MODERN REPORTS OF SPIRIT MATERIALIZATIONS
Dr. Raymond Moody
Most people are acquainted with some of the materializations of high spirits reported in the Bible, such as Gabriel appearing before Daniel (book of Daniel, Chapter 5), Raphael materializing and walking with Tobias on a journey (book of Tobit in the Catholic Bible), and the various appearances of the post-crucifixion Jesus. Further, we read in the New Testament that materializations of spirits, that is to say, angels, also happened from time to time to ordinary people, to whom the instructions were given to “receive strangers with hospitality, for some of you have welcomed angels without realizing it” (Hebrews 13:2). Such an experience happened to Dr. Raymond Moody who coined the phrase "near-death experience" and whose research has been used as empirical evidence for life after death. Quotations mentioned here are taken from a videotape of a workshop given by Moody at 7:30 PM on Friday, March 11, 1994, at the Project Awareness Conference in New Orleans.
Dr. Raymond Moody is best known for his pioneering work with people who had been pronounced dead but had then recovered. He was born in 1944 and published his first book on this subject in 1975, the epochal Life After Life. His scholastic degrees in philosophy, psychology, and medicine uniquely equipped him for such studies. As the man who coined the term "near-death-experience," or NDE, he has written or coauthored twelve books, I believe, by this time (May, 2013) on that subject and its various aspects.
Readers assume that he believed the experiences were objectively real and that they offered proof of continued existence after physical death. On the contrary, he stated that, "People think I believe in life after death. I don’t know where they got that idea." He further added that he had little or no religious beliefs, and humorously added that his family of birth was “not particularly religious and called it Presbyterian." He had not “bought into” the Christian faith. The experience he had with his deceased paternal grandmother shook his conclusions.
He begins recounting his materialization experience with the remarks that, “Even to this day, the notion of life after death to me is hard to swallow, and I can honestly stand here and tell you I do not have a belief there’s a life after death.” Continuing, he added, "The wild thing to me is that I can, I am uncapable [sic], I think I’m constitutionally incapable of formulating a belief that there’s life after death." Nevertheless, he had a tale to tell. He introduced the story with, “I am accurately recounting for you my firsthand experience.”
Dr. Moody was sitting down when a person, a woman, he thought, walked into the room. She looked like she was in her early fifties or late forties, and he had “a certain impression of vague familiarity," but did not recognize her as anybody he knew. He politely stood up, “as anybody would, and said hello."
“After saying a few words, the ritual of getting to know or communicate with someone," he found himself “looking into her eyes. I realized that this was not my mother’s mother, but my father’s mother who had died some years before. In movies apparitions are portrayed as something wispy and transparent and insubstantial, [but] this was completely normal. I had no way of distinguishing this person who was standing in front of me from any other human being I had ever met. I was looking into her eyes very deeply. ... When I recognized who it was, I did just like this," then Dr. Moody grabbed the sides of his head, cupping his face with both hands, and exclaimed, “Grandma!, whereupon she just very sweetly and gently said, 'Yeah, yeah.' She started immediately using the nickname for me that only she used. I heard her voice audibly, this was like a conversation.”
Moody explained that this event could certainly not be explained by the usual suggestions of wish fulfillment or the bereavement process. He had not been close enough to her to undergo either grief or bereavement, although there were some unresolved conflicts. His grandmother was “nicer than in life. One thing I will say for my grandmother is that death has done her a world of good, because she was really, really tuned in and cool, and I had the first completely normal and natural conversation that I have ever had with this person.” After their brief conversation, he said to her, “Well, I’ll see you again, I guess.” He walked out of the room “and, as I suspected, she wasn’t there later.”
During the remainder of Dr. Moody’s workshop presentation, he struggled unsuccessfully on several occasions to reconcile his disbelief in an afterlife with his meeting with his deceased grandmother, concluding only that the encounter “made a huge impact on my life and has transformed me very powerfully.” At that point, he was “still digesting this after over two years,” having been “unable to explain it away.”
Eventually, the various types of accumulated evidence of continued existence swayed his opinion. His enormous amount of research had showed him that all of the NDEs were relatively similar, regardless of a person’s religious denomination or beliefs. The only things they could take with them into the other realm were their ability to love and the knowledge that they had acquired while on Earth. In a transcript from an interview with Dr. Moody, “Thinking Allowed, Conversations On the Leading Edge of Knowledge and Discovery” with Dr. Jeffrey Mishlove on The Intuition Network, July 22, 2008 (see http://www.intuition.org/txt/moody.htm ), Dr. Moody is quoted as saying, “But I don’t mind saying that after talking with over a thousand people who have had these [NDE] experiences, and having experienced many times some of the really baffling and unusual features of these experiences, it has given me great confidence that there is a life after death. As a matter of fact, I must confess to you in all honesty, I have absolutely no doubt, on the basis of what my patients have told me, that they did get a glimpse of the beyond.”
Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was the leading pioneer in Near-Death Studies many years ago. This is an experience related by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross as told in Hello From Heaven, by Bill and Judy Guggenheim (New York: Bantam, 1995) pp. 7-9.
“I was at a crossroad. I felt I needed to give up my work with dying patients. That day, I was determined to give notice and leave the hospital and the University of Chicago. It wasn’t an easy decision because I really loved my patients.
“I walked out of my last seminar on death and dying towards the elevator. At that moment, a woman walked towards me. She had an incredible smile on her face, like she knew every thought I had.
“She said, ‘Dr. Ross, I’m only going to take two minutes of your time. If you don’t mind, I’ll walk you down to your office.’ It was the longest walk I have ever taken in my life. One part of me knew this was Mrs. Johnson, a patient of mine who had died and been buried almost a year ago. But I’m a scientist, and I don’t believe in ghosts and spooks!
“I did the most incredible reality testing I’ve ever done. I tried to touch her because she looked kind of transparent in a waxy way. Not that you could see furniture behind her, but not quite real either. I know I touched her, and she had feeling to her.
“We came to my office, and she opened the door. We went inside, and she said,‘I had to come back for two reasons. Number one, I wanted to thank you and Reverend Smith once more for what you have done for me. But the real reason why I had to come back is to tell you not to give up your work on death and dying. Not yet.’
“I realized consciously that maybe indeed this was Mrs. Johnson. But I thought nobody would ever believe me if I told this to anybody. They really would think I had flipped.
“So my scientist in me very shrewdly looked at her and said, ‘You know, Reverend Smith would be thrilled if he would have a note from you. Would you terribly mind?’ You understand that the scientist in me needed proof. I needed a sheet of paper with anything written in her handwriting, and hopefully, her signature.
“This woman knew my thoughts and knew I had no intention to ever give her note to Reverend Smith. However, she took a piece of paper and wrote a message and signed it with her full name. Then, with the biggest smile of love and compassion and understanding, she said to me, ‘are you satisfied now?’
“Once more, she said, ‘You cannot give up your work on death and dying. Not yet. The time is not right. We will help you. You will know when the time is right. Do you promise?’ The last thing I said to her was ‘I promise.’ And with that she walked out.
“No sooner was the door closed than I had to go and see if she was real. I opened the door and there was not a soul in that long hallway.”
Joseph Greber (son of Johannes Greber)
The following was written by Dr. Tony Scarborough about his meeting and interview with Joseph Greber, the son of Johannes Greber, author of Communication with the Spirit World of God. The interview was videotaped by Dr. Scarborough on September 29, 1991, in Colorado. A still of Joseph Greber during the interview is seen here:
Johannes Greber (May 2, 1874 - March 31, 1944) authored the historic book originally titled Communication With the Spirit World, in which the underlying causal mechanisms of most of the supernatural events in the Bible are explained in an understandable way. Johannes and Elizabeth Greber had two sons, Imanuel and Joseph (“Manny” and “Joe”). Manny (b. June 5, 1933) was about sixteen months older than Joe (Nov. 15, 1934 - July 22, 2006). Joseph and I talked and visited a number of times over the years. These visits were somewhat difficult to arrange, as Joseph was a technical writer who worked on fairly short-term contracts at various locations throughout the United States, while I was living in Mississippi and teaching physics at a university there.
It happened on one occasion that I was in Ft. Collins, Colorado, attending a conference dealing with speculative studies of a new type of energy. I had been needing to talk to Joseph in order to tape an interview with him about his meeting a materialized spirit when he was young. That sort of meeting had been reported several times in the Bible, such as the meeting of Gabriel with Daniel and of Raphael with Tobias in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we even read in Hebrews 13:2 that the new Christians of that time should receive strangers with hospitality because many of them had entertained angels (materialized spirits) without being aware of it. At the same time, the phenomenon of spirit, or angelic, materialization appears to be extremely rare in our day. I had never experienced that, but Joseph had met with such a spirit and seen several others, and I needed to tape an interview with him to use in a class I taught that dealt with such matters. How could we possibly be brought together?
It turned out that, at the time of this conference, Joseph had just finished a contract with Martin-Marietta in Georgia, and was on his way to his next assignment with Boeing in the state of Washington. As I walked out of my room in the back of a motel in Ft. Collins early on my first morning there, I noticed a dark blue Honda CRX parked next to my car that had not been there the night before. It looked familiar. I walked over and examined the particularly familiar crack in the windshield, then went around to the rear and read the license plate. It was Joseph Greber’s car.
He had been en route from Georgia to Seattle and oddly enough, had decided to veer a few hundred miles south and check out the conference for a day. As the spirit would have it, we had checked into adjacent motel rooms. We continued our reunion with a breakfast at a nearby Waffle House and I taped an interview with him in his motel room immediately afterwards on September 29, 1991. The following account given by Joseph has been taken from my tape recording of that interview and has been edited slightly for clarity and brevity.
The story Joe related to me was that he was only nine or ten years old when a particularly impressive prayer meeting took place at his parents’ house in Teaneck, New Jersey, not long before his father died in the spring of 1944. Joe had attended quite a few meetings of that type as a child, and had seen various paranormal events, such as partial, wispy materializations and so on. On this particular occasion, however, he told about having seen a human-sized cloudlet slowly form in front of the thirty to forty people in attendance while they watched. As the odic cloud condensed and solidified, it took the form of a young American Indian girl, perhaps eighteen years old. He added that there was never the slightest suggestion of fear or disquietude on any of the occasions when a manifestation occurred. Quite the opposite: a loving calm always prevailed.
Her name was Silver Leaf. She was dressed in what Joe described as “typical Indian garb, such as you might see in the movies” and “wore a necklace made of something like horn or bone” underneath the long black hair that fell around her neck. The only artificial illumination in the room was a dim red light, so that the room was fairly dark. Nevertheless, she was clearly visible to everyone present, since such materializations of odic energy give off a soft light of their own. She greeted the gathering politely, then smiled and immediately said, “I want to talk to the boys”. The group leader, the boys’ father, did not understand. He said, “Boys? What do you mean?”, to which Silver Leaf answered calmly, “Your sons, Imanuel and Joseph. I want them to come forward. I want them to touch me. I want them to feel my hair, to feel my skin. I like young people.” And so, the boys arose and stepped forward. She gestured for them to approach her.
Joe continued his story, “So my brother and I went forward and she said, ‘Here, feel my hair,’ and she put one braid of her long braided hair over his shoulder and one braid over mine, almost like we were posing for a family picture. We had our backs to her and she sort of hugged us from behind. While we had our backs to her, she told us to turn around.” Joseph remarked about Silver Leaf that “even at my young age, I could tell that she was a gorgeous girl.”
Silver Leaf then asked the boys to turn around and face her. “Now turn around and touch here,” she said, rubbing her palms across her cheeks and forehead. “Touch my face.” She invited them to place the palms of their hands onto her cheeks and feel that she was completely real and solid.
Joe said, “And so we touched her face and it felt like she had just come in from a cool evening in the fall.” Her skin felt distinctly chilly, although this all took place on a summer night when it was steamy and hot outside. This chilliness was a common occurrence, as the temperature in the prayer room usually fell by ten to twenty degrees when a manifestation took place and participants had been told they might need a light jacket. Joe and his older brother thus had the experience of talking with and touching a materialized spirit from the good spirit world. Joe continued his description, “There was nothing mystical about this fully formed creature. As far as its looks, this was a sixteen, seventeen, eighteen-year-old Indian girl just as though she had walked in off the street as an actress [sic].”
Joseph emphasized again that “there was not one second of fear or terror or apprehension in these situations. Fright is the furthest thing [from your mind] in something like this.” We must beware of forming our opinions of such matters from movies and television that want to make spectral matters as scary and terrifying as possible to sell more tickets to thrill-seekers. Unfortunately, this results in badly distorted perceptions of a beautiful event verifying that life continues in a higher dimension.
On these occasions, the spirits usually delivered a spiritual message or a teaching. When asked if Silver Leaf had delivered a message or a teaching on that occasion, Joseph smiled and conceded that she had done so, but he could not remember what she had said.
Joseph ended his telling of this event by explaining further that he could not remember what else Silver Leaf might have said. At his young age, he added, he was not especially interested in the messages delivered, but was frankly more interested in being allowed to partake of highly diluted coffee after the meeting and all the cake he could sneak past the supervising eyes of the adults.