Reviews 1

Excellent book on NDE by Stephan Schwartz Let me introduce Pim van Lommel, whose excellent book, Consciousness Beyond Life (New York: Harper One, 2010) I want to use as the basis for a larger discussion on consciousness, near death, science, and culture. I have chosen this book because in one volume van Lommel not only addresses the entire subject of NDEs in meticulous detail, he also incorporates recent work in physics and other fields of science, and frames the issue as it should be framed-as a challenge to science to finally deal with the ghost in the machine, to honestly confront the challenge of consciousness. I cannot in the short form of an essay possibly cover all the evidence for NDEs. But much of that evidence has been assembled in Van Lommel’s book. This is a very data-rich book. Consciousness Beyond Life presents evidence pro and con clearly, methodically, and in detail. Van Lommel makes it clear he believes the research data confirms nonlocal consciousness, but he does so on the basis of evidence not bias. He is clinical in his

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descriptions, noting the pleasant and the unpleasant. ‘Approximately 15 per cent of people experience their stay in this dark space as frightening.” He never makes a generality when a specific backed by data is available, and he is very parsimonious with adjectives, which is just what one wants in book dealing with a subject like this. He goes through all the alternative explanations, CO2, what happens in the brain when the heart stops? Everything you can think of. He spells them all out and, then, reports what the research has uncovered. He provides a closely reasoned exegesis on why these alternative explanations cannot be sustained. It is the testament of a true skeptic, which is what makes the book compelling. Skeptic is based on the Latin skeptikos, from the Greek skepsis, meaning to doubt and inquire. Every good scientist should be a skeptic. Reading Van Lommel’s book, one apprehends the very substantive distinction between a skeptic and a denier. When I finished the book I was left thinking: What lies outside of space and time? How does the world work when one factors in all life is interconnected and interdependent in a domain in which consciousness is not dependent on biology, nor limited by space or time? I realized this research represents not a threat, but an invitation. NDE, remote viewing, Ganzfeld, all succeed because consciousness can be independent of the physical organism. Van Lommel puts it this way, ‘On the basis of prospective studies of near-death experience, recent results from neurophysiological research, and concepts from quantum physics, I strongly believe that consciousness cannot be located in a particular time and place.”

A rigorous treatise on NDE , By August I have been reading different books on Near Death Experience phenomena. I have obtained a considerable amount of information on this topic. I may say that Consciousness Beyond Life is the most informative, rigorous, and profound treatise I ever read before on this subject. This book goes beyond the boundaries of a mere informative work. It is scientifically solid, with unusual considerations and reasonings not found in other books on this matter. The NDE events are analyzed in full details with clarifying insights not found in the current literature. A whole chapter is devoted to expose the possible explanations quantum physics may provide to explain the existence of consciousness after life. I strongly recommend this book to all those people interested in rigorous approaches to the nowadays common NDE events.

Massive study on the studies of Consciouness , By W. Sid Vogel (Fairhope, AL United States) – This is a serious study of the science of the consciousness. Anyone interested in the study of Near Death Experiences, intuition, premonition, and all other types of consciousness should read this book. It is not really a book but a detailed study of all the research surrounding these phenomenon, and Dr. Pim Van Lommel, MD has done his homework. The book’s detail is exhaustive, and the facts, figures, and discussions are very well documents and supported. Dr. van Lommel may be the world’s expert on this type of phenomenon, though he does not make such a claim, it is simply hard to believe anyone else has done such extensive work on this subject. He has developed a hypothesis of consciousness that is extremely interesting, and compelling, and he supports his theory with scientific analysis and study throughout. Some of that study is even done by the US Cia, Stanford, and Princeton, and he uses all of it to promote his idea that much of consciousness is ‘non-local’. That essentially means that much of the brain acts as a receiver, along with cellular DNA, and consciousness resides outside of the physical material of the brain. Information is stored as wave particles in a dimension that is space-less, and timeless, and has the ability to communicate with other intelligent creatures who live in the present, or in the past or perhaps even the future. This is a compelling book, not a bunch of psychobabble. This book will change the way to see life and death, and if you are religious, will strengthen your faith in a way you could not have imagined. I do not know if van Lommel is religious, but one suspects he may have started this study as a typical atheist Dutch doctor, but is a much more spiritual person now. Get the book, read it, it will take you some place you have not been, and it will take you there on solid ground.

The End of the Scientific Death Wish !!!, By Student (Liverpool, UK) Amid the materialist’s never-ending clatter of tongues and swords and the crackling of flames, we find the near death experience. And it is an experience, a real experience and this is Pim’s starting point. If you cherish your materialism, then don’t read this book. If you do not harbour a death wish, then Consciousness Beyond life will confirm that religious itch that you could never scratch. The uninformed will find this book tiresomely new-age quackery like all the other bloated New Age drek. Thus they will only take a glance and not bother studying what is inside. But this is only because there is New Age pollution everywhere, and thus books like this will inevitably get painted with the same Oprah brush. I too was once sceptical, you see. I used to think that the notion of consciousness without a brain is as nonsensical as the notion of digestion without a stomach. I mean, we need eye balls to detect the electromagnetic waves to see the world. So when I’m hovered over my dead body, I’m looking and I can detect sounds without my physical ears and see without my eyeballs. This book tackled these epistemological problems with logical rigour. So now I know how my spirit will be able to interact with light waves and atoms. Maybe this, and not Simon Cowell, is the big antidote for our spiritually broken lives. This new science of existence is an easy morsel to digest. The soul will leave the body to holiday in an egalitarian universe; one in which all humans transcend. This is the happy ending in which you, I and the guy sweeping the streets all go to a personal afterlife. It is all in this book. But the sceptics will say that these are just New Age elements and these elements are forever popping up in books claiming to have discovered something outside of scientific materialism. It fills the metaphysical need in all of us. This applies whether the discussion is about NDE’s, UFO’s, Big Foot, the paranormal, quantum gods, quantum cancer cures and my favourite, channelling a long dead politician from Atlantis! People just buy this stuff up and hungrily too, like starving ghosts, hungry for an escape from mundane reality. It’s amazing that sceptics will dismiss these experiences with the sloppy ‘it’s are mere hallucination’. What are hallucinations anyway? Is it the drug? How can a drug contain a Mozart symphony? The mind rests on chemicals, so is the world a hallucination too? Van Lommel’s subjects report images and sounds that are more real than this waking reality. They always report better than reality scenarios. Near death’ers report the most beautiful music and colours. They claim to hear intense heavenly music (the force of these symphonies brings tears to their eyes apparently), and the scientist says that it is the brain which is producing this music. But if we think about it, the person who had the Ndr is not a Mozart or a Beethoven, but he is hearing something amazing! So the obvious question is; where is the music coming from? Or, who or what is making the music in the dead womans head? Is the sound a mere hallucination? They ask, ‘how can my brain generate this’? This is the question. The visions near death’ers experience are more than feelings of bliss; they are full throttle cascades of shape shifting Dali dream-scapes. Visions with more beauty than any artist can create. So what is generating all this beauty and artwork in the head? Many people brought back were not artistic types, so why would his or her brain generate a Divinity? Lommel says that this is similar to the old ontological argument in philosophy, which asks ‘how can little me experience such grand things’? The sceptics will struggle to criticise this unique book!

More is Better , By Judith H. Shea (Northampton, MA) I’ve been looking into NDEs for a couple of years now, and I didn’t realize that a book like this was available. I read Dr. Jeffrey Long’s excellent book, but that seems more appropriate for the beginner. It feels more like a very good summary. (I also visit their website […] frequently) The first part of this book seemed similar, but as I read on, I became excited! More aspects of the NDE experience and its possible explanations using scientific discoveries and conjectures are included. Also, refutations used by opponents of NDE theory, such as the most common one, that NDEs are caused by anoxia, are examined piece by piece. What happens in the brain when oxygen is unavailable is described in terms of the cell’s metabolism. As the cell becomes depleted of oxygen, its integrity is lost. And yet consciousness continues, and it is clear and organized. Well, I’m still reading this book and am striving to install its excellent points in my brain so that I can address those folks who are sure there is no such thing! For me, it’s the most valid evidence of the existence of God and the afterlife that we have, so the more studying, the more research, the more explanations and theories that there are, the closer we come to getting our society back to a place where we realize that the material is not everything. I see atheism as a fad, and the sooner we move away from the excitement generated by people who were brought up going to church, but suddenly “realized” that there is “no proof” that there is a god and so they don’t have to worry about all that stuff, the better. Of course… we need, someone needs, to develop a way of worshiping our creator and guidance in following a spiritual path. People just laugh at the Bible, once they’ve tasted atheism! So, Dr. Pim, here, God bless him, for this brilliant work, which I hope will be one of many along the path back to aligning ourselves with the Truth. It may actually be incomprehensible, but there are enough hints!

More evidence of cosmic spirit from a cardiologist , By Dr. Howard Jones(Wales, UK) Dr van Lommel is a Dutch scientist and physician who worked as a cardiologist in Holland from 1977 to 2003. In 2001, he published in the medical journal `The Lancet’ a ground-breaking study on `Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest’. This book is the English translation of a book originally published in Dutch in 2007 on the same subject. There are now several books on the market (for example, those by Sabom, Fenwick, Fox) dealing with NDEs and the closely related OBEs. Most of these present anecdotal accounts of visions from patients who undergo some medical trauma (often heart attacks or cardiac surgery). The stories are verifiable in that they agree with the known facts surrounding the event. Most of these books interpret NDEs as indicating connection with some extra-corporeal spiritual state. In some cases, this cosmic energy is regarded as divine. What can be stated with certainty is that NDEs and OBEs indicate an ability of the human mind to undergo experiences that are not explainable by traditional science. There are also books on NDEs by materialist scientists who dismiss any spiritual interpretation of these events and attempt to explain them purely in terms of human physiology (for example, Michael Marsh). Those authors, like Marsh, who attribute such events to a momentary hallucination in patients as they revive are clearly factually mistaken. Van Lommel’s book is a convincing account of the study of over one hundred patients during more than twenty years practice who suffered cardiac arrest and were judged to be clinically dead (sometimes for five minutes or more) but who were resuscitated. This study therefore reaches the same conclusion as Michael Sabom, Peter and Elizabeth Fenwick, or Mark Fox. As van Lommel says here, these experiences `cannot be attributed to imagination, psychosis or oxygen deprivation.’ NDEs may not prove the existence of God or the afterlife, but they certainly show that there is a dimension of the natural world that requires more than just materialist scientism to explain it. The book concludes with a 23-page Bibliography and a detailed Index. 

Comprehensive and convincing , By Riaan (South Africa) A very comprehensive account of Near Death Experiences and the science behind it. Dr. Van Lommel, who is well respected in the field of cardiology and the field of NDE’s, digs deep here and presents a solid, convincing argument for life beyond death. Even though the book features a large section on science, it’s written for the layman, ie. anyone with basic common sense should be able to grasp the arguments presented here. The book is well written and presented, to the point and deserves to be taken seriously. For NDE newcomers, this book would be a great place to start. I’ve read a substantial amount of NDE literature and can safely say that this book is one of the best on NDE’s. Highly recommended.

Consciousness life beyond physical life , By LCN2 This is a well written academic study of near death experiences. It provides some excellent arguments on whether these experiences were actual memories or whether they were hallucinations, drug side effects, pain induced reactions, psychological whims, or just pure human imaginations of death. The change in people’s attitude toward life and death is something every reader should ponder. The discussions about our current knowledge of memory, thoughts and consciousness reveal that we make too many assumptions about our minds.

Consciousness beyond Life , By Teresa  This is a fascinating book, with insights into what seems to be the unknown. Having experienced an “out of body experience” whilst in hospital in my early 20’s – this subject has always fascinated me and I could resonate with much that the author was saying. This is a well researched book, that steps out of the comfort zone of many with it’s subject and title, to bring to the reader a beautiful well rounded account of the experience and the quantum theory/science as we know it, of realms that scare many, but are very real to others. Thank you.

Convincing Evidence for Survival.  By Michael E. Tymn (Depoe Bay, OR USA) – 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.

Excellent Book on the science of the near death experience By Anne Rice, Author (Little Paradise, California) Highly recommended. Here is another excellent entry in the growing literature of doctors writing on the near death experience and arguing for its credibility. Pim Van Lommel writes beautifully and eloquently, drawing on an abundance of materials with clarity and persuasion. His observations and conclusions are well worth reading for anyone fascinated by the growing body of evidence that consciousness transcends the physical. Chapter Ten of the book contains “A Comprehensive NDE: (by) Monique Hennequin” and is one of the most moving NDE accounts I’ve ever read. This book Consciousness beyond Life is comprehensive enough to be your first book on the subject, and significant enough to be your latest. There is no doubt in my mind that NDE research is some of the most important research of our time. I’m grateful to Pim Van Lommel for this substantive contribution to the field. I can’t recommend the book highly enough. It’s quite terrific, definitely one of the more sophisticated books I’ve read on all this.

IF YOU READ ONLY ONE BOOK THIS YEAR, THIS SHOULD BE IT. by Ronald Maron 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 anomalies 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 you 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.

Fascinating and Cutting Edge, by Blue Heron Consciousness Beyond Life goes beyond the Near Death Experience – whether you are in it for some compelling stories of NDE’s, or into cutting edge developments in quantum physics and how it relates to consciousness and life after death, this is an amazing book, something for everyone. It can be dry and hard to digest at times because it gets so deep, but the author lets you know when you can bipass a section if you not as interested in the science.

Fascinating and Cutting Edge, by Blue Heron Consciousness Beyond Life goes beyond the Near Death Experience – whether you are in it for some compelling stories of NDE’s, or into cutting edge developments in quantum physics and how it relates to consciousness and life after death, this is an amazing book, something for everyone. It can be dry and hard to digest at times because it gets so deep, but the author lets you know when you can bipass a section if you not as interested in the science.

NDEr and scientist,  By Viva Tapper, Doctor of Nursing Science, Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, WA (Port Townsend, WA) Glorious! This book is the quintessential treatise on NDE! As an NDEr (experiencer), scientist, and psychiatric clinician, I am quite familiar with all the literature. Dr. van Lommel has magnificently stated all that we know and need to know. This is the perfect, comprehensively written, scientific approach to understanding not only the NDE, but the implications for all humanity. I loudly applaud his challenge to science to reconsider the premise of existing theory on consciousness and reality based on these profound findings.

Reverential!, By Matthew J. Schimpf Niagara Falls, NY) – A very fine treatise from a respected cardiologist; whom offers insights, anecdotes, critical analysis and opinion on the ubiquitous phenomenon known as the Near Death Experience or “NDE” for short. This work has a great deal of breadth and a more than sufficient amount of detail to thoroughly, although not exhaustively, examine this intriguing, if not beguiling, existential conundrum. Dr. Van Lommel has produced a well written, edited and sagacious book that offers compelling evidence for the near certainty that consciousness is in fact: non-local, ever present and timeless (owing to the implied conditions of non-local space.) In a very superficial manner, this piece could (and will) be labelled as being somewhat ad hoc. “Superficial” is the operative word in the preceding sentence. As Van Lommel is keen to point out in his book, 97% of the governing body of scientists – i.e., those that oversee the dispersal of research grants, review scientific papers etc. – are of the materialist/reductionist variety. Therefore, it is a foregone conclusion that much more research needs to be done in this venue of cutting edge science. In a certain respect “ad hoc” science is the best science as it is not afraid of posing intricate and delicate questions nor offering what may be considered fanciful answers; “ad hoc” in my humble opinion, is synonymous with open-minded, unbiased and employs what should be the motto of any good scientist, that being: “what if?”   In conclusion, I highly recommend this book as it is informative, practical and exceptionally well thought-out and presented. Good stuff!! 5 stars with ease.

Emerging Paradigm, By Robert M. Pallotti I have read many books in the area of Near Death Experience. This book is perhaps one of the most balanced and insightful book to date on the topic of NDE and human consciousness. The reality of human consciousness remains an enigma. Certainly, the materialist explanation of the reality of human consciousness cannot explain the experiences of millions of human beings that report experiences of a transcendental nature. Dr. van Lommel’s book will propel the discussion about the NDE and human consciousness to the next level whereby we may need to move to a new paradigm concerning the nature of human consciousness. Theologians and Philosophers have been hesitant to jump into these waters; and rightfully so. However, the mounting evidence about NDEs and human consciousness may force the discussion. However, one may not look for and expect conclusive answers. After all, we are discussing the central mystery of reality, God. We cannot, in human terms, have the final word about these experiences. But at least, we are reminded that there is far more in heaven and on earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies.

Well Written Book By Mary Bayerl (Northville, MI) – The explanations of Dr. van Lommel’s conclusions are very well organized and presented. He gives credit to many other researchers and encourages continued research in this field. His own research project, carried on over 20 years, seems to have been very painstakingly done. This book leaves me hopeful and believing that we have much more to learn. I got lost in many of the technical sections, but I intend to reread “Consciousness Beyond Life” many more times and add it to any knowledge that I can obtain from all sources. I like that he says “In my opinion” and “I lean toward this conclusion”, but when he believes that evidence is undisputable he questions how it could be otherwise.

Consciousness Beyond Life, Scientifically Proven Review By Kelly Jad’on Dr. Pim van Lommel is a cardiologist who has committed over 20 years of study to the near-death experience. Like so many other doctors, his patients began to tell him of their experiences, while dead. Intrigued, he began his life’s work of research into this phenomenon. What he has discovered is not new, for there is nothing new under the sun, but to the modern Western mind which has said there is only the brain and God is optional, van Lommel’s research supports the meeting of science, consciousness, and the spiritual.   There have been several books published which explore consciousness, the near-death experience, or the brain, but van Lommel’s book is the most comprehensive I have yet found. Written for the average reader, it can also be understood by those educated in medicine or quantum physics as the author shows a continuity between consciousness during both life and death from a physician’s or scientist’s reference point.   Endless consciousness of the human mind essentially has no beginning and no end. Based on neuro-physiological research, the author writes, “I strongly believe that consciousness cannot be located in a particular time and place. This is known as nonlocality. Complete and endless consciousness is everywhere in a dimension that is not tied to time or place, where past, present, and future all exist and are accessible at the same time. This endless consciousness is always in and around us….The brain and the body merely function as an interface or relay station to receive part of our total consciousness and part of our memories into our waking consciousness.” Here the researcher compares the brain to a television’s receiver-picking up information from electromagnetic fields. The brain “enables the experience of consciousness,” and it’s a facilitator. Consciousness Beyond Life doesn’t just explain the near-death experience relative to consciousness, it also relates human examples from those who have undergone the process. One such example is from a woman who hemorrhaged during childbirth.   The near-death experience (NDE) is common to all people from ancient times until today. It will include a life review, in which one’s attitudes and actions toward others will matter. Van Lommel also lists other characteristics of an NDE, and even discusses the after effects, both good and bad.   Other interesting sub-topics used to expand the NDE-consciousness link: Remote Viewing, Deathbed Visions, Intuitive Sensitivity, Teleportation. Debates surrounding the NDE cover: suicide, scientific opposition, brain death, euthanasia, donation of organs after death.   Consciousness Beyond Life is a book of hope. It raises awareness of the fact that human beings are something more than physical bodies. There is life after death. This topic is no longer a spiritual discussion only, but has been researched, studied, and verified as scientifically true. There are those of course who will always disagree, but even without scientific research, experience tells us different.   Though I would recommend that this book be on the shelf of every Hospice and hospital in the world, especially in the West, I would also say that Consciousness Beyond Life should be required reading during one’s youth, perhaps during high school or college. Personally, I know several individuals who have died and returned to physical life while in the hospital. I also have sat with loved ones through deathbed visions until the end. For me, credibility is in the experience. For others, you must read a scientifically – based book. Read Consciousness Beyond Life and expand your mind with hope.

The best book on NDE I have read  by Dawn Lien I have been reading Consciousness Beyond Life and I wanted to let you know it is the best I have read on this topic. You have addressed so many questions, I have attempted to research on my own. You have really presented the material in an objective and scientific manner while breaking down complex ideas into easy concepts the average reader can understand.

Bridges the gap between an average educated person, and parts of the medical world. By Michael Outeiral  (Kearny, NJ USA) The English translation is very clear and flows very well. Although at times it may be a bit challenging for those who have no background in the field of medicine, the concepts introduced are explained in a rational but understandable way where one doesn’t need a PH.D in medicine to comprehend. Brings up many good points, and gives light to current explanations for the NDE and explains how they fall short and why. It’s a lengthy read and it’s packed with information. Many may find they can only read bits at a time, but give it a try. it’s well worth it, and I feel it’s written exactly the way it should be written to not only be taken seriously, but to convey the message it’s trying to convey.

Do NDErs Dream of Illuminated Sheep? by Marineboy This book covers a lot of old ground, and significant portions of it are still lodged in 80s style battles against “medical materialism”: not carbon dioxide, not hypoxia, and so on. The strongest section of the book is the set of speculations on quantum nonlocality. This is not new either, it has to be said, as speculations pertaining to consciousness being rooted in nonlocality have been around for a long time now. Still, it might actually be *true* that this is the case, and that there is some (perhaps very simple or primordial) form of “consciousness” that pervades all matter and thus is not “lost” as such, upon death of an organism. The problem arises in defining what sponsors this nonlocality. Neurons are not a serious candidate because of decoherence, and tubulin dimers definitely have their supporters and their critics.   I’d have to say though that this by itself doesn’t worry me too much. Consciousness is the most subtle behavior of nature. It doesn’t seem that unlikely that it partakes of another of nature’s great subtleties…quantum principles of nonlocality…in order to exist, and if we haven’t ironed out the details yet, well, that’s our problem, not nature’s. The symmetry in nature, the coherent expression of organic systems. There’s something not quite plausible about all this being sponsored only by Newtonian collisions. Nonlocality may not “explain” consciousness, but it may at least be the domain in which it exerts its influences.   If the High Tales of unusual perceptions in the OR are really so, it may actually be true that some form of mind or consciousness of the dying person survives, at least for a little while.   It is for this reason, among others, that I think we must draw a distinction between the bare *possibility* of a nonlocal consciousness unmasked at death, and the supposed *contents* of that consciousness as allegedly displayed by the NDE. The latter do not follow from the former. Indeed, many “truths” stated in near death experience are in simple opposition to what we observe in nature…. This is a huge question about these experiences that is not being sufficiently addressed in books like this, and even though this book is better than many and certainly superior to recent publications in this field, it still spends too much of its time battling medical materialism….All in though, it seems that there may be something here. It probably isn’t what we think it is (in literal terms), but any form of consciousness whatsoever that could express itself nonlocally through distributed systems, should it prove to be so, will eventually be enough to shake a nervous paradigm to its roots.

Beautiful, scientific and understandable by Ruby Rhod Skeptic at first on the subject, I grudgingly gave this one a read and wasn’t disappointed. Dr. van Lommel gives a damn good read with accounts both pro and con on the subject. I recommend.

Most comprehensive resource By Marco M. Pardi, anthropologist, College professor, USA. As a student, Medical Anthropologist, and researcher I have worked in the overall field of Death & Dying since 1964, taught college classes in it starting in 1973, and worked with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Raymond Moody, IONS, IANDS. and with large varieties of people who have experienced Near Death and/or other “paranormal” experiences. Early on it was apparent that progress toward understanding of this area would best be found in mysticism (Classical through modern) and in quantum mechanics. Therefore, throughout my work in research and teaching I have read and accummulated many dozens of related books. I also have read many “materialist” based science books, often purporting to be counter-points. I would not have thought it possible to capture, within a single binding, the essential perspectives of all views in so many disciplines, the exact thoroughness of open review and presentation, and the comprehensive anticipation of any questions a reader may have. I especially appreciated the consistent theme of patience Dr. van Lommel unwaveringly demonstrates toward his most vicious critics. That he happens to be right is comforting; that he also happens to be gracious is too often professionally astounding.

Definitely a good book By Coli Barth. First of all, I have to stress the difficulty of finding a reliable source of non-biased information on a topic such as Near Death Experiences, which is a field full of spiritual gibberish and religious hacks. ‘Consciousness Beyond Life’ was a refreshing break in the tide of gibberish, and while it did not provide me with the final answer or explanation for NDE’s, it provided enough information to base more educated questions of off. The author delves into every possible explanation for NDE’s, even mentioning quantum mechanics as a possibility. The fact that the author was open to even the most unlikely of explanations, as long as it was grounded and supported in and by science, made this a truly captivating read. Normally, books on this topic provide only a kind of superficial interest, because their explanations are irrational and unfounded. But the sheer amount of research and scientific investigation that went into this is fascinating and heartening. This is definitely a good for anyone who is interested in genuine scientific explanations for the Near Death Experience phenomenon.

This book is astounding By Steph This book was astounding. Using scientific evidence, Dr. van Lommel explores the near death experience in a non-biased fashion. Statistical evidence that span multiple cultures and countries support his research. Several chapters are dedicated to the theories of quantum mechanics, which van Lommel theorizes can be used to explain the near death experience. Instead of answering questions about life after death, this book raises more questions that merit further research.

Highly recommend By Laura The major theme in this book was the scientific aspect of NDEs (near death experiences). It is difficult to find a scientifically based NDE book, but I have to say that Consciousness Beyond Life executed the scientific study of the NDE very well. While there aren’t any characters, the book talks about many people’s experiences, along with the author’s personal experiences. One of the most fascinating facts I learned in this book was, “By high school, about a third of these children develop alcohol or drug related problems, to which they may be more sensitive than their peers.” (P.73) This is truly a shocking statistic, but very real. My reaction to this novel was a positive one. It was a fresh read, free from a lot of unscientific theories. I believe the author’s aim for this book was to enlighten those who do not have a great scientific background. While the book does bring out a lot of science, it brings it out in a way that the average person can understand. This is very refreshing. The book is very well organized, flows from concept to concept, divided into chapters. The mechanics in this book are great. No “difficult to read” sections. Overall, I highly recommend it.

Extremely interesting and thought provoking By Bob Johnson This book was very informative and truly scientific. It did discuss religion briefly, but stuck to scientific facts for the most part. I would recommend this book to any who would like to learn about NDEs and the science behind it.

Bridges the gap between an average educated person, and parts of the medicalWorld. The English translation is very clear and flows very well. Although at times it may be a bit challenging for those who have no background in the field of medicine, the concepts introduced are explained in a rational but understandable way where one doesn’t need a PH.D in medicine to comprehend. Brings up many good points, and gives light to current explanations for the NDE and explains how they fall short and why. It’s a lengthy read and it’s packed with information. Many may find they can only read bits at a time, but give it a try. it’s well worth it, and I feel it’s written exactly the way it should be written to not only be taken seriously, but to convey the message it’s trying to convey.

Scientific treatise on the fascinating subject of NDE, Jojobone (Austin, TX USA) This is a tough read in places, but fascinating. The most scientific treatment of the subject I have seen. Not hearsay accounts of NDE rather a scientific treatise on the subject based on years of objective data collected by a team of researchers (doctors & nurses) with observations verified and catalogued. Also, a pleasant stroll through quantum physics that opens the door to a possible explanation of the unexplainable. Does Dr. Van Lommel claim to know all of the answers? Certainly not, but he does provide enough science for thinking people to open the door to consider the unbelievable. Interestingly, some of the negative comments in other reviews reflect reader bias, not the book itself. Von Lommel considers all known phenomena of the topic, he does not pick and choose what is convenient to fit an a priori opinion or belief system. Is this a “proof” of consciousness apart from the living brain? Strictly speaking, I would say not, but it takes you all of the way to the front door. It is up to the reader to choose whether they want to open the door, just slightly, and look in. By the way, this is not a “religious book” although for some it will overlap their personal faith beliefs (possibly in a positive or negative manner). Any thinking person who does not consider this book a fantastic read is not being honest. For some, it might even provide ample evidence to reconsider their ideas about consciousness after death.

Lord it up with death; because death is no longer a nightmare! By Halifax Student (UK) Sceptics will find this book tiresomely new-age quackery like all the other bloated` I don’t wanna die’ pseudo `proofs’ for survival after death. Thus they will only take a glance and not bother studying what is inside. But this is only because there is New Age pollution everywhere, and thus books like this will inevitably get painted with the same Oprah brush. I too was once sceptical. I used to think that the notion of consciousness without a brain is as nonsensical as the notion of digestion without a stomach. Some clever dick in uni once tried to give me a good argument that when I die, a something passes on, because it is inconceivable that I just fall out of existence. But I argued, how can my spirit see without eyes or hear without a brain? This is what Dr Lommel is claiming, that your soul, hovering over your body, can detect sound waves without the machinery of the brain, or it can see without eye balls; I mean, we need eye balls to detect the necessary light waves, as this is how we see. So when I’m hovered over my dead body, I’m looking and I can detect sounds without my physical ears and see without my eyeballs. This book tackled these questions and answers these epistemological problems with logical rigour. So now I know how my spirit will be able to interact with light waves and atoms. Maybe this, and not Simon Cowell, is the big antidote for our spiritually broken lives. This new science of existence is an easy morsel to digest. In this version of what happens, the dead girl’s individuality (soul) rises up from her cadaver, floats away from her body and flies to heaven; with Mozart strings playing in the background. The fresh soul will leave the body to holiday in an egalitarian universe; one in which all humans transcend. This is the happy ending in which you, I and the guy sweeping the streets all go to a personal afterlife. It is all in here. But the sceptics will say that these are just New Age elements and these elements are forever popping up in books claiming to have discovered something outside of scientific materialism. It fills the metaphysical need in all of us. This applies whether the discussion is about NDE’s, UFO’s, Big Foot, the paranormal, quantum gods, quantum cancer cures and my favourite, channelling a long dead politician from Atlantis! People just buy this stuff up and hungrily too, like starving ghosts, hungry for an escape from mundane reality. As to why they need to escape? Well maybe all scientific materialism reveals really is a vacuous void, and the idea of labouring away till death was not such a good idea after all; and, understandably, realising this can sometimes can be a bit harsh. But this is only with New Age rubbish. This book is not like that! Well I found a way out of my dread and I have certainly been persuaded of the validity of consciousness surviving my brain. However, sceptics also note that classic out of body experiences are so grounded in the everyday ego that they cannot have any true resonance to the real after death state. From the thousands of near death experiences we read, we get the picture of experiences so mundane compared to the shock of say, a DMT flash, that one is staggered by how boring the other place can be. All Mozart strings and pigeons flying already roasted until we all die again, of boredom. Thus it is very likely that during these, be it fascinating, near death experiences, the brain is still in control; it may be dreaming a troubled or glorious dream, but it is still a dream, bounded in cultural conditioning. This is why Christians see Jesus, why atheists see loved ones and why Hindus feel the breath of Brahman. This is the sign of a dreaming brain, trying to hold onto life whilst dreaming the dying process, rather than true dying. Notice that they always come back, obviously! So a near death experience on the hospital trolley is just the brain throwing out gestalts of meaning via a dream sequence. It’s amazing that sceptics will dismiss these experiences with the sloppy ‘its are mere hallucination’ fop doodle. What are hallucinations anyway? Is it the drug? How can a drug contain a Mozart symphony? The mind rests on chemicals, so is the world a hallucination too? Van Lommel’s subjects report images and sounds that are more real than this waking reality. They always report better than reality scenarios. Near death’ers report the most beautiful music and colours. They claim to hear intense heavenly music (the force of these symphonies brings tears to their eyes apparently), and the scientist says that it is the brain which is producing this music. But if we think about it, the person who had the NDEr is not a Mozart or a Beethoven, but he is hearing something amazing! So the obvious question is; where is the music coming from? Or, who or what is making the music in the dead woman’s head? Is the sound a mere hallucination? They ask, ‘how can my brain generate this’? This is the question. The visions near-death’ers experience are more than feelings of bliss; they are full throttle cascades of shape shifting Dali dream-scapes. Visions with more beauty than any artist can create. So what is generating all this beauty and artwork in the head? Many people brought back were not artistic types, so why would his or her brain generate a Divinity? Lommel says that this is similar to the old ontological argument in philosophy, which asks ‘how can little me experience such grand things’? The science in here is outstanding and answered these nagging question easily. The sceptics will struggle to criticise this unique book!