4 out of 4 stars
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What do you call a committed skeptic of the afterlife who has just had a supernatural experience? The Atheist and the Afterlife – An Autobiography is the story of Ray Catania's transformation from an atheist to an authentic believer in the afterlife. In this three-part memoir, Ray begins by taking the reader back in time to his early years before any psychic involvement. He talks about the mistakes he makes, the traumas he suffers, and the decisions he makes as a result. In the following two parts of this book, the author delves into his time with people who believe in the supernatural and the effects they have on his life. These people include his love interest, Jessica, who helps him with his psychic beliefs, and Nicole and Bonnie, who help him journey deeper into the world of psychics, mediums, and the afterlife. Ray also has some interesting first-hand experiences of death and the afterlife while trying to find a connection between science and the supernatural. This book is an exciting read, but you'll need to pick it up to uncover the details of Ray's journey.
I liked how Ray was articulate in describing the events that led to his change in beliefs to the universal collective consciousness structure. He was open and vulnerable—and vulnerability, in my opinion, is an authentic trigger for inspiration—in how he talked about the events he experienced, his moments of self-doubt, and eventually how he got to accept the reality of the laws of the universe.
I also liked that beyond his stories themselves, he included the dates of each of his experiences. It almost felt as if he was trying to prove the veracity of his experiences further. His stories and their time stamps were even more realistic and relatable to me because Ray kept a journal, and the stories in this book were lifted from it. We all know how stories get jumbled up in our memory if we never write them down. A journal suggests that Ray wrote down his experiences as close as possible to the moment they occurred, which says something positive about the accuracy of his narration. The fact that these stories came directly from his journal was the best part about this book for me.
In addition to the prose-like approach the author took in this book, there were also healthy helpings of humor and sarcasm. And who doesn't like moments of laughter in a text? Not me. While the author did reveal some things—some incredible abilities—in this memoir that could elicit pride in anyone who possessed them, he managed to maintain an air of humility while doing it, which is hard to achieve.
As I read more of Ray's story, I could sense a motivational slant to it. I could see how it would hit home, especially for people who have gone through the same traumatic experiences that he did. I don't mind a bit of motivational talk as long as it's backed by relatable stories, and this book fits the bill.
I found less than a handful of grammar issues while reading this book, which means that it was professionally edited. There was nothing I disliked about this memoir at all. The detail and presentation of the author's experiences, his vulnerability in sharing them, and the infusion of humor and sarcasm were enough for me to award it 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to people who are interested in the supernatural, the afterlife, and the work of mediums and psychics.
The Atheist and the Afterlife - an Autobiography
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