By Raymond Moody and Paul Perry
Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife is the riveting behind-the-scenes story of Dr. Raymond Moody’s lifelong search for an answer to what actually happens after we die, and it’s as much an adventure tale as it is a memoir. Author of the international best-seller Life After Life, written while he was still in medical school, Moody, who coined the now-familiar term “near-death experience” (NDE), became the first doctor to extensively study and record what happens at the point of death and beyond. As a precocious child with a passion for astronomy and philosophy, Moody was intrigued by notions of the soul. “I felt that the question of the afterlife was the black hole of the personal universe,” he says, “something for which substantial proof had been offered but which had not yet been explored in the proper way by scientists and philosophers.” Tracing evidence of the NDE from the time of Plato to the present, he became an “astronaut of inner space,” devoted to the exploration of the inner universe, a journey made more intense by his own personal suffering as a result of undiagnosed myxedema, a disease of the thyroid that put him at risk of madness and death if left untreated. After years of intense study, illness, attacks by fundamentalists, and the failure of his marriage, Moody, suffering from the effects of his severe thyroid disease, attempted suicide. His own NDE, which he calls “not classic” but “close enough to see the city limits,” confirmed his finding that the line between the living and the dead is very thin, indeed.
He said of his experience that “an extraordinary transformation of consciousness had taken place at the point of death. I did not go into a blackness, as so many assume will happen. Rather, I found myself in a richer, deeper, and more real state of consciousness. I had gone somewhere that so many have described as heaven.” Moody calls himself a skeptic in the ancient Greek sense of the word: “one who goes inquiring.” The results of his inquiry, filled with the excitement of encounters with realms for which we do not yet have adequate words, are accessible to people of all faiths (or none), as well as to those of a scientific bent. They affirm that “the process of learning and development goes on for eternity” in a state of consciousness very different from what we experience in the physical world — and this state of “joy, light, peace, and love” is what is awaiting all of us.