I was in the lake in a large tire inner tube, but unable to swim. I slipped out of the inner tube, head first into the water. I remember nothing except knowing that I was at the bottom of the lake and wondering why I felt no discomfort or the sensation of the inability to breathe. I lay there, looking up through the ripples in the water, and felt very calm and peaceful, thinking this situation was beautiful. I did not feel my body, but was very aware of the presence of what I believed was the sun shining through the water.
I then felt very warm, and the 'sun' became more and more brilliant until it seemed to surround my body. I continued feeling warmer and having a sense of amazement at the beautiful place, I was in. The light and warmth from the sun enveloped my body. I was drawn to this light and thought, 'This is the most beautiful place in the world.' I suddenly felt a thrashing movement, although I did not feel any sensation in my body. I resisted this sensation with great emotional agitation, and thought, 'Please do not take me away from this place.' I remember nothing of any resuscitation or rescue, although I learned it was my father who rescued me. I was told many years later that I was very agitated at being rescued and fought rather violently.
Date NDE Occurred: July 1953
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was drowning.
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 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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I realized that the light from what I thought was the sun was enveloping me.
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
No sense of time, space, as the experience persisted. I have no recollection of being in the water after the light started to surround 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 was surprised to find myself looking UP from underneath the water, which I had never experienced.
I found the brilliance of the light unlike anything I had seen, but it was not like looking at sunlight, since my eyes did not turn away from the light, nor were my eyes squinting or hurting from the light.
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
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
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 I saw a light that, at first, I believed was the sun coming through the water. Then, the light surrounded me and warmed and embraced me.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I cannot describe any distinct locations, just being in a very different world.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Extreme joy, peace and happiness unlike any feelings felt before this experience.
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
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? Moderate young child of Roman Catholic parents and extended family
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I am more inclined to seek knowledge from all sources and judge for myself what is true. I try to connect more with the mystical via my own soul rather than through formal religion.
What is your religion now? Moderate 'very spiritually driven, without predilection to any specific religious group, Christian'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I am more inclined to seek knowledge from all sources and judge for myself what is true. I try to connect more with the mystical via my own soul rather than through formal religion.
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? No
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes In spite of my faults, I try to see others through the essence of my soul, more that humanness, since we are all connected by our spirituality and the collective unconscious.
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? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The incredible sense of joy and peace led me to realize that God is real and that there is an afterlife that is perfect, most importantly, that I have a soul.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Probably thirty or thirty-five years, since I did not realize the significance until I became more spiritually evolved.
Some people were disbelieving, others very little reaction. I assumed it was because I was so young at the time, yet I can recall every thought in my mind, every feeling.
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 probably not real I did not think about the experience at all.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know by this experience that I DID experience the presence of God, purity, goodness, limitless love. I believe this experience has caused me to be more determined to examine my soul, and to seek deeper meaning in my life.
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? No, other than I would love to be able to recreate the experience in my life now. I would love to have the feeling of love and joy that was given to me through this experience.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? None.