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on 2 April 2015
Over all very science based and for someone that does not about the science I got lost in this book and gave up half way though
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on 14 October 2012
One cannot argue with the qualifications of the author of this book. On the front line of life and death in clinical practice, who else could present so impartial and yet so convincing a study of the evidence of some form of psychological survival of the personality after death? I found the case studies here to be absolutely convincing. Having, at the time of reading, also lost a beloved relative to death, I found the conclusions of this study to be comforting and deeply inspiring.
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on 6 July 2010
It is difficult to understand how mainstream science can continue to ignore or reject the implications of the near-death experience (NDE) in light of the evidence and arguments made by Dr. Pim van Lommel in this most comprehensive book. Dr. van Lommel seemingly touches all bases in exploring the various phenomena related to the NDE.

Having grown up in an academic environment, van Lommel, a world-renowned cardiologist practicing in The Netherlands, writes that he was of the reductionist and materialistic mindset before he began studying the NDE and the nature of consciousness. He has closely examined all the arguments made by the scientific fundamentalists and now has a more positive outlook. "That death is the end used to be my own belief," he writes. "But after many years of critical research into the stories of the NDErs, and after a careful exploration of current knowledge about brain function, consciousness, and some basic principles of quantum physics, my views have undergone a complete transformation. As a doctor and researcher, I found the most significant finding to be the conclusion of one NdEr: `Dead turned out to be not dead.' I now see the continuity of our consciousness after the death of our physical body as a very real possibility."

About the time I started reading this book, reports were appearing at various internet sites stating that there is now evidence that the NDE is nothing more than a brief spell of abnormal brain activity resulting from oxygen deficiency. This theory has been going around for years, but seems to get resurrected every few years as if it is new science. Van Lommel dismisses the theory, pointing out that the NDE is "accompanied by an enhanced and lucid consciousness with memories and because it can also be experienced under circumstances such as an imminent traffic accident or a depression, neither of which involves oxygen deficiency."
Van Lommel also addresses the skeptic's theory about the tunnel effect reported by many NDErs being caused by the disruption of oxygen supply to the eye, which gradually darkens one's range of vision. He points out that such a theory cannot explain the reports by NDErs that say that they meet deceased relatives in the tunnel. He tells why carbon dioxide overload, various chemicals, and other physiological theories do not account for the NDE. "When new ideas do not fit the generally accepted (materialist) paradigm, many scientists perceive them as a threat," van Lommel writes. "It is hardly surprising therefore that when empirical studies reveal new phenomena or facts that are inconsistent with the prevailing scientific paradigm, they are usually denied, suppressed, or even ridiculed."

A chapter of the book is devoted to quantum theory, which includes non-locality, or the idea that the mind operates outside of time and space and that what we in the physical plane interpret as reality is not reality at all. As van Lommel sees it, many aspects of the NDE correspond with or are analogous to some of the basic principles from quantum theory. "The findings of NDE research suggest the possibility that (nonlocal) consciousness is present at all time and will therefore last forever," van Lommel offers. "The content of a near-death experience suggests a continuity of consciousness that can be experienced independently of the body."

Something I have found particularly troubling over the years is the possibility that organs are being harvested before bodies are actually "dead," even though the person might be pronounced "clinically dead." Van Lommel devotes several interesting pages to the debate on this subject, pointing out that when brain death has been diagnosed, 96 percent of the body is still alive. While not in principle opposed to organ transplants, van Lommel suggests that more consideration should be given to the nonphysical aspects of organ donation, including the fear of death.

Over the past 35 years, NDE researchers like Drs. Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Raymond Moody, Kenneth Ring, Michael Sabom, Bruce Greyson, Melvin Morse, Barbara Rommer and others have built a very solid wheel, one that supports the survival hypothesis. Close-minded skeptics keep trying to make the wheel collapse by bending the spokes. Fortunately, we have newer researchers like Drs. van Lommel and Jeffrey Long ("Evidence of the Afterlife") coming along to demonstrate that the spokes are solid and the wheel secure.
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on 31 August 2011
Now this is a book on the subject of NDE's that you will enjoy! Well written and substantiated by through research effort, very interesting reading. I particularly enjoyed some of the interpretations put forward by the author on the reasons behind non-local consciousness, using principles of quantum mechanics. Sure there are plenty of hypotheses put forward in here, and the author himself claims most of them may never been proved.. However, overall an entertaining and (almost always) informative reading! Highly recommended.
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on 4 August 2014
This book is exceptional in many ways in the way it addresses many issues on NDEs and consciousness by taking a clear-cut approach and logical assessment based from two sides of the fence.
It is almost a piece of the whole puzzle in its own right this work, and the way it is written gives the reader the ability to pragmatically to step back and see the bigger picture and make their own minds up, but at the same time giving his own and other specialist views.
It is a shame that it only briefly covers the collective mind in a few areas as I would have liked to have read his views on this. As someone who has experienced an extreme cosmic consciousness experience (NDE) several years ago with retained knowledge, the views and ideas he expresses are fully accurate.

Equally his view that quantum spin information transfer and correlation in the brain (pg 256) is now provable (as in article in New Scientist this month), with spin being separated from the particle.
I wish I had read this book sooner, but then we often don’t get to see things when we would like.
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on 14 January 2014
Van Lommel's claims concerning Near-Death Experiences (NDE) and the extrapolation to life after death involve the hypothesis that human consciousness exists outside the human body, in some external invisible dimension, which can communicate with the owner's brain and which can continue to support such consciousness after the permanent death of said brain. According to him, only external consciousness can explain how sensory experiences can appear to be created and stored during clinical death, for subsequent recall. He provides lots of what he obviously feels is reliable supporting evidence and he attempts at great length to give a description of how his external consciousness hypothesis is supported by Quantum Mechanics. Thus, he aims to have his hypothesis accepted by presenting it, and the supporting "evidence", in what seems, on the face of it, to be a scientific way. But right from the introduction he derides scientists in general as being closed-minded in not accepting his hypothesis.
My take on this is that it is Van Lommel himself who, having fallen in love with his own hypothesis, fails to realize that it he who is being closed minded in not considering the glaring flaws in his methods. He chastises scientists for ignoring his evidence, by regarding it as mere anomalies. But he fails to realize that he is focusing on those anomalies but ignoring the main body of evidence. The main body of evidence being that, by his own admission, most subjects who had been clinically dead did not have an NDE and that among those who did have an NDE, only a small minority had the type of NDE on which he bases his external consciousness hypothesis. For his hypothesis to be taken seriously, he needs to explain why most people did not have an NDE or else not the type of NDE that supports his hypothesis. External consciousness does not appear to be able to explain that obvious piece of mainstream evidence. But his most serious failing, IMO, is that he does not attempt very seriously to discount more worldly explanations such as the NDEs being created during the descent/ascent into/out of unconsciousness. His assumption that the NDE was created during clinical death causes everything that he says to become a circular argument.
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on 12 September 2010
I recommend this book. It is the carefully thought out result of years of study. At 360 pages, it's well researched, written and organised. Dr. Pim van Lommel, a Dutch cardiologist, analyses NDE's (Near Death Experiences - where people, resuscitated after their hearts stop and brain function ceases, report lucid structured experiences) and consciousness. He concludes that consciousness is everlasting.

I was thrilled by the book until it dawned on me that there's a big difference between analysis of NDE's and speculation about consciousness, quantum theory, and the non-local reality in which Dr. van Lommel thinks we live. I agree with Dr. van Lommel's "everlasting" conclusion, but in speculative areas it's important to check one's thinking/evidence. Dr. van Lommel's conclusion that consciousness is everlasting doesn't follow from his speculations, unless all he is asserting is that since there is non-locality of experience then that is the (permanent) character of consciousness?

My enthusiasm when I finished the book faded when I remembered that Dr. van Lommel's "everlasting" conclusion (not the argument of his book) is as old as the hills, and when I realised he doesn't have much to say about everlasting consciousness. Apart from vast bodies of Eastern thought, many people in the West have done excellent work which touches upon that underexplored realm, of which I recommend:- Frank Myers (Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death -1903) who surveys human personality and arguably went on to produce the "Cross-Correspondences" after his death; Russell Targ, one of many researchers in Remote Viewing (a non-local skill) where I recommend as an hors d'ouevre his Memoirs of a Blind Biker; Dean Radin's The Conscious Universe; and finally, brilliant, speculative, and very much to the point: Jane Roberts Seth books e.g., The Nature of Personal Reality.
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on 20 November 2014
This book is no different from other books on the same subject. It goes over the same ground and gives us nothing new. It has to be remembered those who have a NDE are not only experiencing their NDE but are bringing back information about another level of existence beyond the physical.We need to study the information and draw a picture of what is there and put to bed what we have been taught over the centuries by religious organisations. Until some body tackles such an issue, truth will continue to be subdued and ignored.
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on 12 March 2013
Very good well worth reading for all of us it gives us hope for when we come to the end of our life here
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VINE VOICEon 12 September 2013
There's much in the world that we do not see. It requires Science etc to see some of it for us. But Science has its limits - our undestanding and the tools available. Seems no one can prove definitively that there's an afterlife but there's enough evidence to strongly conclude that there is; indeed, an afterlife is the only rational explanation. PVL is not alone in his findings. Many cardiac surgeons find the same and more, eg see Loyd Rudy on YT.

The history of an afterlife goes back to Man's beginnings. People 'knew' there was something more. Today we have the WWW and can all see what's been found by the many scientists interested in this area.

This readable book adds to the persuasive list of books on this subject. Don't confuse this with stage shows etc. This is serious, reputable and repeatable.
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