I am not sure I would call my experience a NDE as others I have read about, but it was something similar. I did not see a tunnel, nor others I knew who had passed away before me. My experience was one of a huge struggle and journey I had to make to save my life. I was compelled to travel overland, and by sea from Africa, where I had contracted the malaria in the physical world and back to my home in Adelaide. I had to swim through rivers, watch people drown around me, struggle through 'Mad Max' [Editor's note: An Australian action film.] landscapes, journey on a pirate ship, to get back to my home. It was an epic struggle but I could not give up. I did not think about giving up, I did not question why I was doing this, I was driven on to complete the journey safely. It was really hard and I had to use all my resources to make it.
I think it was my spirit's way of surviving the malaria; I had to make this journey on the spiritual level to combat the malaria on the physical level. The whole experience was hyper-real, as I have read NDEs are, and there was an overlap with that world and this. As I awoke from the coma, over days or hours, I don't know which, I was mixing the two worlds together. I did not know the other world was not real and was talking to people about it as if it was real and they would know about it. I have had experiences of delirium at other times, and this was quite, or even very different.
Date NDE Occurred: April 1986
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes. Illness. Other: my family were told it was unlikely I would make it through the night
Cerebral malaria, I was in a coma for 8 days and had a number of brain hemorrhages, but to be honest I am not totally clear of my medical condition. I am told that my body went into shut down, but never took that last step of stopping all together, though I was expected to die.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I opened my eyes at one point and my brother was holding my hand, crying, I told him 'don't worry, I will be okay' No one believed him, but he was fine after that and believed I would be okay, and I was. I can remember doing that, but I was in the middle of a coma. I remember it was extremely difficult to do but I did it. I don't know why I did it because I was not aware he was there until I opened my eyes, saw him, and told him I would be okay. I mean, I don't know how I knew he was there with me.
I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal I don't know if I can explain: the world I was in was hyper-real, it was extreme. It wasn't like a dream; it wasn't like this material world. It was a spiritual test, I am sure of that.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I don't know
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
I have to say that it is hard to make it sequential, part of which why it is hard to describe. I had not thought of this aspect before. Not sure that it all happened at once but certainly was not like our experience of time here on earth.
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 remember it was essentially a sensory overload.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Same as above, think Mad Max imagery.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? 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? Yes
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place I think I have covered this in my main description; it was like this world but not this world, more anarchistic. I can only liken it to a Mad Max movie, which is the only way I can describe it. It was a world full of people trying to survive, elements to fight against, tests, challenges, journeys to make and having to succeed.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt struggle, determination, and fear,
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? No
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain Probably, enriched maybe.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
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 my beleifs are broad, but this showed me a demension I could not ahve had prior knowlwege of
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain As I said this was a pivotal time in my life in many ways. I took a lot of risks, of various kinds, set myself many challenges and paid for it in many ways, all in all it grew me to what I wanted to be. This was part of it and I am sure a big part.
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? Unknown
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 Uncertain this was a different world, but very real to me, this implies that there is other existence.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly 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? Unknown
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? Uncertain I thinnk my experience was about the challenge of overcoming cereberal malaria, but this was not what I was thinking, it was much more immediate than that.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
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 Moderate changes in my life. Not sure, to be honest. This was a time in my life when so many big things happened in a span of a few years, my paradigms changed, my world view fragmented and was rebuilt, it was a very difficult period for me in many ways, I am a very different person now, this was a part of that but not sure what part exactly.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain Probably, but I can't identify how.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Actually it was very clear and easy to remember; but it was not like this world so not that easy to explain. It was a long time ago now so it is not as sharp as it was. The feeling and point of the experience is easy to explain, but the landscapes and actual events are more difficult.
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 this happend to me 27 years ago but it is very clear to me still. Especially the purpose of the experience which was to fight to journey back from Afric to Adelaide, to fight all adversity to get back to that place
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Making the journey, I know if I had given up I would be dead, and not had the experiences and learned the things I have in the following years.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my friends about it when I regained ability to communicate. They were somewhat fascinated but their real interest was in the fact that I did not die, so this was just an aside. I have told some other people who are more interested in the 'underworld' and other dimensions of being, they are usually very interested.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes This kind of thing has always interested me, and I remember reading in a magazine about a few NDEs, at least a decade before this. But it was the classic, out of body, rising above the accident scene, describing events, seeing the light kind of events, not like what I saw. I kept the magazine for years just for this article.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It was real, but then dreams are real too, so I am not sure what is meant by this question.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Any experience is real, because it is an experience. If you are asking if the dimension I was in is real, I am not sure, I think it was real, but I don't know where it was. Cyber-space is real too. Maybe it is something like cyberspace, but a non-man made place (meaning cyber space is man- made).
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? Awakening momentarily from a coma for my brother.