My first NDE (accidentally, I have had a couple) occurred when I was a child of seven. I did not go through a tunnel. I was vaulted into the sky. I had been ill most of my childhood with strep throat and tonsillitis. That was back in the 1950's when doctors were using large injections of penicillin. As a result of receiving far too many shots, my body developed a resistance and finally went into anaphylactic shock. My temperature went off the scale of the thermometer. Over 108 degrees.
When that happened, 'I' went up into the sky. I had been feeling quite awful, lying on the couch at home when suddenly I found myself in the sky. I didn't question the fact that I was there. I just enjoyed it with the delight of any child. I found I could make any kind of movement I pleased and had no restrictions. I still had a sense of a body, but I could freely twist and turn any direction I choose. I was doing barrel rolls and big swoop turns, sky dancing. I came to a place of opalescent color all over the clouds. It was wonderfully pretty. Gold, lemon yellow, rose, orange, lime green, sparkling like pearlesence. Then a being came up to me and I must confess, in retrospect, that it looked exactly like the image of the father God I had been taught in school, but at the time I didn't think it was God nor know who it was. That's just what he looked like. He came up to me and in a kind of mind to mind transference of thought he rather shouted into my mind, 'WHAT are you doing HERE NOW!?'
I stopped, as if the principal at school had collared me and wondered how this man knew who I was because I had never seen him before in my life. He was waiting for an answer so, in pure child fashion I replied, 'I don't know.' And, I didn't. I had no idea how I had gotten there. I hadn't even thought about it. I was just having fun. Then he got real concerned and said, 'You're not supposed to be here yet. You better go back down right now.' Fortunately for me, I was a well behaved child and it didn't occur to me to do otherwise. The next thing I knew I was opening my eyes to see, of all things, the face of the family doctor pulling away from me with his hands flailing and an expression of pure shock as if he were scared out of his wits. (Maybe I should try to paint that someday.) He must have thought I was dead. I think he was trying to figure out what to say to my mother when I opened my eyes and looked at him. He was really, honestly, scared.
I haven't told the experience to very many people (until now). It seemed too personal and not exactly the kind of thing one would relate in casual conversation. Usually I mention it to people who are fearful of death or who have lost a loved one. I tell them about it because I really do believe there is a place we go to. It sure felt like it to me. And, the thing that really makes me think the materialist analytics are wrong when they say that these experiences are only physical and have no other basis is that the person I met was a complete stranger to me and I was really stunned that he knew who I was. I didn't think it was God. But, in my memory, I have to admit that he looked like the image people make of the old father God. The thing is, however, in the midst of the experience I didn't put that together. I just wondered how the heck he knew who I was and I wondered who in the world he was because I had never met him before. Anyway, that was when I was a child.
Later in life, I must admit to being quite stupid. 'Out of your cotton pickin' mind!' one acquaintance has said regarding a second accidental near death experience.
I have a friend who is a doctor and back in the early 1980s, he was into this idea of 'exercising the autonomic nervous system'. I won't tell you what we did because I don't want to give any kids stupid ideas of things to try that are potentially fatal. The end result of my particular foolhardy exercise was to go into hypothermia. Convulsions, the works. It was pretty darn awful. At the start of it, when my body began shaking uncontrollably, I felt a serious sense of nausea overwhelming me. The thought went through my mind, 'Oh, this doesn't feel very good at all.' The next instant I was face to face with infinity. A huge ball of light, out of which came God zillion number of the finest red filaments, like laser lights shooting out to every single atom in the universe, and, what's more from every single atom to every single other atom all interconnected entirely to each other and back again to the source. My poor brain could hardly fathom it. It was huge. It was immense. It was beyond belief. To look at it felt like ten thousand lightning bolts were exploding all at once in my brain. It hurt. I screamed, 'STOP! You're breaking my mind to pieces!' The image softened and then turned into something I could look at. (A few years later, I saw something that looked like it in China Town. It was called the Chinese God of Destruction. It very nearly destroyed me!)
Then everything went black and I could feel myself lying on the ground. The horrible shaking had stopped but I had a sickening sense that all the energy that was 'me', all of my 'life force' or whatever you might call it was draining out through my stomach. I thought, 'I'm dying.' I didn't want to die there. It was stupid. I was stupid. People would get into trouble because of it. I had things to do. I pulled back on the energy. I sucked back with all of my will power and pulled it all back into myself and held on to it. Then I realized that I had to stay awake. That I couldn't pass out or go to sleep because then the energy might slip out again and 'I' wouldn't be there to pull it back in again. Oh, let me tell you, for ten hours I kept myself awake until all the symptoms subsided. Excruciating headache. Terrible nausea. A feeling of nearly passing out at any moment. Holding on by my fingernails, so to speak. There were no doctors where I was. There was no one to look after me. I had to simply stay conscious. And, I did. Finally, the symptoms began to wear off. I began to feel semi normal. I think 'solid' would be a good word for it, and, I decided that I could safely go to sleep.
I wrote to my friend and described what had happened; that I had felt like I was dying. He wrote back that what I described was classic hypothermia and it is usually fatal. He said, regarding my sense of dying, 'You probably were.'
From these two near death experiences I have learned a couple of things. From the first, in good child form, I got the impression that there were lessons I needed to learn and that if I learned them quickly, I could play the rest of my life. It seemed that there was a certain amount of time allotted to this lesson learning and if I was astute, I could get through it and then play. (I do not believe I have been very good at the lessons. However, quite a few folks have said that it looks a lot like I'm playing all the time these days. Who knows, maybe I am?)
From the second experience, I got the impression that we are baby beings in the universe. That our bodies are sheaths for our consciousness. They protect us from perceiving 'All That Is'. We have five senses and they are dampers on our perceptions. Giving us only the amount of information that we are able to assimilate and react to. I am very grateful for that.
As a result, I paint clouds. And other things too. I have just begun a series of landscape paintings and am working to capture an essential 'Light'. It's an intellectual/emotional thing; paths (on the path) bathed in sunlight. Intense sunlight. On the Path Toward the Light, Archangels, thresholds and doorways.
Date NDE Occurred: 1958 & 1983
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness 'Allergic reaction to penicillin. Second experience: Convulsions' Other 'Anaphylactic shock from allergic reaction to penicillin. Temperature went off the scale of the thermometer - over 108 degrees. When I opened my eyes, the doctor gasped and pulled away from me like he'd seen a horrifying ghost.
Second experience: hypothermic shock and convulsions.
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? Normal consciousness and alertness The entire experience (both).
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The entire experience (both).
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 Dancing in the sky would qualify as an altered space. In both experiences time/consciousness flowed at the same rate as in ordinary reality.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? I would almost answer 'no', except that when I tried to paint the memory of the vision I was stunned by the flatness of brilliant red paint compared to the intensity of the light I remembered. I had to laugh because the paint really looked like just paint and it lacked the vibrancy and intensity of light that the 'Light' had. Of course, that's a big 'duh!' because how could paint ever be the same as light? For me, the 'sthetically visceral reaction of being able to compare and recognize the reality of it was quite intriguing. I was enraptured with the light and color.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? Telepathic communication.
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? No I had no tunnel experience for either NDE.
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 Childhood: I did not know the being. 'He' looked, in retrospect, just like a Biblical image of God (but I didn't think that at the time. I just wondered who he was, how did he know me and felt that he was 'in charge' (like the school principal).
Adult: The ball of white light was pure consciousness. It softened into an image of the head of a God with blue lighting in its forehead.
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 Childhood: The entire atmosphere was filled with colored light.
Adult: All of existent matter connected to a huge sphere of pure white light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Childhood: The Tibetan Dharmadatu.
Adult: ? The sphere of pure intelligent existence to which all matter is connected (where or what place would you call that?)
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Childhood: Wondrous delight and joyful abandon at being in the sky. Surprise at being recognized by someone I did not know. Obedient in going back down. Curiosity at the look of the doctor's face drawing away from me with a look of pure terror on his face.
Adult: Amazement. Wonder. Overwhelmed with information (is there a word for that?). Begging for relief from being overwhelmed, (what do you call that emotion?). Strength of will to hold on to life.
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
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
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? Conservative/fundamentalist 'Conservative Catholic education - but, what does a seven year old know? Non-denominational at the time of second experience'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I cannot follow an organized religion.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'The best term to describe my current religion is ''Empirical Mystic''. I engage in cross-cultural religious studies and have been tracing beliefs back to their roots in the deep past. It is fascinating and sometimes very confusing. There is no denominational belief I can subscribe to because they are all have dogmatic areas that are empty of the Truth (but, don't get me wrong, they all do have good things in them with respect to suggestions for moral and ethical behavior). There are ''higher celestials''. There is a God. The best description would be to say ''Ah'' [from the Tibetans] universal undivided consciousness that interpenetrates all matter. ''La'' [from the Tibetans] all formed matter. The two together make the one. The sentence ''The two together make the one'' has been said in religious dogmas but no one understands what it means. How can two make one? Or, the age old discussion of the Trinity, the ''Three''. How does that work? Universal undivided consciousness permeating all of existence intoned as ''Ah''. All created matter intoned as ''La''. These two, together make the One. God, if you will. Then there are aspects of the One in terms of powers and vibrations (this gets into some Zoroastrian ideas, but is not strictly part of dogmatic Zoroastrianism.) I do many Taoist meditation exercises. I work with Sanskrit mantras. I use Christian Desert Father prayer processes. I also do Tibetan and Egyptian meditations. Truth is everywhere to be found. There are higher planes of existence beyond the human realm, which are not to be confused with ''heaven''. These planes of existence and the beings on them are concurrent with our existence and discourse can take place between them (found in basic Taoist practice, albeit ''secret'' literature) - these are also part of the Tibetan secrets as well as Ancient Egypt.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I cannot follow an organized religion.
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 Childhood: There were lessons I still needed to learn and it was not yet time for me to be there. There is a specific amount of time we are allotted on earth and if we get through our lessons quickly, we can play with the rest of the time we have.
Adult: We are baby beings and our physical bodies act as dampers to the perception of 'All That Is' so that we may have time to gestate and grow. As baby celestial consciousnesses the earth acts as our incubator. Although we feel like we are adults, we are babies in the cosmos.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Empathic clairsentience.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? That we are baby beings was an eye opener. Seeing everything connected by laser light filaments makes me wonder about the question of synchronous movement between photons mentioned in quantum physics and how they can't figure out how that can be. The idea, 'We are all connected' takes on a really deep meaning when you see it.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes First experience: twenty years. I heard about The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) and called them to talk about the childhood experience. Otherwise, I would not speak of it because people wouldn't believe it. One man said, 'I don't believe you.' I said, 'I don't care if you believe me or not, it happened. That's all that matters to me.' I do share it openly with people who are grieving or afraid of death. Their faces all look dubious. I can understand that. If you have never seen nor tasted an apple, you would have to take my word for the existence of such a thing and believe or not believe, but you could not have the experience of the apple without tasting it yourself. My art work is an attempt to render the visual/emotional effects see.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes 'No' for childhood.
'Yes' for adulthood (because I'd had one in childhood and had talked extensively with the folks at The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS).
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. In childhood I just took it for granted. My mother insisted on calling it 'My Dream.' That annoyed me.
Adulthood. I feel a sense of reverence, wonder at what I have witnessed, and feeling very small in the knowledge that there is so much that I do not know.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. My view of the experience is unaltered. In childhood, I just took it for granted. My mother insisted on calling it 'My Dream.' That annoyed me.
Adulthood. I feel a sense of reverence and wonder at what I have witnessed and feel very small in the knowledge that there is so much that I do not know.
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? Not at this time.