The book contains helpful advice on dying. For most readers, particularly those who do not practice meditation, the detailed description of the stages of dying will be too technical and perhaps not helpful, though the fact that we go through the same stages when going to sleep and even having sex is of great interest. Most importantly, the key teaching of the importance of the state of mind in generating a positive rebirth or even liberation is clearly delineated. The long introduction that relates to the political problems of the Tibetans is a bit of a distraction from the subject matter, though for most it will provide new light on the ways in which China has suppressed the Tibetan religion.
My own father was an avid fan of William F Buckley. This got me interested, along with the fact that, like so many, I am dealing with the struggles of an aging parent. Never having read any of Christopher Buckley's material, I didn't know what to expect. Well, despite the subject matter, I found myself laughing out loud in many places throughout the book. It isn't all about the end of life issues, and some of those narratives are funny as well. So the book has given me consolation and laughs at the same time. The author is very talented as a writer and even adds to the words as a narrator.
Schizophrenics are supposed to live in a world of their own, unable to function in society or to be understood. Not only does the author overcome her handicap and become a successful law professor, she reveals the inner workings of her mind and the demons that haunted her. Most likely this memoir was only made possible by reason of the enhanced drugs now used to control this horrible malady. In any event, I found the book fascinating from beginning to end.
The author found that others had great curiosity about what it was like in a dissection lab, and decided to write about her experience. I bought the book for my spouse (who is in the medical field), but found it extremely engaging. With great sensitivity the author takes you on a unique journey that is normally outside the experience of the lay person. As an added bonus, you will gain added appreciation for the human body, and ponder your own mortality.
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