- Series: Arkana
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (March 1, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140192581
- ISBN-13: 978-0140192582
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,076,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Whole in One: The Near-Death Experience and the Ethic of Interconnectedness Paperback – March 1, 1991
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The near-death experience shows certain common elements, including an appreciation of the interconnectedness of all humanity. This appreciation has been enshrined in many religios and moral codes throughout the world, but has been recently lost in the West. The author reviews the near-death experience, moral codes and argues for a new ethic based on the fact of "empathetic resonance" between people. David Lorimer is the author of "Survival? Body, Mind and Death in the Light of Psychic Experience".
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David Lorimer has for many years been Director of the Scientific and Medical Network. This is an organisation of scientists and doctors who look at happenings in the natural world with a perspective that goes beyond the deterministic and materialistic view of conventional science and medicine.
Lorimer's book begins with a survey of near-death experiences (NDEs) and he manages to find examples that I haven't already read about in the books by Raymond Moody, Pim van Lommel and Michael Sabom! Lorimer is particularly focused on memory and the life-review that is a component of many NDEs. Those who experience this almost always are aware of a sense of regret at past misdeeds or unkindness, but satisfaction or joy at those instances where they were able to be kind and helpful. Lorimer believes that these experiences suggest that the mind or soul under stress tunes into some kind of extracorporeal field, akin perhaps to Jung's collective unconscious, though Jung makes it clear that `the collective unconscious does not owe its existence to personal experience and acquisition'.
Chapter 2 moves on to the subject of post-mortem life-review that we know about only through the faculties of mediums. This life-review seems to differ from that of the NDE in being more intense and, of course, more extended in time: the review continues for at least as long as the contact between medium and subject. For the subject in the afterlife, no doubt it continues a great deal longer. There is an interesting section here on Swedenborg and his idea of our two memories - one, the physical memory, belongs to mind during earthly life; the other, the spiritual memory, belongs to the soul, which forgets nothing of the deeds, good and bad, of our earthly existence. There are also accounts of personal post-mortem assessments from such luminaries as Rudolf Steiner, Paul Brunton and Madame Blavatsky. The description that Brunton gives elsewhere of his enlightenment - the vision of the true ultimate nature of the universe - resonates strongly with modern scientific theory.
That takes us to Chapter 3 on Empathetic Resonance and Unitive Consciousness. Space limitations will not permit me to discuss each of the nine chapters in this continuing detail, though there is so much worthwhile material here it would be a stimulating exercise to write and, hopefully, for others to read. The chapter title tells us that this section of the book deals with empathic feelings, either good or bad, that are generated between people, transmitted perhaps through this cosmic or akashic energy field that Lorimer has already alluded to. Raymond Moody deals with empathic OBEs that he calls shared death experiences with the dying in his book Glimpses Of Eternity.
Chapter 4 deals with the Hindu concept of karma and its implications as described in the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. Lorimer also touches on how this idea was taken up by Plato and discusses its interpretation by mediums. At the start of Chapter 5, Lorimer points out the greater belief in the afterlife of indigenous people and how this shapes their everyday behaviour, leading on to Christian beliefs in the next two chapters. Chapter 8 has the provocative title: The Eclipse of the Spiritual World-view. It deals with the rise of the philosophies of determinism and materialism with the discoveries of science from the 16th century on and how many scientists now realize that these philosophies leave much human activity unexplained. The final chapter deals with ethics and the sense of responsibility that arise from our interconnectedness. We interact with this spiritual cosmic field in all our thoughts and deeds, so it is in our own and everyone else's interests that we dispense love and beneficence in all our interactions, including respect for the natural world. There are references for every chapter at the end of the book, a 15-page Bibliography and a good Index.
Howard Jones is the author of The Tao of Holism
2018 Update: thankfully the author has re-released this unbelievably rich work with a new title: "RESONANT MIND: Life Review In The Near Death Experience". (on Kindle!)