I have two memories growing up that I've never been able to understand or put together until now. The first is, I was about 30 feet above the ground. I was watching my sister frantically run through our backyard toward the house. The second memory is of being in a tent in my backyard. I made the tent from a blanket that was blue and white checkered. The tent allowed light in. Next, I spotted a snake curled up on the ground in the tent. It was not a type of snake you see in the mid-west USA. It was a multicolored, exotic-looking snake. Weirdly, in shock my vision quickly zoomed in like a camera, almost like in a horror movie, shuttered and then quickly zoomed out. I also vividly remember it being very bright in the tent. I remember the details so well, especially for a 4 or 5 year old. I started reading about near death experiences and told my mom about watching my sister from above. She reminded me of an incident at a neighbor's pool where I was taking swimming lessons when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. I didn't have a very good memory, but it started coming back to me what happened. My sister was older than I was, and she would take me over to the neighbors for swimming lessons. This particular time, she went over there before her lesson was supposed to start and no one else was there. Somehow, I ended up in the deep- end, not knowing how to swim and struggling for I don't know how long. That is when I think the experience started. While I was struggling and drowning in the pool, my sister didn't know what to do. So, she ran toward our house. My mom said she was really excited and said I had an accident. Mom said that when I eventually came home, I very excitedly told her a bunch of gibberish. She thinks I said something about being over my body. In retrospect, I believe I did have an out of body experience when I was close to drowning in that pool. Also, I think the snake memory I had was also part of the experience. The reason I think so, is that it was as vivid as the vision of being above my sister watching her run toward the house. I think the function of the snake in my experience was to scare me out of what was probably a fun time, and bring the mind/spirit back to the attention of surviving the experience. As far as a timeline of the experience, I believe that as I was struggling for air, my thoughts turned to my sister for help. The thought instantly transported me to the vision of her running toward the house. After she was gone, I turned my attention to playing in the blanket tent since my sister didn't let me play in it. This, in turn, brought about the snake scare that brought me back to my body. I was lying on the concrete next to the pool. I don't remember anyone saving me, but apparently they did. The last thing I will mention, is the fact that growing up I've had the following characteristics about myself: 1. very sensitive person, 2. thoughtful, 3. introspective, 4. very wise, and insightful on religious things way beyond my years/capabilities, 5. very concerned about how I even conduct the thoughts in my head because I know somehow they extend beyond just in my head, and 6. a keen intuition about people and events. I don't know if that is because of the experience or I am just that way naturally. Lastly, there are images/sounds that resonate deeply with me. Even as a child, I would see/hear a picture, dream, or thought and think to myself that, 'I know this place, it's very important to me, but I don't know why.' The first image is that of a futuristic looking city bathed in this beautiful golden light, with a temple where a bunch of people are flocking to it. This image has some sound/music associated with it, which I think is why I grew up having a deep affinity for music, especially of the instrumental/Avant Gard sort (think Ravi Shankar, Boards of Canada). The other image is of a long room or hall with a long window on one side overlooking a body of water with the same golden light as I saw around the city. It's like I had been there, but I don't know of any place like that I might have been.
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
I didn't know how to swim and was in the deep end of a swimming pool. No one was around to help. Eventually an adult came and saved me before things got really bad.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I saw my sister running toward our house. Later, verified by both my mom and sister.
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 Very vivid details, but my mind had a hard time putting it together. I think because it was so short of an experience and so fantastic. I was above the ground, and also saw an exotic looking snake.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? In the backyard tent and overlooking my sister running toward the house.
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 have trouble reconciling the time of the vision and the time that I could have possibly been struggling. It couldn't have been that long.
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. I didn't remember possibly drowning until I was reminded of it, but I absolutely remember these two experiences. I think that's why it was so hard to put two and two together.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't remember much about that part.
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? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Not really sure, it was so quick and I was so young.
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? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
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- Protestant Pretty young, so probably didn't have religious concepts formed in my mind
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths I am forming my own concept of God, think about it everyday, but don't believe 100% of any religion. Probably closest aligned with Christianity.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I'm not sure what my beliefs, if any, were before the age 4.
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 A snake that clearly wasn't from Missouri. It looked like something from the Amazon or Middle-East or something. It had bands of color like a coral or milk snake. The bands were red, white, yellow, and blue.
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? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
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? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
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? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
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? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown Unknown
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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 th I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of th
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I have very acute intuition and insight, but not sure if it was because of the experience.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Immediately after, although I don't remember telling my mom, she did say I was talking gibberish.
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
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
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? Too many questions
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