I was on a road trip to holiday with my then-girlfriend's family on 25.12.2011. We were taking a scenic route, through national parks and the like. I wasn't stoned at the time but had residual effects of psychedelics (LSD, mushrooms and DMT in the previous months), and of marijuana from the day before affecting my system. I was out of sorts because a close friend had died and I'd exacerbated the grief by taking too many substances. I was also in unhelpful circumstances. (I now take no drugs except the odd drink and daily coffee).
We drove past a turn-off to a road called 'Paradise Point' or something similar, so I said 'How can we drive past Paradise Point?' We pulled over to do a U-turn. My girlfriend was learning to drive, so I used it as an opportunity to teach:
'First we indicate, then technically we wait stationary for five seconds. Ok now we check the blind spot and the traffic in front and...'
I saw a 4WD truck moving fast not three meters away and accepted death, then lost track of identity/time/physical coordinates/thought.
(I have thought for five years now about how to describe the experience, and discovered that English language presupposes time. Try to construct a complex sentence without a linear implication. See? But I'll do my best with flawed language.)
Immediately there was relief. I say 'there was' and not 'I felt' because the 'I' was a distant unremembered trial, something gone, something behind, let go.
Relief. Twenty-seven years of moment-by-moment input, frequent confusion and struggle, and mistakes and shortcomings punctuated by good things… and then relief. As my identity vanished, I became aware of my surroundings. 'Surroundings' presupposes existence and physicality, but this may have been infinity. Instinctively it felt like the sum total of infinity in its pure, a-temporal, undifferentiated state(s).
There seemed to be a swirling color that was luminous but in an absence of light. It was somehow indistinguishable, as if un-illuminated, perhaps in a vacuum. The paradoxical aspects arise while describing the experience, but the experience itself was pure and without resistance or tensions.
I welcomed this experience and agreed with myself to stay, contented.
But soon I was curious to search for parameters, a threshold, and new knowledge. I was getting daring. But having a will seemed at odds with this reality, and so I observed gratefully and wondered if eternity here could please be my new way.
I felt enveloped in love, and indistinct from it. Unbelievably beautiful was the experience.
If I had to name the sensation or color around me, I might say blue or purple, though I know this to be misleading, as it wasn't a quality or reflection of light as perceived through a mind, it seemed to be a total experience.
I came-to when I heard a bloodcurdling scream from my lover. That sound was enough for me to reconnect to my identity, though I immediately felt loss for having to leave egoless bliss and love sensations and return to compromised and distorted perception and a flawed identity.
I have since wondered if my experience was the perceptual manifestation of my deepest desire for there to be an experience of being immersed in a benevolent infinity. Of course, that suggests a body, but I mean as a rejoining with pure potential, beyond time in a larger Meta state that (usually?) eludes human perception. Perhaps, if I had a deep desire for another kind of experience, that's what I would have gotten. Because those were either the deeper layers of my mind that surfaced, or maybe there’s a benevolent force.
Date NDE Occurred: 25/12/2011
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Drug or medication overdose Other The other passenger says that my pulse and breathing had stopped
I was driving, our car was 'T-boned' by a 4WD as I tried to do a U-turn. The driver door took the hit. I was lucky to live / come back. The other passenger says that my pulse and breathing had stopped.
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? No
I lost awareness of my body
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 See above. In short - it was pure, no distortions or hang-ups or preconceptions to interfere with a direct experience. There was no 'I' nor even a perceptual locus.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? My identity receded successively instantaneously upon impact and I didn't re-remember who I was until I regained consciousness. But I have crystal clear recollection of the experience. In fact, I consider it the purest experience I've had because there was seemingly no identity interference.
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
I believe I had an a-temporal experience. Linearity was not a constriction. Perhaps time was flexible. I did not sense any conflict between any past or future and this parent realm.
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. Light illuminates the world around us. I think of the Earth as a dark place that is being illuminated - had I never seen light I could only guess at what the experience of color means or feels like.
In contrast, the otherworldly (non?-)space, I experienced seemed to be undifferentiated infinity, like a swirling cloud, illuminated by an altogether different kind of light. Nothing was 'visible', but the illuminating force certainly implied benevolence, and may have been love.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I have no recollection of sound during the experience. My experience of sound before and after was unaffected.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain The transition was immediate.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
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 See earlier responses.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm See earlier responses.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt like I was directly experiencing something beyond myself, from a perspective beyond anything to do with me.
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 Nothing to understand - merely no more distorting lens. There was no need to hold onto concepts or knowledge because the experience was self-contained or all-encompassing or beyond experience or beyond cognition. Mastery was irrelevant.
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? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Other or several faiths Raised in christian / philosophical context, experienced meditator, tending towards 'spiritual / Buddhist / active-agnostic' but uncertain
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes See earlier responses
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Not important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths Since the experience I am intuitively convinced there are benevolent forces/encompassing entities/infinity(s)/love, but rationally i am still open-minded
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I was at a loose end without beliefs, and gained a strong faith in an undefined beauty, lightness, and benevolence that underpins the universe. I don't even care if it’s true, it makes life better and me better and me okay with death and compassionate towards my and others' shortcomings.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Before, I sought an intellectual solution to philosophy and metaphysical quandaries. Now I am content to recall the memory and let that guide me.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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? Yes
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes I felt a permeating benevolence that did not reveal its form, but may be formless. In fact, perhaps it did reveal its form; perhaps its form is pure love.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes The experience is the most precious knowledge I have. It makes the thought of a lifetime bearable.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes Not the meaning of life but certainly learned what not to get hung up on.
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 probably exists Yes I certainly lost all fear of death (still afraid of the experience of dying, but not of non-being, which I now expect to be more lucid than human awareness).
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly 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? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Unknown
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 That the hardships and trials are bounded by a larger more beautiful infinity.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I was an insatiable philosophical/metaphysical wonderer and doubter. Now I feel content to believe in an undefined love philosophy, and to try to manifest that in my dealings with beings and the universe (finally vegetarian, gave up drugs, more generous, I volunteer frequently now…).
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life My previous responses become garbled when I review them, so this time I will be briefer. I have become more compassionate, patient, sensible (was a big risk taker and didn't live in a sustainable way). I have less cloudy thinking, more purpose, no fear of death.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes They are better and almost certainly because I stopped taking drugs, partially because of this experience.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I have had transcendent experiences before (100-hour meditation courses, DMT and other psychedelics, long sexual experiences and so on), but this felt as if the experience belonged in a different realm, and it was not me there. It was as if I were getting a taste of what it feels like to be infinity. This is hard to differentiate from non-being/death when you think closely about it. What is it to be dead? It is not to be. But infinity is still happening, and you are encompassed by it. It’s hard for me not to welcome my eventual death now, because I expect I will be rejoining infinity and free of suffering. I have the memory of that sensation.
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 event with crystal clarity, which is anomalous for the period.
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? My previous answers keep being garbled, perhaps because I am working off a phone. Short answer 'yes'
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Some close friends. They listen politely but are not captivated, curious or skeptical, which seems bizarre to me.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had heard a couple of stories of people seeing dead relatives or meeting Jesus, I didn't draw conclusions or ask further questions because I didn't meet the people directly.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real The realness of it was irrelevant to me, I value the experience more than any waking moment, I think.
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
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I would like to meet or talk to others who understand. I'll use your forum, but I wanted to answer first.