Life After Life
by Raymond A. Moody, Jr., M.D.
Although Raymond Moody’s Life After Life probably doesn’t fall under the classic definition of “esoterica,” this book, along with Brian Weiss’s Many Lives, Many Masters (see previous post, here), helped profoundly shift my generally materialistic paradigm into far more spiritual view of the world. Many Lives, Many Masters opened the doors to the idea of reincarnation via one doctor’s story of hypnotically regressing his patient to her past lives. Life After Life approached the topic of past lives from a scientific standpoint, by examining the stories told by those who had returned from near death experiences.
If the near death experience and reincarnation are already old hat for you, then you’re already beyond this book. But for those who are awakening to a greater spiritual reality, this book throws the door wide open in regards to what we can expect when we die.
First published in 1975, Life After Life details one case after another in which individuals experience physical death, float above and beyond the physical plane, then encounter a number of different spiritual events. Few near death experiences are exactly the same, but Moody uses his trove of different cases to find where they are similar.
The Experience of Dying
Moody constructs what he calls the “complete” experience which embodies all of the common elements from his case books.
* Hearing the News: prior to leaving the body, the dying person often hears the pronouncement that he/she is dead
* Feelings of Peace and Quiet
* The Noise: unusual auditory sensations
* The Dark Tunnel: the feeling of being pulled rapidly through a dark space
* Out of Body: following the “tunnel”, the dying person has the first encounter with being outside his/her body
* Meeting Others: other spiritual beings often appear to help ease the transition to the afterlife (or inform the person that it is not yet their time to die)
* The Being of Light: the dying person encounters a loving being of pure white light (often interpreted in various ways depending on the person’s corporeal religion)
* The Review: the dying person undergoes a life review. This is a non-judgmental review intended to promote self-reflection.
35+ Years Later
It’s almost 40 years since Moody first published Life After Life, and the book is as poignant now as ever. It is possible to know what to expect upon death – at least the first few events. And I can only imagine that after learning what Moody has to teach, a person will invariably begin to lead a better and richer life.