Paul M NDE

Experience Description

Funny, I generally took my diving knife with me on these trips, but it was dull. So as I left my apartment, a utility blade just caught my eye, gabbed it, put it it in the pocket, but hardly gave it a thought. I was white water canoeing on the Delaware river in upstate New York. The canoe capsized, pinning me under the water. The canoe was wedged between two rocks and it upright itself full of water. I was underneath the canoe with two ropes wrapped around my leg. On the end of the ropes, there were a couple plastic bags pulling due to the current. Between the canoe filled with water and the position of the ropes I could not move. I was trapped under the water for over 3.5 minutes. As soon as the canoe flipped, I started to cough until there was no air left in my lungs. I felt a tremendous burning sensation. At this point, I was absolutely terrified. Water started to trickle down the back of my throat. At first it was terrifying, realizing I would soon drown.

Then once I accept I would die, it started to feel great. At this point, the white light appeared. I felt I was moving towards it and was feeling better the closer I got to the light. It was very strange, I saw no one but felt as if I were surrounded by untold numbers of benevolent entities. I could feel their presence and all pleasant. The further I entered into the light, the more pleasant it got. The light had an emotional overtone to it. I have NEVER felt anything that felt as real as this in my life; never have I felt so at peace. I was at the verge of inhaling water, as it felt so good trickling down my throat; it really felt good. Then I remembered I had stuck a utility knife razor in the tiny pocket of my blue jean before leaving for the canoe trip. Then the terror came back, giving me enough adrenaline to reach down and cut the ropes on my leg. Once the ropes were cut, I could move. I came to the surface. I floated for 5 minutes, as I had no strength left.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: 1976 july

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning. Life threatening event, but not clinical death

How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant

Did you feel separated from your body? No

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 Different is not the word for it. NEVER, NEVER was I so alive, so conscious, so aware, or so peaceful.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? It was definitely when I was in the white light.

Were your thoughts speeded up? No

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No

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. Nothing could be compared to it.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing did not appear to be different. I was under water so I did not notice hearing anything.

Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No

The experience included: Tunnel

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes Not a physical tunnel, but (emotional) white light and pleasant feelings.

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: 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 A brightness full of emotions.

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? Incredible peace, good feeling, while in the ‘light’. Incredible terror before and after the white light, as the fear of dying was present at those times.

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 Maybe not so much as understanding everything, but a feeling that I would understand everything if I ventured further into the light.

Did scenes from your past come back to you? No

Did scenes from the future come to you? No

The experience included: Boundary

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? 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? Not important to me

What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Agnostic

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No

What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Not important to me

What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Agnostic

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

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No

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 Not people, but as if surrounded by uncountable benevolent entities.

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? Uncertain same as above,uncertain

Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? Unknown

During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain Still not certain what to make out of the experience

Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? Unknown

Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:


During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No

Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant

During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No

Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife does not exist

Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? Unknown Uncertain Still not certain

Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death

Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death

Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life

Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life

Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant

Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are possibly 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? No

Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Unknown

During your experience, did you gain information about love? No

Were you compassionate after your experience? Unknown

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No

After the NDE:


Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Hard to express due to the fact in normal consciousness, I never had a moment, which compared to this.

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.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No I’ve always had psychic gifts.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? No

Have you ever shared this experience with others? No

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Mom had one during an operation. She was declared dead by three doctors. She was a nurse, working with the three. This had no effect on my NDE.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably not real Uncertain, as science states it has to do with hypoxia. At the same time, I have a few physic experiences, about the past, a couple about the future.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably not real Same as above

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No