Book: ‘Near-Death Experiences, The Rest of the Story…’
Review by Gesigewigu
Book: ‘Near-Death Experiences, The Rest of the Story…’Jan 17
Hampton Roads, 9781571746511, 288pp., 2011
Review by Gesigewigu
Phyllis Atwater is a well known researcher and author in the field of near death experiences, in fact she is one of the first researchers in the field and Near-Death Experiences, The Rest of the Story is her final book on the subject as she’s retiring. As someone with a few NDE in my past and an interest in the subject I was very excited for this book. I was worried that it would be a rehash, like many books on the subject tend to be, but I was not disappointed and in fact this book exceeded my expectations. This book contains “forty-three years of research involving nearly seven thousand adults and children” and while some of it is familiar, there is a lot of new material as Atwater is retiring she “finally say[s] things [she] never dared to say before.”
So what is the “rest of the story” the title alludes to? It’s everything I’ve wanted to read about NDEs but never have. Most people are familiar with the story of the tunnel, the white light, and angels or Jesus or family members waiting for the newly deceased, but this story is actually relatively uncommon when you look at the numerical breakdown of experiences, though more common in adults than children. In fact experiences of a living and loving darkness, rather than light, predominate the experiences of children, a detail I’ve not seen before by greatly comforting. Atwater clearly breaks down the different main types of experiences, and breaks them down further by age of the experiencers, showing there is a lot more diversity in the experiences. Not only that but when we look deeper into the diverse experiences they seem to indicate a lot more about the world and human nature than just the tunnel idea.
There is more to the “rest of the story” than just other types of NDE, there is also a darker side of phenomena, and I don’t mean the hell-like NDEs but that 21% of people who have near death experiences attempt suicide within fifteen years of the experience trying to return to what they lost. She also discusses the IQs of children who have NDEs, maturity levels, shared NDE, medical oddities that pop up, and even takes the plunge that most researchers in their career wouldn’t touch, the psychic abilities and phenomena associated with NDEs. It might seem odd to some people, but a lot of “serious” NDE researchers shy from psi because it can get their work called into question, but as Atwater is at the end of her career and well-respected she brings it up.
As a data minded person I loved most of this book as Atwater was constantly offering up numbers, statistics, and citations to other studies. Though I was also disappointed when at two crucial points a fact was revealed and discussed that seemed unbelievable, and no source or citation was offered. The exception most definitely, but still a disappointment. For those who like a book with research, this has it, and clear indications on where to follow up if you want to know more.
The entire book is filled with in depth examinations of the experience of a near death experience, from a variety of different paths, as well as examinations of the lives of these people and what the near death experience has done to them, how they are changed. It is an excellent book to retire on, and if you only look to read one book on the phenomenon of near death experiences that I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up Near-Death Experiences, The Rest of the Story.
“Having undergone her own profound transformations in consciousness resulting from three successive Near-Death Experiences in 1977, P.M.H. Atwater set about on her distinguished career of careful, detective-like fieldwork and research into the mysteries of NDEs. Near-Death Experiences: the Rest of the Story is her crowning achievement. In it Atwater places the varied phenomena of NDEs into a broader setting of the natural ‘ongoing process of transformative adaptation within the human family as a species’. This is P.M.H. Atwater at her very best, resetting the bar for all future NDE research. She is magnificent in her painstaking role as detective, observer, interrogator, advisor, empathizer, compiler & categorizer of data, and creative formulator of plausible hypotheses in the face of 43 years of research findings…This is Atwater’s 10th book, and is an absolute must for anyone interested in how NDEs relate to the transformation of consciousness, spiritual awakening, and our true potential & that of the world. It is destined to become a classic in Near-Death Studies and Consciousness Research, and has my highest recommendation.”
— Scott A. Olsen, Ph.D., author of The Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest Secret
“The significance of near-death experiences can hardly be exaggerated, because they point toward answers to The Great Questions — our origin, life’s meaning, and our destiny. There is no more courageous explorer of this domain than P. M. H. Atwater, who has been at the forefront of near-death research for more than three decades. The fear of death has caused immense suffering throughout human history; the information in this book is an antidote for this distress. Atwater’s fine book conveys more than information; it delivers healing as well.”
— Larry Dossey, M.D., author of Healing Words, Reinventing Medicine, and The Power of Premonitions
“In Near-Death Experiences, The Rest of the Story, P.M.H. Atwater significantly pushes the acceptable boundaries of the scientific, spiritual and moral implications of the near-death experience, in modern times. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the unacknowledged ramifications of the fact there is no such thing as death!”
— Dannion and Kathryn Brinkley, International best sellers of Saved by the Light, Secrets of the Light
“This review of over 3,000 NDE cases belongs on the bookshelf of everyone interested in the survival of consciousness. The inescapable conclusion of her intensive study is in keeping with my conclusion that ‘always there is life.'”
— John L. Turner, M.D., author of Medicine, Miracles, and Manifestations
“Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story is written by one of the foremost near-death experience researchers, P.M.H Atwater. This book is a treasure trove of over 30 years of her research. The book is well written and remarkably easy to read given its comprehensiveness. In a world rife with uncertainty and struggles, P.M.H.’s Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story provides priceless insights, soothing reassurance, and life-changing inspiration.”
— Jeffrey Long, M.D., author of the best selling book, Evidence of the Afterlife
“In her latest work, P.M.H. Atwater continues to explore the great mysteries surrounding life and death. Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of the Story is intriguing, thought-provoking and a ‘good read.’ Atwater’s compassion and dedication to her subject matter shine through in her writing. Her findings, based on intensive research, not only enlighten but inspire much hope for the future.”
— Jean Terra, Professional editor, former Idaho Gubernatorial/Statehouse Staff Member
“PMH Atwater has been a prolific writer about Near Death Experiences and related topics. This book, in my estimation, may be her best to date. It is scholarly — yet also very personal and daring. The reader will especially enjoy the interesting footnotes and annotations. But, most importantly, this book embodies the deep reflections of a seasoned and compassionate researcher.”
— Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D., Dean of programs in Transformational Psychology University of Philosophical Research
“This is a much-needed book about the transformation of human consciousness. After three near-death experiences of her own followed by 33 years of researching the subject, including working with nearly 4000 NDE adults and children and writing nine books on the subject, PMH Atwater has become the leading and most prolific authority on the near-death experience.”
— Jon Klimo, Ph.D., co-author of Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife
“PMH Atwater has been researching Near-Death Experiences since 1978, and in the process studying nearly 4,000 cases. Near-Death Experiences: The Rest of The Story is a summation of what she has learned and discerned over those years of+ study. The book is written in an easy accessible style, and is well-grounded in the science of the field. It covers much more than near-death, and is a compendium of wisdom about the nature of consciousness that is well worth your time.”
— Stephan A. Schwartz, Senior Samueli Fellow for Brain, Mind, and Healing, Samueli Institute, author of Opening to the Infinite