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The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences: How Understanding NDEs Can Help us Live More Fully

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Book Number: 
Date Fred Read: 
April 2017
Fred's Rating: 
Penny Satori
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Penny Satori, PhD, RGN, was a nurse who saw many NDEs. By studying them in depth, she got a PhD and published her PhD. She now teaches two courses she has written: 'Death and Dying as Spiritual Transformation' and 'Science, Spirituality and Health' at Swansea University.

The Amazon website for the Kindle edition of this book is

I bought the paperback edition but I give above the Kindle edition since it contains more than does the paperback edition. This is important because all of the 5-pp Foreword by Pim van Lommel is in the Kindle online preview. For my detailed comments of cardiologist Pim van Lommel, who has played a leading role in recent studies of NDEs in cardiac-arrest patients who were legally dead but had a NDE or a OBE (Out of Body Experience) when in a dead brain state, see book 699. I don’t want to copy here what I said about him and his work in this book, so please take a few minutes to read about him in book 699. The authors of that book and this one were delighted to have him write the Foreword. But before reading this foreword, while still on this book’s home page, read the home page's good summary (just click on ‘Read more’). Then scroll down the home page to read the Editorial Reviews and the section About the Author for more details worth reading.

Next click on ‘Look inside’ and scroll down the Kindle preview of this book. After words of praise comes 'Also by Penny Satori' to see the publication of her PhD thesis work. Then you should read the 5-pp Foreword by Pim van Lommel. Further down is the 1-p Contents. Next is her 6-pp Introduction, which tells you about her experiences as a nurse and how that led to her work to get a PhD in the study of NDEs. This Kindle preview continues with the 23-pp Ch. 1 – The Near-Death Experience. She gets to the point on the first page, by listing nine bullets following her statement: “By the time you have read this book you will have a greater understanding of:" the nine bullets, which cover many important topics, as you can see. However, the Kindle preview ends in the middle of page 8. I wish it had covered all of Ch. 1.

At first I found this book very hard to be put down because it was so well written. It contains many of the NDE of her patients. They are always given in italics, so I found it best to stop reading just before the next patient's story began. This gave me time to 'digest' the story I had last read. Often I found myself in bed at night in my prone, totally-relaxed meditation state. To reach this state I have to become unconscious of wearing my CPAP (Constant Positive Air Pressure) machine that I need to use since I have Sleep Apnea. When I turn on my CPAP, I soon find my breathing to be in synch with the CPAP. It is when I can no longer hear or feel it that I can get into my relaxed meditation state. But when I come out of this state, it seems to me that my CPAP has become in synch with my slower meditative breathing rate and has become quite as well. Then I review what or where I felt myself to be during my meditation. Often it was about one of the patients Penny Satori had last discussed.

My best experience while meditating is to be ‘strongly with’ (meaning actually within) the person who had become the focus of my meditation. Sometimes I seem to be looking with another’s eyes and feeling what this 'other' was feeling. This can be an exceptionally positive experience, but a few times this being within another turned out badly. This always got me promptly awake, but without the feeling of having escaped from a nightmare. Since I’ve been a lucid dreamer since my early teens, I’m used to waking myself from a dream that has turned sour or scary or horrible. (A lucid dreamer knows he or she is dreaming, so can wake up when he or she doesn’t want any more of the dream.) So when I’ve been ‘strongly with’ a person in one of Penny Satori’s stories, I nearly lose my ability to be a lucid dreamer because I feel very much ‘within’ the person – a patient who had a NDE. I never choose to leave the person I feel within in my meditation-induced dreams, even when the person I’m within is somewhat scatterbrained. This happens mostly with the elderly with dementia, and I can handle this while within them except when their mind shifts to some bad memory from their past. If it is too bad, I choose to exit from within them and, when possible, simply see what they will do next from outside them. This doesn’t happen too often.

I have brought my meditation and my lucid dreaming to your attention because it was the main reason it took me so long to finish this book. Penny Satori has many stories of patients who had a NDE. And I love her book because it allowed me to see and hear what she saw and heard from the patient, often from her viewpoint first, then with my meditation getting me within the patient. I cannot think of any better way to truly and deeply have empathy with someone I’ve never known than through her telling the stories of the many NDE patients she was with. With this in mind you can understand why I found this particular book to be so great.

All I have to say now is that I rate this book at five stars, but with a very emphatic ‘think six stars!’

Go to book 620 to see a list of books I've reviewed about NDEs and OBEs; each book on the list has my rating. If you haven't read much on these topics, I suggest you focus first on books with a five star rating, especially those with my comment to 'think six stars.'

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