- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (27 January 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781250063489
- ISBN-13: 978-1250063489
- ASIN: 1250063485
- Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.7 x 21.1 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 222 g
- Customer Reviews: 378 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 418,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Return to Life Paperback – 27 January 2015
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"In Return to Life, Jim Tucker painstakingly and meticulously documents the recycling of memories from beyond the barrier of physical death. He then rigorously offers a scientific theory to explain how our consciousness transcends space/time and is, hence, eternal. This book is an important milestone of an emerging scientific paradigm that suggests that consciousness conceives governs constructs and becomes the universe or perhaps multiple universes." --Deepak Chopra"A breezy page-turner...Tucker presents these cases...with professioanlism and palpable respect." --Spirituality and Health "Jim Tucker is a worthy successor to Dr. Ian Stevenson. He approaches these fascinating cases of children who appear to remember previous lives with an intelligent curiosity, sober judgment, and a real knack for telling a story, which is a good thing, because these are great stories." --Tom Shroder, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author of Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives "These incredible cases are not simply solid grounds for accepting some form of reincarnation into our Western worldview. These are heart-rending, poignant reminders that many of us do not quite 'fit' into the cultural and religious worlds into which we are born. Obviously, we are more than these worlds. Way, way more." --Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Authors of the Impossible: The Sacred and the Paranormal "Researchers at the University of Virginia Medical School's Department of Perceptual Studies are studying reports from children around the world who claim to remember their past lives. More than 2,500 such reports have been analyzed by the Project's founder Ian Sevenson and several colleagues, among them Jim Tucker. Their work has immense implications for our understanding of the world and human nature, but has received relatively little attention from mainstream scientists and religious groups. Return to Life, like Dr. Tucker's previous book, Life Before Life, opens a door on this historic research. Even if you disagree with Tucker's brief speculations about the afterlife, you will get a good look at the kind of evidence for reincarnation that the University of Virginia team is assembling. It is astonishing to me that their work is not better known." --Michael Murphy, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Esalen Institute, and co-author of God and the Evolving Universe "With Return to Life, Dr. Jim B. Tucker has driven a very large nail in the coffin of materialism. This is an important contribution to the growing body of evidence that consciousness survives the death of the brain and body. The fear of death and annihilation has caused more suffering in human history than all the physical diseases combined. This book is a powerful antidote to that dread." --Larry Dossey, MD, author of One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Great Consciousness and Why It Matters "Return to Life comes as a resounding wake-up call regarding human existence. For decades, materialists have insisted that consciousness is nothing more than a function or emergent property of the brain. But the fact is that scientifically, the origins and nature of consciousness and its role in nature remain a mystery. The greatest obstacle to illuminating these issues through scientific discovery is not ignorance, but the illusion that we already have the answers. The empirical evidence that Dr. Tucker presents in this book challenges the reductionistic, metaphysical beliefs of scientific materialism. If his research methods are flawed, the scientific community should bring this to his and the public's attention. If they are irreproachable, then the empirical facts he reveals compel us to reassess even our most fundamental assumptions about consciousness, human nature, and the universe at large." --B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., President of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies and author of Dreaming Yourself Awake
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Return to Life is more chatty, is in fact autobiographical, and is convincingly honest. When a case has doubtful features, Jim states them. It is far less “scientific” and contains more speculation, perhaps because western culture has moved on and is more accepting of the possibility of reincarnation.
Chapter 4 of the book, however, is immensely convincing: a little boy with many verified memories of having been a pilot, shot down in the battle of Iwo Jima. I won’t repeat the details, but it is simply impossible to account for the story in any way apart from reincarnation. Similarly, Chapter 5 is a great detective story, in which we read the progression of the case, all Jim’s caveats and doubts ⎯ and the overall conclusion that little Ryan had to have been a person in Hollywood in the 1940s.
Return to Life is a little like a detective game. Jim presents evidence, and lets you draw your own conclusions regarding the various cases. He then goes on to discussing deeper issues: how are reincarnation and similar observations compatible with science? There is a side trip into an excellent common-language explanation of quantum physics, which I also find fascinating, and the detour is well worth it even if physics is foreign country to you. Basically, modern physics demonstrates that the physical reality we feel around us is the creation of consciousness. This then makes sense of findings showing that there is an ongoing, nonmaterial part of a person that can move from life to life. The final conclusion is that all is One, and we apparent individuals are components of a Consciousness.
I can thoroughly recommend reading either of these books.
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While Tucker makes an effort to present some of the typical theories of the quantum world, they are quite impenetrable and do not easily fit in with the research material other than in a very general sense. The overview doesn’t come across as one that he himself understands that well and the conclusions are summarised in a short paragraph consisting of just a couple of sentences.
It seems Tucker regards life as a dream and the after life as just another kind of dream. It’s not a very elucidating point of view. Some of his ideas about the continuation of a dream reality are interesting but most of his views are still pretty conventional and not really all that thought provoking. His view of Heaven as another time-space type reality is an unconvincing repetition of the type of reality psychics and mediums report. Fortunately, he doesn’t adhere to the rest of the myths about personal agency in the after life. Still, it’s worth checking the book out as Tucker is an academic and the research process is likely to be quite rigorous.
The only drawback is the far-fetched theory of quantum consciousness put forward at the end. It could be plausible but I feel like breakthroughs in neuroscience contradict the idea that consciousness is a separate entity that survives death as opposed to being something produced by the brain.
Then again, we may never truly know exactly how consciousness works.
Couldn't put it down.