Book Reviews -- Spiritual Exploration -- Afterlife, Spirit World, Near Death Experiences (NDE's)
Author: Maurice S. Rawlings
Title: To Hell and Back
Book Review 9.11.2008
(c) 2008 by Heidrun Beer
This book review was originally published on a mailing list for oldtime Scientologists. It therefore contains special words from the Scientology universe, marked in italic print. Please look them up in a Scientology dictionary.
Maurice S. Rawlings: To Hell and Back
The book has been written to "fill a gap" in the modern row of books on NDE's, nearly all of whom talk only, or nearly only, about positive experiences. People leave their body and see it from the outside, then are going through a tunnel toward a bright light, they enter a heavenly environment, a paradise, where they are met by their pre-deceased relatives or by a "being of light", experience unforgettable moments of unconditional love or an explosion of cosmic knowledge, etc. etc. - you have read all about it.
Dr. Rawlings says there is a much higher percentage of negative NDE's than the other authors want us to believe.
He is a cardiologist who is in the unique situation to be really there at the exact moment when a patient first dies and is then resuscitated - the classic scenario for an NDE.
He doesn't have to interview patients later, he gets the information when it is still fresh, and he claims that
this is one reason that so very few negative NDE's are found in the literature - patients don't remember them later, when the typical NDE interview is made by a book author.
Under these circumstances it puzzles me how very few negative or "hellish" NDE's Dr. Rawlings actually describes! His own close enounters with the "other side" are among the more interesting pages in the book, also he tells a lot of other good medical anecdotes.
Aside from that, the book is mainly filled with a lot of very interesting non-NDE material and literature quotes, which are arranged to convey his overall idea in the whole matter. Dr. Rawlings is a devout Christian and the main message we are getting is: give your life to Jesus and he will save you!
Ouch. I concede that he does a good job in describing the viewpoints of other religions and of the growing "New Age" movement as well. He did duplicate them all and does a great job in explaining them to the curious reader.
For this reason, not for its message, the book is wandering onto my list of recommended readings for anybody interested in NDE's and the afterlife.