Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, due to changing circumstances, we can no longer answer individual emails about NDEs, Lisa Smartt, Paul Perry, and Dr. Raymond Moody.
Please look to the FAQ below to find an answer to your question. Dr. Moody can still be reached for a personal phone consultation through this link.
Is life after death real?
While we can't prove scientifically that there is an afterlife -- it belongs, at this point, to the realm of the spirit and belief, there is an increasingly large amount of serious scientific research projects that point to life after death as, at the very least, a phenomenon (sharing remarkable similarities regardless of culture or belief) that has been recorded across the globe and as far back as ancient times that has a profound and lasting impact on those that have experienced it.
Dr. Moody is convinced after all of his research (including hearing hundreds if not thousands of first-hand accounts providing compelling evidence) and especially the study of shared death experiences (like this one here) that life after death is real.
You can watch an interview with Dr. Moody on the subject on YouTube Here.
How can I learn more?
There is a treasure trove of information on near death experiences, shared death, after death contact and more to find! There are stories, excerpts, and research on our site and on our blog to read, as well as free podcasts and video interviews with Dr. Moody, NDE researchers, and first-person accounts.
Of course, Dr. Moody has also written many books over the years dealing with these phenomena and the research surrounding it.
And there are also always interesting books coming out in the field (such as After by Dr. Bruce Greyson) and many wonderful resources to be found around the internet, including podcasts, YouTube channels, blogs, and more.
The blog of Dr. Kenneth Ring is full of charming and insightful posts that frequently touch on near death.
The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), is a worldwide organization dedicated to the exploration of NDEs and their implications. It provides information and education to the public, sponsors local support groups around the world, hosts an annual conference, and publishes a scholarly journal and an organizational newsletter.
Near-Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) is the largest collection of near death experiences on the web with over 5,000 accounts from all over the world and half a million readers each month.
Wherever your explorations of these fascinating field take you, remember to keep an open mind and judge the experiences and opinions you find against your own knowledge and what makes sense to your understanding of life, God or higher consciousness, and the universe. No one knows for certain the truth about after death and no one can determine for you what to believe.
When in doubt, remember that almost all near death experiencers report that life after death is real, the experience is incredibly positive, and that the universe and our lives are founded on love. If you can bring more love into your life and offer more love to others, you are living well.
How do I contact Dr. Moody?
Dr. Moody is retired from research work and concentrating his time on his writing and his family.
While Raymond would love to talk to you, the truth is that he simply cannot answer the messages he gets every day from all over the world asking for his help or time.
Dr. Moody does offer a limited number of remote, private consultations if you would like to have a conversation with him directly. These are $300 for a one-hour session and more information can be found here.
If you have a radio show or podcast and wish to schedule a phone interview, you can do so HERE.
We thank you for your understanding and your interest!
How can I share my story or insights about NDEs?
Even though Dr. Moody finds each and every story of near death, shared death, and other transformative spiritual experiences interesting, enlightening, and often inspiring, he has retired from research.
If you are looking to share your own or a loved one's experience or contribute to the understanding of NDEs we recommend reaching out to IANDS.org (International Association for Near-Death Studies) or NDERF.org (Near Death Experience Research Foundation). Both organizations offer resources, insight, and community connection opportunities.
Can I book an interview with Dr. Moody or Lisa Smartt?
Raymond is currently offering phone interviews only. Lisa is available for phone or Zoom calls. Please see the Interview Page to put in your request.
Will Dr. Moody read or endorse my book?
Thank you for writing on the important subject of life after death. Whether through scientific research, philosophy, first person experiences, or collected accounts, books that deal with these topics can offer wonderful insights, help expand our understanding, or offer hope and comfort to those in grief.
Unfortunately, Dr. Moody is retired and his reading list is already long (including his lifelong passion for philosophy and the ancient Greeks!) so he only has time to read (and occasionally endorse) works by friends and fellow researchers he has previously worked with.
How can I collaborate with Dr. Moody on a project?
Unfortunately, Dr. Moody is elderly and retired from field research. He wishes the next generation of thinkers and dreamers every possible success, but he is devoting his time to writing, teaching, and his family now.
He also doesn't have the time or resources to help you find an agent, get funding, or help produce your dream project. But it's great you're working hard and looking for ways to succeed and we wish you every success in your ventures.
Lastly, if you would like to hire Raymond for your television interview or documentary film, you can reach out to his manager Lisa Smartt.
Is Dr. Moody still doing psychomanteum work?
Raymond is no longer doing psychomanteum work in conjunction with the Theatre of the Mind in Alabama.
Dr. Moody does offer a limited number of remote, private consultations if you would be interested in discussing your experiences with him. This would not be a psychomanteum session but you might be able to ask him questions about constructing your own psychomanteum at home. These are $300 for a one-hour session and more information can be found here.
You can also sign up for a free PDF with simple instructions for building a psychomanteum (or 'gazing mirror') at home (scroll to the middle of this page). You might also want to 'Google' your questions about how to construct one as the internet is full of interesting information!
And while a psychomanteum is a wonderful way to connect to our departed loved ones, we strongly believe that we are already connected to them at all times. If you take a walk in a favorite place, or write a letter, or simply speak the words in your heart, we believe our loved ones hear and understand us. And often our loved ones send messages to us as well, in the form of coincidences, favorite songs or books, or often in nature. Dr. Moody writes about how birds especially seem to appear as messengers for the dead.
You might consider writing a letter to your deceased loved one, asking questions about your life, and then see if you get any 'answers' (feelings) and write those down. Almost 'imagining' what they would say if they were in the room with you. For hundreds of years people have used this kind of 'automatic writing' to great results. Just another possibility to consider.
Whatever you choose to do, know that when you want them your loved ones are frequently nearby and that you can communicate with them (silently, through writing, or aloud) and feel their presence. Also know that at times they may communicate with you through signs, feelings, or even the words of others. Stay open to the possibilities and allow yourself to feel any peace, support, love, or gratitude that these 'messages' bring.
More Questions About the Afterlife
How can I deal with my grief?
Next to love, loss is one of the most profound and inevitable of human experiences. Knowing that life continues on the other side of death, that our loved ones are whole and at peace in the afterlife and that we will see them again can be a source of great comfort.
However, especially if we've never had a near death or shared death experience ourselves, such promises may feel empty or uncertain. Or even if we do believe in the soul's survival, we can still struggle with our loss in the here and now.
There is no simple answer to grief. Dr. Moody himself lost a child and knows how overwhelming and devastating loss can be. Time can ease the acuteness of that loss, allowing us to live with it and to once again connect with other people and to take joy in life, but there is no simple cure. There are many books, groups, and websites dedicated to grief and coping with loss if you want to learn more. You can also read some of what Dr. Moody has written on grief HERE or listen to an excerpt HERE.
If you are in crisis, please reach out for help - be it to a friend or family member or to a professional. For resources or to speak to a trained crisis worker you can contact 988lifeline.org
Do people who have done terrible things in this life get a 'free pass' or is there some sort of 'hell' or suffering after death?
In short, Raymond through his research has come to the idea that we are more like actors on a stage, with free will but also playing roles in an agreed upon script, and that we will understand the pain we have caused after death but only so we can understand everything more clearly. And that the universe is all about love, not retribution.
There's obviously no way to 'know' what we'll find in the afterlife, but Raymond is convinced that it's all love, understanding, and forgiveness after the curtain of this world closes.
It can seem almost impossible that someone who has committed a truly horrifying act would be welcome in a heavenly afterlife, but think of the eyes of a newborn child. There is something pure, innocent, and good inside all of us at the start of our lives.
If you consider that simple love and potential to be the soul at a person's center, then that goodness may come out again in the afterlife when they have seen and experienced through a life review - without judgement - the choices they made and pain they may have caused. Just like the pains or addictions of our earthly bodies may to left behind on the journey to the afterlife, so too can our sorrows, hurts, anger, and the harm we have caused others.
It is not that the pain and suffering that people cause through their actions do not matter (like our loving actions, they can matter very much), it's simply that our souls are more than anything that we do or that is done to us in this life.
Something that is repeated by those who have seen the other side is that when they are made whole and surrounded by utter love in the afterlife, then the pain that others caused them falls away, they understand and forgive completely so there is no need for punishment.
Whatever the case may be, it is not that 'bad people' are allowed to go unpunished, but rather that the good in everyone is the part that continues (wiser and more whole) into the next life. And that all our mistakes, including hurting ourselves or others, are experienced and learned from and then released when we return to a place where suffering does not exist.
What can I do if I feel life isn't worth continuing?
We're so sorry you feel that way. If you feel like you need help, please check out these resources from the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
I hope you know you are amazing and beautiful and loved and most of all -- very valuable for all the ways you'll help people in the future. Please keep reaching out and find someone, hopefully someone in your community, who can help you and inspire you to help others as you grow well. And do be gentle with yourself.
You will feel more joy again, and meet people who will love you and need you and you'll be the most important, favorite person in someone's life who you haven't even met yet. I'm so sorry your life is challenging right now, but most people who feel that way at one point in their lives feel very different later.
And if possible, consider volunteering and starting to help others; it will help you more than you know. Perhaps make a commitment/gift and dedicate 100 hours to community service and promise yourself that you will wait and see how you feel at the end of those 100 hours. (If that feels impossible or overwhelming in your current circumstance, consider a smaller commitment - like calling a loved one or helping a neighbor even for a few minutes every day. Small acts of helpfulness, support, or love for someone else can do wonders in our own lives.)
In one of Raymond's presentations, he talks about how our life is a circle and our grief can fill in the whole circle, the space of our whole life. And that, while the grief doesn't shrink, we continue to grow and expand and our lives become larger in time, far beyond the bounds of our grief. And that feels true to me -- abour grief and other kinds of sorrow.
In Raymond's On Suicide presentation he talks about how most people who have tried to exit early and had NDEs realized right away that they didn't want to die at all -- and that their problems were manageable and their lives worth living.
I hope you know that you are a valuable and beautiful part of this world and we need you in it for as long as possible. <3
Do people who have commited suicide suffer after death?
Most people -- including those who try to take their own lives -- don't experience negative NDEs, though some speak of experiencing life reviews that might help them understand or even experience the pain of those left behind after their death but there wouldn't be a long-term negative impact or experience for those who have passed. All signs point to an overwhelming feeling of understanding and peace in the afterlife.
Dr. Moody's fascinating presentation On Suicide gives some insight into his thoughts on the subject in case you want to learn more.
Whatever causes provoked someone to take their own life - trauma, mental illness, loss, pain, or things we may never know - does not exist in the next life any more than physical illness or bodilypain. Their soul is the part that continues (at peace, wiser and more whole) into the next life.
When someone commits suicide they not only end their own life, but can cause pain and suffering in the lives of those that know and love them. This leads to pain and even anger felt towards them. It can lead to anger and self reproach in those left behind wishing or believing they could have done more.
Please know you are never responsible for the choices and actions of someone else. Even if you feel that you failed them or wish you could have prevented their death, you are doing the best you can as well and we have no way of knowing what the higher purpose of their life (and death) may be for them or us. In this like so many things involving our lives or the afterlife, we can only trust and hope and know that peace and understanding will come to us in this life or the next.
People who attempted suicide and experienced an NDE have sometimes said that they see the pain their death would have on those left behind, so it is likely that these events may be seen and re-experienced (including from the point of view of others) after death so that the person understands without suffering or judgement the choices they made.
In the end all our mistakes, including hurting ourselves or others, are experienced and learned from and then released when we return to a place where suffering does not exist.
Do our pets have an afterlife?
According to NDE research, it often seems that our most important loved ones (including animals) are awaiting us in the next world. It is wonderful to envision our closest furry friends licking our faces and welcoming us home.
Many people have reported such findings. Reuniting with our pets after death wasn't thought as much about (or written about as much) when Dr. Moody first wrote Life After Life in 1975 and it has not been the focus of any research so far as we know so there is less say for certain on the topic.
Nowadays, people are more aware and open about meeting our beloved pets on the other side of the 'Rainbow Bridge'. Both Dr. Kenneth Ring (Do Our Pets Have an Afterlife?) and Sandy Coghlan (Beloved Pets Never Leave Us) have written on the topic and we encourage you read what they have to say.
Even without more definitive answers, what we do know is that pets can be an important part of our lives and that the soul connection we feel to them is real and valid. We have never heard of an NDE where someone learned that a beloved companion would not be seen again, so hopefully we will meet joyfully on the other side and hug our beloved pets again.
Is there peace on the other side?
Everything definitely suggests that it will be a happy crossing.
Accounts tell us that finding yourself in the next realm might be a surprise to the people passing over (especially in the case of sudden or traumatic accidents) and that there may be a time of adjustment but that it's quite possible that the feeling would only be one of happiness, serenity, and being suffused with love.
Often the experience is described as remarkably calm and peaceful, sometimes even feeling a curiosity or ambivalence towards the "body" they just left.
Sometimes passing over people will realize that this was a choice they made long ago (before birth) and that this had always been their 'stop' on the train of life. They often report their concern for loved ones left behind, but also knowing that those they love will be alright.
And while they would miss the living, they would only feel peace and joy as they moved on to their next planned adventure.
Descriptions of the next world vary, including telling us it cannot be described or understood fully from this world, or that what they saw was only a pathway or stopping place and that the true expanse of the afterlife was further on.
What we do hear repeatedly is that it is a place of light, love, and peace. Some describe amazing music or colors, many tell of meeting with loved ones or with spirit guides, and a reconnection with their higher self.
Whatever the truth about life after death there is every reason to believe that it is a good place, that we will be happy there - free from pain, grief, or troubles - and that we will be welcomed there with love.
There's even sometimes a feeling that this life was only a minor intro to a most wonderful main event! How exciting
Why do bad things happen? Is there any good reason to suffer?
We don't know why the things that happen to us in this life take place. One thing we've heard from those that cross over is the idea that our lives act as a means of learning and experiencing life as part of our soul's growth.
That we may come to this world knowing that loss, pain, and suffering can occur here, which is something that we cannot experience in the next realm. And that we may even intend (a concept sometimes referred to as pre-birth planning or a soul plan) to experience some or all of the difficulties, trials, and tragedies that befall us during our lives.
Why would our souls choose to experience pain or suffering? Why would we do this to ourselves?
Think of it from the perspective of what you know of your life and the lives of those around you. Surely there have been times, large or small, when something happened that hurt you or upset you and yet you ultimately gained something from the experience, something you were even grateful for in hindsight?
Perhaps an early love broke your heart, or you had a painful relationship with a parent, or you were injured in an accident. Any of these things can hurt (and even at the time feel unjust and as though no good could come from it) and yet you may have gained something in the process.
You may have become kinder and more loving, you may have become more resilient and independent, you may have learned another side of yourself you didn't know before, or come to appreciate life and love more deeply.
All of these things are true from a soul's perspective as well, only with the added knowledge that nothing that happens in the life can truly hurt you on a soul level. And the knowledge that in time no matter what you experience in this world, no matter how painful, you will one day return to the spirit realm and be whole once more.
Dr. Moody has come to appreciate the analogy of a stage play, that we come to this life to play a role. That we pour our heart fully into experiencing the beauty, happiness, pain, and pathos of human life and then take those experiences - the joys and heartaches, highs, lows, and everything in between - back with us to the other side.
If the afterlife is a place of endless peace and love, then having the opportunity to experience something so powerful, both the good and bad, as a means of learning and growing could be profoundly meaningful.
Dr. Mary Neal speaks to this in her interview with Raymond in the Consciousness Forum. You can download a preview on the homepage. You can watch the clips "The beauty that comes from terrible times" and "Why life is an incredible opportunity and then we go home" on YouTube where she describes her understanding our time on earth and the purpose of what happens to us.
What is the purpose of life?
This is probably the oldest and most profound question in mankind's history.
Why are we here? Is there a point to our lives? Am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing?
We seemingly can't know for certain while we're here the answers to all our questions. It's entirely possible that if we had perfect knowledge (of life, the afterlife, our soul's plan, or of the greater purpose of mankind or the universe) we would in part defeat the purpose.
Living our lives in this veil of ignorance and uncertainty is part of what makes life so powerful. Not knowing how long we have, where we come from or what awaits us after death makes the here and now and our choices in this life feel critical and all-encompassing.
Two recurring themes we hear from near death experiencers are that we are here to experience life and that we are here to learn and grow on a soul level. Both of these are doubtless better achieved without knowing the answers to all of our questions and knowing that peace, love, and eternity are ours. We are purposefully adrift and that makes the lives we lead powerful in both the highs of our best days and the pain of our darkest nights.
While the research of NDEs is fascinating and convincing, the afterlife with probably always be the realm of faith -- and part of the beauty of faith is in the mystery, the gift of expectation, the pause before perfection.
Another thing we hear time and again is that LOVE is what truly matters. That when we review our lives it is the love we gave and the love given to us that is the most important. That even a smallest acts of kindness (an encouraging word, a cup of coffee with someone who is down, changing that tire for someone stranded by the side of the road) can reverberate and mean far more than conventional markers of success (We have never heard of a life review that praised wealth for its own sake or fancy cars, only what we do with our lives and how we treat each other).
If you are looking for how to best live your life the answers are most likely found in how you understand it. What can you orient your life around that is both meaningful to you and allows you to act as a force of good within the world?
It could be a form of service (many near death experiencers find themselves drawn to medicine, social, or religious work in the aftermath of their experience), it could be a creative impulse (art, music, or something else providing beauty or inspiration) or it could be in being a source of love and support to the people in your family or community throughout your life.
"That's why we're here on Earth. We're here to learn our lessons of love and we're here to do our jobs - whatever that job might be." ~ Dr. Melvin Morse
When Dr. Melvin Morse interviewed a child following his NDE the boy said that he had a job to do and that's why he had come back. When Dr. Morse followed up with him as a young man he asked him what his job was. He said he ran a small construction company and looked after the men who worked for him and that was what he was supposed to be doing.
If we could say with casual and absolute certainty that this life is just a brief stop in our soul's eternity, that the loves, losses, and choices that define us are just a few moments from infinity - would we live our lives as fully, would we feel as deeply?
So perhaps our questions are indeed part of the point and it's our job to live our answers as best we can.