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What is the bane of an old man’s life? That’s obvious. Naturally, it is the body. But what is the bane of an old professor’s life? (No fair peeking ahead!)
Give up? I will tell you.
It’s his archive. Oy, what troubles it has caused me during this time of waiting for the end to come. Rumor has it that I will perish, but meanwhile I have been consumed with the effort to make sure that my archive survives my death. It’s paper immortality I am going for.
Let’s start at the beginning. What is an archive? In my case, it’s all the professional crap I had accumulated during my forty or so years as a professor and author that I had felt worth preserving in hopes that one day an enterprising biographer would find his or her delight in trawling through it. (If there are any takers out there, get in touch. I’m taking applications.) The contents of my particular archive consist mainly of records of my research, interview tapes with near-death experiencers, reprints of articles I’ve written, original copies of some of my books on NDEs, lecture and workshop notes, files of all the professional presentations I’ve given, professional correspondence, and tons of letters I’ve received from people of all sorts, mostly describing various kinds of unusual experiences they have had. In short, the paper...
[I actually wrote this last spring after my near near-death experience with the flu. But since another flu season will soon be upon us, perhaps this cautionary tale is timely after all. Its message is: Don’t fool around with the flu this year, particularly if you are of an age.]
I might have been a tad too glib when in the first installment of what clearly will be a terminal series having to do with my personal terminus, I observed that at least for me waiting to die was rather boring. [I was also too glib about writing off Tiger Woods; I guess I shoulda known better. O me of little faith…]
After this winter, I have had cause to change my mind. For a while there, I thought it might be more of a matter of life or death. I found myself thinking of the line Othello sings toward the end of Verdi’s opera as he contemplates his own death: “Ecco la fine del mio camin.” Colloquially, “This is the end of the line for me.”
You see, I was one of the millions who caught the flu bug or, rather, it caught me. And held me tight for a while in what seemed to be its death-like grip. It was really bad for a week or ten days there – it’s hard to remember how long. Even now, five weeks to the day after becoming sick, I am still hawking and spitting up gobs of sputum, and my voice now resembles that of your nearby frog. There were times when I considered whether the first piece I wrote in the series might well turn out to be my epitaph. And I admit there were moments, or...
Hello, I am Dr. Raymond Moody. I am best known for having coined the term “near-death experience” in my bestselling book Life After Life.
Welcome to Illuminating.
Illuminating is the blog of The University of Heaven, a new online platform for the rational exploration of the afterlife, launching September 20, 2018.
Illuminating will be published twice a month with articles from leading-edge researchers and thinkers in the field of consciousness studies.
Featured Columnist Dr. Kenneth Ring
We are honored to be joined by Dr. Kenneth Ring, highly esteemed near-death-experience researcher and author of the bestselling Lessons from the Light and The Omega Project. His book Mindsight is a groundbreaking inquiry into the near-death experiences of the blind.
Ken's monthly column Notes from the Ringdom features his new series of essays “Waiting to Die” that offer an enlightening and humorous perspective on life and death from a man who has fully investigated both. The column will debut this Wednesday September 5 with a short introduction from Ken on Tuesday September 4th. Keep your eyes open for what promises to be a compelling series of posts from a masterful writer and thoughtful researcher.
You can prepare for Ken’s column by reading more about him:
Remedies for Grief
On Thursday and Friday September 6-7 we will publish a two-part series by April Brader. April offers all of us a...