What started out as a minor health annoyance took a turn for the worse. The doctor handling my case called in a doctor from the Stanford Medical Center. After a thorough examination, my doctor was optimistic. He said they were developing a new breakthrough operation for what, until now, had been an untreatable condition. Stanford University was about to do another test case operation and my doctor felt I might be an excellent candidate for the new procedure. The surgery could offer significant relief if all went well. And if the surgery didn’t work, my prognosis wasn’t good anyway. To my wife and I, there was no question as to our decision. Without the surgery, where would I be?
More testing began. I was poked and prodded everywhere and relieved of bodily fluids I didn’t know I had. In spite of what the doctors had initially said, once all the tests were completed it seemed the prognosis wasn’t so bright after all. The doctors felt my condition had deteriorated too far for me to survive the operation. Apparently, my medical situation led to an extreme vulnerability to heart attacks and strokes. There was a distinct possibility that I would die on the operating table.
Even if I were willing to risk the new procedure, no doctor wanted to operate on a man whom they felt might die on the operating table from a stroke or heart attack. Though they didn't admit it, they didn’t want to jeopardize their whole new program by having one of their first patients not survive the process, even if the procedure itself went without a mistake. Their advice to me was to go home and get my affairs in order. At best, they said I had about five months to live. Being only forty-one years old, what they told me really didn’t sink in; at least, not at first. My wife and I knew we had hit a rough patch of sailing in our life, but, as of yet, we didn’t really understand what was ahead. Our future was full of our dreams and plans. Nowhere in those plans was there room for one of us dying. After all, I had several real estate projects underway and had commitments to fulfill.
I guess it started to soak in when we were driving home and we realized that I hadn’t been asked to make any future appointments. At first, the death verdict had less impact on me than I would have expected. Maybe it was because of the bone-numbing fatigue I was feeling after months of little or no sleep caused from my condition. I then began to wonder, even if I did beat this problem, would I be able to find real, lasting happiness in the years to come? I asked myself, again and again, was life really just about having more new cars, airplanes, bigger houses, and more vacations? But the life-road just got steeper and rockier.
Since I held no spiritual beliefs, my agnosticism provided the relief I needed. I believed it would all be over when I died, and I looked forward to the oblivion and sleep it would provide. Since I believe that our beliefs form our reality, I had no fear of death. Once I became comfortable with the idea of oblivion, the world could go on without me: I had nothing to fear. From the beginning, I had known my life was going to end in death eventually. It wasn’t a question of if I were going to die, it was just when I would die. I rationalized, what difference would it make a thousand years from now? Finally, I could sleep for a long, long time. It was amazing how appealing that thought became. While I hadn’t reached the point of actually wanting to end it all myself, the idea of finally having plenty of sleep and eternal rest had a very strong appeal.
One early morning, in the darkest part of the night just before the dawn, I sensed the end was near. Struggling to breathe for months had left me feeling that nothing else mattered anymore but just being able to breathe and sleep. With each day was worse than the last with tomorrow promising to be worse than today. All I wanted was relief at any cost. My medical condition had been getting progressively worse ever since I was told I only had five months to live thirteen months earlier.
For some time now, the only way I could sleep at all was sitting upright in a chair. Now, even that was no longer working very well. Also, the noise I made while trying to breathe made it impossible for my wife and I to be in the same room at night. Since my daughters were light sleepers, I now slept in my office downstairs. There, I would spend the night, sitting in my old recliner, propped straight up and trying to sleep. I was all alone in my old recliner that night when, between a moment of sleep and a gasp for breath, I was suddenly falling through space.
I just kept falling, tumbling through a black sky, gripped with paralyzing, stark-naked terror. Instead of waking up, as I had in other 'falling dreams' in the past, I just kept on falling and falling. I was tumbling out of control as I plummeted through the blackness. Gradually, as I tumbled, I became aware of a soft light in one part of the black sky. My attention was drawn to the light, and it seemed to calm me. As I watched the light, my attraction towards it grew stronger and stronger. Even though I was struggling to keep the light in my vision, the more I focused on it, the calmer I became. Then I realized I was falling toward the light. The closer I came to the light, the brighter it grew. A feeling of profound peace and warmth began in my base chakra and spread upward throughout my entire body as the tumbling slowed.
On the distant horizon, silhouetted against the light, I saw what, at first, looked like an uneven line across the night-sky. As I drew closer, it grew into a line of people that spanned the horizon. As they came out to greet me, backlit against the light, I knew them all. Some of them were from my life on earth; others were not. There was my grandfather Amos, along with my favorite dog, Butch, his tail wagging in greeting. Both were central characters in the idealistic part of my childhood. There also was my wise-old-granddad Frank with his wry, bemused grin. Included in this welcoming was my sweet Aunt Eleanor and my favorite uncle, Sidney. There was even a man who lived on a ranch up the river from us, who always had been nice to me. He gave me a job, even when he really didn’t need the help. I saw my favorite schoolteacher and various other people who had played a part in my life on earth but had gone on ahead. As wonderful as it was to see those whom I loved in my current life incarnation, there were others. There were also entities I had known and loved from other times and other places not of this incarnation.
As we all met, the warmth in the pit of my stomach continued to grow. Soon, I was flooded with the most intense feelings of love I had ever known. The love flowed through my core and back out to those around me. In a small way, it was like the 'coming-home' feeling I had experienced back on earth as a young man returning home for the first time from Europe. The Army had taken me away for three years and I was looking forward to seeing home again. As I drove up that old familiar road to the ranch, where I knew Mom and Dad were waiting. I felt that 'coming home feeling' of warm, deep, unconditional love waiting for my return. However, to compare that with what I was feeling now would be like comparing a drop of seawater to the ocean.
If I had thought death just led to oblivion, I was wrong.
My death was not just falling asleep into a state of nothingness forever. Rather it was an awakening to a reality I couldn’t imagine. As I was greeted by those I loved, I felt as if I were dissolving into the most intense love I had ever known. The love rolled over me like the waves of a great tsunami; a happy, joyous love full of anticipation, promise, and closure. No words were exchanged. Thoughts moved instantaneously, with perfect clarity, from one part of the eternal mind to another; without the ability to withhold or judge anything.
It was all an expression and celebration of love. On earth, this reunion would have been unfathomable, between members of an ancient soul group who were celebrating the return home of one of their own. Slowly, as I looked at those gathered to greet me, I realized they were all there. Surprisingly they were not only from this life, but also from a prior life in Germany. I realized that the same souls have possibly played different parts in my multiple lives. Sometimes these souls had been my daughter, my wife, or my mother. While at first this idea had startled me, I was soon humbled. Who was I to tell God what he could or couldn’t do with his creations? Just because some Sunday school teacher had different ideas about how things worked, it didn’t really matter.
My joy deepened as I realized that I had only left behind an earthly vestige of those I love. The essence of each of those souls, was also here with me now. Besides my friends and family, there were the friendly Germans who had been hauntingly familiar while I was a young soldier in Germany. Now I knew why they seemed so familiar at the time, they had been friends and family from a prior lifetime there. I now understood that I had left nothing behind on earth. The eternal essences of all my loved ones from that life, as well as all other incarnations, were all here to greet me. All I had left behind was a character, playing a role in a drama that we had chosen to experience. In the meantime, our real eternal essence remained in God’s realm. Suddenly, it was all so simple.
As I was shown around, it was explained to me how most of our celestial, eternal knowledge is blanked-out during our chosen life spans on earth. We must temporarily forget most of what our higher-self already knows so we can immerse ourselves in the roles we have chosen to play. Furthermore, they said that it might take a while for all my knowledge and memories to return. To ease the transition back into this realm, I was told to think of my time on earth as an extended visit to the ultimate theme park. Consider it a place with thrilling rides and various adventures that I could choose to experience or not. I was also reminded that the reason we leave the celestial realm at all was for the excitement, variety, adventure, and entertainment that different incarnations offer. However, to take all our celestial knowledge with us on our various adventures would have ruined the very experience that we had chosen to live. Someone there said that I should think of our trips to other realms as choosing a new novel to read. I can choose a new book, depending on what I am in the mood for. Furthermore, if I knew every turn and twist of the story, line by line, prior to reading it, it would spoil the fun.
As one entity jokingly remarked, 'If the eternal, divine part of us grows tired of singing and playing harps, there are thousands of other universes created for our spiritual growth, amusement, and entertainment. Eternity is a long time to do nothing but play harps.' I heard this concept best expressed in The Course in Miracles, 'We are only here for three reasons: to remember who we are; to help others remember who they are; and . . . to enjoy the trip . . . , unless, of course, we use our free will and choose not to.'
As my orientation went on, they explained how on that celestial side of the veil, anything we desire is instantaneously provided. We just need to feel the desire. However, within lies the reason for all the realms outside of heaven. Having everything we want all the time develops within us a desire for variety and change for a challenge. It would be like a game in which everyone was a winner. Soon, the game would become boring, and we would look for another, more challenging one.
Somehow, all this sounded familiar. To demonstrate the process of instantaneous fulfillment, one of them asked me to think about something I really desired. Thinking back on it, what I chose seemed odd since I was in such an esteemed place demonstrating such an important concept. But, suddenly I had an urge for a piece of my mother’s famous homemade chocolate cake with her special fudge frosting. As soon as I thought of the cake, my earthy mother was handing me the biggest piece of dark chocolate cake I had ever seen. Dare I say it was heavenly? Although she appeared there with us, I knew some part of her was still back on earth because she had not died yet. My guess was that she was probably asleep, dreaming of lovingly making her son a piece of her divine chocolate cake.
After what could have been a few minutes or several hours of orientation, a deep silence began to descend over everything. An all-encompassing Presence overshadowed the soul group as its members faded into the background. It was like being in a supermarket where music was playing in the background while shopping and then hearing the volume fade, as a voice overshadows the music saying, 'Shoppers, on aisle number seven, there is a great special on Red Delicious apples.'
Making a Choice
As everything else faded, a Voice, which really wasn’t a voice at all, said in resonating tones, 'Welcome home, son, you have done a great job.' In a continuing sense of profound love and acceptance, the Voice continued, 'But, as long as you still have a body back on earth, would you like to get 'another one' out of the way?' I instantly knew what he was referring to. I was being asked to return for some important scenes that were coming up in my current earthly drama. When I reincarnated in that lifetime, I had agreed to play the role of father to my two daughters. And now I was being asked if I were going to continue honoring that commitment. Additionally, at the time of my death, I hadn’t believed in any form of reincarnation or anything else religious or spiritual. In spite of that, I instantly knew that I was being asked if I wanted to return to the earthly drama I had just left.
Now my Sunday school teacher had always told us that there is no pain in heaven. I can tell you now, at least in my case, she was wrong. I can still hear the agony of my echoing, 'Nooooo' still rattling around somewhere in those celestial realms. I knew in my heart of hearts and in the deepest core of my soul, that I did not want to go back. After escaping 'the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God,' as the poet John Gillespie Magee put it, I wanted to stay. After experiencing 'Heaven,' in no way did I want to go back to earth anytime soon. If earth was a theme park, then they could have any part of my 'unused ticket' they wanted; I had had enough drama for a while. I was finished with that petty, trite, hellhole of an earth-game it all had become. Obviously, my view of this world reality had slipped in the latter parts of my adventure. It was as if I had gotten my foot stuck in the track of the roller coaster.
Even though I had people there, whom in earthly terms, I had loved as dearly as earthly conditions allowed, I had no desire to return once I had seen the alternative. From that vantage point, I could see how trivial the world I had left was. Here, on the other side, I would always be with souls who had loved me from the beginning of time, and will continue to do so forever. Plus, I now knew that the loved ones who lagged behind on earth would join us momentarily. It might be years to them, but it would only be moments to us. Time is funny that way from a celestial view.
What can a father say? Then, as I metaphorically 'went out the door.' The Voice continued, 'Since you are going to be there for a while, there are a couple of things you could do for me. But, don’t worry, I’ll have your Soul Guides send you a handbook on Inner Guidance, so we can communicate. You already have the ability, but you don’t know how to listen. The book I’m sending will get you started.' With a tremendous sense of loss, I went back to my life. I didn't realize that my real journey was just beginning. At the time, I could never have fathomed what was ahead. I didn't understand that I would be led to the kind of happiness on earth that I hadn’t wanted to leave in heaven. Nor could I have fathomed that inner guidance could bring the kind of happiness I had been seeking as a young boy. It is ironic that I would experience the happiness that I had to die to discover.
Over the next couple of years, I was returned to the Afterlife on several other occasions. On one of these trips, I was shown why death and dying have gotten such a bum rap. After all and from my perspective, there is nothing to fear in death. It’s just the beginning of a new adventure; another chance to express yourself differently with souls you have loved and cherished over many lifetimes and many realms. Now, I imagine death as being an E-Ticket to the ultimate theme park, and I am the one who selects which park to experience. I also selecting the rides while I'm there. The rides can be as scary or peaceful and loving. It’s always my choice. If you don’t like the ride you’re on, get off and find one that is more to your liking the next time around. After all, when God created humans in his likeness, he promised an eternity of joy and happiness. Since eternity is such a long time, and has no beginning or end, it covers all time everywhere. Lastly, I try to remember that if at any time I am not enjoying the adventure, I'm doing something wrong.
Date NDE Occurred: Spring of 1981
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function)
I had been given five months to live by a Stanford medical specialist. I lived 12 months before dying. In the following two years, I was taken back to the afterlife on several occasions.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 I was more conscious being taken from the stupor of partial sleep, to the presence of my ancient soul group and being surrounded with people I've known from earth and other places not of this material world. When I realized I was suddenly 'home' where they belong and among loved ones, it's not time for a nap!
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Probably the initial part of the experience when I was falling through space and terrified of falling. However, when I was asked if I wanted to return to this life, the agony of my answer, 'N-o-o-o!' stands-out as another time I was particularly aware. I DID NOT want to come back.
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 had no meaning while I was outside of the physical universe. I came to understand that time is only a manifestation of the physical reality. Outside of the physical universe, which is only a small part of God's realm, time means nothing. As someone once said, time is simply a mechanism, which is used to keep everything from happening all at once.
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. It seemed like I had a total focus on whatever was happening at that moment. It was an all or nothing thing where my mind dealt with one item at a time. However, I didn't have the feeling of seeing or vision. I was just part of a whole.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I wasn't aware of my hearing at the time. Communications seem to be telepathic, directly from one part of God's mind to another. It was instantaneous communication. There was no ability to hide, shade, or anything.
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 As I was falling through space, I was aware of the stars and planets streaking past me. The stars seem to almost produce a tunnel-like effect. However, this didn't occur to me until I was back on earth and had read of other's NDEs, where they mentioned going through a tunnel. Of course, it's difficult to know if 'their tunnel' looked like 'my tunnel.'
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 I met both my paternal and maternal grandfathers; both were instantly recognizable and seemed very much as I had known them as a child. With them, was my favorite boyhood dog Butch. Butch had his tail wagging up a storm, just as he had when I was a boy and we were having fun together. As part of my childhood, my aunt and uncle where there, as well as an old rancher who had me work for him as a boy.
My first encounter in the afterlife was with both my maternal and paternal grandfathers who had been a favorite part of my childhood. With my grandfathers was my favorite boyhood dog, Butch, with his tail wagging it like crazy when he saw me. My Uncle Sidney and Aunt Eleanor were there, two other memorable people in my childhood. Also, I saw an old rancher from the range across the river who had given me work, as a boy. These people all had passed on before me. As I was being shown how to manifest anything I wanted and that it would be instantly granted, I thought of a piece of my mother's chocolate cake. Instantly, my mom was there with me in heaven handing me a piece of her, heavenly chocolate cake. I knew she was alive on earth, and assumed she might be dreaming that she was baking a cake for me. I never thought to quiz her on the subject after it was over.
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm In the year following my original NDE, I was taken back, by my soul guides, on a second trip. When I expressed curiosity about Hell, they took me on a 'tourists view' of hell. They explained the purpose of hell and how it was not like we were taught in Sunday school. I was then taken to a part of God's realm outside of the physical universe. This was apparently one of many places and that was certainly strange by any earthly standards.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt profound love and total acceptance; not only from those in my soul group, but in general there was an all-pervasive sense of love and acceptance.
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe It became clear to me, that there is nothing but God in the universe. We are all part of God; the magnificent soul of God, created in his image and likeness. We are here to enjoy life, and live out the dramas and excitement that we choose. After all, God promised the beautiful eternity. Since the future and the past goes both ways, I was told by my soul guides that if I didn't like the way things were, that I had the power to change it.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? I remembered many past events When I returned from the afterlife, I had near-perfect memories of a prior life in Germany. I knew where I lived, the address, the town, and the circumstances surrounding my death. Having been stationed in Germany as a young soldier in the U.S. Army, and having married a German woman, I went back to see if we could locate where I had lived in the prior life. I found an older German man, who had befriended me while I was there. He had been part of my prior life and was still alive in this lifetime. We were able to verify a number of memories that we had in common from that prior life. I had always wondered why he and I had become such close friends while I was there in this life.
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future During the several trips to the afterlife, and what I was shown after I returned, I have realized that the exponential change we are going through now is all part of what I call 'On To Eden' (OTE). The earth is returned to the Edenic State. This is the time that has been promised by most major religions and many similar civilizations over the last several thousand years. Whether we call it the Age of Aquarius, the Mayan Prophecies, the Rapture, or any one of a number of other 'labels', the world is quickly entering the greatest Renaissance history has ever known. There are many alive now, that were born prior to its inception, and many will live through to see its fruition. The next major shift ahead, is what I call 'The Great Divide'. This is where all people have an opportunity to live 'The Future' they envision for themselves. If they see peace and harmony coming, they will probably stay on the earth and experience it. If a person believes in a Holocaust or an environmental disaster ahead, they will die in this life, and awaken in a life in some other place in God's realm where they can live out that expectation.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a definite conscious decision to return to life Prior to my NDE, I preferred not to die. However, once I was in the afterlife, there was no way I wanted to come back to this life. When it was explained that I had unfulfilled commitments with my daughters and that I was to come back to tell my story, I reluctantly returned.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Agnostic I had left the Baptist Church when I went to college. I could not believe in a God that was only for quite privileged people. I could not accept the fact that God would send people to hell because they didn't believe in a certain way. I couldn't believe that all little Hindu boys born in Hindu families (or any other religion) were automatically doomed to hell.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I now practice meditation and use that as a daily exercise. I eventually became aware of the exhortation and the Christian Bible that says pray without ceasing. My fervent prayer has been that I can live my life in total awareness of who I am and in contact with the inner knowingness at all times. Sometimes I can, and sometimes I don't.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths I consider myself 'spiritual,' but not religious. My spiritual path is the most important part of my life and have been meditating since my NDE. I believe there is only one God, humans just give this overall deity different names. I believe everything is 'The Body of God,' there is nothing else. I believe we are just part of the immortal soul wrapped in flesh and blood, using free will that God gave us, to live life after life, eternally.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience At the time of my death my belief was that after death came only oblivion. However, nothing could of been further from the truth.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes The only values that are important, at this point, are living in service to which with the other souls I reincarnate. I know I am fully taken care of by God and I have no concerns about safety at any time. Anything that happens to me is an experience that I have asked for in part of my learning process.
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 I met several entities in the form of people I had known. These people were from experiences on earth, in other realms, and what, I can only assume, was some part of the deity, as I said, assumed a fatherly, all-knowing presence in the decision, if I was to return to this life or not.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
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 I met both my paternal and maternal grandfather, both were instantly recognizable and seemed very much like I had known them as a child. With them was my favorite boyhood dog Butch. Butch his tail was was wagging up a storm, just as it had when I was a boy and we were having fun together. And aunt and uncle where there who had been part of my childhood as well as an old rancher who had had worked for me as a boy.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes I became aware of a life in Germany ending in 1937, a life in Italy in the 13th century, and I life on the plains of the West, as an Indian prior to the white race coming to the West. These were vivid memories every bit as clear and recallable as my own life time as a child on this planet. Sometimes more vivid. While I realize that everyone I encounter is part of the ancient soul I have been reincarnating with over endless eons. However, I also am aware that there is a smaller group of souls who play different roles, in various lives. Between lives we compare notes and look at where we did well in where we need to improve, and agree to come back, meet again, and try to get it right this time. It's become my belief that one of the problems we have in this world, we take it much too seriously. After all, it's only for all of our enjoyment, as we were promised for eternity. And eternity is a long long time. However, no one says we can choose to be miserable, until we decide to change it.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes There is only one God, and we are all part of that great soul. In all of God's realms, or in the small corner called the physical universe, there is nothing but God. God is in the Apple tree, God is in the cat sleeping in the sun. God is the animating force in all that 'is.' There is nothing that isn't God. Once I was able to understand that, things got rather simple.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain I had a perfect awareness of their being a God, who was the totality of the universe. I was aware that all of us were created out of part of God's great soul, in his image and likeness. When we come to the physical realm, we Dawn and 'earth suit' that allows us to interact with each other in the physical realm. But each of us are simply part of God's unique soul. We are sent here with our divine creative abilities to enjoy our existence, planning our lives (reade 'roles,' in advance, with other parts of the design soul.) This is for our amusement, as well of the as the God part of us that shares this body with this, and runs its two or 3 trillion cells, as our monkey mind plays its fun and games.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I was told, during my initial NDE, that one of the reasons I was being sent back was the same reason many others are being returned at this time: To tell our stories, as part of the mass awakening that's going on in the planet.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes There is only three basic things that we need do in our earthly life. We come here looking for a new series of adventures, as a new soul in the physical universe. We only have three purposes in coming here. Number one is to experience fun and excitement, defined in any way we choose, as we try to do the second thing we're here for, that is to remember who we are. The third thing we are here to do is to help others remember who they are.. The one overarching rule of the game is called karma. If you pat somebody in the back we get a pat on the back later. If we kick somebody in the butt, we get kicked in the butt later. Gradually over many lifetimes we come to realize that it's better to pat people in the back than to get kicked in the butt.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I became aware of a number of prior lives, from earlier times on this earth. For a long time following my NDE, I had better recall of some of those lives that I did of my earlier life on earth, from my current lifetime.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not 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? Are possibly meaningful and significant
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? Yes The exponential rate of change that we're encountering in the world today, will bring more change to this world and the next decade or two than in all of history. It's going to get a little messy, but if we remember who we are and why we're here, will walk through, unscathed. However, it would be a scary time to not realize that we are always safe, and always taken care of.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes I became aware that a teacher in grade school who was a tremendous irritation to me at the time, was simply putting me on the path that I needed to be on to make the decisions and make the choices I made later. I've come to realize that all things have a place in our life. Everything we encounter is there for a purpose, to teach us something. Once we understand that and stop resisting, life gets easier and easier, and the results become better and better.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Love is something that wells from within us, once we have waited through enough karma to get all the anger and frustration out of the way. Once we have been through the earth game long enough to realize sugar attracts more flies than vinegar, we begin to get the idea. Older souls rarely get back anything but love, because that's what they give out. I've come to realize that the enlightened soul sees nothing but the sweetness and others, because he doesn't recognize anything that's not also in himself.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? The change could not have been any more profound. I went from believing there was no God or afterlife and that 'he who has the most toys when he dies, wins' to a point where my spiritual journey and helping others is all that is important. The change could not have been any more profound. I went from believing there was no God or afterlife and that 'he who has the most toys when he dies, wins' to a point where my spiritual journey and helping others is all that is important.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes For those who share my beliefs, it's easy to relate at a very deep level. However, for those who don't share my belief, it's easy for me to see within them. God is living out a different reality, to which I can only say, 'Namaste!'
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes When attempting to describe something beyond human experience, I have difficulty. It's a little bit like attempting to describe what love is like to experience. How do we describe feelings of love and acceptance? In human form, we are limited in with what we know and understand. It's only through this limited understanding that we can play the 'role' we chose to come here and play. After all, if we were aware of all our soul is aware of, this earth-game wouldn't work. For example, how long would poker players enjoy the game of poker if they all knew what cards were going to be dealt to each player? We are only here to do three things. First, to remember whom we are. Second, to enjoy ourselves. The third thing is to help others remember who they are.
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.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I believe that we all have many and have had, more special abilities, than we ever realized. Once we realize that the inner voice is there and all we have to do is listen and trust, it's much easier to use these abilities. There is nothing too small to turn over to the inner voice. It's not just for life's big challenges. However, the main problem is learning whether it's the inner voice, the ego or some other voice that we need to learn to separate from the inner voice.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The part that took me from a non-believer to an awareness of another reality, in one meaningful experience was one experience that was so powerful and complete that it left no room for any other reality.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes At first, I was reluctant to share it with anyone because I knew they would think I was crazy. Then for a while, I gave talks in small niche-thought churches. But I gave that up because they seem to think that it made me different; they wanted me to solve their problems. They didn't realize that when a person meets the Pope, or goes to Mecca, they don't come back instantly enlightened because they just had an experience. What they do with it from there on, is what is important.
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 If I was an Indian out in the western plains, prior to having ever met a white person, and I encountered one of their trains, what would I think? If I were sitting by a track, that I didn't realize was a 'train track' and an engine came by and the steam in the heat knocks me off of the rock I was sitting on and also splattered me with oil on my face, would there be any doubt in my mind if that was real? What happened during my NDE was instantly recognizable as the most profound thing that it ever happened to me. This experience has had more impact on me than anything prior to or since that time. So naturally, I had no trouble believing it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Time has only deepened my understanding of what happened to me. It is the only reality that exists in my life today. We are all one with God, in a way we are God looking back at God. Our creative God-given abilities are out to experience possible experiences in the material universe, for our mutual amusement, God's and ours.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Over the years, I have found that I need never be too far from the peace and joy that dwells within. It's mine for the taking if I will stop and remember who I am.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I think of the quotation, 'now we see through a glass darkly, and then face-to-face.' When we're in the afterlife on an NDE, it's 'seeing face-to-face.' When we returned to this life, we again see through a glass darkly, so we can play the earth game, again. Gradually the tint in the glass lessens. But it will only be face-to-face again, after the game is over.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Actually, I think it is inordinately, well done.