In March 2006 I got to know about a book by Sarah Menet called “There is no Death”. I went to do some research to find out what it was all about and found that it discussed some interesting topics and questions. Topics and questions that, like most people, keep me busy everyday. So I went ahead and bought a copy of the book. I felt that in my quest to find answers to certain questions, if this was one of the best experiences on this topic out there, I should at least have looked at it for my personal ‘research’ to be relatively complete in any way. In this post I will discuss a few things about the book and give a short review on it.
The story in this book is quite interesting. It’s about a woman, Sarah Menet, who had a very difficult life starting from her early childhood. While reading the book, you might find it hard to believe someone can go through all of those things and have so much bad luck in life. It’s just one bad event after another and it’s very depressing. At one point I even asked myself if this could be true, as it was hard to believe and comprehend the fact that someone’s life could have been the way she described it. In any case, things got worse until one day she decided to just commit suicide. And she then had a Near Death Experience (NDE), which is the most interesting part of this book. The reason for this is because she seems to have been able to remember quite a lot from her NDE in lots of details. I’ve never heard of such a detailed experience before.
But while her experiences are very nice and interesting, and while she attempts to provide answers to some important questions in life, there are a lot of unanswered questions and even contradictions in her story. Certain things are not very clear, and sometimes just don’t make sense. So after I read the book, I contacted her through email with some of the questions I had. I got a reply from her assistant (Sarah herself is now blind and cannot answer emails herself), and I was promised answers to my questions. That was in March 2006. I still haven’t heard from them yet. There could be various reasons for that, and I couldn’t wait much longer for answers, so I decided to put my thoughts about the book online and update it when I receive a response from Sarah in the future.
My overall impression of the book is that, just like religion in general, it serves to give people hope in life. It tries to show people that there is a purpose for life, and that even though they may be going through some difficult times, there are good things to look forward to. Ofcourse, only if you’ve been a good person. It also serves to give people some level of comfort in life. And as a result of this, it should be no surprise when people love the book and praise it. The things described in the book about Sarah’s NDE, are so beautiful, that most people will automatically believe it without any resistance at all. Most people might not give it any serious and critical thought at all. It’s all just so beautiful, seems correct and plausible, and is seemingly in line with Christian faith, that there’ll be little resistance to accepting it and believing it’s true.
But I think that once you start paying some careful attention to certain things, and once you apply some critical thinking to it, you find a lot of contradictions and unanswered questions. And I will discuss some of them below. Keep in mind that this is by no means a complete list of things I found questionable. There’s a lot more, but these are the more simple things that I can mention in the context of this book alone. When you would consider other things as well apart from the book, like religion in general, and put the book in greater context with those things, there are a lot more issues that come to mind.
One of the first things I want to mention is the following: When Sarah was in the spirit world, at some point she had a Q&A session, where she just stood somewhere in that world, and could think of any question she had and would immediately get the answers right into her mind (page 31). She described being able to ask hundreds of questions at the same time and the answers coming back instantly, and being able to comprehend them all perfectly. She described this as being the capabilities of the spirit-mind. That’s great, but then just a few pages later (page 40), she mentions seeing a library, a very large room with row after row of huge books. And she mentions people standing there studying and reading. So this begs the question: If one can easily ask questions and receive answers instantly, why do you need a library in the spirit-world? Why would people spend time there standing and reading, when they could simply ask questions and receive answers directly in their mind and comprehend them instantly as described earlier. Doesn’t make sense to me and is contradicting.
Secondly, Sarah describes (page 104) that before people come to earth, they lived as spirits in the spirit-world for a very long time. And the spirits in the spirit-world are given a choice to come live on earth as mortals. They are never being forced to do this, but can make their own choice to do so. When the choice is made to come to earth, we’re shown some of what our life on earth will be like. We’re given a small glimpse into our future life. God is able to look into the future somehow, and show us some of the joys, suffering and challenges we would face. What this means, is that all those millions of people suffering everyday in Ethiopia, knew they would come to earth and basically live in the dessert starving most of their lives. The children who get born there, knew they’d suffer from day 1, and die very young, possibly even as infants. This begs the question: What is the purpose of such a life? What can an infant possibly learn in such a situation and having died so young?
And I’m not done with this yet. What the above also means, is that spirits about to come to earth, can also see that they will be an evil person and have a very terrible life. Why on earth would they then still choose to come to earth to sin? For example, this means that Hitler knew beforehand what kind of a person he would be, because he saw most of his life before he chose to come to earth. A drugdealer and leader of some crime network, can also see his life before he comes to earth. Why would he still choose to come to earth anyway and be such a bad person? Does this make sense to you? Not to me.
But wait, there’s still more. When spirits are able to see their future life on earth, and god is able to show them their future and the events that will take place, this implies that their lives are all planned. And indeed, Sarah mentions in various parts of her book that our lives are planned (page 115), and many things just don’t happen as coincidences. But then, she also mentions that we can change things and make our own decisions. We can also be influenced by good and evil spirits into taking certain actions. This begs the question: If our lives on earth are planned, and if indeed we can see certain events happen beforehand, how is it possible that we can still change things and be influenced to do certain things differently? Afterall, when you are able to view your life beforehand, it’s already pretty much set in stone how your life will be from beginning to end. Indeed, even the day you’ll die is planned, as spirits in the spirit-world are able to tell you when “it’s not your time yet”. When you’ve seen certain events that will happen, it would not make sense to say that you can change those. Afterall, then it would not have been your future and god would not have shown it to you. It would then also not make sense to say that your life is planned. So this is just another contradiction. Plus, if things are already planned, and the outcome is known, certainly to god because he is able to see the future and see our whole life, why do we still have to go through all of this? Why can we not just fast forward through this? The outcome is known and planned, so we can’t change it. And as a result, it doesn’t make sense to go through all of this. It’s not like we can change any major events that will take place. It’s all planned. This just doesn’t make sense.
And related to what I just talked about, Sarah also says (page 113) that “good wins in the end because god is in control.” Ofcourse, we must have a happy ending for there to be any hope and comfort from this story. This is similar to the bible. But I can’t help but wonder, again, what the purpose of going through all this is, when it is fairly clear, and indeed certain, that in the end good will win and god will destroy all evil? Take the bible for example. At the end there’s the book of revelation, where it is described how god will destroy all evil, including satan and his followers. Don’t you ever wonder if satan ever realizes that he has no chance? I’m assuming here that satan has got to be a lot smarter than me. Doesn’t he ever wonder, that if things are already planned and set in stone, and that it is already known that he will be destroyed, what the use is of going through all of this now? Put yourself in the position of satan for a moment. If you knew that it was quite certain that you would die at the end of this day, would you still go through this day as you normally would? No, you wouldn’t. If you were building a house, and you knew that as soon as it was finished, it would be destroyed whatever you did, would you build it anyway? What would be the use of that? If it is so certain that you will lose, and you simply know you can’t change that, why would you still want to fight? Don’t you think satan ever thought of this? Don’t you think satan is aware of the book of revelation? (I wrote a story about this before) This stuff just doesn’t make sense to me. Moreover, when it can be so clear to at least one party that he is destined to win, whatever happens, and that party is even in control, it does not seem like a fair fight to me, since it implies that the other party never stood a chance to begin with.
Sarah also mentions the mentally handicapped (page 108). She said that those people knew that they would be born with that challenge. Children born with those challenges are very special spirits who are the best and most noble of god’s children. They come to earth primarily to receive a body and help others to learn how to love and give service. When I see such people, not only do I feel sadness, but also lots of anger towards god. Why would he allows this kind of suffering? Like the children suffering in Iraq, who lose their arms and other bodyparts and their families because of others. If I, as an imperfect human being, can feel this much pain and sadness when seeing this, then what must god feel? As Sarah explains in her book, his love is supposed to be far greater than we can possibly imagine. How is he able to just watch and do nothing? Sarah also mentioned that god does not test us on purpose, and that bad things just happen because of our choices and because of bad people around us. So if god doesn’t test us on purpose, why then does he allow special spirits to get born as handicapped people to influence us? Another contradiction in her story.
Sarah also talks about dreams in her book (page 102) saying that one of the ways spirits can communicate with us is through dreams. How convenient. Why do they communicate through dreams when we are not very aware of what’s going on? Why can’t they just communicate with us when we’re awake and aware of what’s going on and are able to verify what we are experiencing? This just looks like a convenient way to make it appear like when we have certain dreams, it can really be a message from someone from the spirit-world instead of just something our brain made up while we were asleep. How can one ever be sure?
Throughout her book, she often mentions that people have to be good and make the correct decisions in order for them to receive god’s blessings and get rewarded. Even in the spirit-world, you only get things within the limits of what you have earned. You have to be able to forgive people to make yourself acceptable to god. Only if we can forgive people who did us harm, can we receive special blessings from god. So I can’t help but notice, that people are only encouraged to do the right thing because of some reward they will get in return. If people would only do good because of wanting or expecting to get rewarded, it only confirms the sad state in which humanity is today. And if god encourages this, it only shows that there is something seriously wrong with this theory. Furthermore, if people would only do good because they fear punishment from god, god is setting himself up for major problems. It also shows the rather sad state of those people. People should do good because they really want to, not because they fear punishment or expect rewards in return.
And finally, her book looks at things from the perspective of Christianity and as a result validates all Christian religions as being true. But she fails to answer an important question. How do we know that the Christian religions, or just Christianity, is the true religion? And furthermore, one of the questions I asked her and am still waiting for an answer on, is that assuming that god exists, why does he make it so difficult and confusing for us to find him and find what the truth is? There are so many religions, with so many different theories, there are so many confusing theories, how am I to know what is correct? Why doesn’t he at least make it easy for me to know what is correct and that he really exists and who he is etc. so that I can have no doubts? Why must it be a puzzle? Is it not difficult enough, once you know which is the right one, to follow that path? Why does it also have to be a puzzle to find out which is the right path to begin with?
And so, what happens to people of different religions? What happens to those Indians deep inside the Amazon who never heard of Christianity? What about those African tribes? Surely it would not be fair if they get punished just because they never knew the right religion to begin with, and never even had a chance to learn of it.
In conclusion, the book is interesting, mostly if regarded as a work of fiction. When you want to treat it as something more serious, there are a number of issues like contradictions and unanswered questions, that just make it impossible to take it seriously. And since the book is supposed to be about a true story, that is a big problem. Very big.