At the age of eight, I was having a vacation in Austria with my family. On that day, we were walking a steep walkway in the 'Watzmannmassiv', which means 'High Mountain' in German.
Like the adults, I got a walking stick. I was very proud, as I got a new stick for every hike. Arriving at the top of the walkway, my walking stick fell from my hand and was rolling down a small part of the mountain. I wanted to get it back and bent down to fetch it. A stone loosened, I slipped and was shooting down a hill on the mountain; somersaulting, faster and faster. At first, there was grass, and then I was tumbling on sharp stones. I was not afraid because I wasn't aware of the danger in which I was. I only wanted to stop, but at the age 8 years old, I was a bit awkward and I didn't know how to stop. So, I continued to roll down the mountain.
Suddenly, I was outside of my body and floating above it. I saw myself rolling down the mountain. This was quite steep and very soon I would fall down into the abyss. But there was no fear as I watched, just a matter-of-fact conclusion. I strongly closed my out of body eyes, as I really didn't want to see this fall. But to no avail, since I still saw my body rolling.
I saw the events of my life passing in front of my eyes. I couldn't stop this, either. The events were passing in front of me like on a projector. They were going backwards until I was a baby and crawler, which was surprising me very much. The pictures seemed somewhat triangular, as if they were adapting to a triangular tunnel. The pictures scrolled faster and faster as I was rolling down the mountain. But it was very quiet. I didn't hear anything. Then suddenly there was a loud jerk and a thud. I was back again in my body.
My hand had reached out and got stuck on the last bush in front of the abyss. The abyss was several hundred meters deep. At first, I remained there lying down, in order to process what happened. Then I got up and to my surprise, I noticed there were no scratches, cuts or even a bruise. Then I was crawling back up the mountain. My relatives came to help me, and they couldn't believe that I had got off so lightly from this fall.
I kept the experience to myself at first. I later tried to talk about it with my parents, but they shrugged it off. Then I did not say anything else about the out of body experience, even though I had to listen to the story of my falling on the mountain for the next thirty years on each of my birthdays.
At the time, I had never dealt with the topic of death, as I had not experienced any of my relatives dying. I never had heard about near death experiences. But the out of body experience is still present with all details until today; I never had had such clear pictures. Until today, I still feel sometimes, as if life down here was somehow 'fake'. It is hard to put in words. Or it is not as intense as the few minutes that I experienced at that time.
Date NDE Occurred: August 1971
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
I fell down a steep slope.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I saw myself rolling down the slope.
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 All pictures appeared sharp; everything was totally clear. Everything somehow seemed to be nonjudgmental.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the whole time being outside of the body
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Time seemed to pass more slowly, the period of the life movie was substantially longer than my rolling down the slope.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. No matter whether my eyes were closed or open, I could see everything, wherever it was around me.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was very quiet. I didn't hear any rolling or impact noises, although I could see everything.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes The review about my life experiences was shown in a kind of triangular tunnel. The pictures appeared to be adapting to the triangular form of the tunnel.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was free of fear and felt somehow neutral.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I was shown my life in pictures, namely backwards, until I was a baby at the crawling stage. I remember the last picture well. I was crawling up a stair and fell down, knocking my forehead.
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? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic Als Kind habe ich mir in diesem Alter noch nicht viele Gedanken über Religion gemacht.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Today, I'm sure that our death doesn't mean the end of the existence of our consciousness. I am still a bit scared of death, but I also consider it now as a new perspective. My near death experience was for sure not complete, but it raised my curiosity. The more I had a few experiences with deceased beings who assured me that everything is, and will be, okay, and those were, also, very real.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other faiths- New age
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience At the age of eight, I still had not any beliefs of any kind. I went to church and to communion class, but really thinking about all this I had not yet done. If at that point of time somebody had asked me if I believe in God, I would have had to think about it first.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Over the years, I thought that this existence here on earth cannot be everything, and that it is limiting us.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God probably exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I moderately fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly 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? Are meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain The projection of my life review stopped shortly by a picture where I was kicking my grandfather, probably because I didn't get my way. I was maybe 4 years old. I felt very ashamed at that moment, as I loved my grandfather very much, and couldn't explain how I could have been doing this. I had the feeling that this information, without words, was somehow adjusted like after an inner nodding. Then flood of pictures continued.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life The first years after my experience, nothing changed. I was still a child and occupied with other issues. When the first cases of death of relatives and friends also concerned me, I started to deal intensively with the topics of reincarnation and a life in the afterlife. Then I learned of life reviews and a tunnel. I was glad that something similar happened to others.
In the years after my experience, I couldn't truly talk to anybody about it. Nevertheless, I did not have the feeling that my experience was not true or a hallucination. It took almost thirty years before I could talk about it with people that have been open for this kind of experiences. I became a nurse for children, then an alternative healing practitioner, and a teacher. In these surroundings, I also found the people that are important for me today and that understand me. I can help others, what is very important to me.
Later, when I turned forty years old, I had again an out of body experience, after a bad reaction to medication. This was completely different from the mountain experience. I left my body and was floating far away, as if a balloon still connected to a very thin string. This time, I did not see a life review. I just wanted to leave this situation urgently. Both events are connected through the calm and the non-judging of the happenings. Therefore, today I'm completely sure that consciousness can exist outside of the body.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes For sure, I'm more loving and think about my actions.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Because somehow there are no words for this state of clarity
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. There is no other memory in my life that I remember so accurately and clearly.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I don't know if this was the same as before because I was still quite young. I'm very empathic, if somebody enters the room I immediately notice from their vibrations if they feel good or not.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The life review; I try to live in a way that I don't have to feel ashamed as I did at the time if it happens again.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes In the meantime, I talked to good friends about it, but not more than three. Before, as a child, I didn't know anything about NDEs and was very surprised later to read in books, that other people had experienced also parts of my experience.
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 I never doubted the truth of it, as the clarity of the moment was too real, and is forever burnt in my memory.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The memory of the event never faded in all those years. I rather tend to forget things sometimes, when they were not so important to me. I had a traffic accident with amnesia, and I forgot many things. I had to call them painfully back with the help of other people's accounts. But my experience I never forgot, it also doesn't fade.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Only the OBE that I mentioned above, in connection with the reaction to medication. But only the OBE and the calm were reproduced, but not the different way of seeing, hearing, the tunnel or the life review.