I had no preconceived idea of what heaven was or where it was. The Biblical descriptions such as mansions, streets of gold and other such things were and are just transferences of a conscious or semi-conscious mind of earthly things and concepts. I believe that those who claim such things, who describe a prolonged experience, or that they were spoken to by family or religious figure are not 'after life' experiences but are closer to subconscious or comatose dreams, still in this world. I believe that those of the clergy or students of Biblical study are less likely to have a true after or more than just 'near' death experience and, from what I've read after my own experience, are more likely to embellish and capitalize on their experience. That being said, the following is my experience:
After major open chest surgery, when wheeled from cardiac intensive care unit to the cardiac care hospital room, adjudged stabilized, I felt as like in a trance but not, and somewhat ethereal. I had no recollection of being brought to that hospital room, which seemed strange, as did I. I felt less than half-alive, like my life was slipping away. I looked for telephone numbers I had for emergencies and called one and then the other, which was a nurse and doctor friend, but neither was home. I then heard but did not see one nurse or staff member, excitably saying to another. 'What should we do', as in panic, and I recall thinking, in my rapidly diminishing state, that they didn't know, and it seems at that point I was 'coding.' I recall nothing thereafter and assume that they quickly brought me back to the intensive care unit. I had no thoughts, awareness, no nothing, as though life had left me, as I look back, and, according to the nurses later, I had 'coded' or lost life, twice, repeating that they had 'lost' me.
I've been asked how long I was 'gone', and my response is that I had no 'life' and therefore there was no sense of 'time,' and I would not be even willing to venture a guess.
While in this out-of-life 'experience,' I found myself at once, in what seemed to be Heaven. It was infinite, as though there was no limit. It was a VERY light bluish in its unlimited scope, and there were a gathering of spirits on my left and a few in front, including one in particular who I surprisingly recognized as my father who appeared healthier and younger than I even had known him to be. He was, as were the others, totally spirits, without body form, as though 'friendly ghosts'. They showed no emotion or expression, as though awaiting the outcome of my presence. I had the opportunity to look and recognize others. But I chose not to, holding up my hands, and telepathically firmly conveying that I was not ready to stay. I felt that if I chose to look at the others, I would be a part of them and remain there. I backed away, and, I presume, went back to my body and life. I was not 'aware' for some time, it seems. There was no 'awakening' after leaving what seemed to be Heaven, which was extremely peaceful, as the spirits and surroundings indicated, which went on forever with no ending. There were no earthly signs of earthly things or existence. It was a place that I would have no problem returning to for eternity, especially since I felt there was more than just the part I had been in.
There was no tunnel, no walking to a light, no family persons there to greet me or speak to me. It seemed that 'speech' was earthly, not heavenly. Any inter-relating seemed to be more telepathically but, not in a language. I would suspect a 'true' experience if such was 'experienced'.
Date NDE Occurred: 'June 2, 2009'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
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 lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Consciousness is not how I would describe it nor 'alertness.' They are more defined, descriptive States, rather than intangible ethereal senses.
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
Not sure of what is meant by 'altered.' It was space or dimension other than anything experienced on earth or even thought of, and 'time' would seem to be a concept out of place there, since it was infinite and not limited to 'time.'
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. I was on a different 'plane' somewhere way away, with no similarities to earthly environment, i.e. no trees, hills, or whatever, and sense of being without them. There were no colors except the overall lightly bluish tinted very clear white environs. The spirits were totally white as well. Depth perception was beyond perceptiveness, into infinity. There was no solidness at all, nor transparency that I was aware of.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It differed in the sense that there was no sound, loud or otherwise, to hear. It was ethereal. Sounds would be of earth and this was not earth.
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
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 Wouldn't call them 'beings' but rather spirits. They were there as though restrained and awaiting the outcome of my presence. I knew only my father's image because I chose not to look around at anyone, and I hadn't chosen to see him, actually. His spirit was just there in front of me but more about what seemed fifteen feet away perhaps. Nothing was communicated because there was no need for there to be. That's more of a human need than a spiritual one.
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 There was no 'light' per esthete was no approaching toward or in a light. I was already there, in a bright place. Light is not really the right word. For example, when used in number 17, it wasn't a 'light' but rather a whole everything environ.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was clearly in another dimension and its limitlessness was somewhat awesome.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? There were emotions. It seemed above emotions. It was not a place for 'emotions.'
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
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain I sensed here was an imperceptible 'boundary' which, if I crossed it, I would no longer return to wherever, and would remain there for eternity.
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? Conservative/fundamentalist
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Even more so, I feel that it is not religious practices or attending church that is what's ultimately important. For me, it is my personal relationship with God now more than ever. When I pray, it is not from a church or saying words on the earthly plane I'm on, but from where I was on the higher plane, temporarily praying to God for that moment mentally, but not physically, for it is not where I should be presently, but I feel closer to God hearing my prayers by doing so. There is no doubt that I am closer to God than before. I am not religious in the wider sense nor need a church to define my belief.
What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Even more so, I feel that it is not religious practices or attending church that is what's ultimately important. For me, it is my personal relationship with God now more than ever. When I pray, it is not from a church or saying words on the earthly plane I'm on, but from where I was on the higher plane, temporarily praying to God for that moment mentally, but not physically, for it is not where I should be presently, but I feel closer to God hearing my prayers by doing so. There is no doubt that I am closer to God than before. I am not religious in the wider sense nor need a church to define my belief.
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 felt that I was, with certainty, in a dimension that could be described as in heaven but only a small part of an undisclosed infinite heaven. I believe that I was in Heaven and don't hope for what there is after death because I know and there would be no waiting to get there at that time. It has cleared up any doubts or questions or doubts about after one dies and that whatever religion, it doesn't matter. It's simply a matter of believing. If someone is 'dead' spiritually on earth, they have closed the door to eternity, it seems. Judging by the 'spirits' around me at the time, I would say that by far not everyone ends up in 'heaven'.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Not really. I perhaps see those few that I have told a little differently in their thinking and where they are coming from, in a sense, and view those who have religious beliefs who hope for and have faith of eternal life after death to be insecure in those beliefs and still indulging in themselves as of the ultimate importance. However, I don't impart that in any way to anyone.
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? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The fact that there is awareness and an infinite and peaceful future after death.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes About two weeks later, in rehabilitation, I shared with close visiting acquaintances. Some accepted it, others, especially closed or fixed minded religious people, courteously listened, and even seemed envious that it wasn't they without saying so, and prayed for my recovery. It was as though most of the few I told could not comprehend it and didn't know how to respond, so just listened and then the subject was changed. I therefore have had no need to share my experience with others. I know what I experienced and how it enhanced my understanding. I would only like to communicate with those of a quite similar experience to share it with.
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 I not only believe it was a real experience, but I am acutely aware of it a year later. I can only say that your 'how' and 'why' I viewed and view the reality of my experience is not that way. It was real, and it just happened and I accept it as real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I view it just as it occurred, and it doesn't change at all from then to now. I would not edit it, expand it, or embellish it. It was and is as I experienced it.
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 have covered not only the experience but related thoughts and don't need to elaborate for the sake of it.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Limit the either/or types of questions, which limits the accuracy of answers.
Distinguish between 'near' death and define it. Many might see their experience as near death almost like they are inclined to say they almost or came close to being on a plane that crashed and try to live an 'almost' experience; there are those who were unconscious and had paranormal thoughts, etc. but not on the brink of death in reality.