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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Therapeutic Value Trumps Literal Truth or Falsity
Having respect for Raymond Moody, based on my prior readings of his work on near-death experiences ("Life After Life") and grief ("Life After Loss", with co-author Dianne Arcangel), I wondered what he would have to say about past-life regression. Aimed at the general reader, Coming Back provides a readable, informative overview that reviews a variety of perspectives on...
Published on August 12, 2007 by Michael K. Kivinen

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Total nonsense
I thought Raymond Moody was a credible authority on near death experiences. This led me to try this discussion of past life regression. All of the case histories were completely unbelievable. Most seemed to be taken straight from some romance novel. I was looking for at least one past life experience that was believable but found none. So sorry I wasted my money on...
Published 17 months ago by Apaida


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Therapeutic Value Trumps Literal Truth or Falsity, August 12, 2007
By 
Michael K. Kivinen (Wyoming, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Coming Back (Paperback)
Having respect for Raymond Moody, based on my prior readings of his work on near-death experiences ("Life After Life") and grief ("Life After Loss", with co-author Dianne Arcangel), I wondered what he would have to say about past-life regression. Aimed at the general reader, Coming Back provides a readable, informative overview that reviews a variety of perspectives on past-life regressions and comes down on the side of their therapeutic value regardless of their literal truth or falsity. His citing "The Journal of Regression Therapy" (including contributors Irene Hickman, Hazel Denning, and Chet Snow) throughout "Coming Back" provided helpful continuity with my previously reading Winafred Blake Lucas' "Regression Therapy" volumes.

Although trained in hypnosis, Moody had viewed it as "a way to deep relaxation, easy sleep, and nothing more" (p. 5) until a psychologist friend facilitated a regression for him that took him through a series of nine purported past lives. That he was "essentially an average person in each . . . shot down the theory that everyone who goes into a past life sees himself as . . . some . . . glamorous historical figure" (p. 27). This is congruent with Helen Wambach's findings, outlined in her 1978 "Reliving Past Lives: The Evidence Under Hypnosis." Through his subsequent research, Moody identified twelve traits of past life regressions, at least several of which one could expect to encounter in any genuine regression experience. These include an uncanny feeling of familiarity (p. 36) and the fact that these experiences often mirror present issues in the subject's life (p. 39).

Throughout the book Moody maintains an attitude of ambivalence bordering on skepticism toward past-life regressions as evidence of reincarnation. He attributes this (on p. 112) to his Christian upbringing and scientific training. (On this point it is worth noting that Episcopal priest William V. Rauscher, in his 1975 "The Spiritual Frontier", entertains reincarnation as a possibility without viewing belief in it as necessary for salvation. His view then modifies Moody's assertion (on p. 112) that belief in reincarnation is the "antithesis of Christian thought"). However, Moody also sees great therapeutic value in the use of past-life regression regardless of one's acceptance or rejection of the theory of reincarnation. This puts him in the same company as several contributors to "Regression Therapy", Volume I: Reynolds, Woolger, Fiore, Jue, and Snow (see Lucas, vol. I, p. 558) and psychoanalytically-oriented hypnotherapist M. Gerald Edelstein (author of the 1981, "Trauma, Trance, and Transformation"), all of whom stress the therapeutic value of regression experiences over belief in reincarnation as such.

Moody is perhaps more scientific in his approach than many so-called "skeptics" who would reject past life regressions on ideological grounds. Moody recognizes that attributing all purported past-life recall to cryptomnesia is not "a sufficient explanation for the images in all regressions" (p. 148). His position regarding the risks and contraindications of past-life regressions seems most sensible. He cautions against contentious use of regression to "prove" reincarnation, or using regressions to stroke or inflate the ego. He discusses the value of regression in healing phobias which, in a passage entitled "Symbols for Symbols," he describes as "themselves . . . symbolic illnesses. Usually the object . . . is just representative of a neurotic condition [and] not to be taken literally" (p. 75). Such symbolic thinking is also evident in Chapter 8, "Do Past Lives Tap Our Personal Myths"? Inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell (whom Moody quotes as calling myths the public dreams and dreams the private myths), Moody identifies mythological or archetypal themes that emerge in regression scenarios. He concludes, "By successfully tapping these myths through past-life regressions, it is possible to understand and even alter the psychological truths that may be hidden or repressed in the unconscious" (p. 175).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars revealed 9 past lives, October 31, 2005
By 
Mark "Mark" (SEATTLE, WA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Despites Moody's research in NDEs, he was a "non-believer" in

Reincarnation until the late 1980's. A single regression session with a

hypnotist revealed 9 past lives to him at that time.

By the time he wrote this book he had performed over 200 regressions on

others. Relatively unique and special to his method is the use

of "scrying" or crystal ball gazing to gain access to past-life images

for himself and others.

Though it doesn't include an index, there seems to be a very excellent

recordable self-regression scripts at the end that, from an outloud

reading, appears to be very effective! :cool
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scientific exploration of past lives by open minded skeptic, January 15, 2007
By 
A very easy read, considering the subject matter. Almost like sitting and talking with the author. Scientists and laymen will learn a lot and enjoy this book, and if either group reads only one book on this subject, this would be a good choice. Thorough examination of the subject including all the usual arguments against the reality of past-life regressions (I as the reviewer have never had one). Four stars because since its publication, the vast addition of information by the translation of texts of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the science done on Tibetan Buddhism and altered states of consciousness could add to this work immeasurably.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Clinical Study of Past-Life Regressions, July 17, 2006
This review is from: Coming Back (Paperback)
Here, Dr. Raymond Moody--author of the classic Life After Life, which virtually started the Near Death Experience movement--has turned his scientific and analytic mind to the study of past-life regressions. While discussing NDEs with people, he found many bringing up other subjects, including reincarnation. Having long considered past-life regressions a lot of hogwash, he changed his mind after having his own regression done and experiencing for himself the power of past-life impressions and the immediacy of their effect on the mind. (He notes, for instance, how he himself felt a deep sense of familiarity and nostalgia while watching the dramatic scenes of his own former lifetimes. The experience was extraordinarily real to him.) In Coming Back, Dr. Moody uses his standard clinical approach, listing and classifying the various effects of past-life regressions and questioning their validity. He livens his discussions with glimpses into the hundreds of regressions he has lead. An interesting and important book.

Richard Salva--author of Soul Journey from Lincoln to Lindbergh [UNABRIDGED]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Coming back? Over my dead body!, April 3, 2011
This review is from: Coming Back (Paperback)
"Coming back" is Raymond Moody's exploration of a curious psychological phenomenon: past life memories. Moody discovers that past life memories can be accessed or induced by regression hypnosis and used therapeutically. Or rather realizes, since past life regression existed before Moody became interested in the subject. He admits of first being sceptical to the phenomenon.

On one level, Moody is still sceptical. He doesn't seem to believe in reincarnation on the basis of his scientific training and Christian upbringing. Rather, he considers "past lives" to be products of the subconscious mind. Moody is more interested in the therapeutic uses of past life regressions and makes connections to Jungian psychotherapy. In that sense, "Coming back" is actually Moody's most sceptical book. And this from an author who accepts near-death experiences and apparitions of the dead...

Interestingly, Moody has undergone past life regression himself and "discovered" nine previous lives under hypnosis. In one of those lives, he was an ape or monkey. It's not clear to me why the author nevertheless veers towards a sceptical or at least agnostic position. If the soul is immortal, logically reincarnation can exist, too.

Perhaps on some subconscious level, Dr. Raymond Moody doesn't want to come back. I'm with him on that one. Meeting Elvis in the Middle World would me more fun! Hopefully, one billion Indians *can* be wrong...

Coming back? Over my dead body!

;-)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Doubt vs Belief – Is Moody on the Fence?, July 22, 2014
By 
Deverus (War Eagle, Alabama) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coming Back: A Psychiatrist Explores Past-Life Journeys (Kindle Edition)
Wow – this one threw a curve ball. I was not expecting Dr. Moody’s leanings toward the traditional mindsets of dismissive explanations. If he was in crisis (professionally or otherwise) while authoring this work, then it sure pushed him a little wayward from his once expressed, “I have absolutely no doubt…that they did get a glimpse of the beyond.”

Sure enough (and as I have just literally learned), the good doctor did indeed endure troubled times and may have put pen to a heavy heart for COMING BACK. But it is precisely during crisis that we must find a balance – or sit on the fence, if you will – to clear through the mind’s fog and consider all legitimate explanations of the regression phenomenon.

COMING BACK is filled with an excellently chosen sampling of regression reports which will take seasoned Afterlifers back a step or two to stay grounded. Although persuasive on their own accord to lend support to the Beyond, Dr. Moody directs the attention toward the “establishment” diagnoses (e.g., Crytpomnesia, Xenoglossia, Hypnagogy), alongside the strictly therapeutic value of past-life regressions.

Afterlifers will no doubt be challenged by this work, and may ultimately agree with his conclusion: “At their least, they are deep revelations from the subconscious. At their most, they are evidence of life before life.”

Well done.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An honest, well-thought out treatment of the subject, May 1, 2010
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This review is from: Coming Back (Paperback)
What I like most about the book, besides the content, is the honesty of the author. He doesn't pretend to be promoting something he doesn't believe. He tells you straight away exactly what his stance is and what the purpose of the book is. It is up to each reader to draw the conclusion he or she wishes. The stories he relates are very interesting and eye opening. It's hard to simply dismiss them out of hand. As a firm believer in reincarnation, I found the book to be informative and thought provoking. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about reincarnation from the psychiatric perspective.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, February 26, 2014
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This review is from: Coming Back (Paperback)
I am studying reincarnation, NDE and life after death. Dr. Moody has been a big help. I have three of his books and they are full of interesting information. The seller of the book is outstanding. I received in less than a week. I hope to do more business with them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, December 30, 2013
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This review is from: Coming Back: A Psychiatrist Explores Past-Life Journeys (Kindle Edition)
Informative, uplifting and enjoyable. The case histories were interesting and my only complaint is that I wish the book had been longer. Didn't want to put it down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, July 25, 2013
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This review is from: Coming Back (Hardcover)
All I can say is that for the open minded this is quite an interesting book. I've been reading Raymond Moody book ever sense he started writing them.
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