I was only five and could not swim. I got out too deep to stand up and struggled to swim or get back to standing depth. Eventually I could no longer move a hand or foot and could only surrender to the water. I recall my eyes open, how beautiful the particles in the lake were and how peaceful I felt knowing I was not capable of moving an inch or doing anything else but surrender. I slowly breathed in the water and immediately lost consciousness. A beautiful woman dressed in bright white light pulled me out and, looking into my eyes, asked me what I wanted. I was completely satisfied and could think of nothing until it occurred to me to take a trip around the lake.
I did and saw detail I would ever have seen in 'real' life. I could go anywhere, even to the tops of trees, by simply intending to do so. I went out to the dock where the big kids dived off and was surprised to find it empty. All the kids and adults were on the side of the lake congregating around something or someone on the ground. I wasn't interested and wanted to continue exploring when I suddenly knew I had to go, right now! It was as if someone was calling me but could not be ignored and it was not a voice per se. The next thing I knew I saw this woman's back (bathing cap, hair sticking out, bathing suit straps, large mole on back) with her mouth on a girl on the sand. The next thing I knew, I was suddenly in my body and it was incredibly heavy and ached. After lots of coaxing, I opened my eyes and everything swirled around me. People were talking loudly and it was all very confusing and too much. I passed out and woke up several days later.
Date NDE Occurred: 1960
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Drowned in a lake.
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 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 After I passed out and before I awoke.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? After I passed out and before I awoke.
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
I was in no hurry and not aware of time. I felt as if I was in the now, with no thought for the past or the future.
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 was legally blind and for the first time saw leaves on trees, bird's feathers, bird's eyes, details on telephone poles and in people's backyards that were far more acute than 20/20 vision.
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? Yes A loving woman with kind, compassionate eyes, looked deep into my eyes and asked me what I wanted. I couldn't imagine what to answer because I was completely fulfilled and wanted nothing. Eventually I told her I wanted to look around the lake, like a boat ride. I went up, down, around, anywhere with just the intention to do so.
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? Uncertain Not a separate light but a beautiful and kind woman who was herself a white light or dressed in white light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Everything was incredibly beautiful and vivid, although it was all natural and present there.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? By far, the most indescribably beautiful experience of my life - total peace, contentedness, love, fullness, rightness, oneness.
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
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 Too young for this answer.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain I have a huge respect for our intentions as I found that I could go anywhere and do anything by simply making that my intention. I see a need for pure intentions and they will eventually lead to right actions. Conversely, impure and selfish intentions are just as real as the actions that flow out of them in the spiritual world.
What is your religion now? Moderate Religious but not one of these categories although it made me pick one.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I have a huge respect for our intentions as I found that I could go anywhere and do anything by simply making that my intention. I see a need for pure intentions and they will eventually lead to right actions. Conversely, impure and selfish intentions are just as real as the actions that flow out of them in the spiritual world.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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 Not specific knowledge, but a strong sense of everything belonging and a oneness that is just under the surface of things and their true nature. This has stuck with me ever since and is a deep, religious conviction of reality that came from experience and not any ideas or training I might have had at age five.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I do not live it well, but I really do believe at a deep level that we are all united and our separateness is only an illusion of our consciousness that is tied to our bodies.
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? When I passed out under the water, my eyes were open and I sensed that my consciousness became one with the water and it became my body. It was such a great experience that I have no fear of death.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it for the first time around four or five years ago, roughly fifty years after it happened. I only shared it a few times. One person said that was a normal and ordinary NDE and two people said it was just a dream. To me it was neither but a highly personal experience that was the most real of my life.
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 When I awoke three days later, I was certain I had died and was a ghost. I eventually dragged my weakened body out of bed but it took me hours to get to the point where I was willing to try to see or speak to someone. 'Reality' seemed so unreal and boring compared to what I had just experienced and I was disappointed to be back.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It is fundamental and more real than any other I have had.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No