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Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the Near-Death Experience Paperback – September 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Even if you never have a near-death experience (NDE) on the surgeon's table, in a car accident or during a heart attack, you can reap the spiritual benefits claimed by NDErs. Through meditation, study and mental exercises, you can tap into the healing energy of the loving, nonjudgmental Being of Light glimpsed by many at death's door. You can simulate a panoramic life-review of your entire existence, catapulting your values away from competitive materialism and toward love, service, cooperation; and you can integrate the insights commonly reported by NDErs into daily practical living. That's the message of this manual that, notwithstanding its aim of reaching out beyond the lucky privileged NDErs to the masses, mostly preaches to the converted. Veteran NDE researcher Ring (The Omega Project), here writing with Swiss NDE investigator Valarino, includes many previously unpublished NDE cases and distills techniques he has taught at workshops and university courses. In a book that reads like a New Age seminar, Ring presents intriguing evidence to support his belief that NDEs represent an authentic, objective experience, not a self-protective hallucination or a neurological artifact of a dying brain. This material includes reports of out-of-body experiences, children's NDEs, blind people gaining sight during NDE episodes, and NDErs whose brush with death apparently unleashed paranormal or healing abilities. Skeptics will relish punching holes in each of these phenomena, and a more rigorous approach would have been welcome for the already overcrowded NDE shelf.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The capstone of Kenneth Ring's career, this book is the distillation of all that death can teach the living. Ring's loving voice turns harrowing and resplendent near-death stories never published before into a practical guide that motivates through its sheer heart-gripping beauty. No reader will ever be able to think of life in the same way again after reading this book. -- Jenny Wade, Ph.D., author of Changes of Mind: A Holononic Theory of the Evolution of Consciousness

This is unquestionably the most important book on the subject of near-death experience since Moody's Life After Life. -- Ian Wilson, author of The After Death Experience

Lessons from the Light opens the last door each of us will face in our lifetime. With clarity, wit, and crisp prose, it brings us to the cutting edge of what promises to be the most important discovery ever made in psychobiology-what truly happens after death. -- Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D., National Book Award-winning author of Taking the Quantum Leap and The Spiritual Universe

Lessons from the Light is the culmination of Kenneth Ring's rich and extensive career as the foremost researcher of the NDE. One of the very best books on the subject to date, it is a must read for anyone interested in life's possibilities. -- Sukie Miller, Ph.D., author of After Death: Mapping the Journey and director of The Institute for the Study of the Afterdeath

A beautiful melding of research and compassionate, intuitive analysis. An inspirational book filled with both spiritual insight and practical information to help us realize our own personal power. -- Caroline Myss, Ph.D. author of Anatomy of the Spirit

A magnificent achievement! Ring's new book is the best book on NDEs! For while he is indeed one of the leading scholars in the field, he now brings in his heart and shows those of us who haven't had an NDE how to use the inspiration of NDEs to change our lives. -- Charles T. Tart, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California, Davis; author of Altered States of Consciousness and Living the Mindful Life

A major contribution that offers a wealth of fresh case materials together with balanced and insightful commentary. -- Raymond A. Moody, Ph.D., author of Life After Life and Reunions

Arguably, the best book yet on the near-death experience. -- Michael Grosso, Ph.D., author of The Millenium Myth and Soulmaking: Uncommon Paths to Self-Understanding

Lessons from the Light is the best and most complete book on the near-death experience I've ever read, and I believe it will help you overcome your fears of dying. -- Seymour Boorstein, M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine and author of Clinical Studies in Transpersonal Psychotherapy

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Moment Point Press Inc; 1 edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930491115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930491113
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, and an internationally recognized authority on the subject of near-death experiences on which he has written five books and nearly a hundred articles. He is also the co-founder and past President of The International Association for Near-Death Studies and the founding editor of its quarterly scholarly journal, The Journal of Near-Death Studies, now in its thirtieth year. Dr. Ring has appeared on many television and radio programs and been often interviewed in the press in connection with his work on near-death experiences.

Early in 2008, Dr. Ring became interested and then deeply involved in issues having to do with the situation of Palestinian people and in that connection traveled to the West Bank. His contacts with Palestinian people led to his work on his book, Letters from Palestine, on which he collaborated with a Palestinian friend, Ghassan Abdullah of Ramallah. Dr. Ring has also written articles about Gaza and continues to be actively engaged with issues having to do with Palestinian life and culture.

He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has three children and four grandchildren.

Much more information about Dr. Ring and his books can be found on his website, He is also on Facebook.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Katie on March 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many books re: NDE's during the past couple of months, and I must say that this is one of the best!

Since I have not experienced an NDE myself, I was taken in by Dr. Ring's discussions about how we "non-NDE'rs" can take the information gleaned from experiencers to change our lives for the better. The idea of being able to benefit from these experiences without actually having to go through one yourself is wonderfully insightful!

This is the first book I've come across that not only suggests that we can all benefit from the NDE's of others, but takes it a step further to suggest excercises that will help us to achieve this.

I am currently working on some of these excercises, and have already noticed a change in how I communicate with others - I'm hoping that as I practice more, these positive changes will become a habit.

Overall, I think this book is a "must read" for anyone interested in NDE's.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Moreau on June 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Kenneth Ring's book "Lessons from the Light" is a comprehensive book that incorporates real stories from people who have had near death experiences with the author's advice on how others can incorporate these lessons into their own lives. This book is enjoyable for a wide audience of people, ranging from those who have studied NDEs and are interested in them to those who have never heard of the Near Death Experience but are searching for answers regarding the afterlife. The first half of the book focuses more on proving that these experiences are real and gives proof of an afterlife while the second half of the book teaches us what we can learn from these experiences and how we can apply them to our own lives. Kenneth Ring argues that merely learning of NDEs is like being infected by a benign virus and once infected you can become what he refers to as a "near-death experiencer, once removed."

The first part of the book focuses on the experience of nearly dying itself, using various stories to demonstrate what occurs in this situation. The author uses many distinct subjects, most of whom he has developed a personal relationship with. Most subjects suffer from some type of health emergency, such as drowning or a car accident, in which they suddenly find themselves outside of their body and viewing their body from above. They also suddenly obtain a 360 degrees vision. At this point they report an extreme sense of bliss and freedom that is unlike anything they have ever experienced before. Next, the person is pulled through a tunnel with a light at the end that grows bigger and brighter as they approach it. All these people comment on the way that the light is brighter than any light they have ever seen before, yet it does not hurt their eyes to look at it.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Robert M. Pallotti on May 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have read a number of works on NDEs and I read Dr. Ring's "Heading Toward Omega" when it was first published. As a clergy person that often ministers to the dying and their families the information shared in "Lessons from the Light" can be helpful within the context of the religious tradition one serves in. Of course, since all of these people came back to this life we cannot generalize about post-mortum existence. However, the compelling information about NDEs will give believers and non-believers an opportunity to reflect on the direction of their lives, the goal of their lives and what really matters in their lives. For the religious/spiritual person such accounts tend to strengthen that deep interior expereince of the Holy One in our midst. For those that deny spiritual existence of any kind the NDE of so many people can at least provoke a willingness to rethink things. Dr. Ring gives us much to pray, think and talk about. I am grateful for his efforts.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Childs Gowell on January 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have read all Ken Ring's books. I heartily disagree with the contentious and disagreeable first review on this page. The research being mostly "phenomenological" is of course going to disturb the so-called scientific "purists" statistical nerds. The notion that the reporting of these experiences works as a virus and infects the reader is apt and not lunatic, people are reporting that the book has profoundly affectd them. The personal stories are riveting and interesting. Even if the experience of an NDE or OOBE happens because of the release of certain "molecules of the mind" so what? Whatever influences us poor peons to experience and understand our "bliss" is valuable. It is not lunatic fringe except to those who are scared of it.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. Sanders on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book from Amazon when I came across the title one day, while searching for books about the afterlife. It has been one of the best books that I've ever purchased...and I truly believe that it was intended for me to read it, so I encourage anyone interested in this book/subject to make the purchase!

I'm a very spiritual person, and have a fascination with subjects of this kind, but this book has reassured me of my beliefs of an afterlife. This book is interesting and comforting. It lets you see that death isn't what we've been taught to think it is. This book is based on the truth of actual experiences.....and thankfully, not on dogmatic/religious teachings and/or views.

We've all heard stories about NDEs, but most people haven't heard how having a NDE changes the life of the experiencer! It is amazing to learn how their lives where forever changed, in such a wonderful-dramatic way. And, what I love is how the author shows us how we can learn from what these people have experienced. We can actually benefit from the lessons that they have been blessed to receive while in the presence of the Light!

This book can really open-up your eyes, it can be extremely comforting, and as I have found, it truly changes your life and how you view life and death.

Buy this book!! Read it!! Let your friends and family read it!! If you know someone who has faced the death of a loved one, buy this for them! It is that amazing!

Thank You Kenneth Ring!
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