VAIL — There are not many philosophers who can truly speak to the human condition of life — and death — like Raymond Moody. On Wednesday evening, as part of the Vail Symposium’s “Living at Your Peak” series, Moody will discuss living through what may seem like a dichotomy: near-death experiences. But if the topic brings to mind psychics discussing communication from beyond the grave and a voice calling, “go toward the light,” attendance at Moody’s “Life After Life: Exploring the Near-Death Experience” seminar is sure to be enlightening.
Moody, who actually coined the phrase “near-death experience” in the 1960s, has been studying the idea of an afterlife for more than 50 years. Though he didn’t set out to become an expert in the field, Moody studied philosophy and, while reading Plato, first came across the idea of near-death experiences in descriptions of “revenants,” the name given to individuals in Plato’s time who died — and came back. He continued his philosophical studies, meeting various people who have had experiences of almost dying and then coming back to life. He continued his research, writing 12 books on the topic, including the bestseller “Life After Life.”
“What I’ve found is that, at one time or another, everyone is interested in this,” Moody said. “There’s a tendency for people in their late 50s and 60s, who are successful in their worldly careers, to get interested in this and have a sense of urgency. For those who are in the later stages of life, there is a growing importance of the afterlife question.”
Enrich Your Life
During his session, Dr. Moody will not only share stories of people that he has met and research that he has done, but he will also share how these lessons and experiences can enrich this, current, life.
Moody’s seminar is the latest in a series of programs from the Vail Symposium that focus on the realms of the mind and body connection and the second in what is a two-part look into near-death experiences (Eban Alexander, author of “Proof of Heaven,” spoke on Thursday as part of the “Living at Your Peak” series).
“‘Living at Your Peak’ is a series of programs on consciousness and meditations, exploring breakthroughs in the realms of alternative medicine,” said Tracey Flower, executive director of the Vail Symposium. “We’ve been discussing the mind/body connection; Moody’s presentation continues a conversation that we started last September (with Living at Your Peak).”
There are many reasons that people are drawn to Moody and his research on near-death experiences.
“A lot of people come because they are seeking consolation from loss, they’re seeking this information as a form of solace, or they’ve had such an experience themselves and want to try to understand it better,” Moody said. “Then there are occasionally people who are there because they themselves are having conflict about this issue: professional doubters. That’s okay too—often times the people who come to the program to express doubt are the very people who are struggling with it on a very fundamental basis.”
Whether it’s intellectual curiosity, a personal experience or a desire to learn more about this topic, Moody’s program is sure to spur discussion and, perhaps, a new outlook on living.