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Death-Related Experiences
Record Type: Review   ID: 761

Full Circle: The Near-Death Experience and Beyond

Harris, Barbara, & Bascom, Lionel C.

 In effect, this book is a quintessential EHE autobiography. Harris's life was upper middle class "normal" until she had a near-death experience while still in her 20s, as described in Chapter 2. The rest of the book is about how she came to terms with this experience, and others that developed because of it. Coming to terms with an EHE requires not only a personal but a cultural transformation. At the personal level, Barbara eventually left her husband and their four children. She relived her NDE, and had kundalini-type experiences. Electronic instruments were affected in her presence, she experienced many unusual synchronicities, and most importantly, she discovered she had healing ability. She tells how she learned about research on the near-death experience, realizing only then that she herself had had one. She met many of the NDE researchers, who encouraged her to develop her healing ability, such as K├╝bler-Ross, Greyson, Ring, Bush, Roll, and Moody. Eventually she became a near-death researcher and a leader of the International Association for Near-Death Studies. As she learned to live from her NDE and related experiences, her cultural transformation began. The cultural growth that is an aftereffect of an EHE involves not only the individual but the culture at large. Harris has become active in promoting counseling of persons who have had NDEs. The individual relates to (usually) anomalistic aspects of the culture and learns how to make sense of them in his or her own life. In finding her own answers, Barbara Harris has done much to leaven Western culture at large. In the latter part of the book she describes the NDEs of other individuals. Although this book could stand on its own, it is greatly enhanced by an Introduction and Scientific Commentary by Bruce Greyson, a leading near-death researcher, with whom Harris has worked as research assistant. Greyson puts Harris's experience in context, and he provides a lucid overview of the nature of NDEs and where research is heading, including the relationship between NDEs and Kundalini. He also provides an important appendix entitled "Clinical Approaches to the NDEr," and a chronological bibliography of the most important books on NDEs.
Publisher Information:New York: Pocket Books, 1990. 285p
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