A lucid, engrossing memoir from a psychologist and philosopher dedicated to the afterlife.
If Moody’s (The Last Laugh, 1999, etc.) career capstone arrived with the lionizing 1975 publication of his landmark report Life after Life, his memoir, co-authored by Perry (co-author: Evidence of the Afterlife, 2010, etc.), an acclaimed author on the subject, affords his life’s work even more dramatic heft. Moody’s passion for the spiritual world can be traced to an early childhood in World War II–era Georgia raised by an abusively crass father and a depressed mother. He recalls at age 4 establishing theories about death and concepts of postmortem “soul survival.” Moody writes ardently of an interest in astronomy throughout adolescence, undeterred by a skeptical father and crippling myxedema, a thyroid deficiency. As a philosophy scholar, he became “hooked on death” and intensely explored spiritual phenomena, out-of-body sensations, near-death events and theories of mind-body coexistence. Plumbing an interest in “facilitated visions” via hypnotic past-life regression therapy, Moody details his nine former lives, including that of a threadbare wooly mammoth hunter, a drowning boat builder and a murdered female Chinese artist. He coined the term “near-death experience” as his first book soared in popularity; on the lecture circuit, he befriended fellow afterlife pioneer Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Then his illness resurfaced, causing a suicide attempt and a stint at a psychiatric facility after his experimentations with spirit communication and crystallomancy were discovered by his closed-minded father. Now in his mid-60s, Moody continues his revolutionary research. The supernatural undertones saturating the narrative are dwarfed by an overwhelming sense that this eccentric visionary just might be on to something.
The fascinating life story of an impassioned mystical maverick.