Dr. Raymond Moody's
Near-Death Experience Research
In 1975, Dr. Raymond
www.lifeafterlife.com, released his
Life After Life,
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 Light Beyond,
Life After Loss,
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.
1. Dr. Raymond Moody's Nine Elements of the Near-Death
A buzzing, or
ringing noise, while having a sense of being
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 energy field.
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 in space.
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.
After meeting the people of light, the dying
often meet a powerful spiritual being whom
some have identified as God, Jesus, or some
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
2. 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."
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.
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
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
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 being.
3. Examples of Near-Death Experiences with the Being
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
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?'
"This was 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.'"
"And all during
this time, I felt as though I were surrounded
by an overwhelming love and compassion."
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.
At first, 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!