I had been hospitalized for about one month when my NDE occurred. My illness had been a mystery to the physicians who initially treated me. By the time that a neurologist, who recognized and specialized in the disease that I had, came into my case I was about dead. I was paralyzed from head to toe and unable to eat or drink. Sometime toward the end of August 1974, my condition had deteriorated to the point that a Catholic priest was called in to administer the Last Rites of the Catholic Church to me. I was aware of what was going on and told the priest that I just wanted to die and was ready for the transition. The degree of pain throughout my body was so great that I saw death as a release. I had come to terms with it and told the priest as much. He said that I really didn't want to die, etc. I told him that, to the contrary, I was quite ready and welcomed it.
A sense of serenity began to engulf me and I all of a sudden I was floating through the universe and being gently brought along by a being to my left. It was sort of being carried and gently brought along. The universe was vast and stars were such as you would see out in the countryside with no city lights to dim your view. I continued on this journey for a period of time that I cannot measure. Eventually, I began to see a light in the distance, which became more brilliant the closer I got to it. The light was like no light I had ever seen up to that time and have not seen since. The being on my left continued to gently bring me toward the light. Little by little, I came closer and closer. Eventually, I was completely engulfed by the Light and became one with it. There are no words in any human language that can describe the complete sense of peace and love imparted by that Light. It was such that I did not want to be apart from it. It was where I wanted to stay for eternity. I am convinced that I was given a glimpse of the nature of that which we call God.
At that point, in my life I had never heard of NDE, never thought of God as Light, had not even given much thought to the possibility of death and dying. When I returned to conscious awareness, I experienced a tremendous sense of not wanting to be back in this carnal life. I resented being brought back. I wanted to stay there. I did not talk to anyone about this experience, save a former high school sweetheart who was a doctor at the hospital in which I was confined. She was the emergency room physician who admitted me to the hospital (Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas). I told her a little of the experience but not any detail. She said that she had heard of other such experiences during her practice in emergency medicine. You must remember that this was 1974 and to my knowledge, NDE was not even on the radar screen. I lived with this and kept it to myself for about six years.
Date NDE Occurred: August, 1974
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness Life threatening event, but not clinical death
I was basically dying. The attending physicians had notified my family that my chances of coming out of the illness was slim to none.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I was not even aware of a body. A body does not even enter the equation. You are totally consciousness - you are your soul. The being who was on the left of my consciousness was obviously a messenger for this Light. No words are used in this plane of being.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? How do you explain a level of consciousness during such an experience? The only way I know how to express what you are asking is to say that it was a tremendously heightened level of consciousness. Alertness? I usually associate alertness with human consciousness. Alertness does not even enter into the equation. This is beyond anything that human language can imagine.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Time does not exist on that plane.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Already talked about this earlier.
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes I have described this earlier.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Described already.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? The emotions were of awe, overwhelming love and acceptance, a sense of being eternal and without end.
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe Your purpose it to BE and that is ALL there is.
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
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal
What is your religion now? Liberal
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I struggled with trying to understand why I had been allowed to experience this and then to be taken away from it with no explanation. My idea of God was changed and altered forever. I know that I do not think of God in the traditional sense that Christians, Jews, and other spiritual traditions think of God. God is both Unknowable and Knowable at the same time for me. God is Every-Thing and God is No-Thing. This experience has led me to look at most of the other spiritual belief systems and the one that comes the closest to getting it right are the Buddhists. Tibetan and Zen Buddhism combine for me the best way to experience the true sense of what God IS.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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 best part was becoming engulfed by and immersed in the Light. The worst part was not being allowed to stay there.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Most people that I have shared this with are people that I trust with the most personal part of me. They are people who I choose to let know me. Whether they understand or not is for them to answer. I feel as if I have been given the most important piece of information in the Universe. Nothing else comes close. Most of those who I have shared this with respond in a way which indicates that they get some degree of what I am trying to convey.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes When I want, I can enter a state of consciousness through meditation which takes me instantly to that experience. I can do it with the blink of an eye. I can transport myself to it instantly as I am doing at this very moment.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I understand my relationships with those people who come into my life. I could go on for hours explaining this but choose not to at this point.
Let me impart an important affirmation I learned in Unity. It goes like this: The Light of God surrounds you, The Love of God enfolds you, The Power of God protects you, The Presence of God Watches over you, And All is Well.