I have this book on the table beside my reading chair, because, even though I have read it several times over the past twenty years, I just read it again and have been studying it over the last few weeks. {This time I underlined and highlighted sentences and whole paragraphs that were meaningful to me! Can’t believe I haven’t done that before!}

It chronicles an experience of the author when he was a young man in 1943, long before, as far as I know, the onslaught of near death experience books became a thing.

Whether you believe that what he tells is truth or not, this story shares some incredible wisdom about life and some great counsel about perspective and what is important in our day to day living.

Such as the perspective on Richie’s self-criticism in this paragraph:

“If I’d suspected before that there was mirth in the Presence beside me, now I was sure of it: the brightness seemed to vibrate and shimmer with a kind of holy laughter–not at me and my silliness, not a mocking laughter, but a mirth that seemed to say that in spite of all error and tragedy, joy was more lasting still.”

And later, this penetrating question is asked:

“How much have you loved with your life?” Not, what have you done with your life that has glorified you…but what have you done to contribute to the success of others?

Also, a description Dr. Richie gives of seeing disembodied spirits is quite poignant. He describes that they are still trying to control others or to feed the physical addictions they acquired in life. In terms of the rules of validation {the great anti-drug} how would we see this ‘still trying to control’? Still thinking everyone else’s problems were theirs to fix? Still codependent and frustrated at not being able to direct others, but more frustratingly still, not able to control one’s self! {See what I mean about wisdom?}

This book puts one in mind of Steven Covey’s First Things First, when the reader is asked to write out their own funeral! {Who do you want to speak? What would you like them to feel to say?} It’s called, starting with the end in mind and the questions are meant to inform current decisions now, so that the hoped for outcome actually evolves over time! Really, anything that offers us perspective is extremely valuable, isn’t it?

So, I throw this little gem out to you. If you haven’t already read it, I’d recommend it. It’s a very quick read, partly because it is well-written, short and sweet, but also because the story is compelling and you just want to know what happens next!

My love to you on this spring evening!

Jacque

 

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