Most helpful positive review
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Profound, authentic, and inspiring.
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. -----