At one year of age, I suffered from hydro-encephalitis. I learned this from my parents at around the age of eight. They told me the diagnosis at the time was either that I would die or that I would be mentally handicapped. I pulled through, but the experience left me profoundly changed. As a child, I always felt different from others, like I didn't quite fit in. I started having panic attacks during the night when my parents were out. I would look out the window for hours until I saw their car pull into the driveway and then I would go back to bed before they saw me. My family was Catholic and I had strong emotional connections to the mystical aspects of that faith.
As a teenager, I was involved in several religious and faith-based activities and at the age of 18, I felt called to serve God as a priest. After 2 years of exploring that possibility, I finished university and became a teacher. As soon as I got a job, I went into therapy because I really felt like something was wrong with me. In therapy, I connected with past lives, one in Africa and one in Japan. I felt fear every time a plane flew overhead and eventually I realized that I had died in the nuclear attack on Hiroshima. Throughout my 20 and 30, I still felt very alone and had very few friends but I did marry and fathered two children. I continued to suffer from anxiety and eventually left therapy after 19 years. My marriage ended shortly after and I am now living alone and have shared custody of my two sons. Looking back now on the events of my life, my big questions are, 'who am I and why am I so alone?'
Date NDE Occurred: 1962
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Illness Other: unsure because of age
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
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 It felt like seeing the reality behind everything we assume is real.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? My memories of the event have been cumulative over the years but the strongest feeling is when I crossed over and experienced pure love
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
The experience was timeless. It seems as real to me now as it did 50 years ago.
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 what my vision was like before.
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.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I have relived the feeling whenever I have gone through or near a tunnel or passage with a bright light.
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? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes It was unlike any earthly light I have ever seen. Bright but not blinding, no heat, inviting, all-consuming but without taking away, penetrating, enfolding in the most gentle and profound way imaginable.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm One of the ways I have described it in the past is 'the undiscovered country'.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt bliss, peace, joy, serenity, freedom.
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe An understanding, but of a spiritual nature and not an intellectual one.
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? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Unknown
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have distanced myself completely from all religious affiliations because I'm extremely hesitant to view God as being outside of me.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience Consistent with who I was having just come from the spiritual plane but inconsistent because my beliefs were not yet formed.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain From what my parents told me, I was a happy baby, and on some level I have always been happy and very optimistic. The experience gave everything more intensity.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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.)? Uncertain In retrospect I believe Jesus might have been part of the experience. My therapist saw him standing next to me during one of my sessions. Even as a young child I felt him very close to me.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain I sensed a unity but I couldn't conceptualize it at the time.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain I sensed that God existed but I couldn't conceptualize it at the time.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Uncertain I sensed I was sent back for a reason, but I couldn't conceptualize it at the time.
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? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Unknown
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Greatly 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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain I sensed that the universe exists because of love but I couldn't conceptualize it at the time.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life It marked me in very profound way. From that point, I become at once, more connected and more alienated from everyone around me.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I find it very difficult to relate to other people. As much as I need to be close to others and feel a sense of belonging, I am very much alone and isolated.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Because of my age I couldn't, but today I have found ways to express it.
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 the only memory I have at that age.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I am clairsentient. I can feel auras and chakras through my hands.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Very sporadically and in limited ways. It feels too important to me to share casually. My ex-wife did comment that it's difficult for someone with that experience to be in this world.
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 took me years to accept the reality of the experience and I am really hoping to come to terms with why it happened
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Because this was such a turning point in my life, I believe it's critical that I explore the 'why'.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Many, many things have triggered a strong emotional reliving of the experience, from being in nature to music to dancing, to any talk of God as divine love. Anything that has caused me to feel free and joyous brings me back to that time, but the feeling is usually a mixture of extreme joy and intense sadness.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Not at this time.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Maybe a question geared to people who had their experience as a baby.