A long time ago, more than half my life, I went through an experience that shocked my soul to the core.In the Ventilator Ward, I was the only conscious patient among the crash victims and the person with tetanus. I was almost totally paralyzed yet fully conscious, being kept alive by the air pumped into my lungs via the tube cut into my trachea.I had bad pneumonia, so the physiotherapist used to come around every day and beat my chest with cupped hands. I grew to like the percussive rhythm and the contact.While she beat away with her rhythm, another nurse would disconnect me from the ventilator and bag me manually with a balloon type gizmo attached to the tracheotomy tube. Every so often, she would disconnect the bag and insert a suction catheter down into my trachea while the physiotherapist pushed down on my chest to simulate a cough. They'd suck all the rubbish out, attach the bag and do some more percussion. While this was going on, the ventilator technician would service the machine.This time when they hooked me back up to the machine something, I don't know what, went wrong. I wasn't getting any air. Every cell in my body started screaming for oxygen, the physical panic was a tidal wave that ripped through me. Wracked with panic my sight faded, sense of my body faded, sound faded and then came the calm.I found myself disembodied, floating above a crystal clear lake. It was only small, the water shallow with smoothed stones about the size of a spread hand. Lush green foliage with small shiny leaves overhung the water. I was as conscious and able to think as I am here now writing this. Yet I was suffused with the ‘peace that passes all understanding’. This was something of a revelation to me and I didn't want to go back to the horrors of the HDU. 50% of my sense of body and sight slowly returned. I was left stunned and with a terrible headache, but the fear had gone. It never came back through the rest of a long illness and recovery, and to this day, I am able to tap a certain fearlessness when it is needed. Thinking back, the disembodied feeling was an amazing sense of freedom also. Like one was no longer weighed down by the matter and the slowness of the physical.
Date NDE Occurred: 1980?
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was fully aware through the whole experience.
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
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. Mostly a bit clearer - sort of vibrant, but nothing weird.
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? No
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
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? No
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm See above. Floated above clear shallow lake with overhanging trees. Utter peace and freedom.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Bliss.
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
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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal I was interested in Theosophy. Was raised Methodist and Baptist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal No organized religion. I see them as a disease of the belief system. Strong sense of wonder of life.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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 I came away with an imprint in my being that dying was easy, it was living that was hard, but necessary for learning.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Unless someone has experienced a similar feeling, then the words used to explain the experience do not mean the same thing for the speaker and the listener.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I guess the removal of fear and the experience of the peace.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Almost as soon as I could. I haven't had much reaction.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I'd been interested in religion/paranormal stuff.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I lived it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real There is always doubt after one has time to see it in its context
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Lots of little glimpses.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It was the best thing that has ever happened to me, at the worst time of my life.
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