The Complete Idiot's Guide to Near-Death Experiences, by P.M.H. Atwater with David H. Morgan, Alpha Books, 2000


Summary (from book cover)


Learn all about…

  • Common elements of near-death experiences.
  • The ongoing debate between believers and debunkers.
  • The "proxy" experiences of those at the bedside of the dying.
  • Fascinating scientific research on near-death experiences.
  • The special case of child experiences.
  • The peresonality and health changes of many who've seen beyond.
  • What near-death experiences can tell us about life after death
  • Near-death experiences vs. The dogma of organized religion.

    Understanding near-death experiences shouldn't make you near-crazy! You're no idiot, of course. You've heard stories about people who saw their life pass before their eyes, felt as though they were walking toward a bright light, or experienced contact with the world beyond before returning to this one. But it all still seems a little far-fetched.

    Don't bah-humbug it away just yet! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Near-Death Experiences explores a topic that receives plenty of talk-show attention, yet seldom get serious inquiry. In this Complete Idiot's Guide you'll get:

    Key evidential material

    This book contains a tremendous amount of information about the Near-Death Experience (NDE). The pages indicated below contain material directly relevant to evidence for the existence of the afterlife.

    p. 159, A Bird Named "Doolittle". During an NDE, an experiencer's pet bird was seen. The bird had died at the start of the NDE, which was not known by the experiencer.

    p. 160, The Father Who Intervened. An experiencer was met during her NDE by her father, who was found to have died just five minutes before his daughter.

    p. 162, A Medically Documented Flatline. For over half an hour, an experiencer's brain was completely and absolutely dead. Afterwards, she described the medical actions which were undertaken which she would have no opportunity to view from her body's location and circumstances.

    p. 165, Hotshots in Hell. A group of firefighters experienced NDE's during a fire emergency and some saw each other during the NDE.

    p. 172, Lessons from the Blind. NDE's of the blind are no difference than those of sighted persons, and the blind experiencers can acquire enhanced visual acuity.

    p. 187, Chapter 13, Scientific Naysayers. The entire chapter is devoted to the various hypotheses of why NDE's occur, other than as a real experience of travel of the soul to the entrance of the afterlife setting and return to the body

    p. 199, Chapter 14, Debunking the Debunkers. This entire chapter is devoted to responding to the hypotheses of NDE naysayers. The conclusions of the chapter are:

    p. 231, I Got What I Needed. A child experienced an NDE and met a "little brother" who, it was later revealed, had been aborted when the mother was 13 years old.

    p. 240, Otherwordly Insights. NDE experiencers in cardiac arrest were compared with similar patients not having an NDE. The NDE experiencers were able to describe their resuscitation without error, while the non-NDE patients generally made serious mistakes. Experiencers even correctly detailed readings on medical machines that were not in their line of vision, and described other circumstances they should not otherwise have been able to know.

    p. 241, The Blue Tennis Shoe. An NDE experiencer saw a tennis shoe on a window ledge during her out-of-body experience. The tennis shoe was later recovered and found to have the claimed detailed features that could only have been seen from outside the building.

    p. 244, Teaser Tidbits About the Living Dead. These are description of four NDE events where meeting with previously-diseased entities resulted in obtaining information not otherwise available.

    p. 246, A Typical Encounter with the Dead. A red mark on her deceased father's face, previously unknown by the experiencer, was seen during an NDE.

    p. 265, Chapter 19, The Possibility of Alternate Realities. This chapter provides a discussion of various aspects of an hypothised afterlife and its relationship to various NDE experiences.

    Primary Reason to Read This Work

    This book is the most comprehensive treatment of the NDE that is available. It contains a considerable number of instances where the hypothesis of the NDE being a real experience is validated. The events of the NDE can be viewed as similar to the experiences of people who actually die and these events can be used for comparison with a model of the afterlife developed through other sources. link for book


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