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Talking to Heaven: A Medium's Message of Life After Death

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James Van Praagh is a spiritual medium--someone who is able to bridge the physical and spiritual worlds. Unaware of his spiritual gifts until he was in his twenties, he slowly came to terms with his unique abilities. In addition, many of his sessions with grieving people who came to him looking to contact the spirits of deceased loved ones are explored. From a devastated mother recieving a message of hope from her deceased little girl to communicating with a young man, killed in Vietnam, who doesn't realize he's dead, the theme of hope and peace in the afterlife is affirmed. Van Praagh also helps the reader recognize and positively deal with the pain of grief in a healthy, honest manner. Part spiritual memoir, part case study, part instrumental guide, Talking to Heaven will change the way you perceive death...and life.

304 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published November 1, 1997

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About the author

James Van Praagh

101 books259 followers
His very natural, easy-going style would lead you to believe that James Van Praagh is chatting with a friend on the telephone, not communicating messages from the grave. James is a survival evidence medium, meaning that he is able to bridge the gap between two planes of existence, that of the living and that of the dead, by providing evidential proof of life after death via detailed messages. "I'm clairsentient," he explains, "which simply means clear feeling. I feel the emotions and personalities of the deceased. I am also clairvoyant," he adds, clarifying that, "the first is feeling, the second is seeing, very much like Whoopi Goldberg in the movie, Ghost." The true essence of the messages are the feelings behind the words. James is an expert on this subject, since he has been in touch with those feelings most of his adult life. "The spirits communicate by their emotions. No words exist in the English language, or any other for that matter, which can describe the intense sensations."

Personality traits come in as well. If a person was talkative while alive, he will come through with plenty to say. James also relays physical traits and death conditions as evidence. "If I convey recognizable evidence along with even a fraction of the loving energy behind the message, I consider the reading successful."

James' public popularity began during his appearances on the NBC talk show The Other Side. The show concentrated on paranormal issues, and James became the favorite guest and resident expert on the subject of life after death. Even Howard Rosenberg, the Los Angeles Times distinguished television critic, dubbed James "spectacular".

Through the years his message of hope has touched a great many more people due to his television appearances on such shows as Oprah, Larry King Live, Dr. Phil, A&E Biography, Maury Povich, 20/20, and 48 Hours. His unique paranormal experiences during the past twenty-five years have seen him author best-selling books, create meditation programs and development videos, teach mediumship classes, conduct seminars to sold-out audiences, and produce successful television projects.

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5 stars
2,089 (43%)
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1,546 (32%)
3 stars
917 (19%)
2 stars
180 (3%)
1 star
65 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 140 reviews
Profile Image for Eden.
1,111 reviews88 followers
October 12, 2014
I have known about James Van Praagh for a long time. When he had his show where he did readings for people (much like John Edwards show), I watched that. I believe it only lasted one season, which was disappointing. It was a good show.

I've also seen him on shows like Unsolved Mysteries. I like him and what he does. However, I've never read one of his books.

What prompted me to read this is that October 10th, I will be going to see James Van Praagh. I am very excited and decided to grab him of his books to read before October 10th.

The book begins with James Van Praagh's childhood and eventually how he got into what he does. For a year, he went into pre-seminary to become a Priest, but left since he felt he had the answer to his questions. Later, he wanted to become a screen writer and that is what he really wanted to do. That's what his plans were for. At least until he discovered he really wanted to be able to help people by connecting them with their loved ones who had passed.

I liked reading about his childhood and experiences. There were also many stories of readings he had done for people. Tears were brought to my eyes more than once.

I enjoyed reading about when a person's pet would come through. I'm sure many people think that animals don't go to the same place as we do when we die, but they do. And I really like reading about that. I like knowing that my pets are there and I will see them again one day.

I think this book will really help people who have lost someone close to them. It's very positive and uplifting. It shows those that we love may not be with us physically anymore, but they are still with us and helping us.

The last chapter has some meditations for people to do so they can learn to connect with the spirit world.

I thought this was a really good book and I'm even more excited about seeing James Van Praagh in October. I'd give this four and a half stars.

One of my favorite sentences from this book that has just stuck with me:

"We are all the same. God has not chosen one group above another. When we dare to be aware, we will raise our understanding and compassion and see everyone as part of the universal energy of God. We will be free of prejudice and hatred based on someone’s color, race, sex, or gender preference. God is not limited. Only humans limit their thinking."
Profile Image for María Paz Greene F.
1,005 reviews177 followers
March 3, 2018
Este libro lo leí hace años y ME ENCANTÓ. Encontré especialmente interesante la infancia del señor, y cómo fue desarrollando sus facultades psíquicas como cualquier otra persona haría. O como al menos así se supone que es, cuando uno le pone pino. La verdad es que nunca pude realmente comprobarlo, en parte porque no intenté los ejercicios que da en el libro para despertar la intuición.. y es que no sé si me gustaría saber tanto de los demás y de mí misma, es demasiada responsabilidad. O sea, que no sé si, de poder, sería médium, me daría miedito. Suponiendo que verdaderamente existan.

Recordar este libro, además, me da ternura Es que he ido perdiendo la fe en este tipo de cosas... aunque en realidad son tan válidas como cualquier otra. Es decir, ¿cómo no existirían los espíritus y sí lo haríamos nosotros? No tiene sentido. Visto con lógica, claro que puede/debe ser verdad, pero por otro lado... es tan loco el mero hecho de SER.

Ay, no sé, estos temas me ponen existencial y tortuosa, pero quizá porque ando en un período escéptico. Al libro igual le doy cinco estrellas. Es una cosa linda, y está escrito con tanta simpleza y con tanto amor, y además es una autobiografía (me encantan). Ay, son tantas las ganas que tengo de que sea cierto lo que cuenta que podría llorar. Y a la vez... si en verdad lo es, lo será aunque lo dude. Así que mejor creer, ¿no?

El libro me gustó tanto en ese entonces, que me hice fan del programa de Van Praagh en la tele, que daban en el canal Infinito. Me sacaba tantas sonrisas como lo había hecho el libro. Me dan ganas de releerlo luego de todos estos años, y ver si en verdad era TAN BUENO o de si yo entonces vivía en un mundo mágico.

Ahora estoy empezando otro de él, que me regalaron (motivo por el cual lo recordé), así que de ahí les cuento.
Profile Image for Erin Nudi.
545 reviews3 followers
January 8, 2011
Very good, interesting book. I really liked his thoughts with communicating with dead animals as well as humans.
99 reviews
December 19, 2016
Although a good part of the information was some I had learned before, the book was, after all written a good number of years ago, I couldn't help but wish that I had read it in the beginning of my search for this information. It is written in an easy to understand style, the flow of thought and words was captivating as well as the topic, and convincing, ringing true with each page. I've since learned much about Mr. Van Praagh and admire him and his work. I definitely recommend this work for those searching for answers and/or confirmations.
Profile Image for Dorie.
693 reviews
October 26, 2017
Talking To Heaven:A Mediums Message After Death🍒🍒🍒
By James Van Praagh

"I believe the leaders of religions are more interested in gaining power here on earth, then preparing the flocks for salvation. "

"The idea of a guardian angel is one of the few truisms that organized religion has not destroyed."

Afterlife. After. Life.
How can anyone know what happens after we live...after we pass...How does anyone know about the afterlife unless they were already dead?
This is exactly what Van Praagh will help us understand in this novel. With his easygoing and unassuming manner he has dedicated this book to the topic of communicating with those who have passed on. Van Praagh helps us to understand this connection by sharing many of the sessions he has had with grieving- or just curious - people desiring contact with the spirits of the deceased.
"....there has to be a way for me to make a link between the spirit world and earthly participants. This is accomplished by my spirit guides, who learn of a spirits situation and very carefully position the behind me. I have NO say in the positioning or order in which I receive information and never know who will appear."
The stories are enlightening and enriching and positive. Including exercises and meditations to develop your own abilities, this book is transforming.

Whether you are a believer or a skeptic this book will help you understand and find peace in death. It may change your perception of death.....and maybe on your life as well, as this book confirms....your spiritual life begins on earth. It follows you after your passing. Your never far from the heart of a loved one.
Highly recommended and definitely a book to help deal with the passing of someone bear or dear to you.
233 reviews
November 14, 2021
So this is bizarre. I was browsing through a rack of free books at the local library when I saw this one and didn't even know what it was about-- but took it. Definitely not my normal read- but I flew through it in 2 days and loved it! First of all, it aligns completely with what I believe about the spiritual world- Van Praagh put into words what I feel more or less about spirit and soul- and afterlife. It isn't something religious- it is something loving and internal. I like his reminder to find yourself and to be present in your own space- and that anyone can interact with spirit if they put in the time and effort. I have always been fascinated in life after death- the idea of ghosts, or energy or souls that live on forever. I have felt spirit, seen spirit, and felt like I have had messages given to me in dreams from loved ones. After reading the book I realized that I do experience spirit in many more ways than I thought-- I have seen 1:11 or 11:11 for years almost every day. I feel the cool presence of loved ones when I talk to them at bizarre times like in a hot shower. My sister and I played with calling spirit when we were kids and now I know the electrical flickers and strange statics and things we couldn't explain- may actually have been a bridge to another plane of existence. Anyhow, I loved the perspective especially if you have lost a loved one that you hope exists in another realm or if you wish you could still know people from your past that are gone or see/communicate with them. The idea that they are here more than we realize is extremely comforting even if you don't think it is true. I am looking forward to reading his other books as I love the stories that shock the sitters when their loved ones come channeled through him and I also found it interesting that he was raised very religiously but knew from a young age that what he calls "Christ's Love, or Christ's Hand" was the true religious feeling of peace, love and acceptance (*and you don't have to be religious to experience that or find it.)
Profile Image for DeBora Rachelle.
218 reviews9 followers
March 10, 2017
I found chapter 7 on suicides to be extremely interesting. The fact that we are put here to learn love and one of the first lessons is learning to love the self because we cannot love others if we first do not love our self. Also the probability that perhaps a soul can come down to earth and it was not mature enough to join the physical world in the first place. This young or immature soul may feel they didn't fit in and this time on earth for them was not the right time.

I gave this book 3 stars, not because it was not good but because I have read other psychic books that taught me more or I found more interesting. One extremely good book which I found more interesting was "Unfinished Business" also written by Jame Van Praagh.
Profile Image for Susana Bargiela.
47 reviews
June 17, 2017
Three stars because it's well written and I took it as a fairy tale story, but as a non-believer I can't help wondering: are there people out there who really believe in these things? I wish I could, but there's no real evidence and the testimonies given are just this, testimonies.
Profile Image for Charmin.
837 reviews40 followers
November 14, 2021
1. Personal Guides: persons we have known in previous incarnations or in between lifetimes can we share an affinity. They impress our minds with ways to involve ourselves in certain situations.
- Messages are subtle and gentle contact.
- Our spirit guides drive us to what we have earned.

2. If everything is going right in there seems to be no glitches, you are open to spirit and following your guidance. If, on the other hand, nothing seems to be working out, you’re NOT listening to the guides and you’ll end up on the wrong path.

3. When someone passes over, she does not stop thinking of you.

- Personal guides may make vigorous attempts to guide us through our daily lives in a process with the best way to remedy certain situations.
- Loved ones cannot and do not interfere with those lessons or challenges that we have created on earth so much to learn and grow.
- Our guides are with us always. We are never alone their spiritual task is to watch over us and assist us. They know where needs in her always ready to let us a hand.

a. Mastery/specialized helpers: these are spirits who are drawn to us on certain activities or work in which we are engaged. Particular guys are drawn to us or will come if we ask for assistance. I’ll work, especially that a great masters, is inspired by the spirit world.

b. Master teachers: spiritually evolved and they gravitate towards us based upon our level of spiritual evolution and understanding. Spirit teachers have a strong desire to help us in our spiritual progression. They often try to impress upon us our spiritual gifts and potentialities. The guidance is immeasurable to anyone who is on the path of spiritual enlightenment.

5. The law of cause-and-effect is a natural, immutable law of the universe, and there is a resolution to every experience by way of karmic action or the grace of God.

6. All of life is about learning from our experiences. In order to learn the fullness of life, each soul hast to experience at all. One must learn the duality of nature. It is through the negativity that the positive is appreciated.
- Spirit people want us to start living a life free of judgment and prejudice. The spirit expresses over and over again that love and forgiveness is the only way.
- An individual must go through the human experience alone even with our guides and angels, we must make our own decisions based upon our own awareness. One could say that each of us is constantly being put to the test.

7. GROWTH: Our souls grow the most under the greatest stress.
- We pick opportunities and experiences on earth that are optimum for our spiritual growth and awareness. Our karma is intertwined with the timing of our next incarnation in our experience in it.
- The first lesson is love of self. Once we have a masters such unconditional love of self and others, we become in lightened and have respect for the natural law of cause-and-effect. We can come to respect each other‘s uniqueness.
- A soul has to exhaust a disease so it can never be affected by it again.
- It is the nature of a soul to grow and learn, we always bring into our lives specific situations to overcome or balance out.

8. FEAR:
- When love is so strong, there is no judgment.
- Fear is an illusion that blocks personal growth and blocks the potential of the human spirit to excel.
- Fear prompts you to turn your back on the truth.

9. GRIEF: in order to stay healthy, we must fully go through the experience of feeling. Our feelings are our barometer for a living. By feeling your pain, you are healing.
Physical activity helps to release anger, clear away depression, and dispatch beneficial hormones throughout your body.

- Your mental thoughts are real, and they have a direct result on how you feel. Always try as best as you can to keep a positive outlook on life. Many of your first thoughts if I tell you a live the rest of your day.
- Begin to live a life of love and service and all you encounter and all you do. Be a living example of the precept of love.
- We can send out energy and receive energy as long as our channels are open and sensitized.
Profile Image for D.G. Kaye.
Author 10 books123 followers
May 31, 2021
Medium James Van Praagh is a well-known psychic medium who writes in this book about his live experiences doing readings for people wanting to connect with lost loved ones.

He shares how he introduces himself to each client by sharing incidence in the client’s life that nobody else would never even know. Using examples of stories of his encounters with spirit, he shares how he receives his information and how he feels what the deceased experienced as their death.

For anyone curious to learn what happens to spirit on the other side after life, this book is a calming and informing about how our loved ones who’ve passed may be gone from their earthly life, but remain around us for the rest of ours. Praagh also tells us the same about our loved and lost pets and how they still come round and hang out in their favorite spots from their earthly life.

Praagh goes into the chakras and meditations that help to open us up and allow us to go deeper into ourselves, teaching us with guided meditations how we can connect on another realm with a lost loved one, something I certainly hope I will eventually be able to do.

In this book, the author shares a lot about himself, detailing how he came to be a psychic medium through his own experiences, as well as sharing many experiences others have encountered with lost love ones from the other side with his assistance. Stories of hope for others to learn how to connect and understand better, the hereafter.

Profile Image for Marina Quattrocchi.
Author 4 books17 followers
June 7, 2018
Although written in 1997 this book is still way ahead of it's time and it's easy to see how Van Praagh has become so popular. He writes in a straightforward easy to understand fashion, even when describing very complex concepts that are often hard to get your mind around. The information is fascinating and insightful. Not only does James Van Praagh describe how he got started as a medium, but he recounts several actual sessions where he spoke to people who had crossed over due to fatal collisions, AIDS, and suicide. At the end of the book he gives tips on how to develop your own psychic abilities and connect with loved ones who have crossed over on your own. He maintains we all have a sixth sense, intuition or psychic ability, we just haven't developed it. Really worth reading if you'd like to find out about life on the other side.
1 review
January 29, 2021
On Larry King live show, saw an interview with James van Praagh.
A couple of months later, bought this book in NYC, Barnes & Noble. To my surprise, as I arrived at my hotel door, I notice a big board on a bookstore where James was signing books the following morning.
Went there, met with James and bought a new copy that he kindly signed.
This book brought me much Peace as I was dealing with my Father's terminal cancer.
I have bought it for several friends and family members. It make a, positive, difference in dealing with grief and loss.
With an open mind, it is a hopeful view on death.
Thank you for that James Van Praagh.
Profile Image for Constance Jepsen.
5 reviews2 followers
June 8, 2018
A wonderful book that leaves you full of hope! I lost my teenage brother to suicide 34 years ago and still suffer with questions and regrets, this book has given me hope to overcome those feelings. If you struggle with the loss of a loved one I would highly recommend any of James's books.

Talking to heaven is so far my favorite. It would be awesome to meet him one day or attend one of his demonstrations.
27 reviews
October 21, 2020
The main title may be slightly misleading.

The first part is about the author and how he became a medium. I found his story interesting.

The second part is some stories about readings he has given people. Many of the stories are about tragic deaths, so some of them were hard to read.

The third part is about how to develop yourself as a medium. This is a repeat of what other mediums have expressed.

The book is well written and easy to read.
Profile Image for Carol D.
453 reviews5 followers
October 19, 2022
Years ago I would have been interested in a book like this. Alas my interests have changed.

This book has a smattering of stories from the authors case studies, that I enjoyed reading and then there are snippets of his life learning about becoming a medium and how we can engage our third eye and practice to become one to. I found some of this interesting but not enough for me to give it 3 stars.
May 25, 2018
Not for Christians

This book is terrible for a Christian to read. I skipped over the section at the end that tells us how to contact the dead. The holy bible says never contact the dead or have a medium contact the dead. The title of this book is very misleading since the word heaven is in the title.
Profile Image for Kris Raah.
36 reviews2 followers
March 17, 2020
This book. I have seen the other side and talked to people who have crossed over there, but this book makes me understand that it’s real and I am not insane for seeing it, because I have been to the other side I know it exists! But also, writing about that other world that I see is going to help people.
509 reviews1 follower
April 6, 2022
I have seen James Van Praagh on television. He shares many stories and lessons regarding the spiritual world. He gives inspiration to eliminate the fear of loss. I am not convinced if he has the gift so to speak, but I found the book insightful and uplifting especially the chapter on dealing with grief.
Profile Image for Anna.
209 reviews5 followers
September 11, 2017
Interesting book, easy to read and follow. I don't know what exists or doesn't exist out there, but if what Van Praagh says is true, the it's very comforting to know our loved ones are with us. I enjoyed reading the people's personal stories and experiences.
119 reviews10 followers
December 12, 2017
I liked this book, its basically about the author talking to those who have passed over to the other side and giving their messages to loved ones. If you like this type of story you should be well pleased with this one.
Profile Image for P.S. Winn.
Author 77 books345 followers
August 10, 2018
If you are interested in just what might be waiting for you after you leave this world, grab this book written by a psychic medium who may have that special connection between worlds and a few answers to the questions we all wonder about.
Profile Image for Mercurymouth.
202 reviews4 followers
March 6, 2019
This book came to me at the right time. My beloved Shuggie (dog) died and I started thinking about mediumship a bunch. This idea of nothing dying really helped me through her death.
This book also reinforced some ideas on suicide and LOVE being the reason that we humans exist.
Profile Image for Inra.
35 reviews
September 17, 2019
I really love this book. The contents tell many examples of human communication with relatives who have already died, how the author became a medium, and he also taught how to do meditation. I recommend this book for all spiritualists seekers out there.
Profile Image for Michelle Corcoran.
28 reviews1 follower
May 21, 2017
It's been a while since I've read James Van Prough. Great to read someone who believes as I do. This book includes excerises and meditations to develop your own psychic abilities.
Profile Image for Abigail G.
488 reviews2 followers
November 28, 2018
While I would not suggest this book to anyone ever and would discourage anyone from reading it, the book did provide certain elements of information that I desired to glean on this subject.
62 reviews
June 22, 2019
This book was so important to me at a time I really needed it. It opened up my world considerably. I recommend this to anyone who is first discovering this phenomenon.
2 reviews
July 8, 2019
This book gave me hope and comfort after my father's passing.
Profile Image for Ruby Banks.
28 reviews1 follower
September 30, 2019
Very uplifting if you are looking for reassurance after a loved one has passed on.
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