- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books; Book Club Edition edition (February 14, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 145161652X
- ISBN-13: 978-1451616521
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,687,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $5.00 shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Modern Book of the Dead: A Revolutionary Perspective on Death, the Soul, and What Really Happens in the Life to Come Hardcover – February 14, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“A fascinating, impassioned hybrid of memoir and divine supposition.”
"A brilliant and absorbing exploration of our ideas about death and the afterlife, that brings much thought, insight, and personal reflection to an area of experience we too often avoid examining. Some might consider this morbid - mistakenly, I'd say - but it prepares the reader for the one spiritual adventure none of us will miss, and can even make us look forward to it." (Gary Lachman)
"The Modern Book of the Dead is a treasure trove of insight into the Afterlife, and its consistency over millennia. Ptolemy Tompkins has delivered a remarkable synthesis of this crucially important reality that is fundamental to comprehending our existence." (Eben Alexander, MD, author of Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey through the Afterlife (2012))
About the Author
Ptolemy Tompkins has been an in-house editor at Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines and is the author of four books. His writing has been featured in Beliefnet.com, Harper’s, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in New York.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
Showing 1-4 of 41 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I'm grappling with the concept of reincarnation, and while this presents a clearer and more positive view than fundamentalist Eastern thought, I'm still not sure I buy it. Connection to others - love - seems to be the deepest reason for our lives and experiences here (Ptolemy attests to this by weaving the story of his relationship with his father into the book's beginning and end); reincarnation in the end seems to miss this. I love my family, my fiance, my children, in a way that feels stronger than even the existence of my self. I don't care about becoming godlike, I just want to be with them, forever. Ptolemy's brief aside about watching DVDs many times over of movies he saw with his father as a kid seems to point to this, too. We're here because of each other.
The references to children with memories of other lives could be a case of highly empathic abilities. If a meta-consciousness exists outside of ourselves, it's possible that they could be "downloading" memories from that. Ian Stevenson (Division of Personality Studies, University of Virginia) has been "able to identify certain common aspects of the [children's past lives memories] phenomenon. The two lives involved in the reincarnation experience typically live no farther apart than 100 miles (161km) of one another and are of the same culture." I would think the odds of reincarnating within 100 miles of your home into the same culture are pretty low, whereas the odds of empathically picking up emotions and memories from someone's life in close geographic proximity...?
Reading those accounts also made me think of the cases of organ donor recipients who suddenly find themselves craving foods and activities that they've never been interested in before, which family members of the donor verify as being loves of the donor.
I appreciated the lack of fear-mongering here, which is a sign of trustworthiness in spiritual teachers, excluding this paragraph: "People who die young, and suddenly - as in war - are in particular danger of being in the situation that 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead' spends so much time with, of having forgotten who one is and where one is, and of being, as a result, at the mercy of one's own creative imagination, within which one becomes stuck like a person in a kind of nightmarish gigantic movie house that never closes and never stops showing the same (alternately and terrifying) movies."
I read this after finishing "Glimpses of Eternity," about shared-death experiences, and the paradigm revealed by the shared death narratives seemed a little closer to the center of things than this one. But this is a good attempt!
My one wrestle with his accuracy is nitpicky: the description of Buddhism and its 'metaphysics' and general notions is really not accurate, at least as far as essential Buddhism is concerned. By that I mean Zen and similar disciplines. Even there, we have divergence (Obaku, Rinzai, Soto and other sects); Tibetan Buddhism is similarly divergent as well. In actuality, what one might refer to as a more pure form of Buddhism does not postulate ANYTHING metaphysically, and does not more than cursorily talk about reincarnation, but does hint in some of the writings (Dogen, Bankei, Obaku and others) at some of the remarkable multi-verse intuitions of Tompkins other sources. If you read in the 3 Pillars of Zen (Kaplan) you will find personal anecdotes that sound eerily similar to much of what Tompkins finds in Myers, Crookall etc.
All this being said, I would thoroughly endorse reading this book, if for no other reason than to open your mind to possibilities beyond mechanistic and atomistic scientific reductionism. I want to say that I support science and scientific research to the hilt. I am in no way a purveyor of alternative theological or homegrown metaphysics. You will find, if you read current scientific literature, that more and more of what Tompkins is talking about has begun to invade standard scientific modeling, albeit not in an overt subject form as the book does. You might read on brane theory and holographic universes, and information storage on event horizons of black holes, both of which are part of cutting edge astrophysics, and then come back to this book and rethink some of what you have read.
I am especially intrigued how Ptolemy makes me realize how much ancient and modern theologies have in common in terms of the soul and afterlife. I am a student of A Course in Miracles which he hasn't mentioned at all (I am about three quarters through the book as I like to savor it rather than speed read through it), and so much of what he says seems to validate my own core, basic beliefs as well as those of my friends who are New Age, Christian, atheist and agnostic--utterly phenomenal how he does this!