I was eight years old and growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, in the San Gabriel Valley in a town called El Monte.
I was riding my bike one day with my best friend, Felix, along a busy street. I was on the right side of the road, going with the flow of traffic. My friend was on the opposite side, riding in the same direction. I needed to cross the street to join him, so I looked over my shoulder to watch for oncoming cars. Because of the curve in the road, I couldn't see much more than a hundred feet. The speed limit on this road was forty mph, but people often drove much faster than that, so I knew that I didn't have enough sight distance to safely cross.
I realized that Felix would be able to see further than I could, so I called out to him, 'Hey! See any cars coming?' He looked back, shook his head and said, 'All clear!' I veered sharply to the left to cross. The last thing I remember was the sound of screeching tires, looking over my shoulder and seeing the front end of a 1962 Chevy Impala not more than ten feet away. Blue-grey smoke was coming up from the sides as the brakes locked up the tires.
The next thing I remember was the sensation of floating about twenty feet up in the air. I looked down and saw some kid lying in the middle of the road. He looked familiar. He was lying there spread-eagled, left leg was at a funny angle, his clothes were ripped and bloody, he wasn't breathing. I felt a strange sense of calm and detachment, as if the horrible scene below me really wasn't important. I watched as several people ran up to the boy. One of them started breathing into his mouth. I could hear him speaking with two voices.
'That's odd', I thought to myself.
I heard him say, 'Call an ambulance, he's not breathing!' I could also hear him say, 'Oh my god, oh my god, don't die on me!' at the same time. I realized that he was thinking this, not saying it. I could hear others thinking as well, yet I could make out everything they all were saying/thinking at the same time and still being able to understand all of it.
I watched this scene for what seemed like about a minute, then I noticed a bright light shining above me. I looked up and saw light streaming out of what looked like a pinhole in the sky. The hole was slowly getting bigger. I could see that it distorted things around it, like a lens bending light. The light was like Mother-of-Pearl in color, with streaks of blue, pink, green, and yellow/gold. It was very beautiful and very bright, yet I could see it clearly. Not like looking at the light from the sun, which can be uncomfortable.
I started to hear a buzzing sound that quickly became very loud. As the sound increased, the hole above me got bigger, the light got brighter, and I felt myself being pulled up towards it. I felt as if I was being squeezed through an opening that was too small for me. The buzzing sound became a whooshing roar as I entered the hole, with a Doppler-like effect as I passed through it. The sensation was like speeding down a tunnel at light speed, not unlike the 'warp' effect you see in movies. I wasn't alone in there, either. I felt the presence of others, but I couldn't see them.
I passed through some kind of dividing line, a barrier of sorts, hard to describe.
I was surrounded by light. Misty shapes began to form as I looked around. At first, they were just moving swirls of light, but they soon took the shape of human forms. There were a lot of them around me. I heard soft whispering coming from them, like a crowd murmuring and talking among themselves. From this crowd, three shapes came forward and approached me. As they drew near, I could make out them out better, as if they were slightly out of focus and my eyes were adjusting. They were tall and slender, wearing what looked like flowing robes. One of them was wearing a beard. They all had long, shoulder-length hair. One of them spoke to me.
'You're not supposed to be here, yet. You have to go back. You know what you agreed to,' he said.
I told him that I didn't want to go back. I liked it here. It felt like home. I felt like they were amused by my response.
'You must go back, you have work to do. We'll send you back, soon.'
I looked around me at the crowd. I saw familiar faces. These were friends, family, enemies, people I had known before, but I couldn't remember from where or when. Some of them I knew I had known for a very long time. Many lives, many places, many times. I flashed on visions from those lives and events. There was a continuity and connectedness about all of it, a sense of purpose and order that spanned the centuries.
I looked back at the three people in front of me. These people were ancient. I don't know how I knew that, but I knew that they were 'old souls' who watched over my group. We all had 'sprung' from them, like children, each going their way yet connected to the source. I felt nothing like judgment of our actions from them. If anything, I felt a kind of amused benevolence from them, like parents watching their children playing. Even at the really bad things we did in our lives, there was no judgment.
The one with the beard spoke to me. 'You can ask questions. We will answer them and you will remember. It is important that you do this.'
My first question was 'Is this heaven?'
'It can be, if that's what you want. It can be Hell, as well, if that's what you believe. This reality is an extension of you, instantly realized and formed. You always create your own reality, no matter where you find yourself, for we are all co-creators.'
'Where is God? I don't see him.' I asked. They became visibly amused, like they were snickering at my question under their breath.
'How can you see that which you are yourself a part of? We are all expressions of God. When you see with your eyes, you see through the eyes of God and he experiences reality through yours. When you speak to God, you speak to yourself. We are one and the same, there is no division or separation. You can no more 'see' God than your hand can see you, for it is a part of you and functions because of you and for your purposes, as well as its own. There is no separation. Any that seems to exist is an illusion. The light that surrounds us here is God. It is our source of being and is given freely to all.'
Next question. 'Why do I feel like this is home?'
'Because it is home. All begin here and return here. It is the starting point for all journeys and lessons.'
A strange question. I still don't know why I asked it, but at the time it seemed relevant. 'When I come back again, can I stay?' I got an even stranger answer.
'We don't think you'll want to stay long, you never do. You love your lessons, especially the hard ones. You can do as you please, it's your choice.'
This went on for what seemed like an hour. I asked fifteen questions that covered a wide variety of topics and ideas. I'll discuss some of these ideas upon request. Some of them I would rather not discuss. Either they're of a very personal nature, things most of us aren't ready to hear, or things I'm not supposed to talk about yet.
One day, I'll maybe write a book about it.
After the last question, I was told it was time to go back. I still didn't want to go back, but because of what I knew, I didn't argue the point.
I don't remember any kind of specific event that got me there, but I suddenly found myself in an ambulance. I felt a terrible rush of pain throughout my whole body. I felt like I was choking. There was a tube in my throat. I smelled and tasted blood. I looked over at the attendant sitting next to me and I was hit with a very strong sense of dΘjα vu. It was a memory of a dream I had a couple of days before. This very scene was in it. I remember one thing that really stood out. Two words...
Date NDE Occurred: 1965
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) Stopped breathing, but I'm not sure if my heart stopped also.
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 I was able to be in multiple places at the same time and experience events and conversations on many levels at once. I had no problem with keeping track of these multiple experiences. The sense of time seemed to be much more 'expansive'. Kind of like a moment point that is stretched out both into the future and the past at the same time.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Right after going through the tunnel. My feelings during that time can only be described as 'supernatural', but very real (and 'natural') at the time. Even to this day, the feeling exists like a 'real' event and not a dream.
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 described in my narrative above, time seemed to be stretched out. I like to use the term 'expansive' because it seems better suited to the experience.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? When I was floating above my body, I could see 360 degrees around me at the same time. But I only seemed to focus on a smaller visible area similar to my normal physical vision. People I saw below me appeared to have a kind of 'streakiness' about them. Kind of like being smeared when they moved. Colors seemed normal. No transparency noted.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? During the OBE, none noted. During the events immediately afterward, when I was on the other side, I heard sounds inside my head, as opposed to coming from outside like normal hearing.
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
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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
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
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Many places, in many ways. At times, it felt as if I was actually standing on a dirt path, for example, seeing a home I used to live in a short distance away. At other times, I seemed to be watching things from the "outside", like I was peering into another reality. Hard to describe.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Mostly calmness.
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 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 I experienced life events from the 'past', but they didn't relate to my present life. I also experienced events from the 'future', as well, both in this life and 'future' lives.
The experience included: Vision of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future Of the events in my life that a saw, they have all come true. The visions consisted of major events and 'crossroads' in my life. The details were not filled in, as if they didn't exist yet.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes As described in narrative above, a boundary existed in the form of a 'hole' of some kind that I 'squeezed' through at the end of the tunnel.
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 Lutheran
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I no longer attend church. It is a waste of time and energy. God isn't interested in being worshipped; he's only interested in our experiences and our growth.
What is your religion now? Liberal None
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I no longer attend church. It is a waste of time and energy. God isn't interested in being worshipped; he's only interested in our experiences and our growth.
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 Everything is connected. There is no separation between us and what we describe as God. The rest of what I know, I'd rather not say right now. Some of it is very disturbing.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Everything about me has changed since then. It's like I'm not the same personality that I was before the accident. My life prior to the accident seems more dream-like, as if it belongs to someone else.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Some elements of the experience are difficult to translate adequately into words. The feeling of experiencing multiple points of view and events simultaneously is one example.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Very empathic. I can easily sense feelings and emotions in other people, even total strangers, when they are physically close to me. Those that I have a close emotional bond with, I can sense at very far distances. I also have many prophetic dreams about events in my life and global events.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It was all meaningful.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes The first time I related this experience, it was to the Pastor of my church. He dismissed the experience outright and told me it must have been a dream. It was many years before I told anyone else. Most people I tell seem very skeptical.
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. It happened. It was real. I fully remembered all of the events, as I was told I would. I remember them all just as clearly to this day.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. See above.
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'm looking forward to going back.