"BACKWARDS: Returning to Our Source for Answers by Nanci Danison, JD You can read an abbreviated version of her NDE on NDERF Nanci D NDE. 'BACKWARDS relates the author's personal encounter with the being/entity we call God, even to the point of merging into its energy field. That degree of intimacy revealed that we are not separate individuals at all - our experience as such is an illusion and wonderful gift - but rather we are literally part of God's own self-awareness. That truth removes all doubt about the outcome of life and how it should be lived.'
My near-death experience was unlike any I have ever read about. It was far more intellectual: filled with 'knowings', understandings about the 'truths' of the universe, and insights. And I delved deeper into life after death than I had thought possible in an NDE, ultimately evolving through higher levels of existence beyond anything I had ever dreamed possible.
My body's death on March 14, 1994, was occasioned by some type of reaction to a needle-localization procedure designed to show my surgeon where to cut to remove three potentially cancerous lesions in my breast. The procedure had taken much longer than expected, and had to be repeated in order to get the wire marker deep enough into the breast tissue. It was painful, and emotionally traumatic for my body. I was alone when I died, because the radiologist and radiology technician both left me to perform other tasks, including getting their eighth set of mammography films developed.
The early stages of the NDE were fairly standard: I left my body, went into the Light, experienced overwhelming unconditional love, peace, joy, and acceptance, met Beings of Light, and had a life review. What was dramatically different about my NDE was what I learned during these stages, as well as what happened to me during and after the life review.
When I first entered the Light, I saw nothing but Light, heard nothing, and smelled nothing. I was alone with my own thoughts. Those thoughts, however, were dramatic revelations. Chief among them was the realization that I am not a human being; that what I had been calling my soul is in fact who I really am. And who I really am - is not human, but rather a separately existing spiritual being who only inhabited a human animal's body. Moreover, the human animal I had inhabited has her own life, thoughts, emotions, and personality, and is perfectly capable of living out the rest of her lifetime without me inside.
Many more 'knowings' invaded my mind while I was in the Light, filling me instantly not only with knowledge in the academic sense, but also with the deep understanding that only personal experience can give. I 'experienced' these truths as deeply as though I had lived them. One of the topics deposited into my mind was about how time does not exist in the universe at large, but only for beings that mark time, like humans do, by measuring intervals of experience.
At one point, I observed my body, still sitting in the chair in the radiology department mammography suite, at a distance below and behind me. I saw it out of the back of where a head would be on a human body (like having eyes in the back of my head). Seeing it, and feeling no attachment whatsoever to it, made me question for the first time whether I had died. To myself I said: 'Nah, I can't be dead. I didn't go through a tunnel into the Light, and I'm definitely in the Light.' Immediately I was surrounded by an earthen works tunnel in vivid, vibrant color and detail, with the proverbial light at the end. Though the tunnel was just as real as anything I have experienced on Earth, I knew that I was not in a tunnel. So I wasn't fooled by its appearance. Upon realizing that I wasn't 'fooled,' a flood of 'knowings' about manifesting reality inundated my mind. I realized that we all constantly manifest what we call physical reality just by virtue of our thoughts, and that the only reason we are fooled into believing it is real is because of the limitations of human senses. You can imagine how flabbergasted I was by this information, and why I was not inclined to believe it. So I experimented with consciously manifesting some more to test its truth. I proved to myself that we do indeed have the ability to manifest what humans perceive to be physical reality by focusing our attention and intention on doing so.
After I realized I was dead, I looked outward again for the Light, for at this point I was back to the belief that we must go into the Light to enter the afterlife. I had forgotten that I was already in the Light because the strength of my belief system overpowered my sense of where I was. I then saw five Lights of different hues in the distance. I thought to myself: 'Oh this figures, I'm supposed to go into the Light and I get five of them and have to choose the right one.' A voice not my own entered my mind with the words: 'Just pick one and follow it.' I instantly understood that they all led to the same destination - the Source of our universe. As I looked again at the Lights, five Beings of Light appeared to have come forward from within them. I recognized these Light Beings as my most cherished and beloved friends and soul mates, and knew for certain that I too am a Being of Light, and that I was HOME. These friends communicated with me by mental telepathy, and primarily in emotions. Their emotions could be interpreted into English as: 'Welcome home.' 'We ran ahead of the 'rest of us' because we couldn't wait to see you.' 'Tell us everything [about human life].' And, of course, they communicated intense unconditional love, joy at seeing me, and acceptance of and curiosity about my adventure into human life. My sense was that they were extremely anxious to observe my life as Nanci. In response, I replayed every single second of Nanci's life events and sensory input all at once for them, not for myself. These Light Beings actually entered into my life events, as me or others around me, and lived those events as though they were actually me doing it. I thought it odd at the time, but later learned how normal this is at higher evolutionary stages.
While my friends enjoyed my life review, memories of my eternal life filled my mind. They included hundreds of physical lifetimes, in humans and other species, as well as thousands of what we would call years spent living in what I was calling 'Light Being society,' and what might also be called 'life between lives.' I was astounded that I could possibly have forgotten all of it. 'Knowing' informed me that when a Light Being like me enters into a human as its soul, only part of its total Energy does so. The rest of the Being's Energy stays in the Light and continues to evolve as it observes the soul part's experiences. The reintegration of my memories as an eternal being with those of my just passed human life completed my transformation back into my natural state as a Being of Light.
Soon, I realized that I had access to all of the knowledge of the universe (what I call Universal Knowledge) just by focusing my attention and intention on what I wanted to know. My thought processing was accelerated so greatly that I was able to absorb phenomenal amounts of information instantly. I wanted to know the answers to all my most pressing spiritual questions. So I searched Universal Knowledge for the answers to: what is Source/God? What am I? How was the universe created? Why? What is the purpose of life? Of life as a human? What does source expect of me while in human form? Where is heaven? Hell? What is the correct religion? The answers fill my first book, Backwards: Returning to Our Source for Answers. Upon receiving 'knowing' on all these topics I was very upset that no one had told me before how simple life and death are. I wanted to know why religion had failed me in this regard. In response, a 'documentary' of the development of religion among humans over the course of three Earth epochs, the third of which constitutes mankind's future, played out in my mind. My manuscript entitled Backwards Beliefs sets forth what I remember of this documentary.
After receiving my fill from Universal Knowledge, I realized that I could enter into my Light Being friends and live their eternal lives as they had just done my life as Nanci. So I merged my Energy into theirs as we formed a collective being of six. I could at one and the same time experience myself as the personality I had always known as 'myself,' as well as experiencing one of my friend's lives as though I were my friend. Or I could experience what it was like to be a collective being. I understood at the time that living in this manner was an evolutionary stage beyond that of Light Beings, whose lives we would perceive to be as discrete, individual beings with spiritual bodies. At this stage of awareness there was no 'beingness' - only a mental or conscious existence.
Ultimately, my soul mates and I decided as a collective being to rejoin 'the rest of us.' I understood this English term to mean the Source of creation, the entity humans call 'God.' For the first time during the NDE I experienced movement similar to how we feel it as humans. Up until this point, everything seemed to transpire within my own mind. But now our merged entity of six seemed to move forward deeper and deeper into the Light to rejoin Source's core. As we neared it, I understood more and more about the universe and our place within it, as well as my own nature as part of Source. It became excruciatingly clear to me that the whole of our universe transpires exclusively within the mind of Source. There is only one being in our universe - Source. All things that we perceive as physical reality are really thoughts manifested by Source within its own Energy field. And, most importantly, none of it ever leaves the Source. So, I intimately experienced the 'knowing' that I am literally part of Source's thoughts, and the illusion that I am separate from it is a gift from Source to itself in order that Source might fully explore its own personality and creativity.
Sometime during this process, I decided that I 'could do it better.' I could live Nanci's life better and give back to the experience more than I had before I died. And, I passionately wanted to share with my fellow Light Beings in soul form the truth of who we really are, and the simplicity of life as part of Source. These emotions apparently impelled my return to the body in a traumatic process of leaving the Light. But as I whirl winded back into human flesh I did my best to remember as much as I could so that I might share it with others in my books.
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes I had either a severe vaso-vagal response or an anaphylactic reaction to a local anesthetic.
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 My normal alertness level while in the body feels like I'm stuffed into a too-tight wetsuit made of cold, hard, clay, in comparison to that experienced during my NDE. I feel dull of intellect and slow in thinking and responding. As we used to say when I was a kid: 'I couldn't think my way out of a paper bag' with this level of alertness.
My normal level of consciousness while awake, not including meditation states, is one tiny little slice of the consciousness I experienced during the NDE. It feels like I have forgotten who I really am. More importantly, the level of consciousness we experience while in the body operates at such a slow vibration that we actually perceive human life as reality, which I now understand is an illusion.
Also see answers to questions three and four.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I have to answer that in two parts. First, my level of alertness did not change after it expanded dramatically once I was thoroughly infused with the Light. Second, my level of consciousness continued to evolve through higher and more expansive levels until I was about to fully merge into Source/God. At that point, I felt as though I had the same level of consciousness as Source/God, which is the level of awareness/vibration necessary in order to merge directly into it.
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 Shortly after I entered the Light I was bombarded with 'knowings' on all sorts of topics. One of them was about the human concept of time and how it does not actually exist outside the human experience of it. As I understand it, once we resume our natural state as a spiritual being, time and space no longer exist. I did note that huge amounts of what we would call 'time' transpired during my NDE - far exceeding the amount of Earth time that I was dead. In other words, the length of time a person is absent from the body has no correlation to how much can happen in the 'afterlife.'
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? When I first entered the Light I did a medical 'review of systems' (review of the status of all human physical parameters) to try to diagnose what had happened to me (e.g., did I faint, hallucinate, etc.). At that time, I had the sensation that I could 'see,' as we do in human form, in a 360-degree field of vision. Later, when I met Beings of Light, I could still perceive colors, brightness, and depth as I did while in human form, but the intensity was dramatically enhanced as compared to human vision. After I completed the transformation into a Being of Light myself, the human perception of sight dissolved. As I understand it, the sensation of vision is part of the human experience, the effects of which wear off once you make the transition to higher levels of consciousness in the Light.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I only experienced 'hearing,' in the human sense, once during my NDE. That was when I was consciously manifesting physical Earthly environments. At those times, I could hear what I would expect to hear in human form. There were no other audible sounds during the rest of my NDE.
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 No, not to get into the Light. However, I must have been aware of the tunnel concept before I died, because I actually thought to myself, after I saw my body at some distance away from and below me: 'Wait a minute! I can't be dead 'cause I didn't go through a tunnel into the Light and I'm definitely in the Light.' That thought alone was sufficient to 'manifest' the Earthly environment of a tunnel with me inside it. The tunnel felt as real as anything on Earth did, but I was not fooled into believing it was real because I knew for a fact that I was not in a tunnel. 'Manifesting' is the word that popped into my mind as the explanation for the phenomenon of creating what humans perceive as physical reality just by thinking it. I subsequently manifested other Earthly environments to test the validity of that 'knowing.'
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 I met five beings that I mentally called Beings of Energy, or Beings of Light, as they are more frequently called. I recognized these Beings of Light as my closest, dearest, most beloved friends - my soul mates. I knew none of them during this human lifetime. They were my eternal closest friends.
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 Saw it. Felt it. Was completely infused with it and the love, acceptance, joy, and peace that come with it. And, I lived in the Light for a long while as I evolved into higher and higher forms of existence.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The only 'locations,' in the physical sense, that I visited were those I consciously manifested myself. I did, however, evolve through numerous 'levels' of awareness/consciousness/beingness until I was no longer a being at all. Nothing was identified to me as a 'dimension.'
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I experienced the full range of human emotions - except fear. In fact, I was surprised by the fact that I could still feel anger, disappointment, indignation, and other so-called 'negative' emotions. I had always assumed they would not be possible in the afterlife.
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 I did have a life review of this human lifetime, but it was apparently conducted more for the entertainment of my Being of Light friends than for my own benefit. I also recaptured all my memories of all the hundreds of other physical lifetimes I had enjoyed, as well as life in the Light between physical lives.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I was so surprised that my experience was nothing like what my religious training had led me to expect that I accessed Universal Knowledge on the subject. What I got was sort of like a documentary of the development of religion on Earth, which documentary included the future. I only remember a few things about the future because I didn't care - I wasn't coming back here! It was later that I decided to return to human life. Then I desperately tried to remember as much of the future as I could while I was being sucked back into the body.
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:
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes As a result of viewing the history of religion on Earth, and accessing Universal Knowledge about life and death, I can no longer subscribe to any religion's tenets.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes As a result of viewing the history of religion on Earth, and accessing Universal Knowledge about life and death, I can no longer subscribe to any religion's tenets.
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 All the above. It was my understanding that I had total access to the universal database I call Universal Knowledge. In addition, once I began merging into Source/God, I was imbued with a complete understanding of the universe and the purpose of life. Most of my first book is devoted to this information.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I left my law firm specifically because of the changes in me attributable to the NDE. And, I now have more NDEr friends because they are the only ones who truly understand me and what I have been through.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No The greatest gift I have been given by this experience is the ability to express much of it in words, often through analogies. I believe one of the reasons I personally had this experience is because I am an attorney, and have used words to communicate difficult concepts and emotions as part of my work.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes One gift is the ability to write books in words given to me while I sleep (and which I have to type out before I'm awake enough to loose them). There are others as well.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It was all so incredibly significant and meaningful. It literally changed my life, both here on Earth and in my eternal evolution. The part that still makes me cry after thirteen years is having been on the verge of total merger back into Source/God, and understanding fully that I do not exist as a being separate and apart from Source, and being allowed to make the decision to stop the process and return to Earth in order to share what I could remember with others, who, like me, have been struggling with understanding life. The depth of Source's love, and understanding, and willingness to allow me to continue the illusion of separation, astounds me.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) groups and at two Universal Light Expos. Also it appears in Part III of my first book, 'Backwards: Returning to Source for Answers'.
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 was convinced that it was real - more real than anything I had ever experienced in the body. But my doctors told me I had hallucinated it all. I wrote the first draft of my NDE story in 1994 to show to my doctors to try to get some understanding of what had happened.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. It is my understanding that what transpired during my NDE is the 'real' reality. Life as a human is more like a dream, role in a play, virtual reality game, character in a drama, etc. though these words fall far short of actual explanation. It is further my understanding that all Beings of Light who are serving as souls to human animals will have some or all of the same experiences I did when the human dies, depending upon the individual's evolutionary level.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I have had spontaneous memories of individual events from the NDE, a second life review, two meetings with my council of Light Being advisors, and snippets of memories of other lives. I do not use mind-altering medication or substances. In fact, like many NDErs, I do not tolerate chemicals, especially drugs, very well.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? There is far too much to cover here. I suggest that anyone who is interested in more detail should read my books, the first one of which will be published in October 2007 and the other three over the next three years.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? While I understand that the mechanics of an NDE are of interest to scientists, I believe the 'knowings' NDErs gain are far more important for a non-scientist. I would hope that in the future you would include questions to elicit what NDErs learned about the purpose of life, who God is, who we are, how the universe was created, etc.