and will have transforming effects - it can't be helped!
Betty, even though it took you 19 years to share these experiences with the world - I for one am glad that you did and the difference you are making with others is astounding. I cannot wait to read your next two books! Thank you. Thank you.
on April 4, 2005
I've given this book three stars because it is not badly written and it's sheer popularity probably makes it a "must read" for those who are interested in the topic of near-death-experiences. But I do have a few problems with the content, which I'll share as briefly as possible.
First, please know that I am not a scoffer. I believe in life-after-death and I'm open to the possibility that near-death-experiences can occur.
But Eadie's story, on all too many points, seems terribly contrived. For example, she fails to mention that she is, or at least was, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) at the time that this book was written. I believe it is no coincidence that the most interesting doctrines found in her book: pre-mortal existence, the universal nature of the laws of God, eternal intelligence and more, are drawn from the teachings of the LDS church. Yet no where in the book does she mention the remarkable resemblance between what "the Light" told her and what the LDS church teaches. Wouldn't her readers like to know about this connection?
Eadie also mingles a liberal amount of New Age philosophy into her visions, so much so, that her books are listed in the New Age category in most book stores, which probably explains why Eadie seems apologetic when she appeals directly to scripture to back up her visions, "I quote from the Bible from time to time, because, although some people dismiss it, in my opinion it contains most of the answer we desperately seek from God." (Quoted from Eadie's book: "The Ripple Effect: Our Harvest") Unfortunately, many New Age doctrines conflict, not only with the teachings of the LDS faith, but also with broader Christian beliefs -- mixing the two philosophies together makes for a rather muddy mess of contradictions which weakens her overall story.
Equally problematic is the fact that Eadie continues to peddle stories of her near-death-experience on the open market -- bringing out book sequels, prayer manuals, audio cassettes and more in several different languages. And she conveniently let's her readers know that there is a bottomless well of more experiences to share in the future, "Much of what I learned on the other side was removed from memory when I returned to earth. God let me keep what knowledge I needed, and he restores a little more as time goes by." ("The Ripple Effect: Our Harvest")
The science-fiction writer, Orson Scott Card, predicted this marketing blitz back in 1994, "It is an oft-told tale, and it would be remarkable indeed if it had not grown in the retelling. And it will continue to grow -- in this book Eadie talks of portions of her experience that have been hidden from her memory. No doubt as the demand for sequels grows, she will find that the Lord has allowed her to remember these "forgotten" sights." (Quoted from: [...])
It's a shame that Card's predictions came true.
on December 31, 2003
One day in 1995 I died, and had a NDE. Ever since then, I've been reading everything I can on the subject. According to most stories I've read, I had an unusual one, not going down a tunnel, but experiencing many interesting phenomena all the same. It seems to me that there are some NDE books and magazine articles that are just hype, and published just to give recognition. I have found, through my many years and multitudes of books on the subject, that there is an underlining truth and spirit that pervades the true experiences. So, I have compiled a list of my best reads for NDE books - ones that I consider genuine and adding validating light to the personal NDE experience. I have left out compilations, these are personal narratives. I hope you enjoy them too.
Embraced by the Light ------by Betty J. Eadie
Psychic Gifts ---------by Tiffany Snow
Saved by the Light --------by Dannion Brinkley
4 Days in Eternity ---------by Wayne F.A. Marentette
After the Light -------------by Kimberly Clark Sharp
on October 24, 1997
I have read Betty's book and it changed my life. I approached this book from a totally atheistic point of view. Before that I had read "saved by the light" by Dannion Brinkly and that book perked my interest in the subject but I was very skeptical. But after reading 4 more books on the near death experience by doctors, researchers, nurses, and the experiencers them selves, I am totally convinced that this is a true phenomena. Those Christians who want to criticize Betty. Are following the Bible too strictly. They are no different than the Pharisees. Or the other Jews who said Jesus was not the messiah. You must keep an open mind and not fear new and different things. You must look into your heart for the truth. You can use material books like the Bible as a guide but only you can know god. Is Betty or the other experiencers any different than the Christians of old who had mystical experiences. Why can't one have these kinds of experiences now? And if god is ready to reveal a new truth to us how will we recognize it if we are closed to everything that is different than our past knowledge. You must have an open mind as well as a skeptical one. Stop blindly following the text of the bible or any book, it's not like you really fully understand it's meaning anyway. I have discovered that my lack of an open mind has been my biggest blockage to the truth. Fear is the enemy, love is our savior. That's all there is to it. Anyway, I Highly recommend the book. END
on May 21, 2001
I found this book sitting on my parents bookshelf yesterday. It had been there for years but I had never even opened it. I started reading and couldn't put it down. It was so fabulous! This book greatly changed my outlook on God, heaven, and Christianity. I believe that it has changed my life. I am 15 with clinical depression, social anxiety disorder, and bulimia. I have read many self-help books with no avail, yet this one gave me hope. For months I have been struggling with my Christian relationship and wondering why God would "punish" me like this. This book helped me to realize that this IS a growing experience and God would never deal me anything that I could not deal with or lead to me grow from. It also assisted in coming to terms with my friend's suicide and made me realize how her death had made me a more compassionate and caring person. This book gives me hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and made me realize that the spirit has the power to overcome anything (with patience) through God. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK! I pray that everyone can gain as much from this book as I have.
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 12, 2011
I read this book after seeing Betty on a T.V. talk show. I was so impressed by what she had to say...I needed to know more. I ordered this book and started to read. It is one of those books you can't put down.
I've always been interested in "what's out there" and what could possibly "lie" beyond this world as WE know it. Do we really die or does the "Soul" continue to live. Do we have a purpose here on Earth and WHY do we go through some of the "trials and tribulations" that we do? So many unanswered questions.
Shortly after reading the book, which gave me sooo much "insight" into the why's of it all...I lost my son to "suicide". This book helped me to deal with the days of depression following this. The book seemed to erase so many "stigmas" attached to the word "suicide" and the very slanted view I'd grown up to believe from people who really had no idea or even "right" to say some of the things they did.
This book will open your mind up to so many possibilities and help you to understand that we choose many of the life events and even people in our lives. All pre-destined and planned before we come to Planet Earth. We continue to come back to Planet Earth...over and over again...until we are "perfect" in the Eyes of God. Or I guess a better way to say it...is...until WE are satisfied with the way we "perfect" our spiritual growth until we reach a point that we reside permanently in Heaven. It is "our" choice whether or not we want to come back. Some choose not to.
This is a thought-provoking book. I would highly recommend it, moreso to someone who has suffered a "loss" and could benefit from the quiet "relief" you will get from the knowledge it contains. I've shared this book with others, even a family member who lost a daughter. Not through suicide, but the pain is still the same. It gave her "peace" of mind...to continue to Live. The best present you could give yourself or a friend who is struggling to come to terms with a loss. Many times being "angry" with God and not understanding WHY? Read...find out why and I think if you have an open mind...you will come away a "new" person in your feelings and your actions.
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.