I have to first describe the circumstances leading up to the experiences. I was wrestling in the water of the local 'Young Men's Christian Association' (YMCA) swimming pool. He, my friend, managed to pull me under and get on top of me. Normally this wouldn't have been a problem but he happened to catch me just as I had exhaled so I had no air in my lungs to fight back with. He didn't realize I was in trouble, he just assumed that my struggling, was me trying to flip him in turn. I was in panic mode trying to get out from under him. Then I could hold my breath no longer and reflexively took in a long deep breath. The breath was water however, not air. Surprisingly this did not hurt.
All of a sudden, a deep peace filled me unlike anything I've felt before or since (even when I was doing drugs). This is the hard part to describe, a darkness, pitch black, 'enveloped' me at the same time but 'enveloped' is only as close as I can get to explaining it. It wasn't scary. It was warm, comforting and safe, safer than I've ever felt before. The next thing I remember watching the lifeguard giving me mouth to mouth to revive me. I wasn't floating above the scene as some people describe, I was watching it as if I were kneeling right next to them.
I couldn't figure out what was going on. I didn't know why he was kissing me. Although I knew that that was me on the tiled floor I didn't realize until much later that I was watching myself. I didn't realize that I was separated from my myself.
The next thing I know I'm gasping desperately for air and thrashing about violently at the lifeguard as if I'm still drowning. After I calmed down the memory of the peaceful darkness came back to me. The out of body experience, if that is what it was, didn't come back until years later when I was recounting the drowning to a friend. Because of that lapse of time I question whether it actually happened or is something my mind has made up.
Date NDE Occurred: July 1981
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I drowned in a swimming pool.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
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? If I understand the question properly I'd say my highest level of consciousness was when I was/had drowned. I can remember the feeling of breathing in water and the peaceful darkness that overcame me vividly. I would say the out of body experience was less because I didn't realize it was happening at the time.
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
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
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
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Darkness
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Intense peace and safety. Confusion during the out of body experience.
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
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
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I'm not afraid of strangers killing me. I feel envious of dying people because they are going to the place I'd like to return to.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Difficult to describe the darkness and how it felt.
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? I realized afterwards that death doesn't hurt.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? No
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 Don't understand the question.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I definitely believe the peacefulness and darkness happened because the feeling was too vivid and I immediately remembered it afterwards. I can still sometimes get a hint of it if I focus hard enough. The OBE I still question but, despite that, that memory is pretty vivid as well, leading me to believe it really happened.
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? No. It was good.