Most helpful positive review
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Rational, comprehensive, and insightful
on March 6, 2008
Over the past 8 years American Fundamentalists have attempted to monopolize the literature on Near Death Experiences and associated phenomena, usually employing their publishing factories to disseminate Trojan Horses - books purporting to be about this subject, but carefully crafted for the furtherance of their narrow "religious" agendas. As an Anthropologist (specializing in Death & Dying) for over 40 years, I study the impact of these insidious and often downright untruthful vehicles on the fabric of culture and society throughout the world.
Ms. Hemingway's book is truly welcome on several levels. Her presentation of historical and mythological data is accurate, unbiased,, and very much appropriate to her subject. Her presentations of what many people feel have been their experiences are also unbiased, particularly in her introductions and summary analyses. As a scientist, I am impressed.
Her exploration and treatment of the implications of the reported experiences speaks beyond just the scientist; it speaks to the human in all of us. Thus, the broad value of this book. To her great credit, Ms. Hemingway does not allow herself to be sidetracked onto epistemological cul-de-sacs. Her egalitarian approach allows Deists and non-Deists alike to find validity in her materials, and therefore in their lives.
Of particular interest, regardless of a reader's a priori stance, is the inherently honest message she conveys through the detailed discussions of the life changing nature of these phenomena. Without a subversive agenda of the furtherance of what some narrow group defines as good, this manuscript presents a cornucopia of examples of how to be of benefit, even ultimate benefit, in the lives of others as well as of the self. As such, this book is a service to all mankind.