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Life After Death: The Burden of Proof Hardcover – October 17, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 187 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In India death is perceived very differently than in the West, "as a brief stopping point on an endless soul journey," says Chopra in this introduction to life beyond bodily existence. Chopra, a medical doctor and world leader in mind-body medicine as well as author of more than 45 books, now ventures to answer: what happens after we die? For Chopra, death deserves to be called miraculous, a "doorway to a far more important event—the beginning of the afterlife" and a mode of being that "can be as creative as living." Chopra effectively uses the classic Vedanta story of Savitri—a woman who comes home to find death, Lord Yama, waiting to take her husband, and who seeks the monk Ramana's advice to outwit death—to frame each chapter. Chopra grounds each topic in the long arc of this singular story, which is the perfect springboard for Chopra to introduce concepts such as Akasha (the highest stage a soul can attain) and Eternity within the Indian tradition (where we are beyond death, life, maleness, femaleness, and the experience of time). Chopra presents a fascinating account of life after death for Westerners that will certainly please his avid fans and draw in new readers as well. (Nov.)
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“A must read for everyone who will die.” —Candace B. Pert, Ph.D., author of Molecules of Emotion

“A penetrating and insightful investigation into the greatest mystery of existence. This is an important book because only by facing death will we come to a deeper realization of who we are.” —Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now

“If I had any doubts about the afterlife, I don’t have them anymore. Deepak Chopra has cast his inimitable light on the darkened corners of death. I think this is his greatest contribution yet.” —Marianne Williamson, author of The Gift of Change

“Deepak Chopra . . . takes us to the edge of our own deepest inner truth about life after death by sharing with us his vision and his wisdom, which, as always, is breathtaking, healing, and soul-opening.” —Neale Donald Walsch, author of Home with God: In a Life That Never Ends

“Deepak Chopra has written a masterpiece that is long overdue in our spiritual culture. Life After Death: The Burden of Proof is a bold and comforting guide into the afterlife.” —Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit and Sacred Contracts

“By marrying science and wisdom in Life After Death, Chopra builds his case for an afterlife in which our most essential self, the seer that observes our experiences in this temporary home that we call the self, uses the end of this lifetime to pass over into the next. This is an intellectual and spiritual tour de force.” —Professor Robert Thurman, Columbia University, author of Infinite Life and The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (October 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307345785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307345783
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David S. Jackson on April 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My wife died two years ago from breast cancer, and I've been studying spiritual principles more deeply than ever since then. For me, the biggest change has been living less in my mind and more in my body, and turning my awareness less to my thousands of daily thoughts and more to my feelings and spiritual awareness. Deepak's book has helped me find hope for fusing scientific thought in the West with the spiritual practices of the rest of the world. He helps me see a balance between science and faith.

In this book, he has introduced me to Vedanta and compared Indian spiritual traditions to other traditions. He helps me visualize a consciousness that lives through all of us and to which we return after death. He has described how this conscious field of being appears from different levels of consciousness and how these different "appearances" manifest to different people at different times to explain the huge variety of religious experience in our spiritual and scientific literature. For example, Near Death Experiences (NDEs) from Jewish people contain Jewish symbology while Christian NDEs reflect Christian symbology and NDEs from other backgrounds reflect the symbology particular to those backgrounds.

Deepak has also helped me visualize a universe that consists largely of subtle matter that is undetectable yet is capable of being instantly collapsed into a reality once an observer notices it. I had heard of the Possibility Wave Collapse Theory (PWCT) already, but Deepak seems to understand it from several levels and explain the ideas in a flexible way that allows for many perspectives on it. Again, levels of conscious awareness seem to impact material reality, both in the body and out of the body. Amazing stuff to think about, I believe.
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In this book, Deepak Chopra gives us an intriguing look at both the scientific and spiritual aspects of life after death. For several years I've been looking for a book that helps to reconcile the afterlife with what we are learing in the field of quantum physics and this book comes as close to offering a cogent analysis as anything I have seen. Using a Hindu folk tale about death as a springboard, Chopra examines issues related to Near Death Experiences, Reincarnation, Remote Viewing, ESP and many more by examining the areas in which Science and the Vedic Tradition merge. This book is enjoyable to read, but requires a little time to digest. Although written from a Hindu perspective, Chopra takes the time to discuss other spiritual traditions, including Christianity and Buddhism. This will be a wonderful addition to your collection of philosophical works.
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This book presents a very good discussion of the principles of quantum theory that support ancient Vedic beliefs about the consciousness of the universe. Earlier titles that covered similar ground include The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav, The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra and The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, but Chopra's new work is worth reading because it includes scientific information that was not yet discovered when these other books were written.

Chopra neatly articulates a few of the basic Vedic beliefs about the continuance of human consciousness after the death of the physical body, and then marshalls evidence from quantum physics to support these ancient ideas. This includes the classic idea that human souls "devolve" and incarnate in physical form in order to experience life lessons that are charted while in between lives, a state that the Tibetans called the Bardo. (You can read a lot more about this in a first-rate book by Michael Newton called Journey of Souls.)

The sub-title of the book, "the burden of proof," is somewhat misleading, as Chopra doesn't actually attempt to "prove" anything. Instead he focuses on the quantum concept of randomness at the most minute, sub-atomic levels of the universe and the role that consciousness plays in influencing how that randomness eventually plays out in either/or choices. He eventually leads the reader to the BIG IDEA of the book -- that the whole universe and everything in it is conscious, and that together all conscious beings create reality. That includes rocks, trees, cosmic dust, the works. By the time Chopra gets to this rather awesome statement, the reader (or at least this particular reader) is ready to believe that it could not only be possible, but even likely.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is an intellectual discussion/proposal that provides food for thought (not concrete evidence or a "sell") regarding what potentially may happen after physical death, and the possible meaning/reasons for human existence and the journey of the individual soul. The book provides examples (human experiences), arguments, facts as well as theories about physics/science, and also objectively (in my opinion) cites religious teachings. The subject is extremely difficult to discuss, so I don't think anyone should expect to read this book and find it to be an "easy" read, or one that doesn't elicit strong emotions and personal opinions.

Personally (my take/perspective), I think this books is immensely soothing for anyone (of any race, background etc) who has lost a loved one to death, or is worried about his/her own death. It encourages people to believe in their soul, to believe that love continues on even after physical death, to believe that each person's birthright empowers him/her to change not only his/her own life but also that of others, to believe that we each have influence over what transpires to us after death and beyond. It's a very personal choice whether someone chooses to believe all this or not, but that's the point the book makes, we do have a choice, how wonderful is that???!

This book is clearly not meant for folks that are happy with what they know or in some cases, don't know, and prefer to continue on as they are (which can be good for them, or bad); it is especially a displeasing read for those who blindly follow any religion/practices, without question, or discerning understanding.
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