Dr. Don Morse. Searching for Eternity: A Scientistís Spiritual Journey to Overcome Death Anxiety. Memphis: Eagle Wing Books, 2000. ISBN 0-940829-27-4.
The multifaceted scientist, therapist and dentist Don Morse is the Editor of the Journal of Religion and Psychical Research that focuses on the common ground between parapsychological research and religious and spiritual issues. This voluminous book is just one of his many intellectual feats. Morse wrote it as an attempt to conquer his own fear of death and help others do the same.
As the author had a Near-Death Experience, Searching for Eternity starts off with a survey of research in this field, including cases he personally studied himself. The author concludes that NDEs cannot be explained by normal factors and in this respect gives some attention to Susan Blackmore's skeptical hypothesis. Similarly, he discusses Out of the Body Experiences, apparitions and mediums. Even the bizarre subject of physical immortality through cloning is not ignored.
The following chapters deal with the concept of a personal divinity in relation to recent notions in the physical sciences. Just like Melvin Morse, with whom he shares his family name, the author had a Jewish upbringing and this clearly influences his views, though it does not imply a closed mind towards other currents of thought. This is also confirmed by an overview of about 160 pages dedicated to a wide spectrum of ideas about the hereafter, from a great diversity of religious and spiritual movements.
For instance, Morse is very critical about the protestant christian theory that only a belief in Jesus (rather than one's integrity) would protect you from damnation, and he's markedly positive about the hereafter depicted by Bo Yin Ra.
Don Morse ends his book with a personal theory about the afterlife that is both based on his personal beliefs and on the scholarly evidence and his general conclusion reads:
"There is so much evidence for an afterlife that it is unreasonable to deny it or chalk it up to mere fantasies." (p. 365)
This book serves as a good introduction for anyone interested in life after death, personal evolution and spirituality. Readers who do not agree with the personal perspective of the author, are offered plenty of information about other views, both in the text and in the references.
It is this special combination, which makes the book a valuable contribution to the literature about these subjects.
This is an English translation of a Dutch review published in Terugkeer.