- Paperback: 290 pages
- Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing (March 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 157174651X
- ISBN-13: 978-1571746511
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 65 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Near-Death Experiences, The Rest of the Story: What They Teach Us About Living and Dying and Our True Purpose Paperback – March 1, 2011
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"Having undergone her own profound transformations in consciousness resulting from three successive Near-Death Experiences in 1977, P.M.H. Atwater set about on her distinguished career of careful, detective-like fieldwork and research into the mysteries of NDEs. Near-Death Experiences: the Rest of the Story is her crowning achievement. In it Atwater places the varied phenomena of NDEs into a broader setting of the natural 'ongoing process of transformative adaptation within the human family as a species'. This is P.M.H. Atwater at her very best, resetting the bar for all future NDE research. She is magnificent in her painstaking role as detective, observer, interrogator, advisor, empathizer, compiler & categorizer of data, and creative formulator of plausible hypotheses in the face of 43 years of research findings...This is Atwater's 10th book, and is an absolute must for anyone interested in how NDEs relate to the transformation of consciousness, spiritual awakening, and our true potential & that of the world. It is destined to become a classic in Near-Death Studies and Consciousness Research, and has my highest recommendation." --Scott A. Olsen, Ph.D., author of The Golden Section: Nature's Greatest Secret
"The significance of near-death experiences can hardly be exaggerated, because they point toward answers to The Great Questions -- our origin, life's meaning, and our destiny. There is no more courageous explorer of this domain than P. M. H. Atwater, who has been at the forefront of near-death research for more than three decades. The fear of death has caused immense suffering throughout human history; the information in this book is an antidote for this distress. Atwater's fine book conveys more than information; it delivers healing as well." --Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Words, Reinventing Medicine, and The Power of Premonitions
"In Near-Death Experiences, The Rest of the Story, P.M.H. Atwater significantly pushes the acceptable boundaries of the scientific, spiritual and moral implications of the near-death experience, in modern times. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the unacknowledged ramifications of the fact there is no such thing as death!" --Dannion and Kathryn Brinkley, International best sellers of Saved by the Light, Secrets of the Light
"This review of over 3,000 NDE cases belongs on the bookshelf of everyone interested in the survival of consciousness. The inescapable conclusion of her intensive study is in keeping with my conclusion that 'always there is life.'" --John L. Turner, M.D., author of Medicine, Miracles, and Manifestations
"Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story is written by one of the foremost near-death experience researchers, P.M.H Atwater. This book is a treasure trove of over 30 years of her research. The book is well written and remarkably easy to read given its comprehensiveness. In a world rife with uncertainty and struggles, P.M.H.'s Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story provides priceless insights, soothing reassurance, and life-changing inspiration." --Jeffrey Long, M.D., author of the best selling book, Evidence of the Afterlife
"In her latest work, P.M.H. Atwater continues to explore the great mysteries surrounding life and death. Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story is intriguing, thought-provoking and a 'good read.' Atwater's compassion and dedication to her subject matter shine through in her writing. Her findings, based on intensive research, not only enlighten but inspire much hope for the future." --Jean Terra, Professional editor, former Idaho Gubernatorial/Statehouse Staff Member
"PMH Atwater has been a prolific writer about Near Death Experiences and related topics. This book, in my estimation, may be her best to date. It is scholarly -- yet also very personal and daring. The reader will especially enjoy the interesting footnotes and annotations. But, most importantly, this book embodies the deep reflections of a seasoned and compassionate researcher." --Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D., Dean of programs in Transformational Psychology University of Philosophical Research
"This is a much-needed book about the transformation of human consciousness. After three near-death experiences of her own followed by 33 years of researching the subject, including working with nearly 4000 NDE adults and children and writing nine books on the subject, PMH Atwater has become the leading and most prolific authority on the near-death experience." --Jon Klimo, Ph.D., co-author of Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife
"PMH Atwater has been researching Near-Death Experiences since 1978, and in the process studying nearly 4,000 cases. Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of The Story is a summation of what she has learned and discerned over those years of+ study. The book is written in an easy accessible style, and is well-grounded in the science of the field. It covers much more than near-death, and is a compendium of wisdom about the nature of consciousness that is well worth your time." --Stephan A. Schwartz, Senior Samueli Fellow for Brain, Mind, and Healing, Samueli Institute, author of Opening to the Infinite
About the Author
P.M.H. Atwater is an international authority on near-death states as well as a near-death experiencer who "died" three times. She is the author of 20 books and lives in Charlottesville, Va. Visit her at: pmhatwater.blogspot.com
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With that said, the author appears to have been somewhat factual and objective as he was collecting evidence. And as I mentioned, these cases (many of them at least) are as real as the keyboard I am typing these comments on. That in itself makes this collection-- despite the flaws-- interesting. I will close by saying I have learned from the book, though I think it would have been more powerful had the author used more tact, been more patient, and not so eager to provide 'reasons' to explain the quantifiable facts.
My highest recommendation.
Take that, skeptics!
Raymond Moody M.D. blew the doors open on the NDE issue with his monumental book Life After Life which came out in 1975. Professor and psychologist Kenneth Ring scored in 1980 with Life at Death. Of course, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross M.D. became practically the patron saint of the NDE movement, even though her ground-breaking 1969 book On Death and Dying never dealt with NDEs, per se. In fact, Kübler-Ross wanted to include this kind of information in her book, but her peers urged her not to, saying it would destroy the credibility of her book.
And they keep coming – the latest mega-best-selling NDE book is by Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon of fine reputation, credentials and pedigree. His book PROOF OF HEAVEN published in 2012 was on the New York Times best seller list for four weeks.
But now enter PMH ATWATER: She is an Idaho woman who began her career as a housewife, secretary and prize-winning county fair cook. But early on she began writing copy for the Idaho Department of Commerce and Development and then started contributing to a regional publication, Sunset magazine. In 1976 at age 39 she found herself suddenly a divorced mother of three – but the next year is when her life was shattered and changed forever.
In 1977 Atwater suffered a miscarriage which resulted in massive internal hemorrhaging. She experienced clinical death and a brief NDE. Two days later a blood clot brought her to the brink of death again, and another much more involved NDE ensued. Then about three months later a possible heart attack or stroke sent her beyond the veil one more time.This time she experienced an NDE of epic proportions.
As Atwater likes to say: “I died three times in 1977.”
She reports many of the standard features of the NDE – a journey to a heavenly realm, meeting deceased relatives, even a conversation with none other than Jesus. (Although this is not a Christian-oriented book). She also experienced the overwhelming cosmic and universal love that composes the very fabric of all reality.
These experiences were so profound it launched her on a lifetime investigation of the NDE. Even though Raymond Moody’s book had been on the shelves for a couple of years by that time, Atwater claims to have known nothing about Moody’s work or any other NDE work that had been going on at the time.
She embarked on her own research largely uninfluenced by others. Her methods were not scientific. Rather, she employed what she called “police investigation techniques.” Her father, a professional police officer, thoroughly schooled her in the investigative methodology of cops as she was growing up and frequently hanging around the police station.
To this end, Atwater interviewed (interrogated?) more than 3,000 people who claimed to have experienced their own NDEs, and so this book, her 10th on the subject, describes her theories and conclusions about NDEs.
I have taken some pains to point out that Atwater is different from others in NDE research because it suggests her work offers a fresh look at NDEs. We might consider Atwater something of a maverick within the field. This is interesting for two reasons:
1. Unlike most others in the NDE field, she is an “experiencer” herself, and thus is coming at the subject from the inside, so to speak, rather than as an outside objective observer.
2. She is not shackled by the “group think” or materialistic bias I think we can fairly attribute to the scientific community.
Of course, not being bothered by the scientific method is both a benefit and a drawback. Science has been successful because the scientific method works and brings results. (What would you rather have when the chips are really down; hands-on faith healing or a shot of penicillin?)
On the other hand, the exploration of the NDE might be one of those areas that simply isn't accessible to the scientific method; at the very least, applying a rational-materialistic overlay to the NDE may be akin to fixing your car's transmission with a roll of duct tape.
To this end, Atwater scores a couple of major body blows against scientific skeptics of the NDE, including:
• The universal acceptance of the “tunnel phenomenon.” Atwater points out that perhaps less than 10% of all NDErs report traveling through a tunnel on their way to the “other side.” Yet, the skeptics apply this tunnel experience universally to the NDE phenomenon. They say the "tunnel" can be explained by the way brain cells shut down as their oxygen supply is depleted. But as Atwater found, most people don’t experience the tunnel – how then are they still experiencing full-blown NDEs?
• The skeptic’s explanation for NDE relies heavily on the idea that an NDE is extremely brief, and that people don’t truly die during their experience, but rather, are thrust into a deep state of unconsciousness with loss of brain function. However, Atwater points out that some people who “return from the dead” do so not after a minute or two – but sometimes after several days. There are cases of people waking up on slabs while in a morgue cooler. They displayed no vital signs or brain activity for days at a time, yet they return to normal functioning.
• Severe oxygen deprivation does not always result in brain damage. Many people have been resuscitated well beyond the point where damage to the brain can be expected – yet they return without a hint of brain damage. Atwater contents the brain-oxygen connection is not well understood and is often misinterpreted by medical science.
• Scientists are coming at the issue with the assumption that all knowledge and experience is generated from within the brain – while there is good evidence from a variety of fields to suggest that knowledge and information may originate outside the brain, and the brain rather works like a radio receiver and organizer of knowledge that is “out there.”
And there’s more – including Atwater’s excellent point that skeptics are failing to consider all the evidence – especially in documenting the long-term after effects of the NDE. That includes the deep personality changes that are displayed over a lifetime. Typical of science, it tends to focus in on and look too narrowly at certain factors, points of data and observed phenomenon. The method is radically reductionist– and this causes skeptics to simply disregard vast sums of data that are relevant to the overall phenomenon.
Unfortunately, Atwater in the later chapters veers off wildly into Fruitloop-O-Topia, making larger observations that, from my point of view, border on the bizarre.
For example, Atwater contends that millions of people experiencing NDEs is actually a form of consciousness evolution and is responsible for a new breed of advanced, highly intelligent children (born since 1982) emerging into our society with superior abilities. That’s complete and unsupportable nonsense.
But she makes other bizarre claims as well – such as suggesting that the downfall of Maoist China was triggered by Tangshan earthquake in 1976 which killed more than 242,000 people. Atwater contends that potentially thousands of people who survived the quake experienced NDEs and thus fueled with their expanded consciousness the transformation of China. Well, if that’s true, then Atwater must also explain why China today is veering toward large-scale environmental collapse as it pursues an aggressive, militaristic, paranoid and virulent form of hyper-capitalism that is rapidly polluting our beautiful green earth -- and on such a massive scale that it may push the entire planet to the brink of a black, gritty, dystopia.
There are other 100% inane observations as well –such as saying that Pluto has suddenly changed its color and that the other planets are also brightening – say what? – and even if this is true, how is this relevant to the NDE?
It’s not. It’s just nutty.
Even so, I say you buy it and read it. It’s a significant and worthy contribution to the NDE field of literature.