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Spiritual Perspectives on Death and Dying Paperback – September 22, 2015
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About the Author
Bernice H. Hill Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Boulder, Colorado for over thirty years. She is a member of the International Association for Analytic Psychology (Zurich) and a senior training analyst with the C. G. Jung Institute of Colorado. She is a certified facilitator of the Stanislav and Christina Grofs’ Holotropic Breathwork™ and has written this book for her children, her grandchildren and all other explorers of Spirit.
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The first chapter discusses Dr. Jung and his philosophy. As Hill notes, Jung stands out among the pioneers who explored the human psyche because of his strong faith that there was a fundamental purpose in our life’s journey. He was one of the few Western psychologists to seriously discuss life after death. “There are vicissitudes to be encountered,” Hill writes. “Jung would say that these challenges take on a larger meaning, if we are willing to face them and not take the easy way out of denial.”
Moving on to Dr. Stanislav Grof, Hill summarizes several cases documented by Grof in which dying patients were able to overcome their fear of death by confronting it , thereby expanding their awareness. “Jung and Crof’s efforts in modern consciousness research have given us a more comprehensive map of our inner reality,” Hill offers. “Their explorations have softened our overly materialistic view of who and what we are.”
Hill then discusses Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist perspectives, drawing from the Hindu sage Parmahansa Yogananda (“Autobiography of a Yogi”) and Sogyal Rinpoche (“The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”), quoting some of their most profound teachings. Having many years ago read the books of Alice Bailey, I especially enjoyed the refresher on the teachings of “The Tibetan,” including the three levels of development, so consistent with other revelations and teachings that have come to us about what happens immediately after death.
Hill includes some interesting personal experiences, one of them a very intriguing near-death experience by her partner, Ed. Drawing from the American surgeon and author, Atul Gawande, Hill concludes that the more we can accept death as a natural part of our life’s circle the more we will want to shape the end of the story. “Then our priorities become clearer to ourselves.”
The book has much wisdom to offer in its 108 pages.
ancient and modern sources. Dr. Hill provides a clear, concise and sometimes personal guide to the spiritual challenges and gifts of
our human condition. Spiritual Perspectives on Death and Dying is also a guide to Life and Living, since the essential self is believed to
continue after the physical self is no longer viable or needed, and the development of the self during this life is seen to continue after physical death.