I had my first NDE when I was a child, perhaps 2 or 3, (this would be about 1953), and it involved me drowning. My memories of it were of seeing my body below me; I remember seeing a bright warm loving orb above me, and my panicked dad and mom below. I didn't know that it was anything to talk about, and no one would have believed me, it never was a thing I felt I had to relate. From that moment on though, I resisted going to church. I would escape from church every chance I got. It was like trying to shove two magnets together. After I asked in Presbyterian Catechism, why a person in Africa who was good and decent and loving, and such, had no chance of going to heaven just because he hadn't read the bible. I was kicked out of church. Everyone was so ashamed, they couldn't figure out why I felt so good. This was in 1963.
I was the biggest anti-church agnostic you ever met!! I had no belief in the church. I did not go to church except after I was ordered there by my uncle, who was raising me after my father’s death (suicide). While in church, in this forced session, wearing a suit my uncle really couldn't afford to give me, a man walked in the front of the church. The congregation turned and looked at him. I looked into his eyes, and he had a warm loving glow about him. He was in sandals and was dressed just like, and looked just like the guy hanging behind the pulpit. Then he seemed to want me to look at the congregation. When I did, I was sickened. The entire group was staring at him with obvious hate. I looked back at the man, and he looked straight into my eyes and smiled. I smiled back, and he turned and left.
After church that day, I walked outside, and took off my jacket, and tie, and never put them back on, nor did I go to church again willingly. This was about 1968.
Then in 1971, I was a married guy with one son, and was hitching a ride home from my job in a research lab at the University of Michigan. I got a ride in a van, and in the van was a seat running from behind the driver’s seat along the driver’s side, to a seat along the back of the van. I sat in the seat on the side, and a hippy kid sat in the back seat. Someone suddenly, but without projecting fear, was sitting next to me, on my left. He talked to me about what was going to happen to me, he said I had the choice of whether or not I had to (experience it). We talked in a very serious, yet non-threatening way. I told him I would do it. As I got out of the van, he asked me again, if I wanted to do it and I said yes. He told me the number of steps I would take before it would happen. The hippy and the driver asked nervously who I had been talking to, and when I said 'him,' and pointed to the seat, the driver turned on the interior light, and there was no one but the driver, and the hippy there. I remember they were really concerned for me, but spooked. I took the number of steps in a state of mind that was removed, but determined. When I reached the number I turned and saw a car veer towards a kid on a bike. A person in the back seat swung a pipe at the kid, who ducked his head, and the pipe missed its mark. I stepped out in the road where the car’s driver could see me, and waved my arm. The car was stopping, and then it sped up, and left the pavement heading right for me. I picked up a handful of gravel, and threw it at the car, which swerved, barely missing me.
The car stopped, and soon I had been beaten with pipes, and then I felt a pain in my back and in my stomach. I thought I had been shot through and through. I put my hand on my stomach and saw it was covered in blood. This made me think I had been shot for sure, and I said to the attackers, "You've killed me!" It was only later I found out that I had been knifed with a stiletto, that severed an artery above my liver. They left, and I remember looking up, and seeing a light. I then looked down at my body, and then I was confronted by at least two beings. They were human in appearance, and they seemed to float in midair. I realized I was far above my body, and not in any earthly space. The beings tried to keep me from going to the light. I don't know why, they just seemed terrified, and didn't want me to go. But I did. I shot up like an arrow through what can only be described as a tunnel. I saw the tunnel as a peripheral blur of stars, and I saw a loving light before me. Then I stopped. I was there with this orb of glowing love and understanding. It didn't seem foreign to me. It was not frightening, it was totally assuring, and there was no feeling of anything but my awe, and the love and knowledge and wisdom that this orb projected. In size, it would be not like looking at the sun, but looking at the earth when you are on it. It was immense, and total, and its power was love.
I felt a presence next to me, a man, and he asked if I was ready for my 'life review.' I said yes, all of this not a verbal thing, but just a knowledge. Then I saw like a HO scale train set below, of a city. I went to this city, and I went through my life. I went through every moment, and every feeling. I was not afraid as I was still in the light. I talked with the man about my life. But I do not remember any specifics. I then remember standing as it were, in the light of the Orb of love. I felt the goodness, and love, and knowledge of it. My mind was in a state of deep, deep, concentration of thought.
I then went to 12 beings of greater knowledge. They were in front of me, and stood in a row. They were not human; they had no feelings of anything like judgment, or authority, but seemed strong in themselves. They seemed taller than me. They wore silver white robes, and they had white skin, and large heads, and large eyes. I do not remember them having mouths. Above them was a spirit. It was like a star as we see one from earth, but in size appeared the same size as the heads of the beings. The spirit went to my left, and hovered above the first being, and I remember it was like a video of knowledge that sprang from the beings hands, which were held in front of them. Each being had something to relate. They opened the knowledge they had when the spirit moved above them. The last being told me what I could do if I came back, and the significance of it.
I only remember seeing a young man with his head back in pain, as if his neck was injured. I said "Oh! Alvin! My son!" , and they said 'no, not that son'. And I realized whom they meant. (In 1978 my only other child was born, a son). Then I made the decision to come back to earth. I remember that it was such a hard decision. It was so difficult, because everything there was so beautiful, and there was so, so much love. I had the feeling of freewill, yet a feeling of duty was present. Of obligation. The second that I realized that, I shot back into my body.
I stood and walked to the road, and saw the young man on the bike, who was an oriental man. He offered to help, but there was really nothing he could do. I got a ride to the hospital, where the doctor told me I was too weak to operate on, and that I was bleeding to death. He called and told my wife the same thing. I remember laughing about that, because I knew I wouldn't die.
I told my older brother who had rushed to me that I had had the choice to live or die, and he looked at me like there was no possibility that anyone would choose death over life. I told my wife, and my best friend. They did not mock me, but they clearly did not understand.
I would find that a common theme. Sometime later at a Christmas Day gathering I saw the book 'Life After Life', by Dr. Raymond Moody. I read the book, (I speed read), and then exclaimed "This!!" holding the book up I said "This is what happened to me when I was stabbed." I said the only other time I felt anything like this is when I drowned as a child, and how I had felt so warm from the sun. My mother said "Brad, you were face down in the mud when we found you!!" which ended the entire conversation.
I was struck with the realization that I had seen the same 'orb' of love when I had drowned. I remembered then playing while they tried to get me to breathe, and double jumping. That's when you jump up so high, then jump again from the high spot. I remember I was not alone where I was. Then I was back in my little body.
I sat there in my mother’s living room with the family singing carols in the other room. I remember thinking, no one believes me. I am wrong to everyone.
I talked a lot about that experience to people over the years, but it wasn't until I heard Dannion Brinkley talk, and describe his experience, that I emerged from my cocoon, so to speak. He talked about his experience, and it was just like me in most ways. But, in some ways it was identical. I had never talked to anyone who was proud of their near death experience. I decided I would never again, never, deny nor be embarrassed to say what had happened.
I do know that what I saw, the orb of love was the Creator. I do not know the names of anyone I met in my NDE. Names seemed unimportant.
I did not walk away from the experience thinking of Jesus as my savior, or that I wanted to go to this church or that church, or that religion had anything to do with my experience. I do not dislike or hate Jesus, I just frankly was not told and no implication was made that Jesus wanted me to bow to him, or anything in that line.
I do not go to church, save funerals, and weddings.
I do not think that Jesus would want me to think of him as anything other than a loving spirit. I would like to follow him, not in a religion, but in a state of mind. I am not a Christian; I want no credit for that. But I see the wisdom of Buddha, and Jesus, and Gandhi, and others in their application of love to their life situations. I hope I have answered your questions.