I don't remember the accident itself. All I know is that I was conscious and aware, and I was in a tunnel. I was moving faster and faster to a point of light at the top of the tunnel, (I was going upwards). I got to the end of the tunnel and was facing the light. It was tremendously brilliant, but it didn't hurt to look at. It was humbling, compared to the feeble light that I was giving off (I had no body, but I did glow a little. I was also light). We didn't speak exactly, but I understood everything clearly. I was shown scenes from my life, scenes where I didn't act properly, where I was mean, and many times when I stood by and did nothing as others did nasty things. By now I thought that I was dead. I realized that I was a coward, and that I had wasted my life. I was shown my own suicide and funeral in the future. But I thought that I was dead now, and that my suicide and funeral were just a playing out of what had been my unhappy life. I was doomed to die one way or another. Waves of depression and sorrow washed over me as I realized that everything that I had done was a waste. Even though I was only fifteen, my life had been laid out in a pattern that would lead to sorrow and being unfulfilled.
Then, in the deepest part of my anguish, I found myself back in the tunnel with the light fading behind me. The tunnel ended, and I was in a void. I had no body of light now, but I was awake and conscious. I was as fully aware as I am now, but there was a nothingness that was so pervasive it almost became something. I wanted to move, but couldn't. I fought, the hardest fight that I can remember, and just when I couldn't fight anymore, I was awake and conscious in a hospital bed.
Date NDE Occurred: 'July 28, 1980'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes AccidentDirect head injury Life threatening event, but not clinical death
I was hit by a car and sustained severe head injuries.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Frightening
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was highly aware from the moment I was first in the tunnel until I fought back to consciousness.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Time seemed to pass at a normal rate. The experience felt like it took several hours.
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. There was little to see during my experience except the flashes from my past and future. But I only saw these from a third person point of view. I was not living these events, but seeing them. I didn't really 'see' things as much as I knew them through other, unexplainable means. I could see all around me in 360 degree perception. Most of my experience was just bright light or blackness.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Since I had no body, I really didn't hear. I understood things just by 'knowing'. I suppose the closest thing would be telepathy or something akin.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes When my experience began, I was drawn rapidly through a tunnel. I was aware of the walls of the tunnel, but I couldn't touch them.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Only the one that was my guide. It was an anonymous, more powerful being than I.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: 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 At the end of the tunnel was a light that would have been blinding under ordinary circumstances, but didn't hurt me physically. It was the brightest thing that I have ever seen. I was also light, but very dim in comparison. There was nothing in this space but darkness and us two light beings. This wasn't really darkness, but more of a lack of anything else.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm My experience was very stark, with only sharp contrasts between brighness and darkness. My only true visual experiences were the glimpses of my past, and of my future. But the only realm that I truly experienced was the one of no physicallity and my only companion the being of light. I think that my experience was so bleak because I had very little that meant much to me. I was raised without any religion, and my mind had no symbols to help me make sense of the experience. I came from a small family of immigrant parents, so I didn't know my relatives very well, thus no family members to help me on the other side. I saw my life for what it was: featureless and empty.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Mostly sadness and regret for wasting the time that I had had on earth. I was sure that I was dead. I was only fifteen at the time, but I saw how my short life had amounted to nothing. I also realized with deep regret that my life path would amount to nothing but unhappiness. I was thoroughly despondent that my opportunity at life was pathetic and unfulfilled.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I saw many instances of my pettiness and my lack of compassion towards others. And instances of my own cowardice. I saw that I was an unhappy person, and that I had few friends. After the experience, I began to question my life and my choices. For the next twenty or so years I searched for 'the meaning of life'. I traveled to strange places, did drugs, went to prison, and eventually began the long trek towards spirituality. After this experience I felt a loss of purpose, and there was a long-term difficulty integrating the whole thing into my everyday life.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I saw my own unhappy future. I was a doctor, apparently a 'success', and I drew a gun out of my desk drawer, put it in my mouth, and blew the back of my head off. I saw my funeral, and that almost nobody came. I felt I was doomed to an unhappy life.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal None
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes While I have not become exceedingly religious, I have become very spiritual. The next time I stand before God (or whatever it was) to be judged, I will have positive things to look back on. I truly believe that this first NDE was the beginning of a journey that will end with my second NDE.
What is your religion now? Moderate 'I am not overly religious, but I do consider myself to be spiritual.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes While I have not become exceedingly religious, I have become very spiritual. The next time I stand before God (or whatever it was) to be judged, I will have positive things to look back on. I truly believe that this first NDE was the beginning of a journey that will end with my second NDE.
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
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I became profoundly aware that although I did not know what my purpose was, I had failed badly and had not achieved it. There is much knowledge that I can remember knowing at the time, but I could feel it slipping away as I fought back to consciousness even though I tried to remember and hold on to it. I often feel like I knew my purpose for a brief moment, and have spent the rest of my life trying to rediscover it.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I have been able to develop deep and fulfilling friendships. I feel the need for friendship much more than I did before the experience. I am also able to be a better friend.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The experience was so totally outside of all my other experiences that I have had to come up with metaphors and analogies to describe what was indescribable.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Sometimes I just know things. It's not a vision, just a profound sense of knowing. I met and married my ex-wife after a feeling of this knowing when I saw her picture. I have avoided accidents and possibly death a number of times just by knowing that an accident was coming. And four times since the experience, my sense of time has altered when my life has been in jeopardy. I truly believe that this has saved my life every time.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Realizing that my life was a waste, and that I was not a nice person. This experience has significantly altered my life and my choices as I have sought purpose, and to make myself a better person. I feel as though I was judged, and then given a second chance for some purpose. I just haven't figured out the purpose, though I am closer.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I didn't talk about my experience right away because I didn't want people to think that I was crazy. It probably took close to a year. It seems that people over the years have wanted to hear my story, wanted some proof that we don't cease to exist at death. I've told my story to a few people with terminal diseases, who have reacted very positively.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had read a few books with chapters about NDE's, but they were very different from my experience. They had a lot of religious symbology and dead friends and relatives. Most of them seemed to have a positive and uplifting tone, while mine was depressing.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It dominated my thoughts. I honestly didn't know what to make of the whole thing. It made me question almost everything about my life and my future. I never really doubted that it happened, though. It left me depressed, because I felt I had lost something. I was also afraid of what the future would hold.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I still view the reality of my experience as true. Nearly thirty years later, it still is a compelling motive in my life, and laid the blocks for faith in my life.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Sometimes in my dreams I feel as though I am back in the 'void' again without a body, unable to move. I have to muster all of my strength to move. After a tremendous struggle, I jerk up awake in bed. This must happen three or four times a year. It is always unnerving.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It has played a major role in the direction of my life. I think that what I got was a small glimpse of Hell. I think Hell is a moment of ultimate clarity when all of your life is laid out before you in stark realism. The wasted opportunities, the selfishness, the greed and unhappiness, all become clear and apparent for the first time. Hell for me was true realization of all that I had wasted, a life squandered.