4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A survey of NDEs from a critical care nurse,
This review is from: The Wisdom of Near Death Experiences: How Understanding NDE's Can Help Us to Live More Fully (Paperback)
The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences: How understanding NDEs can help us live more fully, by Dr Penny Sartori, Watkins Publishing, London, 2014, 236 pp.
This is a summary of a wealth of near-death experiences (NDEs) described by patients who were treated in a critical care facility. They are recorded and interpreted by someone who worked as a nurse in such a unit and amassed enough material to compile a thesis for a Ph.D. Penny began the UK’s first long-term prospective study of NDEs in 1997 and full details of the study have been published in 2008 by Edwin Mellen Press of Lewiston, NY, as a book entitled 'The Near-Death Experiences of Hospitalized Intensive Care Patients: A Five-year Clinical Study'. The present work is a summary of these findings written in an approachable style for a non-clinical readership.
Though the existence and significance of NDEs is usually ignored by materialist scientists, they have been described in the literature for over 2000 years, by authors from Plato and Dante to those of the present day, like Dr Raymond Moody, who created the term ‘near-death experience’ in his 1975 book Life After Life.
In this book, Dr Sartori recounts many of these NDEs experienced by patients in their own words. In Chapters 1 and 2, she summarises the main phenomena associated with such an event – the dark tunnel through which the soul passes towards the light; a sound experienced by the patient themselves and sometimes by medical staff and relatives around them as they temporarily ascend from mortal form; meeting deceased loved ones; entering into another realm of heightened sensitivity, a realm of great peace and beauty; reluctance to return to mortal form; greater sense of purpose and no fear of death together with a sense of unity that continues to some extent when the soul has returned to mortal form. Dr Sartori also relates that some NDEs can be unpleasant and that, as they have been so little investigated, there is no evidence as to why an NDE should be uplifting or traumatic. She found no evidence that NDEs of either type could be correlated with levels of carbon dioxide or anaesthetic.
Chapter 3 gives an interesting account of childhood NDEs. These are particularly important because children will not have had the wealth of experiences of most adults. Those critics like Professor Michael Marsh who dismiss NDEs as simply recall of earlier experiences have never satisfactorily explained this situation. The untenability of such criticisms are discussed furher in Chapter 6. In Chapter 4, Penny discusses cultural variations in NDEs, and Chapter 5 provides a life-enhancing account of communication with discarnate souls.
The rest of the book gives Dr Sartori’s interpretation of the significance of NDEs, good and bad, on the lives of those who have them. There are 35 pages of Notes and References at the end of the book and a good Index.
Howard Jones is the author of Evolution of Consciousness