The popular book covers a wide range of fascinating topics - a short history of Buddhism, quantum theory, near-death experience research, karma, personal experiences, and others, and includes insights from such notables as Albert Einstein, Carl Jung, Arnold Toynbee, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, etc. - all designed to give the reader insights into the topic of life and death from a Buddhist perspective.
One reviewer wrote:
If I were to teach a basic college-level course in religion, philosophy, or metaphysics - call it Spirituality 101 - this book would be required reading. In fact, it would be the first week's assignment. Having read all or parts of nearly a thousand books dealing with spiritual matters, I cannot recall another that so simply and effectively blends the fundmentals of religion and science." - Michael E. Tymn, Journal of Religion and Psychical Research.
On karma, the author writes:
"People often speak of karma in either a negative or positive sense. Positive things in our life are 'good karma' and unpleasant things are 'bad karma'. But in the truest sense, karma is neither positive nor negative. It simply is. What makes it good or bad is how we handle whatever we are facing in our lives at the present moment.
"Some people suffer severe setbacks or tragedies; but through squarely facing these situations, are able to develop perseverance, wisdom, growth and final victory. For them, the so-called negative situation or karma actually becomes a blessing in disguise. Others, blessed with seeming good fortune and circumstances, suffer loss from the situation. An example might be someone who wins the lottery, and uses the money to travel and lay on the beach and generally lead an indolent life, instead of challenging themselves to develop their life. In the long run, their life suffers."
Life & Death: A Buddhist Perspective is available as an e-book at Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/
James Hilgendorf is the author of eight non-fiction books. He has been practicing Buddhism for over forty years with the SGI, or Soka Gakkai International, a Buddhist lay organization with 12,000,000 members in 192 countries and territories worldwide.
His website is at http://www.jameshilgendorf.org