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71 of 73 found the following review helpful:
A New Way to Look at NDE'sMar 28, 2005
I have read many books re: NDE's during the past couple of months, and I must say that this is one of the best!
Since I have not experienced an NDE myself, I was taken in by Dr. Ring's discussions about how we "non-NDE'rs" can take the information gleaned from experiencers to change our lives for the better. The idea of being able to benefit from these experiences without actually having to go through one yourself is wonderfully insightful!
This is the first book I've come across that not only suggests that we can all benefit from the NDE's of others, but takes it a step further to suggest excercises that will help us to achieve this.
I am currently working on some of these excercises, and have already noticed a change in how I communicate with others - I'm hoping that as I practice more, these positive changes will become a habit.
Overall, I think this book is a "must read" for anyone interested in NDE's.
34 of 35 found the following review helpful:
Everyone should read this book, it can be life-changing!Jun 21, 2010
By Stephanie Moreau
Kenneth Ring's book "Lessons from the Light" is a comprehensive book that incorporates real stories from people who have had near death experiences with the author's advice on how others can incorporate these lessons into their own lives. This book is enjoyable for a wide audience of people, ranging from those who have studied NDEs and are interested in them to those who have never heard of the Near Death Experience but are searching for answers regarding the afterlife. The first half of the book focuses more on proving that these experiences are real and gives proof of an afterlife while the second half of the book teaches us what we can learn from these experiences and how we can apply them to our own lives. Kenneth Ring argues that merely learning of NDEs is like being infected by a benign virus and once infected you can become what he refers to as a "near-death experiencer, once removed."
The first part of the book focuses on the experience of nearly dying itself, using various stories to demonstrate what occurs in this situation. The author uses many distinct subjects, most of whom he has developed a personal relationship with. Most subjects suffer from some type of health emergency, such as drowning or a car accident, in which they suddenly find themselves outside of their body and viewing their body from above. They also suddenly obtain a 360 degrees vision. At this point they report an extreme sense of bliss and freedom that is unlike anything they have ever experienced before. Next, the person is pulled through a tunnel with a light at the end that grows bigger and brighter as they approach it. All these people comment on the way that the light is brighter than any light they have ever seen before, yet it does not hurt their eyes to look at it. The light surrounds them and floods them with unconditional and nonjudgmental love. At this point, they usually experience a life review in which they get to experience their entire life over again but from multiple viewpoints. One significant viewpoint is from the point of view of those that they affected, whether good or bad. They feel both the pain and the joy they inflicted on people throughout their lives. In this way, it is not that "God" or the Light is judging them but they are the ones judging themselves. Once they return to their bodies, usually because they still have a "mission" to complete here on earth, they bring back the following lessons:
1. There is nothing whatsoever to fear about death.
2. Dying is peaceful and beautiful.
3. Life does not begin with birth nor end with death.
4. Life is precious- life it to the fullest.
5. The body and its senses are tremendous gifts- appreciate them.
6. What matters most in life is love.
7. Living a life oriented toward materialistic acquisition is missing the point
8. Cooperation rather than competition makes for a better world.
9. Being a big success in life is not all it is cracked up to be.
10. Seeking knowledge is important- you take that with you.
The individual accounts of NDE's are beautiful and inspiring, yet "wanting to believe" in them and "truly believing" in them are two entirely different things. The author devotes a large section of his work to providing evidence that these are real encounters with life after death. One chapter reviews numerous experiences in which a patient in the hospital dies and returns to tell the nurse of a specific shoe that is on the roof of the hospital (which they were able to see when they left their body and were viewing the scene from an aerial viewpoint). Most of the nurses or friends do not believe this but are convinced once they find the object exactly as explained in the precise spot the patient had explained it to be. Other scenarios involve patients who had flat-lined in the hospital or were unconscious, but returned to say what was going on in their room and other rooms of the hospital, things they could not have possibly known. One of the most convincing situations of NDEs is those individuals who were born blind and were suddenly able to see when they "died." These are just a few of the many supporting pieces of evidence the author uses to validate the legitimacy of the near death experience.
The main argument of this book is to that merely learning about these experiences can have a dramatic effect on an individual's life. It's goal, however, is not only to prove this but also to show the ways in which the reader can incorporate the "lessons from the light" into their own life. I feel that it is safe to argue that almost every human being is interested in what occurs after our death, so the mere subject matter of this book makes it a fascinating read. Therefore, it is not difficult for the reader to get through the book quickly, even if they don't necessarily believe what is being argued. I began this book fairly familiar with the near-death experience and somewhat convinced, so this must be taken into account, but I can honestly say that the author did succeed in reinforcing my faith in NDEs. Not only this, but by the end of the book I had significantly changed the way I was treating people around me. Completing this book definitely had a major impact on my attitude towards life and other humans, but I cannot yet attest to how lasting this effect will be. I hope that I will incorporate these "lessons from the light" for the rest of my life because I have been happier since I have been living by these principles.
There were a few major negative features of this book that I must point out. First of all, I felt that the experiences based on people who "willed themselves" into the NDE were counterproductive. When I read about a few individuals who just wanted to die and were able to experience the same adventure into the light, it actually made me question the legitimacy of NDEs. I know many skeptics claim that the NDE is just a hallucination that the brain goes through at the time of death when it is deprived of oxygen, so the fact that some people who were not near death were able to reproduce the experience made me question NDEs rather than believe them more. I feel that the author may have benefited from sticking strictly to experiences from people who had a medical emergency in which they temporarily died. These situations were the most convincing for me to read. Also, when he uses his surveys to prove that NDEs are real based on the effect they had on people, I wish he provided more explanation for the results. For example, the author states that in a large-scale research study that he conducted, he found that 86% of his NDErs had an increase in their belief of life after death. I want to know why 14% of NDErs did not have an increase! Was it because they already had such a strong faith in life after death that it didn't increase their belief, only confirmed it? Or was it that they really just thought it was a dream? Or were they stubborn atheists refusing to accept the reality of it? And, if the last comment is true, then how real and effective is the NDE? These are questions I was asking that never were addressed in the book.
So, would I recommend this book? Absolutely, and I plan on passing it around to my close family and friends so that they can obtain the invaluable lessons provided in this book. It doesn't matter what religion you are, as I am a non-denominational Christian, because it merely reinforces most faiths instead of invalidating them. I also found that this book has many emotional and mental healing properties, especially for people who suffer from low self-esteem, jealousy, emptiness, or poverty. It makes you realize that love is the most important thing in this life and we are here to learn a lesson, so wealth, material objects, and the judgments of others lose their importance. I also noticed it had a profound impact on my drinking. I have been a problem drinker my entire life, usually drinking 1-2 bottles of wine to myself each night. Ever since I picked up this book, I have lost my desire to drink entirely ($15,000 rehab didn't even do this for me!). It has only been a little over a week since I have had a drink so I do not know if this will be a lasting effect, but this is probably the longest I have gone without drinking on my own in years so it is pretty remarkable in my opinion. I will update later on to see if this continues. In the meantime, I highly recommend you read this book because it is extremely interesting and may even change the way you live your life.
Last point I want to make is that the main lesson from the light is that when you die, all you bring with you is LOVE and KNOWLEDGE. Therefore, the best thing you can do during this lifetime is focus on caring about others and "loving thy neighbor as thyself" while learning as much as you can while you are here. It is a pretty liberating lesson, since it takes off the pressure to look like a celebrity or own over-priced material possessions.
26 of 26 found the following review helpful:
Comforting, Gripping, and ChallengingMay 25, 2006
By Robert M. Pallotti
I have read a number of works on NDEs and I read Dr. Ring's "Heading Toward Omega" when it was first published. As a clergy person that often ministers to the dying and their families the information shared in "Lessons from the Light" can be helpful within the context of the religious tradition one serves in. Of course, since all of these people came back to this life we cannot generalize about post-mortum existence. However, the compelling information about NDEs will give believers and non-believers an opportunity to reflect on the direction of their lives, the goal of their lives and what really matters in their lives. For the religious/spiritual person such accounts tend to strengthen that deep interior expereince of the Holy One in our midst. For those that deny spiritual existence of any kind the NDE of so many people can at least provoke a willingness to rethink things. Dr. Ring gives us much to pray, think and talk about. I am grateful for his efforts.
45 of 49 found the following review helpful:
A good experience to remind us that we are beings of lightJan 17, 1999
By Elaine Childs Gowell
I have read all Ken Ring's books. I heartily disagree with the contentious and disagreeable first review on this page. The research being mostly "phenomenological" is of course going to disturb the so-called scientific "purists" statistical nerds. The notion that the reporting of these experiences works as a virus and infects the reader is apt and not lunatic, people are reporting that the book has profoundly affectd them. The personal stories are riveting and interesting. Even if the experience of an NDE or OOBE happens because of the release of certain "molecules of the mind" so what? Whatever influences us poor peons to experience and understand our "bliss" is valuable. It is not lunatic fringe except to those who are scared of it.
27 of 28 found the following review helpful:
Wonderful Book on Near Death Experiences! A Must Have!!Mar 23, 2006
By J. Sanders
I purchased this book from Amazon when I came across the title one day, while searching for books about the afterlife. It has been one of the best books that I've ever purchased...and I truly believe that it was intended for me to read it, so I encourage anyone interested in this book/subject to make the purchase!
I'm a very spiritual person, and have a fascination with subjects of this kind, but this book has reassured me of my beliefs of an afterlife. This book is interesting and comforting. It lets you see that death isn't what we've been taught to think it is. This book is based on the truth of actual experiences.....and thankfully, not on dogmatic/religious teachings and/or views.
We've all heard stories about NDEs, but most people haven't heard how having a NDE changes the life of the experiencer! It is amazing to learn how their lives where forever changed, in such a wonderful-dramatic way. And, what I love is how the author shows us how we can learn from what these people have experienced. We can actually benefit from the lessons that they have been blessed to receive while in the presence of the Light!
This book can really open-up your eyes, it can be extremely comforting, and as I have found, it truly changes your life and how you view life and death.
Buy this book!! Read it!! Let your friends and family read it!! If you know someone who has faced the death of a loved one, buy this for them! It is that amazing!
Thank You Kenneth Ring!
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