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  • Life is but a dream

    Even in Western Buddhist circles, the notion of rebirth can be very hard for some people to take on board. It goes against our cultural assumptions, and against our habitual understanding of our very existence. How much harder must it be to promote awareness of this phenomenon in scientific circles, where materialism is the prevailing interpretation of Reality, and passes for proven fact. Return to Life offers an insightful interpretation of the compelling evidence for rebirth: Jim Tucker weaves the sensitively told stories of individual lives and deaths into a daring vibrant tapestry of a meaningful universe, where consciousness is the driving force.

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  • fascinating book

    As part of researching a section of my current work, Depression: A user’s guide, I lashed out and bought Jim Tucker’s second book, Return to Life. I read his first, Life Before Life, in 2005 when it was first published, and was impressed with its careful scientific rigour. Return to Life is more chatty, is in fact autobiographical, and is convincingly honest. When a case has doubtful features, Jim states them. It is far less “scientific” and contains more speculation, perhaps because western culture has moved on and is more accepting of the possibility of reincarnation. Chapter 4 of the book, however, is immensely convincing: a little boy with many verified memories of having been a pilot, shot down in the battle of Iwo Jima. I won’t repeat the details, but it is simply impossible to account for the story in any way apart from reincarnation. Similarly, Chapter 5 is a great detective story, in which we read the progression of the case, all Jim’s caveats and doubts ⎯ and the overall conclusion that little Ryan had to have been a person in Hollywood in the 1940s. Return to Life is a little like a detective game. Jim presents evidence, and lets you draw your own conclusions regarding the various cases. He then goes on to discussing deeper issues: how are reincarnation and similar observations compatible with science? There is a side trip into an excellent common-language explanation of quantum physics, which I also find fascinating, and the detour is well worth it even if physics is foreign country to you. Basically, modern physics demonstrates that the physical reality we feel around us is the creation of consciousness. This then makes sense of findings showing that there is an ongoing, nonmaterial part of a person that can move from life to life. The final conclusion is that all is One, and we apparent individuals are components of a Consciousness. I can thoroughly recommend reading either of these books.

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