on October 18, 2015
What a remarkable book. It's fascinating, educational, and mind expanding. It encompasses so much that I don't know how to do a proper review. The title doesn't come close to covering all that's in this book. The book is intelligent, scientific, extremely well researched, and crosses many different subjects aside from what the title intimates. If the reader isn't part of this type of investigation, the nomenclature may be challenging because words can mean different things in different disciplines. I reread many passages for more understanding and others because they struck me as profound.
Near-death stories are usually interesting, as those sprinkled through this book were, but the book and author take a totally different approach to any books you've read on this subject before, unless you've read this author. I'll read the book a second time, after time passes, for greater understanding. It's the kind of thing that not only affects every person on earth but all those who were here before us and will be after us, and the concepts are supported increasingly by other sciences and ongoing research by others, some of it pertaining to the universe.
There is some religion in the book, not in a way you'd expect. It's discussion, some of which may confirm some beliefs around the world, some of which will shake up beliefs in some ways, but the overwhelming theme is that a deity exists but not so separate from us as we might think. All life is related, down to bugs and plants, trees, animals, all.
The book should be helpful to anyone who has had a near-death experience, as there are pros and cons in the immediate aftermath that need to be worked though. The experiences include children and have been verified by others in nearly all cases.
The ideas (put simply) here are far from reality for anyone who has never had one of these experiences, or several, as the author has. But they're comforting, apparently, for those millions of us who have had them because people don't believe them when they describe a different realm. We humans are excellent at labeling people, usually wrongly.
I have not had a near-death experience, though I've been near death more than once. Not near enough to be declared dead, though, or thought to be. Neither has my son, to my knowledge, the person who insisted I read this book. He's a normal person with a normal job and a high sense of humor, but he's also a deep thinker, as I find on the occasions he recommends a book to me that I have a little trouble getting through. Some of this book is a challenging read, some is easy and straightforward. It will probably change any reader who gets through it with an open mind. I'm not sure I'll kill bugs anymore and thought about the garden-fresh carrots I dug today.
When I finished reading, I wanted very much to go to one of the big gatherings near-death experiencers have and just sit and absorb what I might from them. To listen and understand. Or try. I wanted to talk to someone about the book, another reader. This kind of book can spark endless conversation and greater understanding that there's more to our world and universe than we've been conditioned to see. That makes sense, of course.
Apparently we are endless and we're sent to earth to learn, to provide service to others, to evolve. We must evolve. That may be one of our true purposes, although I didn't understand this bit as well as most others. Our purpose on earth is to serve in order to help humans evolve, in part. I'm unclear as to what the purpose is when we shed our bodies and belong again to the universe.
If you are religious and believe every word of the stories in your faith, no matter where in the world or what faith, this book might not be for you. It necessitates an open mind. If you have no faith, don't believe in deity of any kind, or that you are connected to anything, much less the universe, then you might find a good deal to think about in the book. There's brain research information, universe information, people on and not on earth information, and more. I was happy to see the pat description of tunnels mostly debunked. It's also true that our culture dictates to a small extent what people experience in a near-death scenario. That makes sense -- we need to at least partially understand what we see and experience in order to impart it to others, to evolve, to help others evolve.
It seems more clear to the author, the expert by far, than to me, that induced states of near-death do not behave the same as real ones. It can't be replicated except under genuine near-death circumstance. I understand that concept but question whether the near-death experience is so similar across cultures, including countries and indigenous tribes, because of the electrical and energetic things that happen at those times. And do these happen for other species? The book isn't really about that though it touches lightly on it. The book is about us, the human species.
And so, I will read the book again when some time has passed, and I'm please to find the author is working with thousands more subjects to learn more. There are lots of references and supporting evidence and materials here for those in various disciplines, including pastors, scientists of all kinds, medical professionals, and too many others to mention.
If this sort of book interests you, I highly recommend it. If not, don't read and give a bad review. It's not for everyone. This is a highly intelligent author and the book reflects that. Not a light read. If you don't learn enough this time around, maybe you'll come back to earth at another time and suffer as everyone does. Maybe you'll have a near-death experience, maybe not. If you have one, it will change you completely. I can identify with some of the items on the various lists, maybe because I was close to death, but I just didn't have the real thing, so much of this is foreign to me but not something I'd ignore.
on February 21, 2015
Two stars but I will try to make this review useful to potential buyers.
Let me state at the outset that I have heard many reports of NDEs and I am a believer in the spectrum of NDE experiences.
But I am hungry to find hard scientific research on NDEs. We all should be!
Are NDEs real or a fabrication of the brain? You and I both want to know the truth, don't we? Tell me that it wouldn't put your mind at ease if it were scientifically proven that NDE experiencers were 100% correct in what they report. Let's fight the naysayers with data that has withstood the rigors of the scientific method! Are you with me??
I had misplaced expectations when I got this book. I bought the audio version on Audible, where the cover looks different than it looks on Amazon. It looked even more matter-of-fact than a college text book. There is no picture at all, just words. Great! Another reviewer complained that it did read like a text book. Great! I saw the word "research" in the description. Great!
If you've read the book and read my review thus far, you know how disappointed I was, going in with this expectation.
The NDE stories in the book were awesome. Not what I was looking for, but I do enjoy hearing them. They comprised the first 25% of the book.
Over the next quarter she started losing me. At about the half way mark, the book started annoying me with hints of being a "new age" book. Something Shirley Maclaine would write. Maybe it was just a phase the book was going through. Perhaps it would pass. I hoped that the "science" part was coming up soon. Anti-gravity was mentioned - sort of - so I became optimistic.
To be fair, the author claims to have collected lots of data which is why I gave it two stars instead of one. Other reviewers have questioned the volume of data she has collected. Whatever.
"Physicists are moving closer to the idea that at a quantum level, all minds are part of each other." Really. Which physicists are we talking about here? None of the ones whose works I've read lately.
Did you know that the earth's pulse beat peaks at between 2 and 4 am? It's true. Its pulse beat, ladies and gentlemen. It says so right in this book. I wonder which time zone the earth is on. I hope it's using Eastern Standard Time like me.
I have read other NDE books that said that brain activity slows to a crawl or stops as the NDE experiencer "dies", thus proving that the NDE experience cannot be the work of the brain, since it has stopped. Atwaters assures us that there is in fact a spike of brain activity instead. If I actually believed a word she wrote, this would remove one of the pillars of my belief that NDEs are real.
Contrary to what I had hoped, the second half of the book was filled with the author's wild speculations. I can't tell you how disappointed I was. Did you know that the heart is the center of the soul? Yup. Stated as fact in chapter 22. In chapter 23 she echoes the comments of astrologers. I'm completely serious. NOt double-blinds studies, not the rigors of the scientific method. Astrologers. This was followed by more ramblings about the Mayan calendar and dire warnings about 2012. It's now 2015 - I don't recall anything cataclysmic happening in 2012. I will look for Atwaters in an upcoming episode of Ancient Aliens, sitting beside the guy with the scary hair. The book was pure comedy at this point. Aches and pains are caused by energy imbalance. Stated as fact. Not a shred of evidence is supplied to back up this statement of course - something you get used to as you read the book.
I was treated to a hearty laugh near the end when she complains that her critics had made unsubstantiated claims. Wow, unsubstantiated claims, imagine that.
The author claims to have had three NDEs. I have no evidence to the contrary, although I have my doubts. But the super power she has been left with is that she can see energy radiating from someone's body as they experience an NDE. As super powers go, I would rather have the ability to fly, but you unfortunately you don't always get to choose your super power. What I CAN say is that given the opportunity to prove to the world that there is something to this whole NDE thing, if I had the ability to "see energy" radiating from someone's body during an NDE, I would drive STRAIGHT to the nearest university, stopping only for gas and food, and ask them to study me. Reproducible results! That's what we need! We'll silence the naysayers! Unfortunately, it appears that she is using her super power to churn out more books. Its disappointing and comical.
If you're looking for facts on NDEs, look elsewhere. If you're looking for fairy tales, this book would fit the bill, although many Disney books are more gripping.