174. Dr. Raymond Moody On Understanding Near-Death Experiences as Nonsense

Interview with psychologist and renown near-death experience researcher discusses how our language and system of logic limits our understanding of near-death experience accounts.

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with renown near-death experience research and author of, Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife. During the interview Moody discusses the role of logic and nonsense in studying the near-death experience:

Alex Tsakiris: Is it rigor and the logic that we’re missing or is there something fundamental to our experience in this body, in this world, that prevents us from understanding things differently? For example, we get these stories from near-death experience researchers where people come back and say, “I had a knowing that I’m unable to really bring back and internalize.” Are we limited by a system of logic or are we fundamentally unable to know certain things in this existence that we’re in?

Dr. Raymond Moody: What a wonderful distinction.  As to the second part of your question whether there is some kind of unknowability in the world that we are just constitutionally unable to comprehend certain things, obviously I don’t know. By definition you wouldn’t be able to know that. But, I think that the first part of your question, is our logic limiting us in some fundamental way, I think it is, Alex, and I think just from our two conversations together I think I can prove it to you. What I can show is that these misconceptions about what we call “nonsense” create a kind of collective cognitive deficit in people that is hidden because everybody has it, right? If everybody has it there’s no way that people have of detecting it. The way that this manifests itself is that when people hear a sentence like, “There is life after death,” and unthinkingly they treat that just like a literal meaning, true or false proposition, right?

So they try to process it by the rules of Aristotelian logic. Their minds go berserk, as you and I have seen many times probably and know people whose minds have gone berserk over this topic.

Dr. Raymond Moody’s Website

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Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Dr. Raymond Moody to Skeptiko. In 1975, psychiatrist and Professor of Philosophy, Dr. Raymond Moody published Life After Life and coined the term, “near-death experience.” I guess it’s fair to say the world changed a little bit. I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. It’s hard to measure the full impact of Dr. Moody’s work on medicine, on science, religion, and our culture as a whole but it’s certainly clear that this ground-breaking research has continued to challenge our understanding of the deepest questions that we all have, that keep us up at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Dr. Moody, it’s a great pleasure to have you on Skeptiko. Thanks so much for joining me.

Dr. Raymond Moody: Well, I’m just so happy to be with you today, Alex. I can already tell this is going to be fun. Thank you.

Alex Tsakiris: I feel quite fortunate to be able to interview you for a second time here and particularly on this book. You’ve written a memoir titled, Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife. I think it’s quite an amazing thing and brave undertaking that you’ve taken us through here on this journey.  That is really the first question that I have for you, Dr. Moody. Clearly you’ve been somebody who has been in the public eye for a long time. You’ve seen it; done it. Every TV show you can imagine, every radio show, you’ve done all that. But this had to be something a little bit different. What has it been like for being that open and that “out there” in terms of telling people about your whole life?

Dr. Raymond Moody: You know something, Alex, I’ll tell you the truth. As you know, I’m a psychiatrist and not only that I was a forensic psychiatrist for a while in a maximum security unit for the criminally insane. I’ve lived in a lot of different sets of circumstances and so on. What I’ve really come to see is that everybody has about the same secrets. Plus, secret-keeping is an intrinsically dysphoric experience.

I’ve been through some rough spots. I never did think about writing my memoirs. I was thinking, ‘What a bore.’ I had a Ph.D. in philosophy when I was 24 years old and that shows you what a boring person I am. Seriously, I’m talking straight here because from my age of 67 I can realize there’s something terribly wrong about somebody who would have their Ph.D. in philosophy when they were 24.

Alex Tsakiris: You know, I really read that differently in reading about your childhood and your upbringing, which I found very fascinating and put together this amazing mosaic that it’s remarkable how people’s lives do seem to fit together for a purpose. Certainly you were a smart kid. That’s one of the things that came through. I think it speaks out to other people, other kids who maybe experienced that, that they’re excelling in all these ways that our society says you’re supposed to excel and in other ways it’s really isolating them. What do you think about that?

Dr. Raymond Moody: That’s exactly how it was and as I look back I’m not sure whether people were isolating me or was I isolating myself? You know, in the sense that I have accepted a few years ago this diagnosis I was given 20 years ago but it took me a long time to see that it’s right. It’s of Asperger’s Syndrome. I know from my reading on that that I really do fit that. Social interactions have never been my forte.

I remember when I was in the fourth grade my mom and dad found out that I had been slipping in some subject in school. When they inquired into the reason it was because I had been reading my father’s physics textbook from college and taking notes and so on. I always have followed what drives my curiosity. I can’t not do it, whether it’s something that society says we shouldn’t investigate, you know? It’s just whatever draws my curiosity.

But another thing is, in my profession the hard thing for me is I don’t want to get mixed up with parapsychologists because I think that is just an utter pseudoscience. For somebody to say in the year 2012 that we can get scientific evidence of life after death, for example, that almost is academic misconduct in my opinion. Not all problems are going to be resolvable by science. I think especially with some issue like life after death. That is not yet a scientific question. That doesn’t mean we can’t investigate it. I think that philosophy is a discipline that is very important even though we’ve kind of brushed it aside in the 21st century.

Alex Tsakiris: Dr. Moody, you’re going to have to back up for a minute because I think one of the interesting threads that weaves through this book and maybe your life is this you like to play these edges and you play them really well. You like to kind of provoke people a little bit, but I think that’s good. One of the edges is this paradox you draw between a philosophical approach but then you also have this scientific bent, this medical bent. Maybe you need to back up and tell people why you think that philosophical approach is necessary or how it gets at these questions that can’t get a straight yes or no, this way, that way answer. Why does that intrigue you so much?

Dr. Raymond Moody: Well, see, that’s what has most interested me in my life and things I’m curious about is the big questions. Questions that seem really pressing in a way that just occur to you naturally. For example, like what size and shape is this thing that we’re in called the universe? Well, what you tend to do in your mind is you think about both possibilities. One is does it end in a wall? So your mind goes out to the wall. But then suddenly you think, ‘Oh my goodness, doesn’t there have to be something on the other side of the wall?’ So that route seems unintelligible.

Similarly, if you think of what seems to be the other possible realm, that it goes on and on and on forever, then that’s unintelligible, too. So what really interests me are big questions that are unintelligible. That is what philosophy is about. All of the big questions originated as philosophical questions.

Then over the centuries, following the Ancient Greeks, as people began to figure out ways to actually settle these questions as opposed to just think about them and reason about them—Galileo, for example, the standard position was that a heavier object will fall down faster than a lighter one so Galileo just built some inclined planks and rolled balls of various weights down. Anybody who just looked could see that they went down at the same speed.

So what I’m talking about is a question like life after death, the question is not really how we can set up some experiment to prove it, which is the parapsychological point of view, but what in the name of God does it mean?

Alex Tsakiris: Exactly.

Dr. Raymond Moody: There’s no clear concept there, see?

Alex Tsakiris: You’ve been playing around for a number of years with this idea that we need a new system of logic, but I can never wrap my arms around what you mean by that. Can you maybe fill us in? Where are you driving towards with that idea that we need…

Dr. Raymond Moody: All right. I would be happy to send you a complimentary copy of my manuscript if you would care to look at it and comment. But to get to your question about what it’s all about, I think that I have worked out the logic of unintelligibility, Alex, I really do. You and I know that logic as we have it is a binary code, right? True or false. And that it’s predicated on propositions of literal meaning. That has a historical development. It started about 550 BC roughly and went through the next 100+ years until Aristotle codified pretty much the logic we have.

But in that process something got left out and primarily because of Aristotle’s severely obsessional, as it apparently was, personality—Plato, for example, understood the truth or false dichotomy. As a matter of fact, he’s the one who finally worked it out and the idea to search for knowledge we reside in the literal domain of language with meaningful propositions. But Plato also realized that there was a third factor, namely unintelligibility or nonsense.

So what I have done, Alex, and I’m confident in saying this because my colleagues have read this and say I’ve done it, is that I’ve worked out the logic of nonsense. Therefore, since a sentence like “There is life after death,” is nonsense because it’s a self-contradiction.

Alex Tsakiris: Well, it’s funny. Isn’t the title of your most famous book, Life After Life, an example? I feel like you’re playing with us in a way there. I don’t mean it in a mean way but just that you’re playing with words, you’re playing with the way that we use them, in a way that points out the embedded contradiction. You can’t have life after life.

Dr. Raymond Moody: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Exactly. To me the question is important and because it is important, then what we are obligated to do is to apply the strictest reasoning we can to it. It’s going to make people feel good for a few moments to hear the charismatic speaker assure them that this is life after death, but you don’t carry that with you. But the doubts resurface because it’s self-deception. This is, I think, one of the most important lessons of existence and therefore it deserves real rigor in thinking it through.

Alex Tsakiris: I wonder though, is it the rigor and the logic that we’re missing or is there something fundamental to our experience in this body, in this world, that prevents us from understanding things differently? I say that not to be too abstract but that seems to be part of the message, if you will, that we get back from the stories that you’ve collected and other near-death experience researchers have, as well as from a variety of spiritual experiences that you also have experience with.

People come back and say, “I had a knowing that I’m unable to really bring back and internalize.” Are we limited just by a system of logic or is there in some way we are fundamentally unable to know certain things in this existence that we’re in?

Dr. Raymond Moody: What a wonderful distinction.  As to the second part of your question whether there is some kind of unknowability in the world that we are just constitutionally unable to comprehend certain things, obviously I don’t know. By definition you wouldn’t be able to know that. But—but I think that the first part of your question, is our logic limiting us in some fundamental way, I think it is, Alex, and I think just from our two conversations together I think I can prove it to you.

Alex Tsakiris: That would be real interesting. I’d love for you to take a few minutes and dig into this because it’s really played on my mind of what you’re really getting at here.

Dr. Raymond Moody: All right, so first of all, nonsense. That word is a pejorative term. In not just the United States—I’ve traveled over a lot of the world in the many decades I’ve been working on my interest in logic and philosophy of language. There seems to be this very wide spread of opinion of people that there are four total misconceptions about what nonsense is. First of all, most people think that nonsense purely bad and undesirable, like it’s inherently bad, and necessarily a negative quantity.

Secondly that it’s associated somehow with nonexistence and nonbeing and chaos. This is a very common image as I’ve gathered over 40 years of experience with this, that people come up with when they think about nonsense.

Then the third is that people confuse nonsense with falsehood. They think nonsense is the same as falsehood, except maybe with an exclamation point or something.

And fourthly that nonsense is something inherently unfathomable and beyond logic and reason. Those opinions are maintained with an almost visceral reflex by people. You can just see them cringe when you tell them that you’re investigating the subject of nonsense, for example.

Therefore, what I can show is that these misconceptions create a kind of collective cognitive deficit in people that is hidden because everybody has it, right? If everybody has it there’s no way that people have of detecting it. The way that this manifests itself is that when people hear a sentence like, “There is life after death,” and unthinkingly they treat that just like a literal meaning, true or false proposition, right?

So they try to process it by the rules of Aristotelian logic. Their minds go berserk, as you and I have seen many times probably and know people whose minds have gone berserk over this topic. [Laughs]  Now what I do is I start with a simple dictionary definition to correct all of this. Nonsense is language that is unintelligible due to lack of meaning. Then I set up the simple criterion for disputed examples. For example, what if one person says, “Oh, it’s nonsense.” And some other person says, “No, it makes perfect sense to me.”

So the way that you want to choose only bonafide examples to set up the theory and the way I do it is I distinguish between deliberate nonsense, a la Lewis Carroll and Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein and Edward Lear and so on, and involuntary nonsense when, for example, a patient is delirious and talking out of their heads or schizophrenic people who use neologisms, made-up, meaningless words or people who are under great stress, for example, even if they’re not injured it will sometimes make them talk nonsense. And people who are intoxicated with mercury, for example, or ethylene, and so on.

By choosing only examples of nonsense from the deliberate side, you’ve removed the problem of disputed examples, but also then you might say, “Well, that’s only half the theory of nonsense because what about the involuntary nonsense?” One of the amazing things I’ve discovered is that when people talk nonsense involuntarily like when they’re stressed or psychotic or delirious, the nonsense they talk has exactly the same patterns as we can find in the writings of nonsense writers.

So now once you get a collection of nonsense writings, you quickly see there’s all kinds of different patterns and types. Well, in my work I’ve discovered over 70 different types of nonsense. For example, “…Twas brillig, and the slithy toves. Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe. ” That’s obviously one type of nonsense, but listen to this one. This is a wholly different type. “Holiness breeds the vestigial lipstick of spontaneity,” or a third one, “I’m not an actor but I play one on television.” Or, “That cannibal we just ate was the last one around these parts.”

Those self-contradictions. So I have identified over 70 different types and what it appears is that each of these different types of nonsense apparently stimulates different parts of the brain. Each one is distinguished by its own cognitive effects. Then I’ve gone on to these amazing discoveries about all kinds of wild psychological effects with nonsense.

With this we have a very powerful tool for resolving a kind of situation that crops up just constantly. I’m sure you see if it you keep up with the science literature. There’s always the debate about whether some new idea is or is not nonsense, right? And these can be very big. I keep a running tally of these from the science journals and it’s constant. Thus far we’ve had no way of resolving these disputes but now we do because if somebody has lapsed into nonsense involuntarily it can match one of the patterns of deliberate nonsense, so that’s a way of settling the dispute.

Alex Tsakiris: I hear you and that’s interesting. I’m still not totally making the connection though between the logical component of it. I understand there’s deliberate nonsense and we lapse into nonsense…

Dr. Raymond Moody: Yes. I don’t know if you’ve studied philosophy but you know how in philosophy they’ll talk about the logic of a concept or something. I’m talking here in that sense. In terms of a set of rational principles that you can use to further inquiry on certain questions that have been left unresolved. One of these is the question of life after death. I can use that as a sample problem, for example.

People, for example, who have had these near-death experiences. At this point you really may conclude that I’ve flipped off the deep end but let me go back in time to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, okay? Lincoln was at a solemn State ceremony. I read this in Carl Sandberg’s biography when I was a kid.

I don’t remember what the ceremony was about but his part in the ceremony called for him to mount a horse and to lead the procession away from the scene. When he does, this is very solemn and he climbed up on the horse,  but the horse got its back hoof caught in the stirrup and was bouncing around. The crowd was shocked and silent seeing Mr. Lincoln in this gosh-awful predicament. Everybody was kind of embarrassed. Lincoln just very calmly looked down at the horse and he said, “Well, if you’re getting on I’m getting off.”

Now, that’s totally nonsensical, right? And yet you’ve got to admit, it nonetheless brings up a very vivid image of motion in your mind. Now, if we had more time I could read you some longer poems written by nonsense poets that captured this same effect. Since we’re all familiar with the format of a travel narrative, we know from childhood how it’s laid out and what you’re supposed to do. It’s possible therefore, to lay down a layer of nonsense over the framework of a travel narrative and when you do, it gives you the mental effect of motion even when no such motion is possible except in words.

How does this relate, for example, to the investigation of near-death experiences? What people tell us who have near-death experiences is that #1, this experience did not take place in time. A wonderful woman said to me, “Raymond, you could say that my experience took 10,000 years or you could say that it took one second and it wouldn’t matter which way you said it.” That’s how people talk. That this is a timeless experience. They also tell us that it’s not in space and that there are no words for it. Yet when they do relate it, this is how they relate it. They say, “I got out of my body. I went through a tunnel into a light. I met my deceased relatives. I saw my life passed and reviewed. I returned to my body and came back to life.” That’s a travel narrative.

Alex Tsakiris: I see where you’re going. Both of those statements are nonsensical inside of our logic, inside of our language. But let me tie it back to—I want you to stay right on that point—but let me tie it back to a story that you paint in the book, Paranormal, about your encounter with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, because here it was just as you describe it in the book. The philosopher you encountering the researcher and advocate, a person of medicine but also an advocate.

She says to you, “Raymond, what are you talking about? How can you draw this distinction that you aren’t convinced that this is scientific evidence of life after death?” And she uses the analogy that I think was really a good one, too, that sticks in my mind. It’s grounded to where I’m at. She says, “When the first European explorers went over and discovered North America, the first one can come back and give you a story and you can say that’s one guy. But when two, three, four, five, when 100 people come back and we look at those stories and we start tying them together, don’t we overcome those barriers that we have in logic or language?”

Dr. Raymond Moody: Well, that is a very good point. Do you know about the case of Eben Alexander, III?

Alex Tsakiris: Yes. We’ve actually interviewed him on the show. He’s a very interesting guy.

Dr. Raymond Moody: Now I don’t know about you but it’s very hard to figure out what language to bring to this situation.

Alex Tsakiris: Absolutely. “I’m a speck on a butterfly wing.” This is poetry. This is beyond the scientific. I understand what you mean, yeah.

Dr. Raymond Moody: Yes, and also I’m talking here about the fact of the severity of his medical condition pretty much rules out that he could have been conscious during that period by what we understand of the brain right now. Also that he met a sister he didn’t know he had. I mean, this is getting very hard to dance your way out of.

And then I’m just going to tell you this next thing because this has just happened. A few days ago I found out about this thing. Incidentally, I live in Choccolocco, Alabama and all my neighbors, they know I write books and what it’s about, but we don’t talk about it. We talk about community things. I’m not the person who talks about near-death experiences all the time, but I was so amazed by this one that I told my friend Philip up at the Faulkner’s Filling Station about this and he said it made the hairs on his arms stand up. And Philip is a very grounded person.

I can’t be forthcoming on this one right now in terms of details and I don’t have permission from the parties involved. This one case I knew of already of a man—it’s just absolutely impossible for medicine to comprehend that this guy lived and just in this horrific situation lost his wife and kids and yet just lived through this against all odds.

He was basically doing some reflecting about it and so he went to the surgeon who had fixed him up and he talked to his surgeon about the situation. The surgeon said, “Well, I’ve never told anybody this,” and then he went on to tell this man that he knew that the man was going to live because when he was operating the room “opened up into another dimension” and he saw and talked with the wife of this guy he was working on, who had been killed in the accident.

You see, things like this are just getting—I mean, I am a nominalist in the sense that the Occam rule kind of gets mis-stated really. There does come a point where as much as you want to simplify, you begin to feel kind of intellectually dishonest, see, by putting some prosaic explanation to these things. This is just so gosh-awful beyond that you don’t know what to say about it, really.

Alex Tsakiris: You know, it’s amazing to me that 35 years after your book, we’re still taking seriously people like Dr. Sam Parnia, who I’m sure is a hard-working, extremely intelligent guy, well-meaning, but really? We’re going to put pictures above the bed and see? What are we trying to do here, 35 years have gone. How much human experience do we have to deny?

Dr. Raymond Moody: Yeah, yeah. About that one in particular and in connection with that study was that this could possibly prove life after death and to me that was astonishing to read. I felt Plato pretty much put the kibosh on that one 2,300 years ago when he pointed out that even if you could prove that something leaves the body it doesn’t mean that it would continue to exist after the demolishment of the body.

Alex Tsakiris: The other thing I hear you saying is that if 1) we look at the narratives, and 2) take those narratives and we deconstruct them in the way you’re talking about, we get into nonsense. We get into time that no longer fits in our understanding of time. We get into relationships, the way we relate to the world in a way that no longer fits with our thinking. So we’re kind of way out there as soon as we take that step. It’s a long way down and there’s really no way back.

Dr. Raymond Moody: Or it’s a long way forward because you see, I think that precisely what we need is to show conclusively that the notion of life after death is nonsense and to show exactly what kind of nonsense it is. If you look at the history of rational inquiry, we’ve never really been deterred before by things being nonsensical.

I mean, for example, when Galileo looked at the moon and said, “Oh, a big rock.” And Jupiter. “Oh my God, it’s got satellites going around it, not around the Earth.” Then the Milky Way. “Oh my God, it’s myriads of little teeny stars that’s got to be much further away than any crystal sphere.” Well, then he got to saying, “Okay, what the better idea is that the Earth, along with the other planets, goes around the Sun.” See, when people first heard that, they didn’t object that it was false. What they objected was that it was unintelligible.

Alex Tsakiris: It was nonsense.

Dr. Raymond Moody: Yeah, because what Galileo was saying is that the Earth is one of the heavenly bodies like Venus and Mars and Jupiter. But that can’t be because the Earth is down here. So you see? We can’t be deterred in accepting something just because it’s unintelligible and that’s kind of what I do in this kind of logic. We can work out ways to push the question forward even when it’s unintelligible.

Alex Tsakiris: Interesting. That’s an interesting way to put it. Let me put out a kind of prosaic question, but I have to do it because I think I know your answer and I love your answer and I want to get it. Dr. Moody, do you believe in God?

Dr. Raymond Moody: No, I absolutely do not. And let me explain why. Usually the way that question is asked is, “Do you believe that God exists?” And what I want to point out is that usually the emphasis is on the word exists. I am fully well aware that any brief that I, Raymond Moody, could formulate about God would be off-base. So what I say is I have a relationship with God. And if that sounds evasive, so be it, because this is exactly the way I look at it.

You know, I really am a purist and a skeptic, Alex, as you may be able to figure out. To me it’s a personal injury and insult to have to draw a conclusion about anything. Drives my wife crazy. And all my friends. But I’m hardly ever exactly wrong. You know, Hyman said that the strongest position is always the negative.

Alex Tsakiris: You said a really interesting word. You have a “relationship.” Relationship, I think, is such a key part because it crops up in this work you’ve done. You have a relationship with your past lives. You have these near-death experiencers have a relationship with that encounter. What does this mean when you say, “I can’t know God by definition, but I can have a relationship?” Again, it gets back to these holes in our logic. How can we have a relationship that goes beyond this logic and knowing scientific part?

Dr. Raymond Moody: I have no idea. I really don’t know how to rationalize it. It’s just a personal present. That’s all I can say. Call me mystic in a way but maybe it is a mystical relationship although it’s certainly nothing like—I don’t do any of the chanting. This is a personal relationship that comes through under certain circumstances and I live with it.

Alex Tsakiris: But yet this is that edge that we have to walk. It’s both a personal edge that we have to walk. It’s also the professional edge that we have to walk. Tell me a little bit about Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, though, and about this thing of flying too close to the fire. It’s not just her. This comes up over and over again.

Dr. Raymond Moody: I’m glad you said it’s not just her because that gives me a good—my guess is that you will at least see what I’m getting at here in this even if you don’t agree with it. That is that I think that I am probably the very best possible investigator to these kinds of things like near-death experiences and all like that because there’s something very deep-seated in me that makes it really impossible for me to come to an opinion on it.

And when I look at the people who are the kind of acknowledged or anointed experts in the paranormal, what I think attracts people like that to it is the narrative interest. I mean, these are—let’s face it—absolutely riveting stories. I’ve heard thousands of near-death experiences and I can’t wait to hear the next one.

This much I acknowledge. Let’s just make this the given that these are fascinating stories and I think that a certain kind of person who is drawn to this and their interest is totally based on the narrative. I think that the same tendency of mind that draws them to it also pretty much precludes that they can think rationally about it. Whereas the person who is a clear-headed, analytical thinker would see very clearly that some of these claims of parapsychology and so on are just not even true or false but just meaningless, really.

Alex Tsakiris: I have a lot of empathy for the parapsychologists because I think a lot of their drive is reactionary because the materialists are just bonkers. I have interviewed on this show literally some of the world’s leading neurosurgeons and you just confront them with basic data, basic physics, basic neurology like you were saying, simple stuff about how can a brain that we know medically is severely compromised in all these different situations, and then talk about nonsense. They go into a different kind of nonsense.

Dr. Raymond Moody: Yes, Alex, they do. They do. You’re just absolutely right and not only that. To me it’s just ridiculous for a person with a medical degree to call themselves a scientist. You can call yourself a scientist if you get your Ph.D. in chemistry or physiology or physics or geology but not if—you know, an M.D. is a professional degree. It doesn’t make you a scientist. But many people who have that degree tend to think it’s qualifies them. And professors in medical schools who are real scientists have this constant difficulty with that, these clinicians who haven’t been trained in the scientific method do these studies and they just make obvious errors.

Alex Tsakiris: Dr. Moody, it’s been wonderful having you on the show.

Dr. Raymond Moody: What a pleasure.

Alex Tsakiris: It’s been a great, great pleasure. It just sends us in so many different directions and gets my mind spinning. I love that. Tell us about some of the projects you’re working on now and some of the things you’re up to.

Dr. Raymond Moody: Over the course of my teaching career I developed an incredible method for teaching students the figures of speech, which is something necessary for any kid who studies literature. You’ve got to have a course in that. And I’ve developed this amazing system that makes it real easy for people. Of course, it’s 40 years in development and I’m getting ready to publish that one. I am now teaching a course over the Internet. And it’s about a 10 part course and you can find out about it through [email protected].

Alex Tsakiris: So someone can send you an email and you’ll send them information about it?

Dr. Raymond Moody: Absolutely. I’ll send it right to the producer who’s doing this. It’s all ready and we’ve gotten wonderful comments from it.

Alex Tsakiris: What’s the title of the course? What’s the basic idea?

Dr. Raymond Moody: You know something? It’s entitled, “A New Way of Thinking.” It’s not just to talk about life after death; it’s to absolutely reformat the mind for thinking rationally about big questions that heretofore have eluded reason.

Alex Tsakiris: Fantastic. Well, I’m signing up if no one else does. You have one subscriber right here. I’m going to sign up for that. That’s wonderful. And any books coming out soon?

Dr. Raymond Moody: No. My new book, which you were kind enough to mention, the Paranormal one, I’m having a lot of fun with that now because that one is not normally something I would do, write about myself, but they asked me to do it. Then it got to be like an exercise in studying myself and I thought, ‘It’s been years and years since I’ve thought about myself.’ I realized I’m a pretty weird character. [Laughs]

Alex Tsakiris: I don’t know about that but you’re certainly an interesting character and make a very fast-reading, fast-paced book with so many little turns and twists. Anyone who’s kept up-to-date on the real culture change that we’ve gone through from your research is going to be fascinated by the numerous backstories that are found in the book.

Once again, Dr. Moody, thanks so much for joining us today.

Dr. Raymond Moody: Thank you, Alex, and send me your address in that email and I’ll get you a copy of my manuscript. If you have time to read it, I’d greatly appreciate your comments.

Alex Tsakiris: I look forward to it. Take care. Thanks again.