As soon as I saw the seaweed I started praying, 'God - I'm so sorry. Please help me. Maybe - if I don't struggle I could float back up.' I just relaxed, like the dead man's float - trying to feel nothing. Carbon dioxide kept filling my lungs, and I kept blowing bubbles. I prayed that no one would try to help me. Then I started thinking, about how hard we all worked for the vacation. We had a raffle, we held a dance and sold tickets, hired the band, sold pop, advertised and all to pay for this week at the lake. It was our first day. If I died, it would ruin everything for all my best friends. What if it took a week to find the body? My mother was the chaperone. She had a short fuse. They'd all have to go home. After blowing bubbles until my lungs didn't fill up anymore I tried to see if I was free again - maybe near the surface - but I tried to move a foot and it was still in the dirt and clamped tight there.
Then I was walking toward the brilliant light I saw through a hole in the darkness. I came to a hooded figure but couldn't see the face, but the form glowed dimly reflecting the light coming through the hole and I was completely visible, my arms and legs - everything looking normal in the light, all safe and sound. The person stepped aside to let me in, but I stopped 'dead.' Although it was wonderful in there, brilliantly peaceful and rejoicing people, like a congregation at a very full church, shoulder to shoulder all singing and praising God. All I could see where they were facing was incredible light, bright, brilliant, glowing, shimmering, and the mood was powerfully approaching the 'Great Amen.' It was no surprise. I knew the place somehow. It was like going home, returning from somewhere, back again, safe and sound.
I told St. Peter(?? at the pearly gates) I did a terrible thing. I hurt my family and all my best friends - I don't belong there - in the light. I was so bad; I ruined everything for my family and friends. I begged, 'Please - please send me back where I belong.' I didn't mean to hurt them. He(?) turned and another person/angel arrived. They talked awhile and the other one left. I stood there waiting, then the other one or another one came back and they talked some more - but I couldn't hear it. Then the other one left and the one by the door signaled my attention to a dark, dark tunnel and signaled me to go there. For some strange reason, I didn't walk, I dove into it. It didn't make sense. How can you dive into something that is right in front of you? I just closed my eyes and dove - then I was back in the water. I called myself stupid beyond belief. But I lifted my head and I saw the row-boat and all my friends. I was floating on the surface of the lake. I yelled, 'I'm not moving - please come and get me!' They came. I could feel seaweed all around me. I said, 'Don't try to pull me in.' I'll just rise up slowly - I don't want it to grab me. So I got one hand on the boat and then the other, slowly rising out of the seaweed. When I got back in - they said I was gone for five minutes after the bubbles stopped. (But I wasn't breathless - wasn't even breathing hard.) They had a watch there to be sure we'd be back for supper. So I'm sure I was just 'Gone' for five minutes), plus the time at the bottom. Was it death or near death? I called it near death. And years later lots of people were talking about near death experiences, though I'd never heard of such a thing in church or anywhere before.
Date NDE Occurred: June 1949
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Caught in seaweed at the bottom of the lake. Life threatening event, but not clinical death
While I was in a rowboat headed for shore with ten friends, I mistakenly dived into the lake where seaweed was visible on the surface. Everyone screamed 'NO!' when I suddenly decided I had to cool off and dove into the water. I didn't see the seaweed until just before I hit the water. I went as straight as I could to the bottom - then slowly crouched and gingerly attempted to rise, but couldn't move and inch.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Completely conscious except for maybe a few seconds between passing out and seeing 'the gateway to heaven.'
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
While I waited at the gate it took forever - but could have been just five minutes. I tried to be patient and five minutes gone seemed reasonable. Altered space - yes - incredible. Here and there are two very different places kind of side by side. I'm always here but I'm always there too. I'll never forget that's real and here and now - even if I can't see it.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The 'Halleluiah chorus' was beyond anything I have ever experienced on earth. It wasn't an ending or a beginning but such greatness and togetherness.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes There was no tunnel to go away from life on earth - only to return.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Countless other beings were involved though only two noticed me or were aware of me.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes I did that in the narrative. It was a blend of sound and light - time and space - joy and awe - loving and being loved.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I saw the 'above and beyond' capsule of total greatness, but with nothing to hint that was more than a passing moment.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Completely awed by what I saw and heard and felt - ashamed of myself. Concerned for everyone involved. Grateful to those who helped me. Most of all inspired by the all-ness of life here and hereafter.
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I remember it so well. One time twelve years later - I was in my little two person T-craft (a fabric plane) with my instructor. It caught fire just after takeoff. The fire was so fierce we could hear it. He said, 'I give up, what should we do?' I said, 'I don't know about you but I'm going to pray. I started the Lord's prayer and he joined me. There we were, his pants wet with gasoline and fire all over the windshield. I admired his courage. When we finished the prayer, I saw the emergency gas tank lever was in the wrong place and I turned it off. A commercial plane was directed to circle and we were cleared to land. The fire went out. We obviously landed safely. I could tell you many more similar experiences that have been resolved through prayer and why I'm such a devoted Christian Scientist.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate I was a Christian who didn't always attend church. Didn't like to believe
in the devil. But it seemed to me that the opposites were both real.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The experience was so vast and phenomenal that it would take much time to communicate. I can't put it in a nutshell.
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 best was learning about the reality of God's perfection. The worst part was/is - not convincing many people, including some of my dearest friends and family that infinite Love, God, really is infinite. There are no boundaries that can keep God away. Anything evil is always an illusion, a mistaken idea. When we realize all of that - and repent of our mistakes, we find we are forgiven and God's goodness has been real all along the way.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes They have just as much trouble believing it as you do. I don't know why people are so worried about being right. When God is right - all is well. If we don't see it - it's not God's fault. Jesus was the best of all those who trust God's goodness. He didn't come back from the crucifixion to say, 'I could have been wrong about God.' He said, 'God's goodness is for everyone, all the time.'
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I told you about the plane that was on fire that went out AFTER we prayed. I mentioned a lion. The door to its cage came unlocked at the zoo and I was able to tell the keeper about it - and he was able to get help. I was in a jeep that went off a cliff and unhurt - I was in a man-made avalanche - and got out - I was able to stop a hotel fire on the fourth floor. We were exposed to rabies and didn't get it. I was in a riot and the crowd cheered while I left. Prayers, even the shortest ones - 'Thank God' - are stronger than any evil illusion.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Remember the story about the elephant and the blind men, who 'SEE' the elephant as very different things. I am seeing that illusions only seem real. The flat world does not exist. The farther science goes, the more illusions of space and time are discovered. We are not flesh and blood, but more like holograms. We live in the spirit - not in the flesh. And the spirit is Love. Thank God!
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? If you understand that evil has no power except what we give it, or if you decide to deny the next evil experience you are tempted to endure, then the questionnaire has allowed and helped me present the truth. I realize you are basically on the fence - finding both good and evil NDE's. Yes, we are free to deny evil and hold to the good. And it's hard to imagine that there are people who willingly consent to evil. None of us stay here forever, but life in the spirit is eternal, and there really is no death. As long as you believe that death is real and bad, you will be part of the lie about death. Death really isn't real or good, but none of us stay here forever. We're on our journey to the better place. Some people have to experience every evil before they decide it's a waste of time and effort.