Experience Description



A HIGHER GOOD (Also Book Review by Dave Woods)

Part 1, Chapter 1


Dying sometimes is hard, but death comes easy.

My buddy, Ron, and I hitch-hiked to another small berg about eight miles from our hometown so that we could posture like adults at a bar known to serve minors. I was 15-years old.

At about 1 a.m. we arranged a ride home with a young man from our town named Richard. Drinking recently had become legal for Richard, and he was exercising his rights to the fullest extent.

I sat in the front passenger seat. Ron was in the back with Richard's friend, whose name eludes me.

Instead of taking the highway, where police might notice weaving, Richard traveled the back roads, speeding down a straight and flat blacktop. Fence posts became a blur as the car reached 90 miles per hour.

Richard's car was fairly fast for the late '50's, but it was old and loose, and at that speed the road noise drowned out our conversation and most of the radio. We all fell silent, and my head began nodding.

I'm not sure if Richard fell asleep, too, but he didn't see the T-road and never touched the brakes. I blinked and noticed it just as we hit the ditch embankment. This jolt took out a barbed-wire fence as we hurtled through the air.

The impact of the ditch slammed my head against the windshield. This knocked me silly, but not out. My head was buzzing as the car rambled and bucked across 50 yards of pasture. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. We probably crossed that distance in a couple of seconds, but it seemed like many. I glanced at Richard, who was slumped over the steering wheel just as we crashed.

The car probably still was going 50- or 60-miles per hour as we slammed into an old and immovable hedge apple tree. In relatively slow motion, my whole body jerked forward, steadily gaining momentum as I approached the windshield. I remember my head tilting as my face met and smashed against the glass. There was no pain - just pressure. Then I blacked out.

Upon impact, my head slid up the windshield and behind the metal brace that held the rear-view mirror. Ron later told me that when he and Richard came too, they saw me hanging there, soaked in blood. Richard wanted to pull me loose, but Ron stopped him for fear they would sever my head in the process. They looked at me and thought I was dead already.

Both their injuries turned out to be quite serious, but they trudged off on foot to find the nearest farmhouse, leaving me hanging in the front and Richard's friend unconscious in the back seat.

When they returned with help, Richard's friend and I were gone. In the interim, this young man, probably confused and scarred, woke up and pulled me from the wreckage.

I don't remember being pulled free, but I do recall pieces of our journey. Like a fuzzy dream, I heard the car's horn blowing steadily as we walked away. I remember stumbling down railroad tracks and wanting to lie down and go to sleep, but this man kept insisting that I keep going. I think I did lie down, or pass out, and he must have carried me.

Still like a fuzzy dream, the next thing I recall was laying prone on the ground. Lights were flashing and people were standing over me in a circle. One of them said: 'This one looks pretty bad. We better get him to the hospital quick.' I thought it was raining, but was told it did not rain that night, so I must have been totally soaked in blood. I sank back into unconsciousness.

Suddenly I was totally alert - more alert than I had been in my life - more alert than life. I was totally free of worry and doubts and bothersome physical sensations and limitations. I was floating near the high ceiling of a room in the Breeze Community Hospital. At the time, this seemed perfectly natural and normal.

There are those who think of death as a long sleep or rest. Sleep is only necessary for the living. The dead are so energized by the overwhelming, self-perpetuating, and unlimited Force that sleep is not never needed.

I recognized Dr. Ketter in the room. He and two nurses worked feverishly on someone. Blood and fluid were flowing into one of his arms, and another jar of blood was flowing into the other. One nurse was doing chest compressions. The other firmly held his chin in one hand and pressed her other hand against the side of his neck to slow the bleeding. Dr. Ketter was stitching wounds with a dexterity and speed that was admirable.

It was then I realized they were working on my body. I had to look closely to be sure. A lifeless body without a soul has little distinctiveness. In fact, most of the distinctions we notice in the faces and body shapes of our fellow men are largely exaggerations of our minds. They are the ego's habit of isolating us from our fellows and of judging others based upon appearances. When we die and realize a universal connection to all mankind through the same life force, these distinctive features blend and blur into a general shape and look of man.

I realized then that I was dead, and that actually pleased me. I also gratefully knew that what the doctor and nurses were doing wasn't working. The last thing I wanted to do was go back. The body lying there meant nothing. It was just a lump of meat. The physical body is just a tool, and I could discard it with the same passion I would have for a broken hammer.

'Let the dead bury the dead,' He had said. And I remember thinking that a lot of prime ground and tons of money are wasted on funerals. Better to donate your organs to the living or your whole body to science.

Throughout my 15 years I had been in superb physical condition, but never had I felt this wonderful. There is no experience, or chemically induced state, on Earth with which to draw a parallel. The best I can come up with is this: On the best day of your life, you are in excruciating pain in comparison to this 'out-of-body' state.

I felt a supreme sense of peace and an absolute lack of fear. I was basking in the glow of complete and absolute security. Simplicity and purity ran through me like osmosis. Everything evil, fearful, or confusing remained behind in that lump of meat. My true identity was intact, and I felt wonderfully humble and pure and loving.

Being dead blesses us with the absence of all sensory information. We are left with our true thoughts and emotions - our true conscience - without the overwhelming influence of the ego's beguiling survival instincts. All human sensory stimuli, on the other hand, is confusing clutter. Ironically, the very things that make living real (our sensory perceptions) are the very things that make living hell. The Buddha was right: life is about suffering. While alive we are captors, chained by the pains and pleasures of our neurons. As long as we pursue sensory pleasure, we must endure pain. Spiritual peace, on the other hand, is the ultimate bliss that floats in the absence of sensory perceptions, ignoring the confusion of 'good' and 'evil.'

The way I just described it may sound like non-existence to some, but it is the only true existence of grand and unspeakable peace, security, and understanding. The ego's perception of the world is a collectively reinforced illusion. To be without want or desire is not non-existence. It's a state in which all our wants and desires are fulfilled.

As I hovered, I felt a wonderful force beckoning from above. I was going home. All I had to do was will it and follow the force, or, rather, let it draw me up. I thought about my brothers, my sister, my mother, and my father. I knew there pain, their problems, their confusion. I knew the simple solutions for each. But I also knew they would have to find their own way. Happiness is empty if someone simply hands it to you or leads you to it blindly.

So, I turned my attention and my will toward the force and started to rise. The ceiling dissolved, and there was a quick sound, like a large vacuum release, and instantly I was in another dimension.

Though I traveled into a brilliant light, I did not journey through any tunnel. The trip was like a blink. I met no one along the way. I knew the way well.


Part 1, Chapter 2


What I'll call the 'Heavenly Plains' was full of loving peace. An infinite expanse of glorious light enveloped and permeated everything. This light was evenly distributed and seemed to undulate gently with a force field.

Directly in front of me, but slightly below, stood a group of spirits: less than 100, but more than 50. Each spirit had an identity of sorts, but they were part of each other - a single entity, a single awareness, all part of a single force. In the center of the front row were three oriental women. I realized that all of the spirits comprising the entity were my past lives, and that the oriental women were my most recent lives.

Their faces were clearly humanoid, but from their shoulders down, their forms blurred gradually. Their arms and legs dissolved near their ends. Hovering on the same level, in rows, they seemed loosely joined at the shoulders. Their identities were of both sexes and all nationalities. None were deceased relatives, and I recognized none of them from my recent life.

Each of the spirits had lived once, but the truth and experience and wisdom of each lifetime was integral to the entire group. When each soul returned, their lives were absorbed by all, so there where no distinctions between thoughts and attitudes within the group. Each of them shared completely every experience and every knowledge of every lifetime into a single conscience. Like spices and other ingredients added to a Mulligan Stew, each added to the mix, but the resulting flavor was one. I was them, and they were me. There were all of my past, and they were my present.

They communicated with me as one, not with words, but by a kind of telepathy. Every thought, whether it was one simple emotion or volumes of information, came packaged with instant and complete understanding. No message could suffer misinterpretation, the problems of syntax, or the variance of intelligence.

Words are primitive, unreliable, used more to deceive others and ourselves than to communicate truth. Language may be evidence of our superior intelligence on Earth, but on the Plains they are equivalent to grunts and squeals. We created words to label, distinguish, and separate everything. That's why we think of everything and everyone as separate. Words form the thoughts and communications of the world, but they are totally inadequate to describe or explain the emotional communication of the spirit world.

On the Plains only truth exists, but they are expressed not so much as concepts, but as emotions. Even the eternal truths are not known in a literal sense - they are felt in an emotional sense. This, I believe, is what is meant by 'the unspeakable Tao' in ancient Eastern texts.

On Earth, we not only communicate in words - we think in words - and although we may be able to give lip service to the concepts of 'oneness,' 'wholeness,' and 'the unity of all that is,' we do so with incompatible words designed for separatism. It's like trying to see the bottom of a lake through turbid water. The solid reality of these hypothetical concepts cannot be fully appreciated by a mind trained in the way of word.

The languages we have developed to create our separated, finite reality is the reason for our inherent loneliness, for in it we are emotionally and intellectually separated for a short time from other spiritual entity and the universal connection of Supreme Love. This separatism makes us fearful and judgmental. It leavens the entire culture and morality of the world. Because we place ultimate faith in our sensory reality, the capabilities of our own intelligence, and the sciences we create with it, we are doomed to live the reality of the life we create while on Earth. Because we believe it so strongly - it is our reality. We have, indeed, tasted of the proverbial Tree of Knowledge and have been cast from the emotional Garden of Eden.

On the Plains, everything is infinite. Knowledge of this and your place in the eternal moment provides infallible security. It is a place of infinite being and infinite joy.

On the particular Plain I visited, there was no need for rest. Nor was food or water or anything solid of Earth needed. Every need, want, and desire was supplied by the all powerful force of Love. This Love was so powerful, so extremely fulfilling - everything else was immaterial. This all-mighty power of Love goes well beyond our egotistical interpretations of the emotion. It is the very force of life and all creation. It is not neutral, but equal to all - the good and the bad - because everyone who still must endure Earth is a blend of the good and the bad. Only we make the distinctions of degrees. The ultimate spirit is an impartial force of universal and unconditional Love - A Higher Good.

This supreme Love flooded me from the entity as a whole, and I felt the same for them. This giving and receiving of truly unconditional love was indescribable. Nothing on Earth can compare. It is truth wrapped in total dependability.

Not only did I feel this tremendous force of Love from my entity, but from all entities throughout the Plains. There are many entities and many levels, but they are all connected by the same force field of Supreme Love - which also is the basic substance of the universe.

The ultimate achievement of science is not to insure immortality by discovering and mastering the basic laws of universal nature - its destination is to prove the existence of God and to insure the knowledge that immortality is ours in another realm of existence.

Instead of restricting the mysteries of love to psychological or philosophical studies, science will someday discover the all-powerful force of love and measure it as they now do electricity, gravity and geo-thermal forces. When science discovers the forces of love and learns how to release it from the bars of the ego, they will have the answer to every question and ill that has plagued mankind.

The love we feel on Earth is limited. We delve it out piecemeal to a few, with conditions. But on the Heavenly Plains, love is boundless. Male and female identities are equal because the human sex drive does not exist to complicate emotions. On the Plains, we love our neighbor as ourselves, because our neighbor is ourselves. Every spirit everywhere, Heaven and Earth, is equally deserving of our love.

I was made to understand all of this in one flash of communication, in one emotion, from this entity, and I realized that my mother, father, and siblings were no more important than the most distant spirit on the Plains, but neither were they less important. True universal love can't have favorites.

I remained just outside and slightly above the entity for a while, exchanging love. They had me to understand that they were waiting for me, and that I was returning to mentor them. They beckoned me to join them and share my experiences for the benefit and advancement of the entire entity.

The sole purpose of life is spiritual growth, and that, put simply, is the process of learning the wisdom and power of universal, unconditional love. All of the dogma of various religions just get in the way by infusing a judgmental and egotistical brand of separatism that satisfies man's archaic and barbaric disposition. In the end, the only things that matter is the people we help and the people we hurt. This revelation is not fully understood until we return to the Plains and examine it under the light of absolute truth.

My entity stretched their handless arms out to me, and I started toward them, again floating through space simply by willing it. I would have entered them through the oriental women, but, just as I started, I felt the force of God beckon me.

The entity felt it, too, and dropped their arms. Instead of being disappointed, they were extremely excited and pleased that I was going to Council.

I turned to the left, willed it, and I was there instantly.


Part 1, Chapter 3


It is the center of everything seen and unseen. An unimaginable force radiates as a brilliant light in all directions from a trinity of spirits. This light is infinitely more brilliant than the sun, yet it did not hurt to look at it. The color defies a specific description, but a combination of white and silver comes close.

The three spirits were like my entity: separate, but somehow connected. They were one and communicated as one. They were of the same general forms as my entity, too, but they were without distinguishing facial features. The center spirit hovered slightly above those on each side.

Their first telepathic communication (I now realize) was the most important. I came to understand that this trinity is not God, exactly. They are more like the Godhead. They are the omnipresent embodiment of the Impartial Force. The Force they mastered is not a composite, but a self-sustaining whole. It is the 'first cause.' It knows no good or evil. It is neutral. Though tangible and pervasive, the Ultimate Force is not a being, but a principle. This is the spirit or principle that Sufi Muslims refer to as 'Beyond the Beyond' or 'Beyond Allah.' It is perfect love - unconditional and universal. To describe it is difficult, because to describe it is to give it structure and nothing structured can be unbounded or infinite. So we err every time we try to define God within the parameters of our structured minds, using structured words and structured thoughts to imagine structured beings. Only the Trinity fully understand the Force. We only can feel it.

The Trinity came to understand the paradoxical powers of the Force and thereby became the intellectual manifestation of the Force. Call this trinity what you wish, but no name is appropriate, because by mastering the secrets of the Force, they lost individual identity. Only the three know who they are, or where. They are total spirit, total light, total love.

This Ultimate Force remains indefinable as long as we try to describe it within the framework of our experience. But I will try.

Imagine, if you will, that this formless force was vastly infinite and evenly dispersed throughout infinity. Though it is perfect, singular, and whole, for the sake of clear rhetoric, I must describe it has having three properties. It is universal, unconditional, and benevolent. Being benevolent beyond our understanding caused the Force to desire other things to love, so it drew into itself with tremendous power and velocity, causing an extreme concentration of pure energy that caused an implosion, which fused energy into molecules that we know as 'matter'. In this respect, everything that exists is like a shattered piece of this Ultimate Force. The rest, as they say, is history.

So, the simple answer to the grandest mystery of all is the common cliché 'God is love.'

This Ultimate Force of Pure Love cannot belong to any spirit or entity of spirits, nor even to the Force itself. It is felt, accepted, and understood (to varying degrees) by every spirit, but the full knowledge of its exact nature is known only to the Trinity. The Trinity is the conduit of the impartial and partial application of Love. In this respect, the Trinity is God.

To describe God as a Trinity or entity, however, misses the mark. 'God is a spirit, and should be worshiped like a spirit.' It is the benevolent force of love in our souls and has little to do with our physical appearance.

On the contrary, we have shaped God in our image and assigned Him a pronoun. This humanizing of God is the reverse of how we ascribe human characteristics to a lowly mouse and call him Mickey. We anthropomorphize God. God is neither he, she, nor it. God is That which is. But, due to the restrictions of our languages and the frame of our reference, some pronoun must be used, so I use the common 'He.'

The image of God in human form sitting on a throne is a false idol, of the same ilk as a golden calf. A long, white beard, and all the other physical images we create to describe God are simply reference points. Why would a being who can shape the universe with His thoughts need such simple tools as hands? The only way we can create is with our hands, so we imagine God with hands. What man is doing in all these idols is creating an image to which man can personally relate. (The more I study religions the more I suspect that the only thing man has ever really worshiped is himself.) Could it be that the confusion and strife over the nature of God is caused by syntax, translations, and interpretations? Could the phrase 'His image' originally have been 'His imagination?'

I hovered in front of this Trinity, slightly below their level. In the presence of their supremely benevolent love, I felt no fear and was certain no harm could come to me. I was, however, overwhelmed with awe, like a child under the gaze of a perfect parent.

I was given a life review. This review is the climax of our present lives. It is where we glean the maximum benefits from our earthly experiences. During the review, we revisit scenes from our lives and feel the actual pain or anguish, pleasure or love that we have inflicted upon others. We become the object of our actions. Understand, however, that these experiences last only a short time, just long enough for us to get the point. The purpose of the review is not for punishment, but for spiritual growth through understanding the ramifications of our actions, thereby gaining increased compassion for others. The ultimate irony, however, is that every time we hurt someone else, we eventually hurt ourselves.

We still have free will in the spirit realm, but, because total honesty prevails, our wills more closely resemble God's will. The darkness of doubt cannot invade the light of truth. We know, or sense, the simple truths, and faith becomes fact. There's no need to intellectualize, analyze, compare, rationalize, justify, or practice any of the fearful survival thought processes that make up our earthly existence.

In the light of absolute truth, we review our own lives for enlightenment. This 'final judgment' that we all have been taught to fear has nothing to do with a decision between Heaven or Hell, though it is easy to understand how this misconception has been promoted by ego-driven people who lack full knowledge of God's love.

The Trinity also gave me a viewing, like a newsreel movie, of past events and of possible and likely future events that I'll go into later.

It should be noted at this point, however, that the events of the world are not predestined by God. There is a fail-safe law of eventual good (evil is a destroyer, eventually destroys itself, and only good remains), but what happens along the way is a direct result of the choices we make as individuals and as societies. Nevertheless, just as we have a limited knowledge of cause and effect, God has supreme knowledge of cause and effect on a universal scale.

Toward the end of the session, I was made to understand that I could affect the impact, maybe even the outcome, of these future events - if I returned to Earth. That was the only time during my death experience that I felt apprehension.

Flatly and firmly, I refused. After seeing the Heavenly Plane, Earth was the last place I wanted to be. Besides, I knew that what they were suggesting involved great pain - much greater than what I already had experienced. Couldn't they send someone else?

They had me to understand that each spirit is important in its unique contribution to the scheme of things. They exerted no command, and I was made to understand that the choice to return belonged to me. But they counseled me further with truths I could not dispute, appealing to the enhanced compassion and love I had gained from the life review.

When I felt my will beginning to comply, I resorted to the most drastic measure I could muster. I was struggling with myself, not with them, and I sank to my knees and begged them to relieve me of this task. I wanted to stay.

They met this action with an overwhelming burst of love that permeated my being like a strong, warm wind, and they made me to understand that whatever I chose would not diminish their love for me.

Then, I am embarrassed to report, like a little child, I threw myself down, kicking and screaming in a emotional tantrum. The Trinity only smiled upon me and filled me with another burst of love. I was calmed. My choice was made.

I spent more time in their presence, exchanging the Force. They were patient with me to no end, because the whole history of the universe is but a blink of an eye in the face of eternity, and a council with God is like a time out, where no time exists.

After a while, I felt renewed and strengthened and brave. So I turned to the right, willed it, and left.

Instantly I was back on the Plain, back in front of my entity, hovering slightly higher above them than before.

I began to share with them what had happened in Council, but I realized that some of it already had been blocked. Maybe They had shared with me knowledge that either cannot be retained or cannot be understood, by anyone returning to Earth. Or, maybe they shared insights that I had yet to discover on my own. Such is the responsibility of free will.

My entity was disappointed by my departure, but they accepted my decision without reservation. Though I was aware that much of what the Council had revealed already had been blocked, I did not realize at the time that much of the knowledge I had retained from my death experience would make little sense once I returned to Earth. I was going back with knowledge that I would not be able to decipher for many years.

Worst of all, I was going back without knowledge of exactly what I was supposed to do.

This caused me to hesitate, but only briefly. I had made some kind of pact with myself and with God - there was very little difference - because when we are true to the deepest urging of our soul, we are true to God.

I turned my will below, and, with another large vacuum sound, I was back in the hospital room.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: 1962

NDE Elements:

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)

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. A total absence of fear.

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 See main narrative.

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

Did your vision differ in any way from normal? Not sure if you mean during the experience of after? For a while after my vision was exceptional:

I got up, dressed quickly, and walked out. Just left. It didn't occur to me at the time, but I probably caused some confusion at the hospital by doing this.

As soon as I exited the hospital, the beauty of everything overwhelmed me: the trees and the sky and the sun and the grass and how the wind affected it all. I could see the wind - how it swirled and curved and danced in the trees. I could see the life force in everything, and how everything is related and connected and sustained by one Ultimate Force. All of the colors were extremely vivid, almost glowing, creating a high degree of contrast. Only the buildings, the roads, the sidewalks, and other things created by man were dull.

It was like seeing the world for the first time. I felt great energy, tempered by supreme peace, so I walked along slowly toward home, savoring every step and sight of the mile. I felt very light, almost as if I could float.

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 There was only this large vacuum sound, and I was there.

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 See main narrative.

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 See main narrative.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm See #3

What emotions did you feel during the experience? See main narrative.

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

The experience included: Life review

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control See main narrative.

The experience included: Vision of the future

Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future A small portion of one chapter:

During my Council, I viewed a series of chronological events, like a newsreel. Probably to the great dismay of those dark souls always seeking fearful scenarios, I'm going to tell you something that will not send you running for your underground bunkers, but something that should send you out to hug your neighbors.

We are presently undergoing the Transition, the labor pains if you will, of the birth of the Age of Benevolence. Though I can't tell you exactly when, I believe it is near - within the next few generations.

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? No

What is your religion now? Liberal

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No

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 That's what 'A Higher Good' is all about.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I didn't talk about any of it for twenty years.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes HIGHER GOOD

Part 2, Chapter 5


Had I been older, it might have been different. But like most any teen, I was highly impressionable without realizing it. My ideas of the world were shaped by a small, Southern Illinois town. Breeze was mostly German and mostly Catholic. It contained 3,000 people who supported 30 taverns.

I was a bastard from a broken home, living on the wrong side of town. Most of the 'respectable' people of Breeze either flatly refused to let their children associate with me, or they always had some convenient excuse. So I developed strong ties with similar innocents outcasts from the outskirts.

All of us, I suppose, were operating under a birthright that bombarded us with constant messages of our inferiority.

We were not choir boys, but we were not bad boys, either. Truth was, we were much better than most of the people who judged us harshly. Being young, we acted out against this hypercritical injustice, which only provided justification for their stereotypical opinions. In a way, we accepted their condescending sentence and let them define who we were. We ran together, so we were seen as a 'gang.' Some even called us the 'East Side Gang.'

To add to that, now I had scars all over my face and strange eyes that made many uncomfortable.

For the first few months after the accident, I remained in an extreme sense of peace. I didn't even think of going out with my friend because their idea of fun didn't appeal to me any longer. My old obsessions for sex and acceptance were gone. I felt love for everyone. By starring into their eyes, I could communicate with the essence of their beings in the same manner I did with my entity and God during my death experience.

Unfortunately, this was a one way communication. I could receive, but I couldn't send, and I rarely knew what to say.

Many of them suffered from guilt. Some of them, I believe, sensed that I could read their guilt, and that made them uncomfortable. Most troubling was that the vast majority of them labored under a gross misconception of God. They were burdened by the vengeful God that man created and that mid-century Catholicism had firmly ingrained into their guilt-ridden dispositions.

Most of them had sincerely asked forgiveness for their sins. All good Catholics go to confession often, but few of them really think it leads to total absolution. They didn't realize they had been forgiven before they even asked, but their inability to forgive themselves keep them isolated in a lonely prison of guilt. It is much easier to believe in God than to believe that God believes in you.

I desperately wanted to relieve this confusion, but didn't know how. My first few attempts were dismal failures. It seemed no one was going to believe a fifteen-year-old boy with a bad reputation and a scarred appearance. In fact, instead of bringing them closer to God's love, I was driving them further away. All of my first encounters gave me the impression I was adding to their fear and anger, instead of to their peace and love.

They could see that I had changed, all right, but they must have thought I was crazy. Every time I stared into someone's eyes, it seemed to make them uncomfortable at the least. One even shuddered, but he had good reason. When I looked into his eyes, I saw he had done awful things to children.

Every time I saw something awful or painful behind the eyes of someone, it hurt me almost as much as it did them. The very young and most of the very old were fine, but nearly everyone else in the middle had dirty little secrets that ate at their insides and clouded their judgments.

It was frustrating and painful. I realized these people really didn't know me before, only of me. Maybe I would do better with people who already knew and cared for me?

My poor mother suffered from depression, and when she added alcohol, it really got bad. I made the mistake of trying to reason with her and talk about God's love while she was drinking.

'Don't give me that shit those damned hypocrites do around here,' she said. I stared into her eyes and saw the deep hurt put there by a father who had sexually abused her as a child, and she began to cry.

After that, I spent most of my time outdoors. It was in the woods and along the creeks that the world made sense and felt comfortable. I was a part of this natural world, but I felt alien among the brick buildings and bulging egos. No man and nothing made by man agreed with me.

Electronic equipment would not work properly in my presence. At first, I thought it was coincidence. After a while, however, I noticed that every time I approached my mother while she was using the electric mixer, it would run sporadically, as if it was shorting out. We had a Philco television set with a button on top that when pressed flipped through the channels. Every time I got near the set, it would rapidly flip through the channels and wouldn't stop until I moved away.

Once my mother, concerned about my idleness and calm, insisted that I go with her to a local club where she was asked to sing. She wanted me to sit at the table nearest the stage, but I figured out shortly that as long as I was near the stage, none of the equipment worked properly. The microphones would squeal an awful protest, and the guitar's amplifiers would go haywire. No matter what adjustments they mad, the squeals and the static returned. I moved a few tables back, and the show went on. Later, I moved back to the front, and the same squeals returned.

All of this was confusing and alienating. I wanted to go home - to my real home - back to my entity.

A couple of months after the accident, Ron came by, and I went with him. The 'gang' was doing the same old things, which usually included alcohol. They saw this way of thinking and acting as fun and freedom. I now saw it as a pitiful cover-up for their pain, fear, confusion, and anger - and I sensed that it would eventually kill most of them in one way or the other. So often it is not our resolve, that directs our destiny - but our confusion.

Moved by compassion, I began to talk to them all with a wisdom and articulation that surprised me. It was as if someone else was talking through me, someone who knew exactly what to say, without any forethought on my part.

For a while, they were all speechless. Then one of them questioned the logic of one of my statements. Because I could read his soul, I explained it in a hypothetical way that spoke directly to the problem that troubled him, without letting the rest know his secret. He was visibly calmed, and I was filled with peace and love.

Finally! It had worked. I had touched someone's soul.

We all stood silently for a couple of seconds, and then one of the boys, nicknamed 'Doc,' turned his head from me, raised his beer to his mouth, gulped the whole thing down, and said: 'Fuck this shit. Let's get drunk.'

I stepped forward and lightly grabbed Doc's elbow, but I didn't know what to say. We had been good friends, and I had admired his many talents, but I also knew he was among those that would die young. Before I could say anything, Doc jerked his elbow away, looked down at me, and said with sarcastic humor: 'Ronnie - he's a mother to us all.'

They all laughed, except the one I had calmed. He had backed out of the group and stood silently watching me. I hung my head and walked off in distress.

My buddy, Ron, grabbed Doc forcefully by the arms, asked him why he did that, and told him that he had hurt my feelings. (It was the only time I remember the word 'feelings' mentioned among this macho group.)

Doc jerked from Ron's grasp, looked in my direction, and said: 'He gives me the creeps, and I don't want anything to do with him anymore.'

I turned and slowly headed for home. Ron came after me and asked me to return. I appreciated his concern and kindness, but I told him: 'I just don't fit in anymore.'

And I didn't...not anywhere. I knew I was changed by the experience. Even though months had passed, it still seemed more real and vivid than life itself, although the world by then had lost some of its dream-like atmosphere, and the natural world had lost some of its vivid beauty. I hadn't told any one of the experience, and wouldn't for many years.

What I didn't realize during those early attempts is that when I resumed my human form, my ego came with it. The ego is cunning, baffling, powerful, and patient. I felt frustration and rejection because I expected my efforts to produce a certain result. When that not only did not happen, but the opposite seemed to happen most of the time, my pride-filled, poor-me ego was hurt. I felt inadequate, and that's all the ego needs to be off and running. Self-pity is just pride turned inside-out.

I was playing God and didn't realize that all I could do, all I was supposed to do, was carry the message. Whether it was accepted or rejected was totally up to the individual. Not even God interferes with free will. All we can do is plant seeds.

Along with self-doubt, I began to doubt my sanity and the validity of the experience. I tried to tell myself that it was just some trauma-induced dream. Every time I thought of the experience, I knew it was real. But I kept telling myself it was a dream, and anything a person tells himself over and over again become his sense of reality.


Part 2, Chapter 6


For a couple of months I went calmly about my business. I still had extreme peace, but I isolated myself, and I refused to look anyone in the eye. All of my free time was spent outdoors, and, since it was summer break, that meant nearly all day every day. I felt best when my legs were dangling over a cut bank on a secluded bend of a creek, or when I was far back into the bottom land woods.

I loved to hunt and fish as a kid, and was good at it, but during this period, I did not fire my gun when the opportunity arose, nor did I bait my hook. The rod and the gun were just props to keep people from asking what I was doing, should they happen upon me.

It wasn't that I had developed an aversion to catching and eating game and fish. I was just sadly home sick. I wished to die, and during one of my later outdoor excursions, I prayed fervently for God to take me home. As soon as I said it, however, a rush of peace and love swept over me like a warm wind.

'What is it I'm supposed to do,' I cried.

I resented my pact, whatever it was. It was too hard for me, and I felt trapped on the insanely pain-filled third rock from the sun.

Denying the experience seemed impossible. No dream could have such an effect. It could not change the way I thought and felt so completely. My motor skills and especially my ability to comprehend were better than before the accident, so I knew it was not the effect of a head injury.

I was not 'crazy' - but I wasn't 'normal,' either. I could see the insanity of ego-driven fear that was considered normal. Almost every way the world behaves is prompted by some type of realized or unrealized fear, and I had none of those fears, so I was not normal.

For weeks, I had spoken only when spoken to, and even then my answers were a form of verbal shorthand. I disliked small-talk. Words in general seemed ineffective, and I longed to communicate the way I had on the Plains, with total truth, total understanding.

After a couple of months, however, school began, and I was forced back into society. I started talking a little with my family members and exchanging pleasantries with people I encountered during my daily routine. But I looked no one in the eye - no one. I didn't want to know their pain. I didn't figure I could help them anyway, and I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable anymore.

As I went about normal activities, I tried to put the experience out of my mind. Very gradually, I slipped back into the world. It began by trying to please people, to give them what they wanted, or to act the way I knew they expected me to act, so that they would give me what I wanted. At first, all I wanted was acceptance.

That is how it all begins. That is how societies are formed on the basis of the lowest common denominator and truly individual thought is stymied. One minor egocentric thought built upon another as my external wants and needs multiplied and my pleasure seeking increased. I set about re-developing a typical Freudian super-ego.

Most of the honesty I still employed was tempered by forethought of consequences, therefore much of it was edited, or twisted, or exaggerated slightly. I still thought I was honest in comparison to other people. My friends trusted me because of my honesty - even boasted about it upon occasion. I wouldn't lie about anything important, but I no longer was operating with the absolute honesty I had learned on the Plains.

I don't know how long it took, or exactly when it happened, but one weekend I was getting drunk with the guys, joking and acting foolish. One of the gang even said to me: 'I'm glad to have the old Ron back. We were all pretty worried about you for a while.'

I found acceptance again, and some of their adolescent statements and reasoning - sometimes - even made a little sense to me, but the absolute truth is that I began ignoring the sense of my soul for the reasoning of a societal norm.

We laughed a lot and ran free - like gazelles on a prairie. But I still knew that a lion was waiting to devour some of them shortly. I didn't know exactly how, or when - just that it would happen. I never said anything further about it, and I regret that to this day.

The first to go was my earliest childhood friend, Terry, whom I truly had loved. Terry and I had drifted apart before the accident, and after the accident I couldn't bear to see his pain. He was built like Mike Tyson and never lost a street fight, which in those days were more like regulated boxing matches than the all-out blood brawls of today. These minor matches were not just tests of strength, but of adolescent integrity. But Terry had begun beating people badly just because he could. His fears and anger consumed him, and the evil side of him wrestled away much of his common control. It hurt me greatly to see the way he had changed and suffered because of it. I knew that he suffered much more than the people he physically hurt.

One early a.m., Terry drove off a county road at a high rate of speed and hit a culvert, killing three passengers instantly. A few hours later, Terry also died at the hospital. The accident caused quite a stir in the community, and some of the many enemies he had made speculated that Terry had committed suicide and taken three others with him. I knew that he had fallen asleep - or passed out - at the wheel.

My brother, Ted, also was out late that night, and he woke me to break the news when he came home. I asked a couple of questions about details, but that was all. Ted knew how close Terry and I had been, and when I showed no grief over the news, he said: 'Aren't you upset? He was your best friend!'

'It was bound to happen,' was all I said.

Ted looked at me strangely, shrugged his shoulders and went to bed.

A death experience not only removes one's fear of death, it changes one's entire outlook on the final process of life. The process leading up to it may be frightening, but death is a wonderful release and transition for us all. For some, it is a great blessing. I knew I would miss Terry, but that was a selfish form of grief. For Terry I was actually happy. I doubt if anyone else knew the extent of his turmoil and suffering the last couple of years of his short life.

I was not prepared, however, for what happened at the funeral visitation. My buddy, Ron, who didn't really care for Terry, went with me for moral support. I was standing alone in front of the casket, silently wishing him well, almost congratulating him, when his father, Bud, came up behind me and put his arm around my shoulders.

He said something, but I have no idea what it was, because the minute he touched me, I was overwhelmed with Bud's grief. It was entering me through his touch, and it was so intense, I don't know how he withstood it. Visions of Terry and myself playing with toy tractors in the dust were mixed with scenes of Terry's disemboweled body lying on a gurney. I saw his intestines protruding and his face smashed beyond recognition. I hadn't witnessed that. These were not my visions of Terry, and I realized that my presence was intensifying Bud's pain.

I simply couldn't handle it. I swing myself out from under his arm. The second I broke Bud's touch, the grief and the visions stopped. I quickly left the funeral home.

Ron caught up with me. After we had walked about a block, I went behind a hedge and broke down.

'You don't have to be ashamed to cry, Ron. I know how close you and Terry were.'

I couldn't tell Ron that I was crying not because of the loss of my friend, but for the grief of his father. I couldn't tell him of the psychic connection. And I couldn't tell him that at that moment I was crying mostly for myself. I had all these weird powers of perception, and all they were doing was making me, and everyone around me, more miserable. I saw these gifts as a curse.

I started escaping with alcohol, because under the influence of this drug was the only way I was able to deny my death experience and, to some extent, escape my psychic abilities.

Doc was the next to die - also in a car.

After a couple of years of denial and drinking, my efforts to deny my experience began to work. This drug abuse and self-delusion, however, set me on a path to a place where 'there was a weeping and gnashing of teeth,' a journey through living hell.

During that long period, however, I continued to maintain three basic principles of my death experience: the implausibility of suicide, the inability to intentionally hurt people, and no fear of death. Without these basic, undeniable principles, I easily could have become one of history's most infamous villains, and at some point, I surely would have killed myself.

However, because of these three basic principles, the mental anguish and suffering that I endured was greatly intensified. Often I passed the point of anguish that drives most people to take their own lives, but, because of the pact, I couldn't even entertain the idea for more than a couple of seconds.

Though I struggled mightily throughout these two decades of denial to find an easier, softer way, there really was no way out - except through a total surrender to a Higher Power at the bottom of despair. At the very point of total physical, mental, and spiritual bankruptcy - again near death's door - I had the first of a long series of spiritual experiences that culminated in ultimate enlightenment during my late 30s.

This period of intellectual enlightenment not only erased all doubt of my death experience - it illuminated it with understanding. These two bizarre spiritual experiences were equally profound and complimentary. Combined, they gave me a philosophy toward life and death that now, another twenty years later, I feel compelled to explain.

With the wisdom of hindsight, I have become grateful for the pain and suffering I endured during the two decades of denial. They were the birthing pains of true spiritual enlightenment. No single experience in life can be as profound as my death experience, yet it did not give me a complete understanding of the 'Way.' I had to find out for myself what was really right by suffering from what was really wrong, as we all must.

Further details of my life, I will not give for a couple of reasons. First of all, it would take up too much space and might bore you. I have much more important things to relate about Heaven and Earth and life and death that affect us all. In the grand scheme of things, my life is of no more importance than yours and I really don't want any attention. Besides, I don't want to take the chance of hurting someone still living with a blow-by-blow account of the messy details.

Suffice it to say that I believe those two decades of denial were the frightening part of my deal with God. I'm still not sure of the exact details of my pact, but maybe this book will complete the promise, and I can go home.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Twenty years. Most of the people I've told were struck and curious at the time, but I'm not sure of the influence my story had on them. I can explain myself much better with the written word, which is one of the reasons I became a writer.

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.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Who did the change your life? What were the positive and negative results.