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Common Knowledge




This was an engrossing read - but I wasn't too happy with the ending, which I felt was too abrupt.
Soulmuser | May 30, 2017 |
I was lent this book by a friend in Danish translation. So please note that if I present any quotes from it, they are my translations from the Danish back to the English and may not quite correspond to the original English version.

The book portrays the near-death-experience of a skeptical neurosurgeon who had brushed aside these same experiences as tricks of the brain when recounted to him by his patients. Then he himself is stricken with bacterial meningitis and falls into a coma.

First he, Eben, experiences being in pulsating darkness with no words in his head and no awareness of time. He feels like an earthworm buried deep in the earth, surrounded by root-like objects. He doesn’t feel human but not like an animal either. He is “a lonely point of consciousness in a timeless reddish-brown sea”. He feels imprisoned in this underworld. Grotesque animal-like faces appear, yelling and screaming and disappear again. He has no recollection of his former life. The faces appearing from the dark are ugly and threatening. The rhythmic throbbing is like the pulse of an army of troll-like underground workers carrying out some endless monotonous task.

There is an unpleasant biological odour. He is close to panic and needs to escape from that place.

Then a beautiful creature appears to hm. It radiates a white-golden light which shatters and dissolves the darkness. He hears the most wonderful music imaginable. As the music increases in strength, it extinguishes the monotonous, mechanical throbbing.

The light comes closer and closer and within is an opening (perhaps akin to the tunnel in other reported near-death experiences). He begins to move quickly upwards, and moves through the opening to find himself in a completely strange, beautiful world.

It is an ineffable experience. It feels like being born.

Below him is a green, fertile landscape which reminds him of Earth. It both is the Earth and at the same time isn’t. He flies over trees and fields and people. It is an unbelievable dream world.

He knows that this place is completely real.

Then a beautiful girl appears. They are surrounded by butterflies. The pastel colours of the girl’s clothing are intensely alive, as are the rest of the surroundings. Her gaze is intensely living, containing all the forms of love we know on Earth but much more exalted than these, and more real and pure.

The girl talks to him wordlessly. Her message is:

“You are loved and highly appreciated and will be for all eternity.”
“You have nothing to fear.”
“You can do no wrong.”

We are gifted with Eben’s ineffable experiences in various chapters interspersed with chapters about how his family reacts to his situation, details of his condition and so on.

He sees clouds high above containing glittering, highly developed beings like birds or angels.

He experiences God, whom he terms “Om”.

We’re also told of Eben’s background, how he was an adopted child who eventually regains contact with his birth family.

There is much more in this book than I have touched upon. He recovers and comes back to life with the help of his younger son, who calls him back from his coma.

The book is divinely and eloquently expressed.

The author, as befitting his doctor status and original skeptical attitude on the subject of near-death experiences, makes a point of explaining how his experiences could not possibly have neurological causes.

This is a wonderful book and it is praiseworthy that this neurosurgeon was brave enough to pen it – but then again I suppose that he couldn’t refrain from doing so. I advise you to read the book.

P.S. I see some reviewers state that this book is badly written. I didn't read it in English so this may be so. But in that case, the Danish translation was divinely expressed.
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IonaS | Mar 25, 2014 |
This is a very short summary of the actual book by Bill O’Reilly about John F. Kennedy.

Fox news host Bill O’Reilly reviews the points from the full book of John F. Kennedy’s life including his childhood, his marriage to Jackie and his assassination in Texas.

O’Reilly has felt that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone, and although his co-author Martin Dugard thoroughly searched, he could come to no new conclusion to point otherwise.

Although this is just the summary and only briefly hits the few target points, it does make you want to read the full story. The youngest man to be elected president in the United States, and his life cut so short. The difficulties he faced while in office, including the Cuban missile crises, among other things, and his thoughts for re-election.

Very brief, quick read, but does highlight the major points, and leaves you wanting to read the full story.
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sewolf0310 | Feb 14, 2013 |

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