July 23, 2020 ~~ Volume 1 Number 11


by Shari Harris

"If people really knew what they were, there'd be no wars, there'd be no poverty,
there'd be none of the ills that face humanity today."

William Buhlman, Monroe Institute
Just Who Do We think We Are?
Dr. Raymond Moody Says...

"When I began my research into near-death experiences in 1968, I was a skeptic and an atheist. Now I am neither. What convinced me after 50 years of investigating near-death experiences? As an M.D. and a Doctor of Philosophy, I could no longer deny the survival of consciousness after hearing thousands of accounts from patients and doctors."

Quote from Dr. Raymond Moody's website, www.lifeafterlife.com


In today's issue, I am switching topics from past life stories to another topic that fascinates me (and I hope you also): near death experiences (NDEs). I feel that this is another area where we can learn more about who we really are and especially about what happens to us when we die.

I'm sure that you have read about near death experiences. There are many books written about them, and since the mid 1970s, people have been more willing to tell their stories about what happened when they almost died. I am beginning the topic with Dr. Raymond Moody, whose book, Life After Life published in 1975, was the first book I read about NDEs. The book had recently been published, and I remember being thrilled with the stories that Dr. Moody had collected and described. To me at that time, it verified what I'd been taught in church that life after death was true!

Even though the people who have told their stories of dying and coming back did not go all the way into the "afterlife," we do get a glimpse of what happened before they reached a border they couldn't cross and "came back."

Dr. Moody found similarities in the experiences of hundreds of NDEs that he collected, and he identified fifteen separate elements of the experience which occur again and again. There is a link to a list of those common elements in the section below about Dr. Raymond Moody.

Dr. Moody's work was just the beginning. He inspired other researchers, and over the years, many more books and resources about near-death experiences have been published. I include a bibliography of some of them below. I hope you are inspired to read about death and near-death experiences. I plan to feature more NDE researchers and accounts in upcoming issues.

Be well and enjoy your amazing life!
What Happens When We Die?
Excerpts from Life After Life

A young veteran describes seeing a review of his life:

"While I was serving in Viet Nam, I received wounds, and I later 'died' from them, yet through it all I knew exactly what was going on. I was hit with six rounds of machine gun fire, and as it happened I wasn't upset at all. In my mind, I actually felt relieved when I was wounded. I felt completely at ease, and it was not frightening.

At the point of impact, my life began to become a picture in front of me, and it seemed that I could go back to the time when I was still a baby, and the pictures seemed to progress through my whole life.

I could remember everything; everything was so vivid. It was so clear in front of me. It shot right by me from the earliest things I can remember right on up to the present, and it all happened within a short time. and it was not anything bad at all; I went through it with no regrets, no derogatory feelings about myself at all.

The best thing I can think of to compare it to is a series of pictures; like slides. It was just like someone was clicking off slides in front of me, very quickly."
Life After Life, p. 62

A young mother describes having to come back:

"I had a heart attack, and I found myself in a black void, and I knew I had left my physical body behind. I knew I was dying, and I thought, 'God, I did the best I knew how at the time I did it. Please help me.' Immediately, I was moved out of that blackness, through a pale gray, and I just went on, gliding and moving swiftly, and in front of me, in the distance, I could see a gray mist, and I was rushing toward it. It seemed that I just couldn't get to it fast enough to satisfy me, and as I got closer to it I could see through it. Beyond the mist, I could see people, and their forms were just like they are on the earth, and I could also see something which one could take to be buildings. The whole thing was permeated with the most gorgeous light--a living, golden yellow glow, a pale color, not like the harsh gold color we know on earth.

As I approached more closely, I felt certain that I was going through that mist. It was such a wonderful, joyous feeling; there are just no words in human language to describe it. Yet, it wasn't my time to go through the mist, because instantly from the other side appeared my Uncle Carl, who had died many years earlier. He blocked my path, saying, 'Go back. Your work on earth has not been completed. Go back now.' I didn't want to go back, but I had no choice, and immediately I was back in my body. I felt that horrible pain in my chest, and I heard my little boy crying, 'God, bring my mommy back to me.'"
Life After Life, p. 68

A man explains why he didn't tell people about his NDE:

"It is a very interesting thing to find out that other people have had the same experience, because I hadn't realized....I am actually happy that I have heard this, knowing that obviously someone else has been through this, too. Now I know I'm not crazy.

It was always such a real thing to me, but I never would tell anybody because I was scared that they would look at me and think, 'When you arrested, your mind went bad at the same time!'

I figured that someone else would've had this same experience, but that I probably never would meet up with anybody who knew another person who had, because I don't think people are going to talk. If somebody were to come up and tell me, without me ever having been there, I would probably look at them and wonder what they were trying to pull over on me, because that's just the way our society is."
Life After Life , p. 81

A man describes the effect that his NDE had on his life:

"Since then, it has been on my mind constantly what I have done with my life, and what I will do with my life. My past life--I'm satisfied with it. I don't think the world owes me anything because I really did everything I wanted and I did it the way I wanted to, and I'm still alive and I can do some more. But since I died, all of a sudden, right after my experience, I started wondering whether I had been doing the things I had done because they were good, or because they were good for me....

I try to do things that have more meaning, and that makes my mind and soul feel better. And I try not to be biased, and not to judge people.I want to do things because they are good, not because they are good to me . And it seems that the understanding I have of things now is so much better. I feel like this is because of what happened to me, because of the places I went and the things I saw in this experience."
Life After Life, p. 83

One woman, whose deceased relatives were there to greet her at her death, compared death to a 'homecoming.' Others have likened it to awakening or graduating:

"Some say that we are not using the word 'death' because we are trying to escape from it. That's not true in my case. After you've once had the experience that I had, you know in your heart that there's no such thing as death. You just graduate from one thing to another--like from grammar school to high school to college."
Life After Life, p. 91
Raymond Moody, M.D.
In 1975, Raymond Moody published Life After Life, a book which changed the world's understanding of death. Dr. Moody's research helped to form our modern expectations of what we will experience after death--the tunnel, the white light, the presence of loved ones waiting for us on the 'other side.' Dr. Moody inspired a first generation of researchers who were dedicated to a scientific understanding of human consciousness and death and who have created a new science of near-death studies.

Dr. Moody studied psychiatry, is an M.D., and completed a Ph.D. in philosophy. While studying philosophy at the University of Virginia, he learned of a respected professor, Dr. George Ritchie, "who had been declared dead and later regained consciousness, reporting a fantastic experience on the other side." Dr. Moody sought him out and they became good friends. This event triggered Dr. Moody's interest in near-death experiences, and in 1968, he began collecting such accounts from his students, patients, doctors he worked with, professors and others. He dedicated his first book to Dr. Ritchie. George Ritchie has published two books about his experience which are listed in the bibliography below.
Similarities in Near-Death Experiences Studied by Dr. Moody

When Raymond Moody wrote Life After Life in 1975, he had collected over 150 cases of near-death experiences in which he interviewed the people who reported them and verified their statements with medical personnel and family members. Up to this time, people tended to not speak about these types of experiences except perhaps to close family members, for fear of being thought to be unstable or having their story not believed. Dr. Moody actually coined the phrase "near-death experience."

Although there were parallels in the ancient writings of Plato, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and later by Emanuel Swedenborg, 1688-1772, it was unlikely that many (if any) of Moody's subjects had read about NDEs or had seen them discussed on TV since no one had written about this phenomenon in modern times.

Over time Dr. Moody was amazed at the similarities of experience in the accounts he collected from people of all ages and walks of life. Although not universal or occurring in the same order, fifteen elements were reported often enough throughout the accounts to be included in the common description of NDEs. Click below to read about the similarities.
The video below, which shows Dr. Raymond Moody as a young man near the beginning of his career, was made in approximately 1985, ten years after the publication of his first book.
Recommended Books About NDEs

Greyson, Bruce, M.D., Editor of Journal of Near-Death Studies (New York: Human Sciences Press)

Long, Dr. Jeffrey, Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, 2010.

Miller, J. Steve, Near Death Experiences: As Evidence for the Existence of God and Heaven, 2012.

Moody, Dr. Raymond, The Last Laugh: A New Philosophy of Near-Death Experiences, Apparitions, and the Paranormal, 1999.

Morse, Melvin, M.D., Transformed by the Light: The Powerful Effect of Near-Death Experiences on People's Lives, 1992.

Morse, Melvin, M.D., Closer to the Light: Learning from the Near-Death Experiences of Children, 2009.

Ring, Dr. Kenneth, Life at Deat h, 1982.

Ring, Dr. Kenneth, Mindsight: Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in the Blind, Second Edition, 2008.

Ritchie, George, M.D., Ordered to Return: My Life After Dying, 1998.

Ritchie, George, M.D. and Stevenson, Ian, M.D., My Life After Dying: How 9 Minutes in Heaven Taught Me How to Live on Earth, 2015 .
Affirmation: Plant Mental Seeds for Growth
In the infinity of life where I am,
all is perfect, whole and complete. My life is ever new.
Each moment of my life is new and fresh and vital.
I use my affirmative thinking to create exactly what I want.
This is a new day. I am a new me.
I think differently. I speak differently. I act differently.
Others treat me differently.
My new world is a reflection of my new thinking.
It is a joy and a delight to plant new seeds,
for I know these seeds will become my new experiences.
All is well in my world.

Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life, p. 85
Just Who Do We Think We Are?
Shari Says... 
I believe we are eternal spiritual beings who are currently living one
of our many lives on Earth and who are the creators of our experiences through our thoughts and beliefs.
Shari Harris
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Previous Issues of "Just Who Do We Think We Are?" are available on
Shari's website  under the "My Two Cents" tab.

#1 February 15, 2020, Dr. Brian Weiss
#2 March 1, 2020, Edgar Cayce
#3 March 26, 2020, Abraham (Esther Hicks), Part 1
#4 April 7, 2020, Abraham (Esther Hicks), Part 2
#5 April 22, 2020, Past Life Story Series: Robert Snow/Carroll Beckwith
#6 May 5, 2020, Past Life Story Series: Jenny Cockell/Mary Sutton
#7 May 20, 2020, We Are Not Here By Accident
#8 June 1, 2020, Children's Past Lives (Carol Bowman)
#9 June 22, 2020, More Children's Past Lives (Ian Stevenson and Jim B. Tucker)
#10 July 2, 2020, Four Stories of Children Who Remembered a Past Life