"Today, the literature is filling up with books based on new scientific findings that point to the consciousness of the universe."

As a curious child, author Phillip often questioned church doctrine, wondering, for example, about the fate of indigenous peoples who might never hear "the word of God." Would they simply be lost souls, as one pastor suggested to him? He began to do his own research based on a vivid dream he had after his father died following a lengthy struggle with a stroke and dementia. In the dream, his father, looking young and fit, told Phillip, "I'm alright!" He later learned that his grandmother had such a dream after the drowning death of her sister. The dream—a lucid "after-death communication (ADC)—gave him confidence that his father's spirit lived on. This led him to closely study NDE (near death experiences) in which people who are critically ill, injured, dying, or even pronounced dead, have extraordinary, heavenly visions and miraculously return to life, sometimes rapidly cured or recovering.

Key similarities in this growing body of reports of NDErs include leaving one's physical body, floating, witnessing the scene around one's body, passing through a tunnel to a place of intense, beautiful light, and perhaps meeting a being who communicates God's loving care. The experience is invariably transformative: those who go through it re-enter the physical realm viewing both God and life in a different way than is generally taught in the world's religions. Phillip learned that NDEs are increasingly prevalent and that highly trained scientists are beginning to acknowledge the relationship of such psychic (psi) revelations to the understanding of the creation and composition of the universe. This has given him a widened perspective on God's role in our lives and what happens when we pass on.

Phillip, a self-taught theologian, has diligently researched this uncommon, intellectually alluring subject matter. The works of Neale Donald Walsch provided an early turning point. Walsch reports having conversations with God and writes extensively about this communication. Other sources that the author drew upon include Dr. Gary Schwartz, who experimented with the readings of mediums, Dr. Dean Radin, known as "the Einstein of parapsychology," and Michael Talbot, who writes about the power of mind over body.

A major focus rests with the four NDErs whose incredible memories would lead any honest investigator to probe the truth embedded in their accounts. For the author, these reports refute many of the generally held beliefs of Christianity and other religions. He shows how such ancient doctrines as original sin arose and why he feels confident that they are in error. He contrasts them with the evolving views of science such as biocentrism, the theory that life creates the universe. He employs an interesting device when quoting from those who have communicated with the spirit of light, or God, in their journeys beyond earthly reality, attributing such words as being from, for example, "God-through-Neale." Phillip is preparing further work on these newly wrought theories and the scope of possibilities they allow us to contemplate. His work will likely be welcomed by serious seekers of truth across a multitude of disciplines.

A 2021 Eric Hoffer Book Award Nonfiction Spiritual Honorable Mention

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