I was four years old. A short time before this experience I'd had a very traumatizing scenario with my father. (He had come up with this idea that I should be punished by taking me to a field near our town and leaving me there.) I was totally vulnerable and unsettled. I didn't want to live anymore. (I used to sleep with my brother. We shared a bedroom.) I went to sleep that night with my face towards the wall and I felt desperately sad. I decided to die. My breathing became lighter and lighter until I let it stop. I stayed not breathing for a short time and then my spirit left my body. I was sure that I had fallen asleep. But I could see below me which didn't make sense. I saw myself lying peacefully in bed. In addition, I saw my brother sleeping on his side, on his bed that was next to my bed on the right. I found it very amusing because I'd never had as interesting a dream as this one! But something didn't seem right with my movement. It went too fast. I knew that willing something meant moving towards it. There was no delay. I felt free and oddly clean. I suddenly began to slowly climb towards the ceiling. I thought it was weird that I would then probably pass through to the attic. (I was only four years old.) When I reached the ceiling I was suddenly outside our house without having gone through the attic. I sped at a high clip farther into the sky and saw the earth as a planet. It was very beautiful though a little on the dark side.
I stopped to observe. Then everything went on again, fast. The vastness of the Universe began to shrink. The entire universe curved in on itself until it became a ball and then it disappeared into the distance. Darkness. Suddenly I understood the reality of my situation. I was on the other side. In the next instant, I was standing on a boulder or a stone-like desert. The sun was shining mildly on my face. It felt comfortable. I still was wearing my pajamas. I knew instinctively in which direction to go. (I was in the middle of a large monotonous desert with nothing specific to see.) Movement without the body worked really well. After a while, (it seemed that there was a way to measure sequences of time but it's not the way we know time here) I arrived at a large city. It had massive walls and many entryways. Intervals. The walls were made of grey-sandstone material and went well with the desert. I went through the entryway before me, as though I were entering my own house. The two sentinels that stood there frightened me. I felt as though I was a young child. The sentinels looked at me and said, 'Hey, what are you doing here? Go back home.'
Until this moment, I thought I was dreaming the whole thing, but the seriousness in their voices made it very clear that this was real. I was no longer lying in bed, at home. Suddenly an old man came. He was wearing a comical nightdress (now I know that it resembled a typical hospital gown).
He passed me by and went smiling towards the doorway. The sentinels drew back and the massive doors opened. I saw an intense warm light and heard pleasant music, which was in absolute harmony. It was a place of palpable tangible love. A place of welcome, of feeling absolutely at home. I understood what it meant to be home. No question, just absolute acceptance. Belonging. I moved so that I could quickly get to the light. Before I made it to the door, one of the sentinels grabbed me and held me fast. The doors closed. Next, I found myself in some kind of courtroom. Before me sat an unbelievably stern all-powerful yet very kind judge. Absolutely incorruptible. Duty and person were one and the person didn't exist without the duty. I sat on a bench and near me was a friend or defender. Great love emanated from him. Was it Jesus?
The judge asked me, 'What are you doing here?' I was overcome with fear and wanted to wake up but that didn't happen. I thought about it and remembered that I had wanted to die. At the same moment that I knew this, so did the judge. I felt his mercy and it was like balm for my soul. I realized he wasn't at all angry. I learned how to distinguish between power and anger. The judge thought for a while and said: 'But you have a mission.'
In this moment, I saw all the people (of my era?) with their unique destinies as a great mosaic, and my destiny was intertwined in that mosaic. The harmony of all these destinies together was amazing. I knew that if my own destiny failed then the harmony of the whole would be destroyed. I knew that I had to fulfill my destiny. The shirt was closer to me than the jacket. I did not want to return to the hell that is the reality of being on earth. The judge determined in his objective way, 'You must go back!' This pronouncement happened at the same time that I disappeared from the courtroom. I was once again before the city, and then for a short time in the darkness. Then I rushed with breathtaking speed back through the universe directly back to earth and into my body.
I noticed that something unpleasant was shaking my shoulder. It was my mother who had come in one more time (by coincidence?) to check on us and had noticed that I was no longer breathing. She screamed at me, 'Breathe my boy. You must breathe!' Her voice was full of panic. I felt bad because of her pain and brought myself back from my deep peace. I tried to breathe but could only muster a rustling. I could barely take a breath.
From the lightness of being returned the heaviness of the physical body. We lived in Eastern Germany. There were no ambulances. My parents called a taxi at the neighbor's house since we didn't have a phone and our car wasn't working. The rattle of my breathing was upsetting the taxi driver, he told me to stay still, and quiet otherwise he wasn't going to drive us. That's how I got to the hospital. They gave me many shots. There were no inhalers so they put my bed by an open window. It was autumn and cool outside. Someone put a hat on me. I found it especially unkind that no one had thought of putting a hat on me during the whole time that I was in such danger. After three days, they discharged me. Diagnosis: the croup.
Date NDE Occurred: ca. 1978
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Allergic reaction. Suicide attempt Pseudocrupp Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
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 Understanding without thinking, instant streaming of self-knowing, being able to comprehend things in an instant.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While in front of the wall and when the doors opened.
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
Time didn't play any role; space didn't play any role, since I wasn't material.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. No noise only sound but intrinsic with the actuality of the situation, for example when a gong is hit the sound happens in that same moment.
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? No
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Judge, participant, sentinels, old man.
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 behind the door, see above.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Die Stadt, mein Zuhause.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Absolute lightness, freedom, freedom from burdens.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
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
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future As I have the experience, I know what it will be. This is also true for strangers. But there is no actual pre-vision.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes Several: edge of the bedroom, edge of the influence of the earth, across the universe, darkness, other world.
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? Liberal römisch- katholisch
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal römisch- katholisch
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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 I saw the mosaic and lived my mission but have forgotten both (can't describe them).
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I was a child and first had to grow up.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I found it impossible to speak about this for a long time, I studied philosophy.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I can see through the outer appearance of people.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Seeing the light, the kindness of the judge, the whole experience, that there is a place where I can go home to.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes For about twenty years, various reactions, joy, fear, understanding and non-understanding.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real The experience was real; the memory of the other world is more real than present physical memories.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real As above.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Experiencing God in different ways but always in my body.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? No.
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