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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you read one non-fiction book this year, this is it!, 25 Jan 2011
This review is from: Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience (Hardcover)
Please set aside any review(s) that belittle this book and make it out to be mere science fiction quackery. The holding on to long standing scientific theories is not what science defines itself as being. Defending scientific stances and tossing contradictions to these stances aside as being mere anomolies is nothing more than blatant ignorance and/or professional laziness. This book can be a revolutionary break through for all of humanity but, because science and religion have proved themselves to be very defensive of their long-standing positions, it will probably go unnoticed in both circles during our lifetimes. Hopefully many decades from now the theoreticians will look back on this writing and bemoan the fact that previous generations were so close-minded to the obvious truths about consciousness and ultimate reality. We have an ongoing history of many incidences of not seeing the forest because of the trees (i.e. Galileo and Einstein).

The author, as myself, has spent timely parts of the past two decades NOT looking for the a fairy tale ending to our physical lives but, instead, have searched for an ultimate truth to our existence. While this concept may, indeed, go against the prevailing paradigms of the scientific community, it is one that not only draws from countless experiments and theoretical insights that have taken place, but draws heavily on our natural, common sense. If the Occam's Razor principal is correct, and it is yet to be proven false, the simplest reasoning for our existence and the process of consciousness is the inclusive theories that are put forth by this text. I heartily say "Bravo!" to the author for both the work that this text entailed but also for the razor sharp conclusions that he has reached. No, these theories may not ever be proven due to our living in a three dimensional world that relies on our limiting three dimensional measuring tools. But the multi-dimensional world of string theory does exist and the nonlocal consciousness can, and probably is, an intricate part of this phenomenon.

Having had an NDE myself, I, as the other examples in this book, fully realize that the medical and scientific 'proofs' to these occurrences are either false or inadequate. An NDE is a REAL experience, an event that escapes descriptions because of our linguistic limitations and that, most importantly, life, as we have come to know it, is not the materialistic reality of the universe(s). We cannot, and should not, ignore the basics that quantum mechanics has brought to our attention over the past decades. Matter is brought into existence only through conscious observation and nonlocal consciousness (aka wave patterns) that uses the brain as a conduit for physical actions and emotional responses. This is the clearest picture of reality that has been presented to date. Nor should we ignore personal experiences simply because they cannot be fully measured under complete scientific standards. Thought, emotions, relationships and experiences cannot be fully weighed on a laboratory scale nor fully measured by a metric tool, but yet they are as real as the scientist himself.

I, personally, want to thank the author for not only going against his reductionistic peers and risking his reputation in the process, but also in his stance against the dogmatic religionists who also fail to adjust their paradigms when presented with challenging counter-examples to their tenets. As the author states from an interviewed patient; "Dead is not dead.". I would like to add to this simplistic and revealing thought that "Life is not life in the way we presently view it either." Keep your mind and your thoughts open to the possibilities of life and use today's popular opinions as stepping stones to further knowledge and not as anchors to our present and limited thoughts.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Aug 2011 13:13:25 BDT
Jez says:
v good review. I agree science at the moment studys the objective (behaviours and observations of phenomena seeking correlations and patterns in them) but of what it can say about the subjective - pretty much nothing. A new science is needed..

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2013 14:15:30 GMT
Savita says:
"science and religion have proved themselves to be very defensive of their long-standing positions"

What a bizarre statement? Certainly true of religion I agree but hardly true of science overall otherwise we'd never have made the progress we have. Individual theorists may have ideas they are reluctant to let go of but they will be challenged by other theorists as well as directly by experimental research results. Then, as Jez, points out, subjective experience is an extremely ellusive object of examination. Try reading David Chalmers and others and you'll see what I mean.

Posted on 8 Mar 2013 17:09:07 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Jan 2014 18:43:37 GMT
If, as you claim, 'matter is brought into existence only through conscious observation' did matter not exist before sentient beings existed? Is the evidence from geological studies of the Earth invalid? Or perhaps, you think, sentient aliens sustained the Earth while animals were evolving? I happen to agree with your (implied) view that the universe is a much more mysterious place than many people, including many scientists think and that scientists, being only human themselves, can be as guilty as anyone of closing their minds to uncomfortable evidence. One only has to think of examples such as that of Sir Oliver Lodge's opposition to Eddington's championing of Einstein's revelations.

However, I'd still like an answer to my question!

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2013 15:04:23 BDT
A. Cilliers says:
Have you considered the existence of a supreme intelligence that exists outside of space and time? The consciousness of that 'mind' could have brought the universe into existence.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2013 15:10:41 BDT
A. Cilliers says:
If you think that scientific progress happens smoothly and without resistance to new paradigms, read "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," by Thomas Kuhn. Some scientists actually choose to give up a particular field of science, rather than accept a new (valid) paradigm.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 15:10:38 GMT
whilst what you say about Science's imperfections is true, that does not mean that every piece of pseudo-scientific research or every counter-establishment theory is automatically valid.
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