A Near-Death Researcher’s Notebook: What I Have Learned About Dying, Death, and the Afterlife


Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, the author of five books on near-death experiences (NDEs), including his bestselling Lessons from the Light, and cofounder and first president of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS).

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Beginning with a hilarious account of the foibles and follies of a body that has expired before the author has, renowned NDE researcher, Kenneth Ring, in this collection of essays takes the reader on an exhilarating ride on the train whose destination is death—yet the journey is anything but morbid or depressing. On the contrary, in these genial, entertaining, and often witty essays, Ring invites us to ponder not just the hardships of facing death (he does not shy away from the anguish of dying), but what we can learn about how to live fully before we die. He even considers ways to ease the transition into death by the use of psychedelics. But much of the book distills what Ring has learned from his long career of researching near-death experiences, and the promise they hold out for us of a life beyond this one.

Although Ring can write with a light touch, the book also grapples with serious issues, such as the ethics of the right-to-die movement, the epidemic of loneliness in modern American life, and the views of various literary and other writers who feel, unlike Ring, that life is a dead end and the idea of an afterlife is pure fantasy.  Finally, you will find in some of these essays deeply moving stories of people dealing with death that may make you cry. And yet, the book leaves one feeling upbeat and hopeful about life.  Hop on the train and enjoy the ride—while you’re still alive!


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