I realised my breathing was getting very bad, as though a stone was pressing on my chest. My eyes were closed and I was just concentrating on breathing. I stopped listening to anything going on around me. The ambulance was too late. There came a moment when it was too painful to breathe any more. I knew that I was going to die. Everything was black in my head. I was waiting for the moment when I just stopped.
Instead, all my consciousness seemed to lift from my body and became centered in my head. I was without any pain, although still in my body. I remember thinking, 'Nature thinks of everything!' The end was going to be painless. Interestingly, I was entirely conscious during all of this, in the sense that my thinking mind/self was entirely clear throughout. There was no gap in consciousness.
Then I saw white sparks in my head, followed by red sparks. My mind began to flash in white-black-white-black color like an old TV set. It was at his point that I thought I would simply lose consciousness and die. And then I seemed to jump out of the top of my head. I scrambled upwards.
There was a black and velvety void. I remember thinking that if I was dead and had to endure an eternity of this, then it would be bearable, but rather empty. I looked back at my body and was repulsed by the dead thing. It was also a relief to be out of it and rid of my body. I saw what a burden it had been all my life.
Looking about, I perceived a small spot of unearthly light in the distance, so I moved towards it. The light grew larger and I moved towards it. Whilst I felt safe, I was also troubled. I began to worry about the need to pray to a divine being. It concerned me that the truth might not be Buddhist or Christian, but something else. I thought I should pray to God to keep me safe, and worried over getting the correct name for God. Which religious tradition? All this seems quite funny to me now.
In all this experience, nothing came to me with a name or a placard around its neck. I also had a strong feeling that I had died and done all this before. The experience was very familiar. I remember thinking, 'What? Dead again and nothing done (with my life)!' I also had a keen sense that I had killed myself. In my earthly reality, I had not killed myself because I had died from a severe asthma attack. I saw that my life and all the things that happened in it, had been caused by me. Even a random asthma attack from having asthma and poor health from birth, that seemed like chance was in fact, self-caused. I saw that my life had reached a dead-end in some ways. I had lost a sense of what it was for.
I was in my first term at Oxford at the time, so in many ways there was no reason to see things in this way! But I was unhappy. And so the end had arrived in this form. And I had done it.
The light became quite enormous now and was clearly some sort of Being. It was delighting in my return and seemed to know me well. I would l say there was much laughter. The Being was a presence of overwhelming and quite astonishing love, joy, intelligence, and power. I seemed to be taken within it and experienced this amazingingly joyous existence and Being as myself. I felt what it felt like to be this great conscious, intelligent light. Perhaps that experience was a gift?
Other things happened after that. I seemed to become my smaller myself again. I was determined to reach a point where subjective and objective distinctions dissolve, or rather, a point where the judgmental relationship between me and 'other' might disappear. I find this difficult to explain. But I wonder if I had had some sort of previous life as a Buddhist? They are rather strict about not being 'taken in' by post-death visions. Since I had never done any meditation, I seemed to know a great deal about concentrating the mind, which I found strange.
I was shown, in this post-death state, how a still mind produces a calm line, and how a disorganised, un-concentrated mind produces a line like the a mountain-range. I remember thinking, 'Ah, this is how mountains are made.' I was also shown the earth from a great distance. The earth was wrapped by a great Being who radiated pink light around itself and the earth. It was a Being of pure love. I wondered if this Being who was wrapping the earth was Jesus. A point of the pink light seemed to throb at the mention of the name. I had the sense that Jesus was very dear to this Being.
At this point, I realised that I had really died. I was suddenly horrified at the thought of the suffering it would cause my mother. I begged and prayed to be returned, to go back. Which I then immediately did. I was falling through what seemed to me to be an air or atmosphere of fog and mud and flames, intensifying as I reached my body. It was a relief to come round as I was being carried into the ambulance. I suspect now that it all took about five to ten minutes.
Date NDE Occurred: Dec 1985
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Allergic Reaction. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function)
Asthma attack. Breathing became very bad very quickly. It was near Christmas. Ambulance was called. It happened whilst waiting for the ambulance, as I was propped at the kitchen table. My dad subsequently said I fainted.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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. The body is a great deadening weight. One can think and feel more clearly without it.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? There was no change throughout, but my consciousness became more alive and brighter after leaving my body.
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.
There was no sense of time, as such. A life is a small thing when viewed from the perspective of the greater whole.
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. it is entirely different. I'm afraid it is more real. This world seems less real by comparison and is less solid.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It is the same.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere, as if by ESP? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes A point of light that grew larger.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes The light was a Being. I did not see any relatives.
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 Beautiful. It was like going into the sun, but only to a light that is super-intelligent and all love.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm. There was a clear realm of light beyond. I did not see anything resembling earthly landscapes, and so on. The experience was more about being felt and a mental experience.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt great joy and love and peace. Curiosity too.
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 myself or others There was much more clarity about the meaning of things.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No I saw my life as a whole. There was not much to report, only that I had not done much with it.
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a definite conscious decision to return to life. My mother's potential grief at my death. Everyone else would have coped, but I sensed that my mother would have been destroyed by it.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Do not know. I thought there was more to life than the usual scientific version.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I follow and have been part of the work of the Share International Group based in London, led by Benjamin Creme.
What is your religion now? Other faiths- New age. Probably more Theosophy, through Bejamin Creme, Alice Bailey and Blavatsky.
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 It was all new. Yet not in conflict.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Ambition/competition is destructive. Do something good with life that is not against others or in competition with them.
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 encountered the light itself. And then, after this, some kind of vague guide perhaps? Nothing as distinct as a person.
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.)? Uncertain. As I wrote above, there was nothing by name. But there was a response to my question as to whether a Being who appeared to wrap the globe was Jesus. I had the sense that Jesus was certainly a great individual in his own right and beloved by this Being, but was not the Being specifically who 'held' the earth. This is hard to explain.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes One of the first thoughts I had was that I had 'died' before and that this was a familiar experience. 'Dead again?' I thought. It is interesting that I thought 'again'.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I certainly had an experience of unity or oneness.
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes It is important to be compassionate. This is the most important and only thing.
During your experience, did you gain information about an afterlife? An afterlife definitely exists. The whole experience was unbroken from the time I was struggling to breathe, to suffocating, to leaving my body, throughout the experience and then upon return. Although it seems that I passed out, in reality I was at all times fully conscious. During the experience, I was astonished that nobody had told me that when you die you see a great light and that you continue in full consciousness.
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes When I asked the light what the most important thing to do in life was, I was told to make known the presence of the Christ. I sense that this bit of information might have just been for me. I have been involved with Benjamin Creme's group (Share International) about making known the Reappearance of the Christ, since my mid-twenties.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes There is nothing but love, in reality. It is the magnet that holds all things together.
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life. I became depressed. I saw my personality was too narrow. It was too restricted to contain or communicate the great things in the light.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I'm much older now. I suppose one changes in relation to the experience.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Nobody told me that when I died that I would see a great, living light. No 'authorities' or people I trusted.
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's still tremendously clear and vivid.
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 whole experience.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Just verbally. People are a little uncertain about it, but polite.
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. It has always seemed to me wholly real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. It is still wholly vivid. There is also a light in life too, not just after death. This can be seen and experienced too.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Just fine!
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