Life After Death: The Burden of Proof by Deepak Chopra, Harmony Books, New York, 2006; 304 pages, ISBN 0307345785, hardback, $24.00.
Responding to our instinctive need to know what lies beyond death, Deepak Chopra brings together for our consideration the knowledge absorbed from his childhood, schooling, study of Eastern and Western religions and sciences, and his medical practice and experience in India and America. Using an allegorical tale recalled from his youth as a framework, he shares illuminating and helpful ideas about death and the hereafter that have enriched his life, teachings that he hopes will shed light into the darkness of ignorance. For instance, we are assured that death waits at the door of all sentient beings to take them into the light of a new life; that for the wise, death is simply letting the cloak which is our body fall to the floor; that death is birth into a fuller life; and that the miracle of creation lies in the fact that in every second of time life and death are joined in an eternal dance.
Pages are devoted to fascinating out-of-body and near-death experiences during which our consciousness, rising momentarily out of its body into astral realms, is able to see, hear, and understand what is happening around it. Also described are the panoramic reviews that often occur during such experiences. During such reviews people see the details of their past life with the “eyes of the soul” and understand not only the causes, purposes, and justice involved, but the resulting karma that awaits in the next incarnation. From The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying the author draws descriptions of the celestial “angels” and hellish “monsters” many people see when they die, explaining that such are the creations of our own thoughts and desires, loves and fears, during life. He also describes the levels of consciousness available for us when alive, levels referred to as lokas and talas in Hindu and theosophical writings. He also explains the various koshas or energy/substances which compose our natures, a teaching which augments the body/soul/spirit paradigm of Christian writers.
With this knowledge Deepak Chopra offers his readers the assurance that life is eternal, that death is but a doorway into higher realms of experience. To assist the reader he lists books for further study on these subjects, making Life After Death a remarkably informative and inspirational book. — Eloise Hart
(From Sunrise magazine, Fall 2007; copyright © 2007 Theosophical University Press)