Kind of a traditional NDE; love, light, reunion with love, reincarnation was obvious, imparting of some wisdoms and truths, life review, life planning, return.
The experience started with an accident. Direct head injury. After the initial life-threatening trauma, days later in the hospital during a period of laser-focus on the breath for hours over days, was when the greatest shifts occurred.
Then the deeper more fundamental parts happened later that week during the hospital stay when I doubt my life was in present danger. At that point, the catalyst was probably intense pain and an intense focus on the breath for a very long time.
I drifted off between breaths into much deeper states of consciousness than I had reached during the NDE itself. This state seemed to seep in during a long period of time rather than in one swoop as the initial NDE had apparently happened.
Similar states returned many times over the years following, when I would have to rush to privacy before dropping to my knees in gratitude, tears, and revelation/vision/burning-bush quality experiences. They returned full force whenever I was alone in the mountains for years. I had to spend lots of time alone because this 'other' world was so much more real and present than this earthly one for a long time and I never knew when the state would hit; not good to be in a grocery store when this happens! People don't get it when you've got tears running down your face and you're staring at your hands as if you just tried them on for the first time!
I think many of the states that occurred are described in other questions. I will add one portion here that was not addressed:
'Between breaths, I simply slipped from one form of consciousness into a much more spacious and connected and powerful one. From this state, I felt honored to keep the body breathing and endure this particular blazing burden. It wasn't suffering; it was fuel. I was filled with the sheer joy and gratitude of experiencing this particular delicious incarnation, this body and personality. This joy of Self has returned over and over through the years, at times gracing me with a sense of being blessed at every pleasure and pain of being in the flesh. I believe now that this space of being is our birthright and available in any life, once we let go of our definitions and expectations about what we are. In hospice volunteer situations I have seen people in what I believe to be this state in their final days and months, talking with long-gone friends and startled by unexpected visions and messages, as the veil slowly becomes more permeable. It is a gift to us. I don't believe life and death are binary states.'
Here's what I've gleaned from what was learned during the experience:
LEARN HOW TO DIRECT YOUR WILL AND ENERGY CONSCIOUSLY
The experience of the web of consciousness brought tremendous weight to bear in my own efforts to tame and become aware of the energies I am putting out there. They slip right out and shape consciousness into reality, and if you are fooling yourself about the subtle emotions you're allowing yourself to have, they are still causing ripples in your life. Our self-honest intentions matter more than we know. The way I like to deal with slippery intentions is not to ignore or suppress them, but to be aware, to notice, to fully experience and listen and digest, then to align and transform the energies through genuine personal emotional alchemy, raising the issue up into the light and beaming the emotions out that would instead be healthiest, integrating the experience into myself. I have found that if you can resolve the situation within you, it usually resolves outside of you as well.
BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS CONSCIOUSNESS, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
There isn't anything you can imagine that can't be, because it's all a play of consciousness. Us included. The further I go along this route, the more strange things I hear and see. Nothing is impossible.
AS LONG AS LIFE ITSELF GOES ON, YOU DO TOO.
As long as life itself is, in any form, in any world, in any plane of existence, you go on too. Only the frame for the witness shifts. We go on. We exist as life itself, as divinity itself, and we ARE the face of God in this world, every single messed up one of us, every single rock and tree. We Are God.
We Are Divine. At the same time, we're inherently limited and blemished as humans. Just do the best you can.
AS A PART OF DIVINE CONSCIOUSNESS, YOU ARE DIVINE.
I celebrate myself, and sing myself. I exist as I am, that is enough. Walt Whitman. We each have within us the same light that shined within Krishna and Jesus and the Buddha and everyone who's ever carried the torch. We are each Divinity's opportunity to experience and create a unique face of life, to allow it to shine right through our inevitable, insufferable flaws. And when that particular life form is done, we recycle back into the ocean, like a wave that dances and melts back in, to re-form and experience anew, moving our way higher and higher up the spiral of lessons.
FEAR NOTHING – LEAST OF ALL DEATH.
To die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. Walt Whitman. It's all chosen by you through love. There is always a healing path right through the middle of it. The worst you can imagine, the very worst, may even be rejoiced on the other side, and none of it ever goes unnoticed. You have infinite support available to you, whole worlds cheering for you to weather it well and grow with love so you can come home. BE BOLD.
JOY IN INCARNATION.
Your higher self incarnated because as a sensate, embodied being you can have experiences your spirit alone cannot. Don't be afraid of desire. Don't be afraid of passion, of adventure, of a little sin, of failure, of living in your own unique way. Don't be afraid of anything. Life truly is a big play; have fun with it, don't take it so seriously. Life in all its glory goes on, no matter how messy it looks from here and now.
TACKLE IT NOW.
You know that part of yourself you're putting off thinking about? Maybe it's a relationship or habit. The part you know down deep isn't quite lined up with the rest of you? Tackle it now. The pattern's not going to go away without your attention and eventually (maybe after a few more lives) you will resolve it. Wouldn't it be more pleasant to just do it now and move on up the spiral?
SELF-HEALING IS YOUR BIRTHRIGHT: THE KEY IS PAYING ATTENTION.
We each have the power to heal with our hands. We each have the power to immerse ourselves in direct communication with nature, receiving revelation and insight. We each have the power to use sexual energy as a sacred transformational force. We each have the power to interact with the subtle energies that make up our bodies and world. We have the power to control our fertility and contraception through communication with our unborn children.
KNOWING you have the power makes the difference. And practice, because that will bring it into manifestation. Examine your shadow fearlessly, bringing your unconscious energies into new relationship and alignment with the whole. When we can lovingly recognize our dark and light, and respect the information brought to us by our dark, our flaws, our challenges, our pain, we can begin to channel the energies more effectively and put their power to work for us.
THE MACROCOSM IS THE MICROCOSM
As within, so without. Once you decide to recognize the mirror, you will see how to change its reflection. At this time of increased social, political and environmental change, it is even more important to tend to the fires within. We can make the greatest changes in the world by starting with ourselves. Whenever I have an outward situation catch my attention, like a sprained ankle, or strained relationship, it means it is time to settle and look inward for the cause. There is always an energetic root, and it's an effective place to leverage change.
THE BODY ALWAYS WINS. YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE
Our bodies can often signal the way through a sticky situation. Sometimes it's through a sense of uneasiness in the gut, a sense of 'Yes' in the heart, sometimes a tightness in the throat from holding back my own truth. Once you begin decoding it, your body holds infinite information. It is our radar, our antenn', for moment to moment guidance through life. And you can try to overrule it at your peril. I see so many people who refuse to listen to their emotions, their physical symptoms, because they are needed in many other directions. They discount the signals their body is giving because. Deep down they know what it is going to ask them to do and are not ready to face it. So ultimately, the body takes them down with a chronic pain syndrome or disease until they listen and make the changes demanded by the higher spirit working through the body. They can offer self-care early, when it will involve pleasure. Or they can wait to make changes until they're forced to, when it will involve pain. Ultimately, the body always wins because it is the domain of the subconscious. Nourish and cleanse it with food and movement every day, listen to its wisdom, and feel free to negotiate for clearer communication.
PRACTICE TURNING YOUR THOUGHTS HIGHER.
To my great surprise at some point during the near death experience, the smallness of my last thoughts on earth stood out as one of the few things that would be a shame about my death. 'Oh, this is going to be a big one. I'm costing us money again.' The death itself wouldn't have been much of a loss to the fabric of life itself, but those poor, tiny last thoughts were a loss. It seems like we need to hold the highest state we can, ideally through every moment of life, but at least as we pass through the needle. So I try to practice bringing my emotions to the highest space possible; boundless love, a keening gratitude, joy and peace. Surround yourself with books, music and other art that uplifts you, that brings you to a better self, and practice getting there in an instant. Just in case the mountainside comes at you fast.
WE ARE NEVER OUTSIDE THE LIGHT.
Blessed be those who are cracked, for the cracks are where the light shines through. The veil just makes us think we have dark within us. We may turn away and hide our faces. But the source of all keeps shining on us anyway, waiting for us to look up and notice. Every day I try to remind all the parts of me to let the light stream through despite unending flaws, despite every day still weaving myself through the human impulses that distract from the stronger desire to be in Oneness. If you squint just right, ugly turns beautiful. When I think of that primal desire at the root of all others, I picture all of us humans like salmon leaping upstream, each in our own way, choosing our own path, our own thrust (maybe even secretly tsk-tsk-ing a neighbor salmon's trajectory). We're all after the same thing whether we know it or not.
From the sublime artist to the drunk to the emotional manipulator, we are all seeking reunion. Our decisions make their own logic within the context of where we are and what's in our way to get back home, and it's easy to hurt each other by misreading this pure universal desire.
BAD THINGS AREN'T ALWAYS BAD.
I believe when we are struck with challenges and suffering and we weather them with the most open heart we can, without blame or recrimination, without grasping, accepting responsibility for all of our own circumstances, we are each claiming a small win for the whole of life. We freely and joyfully chose our family, our flaws, our recurring fights, for our own good.
THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY.
For the first ten years after the accident I had rare words for any of this and it remained a burning, insanity-producing secret inside of me that I had no way to unlock. It was physically difficult to open my mouth to discuss it! When I first was experiencing these states, not only did my lips not want to move (it can't be put into words), but I couldn't even make the conceptual part of my brain move (it can't be put into concepts). All of me resisted, wanting nothing to disturb the pervading peace. And as soon as a word started in my mind space, even a nice word like 'Truth' or 'Love', it diminished the Whole. It implied there was something (truth) and so carved part away from the whole, inherently implying that there is also not something (untruth). It is partially for this same reason that for years afterward I had difficulty using the word 'I' without inwardly grimacing at the lie of it all . There is no 'I'. The sense of I can be shifted to be limitless. It's only a sense of boundary and perspective. So right here, in this very sentence, I'm lying despite my best efforts.
Do you see the problem here? How simple questions like 'How are you?' can become a trap if you're trying to be painstakingly truthful? Not one of those words can be parsed unambiguously. There was no longer a perspective from which to solidly answer innocent questions. One. Everything we ever need to know comes straight from that one inescapable thing. Call it the Tao, the unity, collective consciousness, or God. Labels only confuse the situation. The map is not the territory.
If anything I say doesn't resonate with you, toss it out. YOU are the only one who can decide truth for yourself. Take nothing at face value, no matter the authority. They may be speaking truth at their level, but only you can decide if it's a paradigm that's useful to you. We are all using the metaphors and perspectives and senses and cultural overlays available to us, and there are hundreds of beautiful books describing similar experiences in modern cultural concepts and terms. Once we break the code of reading metaphorically, most of the world's sacred books can partially be read as deeply informative symbolism for this same living process as it moves through the various layers and energies of a human being's life and body.
God is too big to fit inside one religion. Refuse to cling to any definition of what 'God' is! It's certainly not an embodied being or a masculine entity. (The systemic imbalance of a single-gender God is absurd on the face of it.) Even the word 'God' felt like sacrilege to me for years, like condensing the ultimate force into a shoebox with sides: there were so many cultural projections onto the concept of 'God', of personification, and my experience was not of God as a separate paternal force. Instead, I interpret this potent word as the underlying, glorious, intelligent, sublimely loving force that simply IS, leaping again and again into existence through all of us. By this definition, and by my experience, there is nothing that is not God.
Every religion has a branch devoted to the mystical perspective. The Christians have the Gnostics, the Jews the Kabbalists, Muslims the Sufi, Hindi the Jain. I had to reach out to the writings of the mystics and the sacred texts of other cultures, ones who have not separated the body away from the spirit, to understand the process that was beginning to open up in my body electric. I recognize a little inherent kinship with some of the principles of Vajrayana Buddhism: the path of using everything in life, including the dark within us, those things we like to stuff into the shadow, as fuel for burning off the veil. Obsessive reading of archetypal Jungian psychology was crucial in building the dictionary of my own inner messages. But these are labels. Volumes of reading can offer comfort in gaining cultural reference for similar experiences.
Reading and sharing help us know we're not alone in our human journey. But ultimately, you must bow only to the guru within.
THE GURU IS WITHIN YOU.
Everything you ever want to know can open up with enough intense focus. A breeze moving a leaf, birdsong at just the right moment, running water, that soft sense of warmth in your heart. It is your birthright to learn how to hear the answers springing from the fabric of life around you.
Throw out your books and allow the living spirit to devour you.
Thanks again for all your work on this important subject.
Date NDE Occurred: 3/1996
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Direct head injury Don't know. I was crushed under a car at the time of NDE (certainly life threatening, and I was not breathing or conscious), then in hospital (probably NOT near clinical death but in profound life-shattering pain) for the much deeper consciousness experi Other Don't know. I was crushed under a car at the time of NDE (certainly life threatening, and I was not breathing or conscious), then in hospital (probably NOT near clinical death but in profound life-shattering pain) for the much deeper consciousness experience
Crushed under a car; head fracture, shattered pelvis, not breathing or conscious, many other broken bones.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes During the least mystical parts (the Out Of Body experiences) I watched what was happening. In one part, the car was being lifted off me and I watched from two perspectives (above and below) while in fact being face down and unable to see it at all and in another part, being above myself in the ambulance.
Later, in the hospital, returning between breaths I was in a state of non-duality (perfect oneness) and sensed everyone and everything as all together ONE, playing a scene together. For instance, one time I watched a nurse come in and turn my body over (carelessly) causing such pain I begged silently to die but was unable to force my voice aloud to tell her to stop moving me. Yet at the same time, I saw her as me and saw that she was acting exactly what she was supposed to. As she walked over to me, it was as if I was doing it myself, and time and space suspended. These OBE-type or non-duality type states were ongoing off and on for years and tremendously confusing.
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 Everything I describe except the rather mundane out of body experiences involved a much, much higher level of awareness and exquisite alert sensitivity than ever before. And remaining with me after was a higher presence and intelligence (for lack of a better word) that has never fully left.
All of these experiences make this worldly life look like just a drama or dream. They were all more real than anything I could tell you about this person who still exists.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? After the initial life-threatening trauma.
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
There was no time or space during the NDE itself or in the state of experiencing pure consciousness that came later. Here is what I write in Dance Through It:
This (having my attention called to the life review) was the only part of the experience that had a sense of time, a realization that it was now time for a transition. Otherwise, time seemed to be only an occasionally useful construct rather than part of the fabric of reality. To break the flashes into stages I have to narrate its shape with space and time, because that's the way we conceive our world. But it didn't happen in any special order or place. Heaven isn't 'up there'. It isn't even a place. Even when we leave our bodies we aren't really even going 'up there' except in the more material, earthly perception. There is no 'up there'. There is no first this, then this, then finally that. Cause and effect, the path taken and the path untaken, the before and after, fate and free will, inside and outside, me over here and you over there, they are all illusions of the one piece of fabric that weaves it all together. Time and space are necessary constructs to tell the story.
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. Vision was not necessarily part of my experience. Bliss overruled it. Feeling and knowledge and sensation and dazzle overruled it.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I didn't remember much in the way of hearing. Other senses (Gnostic revelation, receiving wisdom, feeling bliss and love beyond words) took hold instead, rather than sight and sound.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I am not a person who notices what is going on around me in a tangible, sight and sound sense. I instead sense energies and abstract concepts usually, and always have. The experience reflected this, my memory is very fuzzy about the transitions, but the wisdom imparted was the most real thing I've ever experienced, making the remainder of this life look like a dream.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain Things are still coming back to me(!) after all these years but I don't remember a boundary. I do remember resignedly slipping back into duality/polarity/the veil at one point, described below. I also remember that back in the 'real' world in the hospital later, at one point I begged (within) to die and got a solid, resolute rejection of NO because the choice had already been made. This felt ridiculous because death/life already felt so porous, no solid boundary between them.
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 I FELT the light, rather than seeing it. It was felt as indescribable joy, peace, love, acceptance, connection, infinity, belonging, and power. It felt 'clean' and there was perfect whole communication between any energies that could be distinguished from each other.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The moment of transition from this life is utterly alone, for each of us. But as my body launched through the windshield, it pitched me headlong through the limits I had known in life as a human being, and I emerged into the deep familiarity and recognition of the Tribe of Life itself. Peace permeated my awareness, and a love that for years brought a cry of gratitude just from the memory.
From Dance Through It (http://barefoothealing.net/dance-through-it )
A primal space within recognized this state of being from before birth, from between lives. (Lives! There were so many of them!) I felt the bright embrace of being recognized, truly known and understood, and fully actively loved in spite of it all by the flavors and whispers of life present. I was clean, and I was home. Time and space fell away as the constructs they are, and I expanded into a sense of connection and simultaneous awareness of the inner intentions of every energetic body there. Although these energies could be distinct, the overriding truth was clear: together we were one intertwined, infinite Being, connected through full innate awareness and sentience of all life at once. So dazzling and convincing was it all that my current life and identity dropped away unnoticed like clothes carelessly shed onto the floor.
It seemed the whole of existence and human experience permeated the air, retrievable with the flick of intention: every language, every teardrop, every shed skin cell, every body of music, every story, every loss, every secret. It was everything I'd ever wanted to learn, everything there was to learn, right there ready to spring into awareness with the slightest intention. More vivid and self-evident than anything I had experienced in life as a human, it still is the most undeniable thing I've ever witnessed. I'd trust the knowing that came from this, before answering the simplest fact like 'What's your name?' or 'When did you start your current job?' As much as those things seem like they have a straightforward answer, this deep level of knowing made them look like fun trivia you'd memorize about a character in a book. So this was death. Now I remembered.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Bliss, belonging, gratitude, joy, connection, pure transmission of knowledge, expansiveness, divinity, infinity, omni-sentience, omniscience, unlimited, lack of time and space, perfection, clean. There was no blame or recrimination and nothing but love. Deep, deep, deep familiarity that makes everything else look like temporary theater.
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 Actually I shouldn't say everything. It was instead everything I turned my attention to that I understood. It was all available but not at once, needing my intention and attention to bring the wisdom in.
I very strongly know that any language, song, memory in history is available to us in the ether. At various times in my life since this experience I have felt any and all knowledge was available to me with the flick of intention. Not to say I can actually manifest it, but they're all out there and available. In fact in later years much of the healing work I learned came in this way; dense scholarly works on obscure holistic methods made perfect sense deep within me, as if I had already read or written them.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? I remembered many past events
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future This is tough, because I'm not sure these things came in during the NDE itself. I think they may have come in afterward. Many insights about the nature and future of humankind came in but not in a Nostradamus type way.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a definite conscious decision to return to life I don't remember the decision itself but do remember this:
Here, in reviewing the past, we planned the future. As part of the life review, I willingly laid out the challenges and flaws of the next stage of incarnation (which ended up being in the same life and body). Like all spirits in the review process, this benevolent team of energies and I chose together to leverage past strengths for the good of others and for future growth, to put certain obstacles in place for the better flow of the stream. I worked out with my soul group what roles we were to play in the coming life this time, cruel antagonists appreciated equally to tender lovers. This was co-choreography of the life ahead, a complex dance planned with a bit of room for improvisation. Although we were aware of the difficulties we were taking on and certainly didn't desire them for the sake of suffering, we yearned for the growth and ultimate reunion the lessons would bring us. No one I saw was eager to again experience the separation brought by the veil of illusion, the veil that makes us believe we are all distinct, finite beings, the veil that offers us the narrative of time and space.
Despite the reluctance to slip again into the confusion of duality, separation and polarity, I felt a sense of resolve, determination and honor and an eagerness to enact my mission. (Oh, but to figure out what the mission is once back in duality! That's another book!) Cheering well-wishes rose from behind the curtain as I headed out to take the stage.
Also, during one of the stages to come later in the hospital I distinctly remember being lowered back into duality as if from the feet up, like being dipped into a distasteful but necessary swamp. I felt the pure awareness split into polarities as I slipped into the swamp; bad and good, light and dark, male and female all split off from the whole, making a big mess I had chosen to undergo once again. I DO NOT REMEMBER if I made the choice or if it was made for me. I certainly agreed to it and planned for it eagerly but don't know if there was ever an option to truly die or if this was always planned for me life as a re-set for the next stage. So my answer to this question is meaningless since 'I don't know' is not an option.
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? Do not know Loosely and distantly protestant from childhood, always had a sense of relation to a higher presence from childhood, but didn't think about religion or god during the years immediately preceding the accident. I had not put much stock in the Christianity I had been taught being the truth. And I was a very abstract thinker, intellectual, and my experience reflected this. Although I have used 'beings' to describe the energies I encountered it was really more abstract than that - specific flavors of energies that you could conceive of as beings but that really felt at the time more to me like a part of *me* because I had expanded to include all one.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes
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 No faith of any label. This wiped out the possibility of ever stuffing 'God' back into a box or book.
Although each movement felt like a prayer for many years after this, I had a hard time actually praying because there was no longer anyone to pray to. It was all of us, and the trees, and the rocks and the computer under my fingers. There is nothing that is NOT God by my definition now because we are all manifestations of consciousness. I find commonalities with every religion and with atheists and so on. When I read sacred books of any culture or myths of any culture I see the truths I witnessed in my own experiences reflected in the core of the stories presented even if they are cloaked in cultural details.
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 There was one point of specific surprise, and that was that my final thoughts when dying mattered tremendously to life itself and to my own continuation. The state of emotions when passing through the needle seems to matter. I was actually surprised by this at the time I realized it. I had always believed that our overall life mattered more than any one second of it but that moment of dying does seem to matter. ( I cover this better in Dance Through It) SO now I always practice turning my thoughts and emotions higher so I can get there in an instant - just in case.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes
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 This is tough. There were not only one but many 'beings' but at the same time they were just me because we were all one. I didn't see or hear them but sensed them. When I came back at first I really just experienced it as ONE and they were various flavors or whispers of the one but I was them and they were me and we were all together 'God'. All the details took time to trickle back in. I experienced the certainly that we all have Krishna/Christ consciousness within; that we are all divine. When I 'returned' it was with the knowledge that I was Christ (yes, I know how crazy that sounds and I am a highly flawed person) because we all have that potential within us. Christ is a reality within me, and yet I don't really know if the person himself ever existed and it doesn't matter, because the Christ-love itself is a burning reality / potential within all of us. So I experienced love that you could identify as that if you wanted to, but that's not the interpretation I had.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
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 No, however I experienced the certainly that we all have Krishna/Christ consciousness within - that we are all divine. When I 'returned' it was with the knowledge that I was Christ (yes, I know how crazy that sounds and I am a highly flawed person)
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes Reincarnation was self-evident, so much so that when it was 'time' for the life review I actually had a jolt when trying to remember which life it was I had just discarded that needed to be reviewed. We go on forever, and there is no time
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I AM. There's no other way for me to answer this. The whole experience was in this state of unity, and this sense of one/nonduality lasted a long time afterward, washing in waves and confusing the hell out of me when trying to navigate in this earthly world
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes There is nothing that is not god. HEre is what I wrote in Dance Through It:
'God is too big to fit inside one religion. Refuse to cling to any definition of what God is! It's certainly not an embodied being or a masculine entity. (The systemic imbalance of a single-gender God is absurd on the face of it.) Even the word God felt like sacrilege to me for years, like condensing the ultimate force into a shoebox with sides: there were so many cultural projections onto the concept of ôGodö of personification, and my experience was not of God as a separate paternal force. Instead I interpret this potent word as the underlying, glorious, intelligent, sublimely loving force that simply IS, leaping again and again into existence through all of us. By this definition, and by my experience, there is nothing that is not God.'
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? Unknown
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes This sounds nuts but I came back feeling as Krishna/Christ, that I needed to churn and transform energies on behalf of the World, and that we EACH have this within us. It is my job to help other people wake up. Not to mention help myself fully wake up!
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? Yes To grow. To learn. Even bad things aren't bad and we planned them ourselves, with eagerness not for the pain of course, but for the learning that we could gain if we handled the experiences with an open heart.
During the experience it was self-evident
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes It was self-evident that we go on as long as life in any form on any plane does. We are unlimited, unbounded, divinity, and only our frame of awareness shifts at the moment of death. (to a much more pleasant state, by the way!)
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? Not 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 I write extensively about the 'gleanings' in Dance Through It.
But here is what I wrote about the most important, transformative part of the experience, watching intention move across consciousness to create form.
'I crossed into a state that was deep, fundamental, irreducible. An ocean of exquisite sensitivity, of omnisentience (sensing everywhere at once), turned me inside out to reveal itself at the core. Losing every sense of distinction, I floated as part of this gloriously intelligent web of light. Even the
awesome flavors and energies from previous states of consciousness looked trivial compared to this luminous irreducible force, this field of existence. It seemed to be an order of magnitude different from the earlier experiences. This was the force of consciousness itself. There was no 'I' left whatsoever, not even the broad perspective from the life review. My boundaries as a human and as a spirit were completely erased. Witnessing from a localized single point, my perspective was simultaneously spread through the multidimensional, nonlocalized perspective of the entire web. There was no end and no beginning, like the lake underneath the forms that dance through our lives. This was beyond bliss, beyond truth, beyond peace and ecstasy and all the searing emotions of the previous stages. It was stillness in the middle, consciousness without form.
In the distance a gentle wave swelled up, moving across the ocean of light toward the point of perspective assigned to me. As it arose I became aware that this wave was the concerns, prayer, and emotions being streamed toward me from hundreds of people I knew in this life and from many others who had only heard about my situation. My point of perspective rose as the wave reached it,
and correspondingly I was lifted, just a little, from the pain in my body. It became a little lighter to bear.
I had just viscerally witnessed prayers and intentions became physical, tangible reality. (In using the word 'prayer' I mean something an atheist could easily do as well as a theologian û no special form, just focused will propeled by the power of love and concern. ) It was made known to me that this was Consciousness creating Form through Intention. Nothing exists until it rises into form on this
field. Every single bit of material in the world û even the computer or paper you're reading this on, and the stardust that nourishes your marrow, and the paint on the wall, and the dog you love, and each single hair on his loppy ear û must have begun there on the sacred field of consciousness, shaped by the impulse of intention. There is no 'there' there. Coming back into this human life, this is the singlemost vision that set my mind back to zero, like a
child, as I struggled to understand how to interact in this world again û this world of imaginary objects and entitities. For the rest of my life I have watched as the most fleeting and buried intentions - the ones we don't even think we have û manifest in external situations within our health or circumstances or in others. Undigested impulse and well-suppressed emotion snake out to wreak havoc externally. They create material situations and tangible real-world repercussions. I see that one of the greatest jobs I'm given in this life is to wrestle these very human energies into unified, directed control of a heart- and mind-empowered will.
This is why in our physical and emotional health, healing modalities from the spiritual or energetic level - the level of intentions taking form - are often the most effective approach. Intervention at this higher level stirs change through all the layers of our being at once, and allows us to integrate the power from our health challenge rather than trying to cut it out or suppress it.'
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes Horrible things were celebrated (by OURSELVES!!) as beauty and opportunity. Please see my writing above about the recently dead trying to contact loved ones to see more about this. Bad things are rarely actually bad! We chose it ALL ourselves.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Love is the primal force. Love is the light. Love heals.
And of course the Golden Rule is the only rule that matters in the life review.
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 I left my marriage as soon as I could walk again. I experienced ongoing mystical states of consciousness to the point of greatly disrupting my life. I began sensing other people's emotions and physical states. I dropped birth control and influenced my fertility instead through communicating with my unborn children. I experienced major, major neuroendocrine changes, major electrical disruption to the point I had to stop wearing a watch and many holistic medical tests that rely on the electricity of the body do not work on me. Healer after healer in various modalities said they had never seen what they saw was happening in my body (i.e. shaman, clairvoyant, naturopath). I got stopped on the street more than once to be asked what the light was round my head, or from light healers who just wanted to make contact. I dropped western medicine. Despite a shattered pelvis my children were born at home because they made it clear to me ahead of time that's how it would be safest and healthiest for all of us. My sexuality/libido radically shifted and orgasms began to fill the room around me rather than my body. My family shifted from a middle class normal house to giving our belongings away and living on the road, following intuition rather than society's shoulds.
There's a ton more in the book. Here are a few relevant passages:
From the week of the accident on, I was equipped with a few new unwavering aspects to my perspective: Most of them are common to many people who have had similar experiences. An unraveling belief in any existing paradigm of thought, an unrelenting obligation to notice everything within my subconscious space, an unquenchable desire to serve the light, to share what I had come to understand within (and the maddening combination of having no way of showing or telling it and the firm conviction that it couldn't be conveyed to most people most of the time anyway), and a sense of peace and trust that the hurdles and difficulties in my life were deliberately and wisely self-chosen for a highly desired purpose. It is hard to express what a gift this awareness was.
So much of our suffering comes from wondering 'Why?' and 'What if?' Without these poisons, recrimination and remorse, I was free to cleanly endure my battle wounds and transform them into a sense of higher presence with me that has never left a buoyant sense of wellbeing deep within despite physical and emotional turmoil on the surface. A sense of detachment from the interactions and personal relationships in my life, a sense of pretending to be this person (this came and went for a few years) a sense of having already accomplished and learned whatever the 'goal' was in life, while at the very same time being very painfully aware that I had no concept of any of the details that bridge the two ways of knowing. I was unable to manifest even a small part of that kernel of wisdom within, and was an empty and shallow novice in so many things that mattered to living the kind of life I respected. I felt the strangest combination of all-knowing and knowing nothing whatsoever, of having intimate proximity to the ultimate source of power and at the same time having great difficulty getting my hands on top of my head to wash my own hair. The fast food-loving computer programmer from a lumber town had no idea how to work with the clear-eyed, burning-hearted, child-minded devotee that had taken charge within, and the work of rebuilding a broken body and life gave them both something to do while they sorted themselves out.
The Vedics called the sacrum the sacred bone, seat of the soul, where the coiled snake of Kundalini Shakti resides. This energetic force unleashed in my spine when the pelvis was broken open, a force that burns like electricity through my skin and senses and spirit and every decision I make. It has unfolded and intensified in my life ever since, leading inexorably to growth. My antenn', my nervous system is changed forever. My job here is to burn through emotional and energetic burdens, to transform whatever comes up, and there's no turning away from it. (Plenty of stumbling, but no turning away!) Wherever this leads, I am willfully along for the ride. This path is so much a guiding force that before I could agree to marry my present husband, I had to warn him that I was already essentially married to something I would and could never leave, and that I didn't know where it would take me. The remarkable man was cool with that.
Almost ten years ago, I dropped conventional forms of contraception and began using communication with my unborn children instead. Actively projecting a 'No' in the years we didn't want a pregnancy, we sensed their desire to join us as if a cosmic window of fertility had opened, and when we were ready emotionally we invited them in. I remember one night silently extending an invitation to my son to join us, as he had been hovering and waiting. Just days later two chatty voices let me overhear 'She's pregnant, you know.' The other said, 'Yes, with a strapping boy.' He himself told me he would be born a little early and it should be at home. Without ever taking a pregnancy test or having missed a day of my cycle, we were announcing our son's upcoming birth to friends and family. And he is indeed strapping, was born a bit early, channels energy beautifully with his hands, and has a knack for communicating with wild medicinal plants. Two talented midwives helped us welcome both my daughter and son in home births because before and throughout pregnancy the babies and my own inner guide impressed on me how important it was for them and for my health as well.
(With a pelvis and sacrum that had been shattered, it wasn't easy. But the natural births left them with radiant health and a gentle energetic entry, and left me with a far healthier pelvis and hips.) Last year we were shocked to witness my daughter at the age of seven doggedly stride off-path in the
Sonoran desert, strike spontaneous yoga poses facing the red setting sun, and break down at the moment of sunset in a transcendent experience that left her crying in wonder for hours, staring at her hands as she cried 'I'm so happy to be a little girl!', and swearing off birthday parties and ice cream and swimming, as long as I could stay right here forever being part of the rocks and plants. She has found her inner compass.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes Love, honesty, growth, love. Some detachment from personal relationships.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It took me 10 years to begin discussing it, and 16 to finally write it out in a fuller form. Incredibly, incredibly difficult to express. Here's a snippet from my little eBook about the difficulty of putting these things into words:
Speaking of 'difficult to express in words', I can't answer your next question because there WAS no time or space. Thoughts couldn't be sped up because time disappeared. I have no idea the time period this all happened in. All of these questions are incredibly hard to answer because they are using a framework I would not use for the wording.
Here are some of the things I wrote about the futility of words in the eBook 'Dance Through It' available for download at http://barefoothealing.net/dance-through-it.
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 Most of my life events at the time are a blur. I was in a huge state of pain and disability and it's all a jumble. This stuff I'm writing about today is all more real to me than anything that happened in my life before, during or since.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? During one part of the experience I left the body in a traditional Out of Body Experience, seeing it from the outside, but not with any mystical quality, just a factual shift in perspective of seeing things from three places at once.
During one part of the experiences (the NDE) my body/personality was left behind like clothes dropped onto the floor. I actually had to look around to pick it back up for the life review (and felt only a distant fondness for it - that life wasn't very important to me anymore).
During another part of the experiences (in the hospital, the greatest shifts and wisdom) I was fully, expansively human much, much greater than the body and not confined to it but very much innately related to it and in charge of making it breathe (had to return to the body repeatedly to force it to inhale, then drift away, then return to exhale, then drift away; an eternity between breaths). I was in fact at the time in crushing pain so that certainly would have confused my senses quite a bit. Yet although I was greater than the body, it seemed to be a crystallized/manifest form of the greater human, so I certainly claimed it as mine. Strangely, even the horrifying pain felt like bliss because it was INCARNATION. I was deeply honored to be undergoing it and treasured that mess of flesh I was in charge of. It became clear the body is just a tangible representation of the greater being. I loved it and treasured it and in fact valued every sense it was experiencing as beauty but was not even slightly confined to it. This state returned many times over the years. Bliss.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was 10 years before first speaking of it in any depth and beginning to manifest the healing talents; 15 years before able to give a speech on it; 16 before able to put it onto paper in 'Dance Through It'
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real More real than everything else. Blew it all out of the water leaving me completely confused about how to interact in this world.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It has become a useful force now, instead of just a bewildering one.
Most of my life events at the time are a blur. I was in a huge state of pain and disability and it's all a jumble. This stuff I'm writing about today is all more real to me than anything that happened in my life before, during or since.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Ongoing states afterward that were only semi-predictable (could feel them coming and get to a place of privacy before they hit).
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It was self-evident that we go on as long as life in any form on any plane does. We are unlimited, unbounded, divinity, and only our frame of awareness shifts at the moment of death (to a much more pleasant state, by the way!)
There is nothing that is not God.
Reincarnation was self-evident, so much so that when it was 'time' for the life review I actually had a jolt when trying to remember which life it was I had just discarded that needed to be reviewed. We go on forever, and there is no time so there is no such thing as 'prior to this lifetime'.
The whole experience was in this state of unity, and this sense of one/non duality lasted a long time afterward, washing in waves and confusing the hell out of me when trying to navigate in this earthly life! I had a very hard time fitting my boundaries back to something we call 'I' because 'I' had been completely wiped out. It is just a matter of shifting boundaries.
Love is the primal force. Love is the light. Love heals.
And of course the Golden Rule is the only rule that matters in the life review.
But here is what I wrote in the book about the most important, transformative part of the experience; watching intention move across consciousness to create form.
I crossed into a state that was deep, fundamental, and irreducible. An ocean of exquisite sensitivity, of Omni sentience (sensing everywhere at once), that turned me inside out to reveal itself at the core. Losing every sense of distinction, I floated as part of this gloriously intelligent web of light. Even the awesome flavors and energies from previous states of consciousness looked trivial compared to this luminous irreducible force, this field of existence. It seemed to be an order of magnitude different from the earlier experiences. This was the force of consciousness itself. There was no 'I' left whatsoever, not even the broad perspective from the life review. My boundaries as a human and as a spirit were completely erased. Witnessing from a localized single point, my perspective was simultaneously spread through the multidimensional, nonlocalized perspective of the entire web. There was no end and no beginning, like the lake underneath the forms that dance through our lives. This was beyond bliss, beyond truth, beyond peace and ecstasy and all the searing emotions of the previous stages. It was stillness in the middle, consciousness without form.
In the distance a gentle wave swelled up, moving across the ocean of light toward the point of perspective assigned to me. As it arose, I became aware that this wave was the concerns, prayer, and emotions streamed toward me from hundreds of people I knew in this life and from many others who had only heard about my situation. My point of perspective rose as the wave reached it,
and correspondingly I was lifted, just a little, from the pain in my body. It became a little lighter to bear.
I had just viscerally witnessed prayers and intentions become physical, tangible reality. (In using the word 'prayer' I mean something an atheist could easily do as well as a theologian; no special form, just focused will propelled by the power of love and concern). It was made known to me that this was Consciousness creating Form through Intention. Nothing exists until it rises into form on this field. Every single bit of material in the world, even the computer or paper you're reading this on, and the stardust that nourishes your marrow, and the paint on the wall, and the dog you love, and each single hair on his loppy ear must have begun there on the sacred field of consciousness, shaped by the impulse of intention. There is no 'there' there. Coming back into this human life, this is the single most vision that set my mind back to zero, like a child, as I struggled to understand how to interact in this world again, this world of imaginary objects and entities. For the rest of my life I have watched as the most fleeting and buried intentions, the ones we don't even think we have, manifest in external situations within our health or circumstances or in others. Undigested impulse and well-suppressed emotion snake out to wreak havoc externally. They create material situations and tangible real-world repercussions. I see that one of the greatest jobs I'm given in this life is to wrestle these very human energies into unified, directed control of a heart and mind-empowered will.
This is why in our physical and emotional health, healing modalities from the spiritual or energetic level, the level of intentions taking form, are often the most effective approach. Intervention at this higher level stirs change through all the layers of our being at once, and allows us to integrate the power from our health challenge rather than trying to cut it out or suppress it.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? THANK YOU for this important work!!!!