On the afternoon of January 10th 2007 I began to feel kind of funky, like maybe I had eaten something bad. I went home that night and went straight to bed. Thursday, I went to work and by the afternoon, I had a stomachache and thought I was coming down with a virus. I went home that night and straight to bed again. About 12:30 am, I awoke with a strong pain in my gut as if someone had stabbed me; it would not go away. I tried to call someone I knew and all I got was answering machines. I waited (in pain) until I finally reached my neighbor at about 7:00 am. I had her take me to the nearest urgent care place hoping that if it was serious enough to go the emergency room that I could bypass the wait from a doctor's referral.When I got there, they saw me right away, even though some of the other people that were waiting were somewhat peeved that I had no wait. The doctor told me she was not going to let me walk out. I had two choices, either they were going to call an ambulance or my neighbor was going to drive me to the emergency room then they gave me a 'direct admit' to the nearest hospital and called them to say I was coming. I overheard the receptionist talking to the triage nurse in the emergency room and it sounded like they thought it was real serious.I got to the hospital a few minutes later (about 8:30 am) gave them the direct admit form and sat nearly thinking that if it was that serious, then it wouldn't be a huge wait. Then it was almost eight hours before I saw anybody. I went back to the triage nurse about an hour later and she blew me off and said they would call me when my turn came up. About forty-five minutes after I arrived one of the staff wanted to see my insurance card but then I was left in the lobby until well into the afternoon, about six hours after I arrived. Then they gave me more forms to fill out in the back along with putting in an IV and some painkillers. They asked me multiple times if I had been in a domestic violence situation. I kept giving them the same answer of 'no.' I began to get a little annoyed that they were not listening to me. Finally, about 4:00 or 4:30 they put me through some tests. Meanwhile I called work throughout this time to give updates and became less and less coherent. The emergency room first assumed that I was a domestic abuse victim even though I had insisted that there had been no fight. They then thought I might have an in entopic pregnancy (I was fifty and in no relationship) and gave me a pregnancy test which, of course, came up negative. It was pretty clear that they just simply were not listening to me. They also ran other blood tests which came up real screwy such as an astronomical white blood count and ketosis but they assumed that the blood had somehow got contaminated but didn't bother to re-run the tests. Then they decided I had something fairly minor and chronic like Crohn's Disease (which I knew was also wrong since my symptoms did not match others I have known with Crohn's) and an inflamed appendix which was a routine surgery and I would be out by Monday.Well, when the surgeon went in, it was discovered that I not only had a burst appendix (which the surgeon later said probably went on Wednesday afternoon) but also a ruptured ileum (which the surgeon later said probably was the sharp pain I was feeling starting the previous night). Puss went as high up as my liver. I did eventually recover (to the surgeon's amazement) but I never told him about the NDE that I had during this process. I figured he would probably think I had lost my mind and fill me with antipsychotics. I went through 'the experience' in multiple steps throughout the next several days.During the wait in the emergency room at some point, I slipped away. It started with a darkened area (which was not a void) that was kind of a roadway with different colored streaks and sparks. I had the sensation as if I was riding one of those airport level escalator things. Then the next thing I knew I was in a kind of desert-like place and I could see a stream of people going toward a building. At that point, I knew what had happened and went to the join the line that was going towards the building. At the building, there was a door which admitted one person at a time even though the line was two people wide. When my turn came, I went through the door. What was inside looked like a cross between an old 19th century church and a barn. I was aware that the door I entered into was at the south end of the building with what was left of the altar, which was not religious-specific, or at least a religion that I am familiar with, was at the north end of the building. There were people there (none of whom I knew) and some small animals. No one would talk to me because they were occupied with whatever they were doing. This did not bother me at the time. I tried to talk to a woman who was especially distressed but could not get her attention. I realized I could not help her and went outside through another door which was in the east side of the building, thus not the door I entered from. The area outside the building was very bright, much brighter than a normal bright sunny day but I needed no time to adjust to the light. There were large animals and several roadways. One went straight to the east and felt real icky. One went north, then bended off to the west. There were others but these two seemed the most significant at the time. In the distance on the north road, I saw a male relative but did not know who he was. He was about a half mile up that road and was with someone I did not recognize. I could see him clearly but he looked different than I knew, therefore was not certain who had died. The road to the east was where I was supposed to have an insurmountable urge to go but although I was 'told' to go there. I did not have an urge to go there. In fact, I definitely did not want to go there. It felt icky and wrong. I knew it was going somewhere I did not want to go - somewhere of suffering and nastiness. However, the karma that would have put me there was somehow not connected to me but I was not beyond karma. I saw flashes of people and places which were unfamiliar to me thus I had no reaction, drama or story with those flashes. It was like seeing a slide show from a complete stranger. This is when I began to notice something wasn't quite right. I then went back inside and finally found a badger who would talk to me. I was there for a very long time* [see note on time at end of this narrative] but he told me that I would eventually go to where I needed to go. I was then met by an unfamiliar man who told me, 'You don't belong here.' I was sent away. He made a motion at me and I was thrown off to the west. I did not notice the door there until this moment.I flew through the door and I do not recall what happened next but I get the sense that something occurred with what I would call 'the dharma lords' which is a Buddhist concept of beings who enforce karmic laws. I can say that it was not a life review in the common sense of the word. In fact, I later recalled that there was some sort of mistake. The experience in the building was supposed to be some sort of life review but it was not my life or any past life I was associated with. Somehow, I had been mixed up with someone else or accused of doing things that I had not done. Whoever these people and animals were, were not familiar to me in this life or any other. They were supposed to be which means that I was expected to react in some manner but I did not react to the situation. It did not trigger anything because the trigger did not connect to anything in me but not because I was beyond karma. At this point, someone must have recognized that something was wrong and I eventually ended up in their 'court' after I was more or less banished by that man. I have little recollection of this 'court' but do recall them stating it was a mistake and that they assured me that these types of mistakes are rare. Anyway, after this, I then was suddenly back in the emergency room still in the lobby sitting uncomfortably in a chair - probably was slumped over and no one noticed. My experiential time* was approximately a week although only a few hours had passed here. I was in way too much pain to have fallen asleep. That was simply not possible. I was rather disoriented and felt very weak. Also, we all know what it feels like to wake up from an intense dream. This was clearly different. I really felt that I had been gone. Ending up in the emergency room seemed out of place. I had been instantly transported there out of context from somewhere else. I later figured out that I had gone for about three hours in the mundane world. I had the mental state as though I knew I was going to die and was okay with it.Eventually, I was called back into the back part of the emergency room. This was around six hours after I had arrived. At this time, I noticed that the emergency room was almost completely empty. There had been some people there when I had arrived and they were all gone. I also noticed in the time I had been there that some not critical people had come and gone in the time I was there. They finally took my vitals at that point and gave me a bed. They asked me several times whether I had been beaten in a domestic situation. Those of you that know me realize that this would not be a situation I would ever be in. For one thing, I have a second degree black belt in karate, have a strong personality and am not involved in any relationship nor am I looking. They had me drink a liter of this dye and ran me through a magnetic resonance imaging and from this they decided it was something 'chronic' and that I had an inflamed appendix and I would be out of the hospital in a day or so. I then went to surgery and they were in for a rude awakening. Not only had my appendix burst badly but also my ileum and cecum had also blew up and I had yuck (the liquid, shit and puss) going all of the way to my liver. The surgeon told me later that 'people routinely die of what you had' and did not think I would live through this. People generally get peritonitis and die within a week or so afterwards. I did have a raging fever (but I suppose they thought that was a consequence of domestic violence as well) when I got to the emergency room which continued afterwards. I later learned that this condition has an eighty percent fatality rate if surgery is done within two hours. Go figure. I was in the emergency room for a total of ten hours before I went into surgery.At some point, I slipped back into the experience and found myself in a 'class' with several other beings. I do not know exactly when this happened in the course of this experience (during surgery? perhaps). It was kind of a neutral place similar to the physical plane. There was a large building that looked somewhat like an outdoor tent similar to the ones rented for vendor space. Only this building took up an area about the size of a city block and there were no poles, the canopy just floated there. There were tables with a variety of 'tools', which went to the hundred or so students. Each of the students got one and knew which one we needed to take. These 'tools' all had different functions. Also, the students were divided in groups of three except for mine which was one being and me. It seemed that both of us were last minute additions to the class. There were several instructors and it always seemed that we got the instruction we needed (never having to wait until an instructor was available). The being I worked with had a tool, which could make constructs, which could contain and manipulate metaphysical energy. I had a healing tool but it wasn't physical - it seemed to do emotional healing. It wasn't your typical college class. All the content was experiential and it did not matter how long it took us to 'get it' since time did not work the same way as it does in the physical world and some of the tools were more complex than others requiring more effort to learn what we needed to learn from using the tool. The 'power' level of the tools also varied. I had one in the middle range of energy capacity. The class took experientially about four months (see reference to time below). Half of it was actually at a place for learning how to use this tool and other related matters. My tool fitted over my right hand then melded into it. It then stayed with me after that. After some effort, I learned to use the tool, which did not come instantly. There was a lot of trial and error, guidance from the instructor and assistance from my 'lab partner'. I also assisted him in a similar way with his tool. I found that in a typical healing, I took in a sample of the emotional energy, which I am healing into my right hand. It then runs through the tool and the rest of me where I am able to get an idea of what the injury is and how to heal it. Then I get some energy (either from myself or ambient) and used the tool to form it into the correct healing energy for this particular injury and run it out my left hand into the person or being I am healing. If they accept the energy, it goes to the place within them and does its work. If not, it just runs through them and does nothing. The last half of the class involved going with my lab partner 'out in the field' using our tools in a variety of situations and places. Some of the places we went to were unpleasant but we were somehow insulated from the negative dynamics because we were not a part of that reality. The clearest memory of my work in the field involved going into an area that looked somewhat like a prison complex (I know this association by some volunteer work I have done), but it seemed to be more precisely a mental hospital that looked like a prison. I worked at healing some of the beings there and my 'lab partner' worked at making the place more comfortable for the beings that had to stay there.After the class was over we then went to the home of my 'lab partner' and we built some sort of healing construct. I met several of his closest friends who assisted us in whatever way they could. His tool built the construct and mine did the healing aspect to it. Experiential time (see time description below) passage for the class and building this construct was approximately six months. After I left my lab partner's place, I was walking down a road when something approached me. I do not recall what happened next but get a sense of a memory gap. All I know is that it was at this time that I decided to not return to this life. I felt that there was not enough here to draw me back and I was happier and more constructive there.At some point, I don't know exactly when this happened in the hospital (don't know if this was before or after the encounter with the being mentioned previously), but I met 'the lady of the veil' who put her left hand beneath my neck and her right hand on my belly and I passed out. There were other times where we interacted while I was in the hospital but this was the most intense. She had a very distinctive voice but I never actually saw her through the mist. When I first saw her, I thought she was some sort of Catholic spirit since I was in a Catholic hospital. However, it became clear shortly after she approached me the first time that she was no more Catholic than I was. She has remained with me since and I have interacted with her many times.After I passed out when the lady of the veil was doing her thing, I went to a place that was kind of like rolling hills of memory foam grass with little flowers all over the place. Some entity like none I've ever encountered was embracing me. Complete unconditional love and acceptance. I interacted with this entity for the next experiential two months (again, see description of time below). We had conversations and also just quality time together. This area was clearly a place where the truly dead can only go and I thought that I was not coming back. I figured I had died in the hospital. I knew that the last place I went to was beyond any 'barrier' to come back but something or someone made an exception. Since this happened, I have spoken with others who have had their own NDE and they have told me that they were not allowed or did not want to penetrate this 'barrier' for it was the point of no return. I have the same impression of this 'barrier' but actually do not have memories of actually crossing it. There are gaps in my memories of my NDE and this falls into one of those memory gaps, in particular, the one, which happened right after I encountered that being on the road. I get the sense that I did actually choose to not come back and even get a sense of why I made this choice and crossed the 'barrier' but I have no real memory of this. In this place, I felt like I was completely loved and accepted for who I exactly am. I may have quirks in my character but that is insignificant. I felt completely open and totally immersed in this love and acceptance. There was no judgment but there was an all-knowing aspect to the entire situation and place. At some point, this entity told me it was time to go. There was no mission or purpose mentioned nor did I have a choice of whether or not to go. I did not know at the time where I was going to go but I knew I had no choice but to go there. There are many memory gaps in the time I spent there but what I do recall is rather intense.I woke up to find at least two doctors (I think there was a third one out of my immediate vision) beside my bed. The doctor at the end of the bed had a big needle and was flicking the air out of it. I felt very disoriented and dazed. It took me a few seconds to realize how little time had passed here since I had been 'gone' to about eight experiential months*. The doctor leaped back when I opened my eyes. He said something kind of lame like, 'It took us a lot of time and effort to wake you up...' I noticed it was difficult to speak but I understood what people around me were saying. They were being way too serious. I realized what must have happened. (I later figured out that I had reacted to the antibiotics - about ten percent of people seem to react to antibiotics by shutting down and in extreme cases the heart stops - I guess a gamble that almost did not pay off this time. Although I knew I wasn't in the emergency room, I had a flash of memory of how the staff was not listening to me or taking me seriously at all with kind of a lackadaisical attitude; now they were very serious. He asked me to move this, that and the other thing then asked me questions and pushed me to answer. He checked me over for the next several minutes. I finally reacted to their extreme seriousness by asking them (this being the first thing I said to them) if I could go home. I was joking but unable to project that in my voice. One of them gave me a firm 'NO!' and gave me a look like he was going to restrain me. I backed off. My chest was sore for about three weeks and for the next two days, I was never alone. I would wake up from sleeping only to find a nurse or some other staff member sitting at the foot of the bed or standing nearby.Obviously, at some point the rest of me did come back. I noticed that my 'life cord' was changed or absent and that I really wasn't back on some levels. This has remained true, in fact, if anything it has intensified since. This is only the tip of the iceberg. I went through several months* of experience while only eight days passed here. I did not believe in a higher power before, I believed the 'gods' were mentors and elders, not gods in the common sense of the word, but when you are embraced by this higher power, belief is not an issue. One cannot argue with experience. I am as much pagan as ever, having not been raised (or indoctrinated) in the more common religions of this day and age. I interpret this 'higher power' as my 'patron deity' or personal guardian or whatever term you are familiar with. I did not have one prior to this and do now and am now able to interact with him/her.A common side effect to near death experiencers (one who has been through an NDE) is a drastic 'paradigm shift' which means a drastic change in one's perception of the world resulting in a big change in one's personality. People that know me have said 'you're a completely different person' and in many ways I feel like I am living a totally different life than before. The karmic mistake mentioned earlier has had some corrections, which has changed the dynamics of my life. Anyway, a rather amusing epilogue is that a week before this happened I was moved to a different program at work. I am an engineer and I work for a company that has many projects (programs) and a person will shift from one project to another fairly often. This is rather routine. In this move, there had not been any people common to both positions. I then went through the NDE. Six months later, performance evaluations came around. My boss got reviews from both bosses and they did not match. It was like a review of two completely different people. When they got together with me, they argued with each other the entire time, each accusing the other of being totally wrong in their assessment. It began to get heated and both were clearly upset. It got up to the center manager (a level of management about three or four above these two) who called me into his office. He called it a 'discontinuity' and attempted to make sense of it. I said nothing about the NDE or offered no explanation for the assessment inconsistencies. The later manager assessment was a lot better that the earlier one. If you look at the details of the assessments, it's clear that my intelligence went up by a noticeable amount. This has also been mentioned to me by my friends (faster and more precise thinking than before). I was given a promotion of responsibility (meaning that because of the timing, I was not literally given a new job which reflected a promotion but was put into a position which usually goes to people one or two levels above what my level was and told if I could handle this, then I would likely get a promotion to that title at the next cycle) and the department manager was ordered to 'fix this'.*Time: There are several references to time in this article, which does not refer to time, as we know it. I'm going to borrow an engineering concept here to help me describe what I mean by time here. In the physical world, experience is time-driven. For example, it took me an hour to drive to this place, the class lasts sixteen weeks, or it took me over a month to repair the garage etc. Events take place but they are put into terms of time and are usually sequenced in terms of when they took place. In the spirit world, experience is event-driven and time does not exist, as we know it. One event will trigger another and are sequenced in how the events relate to each other, including things, which may happen simultaneously. Simultaneous events happen when one or more events trigger more than one other event with the same intensity. Since time does not exist then there is no way to determine the duration of each event nor is there a way to time-sequence the events. I abstractly define time there as the density, complexity and change in my maturity level that the event brings and the experience of 'time' as a kind of analogy, meaning if I were to look at the experience, approximately how long would it take to have a similar set of experiences here. When I say a week passed there, what I'm really saying is that if I had a similar set of events happen here, how long would it likely take? This 'week' is a descriptor of the magnitude and complexity of the event. Therefore, I could have experienced the entire event in an instant for I have no way of actually knowing actually how much time actually passed during this event since it doesn't exist there, but the experiential knowledge gained would take about a week had I experienced it here. Therefore, the 'week' referred to here is merely an analogy or descriptor and is not meant to be an actual quantifiable quantity nor is it literally part of the experience. I did not experience a 'week' in that building. I experienced a series of events, which if they happened here would take about a week to happen. The reference to time made here is just the easiest analogy I could come up with that describes the complexity of the events in the part of the experience which took place at or near the building.
Date NDE Occurred: 1/12/07
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Burst appendix, ileum and cecum and waiting eight hours in the emergency room before anyone saw me.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
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? Normal consciousness and alertness As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I think you don't mean how aware I was of my physical surroundings. I think you mean how aware I was during the experience. Then my answer would be during the 'class'.
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
I went through a few days here but experienced several months while away.
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. I could see distinct things up to several miles away. My color spectrum was broader (I could see IR and UV).
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Broader range and could recognize things further away than usual.
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 It was like an airport flat escalator thing. The surroundings were dark with flashes of various colors.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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 Most of the beings in the 'class' were not human. There were animals and people in the barn-like place. There were 'God-like' beings in the memory foam place.
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 Very bright outside the building described in my experience.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The memory foam place with the "god-like" beings described in my NDE.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace during the memory foam place. Do not recall any other strong emotions.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
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
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes But I passed through it. This made me think I was not coming back. I did not choose to come back but was sent back across the barrier.
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 'Solitary pagan who did not believe in a higher power. The ''gods'' were mentors or guardians.'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I did not believe in a 'higher power' before. I met one. How can one argue with that.
What is your religion now? Liberal More shamanistic than before and definitely believe in a higher power but don't know yet what that is.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I did not believe in a 'higher power' before. I met one. How can one argue with that.
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 The class taught me how to do emotional healing and empathy.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I have lost many of my friends who could not adjust to my changes. I have grown closer to people who now find me more approachable.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Certain things just do not have the words to describe.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Empathy, telepathy, healing and ability to read other aspects of people.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It came in three parts. The first was the barn-like place, then the class, then the memory foam place with the 'God-like' beings.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my friends after I got out of the hospital a week later.
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 One cannot argue with experience. It changed me completely. One can read several books, talk with several people and form an opinion. However, this type of experience is a solid conveyer of fact.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The changes are permanent, or seem to be. It has become a part of me and I have chosen to accept the outcome.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I went to a hypnotherapist to try to retrieve more of the memories, especially of the memory foam place. I got more details but nothing actually added.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Have another section on the after effects.
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