I was stung by an insect, my throat instantly constricted and I fell to the ground unconscious, before even being able to cry out. Fortunately, it was in a crowded place and people came immediately to help. I seemed to be located about 10 feet over my body, looking down at my body, sprawled on top of a bicycle, surrounded by a circle of people. Somebody held my hand and asked me to squeeze their hand if I could hear them. I tried with all my might to squeeze, but was unable to.Apparently, I was then taken to a medical clinic where I was in a coma for 2 days. The doctor there, subsequently, told me that my heart and breathing had stopped twice and that he had almost lost me. During this time, I experienced a sparkly light and a tunnel with light at the end. There was an unbelievable feeling of peace and of ‘coming home’. There was a voice speaking. I could not tell if it was my own mind or another entity, but instinctively felt that I should not try to intellectualize it, but just experience it. At one point, my whole life history flashed before my eyes and I thought of my parents. Immediately I felt myself travelling at extreme speed from Mexico back to Canada where they lived. Then the journey was interrupted by a strong voice telling me that I could not die and go there yet; there was something that I had to do in my life first before I could die, although what, was not specified.Immediately, I travelled quickly back into my body and woke up. I was groggy for a few hours after that, but then walked out of the clinic and continued on with my life.
Date NDE Occurred: 1973
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Allergic reaction Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I was stung by a tropical insect to which I was allergic.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I sometimes clearly heard people talking around my body, while I was apart from it, and could have repeated their remarks if asked.
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I can't answer this, because there was no sensation of time passing; the experience was outside of time. I was aware of things: not just where my body was physically located, where my head was turned, but could navigate space according to where my thoughts drew me. I felt extremely alert and quick thinking.
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
Time lost all meaning.
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 could see what was going on wherever I wanted to, without my physical body being there. I could travel to see my parents even though my body was lying in a clinic. I could also see things such as a light and a tunnel which are not visible in the everyday world.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I mostly just heard one voice.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, but the facts have not been checked out
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I passed through a tunnel into a sparkly light and became the light.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly 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 light was infinite and sparkling. Sometimes it was brilliant like the sun, but with no sensation of heat.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I was in a realm which had no time or space, but felt like ‘home’. I felt that this realm was me, manifesting who I truly was and that the earthly realm was just like a dream.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Immense peace punctuated by moments of panic when I realized I didn't know what was happening.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe It seemed clear to me that there was a very strong purpose to achieve in a human life. When this purpose had been achieved then one would dwell in the infinite light in peace.
The experience included: Life review
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? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
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 I was told that I had not yet done the thing that I was supposed to do in this life and was given the choice to return to life and complete the task. I made this choice.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Agnostic felt a vague need for some sort of religion, but was not attracted to any of the major religions
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I have become a Buddhist and practice meditation regularly.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Buddhist became strongly religious as a direct result of the near death experience
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I did not hold any religious beliefs at the time of the experience, but have become very religious as a direct result of it
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I went from an agnostic to a Buddhist and began to practice meditation.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify I heard a voice, which I took to be my own mind and thoughts, but was not sure whether or not it was mine.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes There was the sense that I had always existed, but had just forgotten that fact in everyday life.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes There was a sense of unity, oneness with all other phenomena, outside of time or space
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God does not exist
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I felt I was being given a glimpse of something that one cannot normally experience when alive. It was a direct, undeniable experience which told me there was a purpose to earthly life.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Uncertain There was imparted a very strong sense that there was a deliberate purpose to earthly life, but not outlined what that purpose was
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes It was clear to me that one dwells infinitely in the infinite light and has always done so. Physical life is not necessary for this.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Uncertain Earthly life's hardships had a definite purpose, but I was unsure what it was. One was supposed to learn something as a result of hardships.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Not compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes The light/oneness was pure love without an object
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Large changes in my life. I began an immediate search for a religion to explain my experience to me. I realized that this was more important than any worldly pursuits (marriage, family, career) for the rest of my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I feel I am more loving and understanding of others.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The experience transcended our normal conceptions of time, space and the body, so using language, which is based on our normal conceptions to describe it, is difficult.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience It is absolutely vivid, not at all like a dream or ordinary memory
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was 3 years before I shared this with another person, and that sharing occurred because the other person had also had a near death experience. Our experiences were similar and the sharing confirmed things for each of us.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No The first book about near death experiences, which actually gave an official name to the experience, came out the year after my experience; so there was absolutely no way I could have had the concept before the experience.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real The experience was direct. As one cannot deny that one exists in earthly life, so it was in this experience.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real The memory is so vivid that it cannot have been a dream, plus one can only dream in terms of what one already knows, and this experience was outside of anything I had previously known.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I have been able to reproduce the various aspects of the experience, (the light, and the tunnel) in meditation, but not the out-of-body aspect.
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