Let me first say that my intention in sharing this event is for the purpose of offering help to you with your research. The circumstances of my death are unusual, and I am ashamed of how my death came about. The facts that I lay out here are just as accurate and clear to me today as they were that day back in May many years ago when I died and came back. I have only shared this story with a handful of people whom I felt knew me well enough not to think that I was crazy. I'm not sure if the following fact has any significance as to this NDE I experienced when I was 15, but I think I should mention it. This wasn't the first time I had died.
During my birth, the doctors had informed my mother that the umbilical cord had wrapped itself around my neck and she would have to give birth to a stillborn baby. I had no life signs, so the normal mixture of jubilation and triumph that a mother normally experiences didn't accompany my birth. My stillbirth was just the completion of an unavoidable event that had to happen with the expected misery and loss that a family would have to go through. Despite the doctors' diagnosis of my death, after the cord was cut away from my throat, I started kicking and screaming. I have no NDE experience memory of this death, only the accounts from my family of what it had been like, their sadness, and then their subsequent joy of bringing home their son instead of preparing a baby for burial. I'm including this experience because I want to be as accurate as I can in case this event has any relevance to my NDE.
I would also like to add that even now, I have only read of one other NDE experience, and that was from Anita Moorjani's book 'Dying To Be Me,' so I am not well versed on the types of NDE experiences others have had. At the time of my NDE, I had never heard of an NDE at all, or of an out of body experience, either. These concepts were completely foreign to me, and I didn't even understand what I had experienced until I learned more about it much later in life. The following experience that I am about to describe, didn't correspond with any beliefs or understandings that I had at the time. The experience itself was far and above anything, I could have imagined or invented.
When I was fifteen, my mother was lying in a hospital bed dying of cancer, having been recently given no hope of recovery. She had been undergoing bouts of chemo and radiation for two years. Until this time, her impending death was kept from me. I am the youngest of four boys in my family, and they wanted to protect me from the truth. When there was no more hope, they informed me, and I was devastated.
Three of my friends, determined to help me get my mind off my troubles and grief, arranged for a weekend getaway at a cabin high in the hills, hours outside of civilization. One of my friends had brought some mild drugs: hashish and marijuana. These drugs were quickly consumed and my friends were left with trying to find other ways to help me escape reality. At this time, in my province, the act of inhaling gasoline fumes had become popular, as it was the cheapest high available. We didn't understand the dangers of doing this or how many kids had already died from trying this extremely dangerous form of self-intoxication. (Inhaling gasoline fumes cuts off oxygen to the brain and the victim dies literally from asphyxiation.) It is said to feel very much like drowning. My friends and I took turns passing the gasoline can around, and I was the last to go. I placed the funnel from the can in my mouth and inhaled deeply again and again. This is where this world stopped and the other began.
I passed out with the funnel still in my mouth and took a little trip. I was looking down at a room. In the room there are boys laughing and talking. I notice that one of the boys isn't saying or doing anything. He is slumped over a gas can and isn't moving. I can hear the other boys' conversation, but it sounds like it's coming through water, like the sounds you heard when playing in a swimming pool with your friends. My attention keeps going back to the boy who isn't moving. His plight is very clear to me and I find it extremely distressing and agitating, even though I do not know this boy. I am expressing my concerns for this boy to someone standing just over my left shoulder.
I know who it is that I am talking to; and the feeling of intimacy between us is so deep, it's like sharing your feelings with your best friend. In our one-sided conversation, I am swearing and livid about this boy's condition and am without fear of repercussion for my behavior. I was raised to show respect, so swearing in front of my parents or any adult was something I had never done or would ever do. I keep asking this person behind me questions like, 'What is he doing? Doesn't he know he is killing himself? Doesn't he know that he is dying? Why is he throwing his life away?' I keep getting more and more angry at this boy who is dying right in front of my eyes. I can't even begin to describe now how frustrated and angry I am at this boy for being so reckless. I keep on questioning whoever or whatever is standing behind me, but I don't receive any answers about this boy. At the same time, I'm not expecting this person to answer my questions. I know that these answers can only be found through revelation.
After what seems like a very long period of me repeatedly asking questions about why this boy is throwing away his life, my anger reaches its peak! That's when the realization set in. I yell these words aloud, 'Oh God! That is me!' As soon as the realization was clear, the scene below me was pulled away, almost as if curtains were drawn across it. Or rather, it faded away, like watching a soap bubble moving rapidly into the distance, swept away from you by the wind. This is where things really changed.
I could feel my own presence but had no physical being. The way I described it to myself at the time was, 'pure mind.' But this did not seem strange at all. None of the sensations I had seemed out of place or unexpected. I was neither afraid nor happy. I just understood everything made perfect sense. It was like dreaming at night, where you are suddenly living on the moon and your dog is now a dragon; and in your dream you don't question these things because they are as they are. The thing that I was most aware of is that I could feel the presence of other minds in unlimited numbers. The feeling I get now when recalling this, brings to mind the word 'infinity.' I then felt a pull, drawing me into alignment with these other minds. It felt as though we were linked together in a chain that went on forever.
The next thing I was aware of was a sensation of movement. It felt like being on a train: the motion of moving forward and slightly back at the same time. It was a distinct ebbing sensation. I don't know if I was really moving or if there even was a destination, because this is where my NDE experience stopped and I came back to life.
The following is what I experienced after arriving back in my body. The first part of coming back, I have no personal recollection. My friends filled in these details for me. They had no problem doing so, because I had upset them very much. As my awareness came back to the room, I heard angry voices and threats coupled with my name! Here is what I experienced, in order. First, I'm becoming aware of a sound, and the sound slowly increases like turning up the knob on a stereo. The sound continues to get louder and starts to become separated into distinct sounds. I hear voices, the sounds of angry voices. Then two pinholes of light enter my eyes and the room slowly expands from a pinhole perspective into to a full view. It seems like minutes, but it could have been seconds. I can only describe this as the feeling of being 'switched on.'
I then become aware of my body. I find I am standing in the middle of the room and I notice that the gas can has fallen onto the floor. Now I will explain why my friends were so angry. They told me that I had suddenly stood up and had begun spitting everywhere: on them and all around the entire room. Even though they yelled at me to stop, I seemed not to hear them, and continued spitting in all directions. Finally, I stopped; I know now that I stopped when I could once again experience taste. I had been seeking to feel alive again. All the things that allow us to know that we are physically alive had been gone from my awareness for a time. I deliberately tried to bring each physical sensation back to me. Unfortunately, for my friends, taste was the first thing I needed to experience. That is my story; maybe it might help with another piece of the puzzle.
Date NDE Occurred: May 1987
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Not my own: My mother was dying of cancer at the time and had been given days to live.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I heard my friends laughing and talking but my focus was on the dying boy.
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 felt, not thought, that I knew all. This was normal for wherever I was.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? After I saw myself die sitting in the chair and knew that it was my death that I was watching.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
In the state I was in, an idea such as time didn't even enter into my consciousness. I don't think there was 'time'.
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. I don't remember seeing anything. It was all feeling.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't remember hearing anything after I left my body. It was all feeling. I heard my voice until my realization hit me but from then on I don't think hearing, seeing or touching had anything to do with my experience. I never thought of this until I read this question.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No Everything was like it was happening against the backdrop of a dark blue screen. Like when you first turn on a computer. That color of blue.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place When the image of the room I was watching drew away from me I knew I was somewhere else. It, and I, felt endless. I felt small and big at once.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt rage at first. I was so mad at this boy for killing himself even though he wasn't aware he was doing this, it made me extremely angry and sad for him. After I realized who he was, I had no feelings positive or negative. It just was.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? No
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No I had a sensation of moving but never reached a destination.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant Forced to go to sunday school and church services at a Pentecostal church. Hell,fire and brimstone were it's motto.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain This experience had left me with a lot of questions as to what reality is. I began researching many types of phenomena, more so in recent years than in the past. The recalling of this and other unexplainable experiences was the catalyst for my current research.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Unknown
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Agnostic I do not attend any church services. I have been for a very long time in search of truth and haven't found any faith that encompasses what I feel to be accurate. I see what I call truth in many different faiths, not bound to any one.
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 I was raised to believe in fire and brimstone. I believed at the time if I died I would be sent to hell for eternal torment. I didn't meet satan on my journey or felt judged. For a brief moment I judged myself but the pain of that was taken from me in a blink.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I was raised to believe in fire and brimstone. I believed at the time that if I died, I would be sent to hell for eternal torment. I didn't meet Satan on my journey or felt judged. For a brief moment I judged myself, but the pain of that was taken from me in a blink.
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 The presence was behind my left shoulder. That was where I kept directing my questions. It's funny that I never thought to turn around and see to whom I was talking. It's like I knew and at the same time didn't know who it was, if that makes sense. I could feel whoever it was knew me.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
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
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes The experience of all minds being linked together was never something my 15 year old self would have even tried to contemplate.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain My experience stopped short of getting the big picture. After entering the chain and the feeling of movement began I came to back in my body.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes I was talking with someone during the time I was watching the boy die. That someone or thing was there and I direct all my question at it. I knew it was there even so sure that it never occurred to me to look and see who I was talking to. i just knew they were there from the instant I started watching through the window to the room with the boys laughing and talking.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? Unknown
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes We are linked together. My feeling when in the chain was a feeling of being part of the whole and the whole.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I was joined with other minds and was very aware of them. i could feel all of them at once.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? Unknown
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
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 fact that I was witness to my own death and the weight that came with the realization that I myself had caused it filled me with sadness and remorse. It only lasted for a second and I no longer cared about or considered my death after the image of the room faded from view.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown I think now that all things are truly possible. I see no limitation other that limitations we choose to have.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain I care more about 'us' as a whole vs. just myself.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No It's as clear to me now as it was then. I guess trying to explain that it all made sense and felt perfectly normal is hard to covey or understand.
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 I was dealing with loosing my mother and most of what we call real life felt very unreal to me. I didn't know what my life could look like without her and I had a string of well meaning but completely insensitive relatives asking me stupid question like " Will you miss your mom when she is gone?" This made things much more difficult than they needed to be.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain Too difficult to explain.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The significance lies in the fact that I lost all physical awareness, and how my senses turned back on, and how I experienced the rebooting-up process of becoming aware of my senses individually. Who was I talking to and why was I not able to recognize myself in the chair? I was dealing with losing my mother, and most of what we call 'real life' felt very unreal to me. I didn't know what my life could look like without her, and I had a string of well meaning, but completely insensitive, relatives asking me stupid questions like, 'Will you miss your mom when she is gone?' This made things much more difficult than they needed to be. . I don't recall feeling part of anything. If I had to say how I felt, it would be more like the feeling of BEING the whole of everything. I was joined with other minds and was very aware of them. I could feel all of them at once.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was awhile before I shared it. It sounded crazy. I'm not really sure anyone believed me. I was talking about something they had never considered or believed. In my church, an experience outside of God was demons trying to trick you.
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 It isn't something I ever questioned, even at that time. I've never even asked myself if it was real or not. It has always been and always will be real. I'm a skeptic and I need proof in order to believe anything. This experience requires no proof other than its extraordinary content to prove its reality to me. Everything I experienced was outside my expectations and understanding.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Same as above.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain Too difficult to explain.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I answered the questions as best as I could. Some parts are hard to explain because I went from thinking to just feeling and trying to relay the feeling of 'consciousness' is hard. This event happened to me just as I described it. It's hard to tell this story, due to the fact that my stupidity almost wiped me out for good. That wouldn't have been a kind thing to do to my mother who was fighting for her life in the hospital bed. She never came home. She died within weeks of my NDE.
I was talking with someone during the time I was watching the boy die. That someone or thing was there and I directed all my questions at it. I knew it was there, even so surely that it never occurred to me to look and see to whom I was talking. I just knew they were there from the instant I started watching through the window to the room with the boys laughing and talking. The experience of all minds being linked together was never something my 15-year-old self would have even tried to contemplate.
My experience stopped short of getting the big picture. After entering the chain and the feeling of movement began, I came to back in my body. The fact that I was witness to my own death and the weight that came with the realization that I myself had caused it, filled me with sadness and remorse. It only lasted for a second and I no longer cared about or considered my death after the image of the room faded from view.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? It's a well-designed questionnaire. It made me think of things that I hadn't considered. Things like was I seeing a thing or experiencing a thing. Its length will definitely deter anyone not serious about sharing their experience.