What happens when you die? – A Book Review of Dr. R.A. Moody’s Life After Life: A collection of Near Death experiences of his patients & others!
There are about 15 common characteristics of people’s after-death experiences many of whom have actually been declared clinically dead from a few minutes up to 20 minutes or half-an-hour or so their hearts had failed or respiration ceased & they had actually been dead for a short time. Most of the cases he presents died temporarily during operations, serious illnesses, car accidents etc. One was of a guy drowning out in the middle of a lake, a good swimmer, but suddenly he had a heart attack & all of a sudden he felt himself up in the air above, watching his body bobbing up & down drowning in the water below several feet away, before he was rescued & revived & rejoined his body!
Would you like a quick resume of about 15 usual things that happen to most folks when they die? These are 15 usual experiences which are the most characteristic of nearly all the deaths that he investigated—temporary deaths. He divided them into three classifications:
1) Very close calls with death in which the person nearly got killed or nearly died.
2) Those who were momentarily dead for just a few moments. And…
3) Those who were actually declared clinically dead for some time, like 15 or 20 minutes or half-an-hour or more.
Now all 15 characteristics are not always present in everybody’s story nor always in the same order, but these are the 15 most common & most usually present or experienced. Some stories leave out some here or there but these are the most common to almost all of the stories of temporary deaths:
ONE: They hear or feel a sound, a ringing or bells or buzzing or music in their ears or in their head, a whistling, roaring or whirling feeling.
TWO: The floating feeling of detachment from the body, an almost inexpressible feeling of freedom & exhilaration!
THREE: Floating above their body & looking back down on it from above or a distance, watching the life-saving &/or resuscitation efforts of doctors‚ nurses or rescuers.
FOUR: Hearing the voices of those present & even the pronouncements of their own death!
FIVE: Yet a feeling of perfect peace, complete painlessness, warmth, comfort & weightless relaxation & no worry! But sometimes lonely at first.
SIX: Then they feel a movement like they are moving very rapidly through a long narrow dark tunnel, hollow or valley. One fellow said “Now I know what it means by ‘The Valley of the Shadow of Death’ in Psalm 23!”
One of the greatest problems in getting these stories from the people was that they were simply almost indescribable in any language! There was just nothing to compare it with, no words for it! Some of them just almost gave up & said, “Well, it’s just impossible, I can’t describe it!” How can we have words for things that nobody has ever experienced before? At least not many have come back to tell us about it! Language is really a difficult barrier because unless we use words that most of us understand & have experienced‚ it means nothing to us. The best form of communication is that which is in common to all. But when only a few people have had this experience & come back to tell us about it‚ there’s just no communication, there’re no words for it, there is no way they can describe it!
NUMBER SEVEN: After moving through the long dark tunnel or valley, there was a light at the other end. The light at first was very dim, but grew dazzling, brilliant as they approached it! A brilliant Being of Light like an angel! A distinct personality! They all said they had the impression that it was definitely a Person, A BRILLIANT PERSON OF LIGHT!
Most never saw the distinct form of the person, although some who were Christians & church people were convinced it was Jesus! There are millions of people dying everyday, so I don’t see how Jesus could possibly personally meet every single one. I am more inclined to believe‚ from the way it turns out‚ it is their angel of judgment, their guardian angel or greeter angel or angelic guide, some kind of a celestial angelic being. This being of light approaches them very rapidly, or they are approaching the Light very rapidly – they couldn’t always tell which & the Light grows & grows until it’s just absolutely dazzling! But strangely, it does not hurt their eyes, nor does it blind them to other things going on around them.
NOW AGAIN TO REVIEW THE EXPERIENCE OF DEATH THUS FAR: First they go through this almost like unconsciousness, a blackness & the buzzing & all that. Then suddenly they wake up, & they are usually in the same room or the same place of their death, the hospital room or the scene of the accident or whatever – only they’re hovering somewhere above their body or just beneath the ceiling – watching the people working on their body.
SO FIRST THERE’S THE BUZZING‚ THE BLACKNESS, THEN SUDDENLY THEY WAKE UP HANGING IN THE AIR above the scene of their death with the doctors & nurses feverishly working on their body trying to bring them back to life! Or they were looking at the auto accident, standing a few feet away from it‚ & saw their body all messed up inside the car. It was not like a vision or a dream – they were actually there & they were seeing it! They all distinctly felt a specific consciousness & location. They felt that they were someplace. They were above their body, or they were standing off on one side, or they were hanging just under the ceiling. They felt a consciousness of being somebody, in some kind of a body, with their consciousness, mind, spirit or whatever you want to call it – the spiritual body. They are right there watching what’s happening! They watch their body & the people trying to get their body out of the wreck & all! But they could feel nothing, no pain whatsoever! In this new body they only had a wonderful, delightful feeling of weightlessness, feeling light as a feather, like they were floating! They only had the feeling of having a new body totally separated from the old one‚ merely watching the old one & what’s going on! Most of them have this type of experience.This one old lady said they were pounding on her body, trying to bring her back to life! Then they attached this electrical shock machine trying to bring her back to life! She said it really made her angry the way they were treating her body, although she couldn’t feel it! Then all of a sudden, while they were doing it‚ she fell down from the ceiling into her body & woke up, because they had resuscitated her & she was terribly disappointed!
That’s one of the most common feelings when they come back, they’re terribly disappointed they had to come back – especially when they wake up again in pain & still sick or injured! Because in this ecstatic floating light-as-a-feather weightless out-of-their-old-body feeling they have, they have the most wonderful feelings of peace & joy & perfect contentment & no worries! They feel perfectly at ease & just wonderful! They suddenly discover that they can’t contact or communicate with human beings anymore! They try to yell at them & tell them things‚ but they don’t hear them! The Earth people even look straight at’m, straight through’m, but don’t even see’m! In fact, they even walk through them! One fellow was standing in the hospital hallway & a guy walked right through him! Some try to take hold of a human by the shoulder & shake them to get their attention, but their hand passes right through their body! One tried to go through a door, but as he reaches for the doorknob his hand passes right through it! Then he realizes that it doesn’t present any problem‚ so he just walks right on through the door. But for a few moments when first in that state‚ some feel a great feeling of loneliness‚ total isolation! It’s almost pitiful & nearly makes you cry! For a few moments, God allows you to be almost totally alone, separated from the whole world, & not yet having met anyone in the spiritual world, & not yet knowing that there is anybody else there with you in that other world! Some feel totally alone & totally isolated, a great feeling of loneliness!: “Oh my god! I’m cut off from the whole world! I can’t even get their attention! They won’t listen! I can’t touch them or feel them! They don’t even know I still exist! Nobody there knows I still exist! Here I am all alone in this new state, this new world!” But this usually lasts for only a few moments, & during this time you have a great feeling of introspection & wondering. It begins to dawn on you that you are dead!
During this lonely period, you discover you are in a new body‚ & that you can usually no longer communicate directly with anybody on Earth! Then you begin to think about it, & it begins to worry you a little, whether you did what was best, & whether you should have died or not, etc. You go through a real heart-searching time there when you are all alone & realise you’re dead! A heart-searching time of real loneliness! It’s like the Lord allows that to help you appreciate what happens next. Because the next thing you usually see after you’ve been looking back on your death scene that you are leaving, the operating table or the accident or whatever, suddenly then there shows up a dear loved one or an old friend that has long been dead, & friends & relatives & others long dead begin to show up & start communicating with you, & you find happily you can communicate with them! But you can’t seem to communicate with Earthlings anymore at all! But your new-old spirit-loved-ones don’t speak! In the spirit world, it’s totally like thought transference! It doesn’t even necessarily come in words! Then, having met relatives or friends‚ you’re immediately put at ease! This is a great assurance to you, to have relatives or friends to welcome you & guide you & help you get adjusted to this new world. Although in some of the cases it skips some of these things, that’s usually what happened next. In some cases they didn’t see the scene of their death that they were leaving, they just felt the valley or tunnel, & then there was the Light—it all just depends. I have an idea it depends on the individual & his spiritual condition or past life, which way the Lord does it. Some of them need a real period of loneliness to appreciate past & future things, & others don’t. But the next thing, you see this light begin to appear, & it grows & grows! Either It’s coming toward you or you’re moving toward It, until the whole place is filled with brilliant warm light, & you sense a great feeling of love & compassion. It’s definitely distinctly a personality of some kind, not just some kind of impersonal material radiation. It’s a Person! Although some saw no form, no outline‚ no figure, nothing—just the light—they still felt it was a Person of Love & compassion & understanding. Some said you then have the most marvellous feeling you’ve ever had in your whole life! This is when most of them did not want to turn back at all—they just loved it! Some of them, during the lonely interim waiting-period between, are kind of sorry they left, sorry they had to leave loved ones, & felt like maybe they needed to go back to finish some things.
IT’S A SORT OF TESTING PERIOD, that first period of loneliness, a test to see if you’re sorry to leave the Earth, sorry to leave life‚ still attached to the past. But then‚ once they get bathed in the Light‚ most lose all interest in returning to Earth at all! You feel so wonderful & so loved! So, when the Light comes, you just feel completely enveloped in this warm, Loving Light! And you are then completely put at ease!
One of the doctor’s critics said, “How come in all of these experiences, nearly all of them were good? There weren’t any bad people & they didn’t have any bad experiences – much less any hell or hellfire or anything like that!” The Dr. said that nobody that he has talked to had ever seen anything like that, hell or hellfire. He said, “Of course, I must admit that: Nearly all of my testimonials were from people who were what I would call good people, church people & students in my classes in University. I would not say that any of the people I talked to were bad, wicked, evil, criminals or anything like that. But these were all fairly good people.” But they didn’t all have good experiences, & it wasn’t all good. Some of them were really worried & some of them had a lot of fear & were really frightened in the experience. Others felt very lonely & deserted, & others felt very convicted & guilty about some things.”But the moment they met the being of light, they all felt good, very good! They felt love & compassion, understanding & sympathy. But you can’t say that this Person actually said anything, was the testimony of all of them, nothing came actually in words. But the message was: “Do you think you’re ready to die? What have you accomplished with your life? Are you satisfied with the life you lived?” Now obviously, God chose in these cases, where the people were allowed to come back, people He felt deserved another chance, so they must’ve been fairly good folks. A lot of them felt like God was actually giving them a choice as to whether they wanted to stay right then‚ if they were satisfied with what they’d done, or if they wanted to go back & do what they were supposed to do.
So NUMBER EIGHT was the question from this being of light: “Are you ready to die? Are you satisfied with your life as you lived it?” First was the noise, then the new body watching over the old, the peace, the loneliness, then meeting dead loved ones‚ the Valley trip, the Light & now the Question. When the loved one or friends or somebody showed up to guide them it was not always someone they knew personally, but sometimes an angel or a saint or some religious personage that they admired, perhaps because that particular dying individual did not have any loved ones who were saved & in Heaven. No one they knew well was there to meet them, but it was somebody that they knew of, who gave them confidence & reassurance, like one of the Apostles or Saints, or somebody that they recognised, like an angel or someone they knew was sent to guide them.
THE PRECEDING TERRIBLE LONELINESS‚ THE SELF-EXAMINATION, CONVICTION & FEELINGS OF GUILT were sometimes a very strong emotional experience‚ a very disturbing emotional experience, an emotional upheaval in which some of them were really upset at having found out they were dead! Before they met anybody, while they were still all alone, they had a very big emotional trauma of sorrow & conviction. But some of them didn’t! With some it was just all a great thrill, & they didn’t feel bad at all! I’m sure it’s according to your individual conscience. Then there was the Guide, the Trip, the Light & the Question! The question varied a bit with different ones, but was usually about the same: “Are you ready to die? Do you want to die? Are you satisfied with the life you’ve lived? Do you feel like you’ve accomplished what you should have?” And then, as though to help them with the answer & not even waiting for their reply: Suddenly, somehow this being of light begins to show them their entire life! You have heard of this before, how people just about to die or get killed, suddenly review their whole life! It often happens before somebody dies, or thinks they’re about to die! One guy went to sleep at the wheel of a big tractor-trailer truck, & it turned over & slid toward a bridge abutment, & he knew it was going to crash. In the few seconds of time from when the truck tipped over until it hit the bridge abutment, he saw his entire life! He went through kindergarten, grade school, grammar school, high school‚ college—the whole thing in just one flash, every detail! So that after they come back they can remember their past life vividly like they have never remembered it before! Every single thing for awhile, then it begins to fade. They all said this life review was in full colour, three dimensional & in motion! They themselves did not feel actually in it, but they watched themselves from a little tiny child! The history began usually from about two to seven years of age‚ the age when God begins to hold you accountable for your sins! They saw all the little selfish things they did against their sister, all kinds of little things they did that were unkind or unloving with their playmates, every little detail! Everything they ever did! And the good things, too: How that sometimes they had been sacrificial & would surrender a toy to a brother or a playmate‚ & all that sort of thing. Every little detail! You see your whole life right up to the present! And yet when it was all over, they felt this Review was very fair. And nearly all of them had this experience, if they got as far as the Being of Light, they were shown this review of their whole life. It’s like the Lord opens the Book of Remembrance! (Mal.3:16; Dan.7:10; Rev.20:12) That’s what it says in the Bible!
AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST (RO.14:10; 2COR.5:10), HE OPENS THE BOOK & turns the pages‚ & you’ll see scene after scene after scene, all the way through your whole life! Yet when it’s all over, the Book closes, & they have the feeling that this Review only lasted a few moments, minutes, seconds or even a split second! They saw it all from start to finish, the whole thing, like in one big scene! See what miracles God can do? But with most of them it was reeled off scene by scene, the whole thing, they went right through the whole thing from the beginning of their life to the end!