In Heaven as on Earth: A Vision of the Afterlife

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Overview

Dr. Peck looks past the boundaries of life itself to give us In Heaven as on Earth, his very singular vision of what we can expect when life, as we know it, ends. We follow the travels of Daniel, a writer and psychiatrist much like Dr. Peck himself, through the realm of the afterlife. From his first consciousness of the "little green room" he finds himself in - the safe comfortable home that is his starting point - and his meeting with the guides who help him on his journey - this afterlife is a place both of ...
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Overview

Dr. Peck looks past the boundaries of life itself to give us In Heaven as on Earth, his very singular vision of what we can expect when life, as we know it, ends. We follow the travels of Daniel, a writer and psychiatrist much like Dr. Peck himself, through the realm of the afterlife. From his first consciousness of the "little green room" he finds himself in - the safe comfortable home that is his starting point - and his meeting with the guides who help him on his journey - this afterlife is a place both of wonder and familiarity. For as with every journey we face, the journey through the afterlife can be easy or difficult, an adventure or a trial. Daniel meets spirits who cannot escape the bounds their earthly life set out for them, and who continue to make the afterlife their own little hell. And Daniel learns that in order to do the work of God himself, one still must live well with others. Dr. Peck's In Heaven as on Earth can be read in several ways: It is a stirring work of imagination - a novel that gives us a fascinating view of what the afterlife may bring. It is also a profound book about the self - a book in which we come to see that Dr. Peck's vision of how to thrive in the afterlife can teach us important things about living our own lives here on Earth.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
True to its title, Peck's second novel for adults (after A Bed by the Window) imagines an afterlife which, through a number of set pieces, dramatizes some of the earthly concerns of his other books, including the perpetual bestseller, The Road Less Traveled. Daniel, a psychiatrist and successful author much like Peck himself, awakens in a small green room to discover that he has survived his physical death. Hovering about, disembodied but alert, he meets a pair of "greeters" who inform him that heaven, hell and purgatory-Judeo-Christian ideas pervade the narrative-are governed by a "Principle of Freedom." Each soul projects what it wishes to experience-though sometimes, as with Daniel's green refuge, projections are created by committees in order to ease the "Adjustment" from life to the formlessness of heaven. Peck's hell is a garbage can in which about 140,000 souls hide under rocks, too terrified to accept their freedom to choose a greater reality. In time, Daniel learns that purgatory has to do with clinging to mental and emotional attachments; to help the souls there, the most attentive and loving psychotherapy imaginable is provided. Several further encounters-with his deceased wife, a son, a seductive woman-help Daniel let go of his own attachments until he is ready to join a committee. Though talky and lacking dramatic momentum, this story, more a consoling philosophical vision than a full-bodied novel, should appeal to Peck's readership. Major ad/promo. (May)
Library Journal
Combining the hollow spirituality of Betty Eadie's Embraced by the Light with the shallow mysticism of Deepak Chopra's The Way of the Wizard, Peck's novel follows narrator Daniel Turpin as he journeys from death into the afterlife. Turpin soon discovers that, like a Wal-Mart store, the afterlife has Greeters who welcome him into this new realm and who act as his guides through his initial period of adjustment. Throughout his journey, Daniel moves from one stage of the afterlife to another as his understanding of the spiritual realm gradually increases. More psychotherapy and philosophy than fiction, Peck's novel depends upon tired humor and overworked clichs like "metaphorically speaking" to plod through a dull plot. Not one of Peck's better works, but fans will crave his latest, so most libraries will want at least one copy.
Ray Olson
The psychiatrist-author of the superselling "Road Less Traveled" and its sequels takes one of his periodic fictional excursions down a path we all tread. At 73, Daniel Turpin dies and then wakes in the room prepared for him, which is green (his favorite color). It opens on a nearly featureless corridor, as he discovers after Sam and Norma, his greeters, tell him he can go wherever he wants. The rest of Peck's afterlife vision is about Daniel's first few "weeks" (the hereafter, however, is really timeless [i.e., eternal], as Christianity promises) in Heaven (which is where he is, although he visits Purgatory and Hell, too). It ends with his encounter with "one surface" of God. Like virtually every work in the dream-vision tradition (e.g., Dante's "Commedia", Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland", William Morris' "News from Nowhere"), Peck's fascinates even when certain details are dismaying (e.g., in Peck's Heaven, every soul gets assigned to a committee) or absurdly banal (waiting in the green room, indeed!).
Kirkus Reviews
An allegorical glimpse of the soul's post-death experiences from popular guru and erstwhile therapist Peck (In Search of Stones, 1995, etc.).

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765519719
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2000

    I loved it - it gave me hope in my grief of my loss

    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!!!

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