Although the NDE occurred when I was almost 5 years old I had no memory of it until the age of 18.
I was visiting a friend in hospital and became aware that something seemed not quite right in the hospital theatre surroundings. As I accompanied my friend to surgery, I glimpsed the surgeons preparing inside the operating theatre and wondered what was not right but couldn't put my finger on it. The next morning I woke with the clear realization that I knew what had been wrong, the surgeons were wearing the wrong color gowns, they wore white ones instead of green (as they had done 13 years earlier when I was hospitalized at age 5)!
Immediately my whole NDE came rushing back to me. Initially I remember floating somewhere up near the ceiling of 'my' operating theatre looking down at my own body. I was a small child swathed in sheets and with instrument trays around my body, with a group of nurses and surgeons gathered around my body, looking at it and working on it. I felt no fear, pain, or anything wrong with me. I knew I was in spirit form. I felt happy, light, excited and at peace. I desperately wanted to turn around to face upwards and outwards. I felt I did not know but whom I knew loved me unconditionally.
One or more presences informed me telepathically that I really needed to be patient and go back because it was not yet my time and I had a lot to achieve this lifetime. I did not really want to go back. I tried so hard to turn around because I felt I knew exactly what would happen to me if I left my body and moved on. I would float up into the brightness of the universe, into the infinite stars. The space between the atoms of my body would slowly and inexorably expand and I would remain aware and 'conscious' as I continued to expand infinitely to the very ends of the universe so that my mind and soul would literally be subsumed and I would become 'one' with the entire cosmos.
This knowledge seemed so wonderful that I really wanted for it happen, but although I do not remember hearing any actual words, I also realized that I did in fact have a lot that I needed to learn and much to do and to grow if I truly wanted to return to be part of the universe once again. I felt a great deal of warmth and white light shining from behind me and could see it at the edges of my vision. The loving presences were there gently shepherding me back to concentrate my attention on my physical body and eventually I acquiesced and remembered no more of the experience until I remembered it at age 18. I feel my knowledge of this experience has changed my approach to life drastically, because I have constantly felt the presence and power of Spirit in my life ever since then. Without this experience to guide me through my life, I know it would have been much harder for me to reach the understanding I have gained in the last 40+ years.
Date NDE Occurred: 1956
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Illness. Surgery-related. While under general anesthesia Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Acute peritonitis complicated by acute tonsillitis
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I saw, though did not hear, the surgeons and nurses working on my physical body. I know this was real since when I remembered it all at age 18 I asked my mother who was observing the surgery to tell me everything she could remember; and more importantly, I woke up again some hours later minus an appendix so I know they completed the operation!
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? Normal consciousness and alertness I felt as though my mind and awareness has expanded greatly, allowing me to perceive and more importantly to understand all things with much greater depth, serenity and wisdom.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Physically I was not at all conscious or alert, being under general anesthetic. Spiritually/emotionally/mentally I was highly conscious and alert throughout the whole experience, most especially as I understood and 'lived through' the events that would happen to me if I was allowed to turn around and leave my body behind.
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 no longer mattered or counted. All things just were; there was no time.
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. No real change in vision other than that I seemed to be able to notice things happening all around me without having to actually look at them.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. No obvious change
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No But I know that would be how my expanding awareness would perceive the beginning of its expansion.
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 was aware of the hospital staff working on my body below me and also of the presence of being(s) around me who loved me unconditionally, but I felt I did not know them in this life, but may have been close to them in past lives (perhaps).
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Only peripherally, but the feeling I had was that it was incredibly intense, white and bright.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt calm, peace, longing to return home to the universe, love.
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 united or one with the world
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No I did however feel that during the experience I gained an instinctive understanding of what was truly important in life and what was not.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
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 Initially I did not want to return but understood that the loving presences were trying to make me realize that I had work to do on my soul and I felt I agreed with them, although I sort of didn't want to, I did agree to return. I also remember that I as I agreed I was filled with a burning desire not to waste this life, but to work as hard as I could on my personal and spiritual growth. This desire has remained with me for my entire life.
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- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated Given my age at the time of the experience I could not consider myself to have reached sufficient understanding to be said to have been of any religion.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My whole outlook on life has become more positive, understanding and loving.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other faiths- New age My NDE made me aware that all religions are essentially one, so although I have now found my own path to the Divine, I do not see mine as better or essentially different from anyone else's chosen path.
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 As mentioned, being only 4 and a half years old, I do not consider that I had any developed beliefs at the time of my experience, thus I cannot say they were or were not consistent. Howeever, I was not aware at any stage of being surprised or concerned at anything which happened to me. It all felt perfectly normal.
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 I felt the presence of one or possibly more beings who communicated to me but I do not think it was verbally it was more telepathically.
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.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes I was completely aware that I had gone through a number of past lives (which i was made aware I had watsed a lot of) and that after this one there would be others. This was not told to me but it was part of the understanding passed to me by the loving pre
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I was completely aware that not only would I eventually literally become one with the universe, but also that all thinga are interconnected and that all is in fact one.
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? No
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? Yes Throughout the whole experience I was completely aware (I KNEW) that the life of the soul is eternal, whether it is in our times on earth or our times in Spirit. I was completely aware that I had gone through a number of past lives (which I was made aware I had wasted a lot of) and that after this one there would be others. This was not told to me but it was part of the understanding passed to me by the loving presences as to why I needed to return to my body.
I understood that love can be conditional or unconditional and understood what I needed to do to grow.
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 I was shown/advised that I needed to grow spiritually to become a more connected and loving person in this lifetime.
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 Throughout the whole experience I was completely aware (I KNEW) that the life of the soul is eternal, whether it be in our times on earth or our times in Spirit.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No No, Though I was aware that it wouldn;t all be easy.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Not compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Absolutely. Everything about my whole experience was founded on love - love is the answer to all things
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life I have spent my life seeking to do that which I was 'told' I needed to do in this lifetime. I have come to know the Spirit well and to seek closeness with Spirit on a daily basis. I feel I am making a reasonable job of gaining the understanding that I was sent back to seek.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I have learned to become more tolerant of weaknesses in others and in myself. I have learned the value of truth and love in every circumstance and I have learned to steer my life away from being surrounded by those who do not hold to the same values.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Only because human language does not contain words adequate to explain such non-normal concepts with sufficient nuance and depth.
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 about the ONLY thing I remember out of my first 12 years or so and I still remember it in great detail.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I'm unsure if I had any skills prior to my experience but since then I have learned to use my intuitive and spiritual or psychic skills (for example: runes, teaching, channeling) to help our world and the people I encounter.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? How the whole thing felt, I understood that love can be conditional or unconditional and understood what I needed to do to grow. Both of these things have led me to seek greater knowledge and understanding all my life. I still remember the entire experience with a wonderful mixture of nostalgia, love and thanks.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I did not share it until at least 30 years after it happened, I never felt driven to and nobody asked! People's reactions have varied from total disbelief to total acceptance and all shades in between. Some may have been influenced but I am not aware how. I feel the person I have become rather than my NDE has influenced more people.
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 I did not remember it days to weeks after it happened.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The changes I have made in this lifetime and the understanding I have gained are the most meaningful things in my life. The NDE was the beginning of a complete change or perspectives and of values throughout my entire life.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Since I learned to keep closely connected to Spirit (or God). I always have the same feelings of peace, love and understanding whenever I consciously connect with Spirit. This is most days of my life.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It has shown me not only how to live but also that death itself is the most wonderful thing. Sure, we all fear dying and hope it will be swift and painless, but after the dying, death is truly heaven!
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? No, I think you did pretty well. It was great not having to limit my answers to a few lines! I would me more than happy to share this and any other information you may wish for.