I had gone to Josephine Falls with my wife and daughter for a swim. It was a place we often visited. One of the attractions of this place is a natural waterslide that is smooth rock for some 10 meter depending on water levels. This allows a swimmer to slide down and splash into the deep pool at the end. My 11 year old daughter and I were continuously riding down this slide on our bottoms and then swimming underwater to the exit point at the side, which meant climbing up a series of rocky steps to ride the slide all over again. We got more and more adventurous. I rode the slide several times on my feet like a skier, until the last time when I somehow slipped and hit my head. I never felt or experienced the impact because I entered the pool as usual; underwater in a splash of bubbles. As the bubbles cleared and I began my underwater swim towards the side of the rock pool, things had changed; the pool seemed to go on forever! None of this was disturbing in any way; in fact it was just the opposite. A serene relaxing feeling overtook me as I drifted through the water effortlessly without any need for breathing. It was peaceful and beautiful with the patterns of refracted sunlight dancing upon the sandy bottom beneath me. The water was clearer than it ever could have been in reality. It seemed as though I could see forever ahead. I cannot recall any sound at all even though in reality the sound of running water is very evident in the pool. Then a peculiar thing happened. I had the odd experience of being under the water gently drifting along, but at the same time looking down from some distance above the rock pool, seeing the people sitting on the rocks surrounding the pool. After some time, I was still drifting under the water when I saw an object far ahead which I was approaching. As I got closer I could see it was a female form wearing a flimsy white flowing garment. As I approached closer, I recognized the person as my older sister Diane who had died of cancer, 13 years previously at the age of 28. There was no surprise in meeting her, and in some way, that I can't describe, she was different than I had known her in life. She was more radiant and fairy-like perhaps, but it just seemed ordinary to meet her that way. She beckoned with one hand for me to follow her and I did without any thought for where we were going: much like a couple of kids playing a game. We swam for what seemed like ages through the light-patterned, almost shimmering water. After a while, she headed upwards. I followed her. Suddenly, that entire world collapsed and I was spluttering, gasping for breath, trying to see, but there was only blackness, something grabbing hold of me and then I could feel the slippery hardness of the rock wall and a helpless dizziness. After several minutes, I regained a confused sort-of vision and could function enough to assist in my own removal from the running water via the rocky steps. The two young men who had dived into the pool to help me, and to whom I am forever grateful, had their arms around me holding me against the rock face. They and my wife had been in much distress after I had not surfaced as usual and could not be seen below the pool's surface due to the disturbance of the running water. When I had broken the surface waving, they had dived in immediately to assist. I was driven to our family doctor where I was diagnosed with severe concussion and head lacerations from the impact of the fall. I had no serious physical after effects from the incident.
Date NDE Occurred: 1990
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Direct head injury. Life threatening event, but not clinical death
Whilst skiing on my feet down a natural rock water-slide in a national park, I slipped and hit my head, ending up in the deep rock pool at the bottom of the slide: unconscious. I remained under the water for an indeterminate length of time, but estimated by my wife/daughter and several onlookers to be more than 5 minutes. After that time I appeared at the surface waving my arm, but still only semi-conscious and a couple of men dived in to assist me to the edge of the rock pool where they could not immediately remove me from the water due to the slippery rock surfaces and the flowing current. I was coughing up water and found it difficult to breathe, but after some minutes I revived enough to assist in my own rescue from the water and I recovered on the rocks above the water. I was taken to my family doctor who diagnosed severe concussion and head lacerations with recommended close observation by family members for any adverse health effects.
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 I saw people sitting on the rocks below during the times when my attention was above the pool. I did not recognize anyone though, even though my wife and daughter should have been amongst those sitting there. But then I was sort of detached mentally during the periods of looking down as if they were just glimpses and my real attention was below the water's surface.
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 The environment during the experience seemed more vivid and vibrant but resembled the everyday world, however I could see both underwater and from above the water just by shifting my attention, otherwise I just seemed to be my ordinary self.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was fully aware and alert during the whole episode of the incident after I hit my head and fell into the water. Upon returning to the surface I was semi-conscious and not fully aware of anything.
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
There seemed to be all the time in the world as if it didn't matter. My experience seemed to go on for much longer than the few minutes that I was actually under water.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. The only difference was that I seemed to be able to see underwater to an indeterminate horizon, although the pool I was in was only perhaps 20 - 30 meters in diameter and then without really trying I could alternate my attention to be able to look down from a height of perhaps 30 meters seeing people on the rocks below me.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I had normal hearing before the incident, but during the incident I cannot recall any sound sensation at all.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I encountered my deceased sister who had passed away from cancer at the age of 28 years. She had been gone some 13 years at the time of the incident.
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place It was normal appearing, resembling the underwater environment that I was in, apart from the fact that I seemed able to see as far as I wanted and the light was somehow enhanced.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Total serenity. It was a relaxing, peaceful experience and I was absorbed by the beauty of the environment and felt so comfortable just drifting along, seeing nothing in particular until my sister appeared. Because her form broke the uniformity of the environment, I was curious at first, but was not exactly surprised to see her and when she drifted along with me, it just seemed like any pleasant natural event.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
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? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Atheist Was quite anti-religion at the time considering it to be reponsible for many of the troubles in the world & considered the Christian religion in particular to be a farce.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain It may have led to a more open -minded and tolerant view of religion in that even though I still don't believe that the mainstream religions are accurate or go far enough in their scope of what spirituality is all about, they are better than believing in nothing.
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 Since the experience I have sought out answers & have researched the possibilities of what forms our existence. I am comfortable with a personal spiritual philosophy closely aligned with buddhist beliefs.
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 My beliefs at the time were that there most probably was not a God of the Judeo/Christian/Islamic kind, but there may have been some sort of afterlife. I had an open mind to out-of-body experiences as my mother claimed to be able to "astral travel" & close friends of hers had verified her descriptions of their circumstances when she claimed to have visited them out of body. Most confusing to me after my experience is how my attention seemed to be in two places almost at the same time & how the pool I fell into was transformed into something far larger.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Without being entirely aware of making any changes, my life became gradually more simple. Material things (like homes, cars) became less important. I became not so judgmental of people. I resigned from my white collar government employment and became a gardener.
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? No
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? No
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? 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 probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes Well, I encountered my deceased sister who seemed as alive as I was.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not 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? Not fearful in living my earthly life
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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? I am a more compassionate and tolerant person than I was prior to my experience. I live my life in a spiritual way with regard for all creatures and the environment. I no longer kill anything if I can help it, where before I was a champion spear fisherman and hunter. I am a vegan who supports animal welfare causes and my wife I have taken in rescued pets as family members. I am a more compassionate and tolerant person than I was prior to my experience. I live my life in a spiritual way with regard for all creatures and the environment. I no longer kill anything if I can help it, where before I was a champion spear fisherman and hunter. I am a vegan who supports animal welfare causes and my wife I have taken in rescued pets as family members.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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 th I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of th
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Whilst riding my motorcycle after this event, several times I found my consciousness viewing the road ahead of my physical position. It became so unnerving that I gave up riding long distances for a while.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Meeting my deceased sister was a very comforting experience.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared my experience with my wife that same day and she believed that I genuinely may have had that sort of experience as it was amazing that I had been under water so long and survived without drowning. I told my older brother several years later and he dismissed my experience as some sort of hallucination caused by lack of oxygen to the brain.
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 real At first I was overtaken by the whole event and definitely felt that I had experienced something extraordinary, but after a while I sort of rationalized it as a possible vivid dream. A little while later I started being out-of-body on my motorcycle, I accepted that something was definitely happening to me and it had possibly started with the fall at Josephine Falls.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I can still remember easily the details of this experience where I have forgotten much of what happened that year and since. It remains a significant event in my life.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I have had out-of-body experiences whilst riding my motorcycle long distances which occurred not long after this event. I have not had them now for many years and haven't ridden motorcycles for many years now.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I am still unsure of exactly what label to place upon what I experienced, although I do accept it was real. I do believe that my deceased sister came to me and somehow, despite being under water unconscious for several minutes, prevented my body from drowning.
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