Reaching to Heaven, by James Van Praagh, Dutton, 1999


Summary (from book cover)

James Van Praagh has touched the lives of millions through his extraordinary ability to communicate with the world beyond. In Talking to Heaven, his acclaimed number one New York Times bestseller, he conveyed the message that death is not the end, that our departed loved ones are a part of our daily lives, and that one day we will reconnect with them in our heavenly homes. Now, in his new book, Van Praagh extends that uplifting and transcendent message. Reaching to Heaven is an inspiring and empowering guide to assist us in becoming "spiritual beings" by turning inward to discover our own voice of God--a voice that, once realized, transforms our lives into ones of strength, joy, and love.

Within each of us, Van Praagh counsels, is a divine spark--the soul--that we forget about when we succumb to the conditioning and illusions of the material world. Imbued with "God Force energy," the immortal soul contains not only the wisdom of the infinite but also our full "spiritual heritage"--our thoughts, actions, and desires throughout eternity. To be fully alive, we must develop a "sense of soul", a strong connection to the spiritual core that is the quintessence of what we are. In Reaching to Heaven, Van Praagh takes us on a soul journey through time, based on his work as a renowned medium, to reveal what happens at death, what the spirit world is like, how a soul chooses to be reborn, and the actual process of reincarnation.

Lessons from the realms beyond death also show how our spiritual energies may be blocked by negative emotions, such as guilt and fear. Van Praagh shares with us moving stories of after-death communication: a woman who eases her daughter's guilt by calling her "mercy killing" an act of love; a sister who reconnects with identical twin and received loving words of encouragement; a brother who reveals that AIDS is not God's punishment; a father who asks his family to forgive him from beyond the grave; a mother who sacrifices her own life for the betterment of her son…These and other true accounts show us that even grievous emotional scars can be healed and that when we recondition ourselves properly, we can rediscover our true spiritual natures and achieve self-awareness, self-worth, and self-love.

Van Praagh also offers exercises and meditations that will assist us in remaining centered and reveals keys to foster our spiritual growth and that of our our children. Wise, compassionate, and affecting, Reaching to Heaven is a celebration of our own Divinity.

Key Results

This book is an extension of the previous work, Talking to Heaven. Its major contribution is in the large portion of the book devoted to describing aspects of death, the afterlife, and rebirth. This description is quite consistent with those obtained elsewhere. Some key observations by Van Praagh are:

Primary Reasons to Read this Book

Van Praagh has been a major source of information for the general public on the meaning of death and the existence of life after death. His second book continues to expand upon the evidence for the reality of medium communications but most importantly, it contains a detailed description of the spiritual aspects of man's life on earth, the death process, life in the spirit world, and the process of selecting a new body for return to earth. This description compares closely with the afterlife described by Newton and Cannon. link for book


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