This experience happened to me almost thirty-five years ago. Some of the details are lost to me. Part of the reason for this is time. Another reason is that some information was apparently deliberately removed from my memory.
It was 1972 and I was seventeen years old and had mixed some drugs I shouldn't have. I was with some acquaintances and I lost consciousness for a period of time. I don't know how long the time actually was. Whether I 'died' momentarily or not, I've never known. I'm sure that at the time I came to I didn't believe I had stopped living.
I became aware of an extremely loud buzzing or droning noise and realized I was moving at a fast rate down some dark, long corrider or tunnel. I had an overwhelming thought in my mind: "I will learn the secret meaning of life". I somehow emerged into a brightly lit, extremely colorful garden. There was beautiful music playing. The flowers and plants were huge but not threatening. In fact, the feeling was one of perfect peace and contentment. I was simply amazed.
I was approached by what I would now call spiritual beings. But at that time, I was just aware I was in the presence of some sort of gentle and all-knowing guides who I trusted. I was not aware that I had a body and I'm not sure (can't recall) if the guides had bodies. I remember they were either made of, or surrounded by, light of a very bright type. I was aware that when I thought or felt something, that meaning was instantly absorbed by them. They communicated to me in the same way. This communication was multi-faceted: it was understood intellectually, spiritually and emotionally and in a complete way. A way that simply isn't possible in earthly life. I guess I could liken it to the difference between the one dimensional and three dimensional...or even one hundred dimensional. I was taken to a place where I could observe the world, literally...as in watching a globe spinning in space. Then a tablet or something similar appeared before me and in seconds I watched the entire history of the planet. I saw civilizations rise and fall, armies clash and birth, death, and destruction over eons. I learned that every thought, vibration and feeling resounded throughout creation and had results, even though we couldn't begin to fathom them.
At some point, I communicated that I was interested in knowing if there was life in other areas of the universe. I was transported through millions of light years of space in moments and shown many planets and places where complex and more simple life existed. Whole cultures and societies that flourished unknown to us. I was allowed to view these beings living their daily lives. I seemingly went from place-to-place with my guides simply by willing myself. It was as if I could sense I had a presence but didn't perceive that I was a body. Time itself didn't exist. It was as if a year could be perceived in a millionth of a second yet still, somehow, fully experienced. In fact, knowledge of millions of pieces of information were absorbed by me effortlessly.
At some point, I returned to the area I had first come to and I understood I was about to meet a being of the highest order. I saw a light in the distance that grew brighter and brighter as I drew closer to it. I understood I was in the presence of an all-knowing spirit. Whether this was actually God or not, I can't say with certainty. I thought of him/it as God though. This being communicated complete acceptance and love in a way I had never before (and have never since) felt. I understood for the first time that everything was as it should be. I had been a deprived and confused kid for many years and I had a lot of anger before this experience. I asked (thought), "But what is the secret meaning of life?" The answer was given as love. Nothing more and nothing less. I can still recall the sheer joy of understanding this simple and complete idea. I understood it at that time in a way I've never come close to understanding and feeling it since then. I felt as if my entire being was expanding and emitting the joy I felt. The great spirit seemed to take joy in my experience.
I communicated that I wanted to stay and could never return to the horrible life on Earth. I was told that I had a great mission to fulfill and that if I didn't return, nobody else could fulfill it. Whether I was shown what this was or not, I can't recall. What I do recall, and what I can never forget, is what happened next. I made the decision to return. Angelic beings rose all around me and began to sign a song I couldn't recognize. It sounded spontaneous and improvised and the closest sound I can imagine would be hundreds of the world's best choirs singing perfectly together at the same time. It was the most beautiful and majestic sound I had ever heard. They were praising and honoring me. ME! A teenager from the projects who had dropped out high school. A kid abandoned by his father and drifting aimlessly. These great beings were paying tribute to me. I was virtually lifted up and displayed to these wonderful beings as a hero. I'm still in awe of this when I think about it today.
The next thing I knew, the dreary black-and-white world had come back. I remember how depressed I was. I felt like I wanted to kill myself. Not in despair, but in order to return to that great place. But I understood this wasn't an option I should take. I told my then-girlfriend (now wife of 34 years) of the experience and she understood just how real this all was. When I told other people (with the exception of my two daughters who I talked to when I felt they were old enough to hear my story), they thought I had suffered a delusional episode or a dream of some sort. Then, in 1975, I was watching television when I saw Dr. Moody discussing a new book, Life After Life. I ran out and bought the book. I can't tell you how relieved I felt to realize others had experienced similar events. Of course, now with the internet and mass recognition (if not acceptance) of near-death experiences, anybody can at least know of experiences similar to mine.
What was my great mission? I don't have a clue. I'd like to say that I grew up and went on to cure cancer or brought about world peace. The truth is, I'm just an average guy. I know that after the experience, I got married, joined the military, had kids, became a cop. My daughters had children and know I'm a grandfather. The experience I had all those years ago continues to grow and dominate my life. It has become more important to me throughout the ensuing years. I now understand that a basic human act of kindness amounts to so much more than being president of the United States or a brilliant scientist. I think my earthly job is only a platform to my real job. To accept and spread love. And by love, I mean real love, not some word bandied about in a careless fashion by so many of us. I mean taking the time to care and to show it each and every day. I know I have a long way to go but I no longer fear death. Maybe the greatest missions in life aren't the one's we typically think of?
I've been reading the experiences on this site for a number of years and I've always meant to post my experience here. I have a young relative who is going to die soon of cancer (leaving behind two beautiful children) and it has inspired me to finally record what happened to me all those years ago. I know that when he leaves us, he'll be fine. It's what we'll do in this world after he's gone that will be important. We'll meet again soon enough in a land where sorrow doesn't exist and there can be no loss. It really is a land of love and love is all we need.
Date NDE Occurred: February 1972
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain drug related Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening . I had mixed some drugs and to this day I'm not sure what physically occurred to me.
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 Communication was instant and awareness was all-encompassing.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When the beings praised my decision to return to the world.
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 Extremely altered sense of space and time. Saw much and went many miles in virtually no time at all.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? I could see farther and more clearly and in different dimensions/angles than in this life.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Probably could hear more because the music was so amazing and clear.
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 tunnel or corrider of some sort
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 Beings of light who I seemed to know, but can't be sure I did.
The experience included: Void
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 greatest light was from the spirit who I perceived to be god-like and all knowing.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Gardens, planets and a heavenly realm.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Awe, amazement, comfort, love, calmness, excitement.
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
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 can't remember if my own life was reviewed. I remember seeing the history of the world, from creation onward.
The experience included: Vision of the future
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? No
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? Liberal
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I was unsure if there was a God. I know better now.
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I was unsure if there was a God. I know better now.
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? Yes I was told I had an important function to fulfill on Earth. I don't know what it was.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes, I am becoming a more compassionate and understanding person because of this experience.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The inability to place into words that which cannot be verbalized but only communicated in a pure one-to-one (or more) telepathic manner.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I sometimes can sense things are going to happen. At least, that's how I sometimes perceive it.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The meeting with God or the great being who gave me complete acceptance and compassion.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes One day. My girlfriend (future wife) understood. Others looked at me like I had two heads so I quit telling the story for a long time.
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 happened. I don't need to prove this or argue with anyone. I was there and it was, in many ways, the most real thing that's ever happened to me.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. If it wasn't real, then neither is the life I'm living. It wasn't a 'dream-state' or something like that.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I'm thankful to God for the gift.