In 1981, when I was thirty years of age, I underwent major surgery and experienced the following Near Death Experience (NDE.)
First, I would like to describe my entire NDE as a state of transition, a journey from the physical world into a spiritual eternal-realm sometimes called 'life after life'. I've read books and articles on the subject of NDEs, and during my experience, I came to understand why many people talk about going through a 'tunnel.' I would be more inclined to say I went through a 'valley,' for reasons I will go into below.
Suddenly, I found myself in a different realm, suspended in mid-air - alone, but not lonely. I remember very vividly realizing that something had happened to me - the physical world, as I knew it no longer existed. During this journey, I remember thinking, 'If I were to go back to Earth, to the physical world that I came from, I would like to be able to describe my experience in as much detail as possible.' I began observing everything I could. I noticed I was feeling no fear whatsoever. On the contrary, surrounding me and all through me was an indescribable fullness of peace and love. My level of consciousness was far superior to what it usually is. My eyes were fully functioning and I saw vertical walls on either side of me (they were not physical walls).
These walls were perfectly decorated with designs made up of gold colored squares. That color gold does not exist in the physical world as we know it, but I think the best words I could use to describe the color would be 'an illuminated soft-burnt gold'. During the entire experience, my body was moving forward towards a light, at a gentle speed. As I turned my attention to the walls beside me, I noticed the walls extended endlessly as far as I could see upward and downward. When I was looking straight ahead, my peripheral vision gave me the illusion that the walls were in close proximity to me (this may account for the perception of being in a tunnel, as described in NDEs). When I looked at the walls directly, they seemed to be miles away. (Although in this realm, time and distance were actually immeasurable and intangible.)
As I turned my attention to my body, I saw it was black - like a solid shadow - a spiritual body perfectly made. I noticed my body was complete in form, with torso, limbs, head, fingers, etc. I noticed that had no desire to move my body at all - I didn't feel that I had any reason to, or that there would be any purpose in it. I had no desire to speak, either. I was in a passive, rather than active, state - taking in and experiencing, everything I could. As I was propelled gently along, I would move my head around, so that I could visually take in everything that was there. I would look up, down, side to side, and straight forward, seeing everything. I remember blinking from time to time (like we do in our physical world).
My hearing was fully tuned to that world. In the distance, I could hear musical wind chimes, the gentle sounds of a waterfall. Every sound was perfect - soothing, peaceful, loving, harmonious and joyful to my soul. I experienced a sense, or state, of anticipation - perhaps it had to do with moving forward to meet my Maker (God) or looking forward to reaching my final, eternal destiny. The whole experience seemed altogether natural and purposeful. I felt completely content with it.
The closer my spiritual body moved toward the light, the more peace, love and joyfulness I felt. I noticed that way up ahead of me, the valley in which I was traveling had an angular turning point from whence the light appeared to be emanating. When I was just about to reach that turning point, I became aware of my eyes slowly closing - and of remaining closed, as my spiritual body started travelling backward, speeding up faster and faster, back to where I had come from.
Back in the physical world, I literally felt myself slipping back into my physical body, which was still lying on the operating table. When I came back into my physical body, I felt one of the worst pains a human could ever experience, and I let out an extremely loud scream. I heard the doctors and nurses frantically communicating with each other, panicking, saying, 'Hurry, do this, hurry, do that,' 'Give him more dosage,' calling for instruments, running back and forth...
An interesting observation I made: when my spiritual body came back into my physical body, I could discern a significant contrast between the two realms - the spiritual realm was definitely far superior to our existence here on earth. It struck me, when I returned, that I felt myself as inferior, animal-like, and restricted. I had a sense of crawling along on the Earth. I felt limited, lost, and subject to physical imperfections. I could sense a quality of the incompleteness of time spent on Earth.
I don't feel I could effectively describe my NDE without connecting this experience to the following Bible passage - in particular, verse number 4: Psalm 23: 1. 'A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters. 3. He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for His name's sake. 4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. 5. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou has anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Date NDE Occurred: 'December 2, 1981'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Illness. Surgery-related 'Allergic reaction may have been a circumstance, this was never clarified.' Other 'Remains unknown, Doctor refused to address issue.'
Just having a routine surgery, nothing out of the ordinary.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was at my highest level of consciousness and alertness when I entered into 'the spiritual realm'. (That's what I like to call it.)
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
It seemed space-less, and it was timeless, for sure.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. This is a difficult question to answer because, yes, my superior vision made things much more clear. However, my field of vision and the degree of my depth perception may have been influenced by certain variables inherent in a different realm, such as being unable to estimate depth of field, solidness being intangible and the absence of physical objects.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing seemed superior when listening to distant sounds, like the wind-chimes and waterfalls.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes To me, it seemed more to be through a valley than a tunnel.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No Nothing of that nature.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The light was very bright and it maintained its brightness throughout the experience. It was as though that light was God's essence.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The entire surroundings, feelings, colors were all a beautiful experience. Dimensions were very different, unable to compare with this world, it was undescribable.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt a great sense of love, peace, tranquility, anticipation, and fearlessness.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I did learn, without a doubt, that there is 'life after life'. I also learned to love my neighbor, strangers, and, in fact, all people, regardless of our differences. Why? Because we are all God's children, and none of us is in a position to judge anyone else. I have become more compassionate, more understanding, and I'm not afraid to die ('die,' in the sense of leaving this material world).
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I draw closer to God, our Creator. I embrace His words.
What is your religion now? Moderate Christian
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I draw closer to God, our Creator. I embrace His words.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes There was an inner knowledge which kept me at peace. I knew this NDE was very orderly, natural and it had a sense of purpose to it all.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I became more sensitive towards people, more loving and understanding. These are all positive changes when it comes to relating to any and all of the world's creatures.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain What makes it difficult is trying to describe things which do not exist on Earth - because, since they have never seen these things, people have never assigned any words them. Some examples are colors, light, sound, intangible scenes, no scales of measurement, existence in a timeless realm. So my descriptions were somewhat limited, and I couldn't capture what it was really like in words.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The entire experience was especially meaningful and significant to me. I became a better person. I feel fortunate; I'm among the few people that have had an NDE. I know without a doubt there is life after this life. I'm not afraid to die (leave this world) regardless of what the 'experts' say. My personal experience makes ME an 'expert'. What I know is not just based on theory.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Two days later, the very first person I shared my NDE with was my doctor. His face dropped and he was speechless. He immediately defended his part in the operation. A year later or so, I shared it with a couple of my family members. One looked at me as if I were crazy, and the others were curious and asked many questions. They believed me, and their faith grew stronger.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I had heard bits and pieces about it, but I was very skeptical and didn't give it much thought.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Right after it happened, I viewed the experience as 'definitely real.' Based on personal experience, I know that what I experienced was NOT hallucinatory. I was wide-awake. The level of anesthesia was minimum or non-existent and, anyway, it didn't affect me at all in that world. I could tell from the doctor's response that he knew something went wrong during the operation.
Yes, the experience was real, very real, to me.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Currently I see the experience as 'definitely real'. Many years have gone by; I am currently sixty years of age and numerous times have I reflected on my NDE. This NDE has been the most personally meaningful and significant experience I've ever encountered in all my sixty years. If I felt there was the slightest, most remote chance of its not being an actual reality I would flee from this idea and I would feel silly sharing this experience with anyone.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No None whatsoever.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? To the person that is reading this; I love you as a brother/sister. Take good care of yourself during your journey here on Earth. When you find yourself worried and feel that you are in trouble in the last chapter of your life, remember what I have shared with you. It wasn't easy for me to write this, but I did my best. Rest assured that there is life after life. A better place awaits you and awaits me. Embrace your last minutes here on Earth with a smile.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Not at this time. Also, I found the questionnaire very informative.