Audette explores spiritually transformative experiences in this memoir.
The author, a former “avowed agnostic,” writes that he had personal encounters with angels and experienced other divine interventions that eventually convinced him that “God is real and so too is the afterlife.” In this deeply personal remembrance, he provides in-depth descriptions of eight angel encounters, with each receiving a chapter-length narrative; most tell of a divine being sparing him from a potentially violent death.
Other spiritual recollections include what he calls a “miraculous divine intervention in utero that saved my life as a young embryo from multiple abortion attempts by my mother.” In addition to sharing accounts from the author’s own life, the book presents myriad examples of others the author has known who recounted near-death experiences, death-bed visions, and other “spiritually transformative experiences.”
While explicit in his belief in a supreme being, the author is careful to emphasize his disaffiliation with organized religion and avoids theological and dogmatic debates that pit faiths against each other; this open-minded approach may appeal to readers across the religious spectrum. However, others may not be convinced by the book’s definitive claims that it’s based solely on “statements of fact.” The book’s engagement with pseudoscientific ideas such as “mystical synchronicities” won’t appeal to many in the academic community.
Still, as the principal founder of the International Association for Near-Death Studies and CEO of nonprofit Eternea (co-founded by the author, Apollo XIV astronaut Edgar Mitchell, and Harvard University neurosurgeon Eben Alexander), Audette offers a serious-minded, articulate exploration of spiritual phenomena. Its philosophical underpinning, which draws upon Blaise Pascal’s metaphor of “The God-Shaped Hole,” is effective, regardless of one’s acceptance of the book’s anecdotal evidence, and its humility in accepting that “the more we learn, the less we know” is refreshing.
A skillfully written case for divine action in people’s lives, but one that’s unlikely to convince skeptics.