Awakenings from the Light: 12 Life Lessons from a Near Death Experience Check it out at: Click Here
It describes a little of what I saw and experienced, but it's pretty short and doesn't include information on the teachings.
In January of 2014, I experienced some things that promised to change my life forever. These experiences went from horribly terrifying and painful, to profoundly beautiful and soul-stirring; all within the space of a few days. On the morning of January 3, 2014, while riding my bicycle here in town, I was struck broadside by a truck. My injuries were so severe that I am still in recovery from some of them. By all accounts of the doctors who treated me, I shouldn't have lived. 'Most people die from injuries like yours,' my surgeon and primary care physician insist. They were right. I shouldn't have lived. In fact, I came very close to death twice during those first few days. During those brushes with death, I had two Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) that promised to change the way I look at life, the way I experience life, and the way I feel about the concepts of God and Spirit.
Before we go any further, let me say that I debated about putting this out there, but I realize that it has to be right now. I feel in my heart that it's not good to hold onto this experience. At least one of my friends is soon facing the final transition and I would hope this post, in some small way, helps her make peace with moving on to the afterlife. Also, I hope it helps others facing a similar situation.
My first near-death experience happened when the truck initially struck me. In human time, this NDE lasted just a few minutes. As I was struck, I realized that my consciousness was in two places simultaneously. One part, very scared and animal-like, was firmly inside of my broken body that was stuck on the vehicle's axle and being dragged under the truck. The other part, a very calm, dispassionate observer, hovered out in front of the truck and off to the south, watching the whole scene unfold from a distance. This dual consciousness seemed quite normal to the observer part of me. The observer was calm about the whole thing, and I remember the feeling that this was all happening for a reason, that there was nothing to fear. The observer: me, watched as witnesses stopped, called for help, and as the paramedics arrived. When the paramedics started working on me, my two selves came back together. Once I was stabilized enough to move, they transported me to the nearest trauma hospital. It turned out that my head and spinal injuries were so severe that I'd need surgery. My lower spine would need reconstruction, but only after the bleeding in my brain stabilized. In the meantime, the trauma team admitted me to the intensive care unit (ICU). I pondered that initial split-consciousness experience for a few days in ICU while I awaited surgery. I had no explanation for being in two places at the same time, or for experiencing the accident from two different vantage points at once. In my scientific mind, I didn't know how consciousness could split apart with one part of me traveling outside of the body. Finally, I dismissed it as just an oddity of the crash and almost dying. It wasn't important, and it most certainly wasn't 'real.' Or so I thought.
Perhaps because the first experience wasn't enough to get me thinking about spiritual matters, three days later during surgery, I was pulled right into the thick of things. I had another NDE but this one was different. Instead of simply experiencing events unfold from outside of my body, my consciousness was ultimately brought to a place unlike anything I have ever experienced. The beauty and utter peace of the Place defies human words. I felt totally calm, loved, and whole. I also felt a deep, profound sense of LOVE permeating everything there. It was big love, as if the structure of this place was somehow made of love. Love was everywhere because there was nowhere that wasn't love. I can't explain it any further than that. I, already, never wanted to leave this Place. One woman greeted me. Although she said it was a form that 'she' took at that time to make it easy for me to relate to her. She was a stranger to me, although I was somehow not a stranger to her. She moved with me throughout the landscape, telling me things that I and the rest of the world needed to remember; things we'd forgotten or perhaps never learned. These things were reminders that would help us live a beautiful life on Earth. She said she was a spokesperson for everyone in Heaven.
Somehow, she was a conduit for the information I was being given because if I met and communicated with everyone who wanted to speak with me, I would be overwhelmed. It felt as though we were together for days, even weeks. The amount of information she passed on to me was staggering. I am still processing it. But eventually she insisted it was time for me to go back to my life. The thought of that made me weep like a child. I didn't want to go back: Not now, not ever. This Place was too beautiful and loving for me to want to leave. But she insisted that I had a life to live. It wasn't time for me to be here for good. I argued up and down and even yelled a few times. Can you imagine, arguing with a Being such as this? But I did. I argued and cried. I insisted I didn't want to go back to a broken body and all of the repercussions from this experience that awaited me. She watched me with what I felt was sadness, but she insisted that it was my time to go back. As I opened my mouth to argue again, I was back in the surgical recovery room. I was confused, weeping, and already missing that Place and the Being who I'd met there. No: I am no longer an atheist or agnostic, (although, at this point I don't want to put a label on what I am). I did have the good fortune to be shown Spirit in a way that made me realize that I can no longer deny It for myself. These experiences have opened my heart to all peoples, all faiths, and all beliefs in a way that I would not have thought possible. I will share a small bit of the first thing she taught me. We are primarily here to Love: to practice Love, to show Love, to experience Love. Hate is not the language of Spirit, nor is fear. Love is. It is a Love that has no conditions or strings attached. It is simply Love in all of its forms.
I was asked to share this with as many people as possible, so that is what I intend to do. That's what I promised, after all. I am not sure yet how I will get out the information. I think telling on a blog is a good start, but I expect that some larger form of publication will be in the works too. Yes, this is all real. No, I didn't make up or embellish any of it. I understand that some of you will think I'm crazy or hallucinating. Some of you may find any explanation to deny my experiences because they feel uncomfortable to you. Some people I have known for years may choose to distance themselves from me. This could cost me much. I was an agnostic scientist until just a couple of months ago, after all. But this is me and my life now. I trust that telling my story and all that follows will help more than it hurts; that it gives people hope, and that it brings people together. It may be that telling the story brings new people or opportunities into my life as well. All is as it should be. While my time on the Other Side (aka, 'Heaven') was brief in human terms, when I was there it felt as if weeks or months were passing. I observed an amazing amount in, at most, a couple of human hours.
The first wonderful thing that I experienced was the beauty of Heaven, both visually and in a feeling-sense. When I was there, a landscape of gently rolling hills surrounded me. Flower-filled grassy meadows spread out on the hills around me. There were huge, deciduous trees in full leaf. The trees were larger and grander than any here on Earth and surrounded the meadows. There was the barest sense of a light mist, as if it were a humid summer morning clung to the tops of the trees. The sky showed a very light blue, similar to what you might see at the ocean's shore, with wispy clouds and a very bright but somewhat diffuse golden light. That was the visual. But there is more to Heaven than what we can see with our eyes. Below the surface visuals was a well of feeling fueled by love, peace, and an abiding Presence that I will call Spirit or God. Through the landscape around me I sensed a profound feeling of peace, brightness, goodness, and love. The Beauty I felt really does deserve a capital B. It wasn't just pleasing to the eye: there was something deeper to it, more harmonious, more blessed, and more powerful.
Everything felt tied together by love and peace, and the beauty of the scenes around me was the product of this unconditional love. While the beauty of Heaven took my breath away, the sense of love completely ensnared me and made me want to stay there forever. I felt a deep sense of that love flowing through all things around me: the air, the ground below my feet, the trees, the clouds, and me. I felt the love flowing around me, flowing through me, and eventually capturing me by the heart. I felt supported by a loving Presence so powerful, yet so gentle, that I cried again. I had never experienced such unconditional love and acceptance in all of my years on the planet. It felt as though this place were built from love and peace on a very grand, cosmic scale. What I realized, and was later told by my Guide, was that love formed the structure or underpinnings of Heaven.
Each soul might see the 'landscape' differently, but all sensed and 'saw' the love that formed the basis for everything in the same way. That love and peace seemed to shimmer as glimmers of light beneath the surface, winking in and out of visual sight. It had colors and sparkle and texture. It seemed to take the form of what I saw, like trees, a meadow, but at the same time it was also separate from the forms themselves. The closest I can come to explaining what Heaven 'looked' like to my feeling-senses is to point you to the work of artist Ken Elliott. His paintings come closest to capturing what I felt underlying the landscape Over There. I'll share two pieces with you here with his permission, but please check out his website (www.KenElliott.com) for more examples. 'Soft Blue Progression,' comes closest to showing you what the visuals looked like for me as well. 'Yellow Wall,' as well as Ken's other paintings, gives a sense of the energy or vibration of LOVE and PEACE that build everything There.
Date NDE Occurred: January 3 and 6, 2014
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Surgery-related. Drug or medication overdose. While under general anesthesia Life threatening event, but not clinical death
The first NDE was during the accident, the second was during surgery to reconstruct my spine.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes During the crash, when my consciousness separated into two, I witnessed the crash and people helping me from out in front and to the south of my actual body. I had separated into two consciousnesses and was experiencing the crash both from in my body and from outside of it.
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 I could FEEL energy flowing through my 'body.' I could see the life/love energy that lay under the surface of every object. I could communicate with my Spiritual Guide through mind contact alone. I could 'see' some future events.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Both during the crash, when my consciousness was split, and then during my surgical NDE. I was extremely alert and conscious through all of it.
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
It seemed like I was there for months, although it seemed 'normal' to me.
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 had several layers of vision. I could see the typical surface features of everything. I could also sense several layers of energy below the surface of everything: love, life energy, emotion. I could feel and sense thoughts as colors that lay under the surface of objects.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could hear my Spiritual Guide, and some of the things happening around me had sound, but my hearing seemed pretty 'normal.'
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? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly 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 During my surgical NDE, the entire sky glowed in a pearlescent light-yellow.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? During the crash NDE: a sense of peace, rightness, some sadness, and that everything was as it should be.
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe Sort of, I was given and sensed a lot of information that I didn't know before, but I was still an initiate. I wasn't allowed to learn everything.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future I saw my immediate future: a long and painful physical recovery, the loss of relationships, and eventually some wonderful new connections/friendships.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain I knew there was a boundary; I knew I wasn't in the real 'Heaven'. I was in some kind of pre-Heaven that had a limit which I couldn't cross yet. I wanted to cross and go on into Heaven, but I wasn't allowed.
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 importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Agnostic I was hovering between atheist and agnostic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I've already discussed this
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 would consider myself 'Spiritual' now. I follow the teachings of Jesus, although don't subscribe to a particular religious view. I guess my views are closest to Gnostic Christians. I also see the inherent wisdom in many faiths.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I was an atheist/agnostic and didn't believe that anything other than physical reality existed. I sort-of wanted it to exist, but didn't actually believe it since there wasn't really any proof of it.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I've already described this elsewhere.
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 One 'Being' greeted me: a woman, although she said it was a form 'she' took at that time to make it easy for me to relate to 'her.' She was a stranger to me in this life, although I was somehow not a stranger to her. She was somewhat taller than me, had long, brown, wavy hair that was unbound. She wore a draping, flowing skirt and tunic that were a glowing, pearly, light gray. Her face seemed slightly blurry to me. Her skin tone was somewhat dark like Italian, Native American, or Middle Eastern skin. She moved with me throughout the landscape, telling me things that I and the rest of the world needed to remember. Things we'd forgotten or perhaps never learned. Reminders that would help us live a beautiful life on Earth. She said she was a spokesperson for 'Everyone' in 'Heaven.' Somehow, she was a conduit for the information I was being given. That if I met and communicated with everyone who wanted to speak with me, I would be overwhelmed.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
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 They were there, in the background, speaking to me through my Spiritual Guide, although I didn't have any direct connection to them.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes It will be in my book, because I basically got an introductory college course 'Heaven 101' while I was there. I've discussed it a little on my blog: http://thespiritway.blogspot.com/p/awakenings-table-of-contents.html
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Yes, everything is utterly connected on a spiritual level. We're all connected to God and through God. We are all one, there is no difference among us. Again, please see my blog and upcoming book: http://thespiritway.blogspot.com/p/awakenings-table-of-contents.html
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes Most definitely, although 'he' isn't a he and is not in human form. It's a spiritual form that is quite difficult to describe. And I struggle with the pronoun to use. God is a loving energy and intelligence that is everywhere, including in all of us.
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? Yes I was reminded that I had previously agreed to have these experiences and then share them with as many people as would listen. Apparently I agreed to this before I was born into this life. I felt the weight of that responsibility come on to my shoulders as I was sent back to my life.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are not meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes Again, please see my blog and upcoming book. : http://thespiritway.blogspot.com/p/awakenings-table-of-contents.html
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes Oh, for sure there is, for everyone. I also was told that our souls can come and go from earth (we can have more than one incarnation if we want), and there are other planets on which we can incarnate as other beings, too. But the spiritual realm is there for everyone.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are not meaningful and significant
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? Yes This is the bulk of what was shared with me. Again, please see my blog and upcoming book: http://thespiritway.blogspot.com/p/awakenings-table-of-contents.html
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Again, please see my blog and upcoming book: http://thespiritway.blogspot.com/p/awakenings-table-of-contents.html
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Some friends have distanced themselves and I've lost relationships over it, but that's OK. I've gained new friends now, so it's cool.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It still is. Much of it was pure thought, emotion, and energy.
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 I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain Some visions that are quite detailed and 'real.' They include my Spiritual Guide from Heaven and others as well.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? All of it is.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it with the hospital chaplain the day after it happened. She was very supportive and believing. I shared it with my family and close friends a week later and they were also very supportive. I waited about 3 months to share it with acquaintances.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I'd heard of them, but didn't have any detailed knowledge of them.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably real It was so outside the bounds of my scientific mind that while I understood it was real, I also questioned it at the same time.
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