Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the near-Death Experience

By Kenneth Ring; Evelyn Elsaesser Valarino | Go to book overview

Introduction:
Living and Dying in the Light
of the Near-Death Experience

In the more than twenty years since the publication of Raymond Moody's groundbreaking book, Life after Life, much of the world has become familiar, at least superficially, with the phenomenon Moody labeled the near‐ death experience (NDE). Because of the enormous public interest that was generated by his book, the media were quick to capitalize on its success, and a veritable barrage of talk shows, documentaries, and magazine and newspaper articles on the subject followed in short order. In fact, ever since that initial wave of popular interest in the NDE surfaced, there has effectively been no trough: The media continue to feed off the NDE with an appetite that shows no sign of satiety, while the reading public devours autobiographical accounts of NDEs, such as Betty Eadie's Embraced by the Light, with astonishing avidity. Similarly, Hollywood, with its opportunistic fingers resting, as ever, on the pulse of topicality, also helped at the outset to disperse the discoveries about the NDE through such early films as Resurrection, All That Jazz, and Brainstorm, and has continued to do so over the years with a spate of other films, including the very popular Ghost, Flatliners, and Jacob's Ladder. Thus, thanks largely to the unrelenting efforts of those in the print and visual media, we have now had twenty years of unflagging attention to the reports people give after surviving a near-death crisis. As a result, virtually everyone, it seems, is now generally

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