Robert Schwartz is an eloquent spokesman for his explorations in the realm few of us have even considered, much less explored fully: the concept of pre-birth planning as a convention of souls who make decisions about incarnation - place, time, circumstances, and challenges - that will heighten the overall improvement of not only their repeated growth in the process of rebirth but also the gift to the betterment of mankind. Schwartz' manner of writing is so tender and so lacking in preaching that he gradually draws the reader into his realm of thinking in a way that allows us to suspend any doubt or prejudice we may have about spirituality or after life or universal karma. He uses conversations with people who share their experiences of living with such 'handicaps' as physical illness, parenting handicapped children, deafness and blindness, drug addiction and alcoholism, accidents, death of a loved one and alters the word 'handicapped' to 'challenges'; 'Challenges are mirrors that reflect to us our feelings about ourselves. In that sense, they are gifts. Wisdom allows us to recognize them as such.' In addition to discussing the above challenges with particular people who have them, Schwartz introduces us to mediums and channelers who channel the souls of the people we meet, allowing Schwartz to relay to us the conversations between the spiritual world and the physical world. In this very quiet manner Schwartz offers an explanation as to why 'untoward events' happen: his conversations with the various people he shares (for instance the autistic child or the parent of that child) allow us to consider that these choices are made in the spirit world prior to our birth and that these challenges offer the opportunity to separate the physical self-centered being from the choice to make the situations examples of growth, and of revealing love to those around us. Schwartz takes no credit for the information he presents in this book. His drive is to open doors to us the readers to consider his findings and philosophy as a means to learning more about how life and the spiritual world are enmeshed. 'I have learned from the wise nonphysical beings with whom I have spoken...Through them I now understand the immense power of this most elemental truth: that we are not our bodies...If you also know that you planned your disability, that it indeed has a deep significance, then your life may become a quest to uncover that meaning. Suffering is lightened, emptiness replaced with purpose.' Writers such as Robert Schwartz challenge our inside the box thinking, encouraging us to suspend prejudice and the state of being uninformed to enter the arena of growing spiritually. The beauty of this enormously moving book lies in the simplicity of the style Schwartz has chosen to communicate. This is not a sensationalized series of speaking with the 'great dramatic seance', this is instead a welcome to another way of viewing our lives - this one and the ones that have been and will be.