When I was seven, I snuck into a swimming pool in my apartment complex. The pool was closed, since it was before it opened that morning. I don't remember what I was doing before that though. I went into the shallow end, just wearing shorts that day, and started wading around. I was not supposed to be in the pool by myself as I couldn't swim, so I was watching and looking around for anyone who would get me into trouble like my mom or neighbors who knew her. I saw only one middle-aged Asian man out in front of his apartment.
I was wading and bouncing off the bottom of the pool when I carelessly bounced too close to the deep-end and was alarmed when my toes barely touched the floor. My next upward motion took me too far out into the deep-end and I could no longer touch bottom. I remember trying to scream and sucking in a ton of water that burned inside my lungs.
Then things get a little choppy. I remember being under water and then it seemed, instantly but gently, I was floating slowly upwards. I looked over my shoulder and turned around to see the pool from I would guess about 60 feet above it. I could see what I thought was me under the water in the deep-end. I should also mention that before I turned around, all I could see was a soft but brilliant, white shade of light. Then I was still looking down. Things were getting darker and I began to turn around again just to look around. Throughout all of this, I had feelings of being very content, confident, completely free, or something like that. It's hard to explain. I also felt a loving feeling, more like I loved everything rather than being in love. It all felt very normal, like no big deal. In some instant, as I was turning around, all I remember is waking up, lying on my back next to the pool.
I had scratches on my right side, as if I had been dragged on the concrete. There was a lot of water on the ground around me and wet footprints on the ground leading away from me, towards the gate around the pool, in the direction of the Asian man's apartment. I was afraid I was going to get into trouble, so I immediately jumped up and ran home.
I really think that Asian guy saw me drowning and jumped the fence, jumped in the pool and pulled me out. I think he saw I wasn't breathing and ran to call an ambulance and I woke up while he was gone. I'm sure he saved my life no doubt, but I never thanked him or talked to him at all. Actually I don't think I ever saw him again. That's about all I remember about it.
Date NDE Occurred: July of 1987
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning. Other: not breathing, no one around to tell me if I was actually "dead" or not.
I drowned in a swimming pool. Other than not breathing, no one was around to tell me if I was actually dead or not.
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 All I remember hearing was birds and water and a low tone humming sound that I believed was the pool pumps. I clearly left my body and existed outside it.
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 I would say it felt normal to me at the time but looking back it was like everything was a lot clearer, it took like a nanosecond for me to know what had happened to me and it didn't bother me one bit. It was like I was ready for anything or not caring anything. It is hard to describe.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was looking down at the pool for sure; everything else is kind of choppy.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
Time seemed to be slightly off but I had nothing to confirm this sensation.
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. My vision was dramatically improved. I can't see well without my glasses, wasn't wearing them, lost them in the pool that day but when I was looking down on the pool I could see I would say much better than when wearing my glasses.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing also increased. Now that you ask, I remember birds flying around I could hear them flapping their wings and I could also hear the water in the pool sloshing and the sound of the pool filter pumps or a low humming sound.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I did not feel alone although I saw or heard no one.
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 As I was floating upwards my whole vision was that of an all illuminating white light. Intensely bright but did not hurt my eyes as I felt like my eyes were open at this point.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? That is very hard to explain in words, I could only describe it as love. I know that sounds generic but I have told this story probably ten times in the past and could never fully articulate the feeling or emotion related to this but I can say with every confidence that I felt great, awesome even.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I did feel the absence of any mystery in my experience. I don't know where I would have went, but at the time I felt no need to even question such things or anything, meaning I felt like I knew everything I guess you could say that.
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? No
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 Non practicing
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Do not know Just have a general belief in a creator, but have no idea what they may be like.
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 i saw a light, that i think i probly knew was supposed to happen just from tv and common knowledge. didn't see any angels or demons or meet god or anything.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I was seven when it happened, so it’s hard to say for sure.
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.)? 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 I felt I was having a normal human experience, like everyone does this, also hard to explain as my experience didn't seem to last long.
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 although I felt very powerful myself, I didn't feel that I was the most powerful. perhaps god was the reason?
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? No
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? Uncertain I felt like earthly life had no more meaning or purpose to me then, best way to describe is like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon, my past life on earth was almost of no concern, however again my experience was very short. I still had self awareness like I knew who I was so maybe with more time those answers would have come.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes the fact that I was looking down at myself and was about to leave to go "somewhere". I had no doubt that I was still alive and was looking at the body I had left behind.
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? Unknown
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? 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? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain I'll try again, the emotion I was feeling at the time had that same heaviness in my chest that I would feel if I was falling in love for instance.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Only that I don't take life too seriously, not saying life doesn't matter quite the opposite actually it’s like I was left feeling that I should live this life as well as can be done but don't worry about it too much because after this one I’ll pass into another 'life' and live that one. I think they are really part of the same 'life'. The result has been living as best I can furthering my quality of life while still making sure I follow the golden rule. Only that I don't take life too seriously, not saying life doesn't matter quite the opposite actually it’s like I was left feeling that I should live this life as well as can be done but don't worry about it too much because after this one I’ll pass into another 'life' and live that one. I think they are really part of the same 'life'. The result has been living as best I can furthering my quality of life while still making sure I follow the golden rule.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Only if people I relate with care whether I believe in life after death or not.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Very hard to describe the feeling, it’s like I want to say I was all powerful and fearless without sounding arrogant. The visual part is easy to put into words it’s like I saw what I saw but the feeling: that was something else!
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 I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
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? Not really, I mean it felt great and it's a fond memory. I guess it keeps me in check sometimes.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Approximately 20 years until I shared for the first time, it always gets people thinking, even people who don't believe in life after death you can see the wheels turning because they know I'm telling them a true story.
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 At all times very sure it was real, as real as any other waking moment. Why? Just how I feel I guess, hard to say why. I do remember it better than any dream I've had, that's for sure.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Same as right after, never had a doubt that it happened.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I think your questions cover a lot of aspects including things I never thought about before: maybe just that I feel absolutely sure that we all have an immortal soul and animals, too. We are a lot more powerful than we think and that someone or something watches over us.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? No, I can't think of any, you guys had a lot more than I expected but it wasn't boring so I kept going.