I came very close to drowning, and lost consciousness. After going under three times, I suddenly felt a great peace and stopped flailing. I remember feeling very relaxed and at peace, and I wasn't afraid anymore. I wasn't worried about drowning because the peace I felt was so overwhelming that it blocked out everything else in my mind.
Then I felt like I descended slowly into a great auditorium with a 180-degree screen divided into many smaller screens. Although I could not see anyone else because it was dark, I felt that I was not alone. I felt that there was someone else there looking after me. I was shown scenes from my life all at once - past, current, and future. It was very beautiful and marvelous, and I wanted to keep watching. But then it was time to move on.
I was no longer in the dark auditorium but in what seemed a long light-filled hallway. I was happy to see other people there, but I didn't recognize any of them. I remember the light was very bright, and it was hard to keep my eyes open. I don't remember if I heard any voices speaking or not, but somehow I knew it was time to return.
The next thing I remember was one of the girls at the picnic pulling me out of the lake and onto the rocks surrounding it. I was dazed, confused, and coughing up water. I knew what had just happened wasn't a dream, and that it had really happened, but I had no logical explanation for it. At that time, I was a Chemistry and Math major so all of the above went against all the logic and science that I had studied.
Date NDE Occurred: 'late April, 1967'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I came very close to drowning, and lost consciousness.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I lost awareness of my body
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I think that was during the time that I was being shown my life on the multiple screens.
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
Everything seemed to be moving slowly, as though time did not exist. Things happened as they were meant to happen.
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. I could see all the screens at once and take in everything. Everything was very clear even though I was not wearing glasses, and the colors were bright and intense.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was as though I could hear without using my ears.
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? Yes It seemed more like a hallway to me.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes They were standing in the hallway or just beyond. I did not know any of them. I don't remember if I heard any voices speaking or not, but somehow I knew it was time to return.
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 hallway was full of light, which got brighter and brighter towards the end of the hallway. I remember the light was very bright, and it was hard to keep my eyes open.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The auditorium was amazing, sort of like a planetarium I visited many, many years later. It was not something I could have imagined at the time.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt a great peace, which I have only experienced once or twice in deep meditation. At those times, I had an out-of-body experience as well.
I also felt safe, protected, looked after, and in no danger. I was not afraid of anything bad happening to me. I was happy to see other people there.
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
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I was shown scenes from my life all at once - past, current, and future. I don't remember the exact details of what I saw, but the entire experience changed my life after that. I made up mind to do all the things I had always dreamt of doing, to forget about religious beliefs, to do good and help others, to not have any regrets when my time to go came, and to be true to myself above all else.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future Only during my experience, but I didn't remember the details afterwards.
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? Moderate 'I was raised a Catholic and attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through university, but started questioning these beliefs from an early age. By the time of my experience, I attended church only because I was still living at home, but had many doubts about the Catholic faith. I was very interested in the Druids at this time and felt more in contact with God outdoors than anywhere else. Ironically, my NDE was in the great outdoors.'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I stopped going to church that summer, even though I still was living at home. I have not considered myself a Catholic since then, and I don't consider myself a Christian now. I am a deeply spiritual person but not a religious one.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'none, but I do believe in God or a superior force. I still feel more in contact with God in the great outdoors and developed an interest in the Shinto religion about 25 years ago. I do NOT attend services of any type but meditate on my own.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I stopped going to church that summer, even though I still was living at home. I have not considered myself a Catholic since then, and I don't consider myself a Christian now. I am a deeply spiritual person but not a religious one.
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? Uncertain Afterwards, I felt that if this was what dying meant, then I wasn't afraid to die. I still feel that way.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Well, I guess deciding to be my own woman and doing what I wanted to do instead of what my parents or society expected me to do was due to that experience. I felt that I didn't want to miss out on anything in this wonderful thing called life.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It is not hard to communicate now, but it was at the time since it was something completely different, unexpected, and almost unbelievable. It was years before I could tell anybody about it and not care whether they believed me or not.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Several times, I have been able to know everything about a house in which I have never been or seen before. It first happened in Florence about four years after my experience, but also in San Francisco, and in Edmonton, Alberta. Those are the ones I remember in great detail, but there have been others.
The other amazing thing is that I have seen rents in the fabric of the Universe. Once while I was waiting for a bus in Denver, I saw a great web of luminous golden light connecting every living thing in my field of sight - people, trees, dogs, bushes - everything was connected by this web of light, which got brighter and brighter. Again, I was unable to keep my eyes open and passed out.
Another time, I was in China - at the night market in Guilin - and my companion picked up a pair of old eyeglasses and put them on. When he did so, the scene shifted to an earlier time in history. Though he was a red-bearded German man, I saw him as a Chinese mandarin and the buildings surrounding us were different as well from an earlier age.
With a lover, I had an OBE while we were having sex for the first time, and I found myself in a beautiful camp by a river belonging to a tribe of Plains Indians - I could see buffalo hides and dog harnesses for pulling loads. Again, this event was from an earlier age.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The part where I was shown my life was the most meaningful, and what had the most effect in how I have lived my life since then. I made up my mind to not have any regrets about what I did or didn't do when my time to go came.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was about seven or eight years before I could tell anybody about it and not care whether they believed me or not.
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 knew what had just happened wasn't a dream, and that it had really happened, but I had no logical explanation for it. At that time, I was a Chemistry and Math major so it went against all the logic and science that I had studied.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Looking back over the past forty-three years and the many experiences I have had since then just adds more credence to my belief. I have traveled all over the world, lived in four different countries, been rich, been poor, but I have always been happy and known that a higher power looks after me and helps guide me.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No