The US Review of Books
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"You are one of us!" she had declared, and mercenary Roan Storm Walker knew that the words of the beautiful Amazon warrior Inca were true. Now, summoned by a power he scarcely understands, Roan is suddenly swept from his Montana home to the fierce jungles of South America for one purpose–to protect Inca and save countless lives. To her people, the…
by William Pillow, with Jack McMahan and Lillian Stover Wells
reviewed by Priscilla Estes
"but deep inside us is the recognition that life can and should have more meaning, one that reaches far beyond traditional science and orthodox religion and one that involves all of us."
The mind-body-spirit (MBS) publishing industry has come a long way since the 1960s and 1970s when Aldous Huxley, Hermann Hesse and Carlos Castaneda combined Eastern and Western thought in the best-sellers Doors of Perception, Siddhartha, and The Teachings of Don Juan, respectively. In fact, according to religion and publishing expert Elizabeth Puttick, MBS publishing is the fastest growing non-fiction genre, which a quick examination of virtual and real bookstores supports.
More than ever before, great minds race to close the gap between science and religion, to answer the questions of where do we come from, why are we here, and where do we go after death. We search for answers inside the human brain, the psyche, the fetus, gravity, energy fields, near-death experiences (NDEs), universal consciousness, time travel, soul travel, quantum medicine, karma, dharma, and more—it's hard for the average person to comprehend, let alone keep up!
Finally, here is a book that helps pull it all together for us, written by William Pillow, ex-US Air Force and retired pharmacist with thirty-four years at Eli Lilly. Pillow began a quest to discover where we go after death and why when a long and lingering illness befell his wife and he confronted aging. Initially a Southern Baptist and a skeptic about all things metaphysical, he changed his mind while reading the incredible body of research on soul survival. After prodigious investigation, much of which concerns NDEs and studies on fetal awareness, Pillow concluded there is a soul, a God, and a Heaven. His conclusions may challenge your philosophy, but parenthetical documentation and a fifteen-page bibliography encourage independent verification.
The book starts slowly and carefully as Pillow builds his case by conscientiously stitching together scientific, religious, and metaphysical literature, both ancient and modern, on the nature of God (the spark of life), souls (the human superconsciousness) and Heaven (the spirit world). The brain begins to smoke while chugging through study after study on NDE's, shared NDE's, life-between-lives (LBL), out-of-body-experiences (OBE), past-life regression, after death communications (ADC), pre-birth visions, neurological pathways, the transcendent source of consciousness, the ego, and more. We long for an index, a glossary, and less use of quotes around words that don't require them.
Halfway through, our mental labors are rewarded with chapter 7, "Our Incomparable Souls." This is the heart of the book, a behind-the scenes look at the soul and a parting of the veil of forgetfulness produced by the ego. Pillow discusses studies on fetal consciousness, which provide the strongest circumstantial evidence for existence of the soul, and gives a moving testament to the soul's purpose: to instill compassion, empathy, and benevolence in its human host.
The second half of the book flies by, as we greedily gobble mainstream studies on energy healing, brain waves, and the need for face-to-face friendships in an electronically connected world. Tucked unobtrusively at the end of chapter 11 are three paragraphs titled "For Me Personally," in which the author shares his private definition of faith. Such unheralded brevity from a man who once considered entering the Christian ministry shows great respect for the reader and for the role of science in decoding religion and spirituality.
The final chapter implores us "to at least consider the possible importance of these concepts and commentaries for your loved ones and for you." Pillow believes that by knowing there is a God, a soul, and a Heaven, we can sustain our inner journey toward purpose and meaning in our lives; and that by recognizing our shared humanity, we can save civilization. One hopes and prays this is true as murders by children, mass killings by governments, greed, corruption, materialism, apathy, mental illness, addiction, and more threaten to suffocate humanity's life force.
Pillow is an accomplished author, having written or edited five educational textbooks, several dozen articles, one murder mystery involving reincarnation and the paranormal, and five books about the search for self and the meaning of life through science, self-awareness, and spirituality. Spirituality Beyond Science and Religion is his first book written with theologian Jack McMahan and clinical psychologist Lillian Stover Wells.
Pillow brilliantly connects his philosophy on the soul, God, and Heaven with salient literature in the field of science and religion. The MBS genre has come a long way from the Indian fables and drug-induced journeys of the sixties and seventies. Pillow's overall message that the power of love is greater than the love of power points us in the right direction for the twenty-first century.