|SpiritualEndeavors.com > BASIC SPIRITUALITY > A Conversation With Dr. Raymond Moody|
A Conversation with...
I was lucky enough to be asked to spend a day
with Raymond Moody in preparation for an article to be titled "A
Day In The Life Of Raymond Moody". During that day, and the days
that followed, I accumulated an abundance of material that
touched my heart. Far too much to be included within bounds of
the one article I was asked to write. Dr. Moody, I discovered,
is not only a prolific writer, but a captivating speaker as
well. Contained in the following conversation is material
exclusive to New Beginnings - the Spiritual Endeavors Newsletter
Dr. Raymond Moody: There's going to be some mind boggling stuff from Diane Archangel. She's a Hospice Chaplain and she's been working with the psycomantium down in Texas…
Aaron Thunder Hart: That's the room that you had in your facility in Alabama… described in Danion Brinkley's book… where people experience reunions with their departed loved ones?
Raymond Moody: Exactly. And she's has had a much better success rate with it than I did, back when I was working with it.
Aaron Thunder Hart: And basically, a psycomantium is?
Dr. Raymond Moody: It's a small darkened room… dark colored walls… very dimly lit with indirect lighting - 3 to 5, maybe 7 watt bulb at most… which sets behind a chair. On the wall in front of the chair, just above head height… so the person can't see themselves in it… is a mirror. That's it. It’s really pretty simple.
Bree Thunder Hart: And people see apparitions of deceased loved ones in the mirror? That's like scrying!
Dr. Raymond Moody: Yes. Diane has a great success rate. Much better than I did. (at her lecture, Diane reported 96% have reunions) And it's just not in the mirror… it's just absolutely mind boggling… just absolutely mind boggling…
Aaron Thunder Hart: Raymond, how did you get started in all this?
Dr. Raymond Moody: I started out fascinated by astronomy as a kid. Went to the University of Virginia to become that - an astronomy major. I had always been interested in philosophy too, but immediately realized that that's where the kind of astronomy I was interested in was… the conceptual, rather than what was actually out there.
Bree Thunder Hart: What was out there… Philosophically speaking, rather than the study of stars and such.
Dr. Raymond Moody: Yes. Exactly. So I got my Ph.D. in Philosophy pretty quickly. I was… let's see… 24 years old. Then I went to East Carolina University and taught philosophy there for three years. And I really loved it. I love teaching. But having gained my degree so early, and being the kind of person that's motivated by curiosity, I felt that there was so such more that I wanted to know. I really wanted to move my knowledge out into other areas, so I decided I wanted to go to medical school. And I did. I received my medical degree in (glancing at the diploma on the wall) '76, and then did my psychiatry training. That was another 4 years.
Aaron Thunder Hart: And how did all this lead you to write Life After Life?
Dr. Raymond Moody: Well, we have to go back to 1965 and a philosophy professor, John Marshal for that. I was what they call a honor student at the University of Virginia. We had pretty much free reign; a tutorial once a week, and we could take any of the graduate or undergraduate courses in philosophy that we wanted to. And in one of those classes, Professor Marshal was talking about what is called the mind-body problem - which is an old philosophical dilemma - how it is that the consciousness and material substance of the body are related. And in this discussion Professor Marshal mentioned that there was a psychiatry professor, Dr. George Ritchie, who had had a profound experience years before when he had actually been pronounced dead. So I was fascinated by that and took that opportunity to listen to Dr. Ritchie's experience.
And then about 4 years later... about 1969 I was teaching - At East Carolina - a class on Plato's Phaedo in which he talks about life after death.
Bree Thunder Hart: Plato talked about life after death?
Dr. Raymond Moody: He does talk a little about that, but this dialogue is about the possibility of life after death, and I was dwelling on the logic that Plato uses. After class, this boy came up and he said? I remember his words exactly, "Dr, Moody, I wish we could talk about life after death in this class." And I said, "Why would you want to talk about that?”
Now, I should explain to you that my interest in philosophy was more along the lines of what they call philosophical analysis. And from that point of view, the notion of an afterlife… that's kind of like how many angels dance on the head of pin.
So I asked why he wanted to talk about that, and he said "About a year ago I had a terrible accident and my doctor said that I died. I had an experience that has just totally changed my life, but I haven't anybody that I can talk about it with."
You can imagine how I felt when the experience he told me was almost identical to what I head 4 years earlier from George Ritchie. It was at that point; that's when I really got hooked.
I gave a couple talks at the Jarvis Methodist Church in Greenville, North Carolina, and as anyone who does this knows, if you give a talk on something like this, people come up and talk; "I've never told anybody this before, but…”
By the time I went to medical school I had about a dozen cases of this. And obviously medical school gave me a great opportunity to talk with people who had been resuscitated. In April of 73 they asked me at the medical school to give a talk on this because the professors there had been hearing this from their own patients, too.
Bree Thunder Hart: So you began speaking on this in 1973?
Dr. Raymond Moody: Well actually, I had given a number of talks back in Greenville but this is where it moved to talking to the medical profession. At one of these medical meetings, there was, unbeknownst to me, a reporter present. That was the basis of an article in the Atlanta Constitution… which led to a follow-up, and then another one. A publisher called up and said that this would be the making of a good book. I already had some stuff I was writing up, so the book was finished in 74 and published in 75.
Aaron Thunder Hart: And the rest is history… Raymond, I'd really like to get into scrying, or mirror gazing, a little deeper with you, but I know you're getting ready for the lecture tonight….
Dr. Raymond Moody: Ya'll will be able to make it tonight, won't you?
Bree Thunder Hart: We may be late, but we'll be there.
Dr. Raymond Moody: I'll introduce you to Diane, and maybe you could call her, exchange phone numbers,
or something; she'll have such wonderful information for you on her experiences and studies.
Aaron Thunder Hart: Sounds great Raymond. See you then.
Bree Thunder Hart:. Okay, Raymond. We’ll see you tonight. Bye.
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