I was standing outside at night with two friends when I suddenly felt faint. I had been stressed out over college exams and had not eaten much that day. My field of vision started to swim with dark spots and I lost consciousness, fell and hit my head on the cement. My friends later reported that I was unconscious and unmoving for about a minute then I went into seizure/ convulsions for about another minute, until I woke up.
After falling, I found myself somewhere unfamiliar. I was sitting in the center of the back seat of a parked car. Four other people were in the car with me. I do not recall their faces, names or appearance, but it seemed that they were all younger men (20s or 30s) and were people with whom I had strong relationships like older brothers or friends. I felt safe and trusted them. This was despite the fact that I felt weak, fragile, unsure, and confused. They were calmly discussing where to take me while I sat there saying nothing. I trusted that they would make the right decision. I was feeling somewhat wounded and beaten down by life at the time, most certainly not by them. I sensed they knew what was going on better than I did and would take care of me. This entire scene is somewhat fuzzy to me now; I have no memory of what, if anything was going on outside of the car.
Then suddenly I found myself whizzing along a river that ran through the bottom of a brilliant canyon. This canyon had opaque white walls that rose up, like those of an enamel bathtub. I became aware that I was now a bird with the most exquisite, white/lavender iridescent plumage. The river had many lush, large green trees growing along its sides. Everything was illuminated from within and glowed with a soft, warm, white light. I was flying so fast along the canyon river that it surprised me and I wanted to go even faster. I was exhilarated by the fact that I was flying like this and made a decision to go as fast as I could, darting confidently in and out between the trees. The wind whizzed past my ears. I felt in absolute control and completely competent. I am not sure if I realized it at the beginning, or if I was made aware of it at some point later in the experience, but I was possessed by an insanely intense desire to reach an impossibly bright light that I could see at the end of this canyon. That light seemed to be the source of all the light, all the love, all the goodness, pleasure and peace in all of existence. It was the source of everything. It seemed to be the only thing that had ever mattered. It was contained within everything, it united everything and I was drawn to it as if by a powerful magnet. As I barreled further down the canyon, I became aware of something nagging at me, which reminded me of a child tugging at the pant legs of an otherwise occupied adult. I tried to ignore it, but it became more persistent. I started to become hindered, slowed down by this thing, and I began to feel nauseous. Although I became aware of sensing someone's voice calling me, I tried to ignore it and kept wishing it would simply leave me alone so that I could speed onward and into the light.
Then I woke up. I was lying on the ground on my back feeling sick, in pain, irritable and my friend was leaning over me. He had been trying to wake me up. Waking up to earthly life felt like I was re-entering a dream having just returned from the experience of REAL life. I recalled that as soon as I had entered that other world, all detailed memories from my earthly life had dissolved instantaneously, like smoke clearing from a room with a fan. Memories of this world and my earthly life were transient and fleeting. The content of that other world was somehow more real, more essential, truer, more substantial, more meaningful and more beautiful. I still felt furious that my friend had ‘woken’ me. However, the fog soon closed back in. Although I still remembered the other experience, I planted myself once more in this realm and my anger quickly faded.
I have never felt resentful about having to return to this earthly life but do appreciate the fact that I had an enlightening experience, which has enriched my life. I feel like I now know and understand more than most people do about the soul the universe, God and I enjoy sharing my story with others. I find it incredibly comforting to know that a breathtakingly beautiful existence welcomes us after our physical death and our departure from this world. I also feel that we must be here for some reason. Perhaps to learn, to suffer when necessary, to overcome, to love, to spread happiness and light to other people, to make the right choices, to shape this world into something that resembles in some way the essential goodness and perfection of that other world.
Date NDE Occurred: May 2004
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Direct head injury 'I felt faint after having been stressed out over college exams and saw spots in my vision, then passed out and fell on cement, bumping my head on the way down. I was with two people, and they reported that I was unconscious and quiet for about a minute, 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening'
I doubt that the injury which I sustained was actually life-threatening, because afterwards, when I underwent medical examinations (including an MRI and an EEG) nothing was found to be wrong with me.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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? In the second phase, when I was flying through the canyon.
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
Looking back, it seems to me that time had been moving very quickly in the second phase.
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. Things seemed crisper and more ‘there’ than in waking life. Colors were more vivid and everything seemed illuminated.
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 In the second phase, I was flying along a river in the lower part of a white canyon which resembled the sides of an enamel bathtub. The top was open, and a river ran through the bottom of the canyon. There were trees in the bottom of the canyon which I was darting through at an incredible speed.
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 In the first phase I was in the back seat of a small, four-door car. There seemed to have been four other people in the car both in the front seats and by the windows in the back seats. I was seated on the back seat between two others. I felt like I had known them for a long time and they were trusted friends, but I have no recollection of their appearance. I got the impression that they were all younger men, maybe in their 20s or 30s. They were talking amongst themselves discussing where they would take me and I just sat there quietly.
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 In the second phase everything, including myself, was illuminated from within with an exquisite, warm, white light. At the end of the tunnel was the master source of this light and that fount was the point I was trying, so desperately, to reach.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The landscape from the second phase was strikingly beautiful and otherworldly.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? In the first phase I felt uncertainty and confusion, weakness, and fragility but, following that, I felt confidence in the people who were there, taking care of me and guiding me. In the second phase, which I consider the most emotionally charged moments of my life thus far (and I am an emotional and sensitive person), I felt an indescribably intense feeling of striving to reach the light. I have never wanted anything more in my life. The light was the only thing that mattered at all; it was the only thing that existed for me. The light was pure love, peace, contentment, liberation, and perfection. It was the culmination of everything, the end point, and the goal.
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
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? 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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal Was unsure about the presence of God and the continuation of consciousness after death.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes It is not my religious views specifically that have changed, as I have never been a member of any religion. But my spiritual views have definitely changed. I used to be unsure about the existence of God and the afterlife and now I am certain that they both exist.
What is your religion now? Liberal I believe in God and the continuation of consciousness after death.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes It is not my religious views specifically that have changed, as I have never been a member of any religion. But my spiritual views have definitely changed. I used to be unsure about the existence of God and the afterlife and now I am certain that they both exist.
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I do not feel that I interact any differently with people due to my experience, but do feel affirmed in my long standing belief that one must treat others with love and respect while remembering that everyone is a unique and worthy soul.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The emotional intensity and profoundness of the experience is not possible to accurately express in words.
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? The entire experience was meaningful, but especially the second phase.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Immediately after waking up and recovering myself, I told the two people whom I was with about it. Their curiosity did not seem to indicate disbelief. I have since told many other people about my experience but I can never fully express the gravity of this event to anyone. Sometimes I get upset when I tell someone about it and they fail to realize how much significance and importance this experience holds for me.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard stories about NDEs before on television shows and in books. I am not sure if the exposure to this information molded my experience in any way.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I knew right away that the experience was ‘definitely real.’ Immediately after waking up, it felt like I was leaving the real world and entering back into a dream world. It was as if the world in which we live day to day is the dream, and the afterlife is the reality. This world is a faint imitation of that other more real, more important, world.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The experience still feels ‘definitely real’ to me. I continue to think about it frequently, and have grown to cherish it for the sense of peace it gives me and the desire it gives me to try to recreate some of that same peace, kindness, and love in this world.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Very in-depth! Approve!