Raymond Moody

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Raymond Moody
Born (1944-06-30) June 30, 1944 (age 70)
Porterdale, Georgia, United States
Occupation Writer, doctor of medicine
Nationality American
Period 20th century
Genre Parapsychology
Website
www.lifeafterlife.com
Life After Life (Moody book).jpg

Raymond A. Moody, Jr. (born June 30, 1944) is a psychologist and medical doctor. He is most famous as an author of books about life after death and near-death experiences (NDE), a term that he coined in 1975 in his best-selling book Life After Life.[1]

Life[edit]

Moody earned a BA (1966), M.A. (1967) and a PhD (1969) in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He also obtained a PhD in psychology from the University of West Georgia, then known as West Georgia College, where he later became a professor in the topic.[2] In 1976, he was awarded an MD from the Medical College of Georgia.[3]

After obtaining his M.D., Moody worked as a forensic psychiatrist in a maximum-security Georgia state hospital. In 1998, Moody was appointed Chair in Consciousness Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Moody was born in Porterdale, Georgia and currently lives in rural Alabama. He has been married three times. As of 2004, he is married to Cheryl and they have an adopted son, Carter, and an adopted daughter, CarolAnne. In an interview in 1993, Moody stated he was placed in a mental hospital by his family for his work with mirror gazing.[4]

Career[edit]

Moody's most famous book was made into a movie of the same name, Life After Life, for which he won a bronze medal in the Human Relations Category at the New York Film Festival. Moody's own beliefs on NDEs can be summed up with the following quote from his interview with Jeffrey Mishlove:

I don't mind saying that after talking with over a thousand people who have had these experiences, and having experienced many times some of the really baffling and unusual features of these experiences, it has given me great confidence that there is a life after death. As a matter of fact, I must confess to you in all honesty, I have absolutely no doubt, on the basis of what my patients have told me, that they did get a glimpse of the beyond.[5]

In 2010, Moody published Glimpses of Eternity which describes the "shared-death experience", in which people gathered at the bedside of a dying loved one sometimes describe being lifted out of their bodies and accompanying their loved one part-way into another realm. Moody describes seven key elements of the shared death experience which are very similar to those of the near-death experience.[6]

The Dr. John Dee Memorial Theater of the Mind is a research institute in Alabama that was founded by Moody as a place where people can experience an altered state of consciousness with the intention of invoking apparitions of the dead. One of the methods used to obtain this altered state is crystallomancy, or "mirror gazing".

Moody has also researched past life regression and believes that he personally has had nine past lives.[7]

Reception[edit]

Scientists have written Moody's alleged evidence for an afterlife is flawed, logically and empirically.[8]

Moody has been described as a "strong personal believer" in the paranormal.[9] His methods have drawn criticism from the scientific community as many of the personal reports he collected on near-death experiences were given by the patients themselves, months and even years after the event. Terence Hines commented "such reports are hardly sufficient to argue for the reality of an afterlife."[10]

Paul Kurtz has written Moody's evidence for the NDE is based on personal interviews and anecdotal accounts and there has been no statistical analyses of his data. According to Kurtz "there is no reliable evidence that people who report such experiences have died and returned, or that consciousness exists separate from the brain or body."[11]

Robert Todd Carroll has written that a characteristic of Moody's work is the omission of cases that do not fit his hypothesis. Carroll writes that what Moody describes as a typical NDE may be due to brain states triggered by cardiac arrest and anesthesia. Moody believes NDEs are evidence for an afterlife but Carroll states they can be explained by neurochemistry and are the result of a "dying, demented or drugged brain."[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ New York Times Staff. Paperback Best Sellers; Mass Market. The New York Times Book Review, October 23, 1977.
  2. ^ Chris Aanstoos, A Brief History of the West Georgia Humanistic Psychology Program, "The West Georgia Story." The Humanistic Psychologist, 17(1). 77–85., 1989. Accessed 2010-08-09.
  3. ^ "Life After Life - About Raymond Moody". Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Sharon Barbell, Play and the Paranormal: A Conversation with Dr. Raymond Moody at the Wayback Machine (archived July 7, 2011), 14850 Magazine, November 1993. Archived on 2011-07-07.
  5. ^ Life After Life:Understanding Near-Death Experience With Raymond Moody, M.D
  6. ^ Moody, Raymond; Perry, Paul. Glimpses of Eternity: Sharing a loved one's passage from this life into the next. Guideposts. ISBN 0-8249-4813-0. 
  7. ^ Moody and Perry, Coming Back: a psychiatrist explores past life journeys, pp. 11–28.
  8. ^ Barry Beyerstein. Evaluating the Anomalous Experience in Kendrick Frazier. (1990). The Hundredth Monkey and Other Paradigms of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. pp. 43-53. ISBN 978-0-87975-655-0
  9. ^ Brian Dunning. Near Death Experiences. Skeptoid Podcast. Skeptoid Media, Inc. 7 Jun 2011. Web. 26 Jan 2014.
  10. ^ Terence Hines. (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. p. 102.
  11. ^ Paul Kurtz. (1991). Toward a New Enlightenment: The Philosophy of Paul Kurtz. Transaction Publishers. p. 349.
  12. ^ Robert Todd Carroll. (2003). The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. Wiley. p. 251.

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • Raymond Moody, Life After Life: the investigation of a phenomenon – survival of bodily death, San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. ISBN 0-06-251739-2.
  • Raymond Moody, Reflections on Life After Life, Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1977. ISBN 0-8177-1423-3.
  • Raymond Moody and Paul Perry, The Light Beyond, New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1988. ISBN 0-553-05285-3.
  • Raymond Moody and Paul Perry, Glimpses of Eternity: Sharing a loved one's passage from this life to the next, New York, NY: Guideposts, 2010. ISBN 0-8249-4813-0.
  • Raymond Moody and Paul Perry, Reunions: visionary encounters with departed loved ones, New York, NY: Villard Books, 1993. ISBN 0-679-42570-5.
  • Raymond Moody and Dianne Arcangel, Life After Loss: conquering grief and finding hope, San Francisco : HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. ISBN 0-06-251729-5.
  • Raymond Moody and Paul Perry, Coming Back: a psychiatrist explores past life journeys, New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1991. ISBN 0-553-07059-2.
  • Raymond Moody, Laugh after laugh: the healing power of humor, Jacksonville, FL: Headwaters Press, 1978. ISBN 0-932428-07-X.
  • Raymond Moody, The Last Laugh: a new philosophy of near-death experiences, apparitions, and the paranormal, Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Pub., 1999. ISBN 1-57174-106-2.
  • Raymond Moody, Elvis After Life: Unusual psychic experiences surrounding the death of a superstar, New York, NY: Mass Market Paperback, Bantam Books, July 1, 1989. ISBN 0-553-27345-0.

External links[edit]