map of heaven book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

In The Map of Heaven, Dr. Eben Alexander reviews and discusses various proof and credible evidence that the afterlife does exist. This is an argument that people will always have and individual opinions depend largely on one’s religious beliefs. Some people believe we experience heaven on earth through our own making. Others believe it is something that we are working towards, while another group believes it may be unattainable except for a very few at the end of life as we know it. Dr. Alexander uses seven chapters to explain the seven gifts or “answers” to all of life’s most important questions–including the question regarding the existence of the hereafter.

The theory of the hereafter starts with consciousness of the observer; an individual needs to be completely aware of his or her surroundings and to distinguish between what is real and what is not. People often report having near-death experiences, visions on their deathbeds, encounters with a spirit world or other out of body experiences, all of which point to the idea that there is more to our existence than just the present.

The author himself had a near-death experience and came back to earth; he relays that God reveals truths as slowly as we can comprehend them. He also explains that there is more to the world than we can know. According to Dr. Alexander, we all carry some heaven dust with us every day, but it is too deep within our subconscious for us to make much out of it. His story is the unanswered puzzle of his life, but it can also provide an inspiration to others. Heaven is not presented as an abstract thought, but rather as real a place as anything we see right in front of us at this moment. Heaven’s rules are mysterious to us but we do belong there–if we love others as ourselves. Heaven’s fuel is love, and our life’s fuel should be to love others as ourselves. This book may be a good bible study book to review with others, and will provide lively discussions on everyone’s personal theory of the afterlife.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon & Schuster. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.