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THE BOOK OF THE SOUL is available for purchase from Ian Lawton’s website for just £10, or alternatively from Amazon UK for £20 (due to the costs of distribution). More information about the book, including sample material, is available from Ian Lawton’s website.

Having just written and published a book myself, I was greatly interested when alternative author Ian Lawton asked me to review a copy of his own newly self-published book, titled The Book of the Soul. Lawton has already had two previous books published: the first was the controversial Giza: The Truth, on the history of research into the pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza; the second a left turn into the spiritual origins of humanity titled Genesis Unveiled. However, with his third offering Lawton has taken it upon himself to bear the risks of financing the project.

Why you might ask? Lawton points out in the Preface that he encountered a particular resistance from publishers towards topics of a spiritual nature. However, he felt so strongly about the subject matter – not so much of its profitability, but of its importance – that he decided to put up the last of his financial resources to see the book in print. So what is so compelling about the subject matter of his book that he would risk everything on it?

Put bluntly, this book is about death. Not the act of dying, but instead what may occur beyond that point. Following on from chapters in Genesis Unveiled which examined evidence for reincarnation and ‘interlife’ experiences, in The Book of the Soul Lawton lays out the evidence, and gives detailed comparisons of the testimony of numerous researchers in these fields. In his eyes, this information has the capacity to change our society, which is on a downward spiral brought on by the spiritual emptiness of the physicalist worldview.

The book begins with a transcript of one of his own hypnotic regressions into a ‘past life’ at the time of the Inquisition. An interesting opening, although it perhaps goes on too long at a time when it is crucial to draw the reader in to the book. This first chapter establishes The Book of the Soul as a personal journey, one in which Lawton finds himself in a fight against the materialist paradigm:

I happen to believe…it is high time the materialist establishment was shaken out of this smug complacency and given a bloody nose. In fact, I would argue that a broad spiritual worldview provides a far more logical and philosophical framework for understanding the universe than a materialist one – indeed that it is the far more rational position to adopt, which is at least partly why I have coined the term ‘rational spirituality’ to describe it.

The following chapters then lay down the copious evidence against the materist view of humanity: Near Death Experiences such as the well-known case of Pam Reynolds, the impressive catalogue of reincarnation cases collected by Dr Ian Stevenson, and some of the more striking cases from hypnotic regression. From this point on, The Book of the Soul centres mainly on information from regression sources: on topics such as past-life reviews, interlife planning, karmic philosophies, the possibility of seeing into the future through ‘hypnotic progression’, and the real truth about spirit possession.

Each chapter is well written, and certainly provides a solid resource for those interested in these areas of research. Comparisons are made via tables on which elements recur throughout reported regressions, to help better establish possible ‘objective truths’ in the experience. Lawton is an exhaustive researcher, and goes to great lengths to present the detail behind an often-glossed over subject.

I did find some negatives to the book. Sometimes the intensity of his arguments almost borders on proselytising for the spiritual belief in reincarnation. But although this can feel a little uncomfortable, overall Lawton’s intentions are good and he provide the available evidence for any views that he espouses. Also of minor irritation is his habit of speaking in the first person – although he does so far less in this book than in Genesis Unveiled. However, this is an intensely personal book, and there is hardly any choice when recounting his own experiences with hypnotic regression.

Ian Lawton is a man of obvious sensitivity and compassion, who seems broken-hearted at the current state of the world. The Book of the Soul comes across as his way of trying to mend the damaged ‘souls’ out there, by offering evidence that there is more to life – and beyond – than what the physicalist paradigm tells us. This is a great summary of the evidence for a spiritual side to humanity, and offers insights into what we might learn from journeys into ‘the great beyond’ which we can apply to our own lives. A far better offering than the vast majority of so-called ‘spiritual’ books out there, and the cover itself is beautifully harmonious with the content inside – a great design choice. If you’re interested in the subject matter discussed, then I heartily recommend supporting Lawton’s self-publishing endeavour by purchasing a copy for your personal library.