The Website of PMH AtwaterOne of the internet's most comprehensive sites on the near-death phenomenon!

One of the internet's most comprehensive sites on the near-death phenomenon!

The Big Book of Near Death Experiences:

The Ultimate Guide to What Happens When We Die


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  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hampton Roads Pub Co
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571745475

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Authors Note: This 450-page book covers every aspect of the near-death phenomenon: the experience, the aftereffects, the implications. It is written in an easy-to-read format for busy people on the go - drawings, cartoons by Spirit Painter and Chuck Vadun, lots of sidebars, snappy headers - with the latest and best in the field. The Sourcebook takes near-death studies from the early days of the "Moody Miracle," through the myths of "the light at the end of the tunnel" and "the religion of the resuscitated," to where it is after 32 years of work. . . with clinical prospective studies in several countries verifying the reality of the experience and its many aspects, and establishing its importance in the study of consciousness itself!

The power of changed lives, the realness of the deceased come back, visitors at death's edge, out-of-body travel, the expansion of faculties normal to us, the awesome presence of Deity and the importance of spirituality - all of this and more are recognized at last as normal to the phenomenon and are no longer automatically associated with hallucinations, oxygen deprivation, the dying brain syndrome, or mental derangement.

The biggest, most complete book ever written on the subject, "Near-Death Experience: The Complete Sourcebook." Be prepared for a surprise when you read the material in this book. We know so much more than we used to, and what we know today about the near-death experience. . . is utterly stunning!


This is the tenth book written by Dr. Atwater about near-death experiences (NDEs) and by far, it is the most comprehensive and most instructive. Not only that, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences is the best book written by anyone about NDEs.

P.M.H. is a most unique writer because she writes from the inside, having experienced three NDE's herself, and she also writes from the outside, having done extensive research about the subject. Unlike other writers, her research is not just a compilation of the case reports and studies done by other investigations, she has done her own original research. Furthermore, after interviewing thousands of NDE cases, Dr. Atwater then categorized the NDEs into logical and understandable categories. As part of my own book, Searching for Eternity: A Scientist's Spiritual Journey to Overcome Death Anxiety, I investigated NDEs and came to some of the same conclusions arrived at by P.M.H. However, since my book was published in 2000, her subsequent investigations have come up with new and important findings. Instead of just going on about her accomplishments, let me reveal a few of the interesting and revealing findings now.

1. Approximately 15 million people have had NDEs. this is about 12-20% of all those who are close to death. Among children who are at death's door, more than 70% have had a NDE.
2. The fewer drugs a person has taken, the better the chance of having a NDE as drugs impede NDEs.
3. Although the "tunnel" component of the NDE has been discussed widely, it is present in less than 1/3rd of experiencers. Some NDErs describe it to "fit" in or call any darkness a tunnel for the same reason.
4. Many more "hellish" NDEs occur than has previously been known, but because experiencers want to fit into the usual mode, they are either reluctant to describe them or they conveniently forget them.
5. In addition to being close to death, a NDE can occur when a person is in situations of intense physical or emotional danger. They can occur even if the danger is only apparent but is "real" in the person's mind.
6. Animals frequently appear in the near-death scenario; these are usually pets that had previously died.
7. Even though most experiencers have a choice about returning, some who choose to stay are still sent back by the spiritual entity.
8. "Hellish" experiences don't just happen to bad people or fundamentalists; they can happen to anyone.
9. A NDE can occur during birth. P.M.H. found that 50% of those interviewed could remember the circumstances of their birth.
10. Although rare, "greeters" in children's accounts can be real people from their immediate lives. Children can sometimes meet inborn siblings (those previously aborted, miscarried or yet to be conceived).
11. About 1/3rd of the child NDErs had memories of parental occurrences before they were born.
12. Related to my major field of endeavor, stress research, an interesting new finding is that NDErs manage stress very well. They have good coping skills.
13. In 50-79% of the cases, after the event, NDErs have heightened sensibilities (synthesesia) and electrical sensitivity (apparently able to control or affect electrical or electronic equipment.
14. Although it is believed that without sufficient oxygen, the brain can be permanently damaged in 3-5 minutes, some NDErs have had flatline EEGs (no brain activity) for 30 minutes or more.
15. Many who fit the pattern of a childhood crisis that should have evoked a NDE have no memory of one. These have been called nonexperience experiencers.

Aside from these and many more interesting findings, Dr. Atwater has also examined the NDE in relation to religions, various cultures, exceptional human experiences (EHE), after death contacts (ADCs), reincarnation, Shamanism, Kundalini, cosmic consciousness, and even, alien encounters.

Hopefully, I've whetted your appetie to go out and purchase this exceptional book. Of course, you can get it from a library, but because it should be read over and over again to get more insight each time it is read, I suggest you purchase it, especially since it is bargain priced at $18.95.

Donald R. Morse, D.D.S., Ph.D. Author: "Eternity: A Scientist's Spiritual Journey to Overcome Death Anxiety


Guide to What Happens When We Die By P.M.H Atwater
I think most people have wondered what happens when we die. P.M.H. Atwater answers this question and more. Atwater shares the stories of several people who have had near-death experiences (NDE's), both from adults and children.
You'll recognize the names of some well known celebrities; she covers the positive and negative results from having visions of heaven and hell, and how lives of those who have glimpsed "the other side" change. Some find it a life altering experience for the better, and others head down a road of self destruction. They all confirm an existence of life after death. Atwater covers the points of other researchers who claim NDE's are nothing more than cases of oxygen deprivation and she also explores various religions and their stand on life after death. She touches on reincarnation and cell memory. Cell memory occurred when a transplant recipient started craving foods they never liked; the food later was determined to be a favorite of the donor. Atwater really has the ultimate book on near-death experiences. She will answer all your questions, even questions you didn't realize you had. Yes, we survive death as do animals.
Her book is a fascinating adventure in understanding the meaning and purpose of life. Her voice is friendly and easy to understand, and it's reassuring to see some common components in all the near-death experiences, like the dead floating above their bodies, a white light, and being greeted by a calming presence. At least that is the case for those with positive journeys to the other side; visions of half animal-half man demons in hell for others.
Addressing the case of suicide, Atwater discovered even those who attempted to end their own lives "came back with a renewed sense of purpose and self-worth." The problems they were trying to escape remained but they felt empowered to address the problems head on. Some people who had NDE's later suffered from depression. They had a sense of not being worthy of what they experienced.
Children have the highest rate of depression and substance abuse later in life. They often don't have the support system available to adults to work through the resulting emotions, and "because children have such a struggle verbalizing what happens to them under the best of circumstances, their efforts at talking about their near-death experiences are usually quite bewildering and seemingly fanciful."
I enjoyed some of the artwork included in the book. Sketches of angels and guides in a white light were drawn by those who wished to share their experience. This book is not just a glimpse into heaven but also a thoughtful gesture of hope for all of us. It should be required for all who deal with the sick and dying, especially those who work with children. A gift as beautiful as a near-death experience shouldn't result in psychological problems later.
This book explores near-death experiences and challenges readers to open their minds and hearts to those who have a story to tell. A story that may challenge long held beliefs but will offer a sense of hope and purpose in return.

'Ruthie' for "BlogCritic Magazine" April 03, 2008


Everyone is curious about death, which makes The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences of general interest to all; however, it is even more important to the approximately 15 million people in the U. S. alone who have personally had a near-death experience (NDE). P.M.H. Atwater writes not just from book knowledge and extensive research but also from personal experience. Three near-death experiences in 1977 prompted her to begin researching the phenomenon in 1978. As the experiencer of an NDE myself, the book confirmed many of the things I experienced but did not connect with the NDE—breathing anomalies, sensitivity to weather, and hypersensitivity to pharmaceuticals, for example, and the frustrating problem of “blowing out” electronic systems for no apparent reason. Many survivors of NDEs return with these problems, but with benefits as well: heightened awareness, spiritual revelations, clarification of life purpose often including alternative healing careers, and enhancement of psychic abilities. While many NDEs are uplifting, Atwater also goes to the dark side of NDEs—the hellish experiences suffered by some who go beyond and back. The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences is especially valuable for spouses and parents of experiencers as well as medical people. Adults and children experience NDEs differently, and relationships often change for both. After an NDE, divorce and career changes are common. For children, it is even more difficult if they are silenced by well-meaning adults who accuse them of making up stories about what they experienced. Medical people often are taught that NDEs are the result of hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) or drug hallucinations but are baffled when experiencers report everything that was said in the room after their near death. Indeed, NDE experiencers report what happened with remarkable clarity, unlike what would happen under the influence of drugs or oxygen deprivation. The book explains as much as is explainable about NDEs at this point in time, and case studies and sidebars provide additional tidbits of information. Short of having an NDE oneself, The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences is truly “the ultimate guide to what happens when we die.” It may be placed among spiritual, psychology, or medical tomes. Atwater has addressed the International Association for Near Death Studies conferences and has written 15 books, many based on her extensive research into NDEs. In addition to excellent and informative writing and research, the last 43 pages pro-vide a glossary, list of resources, contacts, and websites where readers can go for more information. Arlene Shovald, Ph.D., Fresh Start Therapies, Salida, Colo. Independent book review - "New Age Retailer" Spring 2008 (March/April) issue

"A heck of a read. Page 129 is especially relevant to any counselor....... the problem of acceptance versus rejection (denial ). Your description of the scenario is like a laser beam cutting succinctly to the heart of the matter. When I try to help others, this is where most failures occur, in my inability to "sell" the idea of acceptance to them, to show them the obvious denial state they have chosen for themselves. " I never realized the full importance of what you said in one page where hundreds of pages have been written all around the subject while not clarifying near as well as you have. Thank You, PMH and kudos to you."
John Zajic, spiritual healer

This is an amazing book. It is beautifully designed, so that each page pulls you right in. The insert boxes make it easy to learn new things quickly, and the text itself is amazingly comprehensive and easy to read. The author has done extensive research in a field that, as she says, "straddles religion and mysticism, science and biology, consciousness and the supernatural." It is the kind of book you can dip into to gain a lot of information in a short time, or sit down with and stay engrossed for several hours. I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in Near Death Experiences, other altered states of consciousness, and our human evolution in consciousness  Diane Kennedy Pike Author of Life As A Waking Dream

"I want to compliment you for the achievement that you were able to write this book. It is very complete, and describes the many aspects and theories about the content, cause and after-effects of NDE in a very accessible and sometimes very humorous way. I hope and expect that the book will be a great success."
Dr. Pim von Lommel, M.D. Author of the forthcoming book “Endless Consciousness: A Scientific Vision on the Near-Death Experience.” This Dutch cardiologist conducted the largest prospective, clinical study of the near-death experience ever done, a study that was published 12-15-01 in "The Lancet" medical journal.
 
"Dr. Atwater has devoted her life to helping people understand and share their near death experiences. One simple yet profound sentence in this book stood out for me far and above the rest. The thought provoked a response that I could personally relate to my own life. Dr. Atwater said, 'I believe the near death experience is a growth event reserved for people who need an extra shove in life to make needed changes.' 
"My own mission revolves around helping others discover their purpose in life. The process of discovering oneís purpose is a life changing event. The end result of a near death experience is an eye opener. It dramatically changes lives!  "I highly recommend you read this book. It will give you information that you need to address the changes you need to make in your life. The wisdom that you will get from this terrific book may help you realize that you are unique in all the world and have a very important mission to fulfill.  "This is a definite 'must read' for anyone who realizes the need for change in their lives.. I applaud Dr. Atwater's contribution to the world." R. Winn Henderson, M.D. Author, Public Speaker, Radio Talk Show Host Wednesdays 5:45 PM EST www.theultimatesecrettohappiness.com