I was not aware of when I became aware during the three days in the coma. I do not remember the impact of the vehicle. I became aware at some point of being in a place of great expansion and light and being complete and very peaceful. I think I was moving toward more light, though, it could be that I was in the full light already. I was not aware of anybody, nor any beings around me. But I do remember looking down on my worried and grieving parents. I also remember being given a choice as to whether I would return to the living and it was in seeing my parents in so much distress and having a vision of my mother's great anguish in the future, if I did not return, that I chose to return. I remember quite distinctly knowing that it was for them that I returned and not because life on earth was so much fuller and more important than where I was. I felt at home and complete where I was and unlimited. One could say blissful. It was home and I was choosing to go back to a much less developed state of being.I remember awaking from the coma and immediately sensing the limitation of the physical form I was in and being aware that I had the mind of a child, even though the memory of the prior place was clearly in my head. The first thing I saw was an iris and the fragrance of the flower helped me see the value of being in the sensual body again.Though it took me many months to recover, learn to walk again, and balance (the accident had effected the motor cortex) I 'lived' in that other realm from time to time probably until puberty. It would come on suddenly that I was in Eternity (with no time, no objects, and no thought, as we know it) and then be gone and I'd be back in my normal processing. It can happen now more deliberately through my meditation practice.
Date NDE Occurred: 'end of May, 1960'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was hit by an automobile, thrown thirty-six feet, and was in a coma for three days. The doctors had given up hope of my awakening from the coma or recovering any mental functioning.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Since the experience was timeless and did not have variations within it I do not know if I was in that constant state for the full three days I was in the coma or if it was only a brief period of time. I do know that as soon as I made the decision to come back, I was back in my body and aware of the hospital room and the passage of time. Interestingly, almost immediately, I yanked off the large scab on my forehead and it was completely healed underneath - something the doctors were quite amazed with since they thought it would take a long time to heal and leave a scar of some kind. There is none.
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
Timeless, Space less.
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. As I say, there was nothing to see (except being aware of my parents' grief, but I can't really say I 'saw' them - it was more that I sensed them. It was like I knew things from the inside rather than as perceived external objects.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Again, there may have been vibrations or sounds around me, but it wasn't exactly hearing.
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? Uncertain
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Pure bliss, which is not, for me, an ecstatic sort of emotion, but is a feeling of being at an unmoved center of being. (These are all words I have picked up in readings later in life - but those authors captured aspects of my experience). The reason I can't really define the emotions is that, like the senses they require change to be perceived and this was a changeless state of being. I was aware that I was me - it was not to the point of total obliteration of any sense of personal identity. Amazingly for a little boy it was not the least bit jarring or uncomfortable, because it felt very familiar.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future Perhaps, only in becoming aware of the impact my death would have on my parents.
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 Parents were not religious.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I was so young that I wasn't thinking about religious beliefs. As a result I become progressively interested in religions and mysticism, much to the chagrin of my parents and extended family.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I was so young that I wasn't thinking about religious beliefs. As a result I become progressively interested in religions and mysticism, much to the chagrin of my parents and extended family.
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 Again very qualified here in that I felt like I was 'in' everything and that knowledge was intrinsic rather than empirical. I think philosophers call this intellectual intuition, e.g. Plotinus. But, as a five year old, I didn't need to know anything and in that state of union there are no operations or causal reality which require knowledge.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes One effect was that I felt both closer and more distant from my parents. I had more compassion for them but also felt that I was not really from them.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It's on another level of reality that is not commensurate with the normal range of cognition: i.e. it is not the realm of subject/object, cause/effect, time. It is a very clear experience which was boundless and timeless and I can recall it today, fifty years later, as clearly as when I came out of the coma.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I continue to be very available to mystical states. It's not very difficult for me to spend hours witnessing empty consciousness, since it was familiar to me at that early age. I have to discipline myself not to spend too much time there and to value the physical world around me.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I look on the experience as a great gift and a pivotal moment in my development. The upside is a strong connection to a spiritual part of myself and an overview of the place of this life in the bigger picture. The downside is that I was a rather detached child, dreamy and awkward with learning and functioning because it all didn't seem to matter very much. Thus I would like to find out if other childhood NDErs experienced this as well and struggled with it in their development.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It's strange that I did not share this with my parents or if I did they dismissed it as a hallucination brought on by the trauma. My parents were concerned when I shared the subsequent moments when everything would initially speed up and then release into this content-less consciousness and I was put through a few neurological batteries and nothing was discovered as abnormal.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real That state was more real than any I have ever experienced and I truly understood the phrase that here 'we see through a glass darkly.' I even knew this as a five year old.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The only difference now is that I have the benefit of mystical texts which record other people having had similar experiences.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes It is not difficult to go back to that realm for me in my meditation. I also found that the use of mind-altering substances could bring me to similar states but there was also a lot of garbage to get through.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I would like to know about research done on the after effects of NDEs on Children and their subsequent development.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I would like that broader questions be raised concerning the findings going beyond just substantiation but into what these finding suggest in terms of the human cognitive capacities. For example, if people are 'seeing' themselves or others when the brain functions are not functioning, what is seeing? With what is sight possible? What is sight? What is this light so many people see? Lots of psychological and philosophical questions need to be taken on scientifically. Thank you for doing this.
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