At first I seemed to be moving through a dark tunnel toward a white light at the far end. The tunnel and the light grew larger. Eventually I emerged into what seemed like a strange new world, dark and mysterious. I felt alone as I moved on.
Before me, blocking my way was a dark ominous figure (it seemed to be a male). He wore a long hooded robe and was silhouetted against a glorious rosy glow from pastel clouds that filled the sky at some distance behind him. The rosy glow drew me and filled me with a marvelous sense of total love and acceptance. This was home, and I wanted to be there completely. But the figure would not let me pass. I couldn't see his face, but I wasn't afraid. I felt only tremendous love from him. I couldn't hear his words, but I could understand what he was telling me: I wasn't done yet, and I had to go back. I tried to protest. I didn't want to go back. I wanted to go into the rosy light.
Then it got very strange. The next thing I was aware of was being in a bubble out in space among the stars. The bubble that surrounded me filled with bright white light, and I could no longer see outside. I could sense that I was traveling faster and faster through the cosmos back toward my previous existence.
Then I started to worry. I wondered what if I didn't get back to the same life? The ride grew rough, like traveling over grooves on a cosmic phonograph record. I began hoping and praying that somehow I would find the right 'time slot' or 'groove' and not wake up to different people in a world other than the one I had known.
The frequency of the bumps became more rapid, and with a final shudder, I was back in my body. I awoke in the same bed and in what I thought was the same life. But was it? From that time on, I was never the same person and my whole existence changed dramatically.
Date NDE Occurred: October 1986
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
An extremely long and difficult surgical procedure.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When encountering the hooded figure and wanting to go into the rosy light. Also, on the way back when I was anxious about returning to the same life.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
At first, time didn't seem to matter. It was on the way back that time seemed to speed up tremendously, like a meteor flying through space.
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. The rosy colors I saw were somewhat like pictures from Hubble showing the nebula where stars are born, for example. The colors and the feelings from them were warm and cozy. The figure I encountered was a dark silhouette, and I couldn't see his face, only the outline of the hood and robe that he wore.
Most unusual was being inside the bubble, first looking out at my journey through the stars, and then blinded by the white light that surrounded me so that I could not see outside the bubble on my way back. It was like riding inside a shooting star.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I didn't hear any sounds while out in space. When the figure 'spoke' to me, I heard no words, but I could understand what he told me. I had to go back. I heard no sound until it got rough, and then I heard a thumping as I re-entered my body with difficulty.
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? Yes Only at first. The tunnel led into another realm, somewhere in space.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Only one, a dark hooded male figure wearing a robe. I did not know him. He told me that I wasn't done, so I had to go back. His communication was filled with gentleness and love. When I protested, he didn't argue. The next thing I knew, I was on my way back.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
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? Yes A place of glorious rose-colored clouds, radiating love and warmth.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm It was like Dorothy seeing Oz from a distance, only this wasn't an emerald city, it was a glorious place of rosy light. Perhaps there was a celestial city within the clouds, or some other way of being that I only sensed but couldn't see.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt overwhelming love and acceptance coming from the rosy light and from the figure I encountered. I sensed that the feeling would be even greater if I could only get closer to the light. I felt great sadness and disappointment when I learned I had to go back. I felt reluctance, almost anger. I wanted to stay.
On the way back, I felt a lot of anxiety about where I was going and whether I would get back to the same life.
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
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
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? Liberal None
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I began writing and studying deeply metaphysical subjects.
What is your religion now? Liberal None
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I began writing and studying deeply metaphysical subjects.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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 No need to fear death. Someday I would return. Just knowing that such a place and such feelings were possible was an enormous revelation.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Before the experience I did research and highly technical work, mostly alone. After the experience, I began working with many people in groups and one on one. I also did public speaking and teaching later. However, all of these new behaviors were very difficult at first because they were so new, even though I drew on my previous skills and background.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes No one wanted to believe it was real.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The encounter with the robed figure and the sense of love I felt. After that, I no longer dreaded death and began to look forward to it in a way. It was easier to accept my life afterward, even though I didn't know exactly what I had to do after I got back.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I tried to share it with my family right away, but they didn't take my experience seriously. Ten or fifteen years later, they seemed more open to it. It's something I hardly ever talk about.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain There wasn't much known at the time. I had heard about such things, but nothing like what I experienced. It's only been since 1986 that I've heard people describing these things in more detail. I've never heard about anyone being in a bubble of light.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real There has never been any question in my mind about it. It wasn't a dream. I was really there. To this day I can still feel the sensation of re-entering my body.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The only thing I wonder about is whether I actually re-entered the SAME reality, since everything in my life changed so much after I came back.
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? I had gone to a psychic four years earlier out of curiosity. She asked me if I was planning to have surgery. I said no, definitely not. Then she described in vivid detail what she saw. She said this was something I had set up for myself (which I didn't understand at the time). What she described was exactly what happened to me in surgery four years later.