Wonder of You, The
Take a step-by-step view through the near-death experience and how it matters to your life today.
What is life? Why are we here? What are we supposed to do in this physical existence?
The Wonder of You, takes the reader on an in-depth exploration of the NDE (Near Death Experience) and the amazing life lessons being brought back. Through examining thousands of accounts, Lynn K. Russell offers a step-by-step explanation of the astonishing messages and beyond to the incredible wonder you are. This book is filled with research that stretches from man’s beginnings and onwards to the future through the exciting discoveries of physics.
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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. The book provides arguments that could comfort non-religious people who have lost a loved one and who are still looking for a way to reconcile with their loss. A very attractive subject, I have 3 friends who have had this type of experience and also the reading was very resonant within me for other reasons. This book reflects a very current and important aspect of the evolution of the collective consciousness of humanity, where a significant percentage of individuals are in search of a more transpersonal paradigm that empowers us on the one hand. And on the other, we look for a unifying model, to go beyond our dual perception of reality, to stop judging our experience, into two contrasting ideological positions. But to live from a more expanded and transcendent interior space from which to honor, resolve our existence and feel whole. But to live from a more expanded and transcendent interior space from which to honor, resolve our existence and feel complete. As a therapist and in myself, I have experienced and witnessed that when we deeply reconcile traumatic experiences that fragment us, when we manage to integrate them, then a feeling of gratitude and happiness permeates the entire experience, we find a transpersonal meaning, we empower ourselves with wisdom; by learning and to evolve we empower ourselves to move forward, honoring the experience, reconciling ourselves with the people involved. By reconciling all of this, we access an expanded heightened state of consciousness that we associate with Light and a coherent unifying sensation that we perceive as spiritual Love. When this occurs in deep healing, and here I resonate with what the author says, these very crucial experiences could dismantle the armor of the ego, thus allowing our individual consciousness to access interconnected dimensions of a living Universal Reality to which we belong. ~ Roger Reancont (Educator), NetGalley
Most of us are familiar with the outlines of the standard Near Death Experience (NDE): In a state of deep trauma, the percipient detaches from earthly anxieties, undergoes a miraculous, hyper-speed journey, often through darkness, and emerges into an environment with light. Greeted soon after by comforting beings who may not have obvious material forms, the percipient is instructed – sometimes intuitively – and enters a state of deep peace and acceptance. Often, the percipient ‘decides’ to return to physical life, sometimes with reluctance and almost always with a sense of hope. The NDE is the launching point of Lynn Russell’s The Wonder of You: What the Near-Death Experience Tells You About Yourself (Sixth Books, 2018). The standard materialist objection to the validity of the NDE as evidence of anything special is that the “happy dreams” reported by most experiencers are easily explained as the impressions of a mind in freefall, no more than hallucinations produced by the dopamine or other chemicals the body manufactures to ease the fear and torment of a passage. Two of the most prominent reasons to reject the materialists – or, at least, to keep an open mind on the subject – are: the fact that the overwhelming majority of NDE experiencers report highly similar experiences (as opposed to the wild diversity of theme that would be expected of the dream-state under trauma), and the observation that many NDE experiencers return with information that could not reasonably have been obtained by any other than extrasensory means. The first suggests a pattern of some consistency at least shading in the direction of an afterlife, and the second seems at the very least a confirmation of spontaneous instances of ESP. Either one upsets the stability of the structuralist/materialist worldview that seems so in vogue in some quarters. While Russell jousts indirectly but continually with materialist perspectives, she does not hit these two points as hard as I think I would were I writing in the same decade about the same topic. But the NDE is just a springboard for this author. For Russell – who may have studied 2500 cases – the phenomenon of the NDE is serious evidence of an immaterial quotient to human existence and a likely reason to believe in an afterlife. Most of the second half of Russell’s book involves reflections on a variety of topics, aided and supported by observations that range from Confucian philosophy and classic mysticism to Quantum theory and cutting-edge parapsychology. Russell’s penchant for reeling in citations and using them to build and stave up her points is indeed a strength of her book. She reminds me of the great British paranormalist Colin Wilson in this regard. This perspective across time and discipline lends both impact to Russell’s contentions and appeal to her text. So well internalized are the passages and quotes Russell chooses to present to us that it truly does seem as if her evidence has driven her to her conclusions. One would hope it was that way for all scholars. Russell’s friendly, conversational tone is another of her book’s virtues. Always aiming to reach (rather than impress) the reader, she never struts, groping for flowery likenings like some celebrated contemporary authors. Russell’s fondness is for grainy comparisons with a Zen-like sparkle, “clear and as open as a sweet child’s face.” (“Like a dog shaking off water after a swim, some realized they weren’t physical moments after leaving their bodies.” “Then as ripples in water calm to nothing, the experience was over.”) For Russell contrasting the NDE and the OBE (Out of Body Experience), the latter “is when the soul sticks its nose out the door to see what the weather is like and comes right back in.” Very few of her metaphors miss the mark. It cannot be denied that The Wonder of You is a book with a message and one we’ve heard before. Russell’s overall take on existence is virtually Neoplatonic: “This amazing Loving Light is our Source, where we originated.” [I can hear Shelley (“Adonais”): “The One remains, the many change and pass…”] In her affirmation of the individual and his/her ultimate potential, Russell presents us with an Ayn Rand-esque/objectivist message of human choice and positivity. Russell’s theme for the reader is a fairly standard New Agey/Spiritualist one: that there is something unique about every human – an individual soul with a connection to all being and a graceful afterlife ahead. Russell does lapse into the occasional treacly passage: “We can rest knowing that [those we love who’ve died] are enjoying all those yummy things in the next dimension.” A lot of us aren’t sure the issue is so settled. Russell’s ultimate goal – “to tell every living soul in this astonishingly beautiful world just how magnificently beautiful you are” – isn’t going to play everywhere, either. (To a basic Stoic, this looks like a moral “get out of jail” card for people who could help that pulchritudinous planet a lot more by asking something out of themselves.) Yet I encourage readers to ride with The Wonder of You to the end, and to think hard about the insights presented. More inspirational than it is didactic, The Wonder of You ultimately gives us new reasons to keep an open mind to the possibility and even the likelihood that the human species could be so much more than the behaviourists would have us believe. It’s all right with me if somebody gives them a little informed pushback. Mason Winfield is the author of fourteen books of fiction and research including: Shadows of the Western Door (1997); A Ghosthunter’s Journal (1999); Iroquois Supernatural (2011); and The Whistlers (2020). He can be reached at his website www.MasonWinfield.com. ~ Mason Winfield - Author The Whistlers – A Paranormal Intrigue, Review
This book is a compilation of near-death experience stories. The topics range from accidental deaths to suicide and the personal experiences vary. The stories have different tones since they are written by different people. The one underlying factor is the love and light felt by the participants. The stories are proof there is something after death. The author shares personal experience from her childhood to her abusive marriage. I enjoyed reading this book and found it uplifting and full of positivity. I recommend this to anyone interested in near death experiences. ~ Dawn Thomas (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This book felt like a sweet, warm, comforting hug. It brought deeper understanding and new perspective on matters I have read about before, while offering some new information as well. The information is consistent and presented in a simple and easy to understand manner. The stories shared are informative and very touching. They helped me find answers to questions that have troubled me for years. I like that the book includes some important topics such as suicide, purpose and our connections to others, as well as concepts like Love, Light and Oneness. It also has a chapter where the author explains the differences between out-of-body experiences and near-death experiences. Some may say they’re obvious, but I think it’s quite necessary to point them out in such a book. This book is challenging, but I am sure that every open-minded person will find some gems in it and I recommend it to everyone who is interested in learning more about near-death experiences and spirituality in general. Only reading this book brought a feeling of being wrapped in a blanket of love and acceptance. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read it and write a review! ~ V M (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This book is full of positivity - just as the name suggests. It's not just a collection of NDE (near-death experience) stories - they are only used as a tool to illustrate the point - that death is not final and consciousness is so much more than we allow ourselves to believe it is. Most of the NDEs are extremely positive, and those that are not are transitory and are explained. The goal is to make you less afraid of death and also help you realize you may have a higher purpose in life than just doing your daily chores for another 50 years. And despite the fact that your life is largely made up of those chores, you don't have to be a hero to matter. The book is very structured - so much so that I breezed through it in two evenings without taking any notes because I didn't want to break the flow of thought. So now I can't give you a more structured account of the contents. But the book talks about previous scientific experiments that were more or less acknowledged and prove the possibility of the reality NDEs point to. There are a lot of interesting ideas, but there's no agenda, no religion or dogma. You're free to choose what you'll take away. The only goal of it seems to be to infuse you with positivity regarding your purpose in life and life in general. Highly recommended, especially if you have struggled with the fear of death. Of course, if you are very averse to non-standard spirituality, the book may not be a fit for you. ~ Evelina (avalinah, AvalinahsBooks) (Reviewer), NetGalley
.....I found myself while reading this book having many mixed thoughts and emotions. I try to be as open as possible and to some things I would find myself being amazed and even thinking aha..that makes sense. On the other hand some other things I would struggle with and discount. This book i would recommend for anyone who wants to be challenged in their views...it is an amazing book. I loved the ending as the main point of the book was that people should realize how wonderful they are. I loved that because so many of us don't know our beauty. ~ Carolyn Amate (Reviewer), NetGalley
Lynn's introduction is like being touched by wonder. Her Prologue is a Spiritual Experience; but it can be what it says if you are open to it. Her book is also an open door to the wonders revealed by the enormous number of people have died and come back to tell us of their experiences. I have read the statement that no one has ever come back from death to tell us, and they use this as an argument that death is the end. It is a most stupid argument and shows that they have never bothered to look – in fact Lynn’s book is based on her study of at least 2500 cases of memory of the wonder – yes wonder – of their life after death. But her words – the book – in a way is not about death but about life, its extra-ordinariness and yes – to be touched by wonder. ~ Tony Crisp, Dreamhawk
Lynn does something in this book nobody else has done. She shows you how near-death experiencers, in sharing what happened to them and what that meant to them, are actually describing the truth, the real truth, about each and every one of us… anywhere in the world! She gently and relentlessly puts the full-brunt of the near-death experience in your lap, right where you live and love and have your being. Near-death states strip away the trappings of the mind, to reveal the substance of soul. Thank you, Lynn, for helping to awaken us. ~ P.M.H. Atwater, LHD, author of Dying to Know You: Proof of God in the Near-Death Experience
One of the main ways in which we humans differ from the other animals is that from a very early age we know we will die. The great religions that shape human cultures are founded, in large part, on speculations as to what lies on the “other side” of death; heaven, hell, another life perhaps. Lynn has taken her own experience and the accounts of many who have approached (crossed) this mysterious boarder and extracted lessons addressing the deepest part of our being. Using specific aspects of the NDE as the focus of chapters, the author takes the reader through various metaphysical factors surrounding dying (and returning) to lead to the bottom line lesson. Time and space are illusions which means the world in which we live and our very individuality are all illusions as well. One of the many people who reported about her NDE experience said “This world, the universe, and even life itself, were an incredible game of pretend. … even this body I resided in and this whole three-dimensional reality was an illusion.” Another reported “Time had no meaning; everything was one and everything was so awe inspiring. I had no realization of who I was humanly anymore; everything was me and I was everything and everything was all connected.” These insights are part of the teachings of Zen, Taoism, and Advaita. Her writing style is flowing and very easy to read. Beneath the gentleness of her writing are powerful, and timely messages for the world. There is a lot of talk about Oneness these days and that’s great, but most don’t really get it yet – they aspire to it. It’s tricky stuff because the world supports our individuality and to understand Oneness, you must be able to see through the illusion of an individual self, and at the same time not invalidate the individual’s importance as part of the illusion. In this particular regard this book has helped me greatly. Thank you, Lynn. ~ Garrison Edwards, Amazon