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Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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"Astounding! With her usual scientific precision and insatiable curiosity, Leslie Kean is our Orpheus, descending into the Netherworld to grapple with the most ancient of mysteries and return with inspiring evidence -- death shall have no dominion." —Ralph Blumenthal, investigative reporter, author of Miracle at Sing Sing
"With a keen eye and a no-nonsense approach, investigative journalist Leslie Kean explores what the actual data tells us about the question of survival past death. Examining many phenomena and case studies with penetrating depth and insight, Kean lets the evidence speak for itself. She takes us on an engaging, personal, and transformative journey that challenges the skeptic and informs us all." —Harold E. Puthoff, Ph.D., Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin
"Surviving Death is a thoughtful and at times startling exploration of the afterlife. As a skeptical journalist, Leslie Kean is uniquely equipped to examine and evaluate the evidence for survival of consciousness. After encountering a rash of impossible facts and startling personal experiences, her conclusion is unequivocal: We are woefully ignorant of what happens after death, but it is very likely that something interesting happens rather than nothing. A refreshingly careful and candid review." —Dean Radin, PhD, author of Supernormal and The Conscious Universe
"In addressing the most important question facing all of us, Kean has synthesized data from both a wide variety of credible sources and from her own exploration of seemingly unexplainable personal observations. After decades of research into this topic, I believe the preponderance of the evidence indicates that we survive death. But far more important is that I urge everyone to read Surviving Death, engage in their own quest, and decide for themselves." —John B. Alexander, PhD, Colonel USA Ret., author of Future War and UFOs: Myths, Conspiracies, and Realities
"What a wonderful-and clarifying-opportunity to have someone with the reportorial skills and integrity of Leslie Kean explore the trouble-fraught subject of life after death. A quiet revolution is brewing today in the intellectual treatment of paranormal topics; Kean and this book are at the center of it." —Mitch Horowitz, PEN Award-winning author of Occult America and One Simple Idea
About the Author
LESLIE KEAN is the New York Times bestselling author of UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record (Crown Archetype, 2010). An independent investigative journalist, she has been published widely in dozens of newspapers and magazines here and abroad, such as the Boston Globe, The Nation, the Globe and Mail, and the International Herald Tribune, and currently contributes articles to the Huffington Post. Kean is also the coauthor of Burma’s Revolution of the Spirit. She lives in New York.
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The book can be tedious at times, and the portions dealing with mediums and alleged after-death communication were challenging. The latter part of the book where the author speaks about what she claims she experienced during seances is the hardest segment for me to get my head around. I was not there, so I cannot say what happened, but the descriptions of what took place sound quite hard to comprehend, and I am reminded of the biblical admonition not to "call up the dead."
Still, while allowing for other possibilities, the author makes a reasonably compelling case that our consciousness is unlikely to be strictly a product of the brain, and may well survive bodily death in some form or fashion. Science cannot precisely define what, exactly, consciousness is, and therefore cannot assert with any certainty that it is purely a biological function. While we cannot assume that the alleged evidence for life after death "must" be paranormal or conclusive, neither can we assume that their must be a rational explanation and we just have not found it yet.
Yes, I concede that people want to believe in life after death (I know I do), but wanting to believe it does not automatically mean it is not true, or render all the evidence insignificant. Surely there are also those who just as passionately do NOT want to believe (some of whom seem to pop up repeatedly whenever books like this are reviewed). Cannot let the ignorant, fearful, unwashed masses think there may be any hope beyond this life, you know.
In any case, incidents take place in our world that challenge what we assume is real or true, however much we may be tempted to ignore or dismiss them. We hit the intellectual default button and respond that there has to be a simple answer. Maybe. Maybe not.
Sometimes we are offered ostensibly plausible explanations that are really highly implausible if one looks at all aspects of the situation. We ought not to readily accept any answer
- no matter how absurd - just because it denies the paranormal.
What it all means is an entirely different question. However, at the very least, it certainly seems reasonable to conclude that naturalistic science alone is inadequate to explain everything that happens in our our universe.
In my estimation, "I don't know" is the most sensible position on many of these questions.
I found it extremely uplifting firming up my experience and being able to smile once again seeing how others have handled their losses. The deep feeling of my loved one's presence was felt fairly quickly and has carried me on to deeper acceptance and finally to actual joy that Bonnie's suffering was over. Even though I had felt that (like the end to Les Miserables) it seemed too soon to say goodby, it was the right thing.
I only had one problem with the book and that was the inclusion of stories of mediums toward the end of the book. I think this section would have been better as a separate entity.
Most recent customer reviews
I do find the later chapters to have some elements that could be explained by...Read more