I was sitting by a campfire at a lake, talking with an older man about rodeos and horses. It was about eleven at night and the sun had just gone down. The sky was beautiful. But there were two younger guys that did not like me being there. I felt a hard bump on my head that almost knocked me out of my chair. I caught myself and turned around, and I saw the second blow coming at me, what looked like long clubs that hit me in the face. The guys kept swinging. I started running. My friend's lakeside cabin was about one hundred yards away. By the time I got there, I had so much blood in my eyes that I could hardly see. I remember wiping them as I crawled up onto the deck on the front of the cabin. I remember seeing my friend's daughter, about ten years old, looking out the window and yelling, ‘Dad, come quick. Mom, don't look!’ The next thing I remember, I was in their kitchen, where they had gotten a nurse—a friend, from a cabin a couple down from theirs. They were trying to clean me up and deciding what to do.
I don't remember anything between then and waking up in the hospital. They had me on a stretcher and were deciding the best way to sew me up. I remember them talking, saying that it was a bad pummeling with some kind of object that had blunt corners, and that I was the third person that this had happened to since the rodeo had come to the district. I don't remember anything else about the hospital until the next morning.
After they started working on me, I think that is when I blacked out. I was off, outside somewhere. I was so mad at God for letting this happen, I cursed and yelled and screamed and said, ‘What is all this 'Be good to your fellow man' crap!?’ I screamed, ‘How could you betray and ambush me like this?! I do all of this good stuff and look what you give me!’ ‘You are a lying, double-crossing @$&%!’ I yelled, and kicked and punched and swore as best I could. I was screaming and crying, and was even mad that I couldn't curse better.
As all of this was going on, I felt something like a warm hand come down and just cradle me. I screamed louder, kicked, and hit. The hand just held me. It exuded the most perfect love and warmth and softness, and absolutely no judgment. But my rage continued because now I had something to fight against and I screamed my lungs out and kicked and hit—and from the hand came a voice. It said in the softest, nicest, most honest, beautiful, trustworthy voice, ‘Barry, all you need to know is that I love you absolutely, no matter what.’ That made me even madder and I yelled and cried, and cursed, and cried, and hit, and cried, for what seemed like a long time. And I challenged the voice and said, ‘Oh, yeah!? What if I was a pedophile or a murderer or a wife beater. Then would you still love me, you liar!?’
The voice just kept saying, ‘None of that matters, all you need to know is that I love you absolutely, no matter what.’ After what seemed a long time of this, I finally wore out and just fell down and cried, and cried, and cried. And the hand with the perfect love, far softer and more perfect than I had ever experienced here on earth, just held me and kept saying, ‘All you really need to know is that I love you, absolutely, no matter what.’ I just gave up, and as It held me, I felt a love and a trustworthiness that would be like that of the best friend that you could ever have in the world. I thought, ‘If it is true, what He told me, then I can do anything I want and God will see it as OK. And, knowing this is the most beautiful friend in the world, who will never leave me, then I will never do anything that this Friend would ever be ashamed or embarrassed about me doing. I will do whatever I think He will like. For Him.’
I left the hypocrisies of the church, but did thank the church for helping lead me to this. The church is no longer for me, but maybe it is good for others, to help them find God's absolute love, also.
I had four lacerations—two of them on my head, front and back, both more than three inches long, three broken ribs, a broken wrist, many bruises, and a punctured hand. When I woke up the next day, I couldn't believe that you could hurt so much and still be alive. But even so, I did not have animosity for those two young guys. Strange, isn't it!
Date NDE Occurred: 'August 1, !984'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Criminal attack. Direct head injury 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening' Gross blood loss.
At the time I lost a lot of blood, but it was not life-threatening. After I blacked out, the vision came.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes In the past, I have left my body and hovered over it. While I was in that state, I could read everyone's minds and know all that was happening. This time it was one-on-one with the love of God. No one else was there.
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 I was totally in a rage. I could feel everything and think everything all at once.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? From when I started screaming at God until I fell asleep cradled in what felt like his absolute love.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No Everything was in a timeline. Like one thing happening after another, but time really was a ‘nothing.’ It didn't have any relevance.
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. If you ever have felt this perfect love surround you, you will never be the same. Immediately prior to that, I was in a rage like I had never been before. I felt that I had been betrayed, lied to, and cheated on. When I gave in, and His love just held me and never let go, I think I cried all night. In the morning I felt like I was loved like I had never been before. I can remember thinking, ‘OK, so what am I going to do about it?’ It has been an ongoing journey ever since.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. All sounds were amplified, but the loudness never felt bad. Hearing was not the same as hearing with your physical ears.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
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
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? Uncertain The hand had an energy which was sort of golden. It did not restrict me at all. But it was transparent. I was like I am now, but with no body. I was just an energy form that looked like me.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It was like I was out in a void. There was no light, but I could see myself. Then, when I started yelling to God out in the void, the hand somehow came into the picture. It just gently formed around me instead of coming in and scooping me up.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Rage, massive disappointment, then giving up, then being cradled in love. This is a love so perfect that there are no words perfect enough to describe it.
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 no longer in conflict with nature
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others I became acutely aware of my relationship with God.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? I remembered many past events
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 importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic I attended the Catholic Church but had strong differences with many of the practices and dogmas of the church.I was constantly at odds with them.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes No more Catholic Church. Now I pray to God within me as well as outside.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths The vision and the love that was shown me has become the whole basis of my belief structure.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience This God is totally TOTALLY loving, The God I was taught by the Catholic has quite a few conditions for His Love.
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 It was as though the hand talked to me, but it just repeated, ‘All you need to know is that I love you, absolutely, no matter what.’ Then one time the voice said, ‘None of that matters,’ as a preface to this.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes God loves us all absolutely. It is not like church "God".
God is absolute love.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes The special knowledge is ‘All you need to know is that God Loves us absolutely.’
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes All you need to know is that God Loves us absolutely.Everything else comes from that.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Unknown
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes I mentioned difficulties. The answer was "All you need to know is that God Loves us absolutely".
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes The information is "All you need to know is that God Loves us absolutely"
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life There is really nothing wrong. God has it all under control.
People make things wrong, not God. Sin is a church belief, not God's.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes The ‘ego’ thing doesn't mean much to me anymore.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Very, very difficult to explain. Unless you've been there, you can only try to feel it. It is like trying to explain happiness to someone who has never felt it. Once you have felt it, it will make you cry when someone tells you about their similar experience. It is emotional to me, right to the core.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience It is totally vivid and I can, and do, go back there any time I want to, just by bringing up the emotion associated with it.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Healing, and being able to look into a person's eyes and see their life.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Knowing absolutely that God's love for me never changes makes life a wonderful adventure.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was not long after that I shared it. Their reactions were polite, but I don't know how much it affected them.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had read about it. It had no effect on my experience.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It was the most emotional experience that I have ever had. It was real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It was totally a vision of how it really is. You had to be there.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Little answers to questions seem to come from the same place. They happen whenever you ask.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? That's pretty well it.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? You are doing it. To realize that many have had this experience in different forms keeps the truth alive. Also, you don't feel so weird, like you're the only one.