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on 7 April 2010
This account of visitations by angels and/or deceased relatives days or weeks prior to death is quite remarkable and very moving.

I nevertheless have a few negative comments. Dr. Lerma sometimes emphasizes that he is a scientist, but as a neuroscientist myself I found several of his comments rather imprecise (e.g. on p.196). Also, I wondered about the selection of the patients: he mentions on p.227 that he interviewed more than 500 of them, so were the 16 described in the book typical, or were they selected as outstanding cases? I was also puzzled by apparent contradictions. On the whole the angels were beings of light without wings, but in chapter 5 they have feathers and one left a large 8-10 inch feather that later shrank magically and finally disappeared. I find this hard to believe. I also think it is a pity there was no attempt to document independent witnesses of the same patients.

But ultimately these problems may not matter much, because there seems to be sufficient independent evidence for these visitations. In the short final chapter Dr. Lerma mentions previous reports that broadly match his own, including a 1926 book by Sir William Barrett, a Dublin physics professor, and another in 1977 by Dr. Karlis Osis. I find it remarkable that there was good agreement on the overall percentages of visitations between the surveys of Osis (1961: 80%) and Lerma (2005: 75%). I find it quite amazing that so many people have visitations. Can it all be explained away as delusions due to brain disturbances at death? I'm still not sure, but the evidence mentioned (e.g. lack of correlations with fever and death) goes against this. Moreover, the sheer loftiness of some of the patients' accounts (e.g. 9 year old Matthew in chapter 1) seems hard to explain by brain dysfunction.

I'm glad I bought and read this book.
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on 14 February 2011
This book is fab, and my guess is people buy it as we know we are all going to die (not a nice prospect for any of us!! BUT some of the critical views on this book is ludicrous, can we honestly say that what was written in this book is not true? how do we know, were we there to witness it? NO. The problem is even if some people seen it for themselves, they still find it hard to comprehend and believe it! Even Jesus had a hard time convincing others of the miracles he performed, yet people still disbelieved even though they were present at the witnessing of what was actually taking place. The trouble is some people cannot see any further than thier own noses, they find it hard to do a good turn for anyone, or even take the time to say thank you! BECAUSE THEY DON,T WANT TO!! as they have the free will to choose not to. So a book like this seems like a fairy tale, too absurd to be true, so they would rather be a doubting thomas!! It would be interesting to know how many people faced with death would only be too glad to have a glimpse of an angel and someone as compassionate as john lerma to take care of them, as believe me some of the staff today in the hospitals should,t be caring for a hamster as they have no empathy or compassion for anyone they just see them as a number, believe me i,ve witnessed it and it is VERY REAL!!!
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on 26 September 2009
Dr Lerma, really loves himself, he writes up about what his patients have experienced, but adds that either the patient or an Angel tells how wonderful Dr Lerma is!!!. this book is more about the self gratification of Dr Lerma. I'm sure that reading between his "Look at me I'm wonderful", Dr Lerma actually did write some truth, and I read to the end, only for that, so that I could read through the (gratifying) lines.
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on 25 November 2009
This book is a great read, what should be noted is that ignorant people wount ever understand anything and will always divert to other forms of explanations. This book should be highly appreciated as it from both ends of the spectrum, God and science.
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on 5 March 2014
I found this book fascinating and extremely thought-provoking as I try to keep an open mind about such subjects but the similarity
of different people's experiences is fairly convincing.
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on 11 August 2014
This book is an absolute must read for anyone interested in life after death. Inspiring educational it gives one hope
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on 21 November 2009
I nearly didn't buy it because of the bad reviews on Amazon UK, but once I looked at the many positive reviews on the main Amazon site, I bought it.

And I'm glad that I did. I really don't understand why the other reviewers reacted so badly...one reviewer believes in angels, but finds angel feathers inplausible, and somehow is upset because Vlad the Impaler and Hitler weren't seen in hell...and I can't see how the book is ludicrous or depressing at all!

And for some strange reason the second reviewer seems to think the book is all about glorifying Dr. Lerma, and I have no idea how they got that impression!

The book is simply a record of the observations and experiences of the terminal patients of a hospice doctor. These people who are going to die see things that others normally don't and share these experiences with doctors who won't turn around and say to them "You're barking mad...as in Woof Woof!" Why would any patient tell these very strange experiences to someone as rude as that.

Every story I read made me weep because of the positive effects these patient's experiences of 'heaven' and 'angels' had on themselves, their families and me, a reader of the book.

You won't like it if you think there is ONE religion or belief system that is the ONLY way to God...in fact, these different stories point to the broadness of the love of God.

The first story is about a nine-year old boy dying of cancer, and how his experiences brought his family back to a positive perspective for life and hope, by giving them a faith in Jesus.

The second is how a Jewish family's 4 year old son sees angels with the spirit of his two year old brother who has just died, which comforts the family and their synagogue.

The third is about how a Fundamentalist anti-gay Baptist pastor meets the angels and talks to God, and learns that he was wrong. Out of his meeting them, he realises that love is love, regardless of sexuality, and that he has not shown God as Love, but instead has only shown fear, judgment and condemnation. This one really touched my heart, as I used to be a conservative evangelical missionary until things happened in my life to make me realise the breadth of God's Love.

The fourth story is about a Buddhist couple and how an angel managed to communicate between them and their family, when the wife was unable to communicate.

The fifth story is about how two different patients seemed to find 'angel feathers', one of which was given to him, not because he was so good, but because the patient wanted to make sure that someone in the medical field had it as evidence. On p.81 it says,

'Katarina's mother continued, "Well I think this feather is shrinking. Do you think it's meant to disappear? Please, Dr. Lerma, keep it and let me know if it does. People will believe it if you tell them the story. You're a doctor, after all." I agreed, and with the feather still in the bag, I locked it in my desk drawer.'

Yes, I KNOW that angels having wings or feathers don't make logical sense...they don't NEED wings to fly if they are not physical beings anyway! But I also know people who have found 'angel feathers' too. I know it's illogical but that is the fact of their experience.

The sixth story is about an ex-Nazi who killed people in concentration camps. He was in a coma for 48 hours, during which it felt he spent a lifetime in a dark cave with Roman and Nazi soldiers who had done mass killings. (why only Romans and Nazis was probably because that is what as an individual he would relate to - he would know why he was there). Eventually he saw the people he killed in a different part of the place, where the light was shining, and he wanted to apologise to them. He was told that he was already forgiven, and just needed to forgive himself. But he couldn't forgive himself for what he had done, so they allowed him to relive all the pain and suffering from every one of his single victims. (This is commonly known as a Life Review in NDEs for those who don't know). And after the spirits of all his victims finished comforting him, he came out of his coma. No one put him in hell...he was there because of how he felt about what he did. But the end result is this:

'He was bathed in unconditional love; it permeated his entire being, and a message filled his cells with the understanding that God had allowed everything that has happened in order to teach humanity to stand up against evil. He was told that, because of free will, man was destined to experience darkness and goodness. God's plan for the independent soul was to learn to evolve away from hatred, fear, arrogance and pride, and move towards pure love.' - p.95

And this ex-Nazi is the one who said, 'Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad...are all there, but you don't call them by those names. They're just light beings, expressions of God's energy.'

That's 7 out of 16 chapters I've told you about, 95 pages out of 240 pages so that should be enough info for you to know if you want the book or not.

Why should we criticise Dr. Lerma if all he's doing is recording the experiences of his patients? He's not doing himself any favours by making up stories of angels! A Medical Doctor KNOWS that would be professional suicide! It's already professional suicide if you record these observations in honesty, because other doctors thinking you're mad won't get you rich quick!

Anyway, I think you should get the book. It's been a real blessing to me, since I'm going through difficult times myself...and it has filled me with hope and happiness...I can't disagree more with the reviewer who said it was depressing...A Fundamentalist becomes more loving, an ex-Nazi is forgiven, and people go to be with God regardless of their beliefs or lack of them. How is that depressing at all? It's not!

Even though I'm angry and I hate God for the stuff I'm going through, I know that in the end, I'll experience the same love that all these people have...even though I hate God as much as I do right now.

This is because of this quote from p.78

'It was at those times of despair that she felt abandoned by God. She kept asking, "How could God do this...I'm so angry at him!" One of the angels told her it was fine to act that way and to feel what she was feeling...'

So, yes, I'm also angry at God, and I have a lot of hate for God, but I know it's alright to feel like I do, because if God is really Love, then it'll be alright, and I'll be alright.
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on 27 November 2014
Exc value exc service thank you
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