I was playing in the water near the shore with my brother when I stepped into a big hole and went under. I struggled to get to the surface and began to panic as I ran out of air. I remember struggling to breathe, and then the panic left me and I felt as if I were breathing, yet I was still under water.
I saw my tiny form curled up in a fetal position receding away from me, down into the dark green water. I felt euphoria as I started toward the surface and toward the bright light, which shimmered just above the water. I struggled to reach the surface and the light, but before I could break the surface, I woke up on the beach and there were a bunch of people around pumping water out of me. That's all I remember.
Date NDE Occurred: Summer 1953
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 was a small child playing at the beach and I got into deep water over my head.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes 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 In normal every day consciousness, there is fear and pain and doubt. In a spiritual state separated from the body, there is no fear, pain, and doubt. There is only a sense of perfect peace and comfort.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? After I separated from my body and turned toward the light at the surface of the water I felt a great sense of euphoria and peace.
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 Moving toward the light at the surface seemed to take a long time, or happen in slow motion.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? My vision as a spirit was clear. My normal vision underwater would be clouded, eyes burning from salt water.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I don't remember any sound.
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
The experience included: 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 light was incredibly bright, but just above the surface of the water. I struggled toward it, like a moth to a flame, but before I broke the surface I woke up on the beach.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? First panic as I suffocated, then perfect peace and euphoria, and even a sense of breathing and taking in oxygen.
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
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes The surface of the water was a boundary that I did not cross. I wanted to go to the light, but I didn't make it.
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? Conservative/fundamentalist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have no interest in organized religion, yet I have an all-consuming interest in knowing the mind of God. I study quantum physics, and I paint and write. I long for death and for liberation from my flesh.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have no interest in organized religion, yet I have an all-consuming interest in knowing the mind of God. I study quantum physics, and I paint and write. I long for death and for liberation from my flesh.
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? No I wish, but I have a very angry, unhappy daughter who lives with me. When I try to talk to her about spiritual matters, she gets violent and angry. I believe she has a brain chemical imbalance, but she refuses to get help. I am tired of fighting with her. I want to live with God.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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? The feeling of suffocating was especially scary, but then the feeling of breathing was incredibly euphoric. It was amazing.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I've only shared this experience with a few people. I don't think people understand. Only someone who has had a similar experience might understand.
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. Since I was a small child and this was a traumatic event, I forgot it for a long time. Then it came back to me and I remembered it when I was older. I think I could process the event better at an older age.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. This event has been out of my mind for a long time, however, recently it came to mind and I can't think of anything else. I want to know what is on the other side. I want to break through the surface and come into the light. I am tired of walking the earth in darkness. I want to Go, and Know.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No The experience cannot be reproduced with any chemical or artificial substance.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? None, except that I remember it daily, and long for separation from the flesh. I want to find that peaceful, beatific state.