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Adventures in the Afterlife

Clarion Review (3 Stars)

The author’s apt narrative guides readers through the principles associated with his notion of heaven, offering a reassuring and empowering outlook on life.

In Adventures in the Afterlife, William Buhlman offers an uplifting account of life after death based on the premise that when people die, they can pass through various levels of heaven, with different environments in each.

Lending credibility to Buhlman’s approach is his forty-year history of studying out-of-body experiences. He wrote about the topic in Adventures Beyond the Body (2009) and The Secret of the Soul (2011), which were based on an international survey conducted with 16,000 participants. In this book, he continues to address the same subject matter, but in a unique way.

The volume is divided into two parts. Part one, “Accelerated Evolution,” is the fictionalized story of Frank Brooks’s encounters in the afterlife and is based on Buhlman’s own battle with cancer. When Frank dies and reaches the first level of heaven, the environment mirrors his former reality very closely, and he even reconnects with deceased relatives and friends. In the process, he embarks on a spiritual journey, constantly wanting to achieve a more enlightened state. As a result of this spiritual quest, he is able to move on to the next level of heaven.

In part two, “Preparing for Your Adventure,” Buhlman expands on the ideas he details in part one, such as the need to change thoughts to change one’s spiritual environment, not being indoctrinated by standard beliefs, recognizing the power of thoughts and creativity, the importance of letting go of fears and addictions, and having an open mind.

Frank’s story in part one provides an interesting and engaging way for Buhlman to describe his notions of heaven. But it is repetitive at times, as several events reinforce the same concept. And, because Buhlman recounts only the bits of Frank’s life that serve as an example of the broader principles, the text is choppy. A more cohesive narrative providing a fuller picture of Frank’s life before death would add more emotional impact.

Still, the narrative technique used in part one serves the intended purpose of guiding the reader through the detailed descriptions of the principles in part two, and it establishes a strong context for the concepts. As a result, the reader is able to easily grasp Buhlman’s vision of the afterlife, which otherwise could be perceived as abstract.

The book will be useful and comforting to those who are facing a difficult illness or who are caring for someone who is ill. For those who are fearing death, Buhlman’s warm, welcoming descriptions of the various levels of heaven will be reassuring, as will the exercises and affirmations he suggests as a way to prepare for the afterlife.

Buhlman proposes a hopeful impression of the afterlife—one that is an environment of choices where an individual’s soul decides what the experience will ultimately be like.

Maria Siano