I was out of my body but not seeing with my eyes. I knew something had happened during surgery that was life-threatening. It was somehow understood that as a spiritual being, I needed to be outside of the body as it might not have been usable anymore. While I do remember a bright light about the place I went, I do not remember a journey through a tunnel. I remember floating toward a light. I arrived at a place with both, gorgeous wildlife and beautiful buildings. I don't remember being met by family members or friends who had passed. I do remember a sense of familiarity with the beings who greeted me; One of whom was a dog, my childhood pet.
The way I experienced knowledge and information wasn't through human means. I experienced a sort of fused knowledge, where I had access to different aspects of knowledge if I focused in on whatever it was I wanted to know. In this way, I'd immediately know the answer to what concerned me. The best way to describe information is through a series of emotional impressions which I accepted as truth because there was no concept of untruth or lies there. Physically, I did not have form in the usual way. If I thought that I should have form, I would assume a human form. If I didn't think about it, I was a contained essence, but weightless and maybe even made of light.
Two beings guided me into one of the buildings for a life review process. I believe these buildings were constructed as blending with the natural environment. They were open like pavilions. If I thought about them, I think they assumed more form. If I didn't think about them, they assumed less form. What I do remember is a screen as if on a table. The screen was like a touch screen. I never had access to this technology at the time of my NDE, so I didn't know a thing like that existed. I reviewed my life like a movie except that I could pause it and zoom into to different important times during my life. I could examine these times from multiple perspectives, such as the people they affected. When I think of this review now, I imagine it must have taken up a very long time in earth-time had I done the same thing here. However, at this place, the concept of time didn't translate very well. Time was now and it only passed in a linear fashion because I organized the different events as happening in a certain order when I reflect on it. It's extremely hard to explain, but it was nothing like time on earth.
After the life review, I was taken before more beings which seemed to be wiser than the two who brought me to my life review. I communicated with them about my decisions during my life review and areas where I could improve. While it was a collaborative process, I had deep respect and reverence for these beings. I felt that they loved me completely and without any judgment. In psychology there's a term to describe this called 'unconditional positive regard.' I felt completely sure that they had this feeling for me. This surety felt like a warm glow of light around me. The conclusion of these conversations was that it wasn't so much a decision of doing the 'wrong' thing in situations, or making unwise choices, but that the times of greatest challenge for me were times in which I could have acted but chose inaction. It was concluded that when I returned to earth, I must choose action and use my experiences and feelings to guide these actions so that they be an act of love.
Before I went back to earth, there was an agreement of some sort that I could stay in a certain area of this place, but I could not go deeper into this city. For example, I couldn't find out more information about the future of my life, even though I knew I'd forget upon returning if I did. Instead, I stayed in an area of beautiful gardens. These gardens were greener than green is on earth and the colors were vivid and rich. While I was in this place, I was weightless. I could access all knowledge I could think of. I also felt no pain because I didn't have a body. No weight, no pain. It was like it was impossible to be clumsy. It was also impossible to be anything other than truly myself. I felt as if I was more myself there than here on earth.
I spent what would be in earth terms, a great deal of time in these gardens talking to the people there. One of the people there was an ascended master. At the time, I decided to call this master 'Jesus.' But when I look back, it was as if this person was a spokesperson for God who had special access to divine intent. We talked for what could have been hours or even days on earth. It was always light there, as if it was continuously in the afternoon. This wasn't bothersome to me though. I believe it was like that because I thought it should be like that. Unlike being around people on earth, I felt completely energized and refreshed from the social exchange. I'm an introvert on earth, so this was a very striking difference for me. I do not remember what we spoke about except that it involved special knowledge, which I don't have access to on earth.
What I got out of this experience before leaving was that I must choose action instead of inaction. I must behave in a way that would help bring more awareness and love to the world. The ascended master told me that I needed to go. While I was never asked specifically if I was going back or not, it was understood that I was going to go back.
I do not remember the journey back to my body, but I don't believe I went back to my body and then woke up. I think I went back to my body and then gradually came out of anesthesia sometime afterwards. The first thing I remember when I woke up was that I was back in a hospital room. My father was sitting next to me. He commented that I was very lucky to have survived the surgery because there were complications during surgery. I can't remember whether or not I talked to him about my experience, but I think I made some simple comment like, 'I had a dream' or 'I had a vision'.
Date NDE Occurred: 02/19/2001
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Life threatening event, but not clinical death. Surgery-related. While under general anesthesia. Life threatening complications while under surgery that may have been a clinical death. But I am not certain.
I had an ectopic pregnancy, or a pregnancy which nested in my fallopian tubes. I was eight weeks along and the pregnancy was near rupture at the point in which I went under surgery. It was an emergency procedure because if the pregnancy sack ruptured without medical intervention, I would not live. Ideally, under laproscopic surgery through my belly button, the pregnancy sack was to be removed without rupture. But under surgery, there was a rupture which complicated the procedure. For example, they had to 'vacuum' out the excess blood which my body wouldn't have been able to absorb. This also meant that they had to make additional incisions to accommodate the complication. I do not know if I truly died clinically, but a family member was informed of the procedure complications and I believe he was under the impression that I either clinically died or almost died clinically.
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 the surgeon and assistants talking about how there had been a rupture and that I was bleeding too much. It was very muddled. If I had been in my body and fully alert in the room, I would have heard more clearly. But it seemed to be fading out as I was going to the place I went and no longer had a lot of concern for my time on earth.
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. Everything was more vivid and profound. Communicating ideas had more meaning and these meanings were understood to be multifaceted. Beings were more of themselves than when they are in body, including myself. Colors especially seemed more vivid. It seemed more real than the reality of living.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was at my highest level of consciousness after my review when I was spending time in the garden. However, the entire experience was more conscious and alert than any experience I've had on earth.
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.
Time wasn't experienced at all the way it's experienced on earth. It was only linear if I wanted it to be linear. Otherwise, it was nonexistent or everything was 'now'. Very hard to describe this concept.
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. Colors were richer. I could zone in on certain areas and see clearer.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could hear more clearly, too, but there wasn't a lot of sound where I went. It wasn't because sound was louder, but more because sound was richer.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain. I might have passed through a tunnel, but I wasn't aware of it. I moved toward the light and then was there as if both events things happened at the same time.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I knew my deceased loved ones were there and I knew I had access to them if I wanted to. But, I chose not to focus on them. I wasn't as concerned with my earthy life during my visit there. I was more concerned with the knowledge and learning.
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 The 'horizon' of the place I was to go to and went was like a city of light. There was a horizon with bright other worldly light and this increased until it enveloped me and then I was at the city/land where I was and everything was more vivid.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm. It was like a spiritual city and nature-scape woven together. The buildings took on more form if I concentrated on them. Nature took on more form if I concentrated on it instead, so I'm not certain if this other world really was a construct of my thoughts or exists like that for everyone who is there.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Emotions there don't have negative aspects or a heaviness. While I felt saddened by certain choices and events during my life review, it wasn't a lamentation so much as an acceptance that the feeling is transitory and I could choose to focus on something else if I wanted to and not feel that sadness. At the time, sadness was appropriate, so that's what I felt. Other times, I felt joy and interest and peace. But these feelings are still hard to explain because on earth feelings are so much heavier and limiting as compared to the feelings I had during the experience.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt no longer in conflict with nature
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others. I had a much more deep and rich understanding of the things I focused on while there. I understood that the concept of 'me' was more myself than it was on earth. We were all beings from this place and not beings from earth. I could hone in on whatever knowledge I wanted, but I also knew that certain knowledge would be completely forgotten upon my return.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? I remembered many past events. I had a life review in which this was the focus. I also knew that there was complications in surgery and had an idea that I was bleeding too much which was confirmed afterwards by my surgeon and hospital staff.
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future. I knew I would have plenty of opportunities to make choices that would impact humanity, that it would be best to act instead of not act, and to act with love.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes. A place beyond the garden where there was more city and more people, maybe the population of this place. Complete access to all areas in this place was off limits. However, I did enter one building or pavilion where I had my life review and I believe the pure-light beings I encountered afterwards were also in some sort of enclosure.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a definite conscious decision to return to life. It was understood after my life review that I'd return to earth and that my being there was only a visit. This was met with ambiguity. I was thankful and relieved to be in this place and wanted to focus only on the place where I was. It wasn't until after I returned to my body that I realized that I'd have preferred to have stayed there. It seemed like returning to my body was a duty I owed to myself or the universe somehow.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Agnostic. I was raised a Methodist but had not attended church for at least six years.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
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 Neodruid; member of the Order of Ovates Bards and Druids (OBOD)
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. The content I experienced was other-worldly, so it existed outside of belief systems as we know them on Earth. This content was more a series of truths, which were accepted as fact. These truths are a bit muddied upon returning to Earth. But they translate mostly to 'it doesn't matter about religious affiliation so much as it matters that there is a sense of morality.' Religion can be one way to help guide a person into knowledge of a morality which will result in a more pleasant life review process and the determination that life was spent in learning and spreading love. However, this lifestyle could be practiced without religion.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I now believe in God and believe that a spiritual and religious life is worth while. I also become much more interested in other religions than the ones I had been exposed to. Finding a religion which spoke to me was much more important. I felt on a quest to find one so that I could find a guide which would help me apply the lessons I learned. Before I felt like I was wasting time at church. Now, I believe that even when I study religions that I don't fully understand or believe, there is a truth there which is like an echo of the place I visited.
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 beings who greeted me were without form but were entities of light. The beings who took me to my life review only took on human form if I thought about it. If I didn't think about it, they were beings of light. The beings I encountered after the review were beings of a different sort of light, almost even clearer and purer than the other beings I interacted with. The beings in the garden had more human forms, but I think that's because there were benches and foot paths and other things which required a body to really enjoy. This was the only time I was aware of having a form or body, though it was light and not heavy at all. The ascended master that I communicated with had a body if I thought about it but otherwise didn't have a body. If they did have bodies, they were wrapped in robes or some other sort of clothing that also seemed to be made of light.
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.)? Uncertain The ascended master could have been Jesus, but it could have been another person who had experience on earth and reach some form of spiritual ascension who I haven't heard of. I feel reluctant calling it Jesus, because it seemed as if names there were almost sacred and the being was itself and that only.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Uncertain I knew that when I returned to earth I'd return to my current body. I also knew that later on, when I returned to this place after death, I could still return to earth. But it would have to be in a different body.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Knowledge was infused or telepathic. It seemed that this knowledge was something that anyone could tap into and that all beings there drank from the same pool of knowledge.
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? Uncertain. I communicated with an ascended master who I believed was closer to God than the other beings there, so I must have had some knowledge at the time that God existed.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God probably exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes It is my purpose to take action through love.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes Loving action is a component of human existence. Also, lessons could be learned on Earth which could not be learned in the place I went to because Earth had pain and earthly challenges.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes. It was made clear to me that I was going to return to this place upon the conclusion of my life. I would go through another review process and I would stay there until I wanted to come back to earth in a different body. This was a matter-of-fact there, which was known in the same way that it's known on earth that one needs air to breathe. I didn't really think about it most of the time, but it's a background process which is ingrained into the body of all breathing animals and plant life on earth.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not 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 probably 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? Yes. Death is not the end and we have a choice to come back to earth after death in a different body if we want to.
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? Yes Love is an important aspect of action. Action taken in love is the highest form of action.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life. After my experience, I have been much more mindful of others. It's easier for me to put myself in other people's shoes. It's easier for me to act out of love and compassion. However, it's still something I put work in. I am not always mindful and I do not always follow this, but I follow it easier than I did before.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I am more mindful and compassionate in my relationships.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It's hard to explain time, method of communication, and sequences of events because they didn't follow the same rules as they are on earth.
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. The experience was so vivid that it left a deep impression on me. I don't remember a lot of the events that happened that year and certainly not with the details I remember of this event.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes. When I am involved in creative endeavor, I feel as if I'm accessing the same pool of knowledge I accessed during my experience. I sometimes feel as though I 'channel' when I'm composing music or writing stories. I also am much more sensitive to the truth and lies. It's hard for people to lie around me without my knowing. People in general seem much more transparent. I have more acceptance for the life cycle and better discernment as to people's character. It's easier to distinguish between wise and unwise choices.
Since returning, I dream the future occasionally which I haven't done previously. I have moments of telepathic insight around those who are close to me, like my brother and sister and, before he died, my father. The only world event since returning that I dreamed is the Boston Marathon Bombing which was remarkable because I actually told people about it before it happened. I also dreamed about Robbin William's death. The other dreams which were prophetic were only applicable to my personal life.
I seem to have an ability to handle death and the grieving process much better than my peers. When my dad died, I was sad and grieved, but it was a different sort of sadness than I had felt when other people died before my experience. I also sometimes feel that the essence of loved ones who have passed is around me more strongly at certain times.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? No; just that I had them is what is meaningful; no one particular event.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I think I said something to my dad when I awoke. He was a research scientist his entire life and he was open to it. I don't know if I have influenced anyone when I shared my experiences. I spoke to my siblings about it and to choice people throughout my life when I felt that it would apply; especially in times during grief for others. I haven't ever been shut off or faced with disbelief as a result of telling people, but then I use discernment when telling others and I have a feeling of whether or not they will be open to it or not. The only time I didn't have a clear feeling of this was when I immediately came out of anesthesia and I mentioned something about my experience to my dad.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had watched the movie flatliners and I also had many experiences with death previous to my experience. My best friend committed suicide when I was 14 and my brother died when I was 15. So I had thought about the afterlife and the possibility of it. I was neutral on the subject; not belief but not disbelief either. Also, I wasn't particularly interested in NDE. Immediately after my experience, I remember being a bit disappointed that I didn't experience the tunnel.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. It seems as if that experience was more real than reality is now when I'm alive on earth. It resounded with a truth that defies logic. It seems impossible that I could have imagined anything with such vividness.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. It still resounds just as truthfully as it did the day I experienced it and it's unquestionably true to me.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Any reproduction of the experience I have is like an echo of an echo, so it's extremely muted. But, when I'm creating something, it is like the infused knowledge I experienced. Sometimes I dream of the place and the colors in my dream are more vivid. Sometimes when I read other people's NDE, I feel nostalgic for the experience and I recognize that the description others provide, rings with the same unrefuted truth as my own experience did. However, some NDEs I read don't have a strong impression on me, too, so it's not with all the ones I read.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I think my experience made me much more sensitive to everything. My five senses or more sensitive and my emotional connection to the world is more sensitive.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Questions including self-knowledge might be insightful as well.