Return From Tomorrow


Someone I know called Return From Tomorrow one of the most life changing books they've read and well, with that kind of description I just knew I had to read it.  It's a quick read, but I have continued to think over his experiences long after I finished the book.  It's the kind of book that makes one think about their own life while reading it and how maybe we are too often focusing on the wrong things and need to readjust our perspective.  His experiences are not ones most people will have, but yet what he said rang true to me.  While I wouldn't call it "life changing" I do believe that it has prompted me to look more closely at the way I'm living and resolve to make changes for the better.

About:

"At the age of twenty, George Ritchie died in an army hospital.  Nine minutes later, he returned to life.  What happened to him during those minutes was so compelling, it changed his life forever.  In Return from Tomorrow, he tells of his out-of-body encounter with other nonphysical beings, his travel through different dimensions of time and space, and ultimately, his transforming meeting with the Light of the world, the Son of God.  Ritchie's amazing experience not only altered his view of eternity - it has since directed and governed his entire life.  One of the most startling and hopeful descriptions of the realm beyond, Return from Tomorrow may change your life for the better, too!"

Quotes:

I always say this, but to fully appreciate the quotes, you must read the book so you can read them in context.  

Page 20, 
George: "I'm not asking you to believe anything.  I'm simply telling you what I believe   And I have no idea what the next life will be like.  Whatever I saw was only - from the doorway to speak.  But it was enough to convince me totally of two things from that moment on.  One, that our consciousness does not cease with physical death - that it becomes in fact keener and more aware than ever.  And two, that how we spend our time on earth, the kind of relationships we build, is vastly, infinitely more important than we can know."  

Fred: "If you were as sick as you claim," he asked, eyes on the brown-and-green carpet, "how do you know you weren't delirious?"
George: "Because, Fred, this experience was the most entirely real thing that's ever happened to me.  Since that time, too, I've had a chance to study dreams and hallucinations.  I've had patients who were hallucinating   There's just no resemblance."  

Fred: "You mean you honestly believe we go on being ourselves?  Afterwards, I mean?"

George: "I've bet my life on it.  Everything I've done in the last thirty years - becoming a doctor, becoming a psychiatrist  all the hours of volunteer work with young people each week - all of it goes back to that experience.  I don't believe delirium could do that, govern a man's entire life."

Page 61, "What did you do with your life?"  Page 64, "The question, like everything else proceeding from Him, had to do with love.  How much have you loved with your life?  Have you loved others as I am loving you?  Totally?  Unconditionally?"

Page 69, "All of the living people we were watching were surrounded by a faint luminous glow, almost like an electrical field over the surface of their bodies.  This luminosity moved as they moved, like a second skin made out of pale, scarcely visible light."

Page 121, "The leap into His presence we bodily creatures call death."

Page 130, He describes a man at a concentration camp who he supposes hasn't been there long because he's bright-eyed, helpful and energetic - the opposite of many of the other prisoners.  To the author's surprise Wild Bill, "had lived on the same starvation diet, slept in the same airless and disease ridden barracks as everyone else, but without the least physical or mental deterioration.  Perhaps even more amazing, every group in the camp looked on him as a friend.  He was the one to whom quarrels between inmates were brought for arbitration.  Only after I had been at Wuppertal a number of weeks did I realize what a rarity this was in a compound where the different nationalities of prisoners hated each other almost as much as they did the Germans."  Wild Bill goes to say, "We lived in the Jewish section of Warsaw.  My wife, our two daughters, and our three little boys.  When the Germans reached our street they lined everyone against a wall and opened up with machine guns.  I begged to be allowed to die with my family, but because I spoke German they put me in a work group.  I had to decide right then whether to let myself hate the soldiers who had done this.  It was an easy decision, really.  I was a lawyer.  In my practice I had seen too often what hate could do to people's minds and bodies.  hate had just killed the six people who mattered most to me in the world.  I decided then that I would spend the rest of my life - whether it was a few days or many years - loving every person I came in contact with."  The author then goes on to say that, "Loving every person...this was the power that had kept a man well in the face of every privation.  It was the Power I had first met in a hospital room in Texas, and was learning little by little to recognize wherever He chose to shine through - whether the human vehicle was aware of Him or not."

Page 132, "My trouble began, I saw now, when I took my eyes off Jesus and onto myself."

Page 139, "If Jesus was giving Fred Owen [who was terminally ill] only weeks on earth instead of decades, 'It's because he knows you can finish your work here in weeks.  You can forgive and receive forgiveness.  You can free yourself of addictions and angers - any baggage you don't want to carry into a realm where everything is Light.'"


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