Experience Description

I was spending my holidays with my parents at my mother's uncle and aunt's place, in Toulon. It was summer and everyone was indoors. I had remained outdoors and I wanted to swim in the swimming pool. I usually swam with a buoy because I didn't know how to swim except if I stayed on the steps where I could stand in the water. Therefore, I went down to the last step to be immersed as deep as possible within the reach of the steps. Unfortunately, I slipped and I immediately found myself driven to the bottom of the swimming pool. The slope drove me to the middle of the pool.

I can remember that I wasn't scared. I was sitting at the bottom, looking at the surface above. The sun was coming through it and it's undulations made the light move. I didn't feel any fear, I can't even remember trying to swim or going up. However, I didn't know how to swim and I didn't know what to do.

I started to feel very cold and I shut my eyes. Then I found myself outside the swimming pool. I was flying several meters high above it and I could see my body deep under water. I strangely felt nothing at this sight, no panic, no fear; only an acceptance of what was happening and a loss of interest about my physical envelope. This was not really important after all.

Then, I somehow 'swiveled', but the word isn't accurate because I didn't really have a shape. What I can tell is that I couldn't see the swimming pool. I was 'into a white color' (this is the only expression I have found to describe this stage when I happen to tell this experience, and to my mind, it's the most accurate). Everything was white; I was bathing in this white. Time was suspended, I found myself in a state of supreme serenity. I was where I had to be, I was feeling so calm, in a state of total perfection and fullness. This state seemed to last for ages if I can say so because time simply didn't exist.

The white color then quickly dissolved into a red-orange color, I was bathing in a sunset. However, it was but for a brief period of time because I suddenly felt back into my body, still deep in the water.

I heard a strong noise and I saw a shape diving towards me. I was lifted by my armpits. I can perfectly recall seeing that the person who dived had pierced through the surface but the moment that came after is confused as everybody was moving and talking at the same time. I wasn't reanimated nor anything of the kind, I simply spat out the water I had swallowed.

In fact, fortunately, my mother's cousin had gone out of the house to fetch something. The fact that he was seeing me at the bottom of the pool was no surprise to him: he had grown up in a house with a swimming pool, therefore he knew how to swim and he naturally thought I was able to swim. He went back to the house and just said, 'Philip, he is now able to swim and he is down under the surface'. My parents were of course panic-stricken and said I didn't know yet how to swim. My mother's cousin ran outside and plunged to rescue me. While I was still 'into the white'.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: 1982

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Noyade Life threatening event, but not clinical death . I had slipped to the bottom of the pool and I was drowning.

How do you consider the content of your experience?

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? More consciousness and alertness than normal While I was 'into the white'.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? While I was 'into the white'.

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 As I mentioned before, time didn't exist and there wasn't any space within this 'white', nor shape nor dimension.

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

Did your vision differ in any way from normal? When I was floating above the swimming-pool because I had no shape. I could see 'globally', even if I first focused on my body deep into the water. Then, while I was 'into the white', there was nothing to be seen. No shape, no distance, only white.

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I don't have any memory of a sound from this episode.

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: 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? Uncertain If the 'white' into which I was bathing can be considered as such, well yes. But I didn't have the feeling it was physical light, even if I suppose it can be called so (which accounts for my answer to question seventeen).

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Je pense que le ""blanc"" était un pallier, la dimension qui suivait immédiatement la décorporation dans le plan physique.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Serenity, calmness, a feeling of wellbeing and happiness.

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 I first learnt that physical life isn't everything. This is an important limit most people usually feel. In my case, this limit went off when I was a child.

Some people believe in God and in an afterlife, or something that 'comes after'. Personally, even if I find it difficult to express this 'something', I don't believe, I KNOW, and this really makes a difference.

I then learnt that there is something after life on earth. I questioned every single given pattern (God our Father, angels, paradise or hell, etc.) because I hadn't seen any of those things. And when the following year or two years later, my mother sent me to have a religious education, I criticized much of what we were being taught. The person in charge of this religious education didn't like me very much because of my attitude and I stopped going (either I was not wanted any more, either I didn't want to go, I can't remember).

Even if I didn't die, I have learnt not to fear death, I don't even wish it to occur. On the contrary, I have become conscious of the value of life and how important it is to live it through to its very end.

Because of it all, I started from that time on to ask myself many questions regarding the universe, its creation and so on. I started to investigate in order to get answers to questions I had not before. My whole spiritual quest, since I was six, has derived from this experience.

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 'Difficile de dire où j'en étais à cette époque; Je suis d'une famille de catholiques non pratiquants, mais à cet âge-là on m'avait déjà parlé du ''''Bon Dieu'''', du ciel etc... et je suppose que j'y croyais plus ou moins sans trop me poser de questions.'

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have put aside the catholic religion since my childhood because I didn't feel a presence, I didn't see angels, paradise etc. Everything I was told to believe in appeared to me as lies.

For a long time, I thought I was an atheist, but not completely because I knew there was something (but something different from what tradition tells us).

For four years now, I have turned to Buddhism because I practiced yoga and meditation, relaxation in order to overcome my paralysis during sleep; in the meantime I have discovered amazing similar facts to my own experience in some Buddhist books.

What is your religion now? Moderate Je me suis aujourd'hui tourné vers le bouddhisme tibétain.

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have put aside the catholic religion since my childhood because I didn't feel a presence, I didn't see angels, paradise etc. Everything I was told to believe in appeared to me as lies.

For a long time, I thought I was an atheist, but not completely because I knew there was something (but something different from what tradition tells us).

For four years now, I have turned to Buddhism because I practiced yoga and meditation, relaxation in order to overcome my paralysis during sleep; in the meantime I have discovered amazing similar facts to my own experience in some Buddhist books.

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 I was able to understand it all: the universe, why Man exists and so on - a kind of omniscience.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain Yes and no, what is so difficult is to be able to process so much data at the same time, and my tale seems very long though in fact the experience didn't last that long.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Several times I met spirits, ghosts, whatever you call them.

I have been performing spontaneous out-of-body experiences (some people talk about 'astral journeys') since I was about twelve years old. As a teenager, I couldn't really master such a phenomenon. The first time it happened, I was astonished and I quickly came back into my body. During this re-entering phase, I was paralyzed. Then I failed in every further out-of-body experience and it turned out as paralysis during sleep.

Today, I know how to overcome this paralysis and to control the fears and hallucinations it may lead to, this has enabled me to achieve three successful out-of-body experiences.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? When I was 'into the white' because I was experiencing total serenity.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes But only on the internet to people who really share an interest in the matter. I'm reluctant about talking about this topic to people I know, I fear to get labeled as a 'schizophrenic' or a 'mystic', something like that. People are afraid of what they don't understand.

The people I communicated with through the internet reacted very well; most of them are open-minded and are interested, some of them have experimented with similar situations.

I don't know if my story has ever had an influence over them, we should be able to ask them about this.

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 definitely real. As I was very young when it occurred, I couldn't have a doubt about what I had been through.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. The memory is still as vivid as it was. Moreover, some phenomena I went through during my life regularly brings me confirmation of the sheer reality of that experience.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain No medicine, no drugs (I have never taken drugs of any kind, I have never smoked). However, as I already said, I have become able to separate my conscience from my body quite easily.