Experience Description

I briefly 'saw' both what would be considered Heaven and its counterpart. The terrible torment of those in 'Hell' was far worse than the fire and brimstone crowd preach. It was something akin to spending eternity with those who would harm others in the same fashion as yourself, or conversely eternal loneliness for those who would, for lack of a better phrase, 'fleece' others. The strange thing about the dark place was that it was a place (and no place at the same time) that you went to because of yourself. No one sent you there but yourself, and by the same token only you could get yourself out. Eternity seemed to be more of how you wished it. While Hell was well populated, with millions of souls, it only made a very small dent in the total population of the afterlife. I was struck by the accuracy of the movie 'What Dreams May Come' - which I saw just a couple of months later. Although not the best movie, its portrayal of the afterlife is closer than anything I've ever been able to articulate.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: Aug 1999

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Allergic reaction Clinical death

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 The moment of separation wasn't something I felt. It was closer to being asleep and then waking up. One moment I was in horrendous pain, the next I was 'exploring' my new surroundings.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I never thought about it before, but since you asked I would have to say incredibly awake and alert. More so than in regular life.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Time seemed to have no real meaning. There was continuity, but no linear progression, very hard to explain. Also there was a sense of space, but it seemed to mold itself to thought.

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I don't remember any sound.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No

The experience included: Presence of deceased persons

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes The tormented souls, in a place that was no place. I felt terror at seeing their torment, and a great sadness and pity for them as I could do nothing for them, nor could anyone else. In the Universe, localized near our planet, were other souls enjoying the afterlife. They seemed as happy as those tormented souls were in anguish and yet, they seemed to be at the bottom rung of happiness. Heaven just seemed to get better the more you kept going, except you weren't traveling. I thought that I was moving toward what can best be described as a welcoming committee. Strangely, I knew that they were waiting for me to get there, and it was composed of a large number of people I knew, but I don't know how I knew this, or whom they were specifically. I guess it was something like knowing that you're going to a party where you're the guest of honor. The party would start when I got to the right 'place' except I never got there.

Did you see an unearthly light? No

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm See above. Level or dimension, might be the best way of describing the areas I saw.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

The experience included: Special Knowledge

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe There was a definite sense of order to the universe. It was a given in the same way that gravity is here. There seemed to be a 'purpose'. Something that was simple and elegant, but I never found out what it was.

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? No

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 seemed to be waiting in the afterlife for Earth time to pass and my decision to stay, to be brought forward in a physical way. I could stay as long as I was dead, but as I had already decided that I was going to cling to an Earthly life, when my heart started again, I was whisked back.

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal

What is your religion now? Liberal

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain Not a change, but a definite strengthening of the beliefs I already had.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The intensity of it.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have what others call psychic abilities, and have had them all my life, but they were greatly augmented after. My clairvoyance in particular was much stronger.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The best was the sense of total acceptance. The worst was the sight and empathy of the encounter with the tormented.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I've related it to just a few. Those I told without any questions on their part were of a ho-hum, isn't that nice, I'm sure you believe it attitude. Those who asked seemed disappointed. I think that they wanted to hear a tale of the pearly gates, and how they were going to be redeemed. The truth didn't meet their expectations. I don't talk about it anymore (except this).

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I've actually had two NDEs but thought that as they were very similar, I would just describe one.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I would add something along the lines of a question about telepathy/empathy with those encountered in the next life.