Paranormal: My Life In Pursuit Of The Afterlife
By Raymond Moody with Paul Perry
Published February 7, 2012

Excerpt from Chapter 15:

In my office I opened the bottle of Darvon and poured the pills out onto my desk. Then I began to take them several at a time with gulps from a can of Coca-Cola. I took about two dozen of the pills and then sat down at the desk. For some reason I called Paul Perry.

“I’ve done it,” I said with a note of finality.

“Done what?” he asked.

Paranormal“I’ve taken pills and I’m dying,” I said. “I want you to be the last person I talk to.”

I could hear the controlled panic in Paul’s voice as he started to ask a series of questions: “What did you take? How many did you take? Where are you?”

I became somewhat angry at the line of questioning. I could tell that he wanted to get enough information to somehow intervene from Arizona. But I didn’t want an intervention. What I wanted was good conversation in the final moments of my life.

“Look, Paul, I have researched death, and I know it’s nothing to be afraid of. I will be better off dead.”

And that was genuinely how I felt. Myxedema madness had put me in the throes of a paranoia and despair so great that I felt everyone would be better off if I was no longer around. No amount of talk could convince me otherwise. Paul suggested a number of possible solutions to my problems, including an agent and CPA to straighten out my money problems and a new press tour to arouse interest in the book. I would hear none of it. I was ready to die.

“You know, Paul, being alive holds more fear for me than being dead. I have talked to hundreds of people who have crossed into death, and they all tell me that it’s great over there,” I said. “Every day I wake up afraid of the day. I don’t want that anymore.”

“What about your children?” Paul asked.

“They’ll all understand,” I said resolutely. “They know I’m not happy here. They’ll be sad, but they’ll understand. It’s time for me to leave.”

I could hear someone jiggling the office door knob as we spoke. Then there was a pounding on the heavy wooden door, a couple of raps at first and then a persistent drumbeat. Then a loud voice. “Campus police, open the door.”

I ignored the demand and kept talking to Paul, taking a few more pills as we spoke. Within seconds a key was slipped into the door lock and the door sprang open. Policemen rushed in and before I could say much of anything they had put my hands behind me and sat me on the floor.

One of the policemen picked up the phone and began talking to Paul. Apparently Paul asked about the presence of pills, because the policeman began to count the pills on the desk. When he did that, he dropped the phone on the desk and from his police radio he dialed 911.

An overdose of Darvon has little effect on a person until it reaches a critical blood level. Then the painkiller overwhelms the heart’s beating mechanism and quickly stops it cold. A dentist friend who had seen someone overdose on Darvon said it was like falling off a table: the person was operating fine until he just dropped to the floor. I knew that the same thing would happen to me shortly. All I had to do was wait. I sat patiently on the floor as EMTs charged up the stairs with their gurney and equipment.

“Are you okay?” asked one of the EMTs.

“Sure,” I said, and I was. Never better actually. I was not afraid of death, but I had obviously become very afraid of life.

Things began to happen fast after that. My chest felt very heavy, and I had the feeling of slipping into a dark blue place. They hoisted me onto the gurney and strapped me in and rolled me quickly down the passageway to the waiting ambulance.

As they loaded me into the ambulance the world around me began to fade. The concerned EMT was in my face, trying to keep me awake. Another EMT was drawing something into a very large syringe, probably adrenaline to inject into my heart. “Better get going,” shouted one of the policemen as he slammed the rear doors. I could feel the ambulance accelerate, hitting speed bumps hard as we headed for the hospital. An elephant was sitting on my chest. My eyes were closed, or at least I think they were. Either way, I could see nothing.

My heart stopped.

What happened next is almost indescribable, but I will do my best to make it less so. I could feel myself separate from the world around me. In a funny way it was almost like cellophane being pulled off a smooth surface, one reality separating from another.

I sensed spirits around me, helpful presences, who were there to guide me through this separation. I tried to see these spirit guides, but I could not make them out because I was surrounded by a light that was not of this world. I could hear them speaking, and although I couldn’t make out what was being said, their presence was soothing and calm and I felt a radiant love from them. I didn’t have an opportunity to examine myself in this state to see what I looked like or was made of. And I didn’t have the time I would have liked to try to make contact with the spirits either. Instead, I felt myself “start up” again as the doctors pumped my stomach and gave me a shot of a stimulant to the heart. The light went away, the spirits were there no more, and I came to in an emergency room.

That’s what it’s all about! I said to myself as I lay there on the bed. I didn’t feel I’d been dead long enough to have a classic near-death experience, but at least I got close enough to see the city limits. I was oddly pleased. After defining, naming, and studying near-death experiences, I could now say I’d had one and, yes, it was real.

I lay in the bed reliving the experience. There was nothing unreal about it. If anything, it was almost mundane, as though I had opened a door and walked into a strange room. I wondered what would have happened if my heart had been stopped longer. Would the spirit beings around me have become visible? And were they people I knew and loved? Would the light have changed and become that palpable and mystical light so many talk about? Would my life have come back to me in a review? Would I have been introduced into a life after life?

I puzzled over these questions for some time and then settled on what I knew — that an extraordinary transformation of consciousness had taken place at the point of death. I did not go into a blackness,, as so many assume will happen. Rather, I found myself in a richer, deeper, and more real state of consciousness. I had gone somewhere that so many have described as heaven…

I have found one positive side to my suicide attempt. Now, when people come to me with suicidal thoughts, I can talk to them with firsthand knowledge about this horrible urge. I freely share my own story of attempted suicide and tell them why I am glad I didn’t succeed. I also bring in the data about people who have tried to commit suicide and had near-death experiences before being revived. These people say that they will never again try to kill themselves, not because they fear going to hell, but because they have learned that life does have a purpose.


To learn more about near-death experiences and suicide, go here.

To learn more about Raymond Moody, go here.