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Still the Best Primer on "Near Death Experiences"
on March 22, 2015
First published in the late 1970s, I believe this book is still the best introduction to the phenomenon known as the "Near Death Experience" (NDE). Whether you're a believer, skeptic, agnostic, atheist, Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Wicca--makes no difference, since the experience has been documented to happen to anyone regardless of their cultural influences or upbringing. If you have heard the phrase "near death experience" but have only a vague notion of what this entails, I urge you to pick up this book and read it--if you keep an open mind, it could change your life :)
Simply put, the NDE may give us a preview of what happens to humans when we die. I first read this book around 1985 and found it both fascinating and enlightening. It is very straightforward and even-handed in it's reporting--without religious overtones from the author, although he does draw correlations between NDE's and their possible appearance in texts such as the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Bible & Greek philosophy. At the time of publication, Dr. Moody had only investigated about 150 cases total--since then, as the technology to resuscitate patients has improved, thousands more have experienced the NDE. The book also created an open dialogue about NDE's and many more who had kept the experience secret (for fear of being ridiculed) have come forward with their story.
If this book whet's your appetite for more on the subject (and much has been written about NDE's since) let me recommend a few more titles for continued reading:
The Light Beyond by Raymond Moody -- in my opinion, the best of his follow-up books on the subject.
On Life After Death by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. -- One of the pioneers of NDE research & best known for defining "The 5 Stages of Grief & Dying." She & Moody were both studying NDE's at the same time without being aware of each other's research.
The Tunnel and The Light by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. - Another collection of her writings & lectures on the subject of NDE's.
Although there are many more books on the subject (some by researchers, others by those who experienced an NDE firsthand) I always recommend these first as they are well-researched and, in my opinion, present the subject with the least amount of bias.