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"this heartfelt quality of self-revelation and emotional honesty that is perhaps the most striking feature of this fascinating and worthwhile book."

Wow--Moody has been such an important figure in my life. I can't believe I didn't know this book was coming out. Thanks for the great review, Michael.

It was reading about NDE's in 1992 that led to one of the two or three most important turning points in my life. And for years, though I quickly discovered other authors whose work also thrilled me, Moody remained a special hero for a number of reasons, not the least of which was his passion for consistently venturing into territory that others--even other NDE enthusiasts--were unwilling to embrace.

And yes, his psychomanteum period was a perfect example. I was a member of West L.A. IANDS at the time, and I'll never forget how some of the NDErs I knew were incensed that Moody, who had done so much to legitimize and even glorify their own experiences, was now saying that ANYONE could contact the Other Side.


Not to mention that it meant that these NDErs were now perhaps just a little bit less "special". (Or that's how I interpreted their attitude, anyway.)

All along there were little bits and pieces of Moody's own experiences (mystical and otherwise) scattered throughout his various books, and they were always tantalizing.

But committed to an asylum? Wow--that's startling. The man was a celebrity--hard to believe that could actually happen to HIM.

I have to say his book The Last Laugh, which you mentioned, Michael, tempered my enthusiasm for Moody. It was not only a rather cold book, but it was downright bitter in parts. And that disappointed me. Plus, he wasn't coming out with new books that might have re-ignited my enthusiasm and taken away that bad taste.

So I'm thrilled to read this review. For my money, Moody is one of the seminal authors of the last 100 years. Naming the phenomenon (NDE) that has done so very much towards bridging the gap between science and spirituality is no small thing.

It sounds like this book may help me to feel really, really, good about him once again.

Actually, now that I think of it, Moody's recent book on shared NDEs got his reclamation project off to a great start! I like it a LOT. And it's a perfect example of how he keeps stretching the envelope and finding new angles and new phenomena to explore. (Or perhaps I should say re-visiting old subjects with such enthusiasm and insight that they SEEM new.)

So, in other words, Moody is a little moody. J/k. Great review, thanks!

Great review. I've had an under-active thyroid problem for many years, so I can sympathize with him. It's not a disease that gets a lot of sympathy or much attention. For many doctors the treatment seems to be "Eh, you're still alive." He deserves much credit for the work he's done and what he had to do overcome to do it - incredible.

This blog often influences my reading--thanks for the excellent review. Via Netflix I recently saw a documentary called Afterlife by Paul Perry, Moody's co-writer on this book. The film was amateurishly produced, but the conversations with Moody are interesting.

I noticed that Afterlife is available for streaming on Netflix, but I haven't looked at it. BTW, for those who have a Roku box, there's a nice $2.99 app that allows you to search and browse the entire Netflix streaming catalog on your TV. It's sold in the Channel Store under "Top Paid."

This is a change of topic, but Anita Moorjani's book about her NDE is out now: Dying to Be Me. She says some of the same things Nanci Danison does, though she has a very different way of expressing herself. Just in case you want to review that one next...

Wow, that's good news, Mr. Alphabet! Anita is one very impressive lady and experiencer. This is a good time to be reader. I'm greatly enjoying Paranormal, and now this.

Funny--I was just thinking today that I might enjoying re-reading the Danison book soon. It'll be a pleasure to hear some of the same basic truths (as I and many others see it) described by someone else.

And apropos of some of the discussions we've had here re Danison, Anita is harder to accuse of being arrogant.

It's Ms. Alphabet. : )

I knew I was taking a gamble there. :o)

I think we had discussed Moody being institutionalized by his family a few years ago. (in the comments on one of your previous posts) It was definitely not a secret...and definitely added to the lure around his eccentric persona. (although the details he describes are interesting to hear)

I've always found his personal credibility (or conclusions) questionable based on some of his erratic and contradictory statements...and attacks on other parapsychologists that seemingly came out of left field, considering the "sympatico" you would think they shared. (he was dismissive of mediums and associated research, maligned the term "life after life", and seemed to "poo poo" whether the NDE had any relationship to an afterlife at all for the longest time....seeming to give long winded speeches about seeing himself as a philosopher, etc.

I'm sure he is a very engaging guy - but ironically, I think he's really far down on the totem pole of trust when it comes to what reality the NDE really reflects. (simply because he'll change his mind the next time you hear him speak..:-)

From the loose conversation on some of the social appears like some of his peers feel the same way.

"It is this heartfelt quality of self-revelation and emotional honesty that is perhaps the most striking feature of this fascinating and worthwhile book." That personal honesty is what I think I'd appreciate most about this book.

Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for being on the tour.

"attacks on other parapsychologists that seemingly came out of left field . . . he was dismissive of mediums and associated research"

You've got my curiosity up, Felipe. Can you give me some examples?

Felipe, I just re-read one of Michael's old posts on Moody, so there's no need to respond to my last comment. i understand what you're referring to.

It's funny--I'm in the middle (closer to the beginning, really) of Paranormal, and it's made me forget some of the cynicism that Moody has expressed at times, particularly around the time of "The Last Laugh".

Paranormal is such a warm, confident, and optimistic book (as was his last book on shared NDEs), that it's easy to forget some of the quirkier opinions, shall we say, that he's put forward at times.

Still, I feel differently than you. I trust Moody. I have no problem with his vicissitudes, as they remind me of my own. I don't see changes of heart (within reason) as being any less deserving of respect, necessarily, than unwavering certainty.

And when I think now about the larger picture, I see a man who's been bold in his explorations, cautious in his conclusions, and generally, if not always, positive and even inspirational in his message.

Hi Micheal,

Remember Raymond Moody background is medicine and philosophy. He is inherently skeptical to everything. Raymond moody cannot prove that NDEs are a sign of an afterlife. Like a prosecutor who gets story of a rape, the story itself does not indicate that a rape really occurred. It may or it may not. Accordingly some people lie. So is it real?

I think this adds more to Dr Moody's credentials. He knows his study weaknesses and tries his best to correct them. In my opinion, this show signs of a good researcher instead of someone who has a presumption and sets out to prove that presumption.

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