Five {really thirteen!} Books That Changed Me

This morning I was watching Super Soul Sunday on Oprah’s OWN network, and she was playing old inspirational episodes. One of them was an interview with Betty Eadie, the author of Embraced By The Light which was published in 1992. It chronicled her Near Death Experience, and at the time was the most lengthy and detailed account that we had of someone’s experience of dying and coming back to life.

I had been urged to read this book by my friend Hope who had had a Near Death Experience, and it had been recommended to her as a way to make sense of what she had gone through. {Hope has since crossed over, and you can read my post A Visit From The Afterlife to see how she came through to me in a dream}. Reading Betty’s book set me out on a search for knowledge about what happens when we die. The books I read, combined with personal experiences, did something more than convince me of the existence of an afterlife-it convinced me of the existence of a Higher Power. Sometimes I call it God, sometimes The Universe, but either way, I am a true believer and I credit the authors of many many books for that. Reading the same themes from so many different people, I couldn’t help but believe.

At this time, the New Age section in Barnes & Noble was about a four foot section – and only about 4 shelves high. Not even close to the aisles devoted to it now. I was thirsty for information and all I could find were astrology books and books about the Occult. There were the scientific books, of course, like Life After Life by Raymond Moody and On Death & Dying by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, but I had read them in a Death, Dying & Bereavement class in college, and they were both good, but very dry. Same with the studies of Edgar Cayce – interesting, but not what you’d call a page turner. These books are all important in the study of Life After Death, but for the average reader who is curious about it, but not a doctor or scientist, I have found some books on the topic that turned me from reluctant skeptic to believer. I thought it would be nice to share the titles that I learned the most from with my readers.

1) The Bridge Across Forever / One
By Richard Bach

Years before reading Embraced by the Light, I had my first taste of Destiny and Soul Mates and how everything is connected to everything else when I read these two – in this order. I was suddenly hooked on metaphysics, and I didn’t even know that was what it was called yet.

2) Out on a Limb / Dancing In The Light
By Shirley MacLaine

Over a decade before Embraced by the Light hit the bestseller list, Shirley MacLaine wrote Out On A Limb. Anyone who loves to read or write about the paranormal and metaphyical needs to show some serious gratitude to Shirley. She took one for the team back in the early 80s by putting herself out there in the public eye, vulnerable to the hostile criticism, accusations of insanity, and vicious jokes by late night comedians that got passed around at water coolers the next day. I was in middle school then, but even I remember the hype surrounding it. I never really took her seriously (c’mon, I was ten!) Until I read these two books-again, in this order. You have to see how she goes from skeptic to willing ambassador for reincarnation and even UFOs! She was chosen for that. She had the means to devote her life to learning and because of her celebrity, her books got into the hands of enough people that the collective consciousness began to shift. Sure, there were the ones laughing, but there were just as many starting to quietly question things. People who like me yearned to learn more. I was late to the party, as I didn’t read it till about 10 years ago. Evidently, it was meant for me to have read some other books first, so that I could truly appreciate her metamorphosis since I was going through one of my own at the time.

Anyway, she rocks, you should totally read them, and if you own a dog, you should then read Out On a Leash.

3) Life On The Other Side / The Other Side And Back (and all of her books-but these first)
By Sylvia Browne

I was a property manager for a while, and there was a girl who lived in the apartment next to my office who was a Reiki healer (or whatever you call them…she did Reiki!) an we talked about metaphysical, new agey stuff when she would hang out in my office. One day she brought me these two books and they changed my life. Sylvia had gone through the same Catholic upbringing, but not getting anything out of it. She started to question things that she was being taught, because they didn’t make sense to her. I had felt the same way, and now she was showing me that it was ok not to just blindly follow the dogma of a religion because that is how you were raised. I learned about the Gnostics and I learned what the other side is like by her channeling her spirit guide. A lot that came through validated other things I’d read about what others had experienced. I also learned more about something I’d always known but many do not: the fact that psychics, mediums and the like get their gifts from GOD, not from the devil. They are not devil worshipers. This is why I felt it necessary to share that it was through learning about psychics and mediums {and psychic-mediums} that I came to start believing in a Higher Power. Would Satan-worshipers let that happen?

4) Heaven is For Real
By Lynne Vincent and Todd Burpo

A story about Todd’s son Colin’s journey to the other side. A kid couldn’t make this stuff up. This kid saw Jesus-FOR REAL. I saw him on a show talking about how he met Jesus. He later looked at many pictures of Jesus, but when he saw a painting by young artist Akiane Kramarik entitled Prince of Peace, he said that was him. Akiane has also seen Jesus, by the way, so here’s 2 kids who saw Jesus and one had the God-given talent to paint a realistic painting of who she saw. Unbelievable, but ya just gotta believe it anyway!

5) Left To Tell
By Immaculee Ilibagiza

Now, this one’s not about life after death, but it was the nail in the coffin, so to speak, for my belief in God. Long story short, she taught me about forgiveness by forgiving the people who were hunting her down during the Rwandan Genocide. The way she was obviously protected by prayer on multiple occasions was what sealed my faith. I took her story and learned how to forgive a boss for causing stress because she knew not what she did. I didn’t tell her that, but I forgave her in my heart. It changed our relationship, so that by the time she was let go, I felt genuinely sorry for her. It changed the way I have dealt with other people going forward, and it made me a better person {if I do say so myself, haha!}. Everyone should read this book. It’s AH-MAY-ZING.

So those are the ones that made a specific impact on me, but I highly recommend some others after you get through those and you need more: Read on if you’re interested!

90 Minutes in Heaven., by Don Piper

God on a Harley / Heaven in High Gear, by Joan Brady

Everything Happens For a Reason, by Suzane Northrup

Anything by Sylvia Browne {Past Lives, Future Healing is pretty fascinating}

Anything by John Edward, James Van Praagh, Gary Zukav

Welcome to To Be Read Mountain! Happy Reading!


1 Comment

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One response to “Five {really thirteen!} Books That Changed Me

  1. I’ve been wondering about “Heaven is For Real.” I’ll have to check that one out. I’m a huge fan of John Edward and James Van Praagh as well.

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