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Dr. Moody and Me :)
On Saturday I had the honor of hearing Dr.  Raymond Moody speak on the topic of Near Death Experience.  Like many people in the audience I found Dr. Moody's first book, "Life After Life," an important preliminary step on my spiritual path so many years ago. Imagine my excitement to finally have a chance to hear him speak!

Written in 1975, "Life After Life," investigated over one hundred case studies of those who experienced "clinical death" and were subsequently revived. The message it shared flew in the face of cultural ideas about death and dying and created a ripple of new understanding and hope that continues to this very day.

In "Life After Life," Dr. Moody impacted modern attitudes about the afterlife in a way no one else has.  Following the publication of this groundbreaking work, Dr. Moody became the world's leading authority in the field of near-death experiences.  But he did not stop there. In the decades that followed, Dr. Moody, taught, lectured, researched, wrote several book and has never, I suspect, stopped searching for truth.  

Speaking last week, from the podium at The Journey Within Spiritualist Church, Dr. Moody spoke eloquently on death, philosophy, spirit, history and science and I feel incredibly lucky to have been there!

Reminding us that science is only one aspect of reason, Dr. Moody explained the value of the Near Death narrative and the common experience it contained.  The NDE contains several very consistent including the experience of a  hyper-reality which is largely ineffable (or undescribable), a warm and loving light, the presence of our loved ones in spirit and a panoramic life review.  In most NDEs a being of great compassion conducts this review and tells the individual that they must return.  The after effects of this experience almost always center around an understanding that our experience here on this planet is about learning to love.  Something I think that we all need to be reminded of.

Interestedly, we learned that while Dr. Moody never doubted the sincerity of those he interviewed, he reached no personal conclusion about the nature of the afterlife until about a year ago when a shared NDE (simultaneously experienced by a patient, surgeon and nurse) finally won him over.  This extended position of impartiality has, I suspect, gone a long way toward making his work in this field so well respected.

Dr.  Moody explained that, based on the Near Death Experience, life may be considered a two phase process.  In the first phase we go forward as the protagonist, feeling deeply centered in our own point of view.  In the second  (as indicated by a life review in which we experience the feelings of all those we have helped or hurt) this view shifts.  This an idea which is to me, very consistent with the fundamental spiritual principle of oneness or interconnectedness with all living things.  I can only hope that, as more people connect with spirit through their own experience, the teaching of others or the research of pioneers like Dr. Moody, we will see an increase in that point of view here in phase one!

Quoting Hume, Dr.  Moody shared on his current work which presents a new system of rational principles which can make a new understanding of experiences like NDE possible.  The book is being published in France but will most likely be available via the intermittent.

Antigone and Creon
We were also privileged to learn some fascinating things about the ancient Greeks.   Dr Moody shared that like many ancient people, the Greeks had very clear ideas about life after death.  They even had a word for spirits who survived death.  These returning dead were called revenants ( from the Latin reveniens or "returning").

While the siting of a revenant became a fear provoking event through time, it was nonetheless, a fascinating acknowledgement of spirit.  Dr. Moody recommended two books on this topic, The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation and Greek and Roman Necromancy.  Both of which I bought (along with another book Dr. Moody recommended Ordered to Return by George Ritchie) with my amazon phone app  in the restaurant following the presentation!

These books are of interest to me because I find all ancient views of the afterlife fascinating.   As Dr. Moody explains his book, "Reunions: Visionary Encounters With Departed Loved Ones,"  the ancient Greeks  turned to their dead for  guidance and information on a wide range of topics.  And this is what led Dr. Moody to build his psychomanteum (or oracle of the dead) in the manner of the ancient Greeks in his home in Anniston Alabama.  In his talk, Dr.  Moody shared on the results he has had with it.  As I will be sitting in my mediumship and psychic development instructor Gloria Weichand's psyhomanteum in just a few weeks (and am planning to eventually build my own), I found this information intriguing. 

Dr.  Moody told us that he considers his own narrow focus on the origins of Western thought, as evidenced by the ancient Greek philosophers, to be the source of everything he has done in his life.  And it occurs me to that I have heard this twice in the last few weeks.  First, from my recent Spirit Radio guest Debra Katz who told me that she has observed that most successful people possess a strong ability to focus, and now from Dr. Moody who is an incredible example of the good such focus can do.  This makes me question my own focus and I find myself determined to give the matter more thought.

Hearing Dr. Raymond Moody speak was an incredible experience.  His insight on what he refers to as the paradoxical travel narrative of the Near Death Experience has brought the wonder of spirit into our "phase one" experience in a way few others have.  I feel honored to have had the opportunity to meet him!
By what arguments or analogies can we prove any state of existence, which no one ever saw, and which in no wise resembles any that ever was seen? ...Some new species of logic is requisite for that purpose; and some new faculties of the mind... 
                                   ~ David Hume "Of Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul"
To read my review of Dr. Moody's book "Reunions"  and a discussion on the uses of the psychomanteum  please see the following post: Reflections of Spirit: A Modern Day Psychomanteum.

Clutching the book (The Light Beyond) Dr. Moody is about to sign.

Shaking hands with ground-breaking NDE researcher, Dr. Raymond Moody

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