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Foreword to the book by
Raymond A. Moody, Jr., M.D.

The Hypnotic Use of Waking Dreams:
Exploring Near-Death Experiences Without the Flatlines


Dr. Paul Schenk is a skilled and sensitive therapist who has had the courage - and the kindness - to integrate the spiritual dimension of life into his therapy. This is important, because early in the 21st century tens of millions of Baby Boomers are waking up to their own, inner spiritual callings. Therefore, this is a timely book and one that is destined to be helpful to many readers. There are a lot of people now, as I know from my own work, who are almost desperate, trying to make sense of the emerging feelings and spiritual strivings that naturally accompany midlife.

The trouble is, there are lots of "professionals" out there who are willing to step in and offer these people pat answers - which may make them feel great, for a little while. Dr. Schenk's approach is different; it is well-grounded in psychological knowledge and tempered with his true excellence as a practitioner. (I know, because I have watched him work.) He appreciates the reality that spiritual progress is a difficult challenge that does not yield to simplistic formulas.

So, this fine work is not another platitude-filled New Age book about dreams, near-death experiences, or reincarnation. Instead, it is a gripping chronicle of ordinary people's adventures in exploring a vitally important but mostly subterranean dimension of the mind. The book relates case after riveting case of people who, under Dr. Schenk's guidance and with his support, plumbed parts of themselves that are not normally accessible to awareness. These case studies certainly our page-turner's, to say the least. Yet, the deeper message of the book is that these things are in all of us and easier to access than we usually imagine.

As Dr. Schenk says, the world has been enthralled by near-death experiences since 1976. Those who almost died but are revived tell us that a light-filled world of love, joy, and peace lies just over the horizon of physical death. They say that they learn from their experiences that the most important thing we can do, while alive in this world, is to learn to love. Hence, if there were some way to have near-death experiences or similar experiences while we are still alive - and safely, of course! - it is not unreasonable to imagine that this discovery would advance the cause of higher civilization. I think that this is the most exciting prospect that Dr. Schenk's work offers. It is wonderful and inspiring that he has been able to tap into important, forgotten realms of the mind by straightforward and comprehensible techniques.

This is a pioneering work. Dr. Schenk is in the vanguard of an emerging, inexorable movement that acknowledges the central position of the spirit in human affairs. And it is a fine thing that he has done this while remaining strictly within the parameters of reason and sound clinical practice. I have already recommended this book to several psychotherapists-in-training who want to integrate spiritual counseling into their practice. I believe that it will continue to inspire therapists and spiritual seekers in the future.

Raymond A. Moody, Jr., M.D.

Author of Life After Life




Updated: 06/23/2007

Paul W. Schenk, Psy.D.
3589 Habersham at Northlake, Bldg O, Tucker, GA 30084-4001
Phone: 770-939-4473
Office Fax: 770-939-0033