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on 25 May 2014
I wolfed this one down. It's so well-written, so thought-provoking and, at times, heart-rending. The anecdotal evidence is startling and mesmerising. Personal thoughts are explored. Scientific concepts probed. A very human book about numinous experience.
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on 14 August 2014
Patricia Pearson is a journalist who has undertaken extensive research following extraordinary experiences that happened around the time of her sister and father's deaths. She wanted to know more. She wanted to understand. In this thought provoking book, Pearson researches explanations given by science and logic, and carefully considers what she discovers alongside people's accounts of their own or witnessed personal experiences.

It is a remarkable book that is sure to appeal to skeptic and believer alike. It gives the reader much to think about and really challenges the dismissive view of hallucinations and dying brain activity, and the like. Chapter 5 is particularly inspiring. It leaves you with no doubt that there is something more, something that science has yet to understand and has no words for. Science, as we know it, just cannot adequately account for what is happening to people.

I have read a number of books (eg 'Proof of Heaven' by Eben Alexander, another fabulous book - he is a neurosurgeon who had an NDE) which give detailed personal accounts of spiritual experiences. This book is different. It pulls together people's experiences in the context of a fully researched dialogue. It reads like a proper study, weighing this against that. It can be a little 'academic' in places but overall is a compelling read. It makes some really profound statements that, based in research, you just can't argue with!

This book is the perfect anecdote to those who question and argue against God and a spiritual dimension to life. It challenges thinking but without demanding belief. It doesn't force any one religious ideal on you but rather embraces the core truths at the heart of man's spiritual expression. It doesn't demand faith. It simply and eloquently presents the facts and guides you towards, at the very least, an open mind. The reader discovers that the all-encompassing light that people speak of is actually very real, even if we have no tangible way of explaining it yet, and that it embraces those it envelops with knowledge and deep, life-enhancing love. This light appears to come from a higher power or intelligence, beyond the realms of known science. It changes people. It gives them peace.

Science is amazing but does not yet have all the answers (and most probably, never will). No one can argue with that. Our Universe is amazingly complex and vast. This book might just be the helping hand people need to help them reach out to other possibilities and embrace them, to make better sense of things. It is enormously comforting. To me, God is the essence of the Universe, a glorious being of light and love, and our souls are at one with Him. Jesus said, 'I am the light'. This book put it into words that all can understand, whatever their religious belief or otherwise.

One witness recalls, 'travelling...toward the light...I sensed an all-pervading intelligence, wisdom, compassion, love, and truth...He...contained everything, as white light contains all the colours of the rainbow when penetrating a prism. And deep within me came an instant and wondrous recognition: I was facing God.' (p 128).

All in all, this book is quite remarkable.
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Personally I found this book most interesting and consequently found it hard to put down once started.

It delves into a difficult, but interesting subject, on the basis of the author's personal experiences and those shared by others, who have participated in, or been witness to, near death experiences or interactions with departing or departed loved ones.

The research is a valuable component, as it endeavours to relate the extent of known fact (which has its limitations) to common factors arising out of the personal accounts.

Consequently I would heartily recommend this book to those with a fascination for this intriguing subject matter.
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on 7 June 2014
Basically I think it's a great book. I don't think it will convince someone with a fixed idea that survival isn't possible, but then again I don't think it's really aimed in that direction. For everyone else I'd recommend it because a) there's a lot of interesting material in it and b) it is written (as someone else commented) in a very digestible way. It's a great book to have on the shelf and I think it could be equally easily read by someone recently bereaved or by those with a more academic interest in the subject of survival.

It isn't a textbook or a scientific treatise but it was for me a genuine pleasure to read. It is one I think I will read again from time to time and the references are useful for follow-up.
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on 9 June 2014
On the whole I enjoyed the book and i certainly gave another insight as to what might happen just before death. I found it a little long winded in places but it is still an interesting read.
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on 10 June 2014
I found this book very interesting and enlightening about what happens after we die. The biggest and most important thing I learned was not to fear death and know that it is not the end. It was fascinating to read about the comments and books written by the medical profession about their experiences when being with a patient who was dying. The investigations that were carried out into the body's state pre-death was also very good. The book was a balanced view from the authors experiences with her family and the information that is available from the experience of doctors and nurses. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the subject
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on 23 June 2014
Love this book! Should be made compulsory reading in schools. Well researched, well written and sincerity springs from every page.
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on 29 August 2015
This book is a great read and backed up with current and previous research. The writer has a great balance in writing from a personal viewpoint and academically. I wish this had been available before my father died, because he did many things that those who are dying do. I wish I had been in those moments more authentically...to understand what they meant. Death is such a profound experience, but we aren't always great at dealing with it in the west. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in this subject or who has lost someone or in the process of losing someone they love. I recommend it to nurses, carers, doctors etc - it is valuable.
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on 9 July 2014
Enjoying the work immensely. Absorbing, thorough and well written. Just had to mention that "fra ghosties and ghoulies" is simply a phrase in Scots, not Gaelic and should be easily understood by English speakers because the words are not so different from modern English - ie 'from ghosts and ghouls.' Anyway, must get back to reading the book. Was looking for an email address to write and mention this detail. Gaels tend not to use or understand Scots, having learned English. I am a Scot, living in Scotland and have learned Gaelic. I assure you the phrase is Scots. Thought you might like to know. Yours cordially, Eliza Langland
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on 23 February 2016
No words of mine can do justice. Have read it cover to cover, and am starting over. I could say Patricia has done a good job here but that sounds far far too trite. Awesome isn't the kind of word I'd use either. This is one of those very rare books that drives a powerful desire to evaluate and act accordingly. And for me the links to my experiences in life are very strong. Patricia evidently has a rare talent to combine the personal and professional in a way that makes the text accessible and immediate. A must read for anyone who has been or will be helping someone they love over the line.
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