Evidence of the Afterlife
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 A British writer and investigator of the occult (Unnatural Causes, 1991) argues that death is not extinction and that the doctrines of karma and reincarnation are true. Viney assembles a vast number of reports, drawn from all over the world, of contacts with an existence beyond bodily death, each containing enough information to hold the reader's imagination and interest. He divides his text into chapters illustrating various subjects: apparitions of the dead, poltergeists, spiritualism, out- of-body and near-death experiences, cases suggestive of reincarnation, and regression to past lives. He is especially impressed when apparitions give information known to no one that subsequently proves to be true. His material is nearly all derivative, but many readers will be surprised to hear of ghosts speaking on the telephone and leaving messages on computer screens, and to learn that German scientists are working on machines to facilitate contact with spirits by using ultrasound frequencies beyond the range of the human ear. Viney readily admits there have been hoaxes but claims that the sheer volume of tested evidence compels us to accept that there is an afterlife, perhaps even a New Age afterlife of successive rebirths as souls progress toward a final entrance into the ultimate divine reality. Although he argues with feeling and conviction, not all readers will follow him to his conclusions. And he does not inspire confidence when he completely alters a quote from St. Paul, or tells us that the word ``metempsychosis'' is derived from the Celtic language. Hard to put down, well written, and thought-provoking, but Viney can't quite handle the metaphysical questions his study raises.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1994
ISBN: 0-312-10436-7
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1994


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