About the Film



DMLP_Amaray FRONT copyDeath is something that most people fear and don’t want to think about. But is it possible that facing our mortality can inspire us to live our lives more fully?

Death Makes Life Possible follows cultural anthropologist and scientist Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., as she explores the mysteries of life and death from a variety of perspectives and world traditions. Sparked by her own near death experience as a teenager, Schlitz has been delving into the nature of consciousness and death for the past three decades.

The film looks at how popular culture deals with the ever-present fear many have about our own mortality. Interviews with mental health experts, cultural leaders, and scientists explore the meaning of death and how we can learn to live without fear. The interviews and evidence presented are interwoven with personal stories of people facing their own death as well as those who report encounters beyond death. The narrative is illustrated with vivid imagery.

Death Makes Life Possible features some of the leading scientists, anthropologists, philosophers, spiritual teachers and thinkers of our time – including Yassir Chadley, Deepak Chopra, Mingtong Gu, Stuart Hameroff, Lauren Artress, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Dean Radin, Rupert Sheldrake, Rudy Tanzi, Luisah Teish, Dr. Jim Tucker and others (see full list below).

Death Makes Life Possible offers a deep and thoughtful exploration into the ultimate question we all face.


  • Lauren Artress, DMin, Episcopal minister
  • Ed Bastian, PhD, Religious scholar
  • Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, New Thought minister, Agape Founder and Spiritual Director
  • Julie Beischel, PhD, Parapsychogist
  • Daryl Bem, PhD, Social psychologist, Cornell
  • Yassir Chadly, Sufi Imam and musician
  • Deepak Chopra, MD, Physican, writer, and spiritual teacher
  • Mingtong Gu, Qi Gong Master
  • Bruce Greyson, MD, Physican and expert on near death experiences
  • Stuart Hameroff, MD, Physician and quantum physicist
  • Rick Hanson, PhD, Clinical psychologist and author of Buddha’s Brain
  • Gary Malkin, Composer, speaker, performer, consultant and event arts curator
  • Edgar Mitchell, PhD, Apollo 14 Astronaut and founder, Institute of Noetic Sciences
  • Dean Ornish, MD, Physician, author and head of Preventive Medicine Research Institute
  • Dean Radin, PhD, Psychologist and parapsychologist
  • Tony Redhouse, Navajo Hoop Dancer and hospice healer
  • Brenda Saunders, PhD, Molecular Biologist
  • Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, Biologist
  • Rudolph Tanzi, PhD, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School
  • Luisah Teish, storyteller and initiated elder (Iyanifa), Nigeria
  • Jim Tucker, MD, Child Psychiatrist
  • Jean Watson, PhD, RN, Nurse Educator


“Highly recommended. Deeply personal, yet universal in scope, Death Makes Life Possible is not just about how to die peacefully and gracefully; more importantly, it describes how to fully live.”
-Dean Ornish, MD

“Skillfully and gently raises the curtain on what we think of as the last act in the our play of life. A landmark production, not to be missed.”
-Light of Consciousness Magazine

“Stunning in terms of beauty, richness of detail, heart and wisdom. Brings tears and inspiration.”
-Larry Dossey, MD

“At Hospice Maui, our Spiritual Care Counselors are particularly attuned to the existential suffering that is often present as someone faces their last days in this world.  The film ‘Death Makes Life Possible’ is a very welcome and very powerful new tool. We will be using it for years to come, not only to help relieve the suffering in some of our patients, but also, and sometimes much more importantly, with their families to ease their grief and distress before and after the death.”
–Dr. R. Gregory LaGoy, BS, ND, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Hospice Maui, Inc.

“A superb training opportunity for professionals who work with families facing death. Told through riveting personal narrative and scientific evidence, the film deepens our awareness of continuity of consciousness to reframe the entire journey.”
–Lisa Miller, Ph.D., Professor & Director, Clinical Psychology Program & Spirituality Mind Body Institute, Teachers College, Columbia University

Recommended. Death Makes Life Possible approaches the millennia-old question, ‘what happens after death?’ from a variety of perspectives.  Each cultural, religious, and scientific perspective of death is given space to provide explanation for its description of what happens after death. This film is noteworthy in a time when most Americans try to pretend that death does not exist, yet it is an experience shared by all forms of life. This film is suggested for sociology, counseling, neuroscience, religion, and health care – the facets of all these subjects that deal with the study and understanding of death.”
-Rodney Birch, Educational Media Reviews Online

“The overall impact of this informative and wise book is to deepen the reader’s engagement not only with death but also with life as it is lived in the present from moment to moment. Too many of us postpone or avoid facing death until the last moment and try to shelter our families from it. Then we can take life for granted, busying ourselves with immediate concerns with no consideration of the deeper picture as revealed not only by cutting-edge science but with our unprecedented access to the world’s spiritual traditions. As Marilyn puts it, we can all become more awake, willing and engaged (AWE) and help form a new model for living and dying as part of our collective metamorphosis.”
–David Lorimer, MA, PGCE, FRSA, writer, lecturer, editor and educationalist.