In Life at Death, Ring (Psychology, U. of Connecticut) merely reported on people who had been at the point of death or pronounced clinically dead. That book, plus the works of Raymond Moody (Life After Life) and others, and even a Gallup survey of the Near-Death Experience (NDE), have ushered in a new cottage industry. For Ring it is the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS), admittedly short on international and long on American experience. In this more ambitious work, Ring says that the near-death experience is nothing less than a means to advance human evolution, a step in ""the dazzling ascent toward Omega, and the conscious reunion with the Divine."" To get to that edifying revelation, Ring develops a variety of theses based on his analyses of NDErs who have had ""core"" experiences--fuller, deeper excursions into the numinous than your ordinary NDErs. Virtually all report that these core experiences are beyond description. (Nevertheless the familiar images of tunnels and radiant light abound.) Virtually everyone liked the experience and found their lives spiritually altered, enriched, imbued with Love. Mostly they no longer feared Death because they now know that there is only Life. Some had personal flashforwards (PFs), which Ring links to pyschic phenomena; some had Planetary Visions (PVs)--rather gloomy, for the most part. If we add that Ring and co-workers now meet and greet NDErs at what has been nicknamed the Near-Death Hotel (Ring's home in rural Connecticut), perhaps enough is said. For a self-selected--Core NDEs, PFs, PVs--clientele.