REMARKABLE PEOPLE, raymond moody

1994 Thresholds interview


Dr. Raymond Moody is a researcher, psychiatrist and philosopher who pioneered research into near death experiences, reported in his best-selling book Life After Life. Dr. Moody is the author of a number of books, including Reflections on Life After Life, The Light Beyond, and his most recent publication, Reunions: Visionary Encounters With Departed Loved Ones.
Dr. Moody conducts ongoing research into the paranormal and altered states of consciousness at his private research facility, The John Dee Memorial Theater of the Mind. The institute is devoted to the use of altered states of consciousness for the purpose of education, entertainment and spiritual advancement. Dr. Moody explores the interconnections between the paranormal and the realms of play, humor, and the performing arts. The facility was named in honor of Dr. John Dee (1527-1608), a mathematical genius who invented navigational gear and who devised special effects for the stage so miraculous that he was accused of sorcery. He was an intelligence expert for his friend Queen Elizabeth I, and Shakespeare based the character Prospero in The Tempest on him. Dr. Dee's extensive pioneering work with crystal gazing is fundamental to Dr. Moody's research at The Theater of the Mind.

Thresholds: How did you first become interested in the topic of life after death?

Moody: Well, actually, it wasn't the topic of life after death that I became interested in. What happened was that I, from early childhood, was interested in consciousness, and even as a little kid I remember being so curious about how it could be that I was conscious. I started out really interested in astronomy when I was six years old, and had planned to be an amateur astronomer. What I like to say about my background is that we were not religious and called it Presbyterian, which maybe you understand. And so, the way I put it together, retrospectively, was it was probably the fact that my father was going through his midlife crisis when I was about twelve that led them [my parents] to start taking us to church. I had been to church very infrequently as a kid, and when suddenly at twelve, we started going, I was totally unimpressed.
I went to the University of Virginia and studied philosophy there, and in 1965 one of my philosophy professors told me about a psychiatry professor there at University of Virginia, George Ritchie, who had had an astonishing experience when he had been pronounced dead some years before. I heard about this and I was just interested in it from the point of view of consciousness. To me, I had always just assumed that consciousness was obliterated at death so I took the opportunity to listen to him. Four years later, I was teaching philosophy at a university, and after class one day, one of my students came up and said, "I wish we could talk about life after death in this class." The context was that I was teaching the Phaedo of Plato, but I wasn't teaching it from the point of view of the speculations he has in there about life after death; I was trying to get the students to focus upon his logic, his methodology. I was schooled in the ordinary language of philosophy school and I thought that this was kind of an odd, an antique concern, and so I said, "Well, why do you want to talk about that?" And he said that about a year before, he had been pronounced dead after a wreck and he had had an incredible experience, something that had changed his life and he hadn't had anybody who would talk with him about it. So I listened to him and I was astounded to hear identically what I had heard from George Ritchie four years before. So that was how I got interested in it.
I am still a complete skeptic about the possibility of scientific proof or evidence of life after death. That, to me, is something that just doesn't compute. The stock way of saying that is the apples and oranges kind of thing, I mean, it just doesn't fit together. Scientific methodology is not going to make a determination like that. One of the reasons that science can function so effectively is that it intentionally limits itself to this kind of reality that we're in, and so, if these near-death experiences are what they purport to be, then they don't deal with transactions within this reality, they deal with transactions between this reality and some other kind of reality.
So, it didn't start with me as an interest in life after death. I've reached a point where I even have given up that terminology, life after death, or the beyond. Those phrases imply temporal or spatial relationships, and what people who have near-death experiences tell me is that what they experienced wasn't even temporal or spatial in the sense that you and I appreciate it. So, what I'm interested in is altered states of consciousness and I think that the old question of whether there is a life after death or the beyond, which were literally ideas that were formulated in prehistoric times, have to be revised. We're searching for a metaphor but you know the difficulty with metaphors is that they are never quite adequate.

Thresholds: What's your conclusion about what happens when people have these experiences?

Moody: I'm not trying to be evasive or anything; in all honesty, my opinion is that if you draw conclusions you're heading for trouble. What I try to explain to people about this is the mistake that I see people falling into is belief and disbelief. What they don't realize is that the disbelievers succumb to belief in the form of disbelief. They are so concerned to be sure that disbelief is maintained, it is the same thing, just a form of believing. What really I'm striving for in this is non-belief. My emotional tendency is disbelief, because of my background. You know how formative your early opinions are. When I stray from my non-belief pattern, it drifts over to the disbelief side, and I kind of wonder why we have to introduce belief into it at all? I mean, it's such a common human thing to do, but I've begun to approach the paranormal in a whole new way that's quite outside of the belief/disbelief spectrum.
The paranormal has been looked at in very standard ways by our society. There is the parapsychological framework which is the idea, I take it, that in principle at least, or theoretically at least, the scientific method as we know it might be used to prove that there is a life after death, for instance, or establish foreknowledge. And then on the other hand there are the skeptical debunkers, and then there's the fundamentalist group who say it's all the devil. And those are the three primary articulated perspectives on the paranormal these days. They all have difficulties with them. I don't believe that science as we know it is going to prove this. As for the debunkers, they totally misconstrue what they are about, because they think of themselves as scientists. That's silly, because it is a social crusade, and basically they are opposed to the paranormal. This is from their literature, because they fear that if society takes the paranormal seriously we'll be right back to the witchcraft burnings. And as for the fundamentalists, they are the most primitive of believers. They are completely uncritical believers. No matter how bizarre the story is, it never enters their mind that there might be a plausible psychological explanation, it's just the devil. They are rigid and they are obsessed with idology.
So, my perspective on it is that I look at certain intuitive links between the paranormal and the worlds of entertainment and humor and play. You think of the divination techniques, tarot cards, Ouija boards, runes; in their natural setting these are like parlor games. For the vast majority of people who are interested in it, it's a leisure time activity. Numerous psychologists like Jung have pointed out that the histrionic techniques that tend to make for good actors or actresses on the one hand make for equally good psychics on the other. There's just a multitude of overlaps like that and so what I have concluded is that the systemic concern with the paranormal is a form of entertainment. That is not in any way to put it down, because I regard humor and laughter and play as the essentially human things, and you think of all the great plays that have explored the spiritual life. I think this is a very positive development.
One of the things that has caused a lot of consternation among people who have systematically studied the paranormal is the idea, we can't have a repeatable experiment, we can't reproduce this... Well, of course! Because, you know, science deals with transactions within this level of reality, but what field of human endeavor is it that has always reliably facilitated transitions between this kind of reality and other kinds of reality? Well, it's entertainment. I mean, every time you go to see Macbeth, you are transported into a whole different world and so, that's my basic perspective on it.
But now, by paradox, (as life is full of), this perspective has enabled me to come up with something that has so far eluded a lot of other people and that's that we have developed a method using this perspective whereby we can actually recreate the experience of seeing apparitions of the deceased. And this is going to enable us to actually do some scientific experiments, not on the question of whether there's a life after death, but rather on the question what's going on in the brains, for instance, of people who are having the experience of seeing an apparition.

Thresholds: So are you saying that you have developed a way for people to cause that to happen at will?

Moody: Absolutely. There's no doubt about it. And also I'm very happy and relieved to be able to tell you that so far numerous other psychologists in the U.S. have replicated it. And some of them are actually getting more reliable results with it than I, probably because as you can tell I am a complete intellectual, whereas a lot of the people that are putting this into practice are therapists. Basically what happened was that about four years ago I was sitting around in my research facility one night and I was thinking back on a problem that I had been thinking about for fifteen or twenty years, and that was, we would like to be able to reproduce near-death experiences for two reasons. Number one, so we could study them directly and wouldn't have to fall back on anecdotes told after the fact. And secondly so that hopefully we could capture some of the positive after-effects of the experiences on people. But obviously nobody would want to think of the flatliners method, okay? So, in 1981, Bruce Greyson (who is a friend of mine who also studies near death experiences) had pointed out to me that you really don't need to think of that problem globally, because the near-death experience is a number of features; we can think of the possibility of replicating them separately, or each one independently. But still, it didn't seem very likely to be able to do that. And then, as I was sitting that night thinking about all of this, I got to thinking that apparitions of the deceased are a recognized part of the near-death experience. Typically the people tell us that as they are dying their grandma comes, or whoever, and so we also know that those experiences occur spontaneously. There have been numerous medical studies that have shown they occur to a high percentage of bereaved people, as many as 66% of widows, interestingly enough.
Now, what I thought that night that changed my perspective on this, was this realization: if apparitions of the deceased are so common as they appear to be from the demographics, then what that means is that human beings are highly predisposed to them. Now if you think about it that way, that's a whole different way of looking at it. And so I realized, well, why not rearrange circumstances in such a way as to heighten the likelihood that this would occur under a given circumstance so that we could be there to monitor the person with electroencephalograms and secondly, to get a fresh account before the mind might have had time subconsciously to distort or elaborate it. And the moment I had that thought, I went right back to 1962 to the University of Virginia, my liberal arts seminar class. I had the greatest course I had ever been in in any of my education, and the whole semester we just read the classics of ancient Greece, that's all we did. I recalled that in Herodotus, the first historian, there's a story about a place where allegedly the ancient Greeks would go actually to see and visit with their departed relatives. And I recalled that the way Herodotus described it, it wasn't like mediumship where there's an indirect thing, like this medium is intermediary. Apparently, from his description, people would actually have a first hand visitation. So, I thought, what in the world was that all about? I looked up the section in the Odyssey, too, where Odysseus goes to this place; incidentally, it's the same place that Herodotus had mentioned, the Oracle of the Dead in Thesprotia in Epirus, Northwest Greece. And so I got really interested in this and I thought well, what in the name of God were they doing there? I found out that two thousand years of scholars had assumed that that couldn't be, that Herodotus and Strabo, Posineus and all of these other people just didn't know what they were talking about, they were reporting legends, or that if there was such a place, that it had to be fraud, because no one could imagine how they might have been able to do it.
Basically, what happened was that in 1958, Sotiris Dakaris, who was a well-known classical archeologist, just decided to see if he could find this place which Homer describes. And you know, when you read that section in the Odyssey, it says that Odysseus goes to the place which was near the city of the Cimmerian people wrapped in mist and cloud. And for generations scholars had been misreading that. It was Cimmerians. And they were confused about how that could be because that was a Middle East group. But even in very antique times, some scholars have pointed out that he wasn't talking about those people, he was talking about the Cheimerians of Epirus, Thesprotia, exactly where Herodotus said the Oracle of the Dead was. Depending upon the description of the landscape that Homer gives in the Odyssey, he went to this place and he found it. And it's an enormous subterranean facility with corridors and dormitory rooms where people would stay while they were waiting their turn at the oracle. At one end of the corridor it opens into a maze, and all of this would have been subterranean and in complete darkness. You would go through this elaborate maze into a fifty-foot long central apparition hallway and from the geography of the place they could tell that's where the apparitional experience took place. In there, Dakaris found the remnants of an enormous bronze cauldron and it was surrounded by a bannister which made it appear that the people who were seeing the apparitions would be gazing in the direction of the cauldron.
Dakaris made what I suppose would be a reasonable assumption to an archeologist, to a person not interested in altered states of consciousness. He assumed that the guides would conceal themselves in this big cauldron and pretend to be the spirits that these people had come to see. From my knowledge of altered states of consciousness, I had a different conjecture. That was also based on study of the Greek magical papyrae; these are documents that were found, that are written in the Greek language but come from Greco-Egyptian culture and were found in Egypt. These detail mirror-gazing methods for conjuring the deceased, so I decided that that must have been what they were doing at Ephyra, the Oracle of the Dead on the Acheron. I set up a situation in my own research facility; I built a chamber, not using a cauldron but a mirror surrounded by a black velvet curtain and arranged in such a way so that a person sitting in the booth does not see their own reflection, but a clear optical depth. What I had imagined was that at Ephyra they probably highly polished the inside of that cauldron, filled it up with water, and there in the light from lamps and torches, which would have been indirect, it would have made quite a spectacular appearance, and that that's where the visions were seen.
I set it up, tested it out. I assumed that maybe about one out of ten of the subjects would have some experience but immediately it became obvious that it was going to be at least 50%. Much to my astonishment, the apparitions were experienced as real events, especially since I was using as the subjects my own colleagues, psychologists, and my own graduate students of psychology. I assumed that anybody who saw anything would say, "Yeah, you know, I saw an image, it looked like my grandma but I don't know if it was real or a figment... " In fact, my subjects started coming out of there saying, "Yeah, I talked to Grandpa," and it was just astonishing! What we have found is that quite a hefty proportion of the people who see apparitions will actually say that the apparition forms first in the mirror, and then emerges from the mirror, comes out right in front of them, full color, three dimensions. Thirty percent of the subjects report hearing the audible voice of the person who has died, carrying on elaborate communications. And, very nicely, the subjects who have been going through this have reported that it helped them with the grief. It helped them tidy up the unfinished business. So what I can say for sure is that we have now replicated the common human experience of seeing apparitions of the deceased. Well, some people might want to ask, "Well, is this really the same thing that people are having when they experience apparitions?" Absolutely! If you go back to the early compendia, apparitional tales, that were first put together by the Society for Psychical Research a hundred years or so ago, you see that yes, it's very common for people who see spontaneous apparitions first to see them in mirrors or reflective surfaces and then they come forward. The accounts that subjects give in the psychomanteum, which was the ancient Greek term for this, are identical to the accounts we hear from people who have spontaneous apparitions. So, I think we've done it!
Now, I want to insist as I did at the beginning that this is not evidence or proof of life after death in a scientific sense, but we have, I think, achieved a state now where at least one allegedly or supposedly paranormal experience can now be reproduced reliably. In the next few years, we can provide an opportunity for, I believe, anyone who wants to have this experience to be able to have that.

Thresholds: I know that in your books about near death experiences, people report coming back recognizing a much deeper meaning in their present life. With the experience with apparitions, other than helping them with their grief, how does it help people after they have had the experience?

Moody: Well, I've only been doing this for about three and a half years, so I don't know how to make a judgment on that yet. All I can say is that so far, at the three and a half year level, people are still telling me this made a major impact and that it gave them some sort of personal assurance, quite apart from a belief or an intellectual supposition, that there is something to the old ideas of life after death. But I guess we'll have to wait on that one a little while. So far, definitely in terms of liberating people from the grief, it's been very helpful.

Thresholds: And how about yourself, have you used this?

Moody: I went through it and I had an experience of seeing my grandmother who had died some years before, just as vividly as I'm seeing you, hearing her voice, just as audibly as I hear yours, really quite astonishing. It still didn't give me a belief in life after death; I mean, I'm puzzled about what I experienced and I can't deny it. I don't have any doubt about it, it was real insofar as I experienced it as a real event. But then, that's just what people who have apparitions say. From that, you can't make any scientific conclusions about life after death, but it certainly can change one's own inner perspective on things very dramatically.

Thresholds: As far as yourself, what is it that gives you meaning to your life?

Moody: My children, and my wife, and I also love thinking and working and learning things, and I like to exercise, I love the news, and I like to eat. And that's pretty close to it.

Thresholds: I've heard that oftentimes people who have had near death experiences reportedly had some kind of depression or dullness or sense of no meaning in life before that happened, and then having this experience awakened them to there being a purpose in life. Do you think that's a universal experience?

Moody: Oh, definitely. In my case I can say that about my own personal experience, too, and I've noticed that with others, too. I mean, once you have something like this happen to you, once you see a relative who has died and have a conversation, and it sort of knits things up and you have your own perceptions about that, then what need do you have any more for beliefs? You know? A belief is something indirect and intermediary and totally cognitive and intellectual, whereas if you have a personal experience it makes a totally different impact on you.

Thresholds: I'm curious as to why, after all your training in philosophy, you decided to become a psychiatrist?

Moody: Well, I was one of those who started on Freud in high school, and I read psychology. Jung I tried but it was mystifying, I couldn't understand that from a seventeen-year-old perspective; not until you're about thirty-eight do you start understanding Jung in any sense. But it went back even further than that. It went back even to childhood, I remember being very curious about the mind. I think I was twenty-five years old when I finished my Ph.D. I had gone through very quickly with philosophy and, you know, you're a different person later on. So I taught for several years and I just decided well, I haven't learned enough and I wanted to continue my education and psychiatry was always something I'd been interested in, so I went back to that.

Thresholds: Have you ever done any counseling or therapy?

Moody: I did, I practiced for awhile and I actually worked in forensics, which is a real interest of mine still. I worked in an institution for the criminally insane and dealt with serial killers and mass murderers and that sort of thing, worked for the court in sanity cases and things like that and then I was in private practice for awhile but then I got to thinking, "Just a minute, here. I've got worse problems than that!" Plus, I got into psychiatry at the time that it was still about talking. Then about halfway through my training it started getting into the pills. And now it's all pills, from what I understand. I'm not charmed about pills.

Thresholds: Do you have an institute?

Moody: I do. Theater of the Mind, and basically I'm developing these ideas I was telling you about. I am very confident that over the next five years that anyone will be able to do this. The reason I'm saying this is that just with my work, and not working with this full time by any means, over a three and a half year period I've developed a fifty percent success rate and some people who are more therapists, who are using the technique that I rediscovered, as it were, are getting potentially an eighty percent success rate.

Thresholds: Where did you get the name "Theater of the Mind"?

Moody: It's named after John Dee. The whole name of it is the Dr. John Dee Memorial Theater of the Mind. What I'm basically trying to do is to see to what degree we can apply the techniques of the performing arts to actually reproduce what are allegedly paranormal experiences for the purpose of education, and spiritual development, and historical interest as well, because to me it's real fascinating that the Greeks had an institution for roughly a period of a thousand years I believe where this was done. For at least a thousand years the Greeks did this in, not just one, but in a number of facilities, they had the one at Ephyra, but there were numerous others of these places usually at the geographical extremes. To the ancient Greek world it was, of course, if you want to see Aunt Elyki or whoever, you can go see her. They made it into an ordeal; these places were at geographical extremes so you had to really want to do it. I think the reason that they put them at such extreme locations was precisely that, that they didn't want people doing this just for some casual reason, so you had to make a pilgrimage there. And I think it's so fascinating, this was such a standard part of the Greek culture and the Greek culture infused itself in us in so many other ways like democracy, the notions of history, and drama, and art, and science. We have all this coming from them. And you know, this one thing we totally pushed away, partly because the church in 350 A.D. made it anathema for a Christian to believe that a spirit can be seen in a mirror. No doubt because by that time they were formulating their ideology and they didn't want people to do something where they might stumble across something that appeared to contradict their official code. And so for historical interest alone I think these things are important, because it gives us a more first-hand understanding of what was going on with our forbearers in remote times.

Thresholds: How long do people spend there? A day? A week?

Moody: It's a one day thing. I've got it trimmed down considerably, because according to the most reliable ancient source on this who is Lucian of Samosata who did a parody of the Oracle of the Dead on the Acheron, the way he makes it sound, you were imprisoned down in this place for twenty-nine days, but I've got it down to one day. People come about 10 a.m., it's a one-on-one thing, and I work with them all day, and then they are finished up about 8 p.m.

Thresholds: Is this the direction you are moving now, rather than continuing to study the near death experience?

Moody: Oh, I think this is a valid way to study the near death experience because it's where the spontaneous experience of the apparitions of the deceased and the near death experience merge. It's in that overlapping area of apparitions of the deceased, and there's a complete continuum in the sense that we know from the observations of many physicians and nurses attending the dying, it's very common. I believe about 40% of people who die in a hospice setting will, within the hours before their death, say something like, "Oh, why there's mother!" So this is completely continuous with the near death experience because people who return from close calls with death tell us, "Yeah, during my experience I saw Grandma." That's a recognized part of the near death experience. And people also say this spontaneously. Well, what grounds does one have for saying that there's any difference? There's a complete continuity, and, as I said, nobody ever made any distinction before between the apparitions that were seen in mirrors and others. If you go back to the compendia of these things as I said, the mirror cases are included along with all the other apparitions. So what I am claiming is that now we can reproduce one part of the near death experience. And I believe that we're going to be able shortly also to reproduce other parts of it as well.

Thresholds: How do you determine if someone is ready for this experience?

Moody: Basically, what we do is assure ourselves first that this person is stable. This is obviously not something you would want to do with somebody that was on the edge. Secondly, this is a hard one to quantify exactly, but you don't want somebody going into this right away in an acute grief, because you want the grieving process to have had time to do its work and all that. But then, the difficulty of course is that grieving never comes completely to a resolution, even after decades, and so you've got to have clinical judgment as to when the person is ready. You don't want to subvert the grieving process by going right into this. But at the same time, there's no...the textbooks will tell you six months for the grieving process but that's such a myth, that's an arbitrary thing, and people are different. So you have to have sort of a clinical assessment, and you don't want to interfere with that person's natural grief. But within those parameters anybody can do it. We've done all sorts of people. It started out as a very innocent research project with my students actually. And I was not in any way saying that it would be as dramatic as it has been. One woman in Houston who has learned how to do this by going to an institute at my place and then going back to Houston where she had been a hospice counselor for many years, has guided sixty-two persons through this process, out of which forty-eight had apparitions of the deceased. So she gets a higher rate of success with it than I. And I think that, if you go on the Greek model, that they had this place in operation continuously for a millennium, well, they must have known a hell of a lot about it. I suspect that they had essentially a 100% success rate with it. And it's very healing, the people who go through this tell us they feel that their grief is moved along by this.

Thresholds: Is this what your book Reunions is about?

Moody: Yes it is, but you know how editors are. I'm not pleased with their editing job. I think that I did a real sound treatment of it, very scholarly, and they chopped my thing up. I don't know how it could be that I wrote it in such a logical order and they think they improved it by chopping it up in pieces and moving it all around so that from a scholarly perspective it's incoherent. But anyway, it's not my work. But my work is, I think, really solid on this, and I've distributed it to my friends and other scholars and they have found it really interesting.

Thresholds: Do you still teach in a classroom setting?

Moody: No, I don't. I just decided that especially with my two kids in college, having a job like that, teaching is only something you can do if you're going to be sacrificing, and I couldn't sacrifice my kids in college. So I had to move out of that and get into private work because it's more remunerative. Also you don't have to put up with the bureaucratic silliness, so I don't teach any more. Although I love teaching. If all things were equal, and I could support myself doing it I would do it. But I can't.

Thresholds: You seem like a natural born teacher.

Moody: I love teaching, I really do. And I still get to see my students a lot, they always come by.

Thresholds: When people experience a great light during their experience, do you have an idea about what that is?

Moody: Any feeling about what that is? No. I'm willing to wait, and I think also probably if we formed opinions about it we would always be wrong in the sense that one thing that I'm pretty firm on is that death is incomprehensible. The thing I hear most commonly from people reporting the near death experience is words to the effect, "Now there are no words to express this and I'm just going to have to use the closest ones I can get. " And so I accept that, I can see what they mean just from my one experience of my grandmother who died. There's parts of this that are totally ineffable, to use that wonderful William James phrase. And so I'm willing to wait on that. You know, I have complete confidence...

Thresholds: You had this experience with your grandmother...have you ever had a near death experience?

Moody: Yes. I almost died a couple of times. I have severe hypothyroidism and it went undetected for about twenty years, which is a very typical story for that illness. And it finally developed into what they call full blown myxedema which is severe hypothyroidism, and yes, a couple of times I was near death, and one time in particular I saw, not like the full blown near death experiences that you hear but I got right to the periphery. It was kind of like getting close enough in to where I saw the outskirts, yes I did, and I can relate after going through that to what the people talk about who have the near death experience, because I know that if I had gone just a little bit farther I would have been into that. Yes, I was on the outskirts, definitely, I could see the city limits signs, so to speak!

Thresholds: How did that change your consciousness?

Moody: Well, the most you have are metaphors because there are no real words. It changed my metaphor and it made me feel a lot better about life, a lot less worried, a lot less fearful. I hadn't been afraid of death for a long time and now I'm absolutely not afraid of death. I was for a long time not afraid of death but life still scared me quite a bit, and from this perspective, life doesn't scare me as much as it used to either. I think that the phobia I still have is injury. I don't want to be mangled, because I walk an hour and a half a day on my treadmill, and that's something I have to have and I don't want an injury because number one, I hate pain, and number two, I don't want to be immobilized. But other than that, I'm fine with it, and to put it briefly, and I know this is going to sound crazy, but my metaphor is that this [life] is God's educational and entertainment medium. And what we are experiencing now is the information technology of the future. You know, I'm fifty now, and I remember very well the radio age when I was a very young child, and then television came in in the early fifties, and now it's five hundred channels of full color stereo around the clock with video playback capacity. This is what I've seen in my life of fifty years and the rate of change is going up. I can easily conceive that that rate of progress extended another ten, fifteen, twenty, fifty, a hundred years into the future is this. I believe that this is God's educational and entertainment medium. What we're in is the movies. I know that sounds strange, but that's kind of my metaphor for this situation.
So I don't worry too much. I think it's going to be very interesting to see what happens. And I'm really excited about the world situation right now; it's changing so quickly and I do believe that the changes that are coming in our society are just incomprehensible. I don't think any of us can really get much of a clue about what's coming. But I know something big is coming, because the rate of change is accelerating so fast there's got to be a breaking point the way I see it. And I can't imagine that the breaking point would be more than a few years down the road. I'm not talking Biblical doomsday, I'm just talking about some other incomprehensible kind of change.

Thresholds: What is your ideal? What is it that you want to give to people or accomplish?

Moody: Oh, there's no question at all with me, that the most important thing is learning how to love. If that could be done, if we could develop a way to facilitate that in people, open people up to that, then a lot of these other things would just kind of vanish. That's really the essence. And humor and entertainment and fun, too. Love and knowledge is what you can take away from this place, I think.

Thresholds: Thank you.

Moody: Thank you. What I enjoy, as you must too, is writing. And I always tell folks with the press, I'm not doing you guys a favor, thank you so much because the reason I can go on writing is that people know about my books and buy them, and then that enables me to do more research. So thank you very much!•
©1994 Vol. 12 No. 4

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