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Humane Religion Magazine

January - February 1998 Issue

Book Review
PET SOULS:
Evidence That Animals Survive Death

by Scott S. Smith

This book was written by a researcher who, during a period of two years, compiled case histories from reports of those who had encountered animals when they were in an enhanced state of consciousness.

Some of these reports came from those who had a near death experience (NDE). Others fall into the category of "ghost stories" and there are also stories of encounters by people who, for no discernible reason, suddenly found themselves in an altered state of consciousness. But no matter the reason for these episodes, the presence of animals played a part in all the experiences reported in the book.

Although the selections are eclectic, they have been carefully chosen: the author is no wide-eyed writer, ready to accept any story that will prove his point. Throughout the book, he demonstrates a perceptive understanding of the position taken by those critics whose acceptance of any experience is limited by their materialistic/mechanistic bias. And in the commentary that accompanies many of the experiences he writes about, Mr. Scott points out the faulty logic of those who try to discredit the report of certain events, because of their bias.


 
The existence of animals does not end with their death.


But the book was not written to try and "prove" the reality of events that are discerned beyond the five senses. It was written to offer comfort and hope to those who have been unable to find consolation in the face of the suffering and death of animals.

The author writes: "While belief in human immortality is strong, few people have more than a vague hope that their animals will survive death, supported in this wish by neither science nor most of our religions." But the experiences which are reported in his book show that animals, like the rest of us, are on a spiritual journey. And it shows that their existence does not end when life on earth is over.

Because these accounts are about animals who have died, there is a certain poignancy to these stories. But the author does not dwell on the facts of death, and in his introduction he addresses this issue. "Quite naturally, some elements of these tales are sad and it is not my desire to disturb those those who love animals and are sensitive about reading these things. The final message of immortality, however, is worth the price."

I saw a throne standing in heaven and the One who was sitting on the throne.. in the center, grouped around the throne itself were four animals...The first animal was like a lion, the second like a bull, the third animal had a human face and the fourth animal was like a flying eagle ...Every time the animals glorified and honored and gave thanks to the One sitting on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before him to worship the One who lives for ever and ever .

               Revelation 4:2, 6,7,9. JB

A minister who reviewed the book—Rev. Dr. Marc A Wessels—found that the hope and comfort it brings was the most outstanding characteristic of Mr. Scott's book. "[This is] the first book to make a thorough survey of the evidence—anecdotal, religious, even scientific—that would support a belief that animals also have an afterlife. More importantly, for those who are currently grieving, Pet Souls is a salve for the wounded spirit.” #

PET SOULS is available from Light Source Research, 2455 Calle Roble, Thousand Oaks,CA 91360. Price is $13.95 + $3.00 postage.TEL: 805-497-4950.

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