I have fainted on numerous occasions, endured pain and loss of blood, have had several surgical procedures with nothing unusual to report. But there were two occasions when I did experience an OBE. They took place when the circumstances were in my opinion (as described to me later) life-threatening, or a trauma and shock to my system. In neither case, was I prepared for what happened or even anticipated it - what happened was spontaneous.
I would also like to add, for whatever it is worth, that I have always been very psychic, (clairvoyant dreams for the most part), both before and after these experiences. I have always been spiritual-minded. However, my OBEs were short-lived, and during them, I did not meet any spiritual beings or had any major soul revelations (at least that I recall) as has been reported by other people writing in.
The first OBE
I am 17 years old and sitting in a classroom, one warm fall afternoon listening to the teacher finish his lecture. I am also experiencing some hellish menstrual cramps. I have fainted on occasion due to these, and I am waiting for the class to end so I can get up and go to the nurse's office. There are only a few minutes left till the end of class and if I can hold on...but I don't. I feel myself faint, but unlike other faints I've had before, and since, this time, I strike the side of my head on the metal rim of a desk in the row next to me as I fall off my seat.
The next thing I know, I am pulled out of my body from the back, like someone has yanked my soul out, painlessly but very abruptly - or my consciousness - who I am, in other words - by the back of my neck. Without seeing where I am going or headed, I find myself outside the school building, across the street from it, looking at it from what appears to be a position some dozen feet up in the air and somewhat to the left of the front of the school. I can see the 2nd-story window of the classroom where I was. But I do not ask myself what has happened or why I am suddenly where I find myself. I am passive but comfortable and very aware of the colors and details of this ordinary landscape before me - unlike a dream, this landscape reflects the type of day it was before I fainted: sunny, blue skies, afternoon, locale. (One of the reasons I will never be convinced this was a dream.) The colors are extra vivid, the sensation of being aware fully of this day and landscape all encompassing. I take in the scene all at once, not just what is before me but around me and behind me.
Then I am aware of the class change bell ringing, and I observe students walking from one of the outlet school buildings towards the main building. The thing that I find curious about this later is that, as I focus on these students, I do not see them with the same sense of recognition that I did in regular awareness - instead a part of me - my vision, I think - telescopes right up to them, while the rest of me remains back at the same vantage point in the air. I am aware of what each particular student that I focus on is thinking and feeling - in fact, I sense what it is to be that person - but I do not regard this information as I would in regular consciousness. I mean, at that age had someone come up to me and said you will have this ability to know what someone else is thinking or feeling, I would have been downright gleeful, even mischievous about it. But at this point, for whatever reason, I am passive and at peace with what is going on and there is certainly no desire to take advantage of or manipulate any situation.
Then I am suddenly sucked back towards the 2nd story window, pulled in through the screen in a swoosh at which point I lose my 'spirit' sense and black out. I regain regular consciousness from where I am lying on the floor. I feel chilly and strange and 'slow', as if I have been out of it for a long while even if I fell just a minute or so before. My body feels sluggish and heavy to me. The class bell had rung, some of the students are filing out, some of them are looking at me as they leave, a few are snickering (later, I heard that some of them thought I fainted due to the heat in the room). My teacher and a friend or two of mine are helping me to my feet, asking me how I feel - one of them walks me to the nurse's office.
What strikes me as so real about this experience, even after all these years, is the comfort and peace of it, as well as the vivid colors and sharp details of a landscape that I ordinarily would take for granted. No spiritual presences, though I have sensed them during other times. No bright lights or tunnels. But a clear calm awareness, effortlessly achieved without effort on my part.
The second OBE
It was quite similar to my first one. I stopped breathing during a difficult childbirth; the anesthesiologist clamped a gas mask over my face and I lost consciousness. I don't know at which point it happened, but suddenly again I was outside the hospital during the afternoon that my delivery is taking place, observing the traffic around the hospital, aware of intersections and the traffic, the partly cloudy sky, pedestrians walking into the hospital, every detail clear as a bell, same peaceful feeling. This OBE seems ever more brief than the first one, though. I am not sure to this day how I know this, but I am sure of it. Then I am back in the labor room, having just delivered a fortunately healthy baby boy.
Date NDE Occurred: 10/1976, 9/1979
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain AccidentChildbirth Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening In the first episode, I struck my head when falling - though it took place in a classroom with others present, no one said later if I was breathing or not when this happened. I regained consciousness very quickly afterwards.
In the second, a nurse who stayed past her shift to be there with me when I gave birth told me in a guarded tone of voice that I'd had 'difficulties' while under anesthesia - it took a little quizzing to get her to admit that I'd quit breathing. (In researching this experience, I've learned from several anesthesiologists that that it is not an exact science and putting people under requires skill and some close calls - an imbalance in what is administered and patient is not sufficiently under, or over-medication may momentarily occur - where the patient may stop breathing - a temporary situation that is remedied by an alert anesthesiologist for the most part, though sometimes patients can and do die from such complications.)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? As described above. Very alert, no anxiety, unlike any dream I have ever had. Time is experienced differently, but how I know this, I can't explain.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? It was a slightly windy day during the first OBE, and I heard the wind as it passed through treetops around me, rustling leaves. I do not recall any sounds during the second OBE.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain There seemed to be an unearthly light to these otherwise ordinary landscapes I viewed but only because my sense of color was heightened during the OBEs, I think.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Being up in the air. Nor did I find anything unusual about this at the time. I did not have a sensation of floating. I just knew where I was by how things appeared to me from that vantage point.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? As described above. No emotions. Just awareness.
The experience included: Special Knowledge
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No No revelations other than what took place for me.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I think these OBEs and my dreams have contributed to my sense that there is more to life and death than what meets our eyes. However, I have spent a lifetime reading New Age books, medical texts and physics books in order to try and understand how such things could take place. I am still wondering how many of these experiences is due to the brain's 'mechanism' or due to energies, cosmos-related.
Did scenes from the future come to you? No Have always been clairvoyant but not on a global track.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No Returns to the body were completely spontaneous, as were the exits.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Conservative/fundamentalist Lutheran
What is your religion now? Moderate So not attend church at this time
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 But also before these OBEs, as I have stated.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Best: lack of tension, the colors and details. No worst, really, although re-entry to the body was not any fun. I would rather have remained in the OBE state. Returning, my body felt cold and sluggish and heavy. However, I have felt this when waking up from fainting and coming to after surgery where there were no OBEs.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Interested. I would not say they were influenced, though they may share my belief that there is something after bodily death.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain I have tried one or two drugs when I was younger. I have fainted while giving blood or during medical procedures where nothing was threatening (but I still fainted anyway! - a family trait, I think, my brother faints, too but he has had no OBEs or clairvoyant dreams), and two other surgeries that required complete anesthesia - but no OBEs took place during them. I have also had lucid dreams but again, no OBEs during them. I have had dreams of flying - but again different from what was experienced during OBE.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? That about sums it up. I will say that when you are in that state, you realize there is no difference really between yourself and other forms of creation. In that state, we are all on the same level.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? The questions were in-depth enough. I suggest that you might ask if a person really believes their experience to be truly spiritual or if they doubt the validity of it. I say that because I am skeptical sometimes of my own experiences - I know that we do not have a very keen comprehension of how our own minds work¼ - our physically asymmetrical brains are able to experience our identities differently than do animals with singular lobes, for example.
And sometimes looking into ourselves, we tend to misidentify - what we call intuition is sometimes instinct, what we call logic is sometimes intuition and so on.
I just don't want to over-glorify or read too much yet into an OBE. There may indeed be life after life; that we do shed the body after we die or when there is imminent danger of bodily death. That certainly has been mankind's hope. But not all the 'facts' are in yet.
Still, physics teaches us that universal energies alter or change, that there is annihilation and creation, over and over again. New Age books emphasize different dimensions to human spiritual experiences. Medical texts can sometimes explain how something works and why it may have evolved, but still no one can say what it all means in the first place!
My OBEs have taught me that life and realms of consciousness can be fantastic. But I also note that in the past, people of different cultures have held their own variety of beliefs and hopes that were later proved to be myths or rediscovered to be something else - i.e., Earth was considered to be the center of the universe, the world was flat, physical health was a matter of 'humors'. Then, later generations were exposed to 'new' knowledge - germs and viruses, evolved forms of transportation, shifts in religious belief, etc. My OBEs have been partly responsible for my belief in a purpose behind these evolutions.