I was swimming in a flooded gravel pit with a girl who was a friend. It was a neighborhood swimming hole. She started swimming out to the center and I began to follow. I was a smoker and did not realize how winded I was getting until I was too far out to return. Upon realizing this, I turned to swim back. The lactic acid build-up in my arms became unbearable and I began to panic.
It was as if my mind separated from my body. I became an observer, as I had no control over what was happening. Very quickly, I tired and gulped a lot of water and then breathed in the water. I no longer had a desire to breathe and all resistance ceased. As I began to sink to the bottom of the pit, I felt intense sadness that my life was ending and that my parents would be hurt immensely. At 3 feet deep, it is pitch black and I could not see the hand in front of you.
However, as I began to die, things got brighter when I dropped to about 15 feet deep. I was on the bottom of the pit and able to see everything around me. I started to get curious, as my mind did not feel like it was dying. I began to accept death and was not scared. At that moment, a voice, spoke to me and said this. 'Jay. It is not your time.' It seemed loud; yet, how could it be? Something took control of my arms as I lay spread eagle. I was pushed up like a bird flapping its wings. As I approached the surface, I could feel control start to come back.
I broke the surface near the girl who had been looking for me. She said it was pitch black. Anyway, I grabbed and started to pull uncontrollably on her. Then I had to push her away, so I would not drown her too. Again, I went under. When I came up again, she was behind me and started kicking me in to shore. Mind you, I was not breathing yet since my lungs were completely full of water.
As she kicked me in the back, it helped to get the water out of my lungs by forcing me to cough when she kicked. Eventually, she kicked my to shore as I was too weak to swim to it. Then, I vomited a huge amount of water and then fell asleep for 3 hours as she watched over me. She told me I had been under for 5 minutes and she was going to get help when I surfaced.
That experience led me to believe that while we live in this world, we are also watched over by something. I remember feeling acceptance at the realization that dying was only the end of the body and not of me.
Date NDE Occurred: August 1978
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes. A voice that was all encompassing and telling me that it was not my time.
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness. Nothing much different.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While at the bottom of the gravel pit awaiting what was to come.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
Were your senses More vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I was able to see all things around me, even though the lake water at that depth was normally pitch black.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Not completely separated. My mind had no control over the body, but I was still observing from within it.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere, as if by ESP? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt panic, then sadness, then acceptance, and then curiosity.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
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
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Agnostic. Grew up a Baptist and later rejected the church.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have a more science-based view of religion. I believe that God is everything. We cannot be separated form God. God is an intelligent force that is all things including us. That is why prayer works and why there is not reason to fear death. God IS.
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths. My views of God and religion have progressed passed that which I grew up with. It is because of my experience, I have a much greater belief in a science-based God.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience. I had an out of body experience upon waking one night and knew that there was more to life that I could not explain. This experience reinforced that belief.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Reinforced my belief in a God. My belief is one that is not limited by any religion.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify. It was an all-encompassing voice from someone else.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes When the voice spoke to me.
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes After the voice spoke to me, I felt that there was something I had yet to complete in my life.
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
During your experience, did you gain information about an afterlife? An afterlife probably exists. When the voice spoke to me.
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life. I have a more expanded view of religion and life and how one is not separate from the other.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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. It is like it happened yesterday. As clear today as then. I cherish that memory as a day of spiritual growth.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Premonitions
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The powerful voice and the sense of curiosity at the moment of acceptance of death
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes About a year elapsed and told my mom who believed it was the hand of God at work.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Just heard about it. This knowledge had no effect on my experience as mine is different from others I heard of.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. It was real as any other experience
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. It was as real as any other experience and I cherish it.
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? No.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? No suggestions.
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