We know rather little of life. Of the other side, death, we know nothing. From life, we’ve come to understand its processes, endless chemical concatenations that make life possible; but we still don’t have a comprehensive, exhaustive definition of the concept. Death, despite the promises of religion, remains forbidden territory for science, a barrier that human knowledge has never crossed. Still, there are people who profess to having been there. Their experiences are researched under the generic name NDE: near-death experiences. 

Raymond Moody, a medical doctor and a philosopher, is one of the field’s most celebrated researchers. Dr. Moody became interested in the phenomenon of death based on an experience related to him by a professor during his college years. Later, after studying some 150 similar cases, he found that certain elements were invariably repeated: audible sounds, feelings of peace, extra-corporal experiences, visions of significant moments from life, feelings of traveling through a tunnel, etcetera.

Some of these experiences were later recounted in a book that was to make him famous: Life After Life (1975). In it, Moody raised questions about such phenomena, contrasting each with their obvious rebuttals, such as the fallibility of psychological interpretations, and their relationships to drug-induced experiences. But time and time again, the narrated experiences seemed to outweigh attempts at reducing them. How can we explain that a clinically dead person can describe in all sorts of detail what happened in a room prior to that person’s being revived? And when one such person was blind from birth? The experiences Moody gathered opened up a unique field of study: that of the possibility of the survival of consciousness after death.

As a scientist, Moody has stated on several occasions that his studies don’t serve to affirm that there is life after life. He’s also made it clear that science can’t really respond to such phenomena. And the open questions have led him to follow more personal intuitions. One of these is that death may be something of an unlimited expansion of consciousness, one definitively liberated from time-space.

Image: Pixabay

We know rather little of life. Of the other side, death, we know nothing. From life, we’ve come to understand its processes, endless chemical concatenations that make life possible; but we still don’t have a comprehensive, exhaustive definition of the concept. Death, despite the promises of religion, remains forbidden territory for science, a barrier that human knowledge has never crossed. Still, there are people who profess to having been there. Their experiences are researched under the generic name NDE: near-death experiences. 

Raymond Moody, a medical doctor and a philosopher, is one of the field’s most celebrated researchers. Dr. Moody became interested in the phenomenon of death based on an experience related to him by a professor during his college years. Later, after studying some 150 similar cases, he found that certain elements were invariably repeated: audible sounds, feelings of peace, extra-corporal experiences, visions of significant moments from life, feelings of traveling through a tunnel, etcetera.

Some of these experiences were later recounted in a book that was to make him famous: Life After Life (1975). In it, Moody raised questions about such phenomena, contrasting each with their obvious rebuttals, such as the fallibility of psychological interpretations, and their relationships to drug-induced experiences. But time and time again, the narrated experiences seemed to outweigh attempts at reducing them. How can we explain that a clinically dead person can describe in all sorts of detail what happened in a room prior to that person’s being revived? And when one such person was blind from birth? The experiences Moody gathered opened up a unique field of study: that of the possibility of the survival of consciousness after death.

As a scientist, Moody has stated on several occasions that his studies don’t serve to affirm that there is life after life. He’s also made it clear that science can’t really respond to such phenomena. And the open questions have led him to follow more personal intuitions. One of these is that death may be something of an unlimited expansion of consciousness, one definitively liberated from time-space.

Image: Pixabay