I was lying on the floor in the group room, the work had just started. For a moment I recalled my most recent Gestalt work with the ‘Carnival Group’ in 1985 when I had also been lying on this same floor. This experience was going to prove to be different from that one. I started trembling and vibrating. I found myself floating in a kind of outer space and had the feeling that the blackness in front of me was good. I had a brief flash that I had dreamed this before, as a child. I wanted to enter this blackness; and now it appeared to be a tunnel. As I was looking down the tunnel, I was actually standing in the group room with my eyes closed, bending over with my head down. Two of the participants were holding me up, so that I wouldn't fall over. Looking into the tunnel, I continued to feel that it was going to be good to be in there and I wanted to dive inside. I then was allowed to slump down to the floor where I lay on my side, curled up a bit. Then I experienced myself floating inside the tunnel, and all was black. I then felt uneasy, as it suddenly seemed a bit weird. The therapist asked me whether I was seeing something.
Then I started seeing a tiny point of light that became increasingly bigger. I had the impression that we were moving towards each other: the point of light and I. As it moved closer, it became more like a white sphere, and it came very close. The therapist asked what I was seeing and what I was feeling. I replied that what I was feeling was a strong suction from the sphere, and I said I wanted to allow myself to be pulled inside; still having the sense that it was good. The therapist said, ‘Go on.’
The sphere changed into a big white cloud, and I dove inside! Now I started experiencing an unprecedented feeling of happiness! Never in my whole life had I ever felt this way! (I never have since then, either.) I was floating in this cloud, and I noticed I was not alone. Somehow, the cloud contained the whole world! It seemed to become like a water bubble, with everything inside it: trees, houses, animals, people that I knew and strangers, too, and rocks, plants, just everything was there. Everything was floating along with me! The therapist asked me where I was and how I was feeling. I sensed fear in the voice of the therapist. I said, ‘I am with God.’ I had the feeling of being far away and at the same time close to the room. Now it became very strange. Not only did I feel I was in the cloud/bubble with everything else that was there, at the same time, I had the feeling that this cloud was inside me! In my own belly!
This made me feel uneasy. Was I here, or was I there? Was I on the floor with the white cloud in my belly, or was I floating in the cloud above me? Everything seemed to be happening all at once, but I also felt myself transitioning several times from one state to the other. Also, I was experiencing being loved infinitely! Then, although I wanted to stay a bit longer, the therapist said he thought this should be enough, and that I should come back. I experienced a feeling of re-emerging. It felt like arising from a great depth like scuba diving. Then, back with the group, I was feeling very light and happy.
In the days that followed, I started worrying about whether I might be crazy. It took some time before I could admit that those experiences were real. For weeks after that, I felt exceptionally well: a strong feeling of happiness remained with me. It was so strange, yet so satisfying that I found myself thinking, ‘If I had to die right now, everything would be all right.’ Gradually the feelings of well-being and elation faded, but my memories of the experience are still clear and unchanged.
With this experience, my concept of God has changed completely. Up until that time, I had never been to church much at all. Even though I always paid my church taxes, I never actually went to church more than once a year. But now I cannot even pray the ‘Our Father’ prayer, [‘The Lord's Prayer’] as it simply no longer fits with how I understand God. When I say grace before meals, I do it silently. Talking about this has never been easy, even with my family. It hasn't been easy for me to write it down here, either; but strangely enough, now I'm noticing quite a nice sense of relief!
Date NDE Occurred: februar 1985
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No. Other: war Teinnehmer an einer 5 tägigen Gestalttherapeutischen Selbsterfahrungsgruppe von 12 Menschen .Es ging mir gut.Keine Erkrankung
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 I heard the therapist.
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 It's a therapeutic setting, and the whole program is designed to raise your awareness.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the whole experience.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Diving into the white cloud and the time spent in it was somehow timeless. In my memory, the amount of time I spent in the cloud/bubble seems to be shorter than how long it felt while it was happening.
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. I saw with my eyes closed.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing was not much different, but there seemed to be less to hear.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, but the facts have not been checked out
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes (See above.) When I entered the black area, it became clear that it was a tunnel that was emanating from a light speck in the far distance.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly 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 It was a bright white light, and we were floating towards each other.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I believed I was with God.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Comforted, loved, accepted, boundless, happy, and light. I felt an infinite Love and Comfort.
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I felt the all-encompassing Being. But after a period of time had lapsed, that sense disappeared and my everyday mind couldn't comprehend what I had experienced.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No I clearly heard the voice of the therapist telling me to come back now. At first, I didn't want to, because it was so beautiful there. But then I re-emerged into the normal surroundings.
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- Protestant Keine KIrchennähe. Außer an Weihnachten zum Kirchbesuch.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I pray every day on my own.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian-Protestant Bin weiterhin zahlendes Mitgliede der Kirche.
Habe jedoch seit der Erfahrung mit den Inhalten aller Religionen keinen Zugang
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 war bisdahin eigentlich kein religiöser Mensch.Wurde konvermiert und das wars mit der Kirche.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Until then I had not been a religious person. I had been confirmed, and that had been it for me with the church. The feeling of comfort helped me all during the subsequent years of my life.
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 I seemed to be inside the whole Universe, and everything was floating: trees, houses, stones, animals, and people. Alternately, the entire Universe was inside me.
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? Yes Nach dem Emfinden der unendlichen Liebe hatte ich das Empfinden mit allem Leben im Universum zu schweben und gleichzitig diese alles in meinem Bauch sich befindet. Ich bin mehrfach von einem zum andern Zustand gewechselt.
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? Yes Als der Therapeut fragte wo ich jetzt sei,
antwortet ich " bei Gott"
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 I had the feeling of being with God.
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 definitely exists Uncertain hatte das Gefühl dort wieder hizukommen.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately 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? Moderately 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? Yes ich hatte 3 Jahre lang an insgesamt 5 mehmtägigen Selbsterfahrungsgruppe teilgenommen. In der Gruppe 1984 (10Tage lang) hatte ich eine Erfahrung mit meinem verstorbenen Bruder gemacht. Diese Arbeit fing auch mit dem Kindheitstraum an wo eine schwarze Kugel aus dem Weltall auf mich zuraste.
Das erzähle ich eigentlich nicht ,da ichSorge habe dann völlig abgestempelt zu sein. Außerdem ist die Lichterfahrung/ EInheitserfahrung mir so heilig ,dass ich mir die nicht ausreden lassen möchte. Hatte eben schon im Nachhinein immer wieder harsche Kritik von Freunden bekommen. Alles äre nur ein Hirnorganischer Prozess. Dann hört man halt auf darüber zu reden.
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? Yes Ja. allumfassend, noch nie derat gespürt. Und auch nie wieder danach so emfunden.
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 Large changes in my life. I decided upon on a career in a helping profession.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes They became more intense.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes First I was bothered by thinking about the possibility of my being crazy. Also, my experience of the transitions between the ‘great whole’ and the ’everything inside myself’; feelings just could not adequately be described in words.
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 Nichts war so intensiv in meinem Leben wie dies Erfahrung. denke seit nunmehr 28 Jahren immer wieder daran zurück.
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? Experiencing the Oneness was especially important. All-encompassing love and I had never felt it like this before. I've never felt it since.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes After a few years I started to tell more friends and acquaintances. This didn't bring me good feedback, any more than it had at first, as I described above. I went back to rarely telling anyone.
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 After the short phase of thinking I might be nuts, I just continued living normally, having come to understand that the experience had been something real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know I can rely on my own awareness. For more than twenty years now, I have been working professionally with the mentally ill population. I regularly have to evaluate how my patients are doing with their treatment.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I had the feeling that someday I would return there. When the therapist asked me where I was, I replied, ‘With God.’ After feeling the infinite Love, I had the feeling of floating in the Universe together with all life, and at the same time all this was existing inside my own belly. I transitioned several times back and forth, from one state into the other and back again. Not in this instance, but for three years I participated in five self-awareness groups of several days duration each. For example, in one ten-day group in 1984 I had an experience, which included my deceased brother. My re-visualizing a childhood dream in which a black orb from outer space had been rushing towards me sparked this. This I actually don't tell anyone, as I worry that then I would be totally branded crazy or something. Another reason is what happens within me when other people react to my story. They seem to want to eradicate the holy feelings I cherish. Right after the experience, I spoke of here; the friends I told criticized me harshly, trying over and over to explain it away by telling me that everything I experienced would of course have been simply caused by processes of the material brain and nothing else. Well then, you just stop talking about it. Nothing in my life has ever been as intense as this experience, before or since. For the last twenty-eight years I have continued to go over it in my mind.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? A theme: more emphasis could be put on questions about my life after my experience and how it changed my life.