This experience began with hospital admission to have the gall-bladder removed and an umbilical hernia repaired. The gall-bladder job was expected to be regular keyhole surgery, but it was pointed out that it was sometimes necessary to 'revert to the old method' but that this could not be pre-determined. I was not apprehensive of the pending elective surgery - I usually quite enjoy a short break of this kind. I mention this only to eliminate any possible connection between fear and the event itself.
At some stage during surgery, I suddenly found myself looking down on proceedings from ceiling height or a wee bit higher (the ceiling wasn't there). I was watching what I quickly realized was myself lying motionless on the table with green clad figures around it - but it wasn't really me - I was here.
I was instantly aware of my last memory. I was going for the operation and was trying to make some sense of this new development. It soon dawned on me that I had an unusual clarity of mind and was completely fascinated by what was happening. I was 'here' not 'there'. What I was looking upon was like an old shell that somehow was familiar - like an earlier edition.
Then, to get a better view, moving to the right a little was necessary - it immediately happened! It is possible to move just by thinking. I wasn't aware of any sound or voices.
I then remembered that I had read something about this kind of thing. (Raymond Moody's book 'Life after Life'.) I realized that it IS true!
It would be around this point that what I was looking at just changed.
Suddenly I was in a muted light pea-green sort of environment. This was the main light color and I had never seen anything like this before. The light had a quality rather than intensity. Although very bright, the revitalizing was not in the slightest overpowering or unpleasant. It was natural light. The really strange thing about it was that this light provided sustenance. Whatever nourishment was required simply came from within this light.
The feeling of indescribable wellbeing and comfort was completely overwhelming. This is central to it all. I was standing now, rather than sort of floating, as before. This was a place of healing and restoration and at some level, it seemed I already knew this. I was not aware of anyone else in this place.
Next, was the awareness that many folk were gathering just behind, out of view, all of them having been connected to me in some capacity at some time. I didn't see or hear anyone - just 'knew' it.
A very strong sense of not to turn around was present.
Also, realizing I could absorb a vast amount of simultaneous information through points located all over my body (I had a body) - the ankles in particular. It was possible to know what the folk behind were collectively thinking! The realization came that I had a choice of sorts to consider - return or remain, but at the same time, it wasn't really an option. Return, it was. This seemed to be connected to the sense of not to turn around!
The next recollection was the recovery unit and the indescribably overpowering sense of loss and disappointment that accompanied this return to the everyday mind. The greatest loss was the absence of this miraculous light, which illumined not just the place, but also the very soul, it seemed. The subdued lighting in that ward was, in contrast, like the despairing darkness of deepest winter.
This is a very sketchy account of the whole thing and I cannot capture the essence of it at all. There was the feeling of exhilaration, of freedom and a complete absence of fear (of anything). I have no idea of how long this lasted, although it seemed forever, but the effects of it are timeless. This was a completely natural experience and one I wish I could repeat. If this is 'death', then I'm for it!
I was 'conscious' throughout, although deeply an'sthetized. I knew what was happening, knew I was having surgery.
I knew who I was, with full memory of all immediate matters. There was no physical sensation at all, but mental awareness of everything - but with a different - a greater, enlarged consciousness now operating, with no effort on my part. I was simultaneously aware on three different 'life' levels.
A major conclusion must be that consciousness is not seated in the brain, but much deeper. In the soul, perhaps? The term used to describe this is unimportant.
This part of us is present throughout our earthly life and is our self-created body, which automatically becomes our vehicle for consciousness in the next chapter of the eternal life, which we all have.
Post-surgery, I asked and was told that the gall-bladder was detached using keyhole methods, but was unable to be removed this way. As the umbilical repair was to be done anyway, it was decided to remove the now separated gall bladder through this opening. Somehow, it slipped into the abdomen and had to be retrieved manually.
I have no awareness of any of this now, but things may have begun about this point.
The surgeon was fairly open, though guarded, about events - the ward staff all tight lipped. Hospital policy, perhaps, but I wondered if this was to prevent or minimize possible litigation.
The whole experience has been of immense benefit to me and I would be happy to return there any day of the week. I know I have 'seen' what lies ahead of this chapter of life. I have no wish to convince anyone of anything, nothing to prove.
I have deepened as a person as a result, with some sense of the eternal aspects of our continuing consciousness, unbroken, even for a split second.
There was no sense of 'time' - it just didn't exist - nor were there any 'doorways' or walls of any kind to pass through. You just 'were' where you had to be.
The folk behind were 'real' people, although I didn't look round. Relatives, family, colleagues, like minded folk, etc.
A great feeling of elation, of wellbeing, an overwhelming feeling of a 'Love', a place I didn't want to leave, and a residual feeling of a certainty of being, are the main features, but I'm trying - and failing - to describe something that is beyond words.
What of religion? Forget it, I'd say. Those who trade in it, who advocate it, have no idea! It is man-made, but if it should produce well rounded more tolerant people, willing to help each other (all life really, there is no difference in essence between life forms, all have a common source and are therefore related), then it will serve a very useful purpose. We just don't need the doctrinal approach at all. A hindrance to understanding - an abomination!
Date NDE Occurred: 1998/1999
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Surgery-related Other Surgical removal of faulty gall bladder.Not sure if it was 'life-threatening' but may have been considered so.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
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 Higher, fuller, more complete, ability to know thoughts of others, knowing without seeing.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Recollection of time was hazy or more accurately, not present at all.
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 There was no sense of time and space 'opened up' as required.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? I was able to see clearly at any distance, color and brightness were vivid, yet subdued. Whatever you wished to see just appeared in place and focus. No shadows seemed apparent.
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
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? Uncertain Sensed (but knew) rather than saw anyone.
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
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Elation, Extreme well-being, Love for all Life, Perfect happiness, Fulfillment of all things.
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 Spiritualist. (I do not understand the exact meanings of American terms.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal Spiritualist those terms again, what does 'liberal' mean in religious vocabulary.
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 All Life has a common link at some level or place. There was total 'order' and no sense of even slight disharmony. An unexplainable something has strongly remained with me since.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I'm sort of aware of being regarded as having greater 'depth'.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes My choice of words just do not capture the depth or width of this marvelous event.
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 been engaged in Spiritual Healing for over twenty-five years, but other than a sense of deepening, nothing new was felt.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? A profound gain in 'knowing', but without being able to explain just what I now 'know'.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Soon afterwards and on occasion since.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes My previous (and on-going) investigations into Spiritualism, allied to various books on similar subjects.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. It was like a computer program running in the background. A great feeling of reality and comfort.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. The intensity (wrong word) has not 'faded' at all, although it just seems a thought away from total recall in all its aspects - clarity, reality, color, etc.
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? If this is death; there is everything to gain and nothing to fear - at all!
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I don't think so. Thank you for presenting me with the opportunity to relive it again.