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Finding himself near the ceiling of his bedroom, Daniel Turpin, an author and psychiatrist, briefly looks down on the waxy, gray body of a 73-year-old man before he gets whirled into a vortex and embraced by the light. Peck describes in a first-person narrative how Daniel next finds himself lying down (without a body) in a simple but strangely comforting small green room where he is visited by Sam and Norma, who, he feels, resemble Mormon missionaries but turn out to be his official "Greeters," charged with introducing him to his new life. In subsequent chapters, Daniel meets his wife and his son Tim, now an advanced spirit who, however, never quite answers Daniel's excited questions. There's even a sex scene on a hillside overlooking Assisi, where Daniel is all but seduced by the erotic charms of a spirit named Susan, who turns out to be Satan. The shifting of shapes and scenes is rather like the virtual-reality programs of Star Trek, and indeed Daniel learns that the body, like all things visible, is really a collection of psychic projections from which souls can learn to free themselves. Thus an obese woman, Trish, is literally caught in her own self-image (learning to let go of it is her Purgatory), whereas Hell is a giant financial agency whose employees can never bear to leave. Peck makes clever use of popular near-death motifs and Tibetan Bardostyle confrontations. He admits his debt to C.S. Lewis but avoids the latter's brand of Christianity. Unsettlingly, Daniel (who, after all, seems remarkably like Peck's alter ego) frequently reminds the reader what a great visionary and therapist he was on earth.
Useful psychological insights in a loose New Age framework.
Posted September 24, 2000
Since my mom passed away 3 years ago, I have suffered much grief. In dealing with this grief, I have reached out and read any book I can find to see what other authors say about the afterlife. I was totally taken in with the book. I just loved it. I read it many years ago and since lost my copy. I just bought another copy to keep. If you have lost someone, I recommend this book. It's my favorite!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.