The initial fall was about fifteen feet. Then I tumbled end over end for maybe another fifty feet, finally landing face-down, in the water. My friend, Linda was watching, screaming my name. I said 'Linda, I'm okay that's just my body.' Somehow, this made perfect sense while I was out of my body. I watched as she started to pick her way down through the rocks to get to my body. I started to drift upwards, and suddenly I was surrounded by nothing. I was not cold. I was not hot. I was neither wet nor dry. I was. I was everything; but there was nothing in everything. I was love. I was peace. I had no beginning and no end. I was communicated to. One would say that I knew without being told, I heard nothing, but was given knowledge. I knew I was not supposed to be there.
I could stay or go; it was up to me. I thought of my parents and thought they would be disappointed if I was late for dinner. I didn't know what to do. I was worried about what my mother would do if I didn't come home, and then I was back in my body. I was wet, cold, and floating. I put my feet under me and I stood up. Linda was there, just getting to the place in the lake where I was. She was crying. 'I thought you were dead,' she said. We walked along the lake shore until we found a staircase and we walked home on the road. I didn't have a broken bone, or any serious injuries, just a couple of cuts on my face and on my back. Linda and I have only spoke of the incident superficially, she lives in a different city than I, but we still keep in touch. She and I talked about it at my father's funeral; she said she would write an account of it from her perspective because I would like to see if she verifies my memory. My recollection that I was face-down makes me think I may have died. (Why didn't I drown while she was trying to get to me? The shoreline was very rocky and hard to traverse, that's why I was going up higher - to see if it would be easier to make our way at a different level. It would have taken her a few minutes to get to my body from where I began.)
Date NDE Occurred: don't know
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Upon falling from the cliff I landed, face-down in a lake. Other Fall from cliff while recreational climbing-no equipmentI fell off a cliff. When I fell, it was because a rock came loose and I thought 'I'm going to die.' Then I left my body. I don't know how, I just was outside of my body and I watched it fall, tumbling like a rag doll.
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 Everything 'made sense', even though it might not have been what I believed in formerly. For instance, we attended, although sporadically, a Christian church. This experience 'taught me ' about reincarnation. I had never heard of the idea or belief in reincarnation, but since I came back I can accept no other belief system.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was out of my body. I was a child when it happened but I feel as if I experienced my 'higher self'.
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 Again, it's hard to describe, but I 'knew' I was not 'in' time anymore.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Did your vision differ in any way from normal? When I tried to talk to Linda, although I was floating, my vision seemed the same. When I was in the void I felt I could 'see' anything by thinking about it.
Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? This is where I am most fuzzy. I heard Linda's screams at first until I left time. That's the way it felt, like I left time. I don't think I 'heard' anything when I was 'told' that I could choose to stay or go back.
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
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
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 The nothingness was incredibly bright.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt at peace. I felt light. I felt loved. I felt full of love. I felt fulfilled. I felt like everything made sense.
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? Moderate I had been raised in a Presbyterian Church because when my parents moved to the town where I was born they liked this particular church. We did not attend regularly and by the time the incident happened we were no longer attending church.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes See all of the above. I feel to a certain degree everything that what I have done in my adult life has been informed by my experience.
What is your religion now? Liberal Agnostic-no affiliation with any organized religion
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes See all of the above. I feel to a certain degree everything that what I have done in my adult life has been informed by my experience.
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 I now believe in reincarnation. I think we have 'lessons' to learn in each lifetime and if we don't learn the lessons we are bound to go through life after life. I think the veil between life and death is very thin. I believe we can communicate with those on the other side of the veil. I think the earth is a testing ground or laboratory for the soul. I believe in an individual soul, as well as a universal soul, and that the individual soul longs to unite with the universal soul, and that life is the journey to get there.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I have a hard time talking about religion with some people. My family is especially difficult because they feel I cannot NOT KNOW what I know.
I have very strong views on politics, which I feel can be attributed to my feelings about morals and ethics based on my understanding of my experience.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are things about the experience for which there are not words - words are simply inadequate to convey the sensations or lack thereof that I experienced.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I often know things before they happen. But it's not easy for me to put them into words. I get feelings of unease and then try to verbalize what the feelings mean. I've warned people of car accidents. I call them psychic shouts. They come from nowhere and push out all other thoughts. Most things are insignificant, almost coincidental. For instance, last week I was talking on the phone to a stranger, I've never met him, and never spoken with him previously. We were talking about cars. He owns a body shop, and my father used to own a couple of new car lots. He had heard that my brother might have some model cars that he collected. As we talked, I got a picture in my head of a car that I saw as a kid that drove in the water as well as on the land. I said then, 'I just happened to think of those boat-car things from the sixties.' He said ' I can't believe you said that; I've been talking to a lady who has two, but her husband doesn't want to sell. And I've found one out in California.' He then told me more about them before we got off the phone. I also have two different type of psychic dreams. One type is a conversation with another person who is in astral projection while dreaming and the other type of dream is like a dΘjα-vu or a film of an upcoming event. I also seem to be in the right place at the right time to help others through crises. (I also talk to my dead father in dreams.)
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? At the time the experience was not meaningful with the exception that my view of life and death was shaken. Everything that I 'knew' from the experience seemed to be new to anyone I talked to so I didn't talk about it until I was old enough to feel self-confident enough to 'go against the flow'.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Right after it happened I tried to ask my parents about some of what I experienced but it was difficult because they were dismissive. My belief system was shaken (not stirred) and there really was no one I could talk to, help me explain, or clarify my experience. A friend of mine bought me a book by Colin Wilson that had accounts of 'paranormal activity' that introduced me to other similar phenomenon. In college I was interested in Hinduism because the many ways to 'salvation'. I have yet to find a belief system which I can claim, but I am very interested in indigenous knowledge systems, as I think oral traditions have potential to reveal much that written tradition would be unable to convey.
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 didn't give it much thought right after it happened because I still had to get home, get cleaned up and hope I wasn't in trouble with my parents. We always just talked about the time I fell off the cliff, not that I left my body. It took a long time for me to speak about it, and I only talk to people who seem they may be able to be open minded.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. I know the experience was real. The thing I have questions about is this: when I left my body there was no physical harm yet done to my body. I think I was literally scared to death. Then my body landed face-down in water. I had to have already died or I would have breathed in water. I did not. When I got back to my body, I just stood up, and walked away. It took me a long time to realize that I must have died. Once I came to that idea I had already heard of other NDE's - I had thought of it as my out-of body experience up until that time.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Sometimes when I dream I can go back. I had a mystic experience in a Native American sweat lodge.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I have a friend who is now deceased who used to try to use astral projection and had succeeded in going outside of his body at least twice that I know of. He was always aware of his body in relation to his astral body. He followed a path back to his body. This is different from what I experienced. I did not travel back to my body as in astral projection; I was immediately back in it at the moment that I thought I must go back.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I have read that we fear death less than the general population. Is there an altruistic feature of the NDE?