Dr. Raymond Moody is a bestselling author, psychologist and philosopher. He’s most widely known for his research on near-death experiences, a term he coined in 1975 in his book, Life After Life.
“Those who practice philosophy in the right way are in training for dying and they fear death least of all men.” -Plato
It behooves us to approach big questions with two things: a sense of humor and an open mind. That way, not only are you having fun spelunking into all of life’s ontological possibilities, you’re tamping down your confirmation bias.
As fantastic as that sounds as an abstract hypothetical, what happens when the shit goes down? How do you, for example, confront the mystery of death with humor and an open mind? How do you keep an open mind when we have an innate bias toward desiring a certain conclusion? We want our existence to mean something. We shudder at the idea of being some sort of cosmic accident (unless you get off on the idea of a nihilistic cosmological paradigm, in which case, your bias is just backwards in this case).
As far as approaching death with a sense of humor, it’s pretty obvious why that’s a challenge. Everything about being faced with it is crushingly sad and final.
That’s why Dr. Raymond Moody is such an astonishing soul. He’s managed to find a way to meet this merciless mystery of mysteries with a smile. He’s been around countless grieving people and probably at the deathbeds of many, yet he’s somehow soaked in positivity. I’m not sure how he does it.
Musings in this mind meld include –
- The eastern view of death versus the western view
- Ancient greek philosophy, logic and dualism
- Why do repetitive actions lead to altered states?
- The importance of stories of life and the afterlife
- Oracles of the dead and necromancy in the ancient world
- Daniel Ogden and his book Greek and Roman Necromancy
- Scrying to speak with the dead?
- Even if you can never find truth, there’s nothing more fun than looking for it
- The origin of the word skepticism and how it’s been coopted by materialists
- The three approaches to knowledge
- Is the scientific method the only means to arrive at truth?
- Barkley – everything is just an idea
- Why philosophy, myth and reality are fundamentally interwoven
- Near Death Experiences
- Language, culture, logos and creating adjacent shared dimensions of consciousness