It is summer 1971, I was 18 years old and living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I spent most of my childhood there. I was a musician, playing bass guitar and singing with two very close friends in a music group. Crosby, Stills, and Nash were at their peak around this time and our group was similar. I lived alone in a small house. The group's music equipment occupies the living room where we rehearse. I live in the rest of the house. Despite being an excellent group, it was sometimes difficult to get jobs that pay well. So, I added to my income by selling pot. I was very naive, trusted everyone, and thought nothing about my own safety.
One Saturday in July, I got a kilo of pot and I was able to sell it all that same day. Late that evening, I realized that I had a lot of money sitting there, so I decided to go pay the person who gave me the stuff. I drive the 30 miles in my car each way, and have some money left over after getting a treat or two. I got home and went immediately to bed at about 2:00 AM. I fell right to sleep.
A few hours later, just before sunrise, I was awakened by a loud knocking on the door. Instantly I knew it meant trouble awaits me, my whole being could feel it. I wanted to pretend that I wasn't home, but I feared the consequences if they found me in the house. Surrendering myself to the situation, I chose to face it.
I got up, went to the side door and pull back the drapery. Outside was a a short white man whom I recognized. He had once tried to sell me a guitar that he had stolen. He saw me, and says he has something he wants to show me, another guitar for sale. I tell him, I am not interested. He insists. I say, 'No, come back another time.' He pulled a rifle out from behind him and pointed it at me. He says, 'open the door f***er or I will blow your head off.' Four other men, who were black guys, are now standing there with him. I see more guns. Shaking with fear, I try to undo the lock, but it's not working. They start kicking the door, until the lock breaks and the door flies open. They tackle me to the floor and start beating me with their fists and their guns and kicking me. They drag me into the middle room, lay me face down with my hands behind my back. One of them grabbed a roll of heavy speaker wire from the living room and tied my feet to my hands with it. I can feel the wet of the blood pooling on the floor under my face.
They scream, 'Where is the money?' They obviously were tipped off by someone and expect me to have a bunch of money from yesterday's pot sale. I tell in the top left drawer. They find it, and say, 'We know there's more than this. What are you tryin' to pull?' I then felt more jabs mostly to my head, with the butts of their rifles. This goes on for some time while they are literally tearing the house apart like madmen. They were ripping open walls and furniture looking for hidden money. And when they do not find it, they came back and beat me some more. The pain was unbearable. I started dissociating, the same way I used to do when my dad used to beat me. One of them starts smashing my head with his gun without stopping. At this point, I cannot take it any longer, and I leave my body.
I am floating up near the ceiling of the room. I can see my body on the floor, tied up, and lying in a pool of blood. I feel connected to my body as if I were a kite tied to it, but I no longer feel the pain. I can see and hear everything. I see the man still hitting me with his rifle. One of the others stops him, nudges my limp body with a foot, and says, 'Oh sh#t, you killed the f***er. Sh#t, man, this was going to be a clean job, remember?' They argue about what to do, then decide to take all of the music equipment and get out. It takes them several trips to do it because there's a lot of stuff.
While this happens, my sight fades away, and my hearing is the only sense left to me. Then, I have no sense of being attached to my body. I have an awareness of myself, but that sense does not refer to any thing, just itself.
I listen to their conversations while they take away the music equipment. On their last trip out the door, one of them drops something, but does not return to get it. Two car engines start, and they drive away.
A profound quiet settles over me. I can hear nothing and see nothing. I am nothing but an awareness. I feel no fear, no pain; no nothing.
Then, I do not know how to describe this. It is as if I were a glove, or a piece of clothing, that was being turned inside-out, or folding in on itself. It is uncomfortable. I fight it, but can only let go into it. I find myself in something that resembles a 'tunnel of clouds.' (I say 'myself,' but my sense of self is not very distinct from what is around me at this point). I am floating, moving toward the end of the tunnel. All around, there are flashes of light, like lightning in the clouds as I move through them. In front of me, I can now see and feel the presence of a 'being,' as I am moving toward it. I will call it the 'Light Being.' As I move toward the Being, it has the most amazing warmth and magnetism. I have a feeling of 'Yes, this is where I belong'. I am being drawn into this Light Being, as if I am to become a part of it. I feel completely relieved, I am finally at home, and I give in to it. Self-awareness fades as I move toward the Light Being, I can feel my motion toward it becoming slower, and eventually everything comes to a stop. I lose consciousness completely.
The next thing I knew, I was awake in my body, lying on the floor in a pool of blood. I was tied up as described earlier. My first feeling was one of deep disappointment at being here again, thinking to myself that I was going to have to deal with the situation I was in. I wanted go back to the warmth of the Light Being.
There is more to this story. I had to get untied (an ordeal in itself), assess the situation, call the police, deal with my family's lack of sympathy, etc. But that is my experience. As I was cutting the speaker cords, the church bells rang a few blocks away for the 7:30 a.m. service. From the start of my experience to getting untied, this lasted about 2-1/2 hours.
It changed my life forever and put me on a quest quite apart from 'normal life'. Almost daily I have a memory, a sense, and often a direct experience of this Light Being to whom I feel connected. Even today, often when I take a shower or bath, when I wet my head and start washing my hair, this Being appears as if it is there before me. It gives me great comfort and a 'psychic flush / cleanse' when it is present. It has a radiant yellow onion-shaped core surrounded by a textured violet-purple. Sometimes the colors are reversed, with violet core and the yellow on the outside. It also has appeared during lovemaking. And later I learned some exercises that will bring it back.
Date NDE Occurred: July 1971
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Criminal attack Other I was alone, no way to know
Robbers beating me to death
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes For a time, I saw my body on the floor, the room, the men beating me, and their guns.
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 Heightened awareness of self subjectively, all else was incidental.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Now that depends on how you define 'highest level', doesn't it? If 'sharpest self-awareness', then early on while floating OBE. If 'closest' to Oneness, then my highest consciousness was while merging with the Light Being.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
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? 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. Hard to remember that. While present, my vision seemed completely functional. I could look in any direction.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing was very MUCH heightened, and was the last sense to fade away.
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
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Unearthly 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? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Intense pain and suffering, followed by resignation and surrender. Once out of body, emotions were not front and center, the strongest was when I folded into the tunnel, it was very uncomfortable, I felt I was writhing.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
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? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Other or several faiths Deeply religious as a child, but a recovering christian at the time
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes As stated earlier, it is no longer outside but inside or 'of' my own sense of self. What I do is no longer about faith but to achieve certain states to experience.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths I am a practical mystic
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. At that age, beliefs are all over the map. What I experienced was way outside the religious beliefs I was taught.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I became much more pragmatic, practical, and directed in my mystical path. It was no longer something outside of me it was in me.
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
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? Yes Read the description
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes If the "Light Being" I was merging with is such a being, then yes.
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? Are possibly meaningful and significant
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 Yes Read the description
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
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? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes In the sense that Love is state of union with Oneness, which is a bit of an oxymoron...
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes It was and still is an alienating experience socially. At the time, it put me WAY out of synch with my peers. Even now, I have a mystical bend that I am unaware of in others.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Our language doesn't have words to refer to the deep subjective experiences in this event. Of course, it was a first-time experience, hence hard to express.
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 easiest experience for me to re-enter, at will, by far.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I often have premonitions, both direct and via dreams, and have a good sense of sizing-up the future in ordinary affairs. I feel I can see through others easily.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Of course, the ongoing experience of the Uni-Being is most significant to me.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes 11 or 12 years passed before I did. They didn't know what to make of it. It's a difficult thing to accept that someone else had an experience that perhaps you have not had access to, and that it might have implications of one sort or another.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain Not directly, but I was often beaten as a child and dissociated into an out-of-body state to avoid the pain.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Absolutely no question it was real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Lovemaking. Water on my head. Certain physical exercises I have learned. I can't get back to the tunnel, but I can get OBE easily.