Dr. Raymond Moody's
Near-Death Experience Research
In 1975, Dr.
his best-selling book,
which focused public attention on the
near-death experience like never before.
It was Moody who actually coined the
term "near-death experience."
You can read more about Dr. Moody at
his website. Moody is also the author
of the following books,
The Last Laugh.
Dr. Moody recorded and compared the
experiences of 150 persons who died,
or almost died, and then recovered.
His research describes the results of
decades of inquiry into the NDE phenomenon.
He outlines nine elements that generally
occur during NDEs.
Dr. Raymond Moody's Nine Elements of the Near-Death
A buzzing, or ringing noise, while having
a sense of being dead.
While people are dying, they may be
in intense pain, but as soon as they
leave the body the pain vanishes and
they experience peace.
The dying often have the sensation of
rising up and floating above their own
body while it is surrounded by a medical
team, and watching it down below, while
feeling comfortable. They experience
the feeling of being in a spiritual
body that appears to be a sort of living
The next experience is that of being
drawn into darkness through a tunnel,
at an extremely high speed, until reaching
a realm of radiant golden-white light.
Also, although they sometimes report
feeling scared, they do not sense that
they were on the way to hell or that
they fell into it.
Rapidly into the Heavens:
Instead of a tunnel, some people report
rising suddenly into the heavens and
seeing the Earth and the celestial sphere
as they would be seen by astronauts
Once on the other side of the tunnel,
or after they have risen into the heavens,
the dying meet people who glow with
an inner light. Often they find that
friends and relatives who have already
died are there to greet them.
Being of Light:
After meeting the people of light, the
dying often meet a powerful spiritual
being whom some have identified as God,
Jesus, or some religious figure.
The Being of Light presents the dying
with a panoramic review of everything
they have ever done. That is, they relive
every act they have ever done to other
people and come away feeling that love
is the most important thing in life.
to Return: The
Being of Light sometimes tells the dying
that they must return to life. Other
times, they are given a choice of staying
or returning. In either case, they are
reluctant to return. The people who
choose to return do so only because
of loved ones they do not wish to leave
Dr. Raymond Moody on the "Being of Light"
The following is an
excerpt from Moody's excellent book
Life After Life
concerning the "Being of Light."
is perhaps the most incredible common element
in the accounts I have studied, and is certainly
the element which has the most profound effect
upon the individual, is the encounter with a
very bright light. Typically, at its first appearance
this light is dim, but it rapidly gets brighter
until it reaches an unearthly brilliance. Yet,
even though this light (usually said to be white
or "clear") is of an indescribable
brilliance, many make the specific point that
it does not in any way hurt their eyes, or dazzle
them, or keep them from seeing other things
around them (perhaps because at this point they
don't have physical "eyes" to be dazzled).
the light's unusual manifestation, however,
not one person has expressed any doubt whatsoever
that it was a being, a being of light. Not only
that, it is a personal being. It has a very
definite personality. The love and the warmth
which emanate from this being to the dying person
are utterly beyond words, and he feels completely
surrounded by it and taken up; in it, completely
at ease and accepted in the presence of this
being. He senses an irresistible magnetic attraction
to this light. He is ineluctably drawn to it.
while the above description of the being of
light is utterly invariable, the identification
of the being varies from individual to individual
and seems to be largely a function of the religious
background, training, or beliefs of the person
involved. Thus, most of those who are Christians
in training or belief identify the light as
Christ and sometimes draw Biblical parallels
in support of their interpretation. A Jewish
man and woman identified the light as an "angel."
It was clear, though, in both cases, that the
subjects did not mean to imply that the being
had wings, played a harp, or even had a human
shape or appearance. There was only the light.
What each was trying to get across was the they
took the being to be an emissary, or a guide.
A man who had had no religious beliefs or training
at all prior to his experience simply identified
what he saw as "a being of light."
The same label was used by one lady of the Christian
faith, who apparently did not feel any compulsion
at all to call the "Christ."
after its appearance, the being begins to communicate
with the person who is passing over. Notably,
this communication is of the same direct kind
which we encountered earlier in the description
of how a person in the spiritual body may "pick
up the thoughts" of those around him. For,
here again, people claim that they did not hear
any physical voice or sounds coming from the
being, nor did they respond to the being through
audible sounds. Rather, it is reported that
direct, unimpeded transfer of thoughts takes
place, and in such a clear way that there is
no possibility whatsoever either of misunderstanding
or of lying to the light.
this unimpeded exchange does not even take place
in the native language of the person. Yet, he
understands perfectly and is instantaneously
aware. He cannot even translate the thoughts
and exchanges which took place while he was
near death into the human language which he
must speak now, after his resuscitation.
next step of the experience clearly illustrates
the difficulty of translating from this unspoken
language. The being almost immediately directs
a certain thought to the person into whose presence
it has come so dramatically. Usually the persons
with whom I have talked try to formulate the
thought into a question. Among the translations
I have heard are: "Are you prepared to
die?" "Are you ready to die?" "What
have you done with your life to show me?"
and "What have you done with your life
that is sufficient?" The first two formulations
which stress "preparation," might
as first seem to have a different sense from
the second pair, which emphasize "accomplishment."
However, some support for my own feeling that
everyone is trying to express the same thought
comes from the narrative of one woman who put
it this way:
first thing he said to me was, that
he kind of asked me if I was ready to
die, or what I had done with my life
that I wanted to show him."
Furthermore, even in
the case of more unusual ways of phrasing the "question,"
it turns out, upon elucidation, to have much
the same force. For example, one man told me
that during his "death:"
The voice asked me a question: "Is
it worth it?" And what it meant
was, did the kind of life I had been
leading up to that point seem worthwhile
to me then, knowing what I then knew."
Incidentally, all insist
that this question, ultimate and profound as
it may be in its emotional impact, is not at
all asked in condemnation. The being, all seem
to agree, does not direct the question to them
to accuse or to threaten them, for they still
feel the total love and acceptance coming from
the light, no matter what their answer may be.
Rather, the point of the question seems to be
to make them think about their lives, to draw
them out. It is, if you will, a Socratic question,
one asked not to acquire information but to
help the person who is being asked to proceed
along the path to the truth by himself. Let
us look at some firsthand accounts of this fantastic
Examples of Near-Death Experiences with the
Being of light
heard the doctors say that I was dead,
and that's when I began to feel as though
I were tumbling, actually kind of floating,
through this blackness, which was some
kind of enclosure. There are not really
words to describe this. Everything was
very black, except that, way off from
me, I could see this light. It was a
very, very brilliant light, but not
too large at first. It grew larger as
I came nearer and nearer to it.
"I was trying
to get to that light at the end, because
I felt that it was Christ, and I was
trying to reach that point. It was not
a frightening experience. It was more
or less a pleasant thing. For immediately,
being a Christian, I had connected the
light with Christ, who said, 'I am the
light of the world.'
"I said to
myself, 'If this is it, if I am to die,
then I know who waits for me at the
end, there in that light.'"
got up and walked into the hall to go
get a drink, and it was at that point,
as they found out later, that my appendix
ruptured. I became very weak, and I
fell down. I began to feel a sort of
drifting, a movement of my real being
in and out of my body, and to hear beautiful
music. I floated on down the hall and
out the door onto the screened-in porch.
There, it almost seemed that clouds,
a pink mist really, began to gather
around me, and then I floated right
straight on through the screen, just
as though it weren't there, and up into
this pure crystal clear light, an illuminating
white light. It was beautiful and so
bright, so radiant, but it didn't hurt
my eyes. It's not any kind of light
you can describe on Earth. I didn't
actually see a person in this light,
and yet it has a special identity, it
definitely does. It is a light of perfect
understanding does. It is a light of
perfect understanding and perfect love.
came to my mind, 'Lovest thou me?'
not exactly in the form of a question,
but I guess the connotation of what
the light said was, 'If you do love
me, go back and complete what you began
in your life.'"
during this time, I felt as though I
were surrounded by an overwhelming love
knew I was dying and that there was
nothing I could do about it, because
no one could hear me ... I was out of
my body, there's no doubt about it,
because I could see my own body there
on the operation room table. My soul
was out! All this made me feel very
bad at first, but then, this really
bright light came. It did seem that
it was a little dim at first, but then
it was this huge beam. It was just a
tremendous amount of light, nothing
like a big bright flashlight, it was
just too much light. And it gave off
heat to me; I felt a warm sensation.
It was a
bright yellowish white - more white.
It was tremendously bright; I just can't
describe it. It seemed that it covered
everything, yet it didn't prevent me
from seeing everything around me - the
operating room, the doctors and nurses,
everything. I could see clearly, and
it wasn't blinding.
when the light came, I wasn't sure what
was happening, but then, it asked, it
kind of asked me if I was ready to die.
It was like talking to a person, but
a person wasn't there. The light's what
was talking to me, but in a voice.
Now, I think
that the voice that was talking to me
actually realized that I wasn't ready
to die. You know, it was just kind of
testing me more than anything else.
Yet, from the moment the light spoke
to me, I felt really good - secure and
loved. The love which came from it is
just unimaginable, indescribable. It
was a fun person to be with! And it
had a sense of humor, too - definitely!