The "Spirituality Today" Review, by Peter J. Morris
While Spirituality Today is no longer with us, this book review from it's Editor, Peter J. Morris, still is:
Writer Robert Kopecky has the extraordinary distinction of having died and gone to heaven not once but no-less than three times during his life. On each occasion he has been unceremoniously sent back down into physical reality and these dramatic experiences have, quite naturally, led him to develop a unique perspective of what it means to be a human, alive on planet Earth at this time.
A Place of Being
In his book, How to Get to Heaven, Kopecky identifies the specific life lessons each near-death experience (NDE) has taught him. More specifically, he has come to recognize that his three NDEs were not separate events at all but that they formed an important part of an evolving sequence. He qualifies these as; Perspective, Presence, and Purpose; with each one heading up a different section of his book.
The experiences of death and brief awareness of life on the otherside’ to which Kopecky was party, leads him to conclude that what we perceive of as ‘Heaven’ is less a ‘place’ and more a ‘state of being’. He qualifies this further by saying, “Going to Heaven isn’t about dreaming a dream of the afterlife. No, going to Heaven is about being right where you are — wherever that may be — and waking up.”
A Threefold Perspective
In Part One of How to Get to Heaven the author examines our core human traits and in particular those that require development. These include humility, release of ego-control, love and kindness. He is of the opinion that practicing honesty and forgiveness aids this process.
Part Two focuses upon the state of presence as a means of creating quality to our lives. Kopecky describes this in the following way, “Awareness in this very moment informs and determines where we’ve come from in life, where we are, and the amazing potential we can access to empower where we are going.”
In the third and final part of his book the author explores how by carrying all of these spiritual principles into everyday actions it becomes easier to discover our own special purpose.
So many reports of near death experiences include a single, common theme, which is that the recently deceased needs to return to the Earth plane specifically to fulfill – or complete, a personal destiny; or in order to undertake an important task for humanity. This also seems to be the case with Kopecky – someone who has clearly taken this challenge to hand and unravelled a personal destiny from which so many people can now benefit.
Whilst the spiritual philosophy that permeates his book has been drawn from mainly Eastern or Buddhist principles this does not color the book to such a degree that it becomes detached from its central theme. Indeed, the result is a deeply satisfying read for throughout its pages Kopecky presents a very personalized style of writing – one that keeps the reader thoroughly engaged and hungry for the next round of insights. The depth of revelation and enlightenment here is rarely found in spiritual publications and comes as a breath of fresh air.
How to Get to Heaven by Robert Kopecky is a comforting book for anyone concerned about the fragility of life. More importantly though it is the sad, the lost and the lonely, the dispirited, disillusioned and disengaged who will gain most from reading it. For those readers I”d personally guarantee that How to Get to Heaven offers the chance of a major personal transformation long before reaching its final page.
The lessons of my three near-death experiences (don't try this at home) pointed me in 3 different directions, each of which can lead you to realize that Heaven isn't a place, but is a state-of-being that you can occupy here & now! Available now from Llewellyn Books, Amazon, B&N, and all fine booksellers.
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The first book–
I survived three very different near death experiences, and I don't recommend it, but I'd like to give you what I've learned about life (and death) the easy way, in my fun (but serious) book, designed to defuse whatever fears you have, and pass along the lessons I learned the hard way, available now at all major book sellers, from Conari Press
VISIT MY ILLUSTRATION & ANIMATION DESIGN WEBSITE; and watch my Vimeo reel
The art and writing of Robert Kopecky, author of How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide to Happiness in This World and Beyond,and How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying).
Art, Faith, and the Koko Lion is a uniquely spiritual blog from the author, illustrator/designer, and 3 time "Near Death" survivor, consisting of:
Art - personal and professional work, animation design & illustration.
Faith - articles and observations of a spiritual and experiential nature.
The Koko Lion - a character of personal or anonymous memoir–stories from The School of Hard and Soft Knocks, and Tales of unavoidable transformation.
media & contact
Follow me on Twitter and like my Facebook Authors Page for all media updates. Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org you'd like me to speak at your event; or if you need help with issues of life, death, loss, grief, etc. I'll help if I can, and the advice you'll get is always worth more than you'll pay for it (n/c).
I've spoken at the International Association for Near-Death Studies World Conference, the Wisdom of the Near-Death Experience Symposium, and more; and have written for Beliefnet, Innerself, New Buddhist, Soul Life Times, Reality Sandwich (Evolver), and more.
Don't Be Put-off By This (Spiritual), It's Really Fun to Read Reading List
A Course in Miracles
A Joseph Campbell Companion (ed.)
A Practical Guide to Know Yourself -Maharshi
A Return to Love -Williamson
Bases of Yoga -Aurobindo
Being, Consciousness, Bliss -Fitzgerald
Black Elk Speaks
Christ the Yogi -Ravindra
Crest-Jewel of Discrimination -Shankara/Prabhavananda, Isherwood
Ethics of the Sages Pirke Avot -Shapiro
Finding the Hidden Self: The Shiva Sutras -Worthington
Food For the Gods -Berry (ed.)
Gnana Yoga -Vivekananda
Good Life, Good Death -Gehlek
How to Know God: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali -Isherwood/Prabhavananda
I Am That -Maharaj
Infinite Life – Thurman
Jesus and Yahweh – Bloom
Jung and the Lost Gospels – Hoeller
Man is Not Alone - Heschel
Misquoting Jesus -Ehrman
Not Always So -Suzuki
Parallel Worlds -Kaku
Power Vs. Force -Hawkins
Quantum Shift in the Global Brain -Laszlo
Real Magic -Dyer
Rebirth and Karma – Aurobindo
Science and the Akashic Field -Laszlo
Suicide and the Soul – Hillman
Teachings of The Buddha -Kornfield (ed.)
The Bhagavad Gita -Easwaran
The Bhagavad Gita – Gandhi
The Book of Secrets -Chopra
The Captain's Verses -Neruda
The Dhammapada -Easwaran
The Divine Matrix -Braden
The Enlightened Mind -Mitchell (ed.)
The Essenes -Manitara
The Essential Mystics -Harvey (ed.)
The Essential Rumi – Barks
The Field -McTaggart
The Future Evolution of Man -Aurobindo
The Game of Life -Shinn
The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead – Hoeller
The Gospel of Thomas -Leloup
The Great Path of Awakening – Kongtrul
The Hermetica -Freke/Gandy
The Hope -Harvey
The Medium, The Mystic, and the Physicist -LeShan
The Original Jesus, Buddhist Christianity -Gruber, Kersten
The Passover Plot -Schonfield
The Power of Myth -Campbell
The Power of Now -Tolle
The Sacred Power of Huna -Morrell
The Secret Teachings of All Ages -Hall
The Soul of Rumi -Barks (trans/ed.)
The Spiritual Roots of Yoga -Ravindra
The Spirituality of Imperfection -Kurtz/Ketcham
The Tao of Physics -Capra
The Tao te Ching -Lao Tzu/Star, Mitchell, Rosenthal
The Three Pillars of Zen -Kapleau
The Undiscovered Self -Jung
The Upanishads -Mascaro (ed.)
The Way to God -Gandhi
When Things Fall Apart -Chodron
Your Sacred Self -Dyer
Zen Mind, Beginner Mind -Suzuki
A,F,&tKL Around the Web
Look for the dancing blue elephant by the river when you're surfing the internet at sites like Gaia.com, Soul Life Times, The Mindful Word, Reality Sandwich, Spiritual Networks, Twitter, and others, for blogs from the files of A,F,&tKL
art (animation & illustration) and heart (spiritual & scholarly) websites and blogs