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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2015
This is certainly one of the finer books I've ever read on the Near Death Experience (and the Spiritually Transformative Experience.) NDE studies is one field where you absolutely cannot judge a book by its cover. The field is overrun with all kinds of approaches and responses to the Near Death Experience, including small vague religious books, books that claim people went to the Christian Heaven or Hell and have come back to save souls, long thoughtful personal accounts which are deeply examined in terms of spiritual and physical implications, and scholarly books that address the entire range of Near Death Experience research worldwide and its implications. Many of the finest books are written by medical doctors. This author is a medical doctor. And many excellent entries --- truly fine books --- have been packaged with simple art and sometimes annoying simplistic titles..involving "the light," or "Heaven" or huge claims of proof of the "Afterlife." This can be off putting. ---- So one must approach each and every book with an open mind, aware that the cover art, title, publisher, etc., may not be a determining factor as to the quality of what you will find inside. ----- And what I found inside of this book is profound and compelling writing. Pamela M. Kircher's style is simple and accessible, but it also extremely precise, richly detailed, and what I would call authentic. --------------------------Kircher has had her own Near Death Experience as a child, and she has worked in the field of Near Death Experiences for years, including her years in hospice work which gave her immense access to all kinds of "experiencers" and their stories. --------- She has much to say here about the near uniformly positive and transformative effects of the NDE. And she is not speaking lightly or hastily when she declares her belief that the NDE teaches many people that we are in this world to love others, and that learning this can and often does transform a life completely. She does not gloss over that there may be grave adjustment difficulties for those who have NDEs. But she is, in my opinion, on very solid ground when she reports her experience of the great positive effect of the NDE on human beings and the increasing awareness of NDEs among today's population. ---- The book's strongest point, in a way, is it lack of embellishment --- as Kircher tells story after story, regardless of how repetitive they might seem, in sharing what she has learned from experiencers. She talks convincingly of the differences between the NDEs experienced by dying patients in hospice, and those more traumatic NDEs experienced by younger or healthier people. She records valuable details as to how hospice patients frequently appear to see and to be talking to deceased relatives. She offers simple yet fresh stories told to her by Near Death Experiencers. She offers all that she has observed, and it is quite a range, and she is unquestionably inspiring. --- I am now rereading the book, underlining, studying, pondering much of what she offers. ---- It is my belief that the NDE experience is the most significant mystical phenomena of this period in human history, and that no matter what one believes about an afterlife, NDEs involve patterns worldwide that should command serious attention. ---- One of these patterns, as Jeffrey Long has pointed out in his book, is that when the NDEr sees people on the other side they are invariably dead people. Hallucinations show no such pattern. And another pattern of course is the one this book emphasizes, the positive transformative effect. . Neither of these two patterns can be explained away as the effects of oxygen deprivation or drugs. These patterns are far more significant to me than the hasty, shallow "scientific" efforts to explain away the NDE, none of which has ever accounted for the many features of the NDE, and yet are so readily accepted by skeptics to dismiss the entire phenomenon. --------Unlike some who follow this literature, I do believe there are profound religious implications for people today coming out of NDE research. And I continue to derive great personal inspiration from following this material. Myself, I've never had an NDE that I can remember; and I have never been with anyone dying who appeared to have an NDE or spoke of having one. But the more I explore the field, the more intrigued I am, and the more convinced that the message.... we are here to love.... is vitally important. ------ So I recommend this book heartily. In fact, I find it one of the best I've read on the topic. -----
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2013
Loved the variety of stories! Some books just talk about one person's story and others do a lot of evaluation. This one is more just short different stories.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2010
This hospice doctor was brief & to the point. This is a book for a lay person trying to undrestand the dying process. I wish that she would not have spent 58 pages telling how she came to be a hospice doctor. She had an NDE as a child & this led to an interest & a shared empathy with others who have had NDE's. Also most of the NDE's described in the book came from others that she spoke with at speaking engagements. Toward the end of the book she describes some NDE's of the dying at hospice as well as some of her experiences with the dying in hospice care. She does cite benefits of hospice care over dying in the hospital in that it is less painful. Doctors in hospital poke & prod you & do everything they can to keep you alive; whereas, your symptoms are managed & you are kept comfortable & can die relaxed & at peace in hospice when all treatment options are exhausted. Hospice manages your pain so that you can take care of unfinished business, & have some quality of life before your death. The book exposes you to hospice care & can truly help you to decide what is best for you & or your family member.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2011
The author is a Hospice Medical Doctor who had her own Near-Death Experience as a child. As an adult M.D. for Hospice, she encountered many more patient NDE's and give the most comprehensive summary I have seen - well worth reading!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2014
I read this book free because of my Prime acct and may buy it because it was so good! My Mom was helped by Hospice workers in my home and they were wonderful! I am forever changed by observing the 3 months of my Mom's transition and passing. This book explained why some things happened and, even though I didn't have an NDE, I feel so changed for the good by going through this. A side effect? The book also talked about STE's and I may have had one of those experiences giving birth to my son. I chalked it off to medication they were giving me, but who knows? I suddenly had such a feeling of peace after much pain during labor. I felt as though if I died, that would be fine because I was at peace. I have so much underlined in the book that I could definitely relate to! This is the book I needed while I was sitting with Mom!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2014
Dr Kircher has written one of the most moving and useful books that I have ever read. I not only benefited from her book personally, I also have been sharing it with many of my patients and friends who have lost a loved one or about to. It brings a warm feeling to many of my friends, and help us meet the challenge better. It is also very readable, just like Dr Kircher is talking to the readers with her deep understanding and kindness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2014
This book describes qualities that are common across Near Death Experiences by way of illustrative, engaging stories. Even better, it presents this content in a way that feels authentic and direct - and fundamentally relevant to daily life. This is a book that has stuck with me. I've read it more than once, and truly enjoyed and learned from each encounter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2013
objectively, a good and informative book; I just appreciate writings a little less subjective (about me or my experiences), unless they are called exactly that; i.e., like an autobiography, and more objective and about others' situations, or with more scientific information.
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I have been curious about NDE's (Near Death Experiences) for a long time, just hadn't found a book I found summed up the whole experience (I have since found a few more : ) ). I think the title is what drew me to this book and the description, but mainly that love is the reason we are here. This is what I have always believed to be true and it was amazing to read a book so in line with my beliefs.
What was even more lovely was that the author is Christian by faith but takes the "many roads one mountaintop" kind of approach to death. Meaning, there are many religions and faiths and brands of spirituality on our planet, yet we all go to the same place (this is a Buddhist philosophy). The fact that she is Christian is not thrown at the reader, you are not preached at or told there is only one way. She refers to "God" as the "Being of Light" most of the time because this is what people who had NDE's (herself included) referred to it as.
This book is beautifully written, both factual and heartfelt, starting off with how the authors career started, how she entered the hospice field and studying NDE's and what all those stories have led her to conclude.
I have many pages dog eared because I felt their message was so powerful, so human, so relevant.
She also goes into these stories, telling them as an outsider looking in, but you never get the feeling that their is judgement or skepticism. Every experience is believable and true. Almost all stories she has heard are beautiful and positive with the exception of 3 which bear no resemblance to the Christian belief of hell, but more of a purgatory. A place to realize you are not alone and to ask for help. What was fascinating about these few stories was that, each of these people lived in isolation or anger in life. When they asked for help in death they were immediately answered. Another interesting part that is described by many who have experienced NDE's is the life review; where you experience both from your perspective and those who you have encountered throughout your life's perspective. In this way you feel the pain or joy you caused others during your time here on Earth.
Her whole premise: that we are here to love one another and show compassion towards all things, is such an important and vital message.
I was both impressed and touched by her writing and openness and would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in death, dying, and what happens after.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2013
Like another reviewer I was hoping for more of the individual stories of the patients. Took most of the book to get there.
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