Polly R NDE

Experience Description

It was 1/3/1988. I was still not quite acclimated to how things work in this country. On that beautiful evening, I had gone to the theatre to see the movie ‘Moonstruck.’ As I came out of the theatre, it was snowing. I was so ‘moonstruck’ by the beauty of the snowflakes, that I was not paying attention as I crossed the road.

I was hit by a taxicab. I felt it strike my left hip, and then everything went black. (A witness later reported that I had flipped twice in the air before I hit the tarmac, the first time, when the cab hit my thigh, and the second time when its windshield hit my head.) The blackness that I experienced wasn't ordinary blackness. I was very sharply aware. I knew that something was happening to my body, that, in fact, I was separate from my body. I had a feeling that I was floating somewhere above where my body was. I was confused as to where I was and what was happening to my body, but at the same time I wasn't scared. I felt that I was in a narrow space, like I was either being held where I was, or maybe that the sides of the space I was in were very close to me. I started demanding and asking, ‘Where is my body? What is happening to my body?’ Suddenly, I was back in my body, lying in the middle of the road. There were people surrounding me, and one person said, ‘Wait, wait! She's alive! She's alive!’ Despite the fact that the accident had looked fatal to observers, I walked away without a scratch. The people who surrounded me urged me to get into the ambulance that they had called and go to the hospital to be checked out, which I did. I found out that I only had a mild concussion.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: 'January 3rd, 1988'

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'There was a life-threatening event. But I am unsure if I was also clinically dead at any point, or if CPR was being done.' I was crossing a busy street and wasn't paying attention. I was hit by a taxicab, and, according to later reports of eyewitnesses, I flipped twice in the air, the first flip was after the cab hit my thigh, and the second flip was when its windshield hit my head. Later, when I came to, I remember the people who were surrounding me saying, ‘Wait, wait! She's alive! She's alive!’ So I don't know whether they had been administering CPR, or did the violent contact of landing on the asphalt jolt me back.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? No 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 I had studied the sciences in my youth, so I was used to being sharp-minded. I also had been an infantry combat instructor in the Isr'li army, so I was used to a high degree of alertness. However, the level of alertness that I experienced during the time that I was out of my body far surpasses all levels of alertness that I had ever experienced before that or since then.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At the time when everything was black and I was being held in the narrow space (tunnel?)

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 I couldn't tell how much time had passed.

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. Well, everything was black/dark, but it was not void at all. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the Light or the beautiful colors the way other people describe, perhaps because my experience was very brief. I didn't see any ‘hellish’ visions, either. The darkness and the calmness that was inherent in the experience are hard to describe.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Although I felt like my sense of hearing was acute during the experience, there was only dead-silence. Now, thinking about it logically, there should not have been silence, because the city was humming with the sounds of traffic and of people. And yet I was very aware of an ‘acute’ silence (for lack of a better word.)

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

The experience included: Tunnel

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I felt like I was being held in a tight spot or a confined space, which could have been the ‘tunnel’ that I later heard other NDErs mention. But if it had been a tunnel, why did I not see a light at the end of it?

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: Darkness

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? No

What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was confused as to where my body was and what was happening to it. But besides that, I had a feeling of detached calmness, like I knew that everything was going to be okay.

Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness

Did you have a feeling of joy? No

Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No

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? Jewish I was raised Jewish but secular. At the time of the accident I was actually an atheist.

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain I definitely opened up to the possibility of an existence beyond the physical as a result of this experience. But it took years for me to find my spiritual path and to believe in God.

What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me

What is your religion now? Other faiths- New age I maintain close personal relationships with God. My way of life includes daily blessings, prayer and meditation. I encompass some shamanic traditions into my beliefs, but my beliefs most closely resemble Sikh philosophy.

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 Prior to this experience, I did not believe in anything beyond the physical. Not a God, not a Soul or spirit, and certainly not that my consciousness can exist separate from the body. And yet I know beyond the shadow of doubt that I was separate from my body during the experience.

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain The experience made me realize how fragile life is. For many years after that, I was driven to fulfill the dream, which I perceived was my life mission. But it was only a few years later, when I became a Reiki practitioner, [‘Reiki: a system, with Buddhist origins, of transferring healing life energy from the trained practitioner to the client, using the hands, held just above the body, and not touching it.’] that I began to experience closeness to God. It is possible that this experience did lead me to seek meaning in life and to become a Reiki practitioner. The experience certainly did open me to the possibility of God and an afterlife. But since I did not see the Light that other NDErs report seeing, and since the changes in my belief system were so gradual, in all honesty I don't really know if it was the experience that changed it or not.

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 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 probably exists

Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:


During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Well, by the very fact that I was so sharply aware, and that at the same time, I was separate from my body, I came to know that my consciousness has a life of its own. Despite the fact that it contradicted my previous atheist beliefs, I found out during the experience that consciousness does not depend on the existence of the body, but is separate from it.

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? Uncertain Nothing was directly communicated to me to that affect. But the feeling that I was being held in that tight space made me wonder if I was somewhere in the vicinity of my body because my life here has a purpose.

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

Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably exists Yes Well, by the very fact that I was so sharply aware, and that I was separate from my body, despite the fact that it contradicted my previous atheist beliefs, during the experience I came to know that my consciousness has a life of its own that does not dep

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? Unknown

Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Unknown

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 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? Moderate changes in my life Moderate changes in my life.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I think it was then that I because almost obsessed with finding love and light in life.

After the NDE:


Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It is difficult to express the level of sharp awareness that I experienced during that period of darkness. It is also difficult to explain how, on the one hand, I could be confused as to where I was and where my body was, but on the other hand I was confident that everything was going to be all right. Having a crystal-clear understanding that I was separate from my body stood in contradiction to all of my previous beliefs (or ‘non-beliefs,’ because I was an atheist at the time and didn't believe in the existence of a spirit or soul.) Today, when I am in ordinary consciousness, it is hard for me to understand or talk about the ‘narrow space’ in which I was held (a tunnel?) and why I was held there.

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? Yes I get intuitive and psychic messages all the time. I also feel like I ‘hear-truth: an ability to listen to the non-physical quality of a voice and know if the speaker is coming from a place of truth or not. But again, I do not know if these gifts are a result of later becoming a Reiki master, or are a result of this experience

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs I had at the time of my experience. Prior to this experience, I did not believe in anything beyond the physical. Not a God, not a Soul or a spirit, and certainly not that my consciousness could exist separately from my body. And yet I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that I was separate from my body during my experience.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I think the first time I shared the experience was about thirteen years later with my now best friend. She is a spiritual teacher who already knew that our Soul survives physical death. She has also had an out-of-body experience, although hers was not associated with any life-threatening experience. I think that's why I felt comfortable enough to share this with her because I knew she would not criticize me.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No Prior to this experience, I had no knowledge of near death experiences. This was on 1/3/1988. About the year 2000, or 2001, I read Dr. Weiss's book ‘Many Lives Many Masters’ and became aware of reincarnation. I then found a hypnotherapist and had some past life regressions of my own. As far as pure NDE literature, it wasn't until 2011 that I read Dr. Moody's book ‘Life After Life’ and began to wonder about my own experience. It wasn't until 2012 that I read Dr. Long's book ‘Evidence of the Afterlife.’

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real The fact that I was separate from my body is definitely real! Realistically, I have not kept in touch with the people who surrounded me when I came to. So I do not have any conclusive medical data as to the following: Was the blunt trauma to the head that I suffered from the cab's windshield what sent me into cardiac arrest? Did I stop breathing? If so, did the people around me perform CPR on me? If not, why did they say, ‘Wait, wait, she's alive. She's alive!’? I just don't have all the data. From the perspective of my new spiritual beliefs —why did I not see the Light that I now know NDErs talk about? The bottom line is: what is absolutely real is the extremely sharp awareness that I had during the experience, the feeling that I was held in a tight space or a tunnel, and the absolute knowledge that I was separated from my body. But why did I not see the Light?!

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Now, after having read so many reports from other NDErs, as a Reiki master, I am a bit concerned about why I did not see the Light. I suppose it is possible that the brevity of my experience can account for not having reached those later stages in which people usually see the Light and everything. But I can't help but wonder if there is any other reason why I didn't see the Light.

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? In retrospect, now that I know about other people's NDEs, I am worried about why I did not see the Light as other people have.