The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die by P.M.H. AtwaterThe Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die by P.M.H. Atwater

The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die

byP.M.H. Atwater

Paperback | April 17, 2014

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What really happens when we die? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? A surprising number of people have died and lived to tell the tale-an estimated 15 million Americans and 4 to 5 percent of the global population have had a near-death experience. The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences is the encyclopedia of this phenomenon, including crucial research regarding the experience, its aftereffects, and the implications for all of us who someday will shed this mortal coil. This book explores the possibility of the soul, God, other worlds, heaven and hell, the afterlife, religion, and the purpose of life. It investigates and reports on the power of changed lives, the expansion of normal faculties, and the importance of spirituality. With drawings, cartoons, and sidebars from experts, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences is also simple and accessible, designed for the busy reader who wants quick little nuggets of wisdom. If you want to know what lies ahead, this book gives you a road map while exploring and affirming the presence of a spirit and the ultimate power of love.

P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., is one of the original researchers in the field of near-death studies, having begun her work in 1978. Her research base now covers nearly 4,000 adult and child experiencers. Some of her findings have been verified in clinical studies, among them the prospective study conducted in Holland and published in Lance...
Title:The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences: The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We DieFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 10 × 7 × 2.2 inPublished:April 17, 2014Publisher:Rainbow RidgeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1937907201

ISBN - 13:9781937907204

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From the Author

Special Thank-YousLong ago and far away this book originally existed as The Complete Idiot's Guide to Near-Death Experiences (Alpha Books, 2000). Randy Landenheim-Gil was my editor then and David Morgan my assistant. Both were invaluable helpmates in assisting me in my creating thing, the very first "encyclopedia" about near-death experiences, their aftereffects and implications. My thanks to them is everlasting. The version you have before you now, though, is larger, more thorough than the previous, and a lot more fun and informative--an update of classical proportions. A "cast" of thousands made this book possible--perhaps millions, as it contains the results of more than thirty years of concerted effort in researching near-death states. To everyone involved and especially the experiencers themselves, I offer this sincere thank-you. You are the heroes here; I, but your humble servant--an experiencer turned researcher. Half of every royalty check on sales for this book will go to the International Association for Near-Death Studies. At the end of five years, they will inherit full ownership and I will bow out. This book is not mine. I am clear about that. It belongs to the people it speaks to.Terry Atwater, my patient husband, gave unwavering encouragement throughout this project. Bruce Greyson was ever-ready to answer endless questions. Kevin Williams fact-checked websites and articles, and my webmaster Steff Wiltse proved to be worth her weight in gold for all she did with myriad extra tasks. To each and all, thank you--a million times over!

Read from the Book

IntroductionThe purpose of this book is to provide you with the most complete, 360-degree look at the entire near-death phenomenon in all its positive and negative aspects. I've created it for the widest possible audience--a book that can fascinate gentle readers like yourself, and, at the same time, prove to be a major source of information for teachers and students alike, medical personnel, fellow researchers, and the religious community.The book is divided into five parts:Part 1: The Experience/The Experiencer sets the stage by covering what we know of the early history of the subject, while bringing us up to date with some enormous changes that are now happening in the field of near-death studies. The early model of what constitutes a near-death experience has not proved to be useful in the medical world, so a new standard of criteria is being developed. In this section, we look at the four different types of episodes people generally have, along with variations reported by both adult and child experiences.Part 2: Afterward goes much deeper into the phenomenon and its pattern of physiological and psychological aftereffects--a pattern that affects child and adult experiencers alike. How this challenges individuals who can have a more difficult time than adults dealing with the experience, and who are six times more likely to repress what happened to them than are their elders.Part 3: Time Out for Questions opens the door to skepticism and some questions that really need to be asked. For instance, are the dead really dead? How is death determined? Is there another explanation? We jump right into the fray here by giving the debunkers a fair hearing, then debunking them as we admit that near-death experiencers--as a good job as they have done--still have a long way to go with investigations of the phenomenon.Part 4: Taking a Leap Beyond stretches our minds as we consider different ways of interpreting experiencer storylines. We also tackle the entire subject of transformations of consciousness--the traditions and aftermath of unusually striking changes people undergo who are consumed in a sudden burst of light that brings with it new knowledge of a higher order to life--and the spiritual dimensions of the soul. The three types of inner light people experience are also discussed.Part 5: Back Down to Earth returns to the regular world of everyday people who must grapple with the challenge of making sense out of what can be learned from near-death experiences, and to what extent they can use that knowledge in their lives. This includes the experiencer, too, for he or she is faced with integration what happened--the incident and its aftereffects--into daily life. Emerging from this challenge are messages for the twenty-first century that can make a dramatic different not only in your life, but for society as well.And if this all isn't enough for you, I've included five appendices, each one chock-full of information that will enable you to have a hands-on opportunity to explore even more.One more thing--you'll find short bits of information appearing in side boxes scattered throughotu the text. These kernels highlight extra material and meaningful new words in a style that is quick and easy to grasp, and should prove most helpful as you read along. All of this was done to make your journey through the puzzling yet awe-inspiring world of near-death experiences as enjoyable as possinle. Have a great read!

Table of Contents


Book Reviews


Special Thank-Yous



Part 1: The Experience/The Experiencer

1. The Resurrected

A Brief History - What is the Near-Death Experience? - A Closer Look at Some Near-Death Scenario Features - But What's Typical? - The Birth of a Controversy

2. Types of Experiences

To Each His Own - Problems in Communication - A Common Range of Patterns - Some Examples of Each Type

3. Near-Death Look Alikes

Near-Death-Like Experiences - The Unpredictability of Near-Death-Like Episodes - Indirect Near-Death-Like Events - Empathic Experiences - Near-Death Scenarios as Guided Visualizations

4. The Innocents

Child Experiences: A Breakthrough in Understanding - A Guide at Death's Door - Womb with a View - Choosing Genes and Physical Characteristics - Typical Behavior after the Experience

5. Suicide Enigmas 

A Picture Too Pretty - What Those Who Attempted Suicide Say - Depression and Suicidal Tendencies Afterward - The Challenge with Children - Trying to Cause a Near-Death Experience

Part 2: Afterward

6. Lives Turned Upside Down

Feelings after Being Revived - A New You - A Strain on Relationships - Lifestyle Switcheroos - Deity Reigns

7. The Undeniable Aftereffects

Connecting the Dots - Common Psychological Aftereffects - Common Physiological Aftereffects - The Need Factor

8. Startling Differences between Child and Adult Experiencers

Don't Assume Anything - Jump-Starting Intelligence - Far Apart - Talking About It

9. Blocking Out the Experience

Why Adults Tend to Remember and Kids Tend to Forget - You Be the Judge - A Child's View - Aftereffects Can Take a Backseat - Tips to Identify Child Experiences Who Can't Remember

10. Medically Speaking: A Challenge to Health-Care Providers

Please Believe Me - So You Said You Wanted Evidence - Suggestions for Healthcare Providers - Unique Health Issues - Help at Last

Part 3: Time Out for Questions

11. Are the Dead Really Dead?

Real Tales from the Crypt - The Newly Dead Who Greet the Newly Dead - As Dead as You Can Get - When Two or More Die Together - Symbols Surface

12. Heavy on Research

Russell Noyes, MD - Raymond A. Moody Jr., PhD, MD - Kenneth Ring, PhD - Michael Sabom, MD - Bruce Greyson, MD - Margot Grey, PhD - PMH Atwater, LHD - Melvin Morse, MD - Arvin S. Gibson, BSME - Peter Fenwick, MD, FRCPsych - Cherie Sutherland, PhD - Pim van Lommel, MD - Groundbreaking Early Projects

13. Scientific Naysayers

It's All in the Brain: Biological/Physiological Causes - It's All in the Mind: Psychological Causes - Having an Experience Is Not Proof - A Lack of Agreement among Researchers - So, Where Are We?

14. Debunking the Debunkers

It's All Subjective - But I Don't Want to Die - Who's That Knocking on My Head? - Mr. Sandman, Send Me a Dream - The Dying Brain Theory - A Few Extras - Hi-Ho, Forward We Go - Proposal for Research Instruction Packet

15. Religion's Got a Gripe, Too

It's in the Bible - Repercussions - The Devil's Handwork - We Got Here First - The Forgotten and Underreported

Part 4: Taking a Leap Beyond

16. Viewing Storylines in Different Ways

Sometimes We Can Mix Things Up - How We Can "Stage" Storylines - Another Look at the Need Factor - The Teachings of Swedenborg - A Back-Glance at Shared Experiences - Other Cultures--A Major Challenge

17. Some Striking Effects

Poof! Go Limitations - Poof! Go Illnesses - Poof! Goes Death's Sting - The Unexpected from Violence - The Unexpected from Death Dreams - Gustave Dore's Painting

18. The Importance of Otherworldly Journeys

Exceptional Human Experiences - The "Other Worlds" of Myth and Legend - The Four Levels of Otherworldy Imagery - Feeling Alien

19. The Possibility of Alternate Realities

Is There an Afterlife? - Is There Research on After-Death Communication? - I Came, I Saw, I Was Born - Why Do I Feel Like I've Been Here Before? - An Altered View of Reality - A Spectrum of Realities

20. Transformations of Consciousness

A Larger Genre - Higher Consciousness - Turbulent Transformations - Tranquil Transformations - The Crown Jewel of Enlightenment

21. The Lights of Enlightenment

Is God Light? - The Light of God/The Devil's Dark - Three Types of Subjective Light - "The Darkness That Knows" - More of Light's Mysteries - The Energy Charge of Enlightenment

Part 5: Back Down to Earth

22. Brain-Biology Link

Brain Shift - The Limbic System and Emotions - The Theories of Melvin Morse, MD - The Importance of "Future" - Adaption or Evolution?

23. But Are All the Claims True?

Don't Rock the Boat - The Mighty Sword of Scientism - No Saints or Angels Here - "I Was God. God Was Me" - Testing the Spirits - What About the Ceiling?

24. Integrating the Near-Death Experience

For Adult Experiencers - For Child Experiencers and their Parents - How a Family Transformed - For Significant Others - Integration's Four Phases - Creative Approaches to Therapy

25. Redefining How Life is Viewed

Implications from Near-Death States - The Animating Force That Drives Us - The Reality of Spirit - The Big Picture - The Law of Grace - The Return to Things Spiritual

26. Message for the Twenty-first Century

An Agent of Change - Evolution's Next Step - The Global Village - Social Justice and Human Rights - What's the Near-Death Experience All About? - Wrap-up: Thirty Years and Growing

Appendix A Glossary of New Words

Appendix B International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS)

Appendix C Further Reading

Appendix D Websites

Appendix E Getting in Touch