Voyage of Purpose: Spiritual Wisdom from Near-Death back to Life Check it out at: Click Here
The night of my near death experience I was working on a research vessel, we had just returned from a job using a new submersible and the representative from the submersible was on board. We couldn't enter the small harbor because the sea state was so rough that the ship would bottom out at the harbor's entrance if a wave broke under her. It was late at night when we dropped anchor a couple miles off shore and decided to enter the harbor after the storm broke the next day.
The representative for the submersible was very anxious to get to shore so he could catch his flight home. A couple of other members of the crew wanted to go home. They had decided they would meet us at the dock in the morning. They talked a deck hand and myself into taking them in on our inflatable zodiac.
The captain recommended we wear life-vests and my guidance agreed to wear the vests. We were all experienced divers and sub operators and used to being on the sea and in the water. We had to rummage around the boatswains locker to find the dusty old vests stowed below. Most of us had not worn a vest in many years and these were old M'-West life-vests.
We checked our position on the radar to plot a course to the harbor and loaded up everyone's gear. Then we lowered the Zodiac into the ocean, the deck hand took the stern to drive the boat and I took the bow to navigate. The boat had a V-4 engine and could really fly across the water, but it sat very low in the water and we could not see the lights of the harbor for the most part due to the large swells and troughs of the sea. It wasn't long before we lost our bearing on the harbor.
Suddenly we were falling as a wave broke beneath us and I was shouting for the deck hand to turn the boat around and head back out to sea. The mate had turned the boat and started moving back out to sea when the sky went black and a ridge of foam was twenty feet above our heads.
We were in a sandbar breaker zone a mile off shore from the harbor. I remember when I saw that foam I shouted to everyone, 'OH SHIT, THIS IS IT,' and the wave crashed down on us. The wave folded the boat in half from bow to stern, three of the four inflatable pontoons were ruptured when the aluminum and fiberglass floor broke apart and the motor snapped off the transom.
I was catapulted from the bow into the ocean and the wave spun and tumbled me around when it came down on me. It was the most raging violent force I had ever felt attacking my body and I was separated from everyone. I had lost all sense of direction and the ocean kept tossing me around like a doll. When I opened my eyes to blow some bubbles to get an idea which way was up, the sand and salt burned and it was so black I couldn't see the bubbles.
I did not know which way was up. But all of my years of experience as a diver had taught me not to panic. I waited and waited for this old May West life-vest to take me to the surface. Now they're no street lights out to sea so it is very dark. The sea kept tossing me around and my lungs burned to take a breath of air. But the surface never came within my reach and as time passed the burning in my lungs lessened but it was getting very cold. I could tell my brain was starving for oxygen as a sort of euphoria came over me. It seemed like a very long time that I was holding my breath but finally the euphoria overcame me and I tried to breathe saltwater. All I remember was the burning in my lungs, slowly the burning went way, and there was darkness, cold darkness.
Slowly I noticed light, it was growing lighter all around me. I couldn't feel my body anymore I could sense where it was but I was not in it. I also started to grow warmer and comfortable. I found myself drawn to a brighter area in the light. I could not help myself, it seemed the natural thing to do and it felt familiar. A feeling of welcoming and welcome home as well as an incredible sense of love came over me. I felt so happy I felt so comfortable and loved. My physical body was gone; I was becoming light without a form. I didn't judge this I just accepted my change it was so natural.
Then within the light, I could sense others with me and more coming toward me. I was still moving toward them. Movement toward these others was something that just happened but I wanted to be with them. I recognized these other beings or persons and they were the ones welcoming me. They were supporting me and helping me to adjust. More beings came, maybe a dozen in all and they were all around me. I knew them all and it felt like a family.
Before I could communicate with any of them, I started to get flashes, images of my life. I've learned since that this is called a life review and it's very hard to explain the relentless intensity of images. Words cannot do justice to the experience. Not only were they images but also they were feelings and not just my feelings. I could sense the feelings of others and how my actions in this life had touched them. I could feel their joy, happiness, heartaches, disappointments, love, all of their emotions. But there were no feelings of judgment. No feelings of me being judged on my actions in that life. It felt as thought I was reviewing my life so that I might grow and evolve from this life's experience. Then the images and feelings changed, I was being shown images that were not from my life. I became disoriented and confused; I was being shown parts of my life that had not yet happened.
The other beings were supporting me but not with words. They were supporting me with thoughts of love and compassion. They told me very personal things about my life that I do not wish to discuss here. Just then, I heard very clearly and distinctly the words this is not your time, you must return. I did not want to return. I pleaded to stay. I was told once again this is not your time you have a purpose. Suddenly I understood that I had to return to my body and continue to live my life. Being in God's light made it even harder to return back to this life. I did not want to return, this was more painful than the act of drowning. The group of beings that were with me, I've come to call my soul group. My soul group helped me to return to my body. I was already longing to stay there. Returning was the hardest thing I've ever been asked to do.
I became aware of my body lifeless and suspended in the water, still being tumbled and blasted by the sand and water. Sailors will take the end of a rope and weave the ends back into the rope. They call this the bitter end. Well the bitter end of a rope had wrapped itself around my arm and was beating my chest. The other end of this rope was attached to the zodiac. When the next set of waves hit, the rope dislocated my shoulder and thumb and pulled me to the surface. Three of the air-filled compartments were deflated but one compartment still had air in it. My body was tangled up in the rope and the pontoon with the air in it. The waves hit me so hard it pushed some of the water from my lungs. I breathed in my first breath and my spirit was slammed back into my body.
My lungs were on fire, my head was pounding and I would've slipped beneath the surface again if I were not tangled up with the boat. I coughed and threw up and tried to breathe again. In the distance I could hear my name being shouted. My shipmates were looking for me. They had somehow found a flashlight but everything else was lost. They swam over to me and what was left of the boat. We were still one mile off the coast. We all hung onto the boat and began to swim for shore. Once I became untangled, I was still having trouble staying above the surface. So I kicked off my boots and that didn't help. Next I untied my life-vest and found that the lining was shredded and water logged. It was the life-vest that was dragging me down. What was supposed to save my life had actually killed me, only to be saved by the bitter end.
When we got to shore two of my shipmates popped my dislocated arm back into place. By the time I reached home and my wife, I was in shock. She was a nurse and treated me. It took two days for me to really return to my body completely. Part of me kept a connection with the light until I repressed it enough.
Date NDE Occurred: April 1984
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death I was in a capsized boat in a raging sea.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I would have to say I took on a light body.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Very Alert and very clear.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Maybe a dozen or so, they surrounded me and I did recognize them but not from this life. They communicated welcome home, compassion, and Love.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes It kept getting lighter around me until it was so bright that I would not be able to see if I was using my human eyes.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe After I came back, I was connected with the light for two straight days. Part of me was in a state of shock, part in the body feeling the actual pain, and part in the light experiencing the physical healing of the body. During those two days, I realized that I was given three incredible gifts. The first gift was acceptance. I knew who I was and could accept that I had faults and strengths. I no longer needed to beat myself up over failures. Instead, I could learn, accept, and make myself a better human being. I now understood how my life could touch others without knowing it. I also know that I am in the perfect place at all times. The second gift was tolerance. This was very new to me. I liked to cut my swath through life. Suddenly, I now had a way of respecting and recognizing others beliefs or practices. I can now see that others in their life path are experiencing what they need for their growth. Tolerance allows me to allow them to walk their paths. The third gift was my truth.
The two days after my near death experience were the most powerful because it was not just the physical shock; even more, it was the spiritual shock of knowing my truth. Those two days I was living with my heart wide open. I was experiencing everything through an open heart. When I say an open heart, I mean the light that you experience when in the presence of that unconditional love. That feeling of coming home is present in your heart and your heart feels as though it has expanded beyond the physical body and is in touch with everything. Because of my human side, facing my own truth for the first time was very emotional and painful because I had to truly face myself. I had to face my faults and my strengths honestly and clearly. Then I came to recognize that everyone has his or her own truth and it is very difference from factual truth.
With these three gifts my new life started. I began to change. I didn't view everything the same anymore. I started to work on myself. Growing up in Arizona, as a young man, I had gained an understanding of the Native American natural way. I tended to follow that path of observation while working on myself. Some of my greatest growth would come during times of communing with nature. My spiritual side now communicated by giving me information that I had no way of knowing. At first, I didn't trust this knowledge, so I would test it. I would argue with this newly awakened spiritual side of myself until over time I grew to trust and depend upon it.
I continued to work, play and live my life with my newfound truths until about ten years later. I went on a spiritual retreat back in Arizona, where I had grown up as a teenager. My agenda was to hike some of the old trails and enjoy myself. I figured I had come a long way with my three gifts and I thought I was doing very well. The first day of the retreat the whole group was to meet for morning mediation. I went off, away from the others, to mediate in a little grotto that I knew of. My intention was just to meditate for calming, relaxing and centering. Little did I know. Spirit and the light of my near death experience overcame me. I began reliving my near death experience over and over again. But it was much different. This time Spirit was now talking directly to me, not just projecting thoughts and information. I had never tried to return to the light or opening my heart since that original experience ten years ago. That was something I had packaged up and put far back in my memory. At that time, my human self could not accept that connection with a universal all knowing God, Goddess, All That Is. I realized it was something that I had repressed. I came out of the meditation and I was again in that space with my heart open. I lived half in the light -- half in the physical presence for three days. All that time I kept reliving the original experience again and again.
So this became the second transformational experience. This second experience left me knowing that I can connect with the light at any time. I learned that we can all connect with the light. It is a matter of allowing ourselves to listen and to quiet our minds. It also made me recognize that we are all a part of whatever we call God. We are all co-creators of our life's path and everything in our experience. I needed those ten years of integration to be prepared for this second transformation, which forced me to face all this. These understandings caused me to change my life even more. Before I worked on myself to become a better human being, now I have to walk my talk. I started what I now call my quiet ministry. Others began to come to me to seek help. Spirit many times would communicate some aid or assistance often in the form of a spiritual seed for those individuals. I think what people were drawn to was a change in the way that I expressed love and compassion. By being able to touch the light, I was able to experience unconditional love. Because we are all human, our human self naturally puts conditions on our love. Whether it is the love for a girlfriend or a love for a snack, we have expectations. We expect love in return, or at least certain behaviors. Unconditional love doesn't work that way. By living your life without expectations of others, by unconditionally giving your love, you build a true compassion that others can feel and are drawn to. But it also can cause trouble. The human side often misunderstands unconditional love. The human side creates expectations. It caused me some troubles before I recognized this fact.
Within the last few months, my third transformational experience has surfaced. In my life review, I was shown parts of my life that I had not yet lived. Dealing with cancer was one of them. I have been recently diagnosed with stage four lung cancer with a poor prognosis. This came at a time when I was dealing more with my human self than my spiritual self. Yet because of my ministry and experiences, acceptance of the cancer was immediate. It brought me back to my center and balance of self and Spirit. It has given me new insights on how to deal with all the aspects of coping with a terminal illness. Gratefully, Spirit has been communicating many ways of dealing with the physical pain, the drug induced highs and lows and the mental aspects of healing. I was shown practices of visualizations and meditations for relieving physical pain and to help in re-centering with the emotional anxieties and mood swings. Eventually these will be found on my website so that all may benefit from them. Spirit has indicated that this is my future path. I am to work with others with terminal illness and further my life ministry. This third experience was not like the others where I was given specific gifts. This has more brought the gifts together with even more balance and clarity. It has also acted as a conformation that I am again in that perfect place on my path. I now know that it is time to communicate what I have experienced and learned and how I am using it to cope with my terminal illness. I am to begin to share it more in a public way.
I think if I was to say what came through the strongest in these three life-transforming experiences, is that we all chose the path we are on for the potential of growth and evolvement. We all have access to God's light and love, we just need to stop, listen and be open to it and finally that we all have obstacles and experiences that we must overcome and learn from so that we can evolve and grow. God hasn't abandoned us when things seem tough. It is necessary to experience what we perceive as good and bad in order to grow. God's light and love is a part of each of us and we don't have to go searching for it. We just need to open up to it.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control The same as stated above, only I saw that I was going to experience lung cancer and survive to tell others.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
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 I was aware but I accepted it after my life review, there was no discussion.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate Raised a Methodist
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes As stated above.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Words can not describe the event, place, or the immense overwhelming feeling of love.
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? The worst was having to return to this life, I still feel the urging to return. The best is the positive returns from folks that I have received by just living my quiet ministries.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I do now, openly. I have a website devoted to it and from that I have been invited to radio and TV shows. http://www.dharma-talks.com
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? No, it was very well done. I jumped the gun on a few questions.