I do not know how long the experience lasted. I remember seeing the sunlight from above (through the water's surface distorted by the water) along with the sensation of not being able to get air and the water entering my mouth and nose while I was bouncing to try to get to the surface of the water.Then I remember experiencing everything I had done in my entire life with some kind of explanation of what had been done well and what I could have done differently. This part did not frighten me at all and was accompanied by a total lack of judgment, and a sensation of being totally accepted and cared for.I felt I was guided in this explanation by a mental personality who simply wanted me to learn from my life, about how I could be a better person in the future (though I saw no one and do not remember hearing voices or sounds other than what I or others had said in my past).
Date NDE Occurred: '1961, 1964 for main experience'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes oxygen deprivation due to breathing under water and fright Life threatening event, but not clinical death I was a child and did not know how to swim. I stepped into an area (a hole) where the water was above my head and I couldn't breathe. Water started entering my mouth when I tried to bounce up to the surface of the water to breathe. I continued bobbing up and down until I eventually bounced out of the hole and into water which was not above my head and where I could breathe normally.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was very conscious of the sensations of the water and light and of being afraid, but lost awareness of these when my life experiences very vividly seemed to be replayed for me exactly as they had happened (though I have a vague recollection that the sunlight being distorted by the water was still present.) It was like the guided review of my life experiences was more interesting and important to attend to than my frightening situation.This review seemed to go on for a long time (my seven years' worth of experience and this continued up to my most recent experiences). When the review was finished I had already bobbed into water that was shallower and I could breathe normally.
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
The time of the life review seemed to equal my experience of my life up to that point in time (my seven years).
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. My vision of the light filtering through the water was normal and distorted by the water, but the visions of my previous life were very clear, in life-like color.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I only experienced a diversion of my attention from what I was doing and feeling (bobbing up and down and my fear) to the life review and what I was learning from those experiences.
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? Yes Rather than being surrounded by a brilliant light, I felt I was surrounded by a vivid personality that communicated its presence to my mind, perhaps not even in words, but by emotions and experiences. I felt an individual and characteristic personality, as I feel the individual personality of my friends and the people I know well.
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? Uncertain
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Fear before the life review started, then great interest in what I was seeing and learning. I think I felt that the personality that was somehow present, giving me an alternative perspective on my life during this experience, had the situation perfectly under control and I was safe.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
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 I remember experiencing everything I had done in my entire life with some kind of knowledge given to me of what I had done well and what I could have done differently. This seemed to go on for a long time (my seven years' worth of experience which continued up to my most recent experiences). This part did not frighten me at all and was accompanied by a total lack of judgment, a sensation of being totally accepted and cared for.I felt I was guided in this explanation by a personality who simply wanted me to learn from my life - how I could be a better person in the future (though I saw no one and do not remember hearing voices or sounds other than what I or others had said in my past).My consciousness about consequences and feelings of what I was witnessing of my previous life were sharper than normal. It was a bit like reliving them - they seemed exactly as I had experienced them, while I was both inside, and outside the experiences - like being given an outside perspective on the experiences that I hadn't had before, while I was re-experiencing them again.I was left with the feeling or belief that the purpose of my life was/is to learn as much as I can from my experiences, from the world and from other people and to try to help others to do the same.
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 Missouri Synod Lutheran - my denomination didn┤t believe in Charismatic experiences or in direct individual guidance by the Holy Spirit.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I think my religious beliefs have developed into what they are because of the combination of these experiences. None of these experiences exactly matches what I was taught as a child about God and how God might interact in the world. And they don't exactly match what I read in the Bible, but in the Biblical writings I can see that these experiences are consistent with similar experiences others may have had, written down and interpreted as they currently appear in the Bible, for instance and perhaps in other sacred books of other religions.The words that I and other people have to use in human languages don't actually communicate the substance of these kind of experiences and can easily be misinterpreted by others who are just reading or hearing what we try to describe. And we may be misinterpreting the meaning of these experience, ourselves.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'Liberal Lutheran /Interdenominational Liberal ''Charismatic'' Christian -not Conservative Evangelical'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I think my religious beliefs have developed into what they are because of the combination of these experiences. None of these experiences exactly matches what I was taught as a child about God and how God might interact in the world. And they don't exactly match what I read in the Bible, but in the Biblical writings I can see that these experiences are consistent with similar experiences others may have had, written down and interpreted as they currently appear in the Bible, for instance and perhaps in other sacred books of other religions.The words that I and other people have to use in human languages don't actually communicate the substance of these kind of experiences and can easily be misinterpreted by others who are just reading or hearing what we try to describe. And we may be misinterpreting the meaning of these experience, ourselves.
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 we are cared about, that we are to always try to learn more, that we are to care about how others are experiencing the world that they, too, are to feel cared about and to care for others.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes See above.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I hadn't read of, or heard of such experiences, before I experienced it. The presence I felt during the experience seemed personal, but the means of communication during the experience was mental and unlike communication methods we are used to.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I had had a previous experience as a very young child - perhaps four years old - of experiencing the same presence when I was alone outside in a lightning storm. I had heard words from the 23rd Psalm - 'though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you shall fear no evil, for I am with you' - words which I had heard in my church, but had not yet studied or read myself. Along with hearing those words, came the presence of an overwhelmingly loving personality that enveloped me and carried me, mentally, without fear, while I returned to my home through the storm.Since becoming an adult, I at first worked as a teacher of emotionally disturbed students and had quite a bit of training in Psychology, various conditions related to brain injury, emotional disturbance, etc.Since reaching adulthood, I have experienced what have seemed like mental commands or urges, without words being attached, in situations related to other people. The first occurred when I was driving by a park close to my apartment while doing a short, unimportant errand. A man was walking on the sidewalk along the edge of the park. I received a mental command or very strong 'urge' that seemed like a command from outside myself, to stop the car and approach the stranger.I thought it a crazy impulse and kept driving, particularly since I had always been taught and taught kids that it is not a good idea or particularly safe to talk with strange men you do not know unless you are in a structured situation with others present.When I returned from my local errand in just a few minutes (five minutes or a little more) I saw an ambulance parked at the exact spot that I had felt the urge to stop. The same man was lying on the ground being attended to by the ambulance crew. I did not stop to find out what had happened in the situation but it was disturbing to me.I later experienced a similar mental urging (which seemed to originate from outside myself) to go visit my mother (a five hour drive away) in mid-work week. I couldn't justify to myself or anyone else missing work for an irrational feeling, but the next day was a scheduled in-service day - without kids so I just decided to call my mother (because of my previous incident where I had seen an ambulance on the spot where I had had such an urge).My mother has a very strong work ethic and is very 'down to earth.' She discouraged her kids from making the long drive to see them any time she thought we might be hurried or in bad traffic or weather. This time she responded atypically, stating that she was experiencing the strangest urge to go visit a relative of ours, but she wouldn't drive such a distance by herself and my dad would be working.When I told her of my strange command-like feeling to call her, she agreed that I should miss work this one time and drive up just for the day (five hours there and five hours back,) Together we could go see this relative of ours (two hours additional drive from my mom's house.) Since this was so extremely uncharacteristic of my mother, I did so.When we got to this relative's apartment, the young woman was extremely upset and had pills literally in her hand that she was planning to use to commit suicide. We calmed her down, got the pills, flushed them down a toilet, talked with her to find out what was going on, and then made some calls to get her hooked up with emergency mental health services.She told us she believed that God had deserted her due to a series of traumatic events, that if God existed, then God hated her and wanted her to go to hell.We told her how we both had felt bizarre and extremely strong commands to travel great distances in the middle of the work week. This was something neither of us would ever have done on our own, and that God must love her, or we wouldn't have gotten such strong commands to come see her, even though we did not know she had any problems.I later returned to graduate school to try to learn ways to have greater positive impacts on the lives and family situations of my emotionally disturbed students (and to feel more prepared in handling crisis situations!). At this time, I was living with several housemates who had become friends of mine, but I was quite preoccupied with doing a demanding graduate school program while working and hadn't been paying attention to what my housemates had been up to recently, at all.While I was preparing a take-home exam, I walked through our living room with the intention just to go briefly to the bathroom but determined I wouldn't talk to anyone about anything so I would have time to finish my exam.When I was greeted by one of my roommates and was just about to tell her I couldn't talk to her at all at the moment, I experienced an irresistible 'command' to 'shut up - to not say a word.' It was so powerful it literally stopped me in mid-word. My roommate began talking, and eventually, it became clear she was extremely distraught. Talking with her about this, I learned she was planning to commit suicide and had purchased pills to take, which she had in her room. I was able to get her to give me the pills, which we then together, flushed down the toilet. We located a therapist on a crisis line on the phone who made an appointment with her the same day. Eventually her situation, which was related to the stalking behavior of a former boyfriend, was resolved. (She is currently married to someone else and living under a different name with a loving husband and two lovely children.)Several years later, I had a dream that I had a cancerous breast tumor. When going for a screening exam, a fibroid was located which, on examining the test results; the surgeon diagnosed as benign and did not need a biopsy.Though I could not tell the doctor that I knew the tumor was cancerous because of the contents of a dream I had which had revealed its location, the dream led me to insist that the doctor carry out a biopsy, regardless of her own certainty that it was benign. The results of the biopsy that she finally did, after much insistence, was a fairly aggressive cancer, but in an early and treatable stage.Seven years later, I had a second dream, which revealed a second cancerous tumor (in situ) which had not been picked up by the yearly screening tests I regularly have as a cancer survivor.I do not consider any of these experiences to be the result of a special ability I have in sensing other people's feelings or things, which are passing in my own body. They have the quality of information which I do not know and am not aware of, that is in some way was shared with me, but not through my own wish or ability. However, each situation has had a beneficial result for myself or someone else (except for the 'urges' that I have ignored because of their irrationality).Another 'urge' which I and my husband ignored (I told my husband about experiencing such an 'urge' before leaving together with our family on a scheduled vacation). The urge was to change our planned form of transportation - to take our family car instead of flying and then renting a car at our final destination. On the day we contracted the rental car, my family was hit in the rental car by another driver who first stopped correctly at a red light, then gunned her car into the intersection and into our car just as we were legally crossing on the green (description given by witnesses to the police - possible attempted suicide?).
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I find it very hard to communicate to others how it feels to receive these kinds of 'communications, urges /commands, or whatever they are, because they are not really verbal commands or mental urgings.Part is like experiencing a presence with a very strong personality of love and acceptance that seems to be as physically and mentally present, as the people we know in our daily lives but not seen. But the form of communication is entirely different and not very clear or specific. It is easily ignored and in no way irresistible, if one feels like ignoring it. Neither is it like a feeling, such as when I see a situation developing which I feel is leading to trouble (in relationships, or in work, etc.). It seems to come from outside and has not always been related to feelings of fear or stress or anything I see or am experiencing in the situation. (Such as when I was quite carelessly driving on a small, unimportant errand on a lazy Saturday morning.) But after the fact, what is revealed by going along with the urge (or ignoring it) is directly related to information which I did not previously have about the situation and leads (or could lead if I had followed the urge) too good for someone in the situation.The overall situation then leaves me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and wonder that I have witnessed great love being expressed (which I have been allowed to be a witness to and participant in without having been its originator).
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I did not share my early childhood experiences with anyone until after I had the first dream that brought me to seek medical care for cancer (at the age of thirty-five).I didn't tell others about the first incident/'urge' I ignored until after I had experienced two similar incidents which turned out to be people on the verge of suicide (except when my mother shared with me first, that she was experiencing a strange urge to visit our relative).
I shared the first dream about having a cancerous breast tumor with my fiance before seeking medical care and before the doctor erroneously told me, I did not have breast cancer.
Seven years later, I also shared with my husband my second dream that I had another cancerous breast tumor. We sought medical treatment at that time but the tumor was not located in the first set of tests. It didn't show up in the first tests due to its location and was finally located and diagnosed the following year by another expert we went to when it had grown fairly large, but still had not yet spread in the body.My mother accepted the strange urge I was experiencing because she was experiencing one herself. I told my relative about my mother's and my strange urge because she believed that she had been deserted and was loved by God and I felt that this might help prevent a future suicide attempt on her part and help rebuild her self-esteem. It seems to have had that effect.
I shared my first dream of having a cancerous tumor with my fiance before it was medically diagnosed, and because of this, my husband believed the second dream that I had of having a second cancerous breast tumor even though at first tests couldn't locate it, (because he knew the doctors had been wrong the first time, as well).
However, I could not persuade my husband to change our planned methods of travel, due to my strange urge that we should do because something bad would happen, if we continued our plans as they were, despite my sharing my various experiences of previously having such urges with him.Since I sustained injuries in the traffic incident which still bother me, my husband does not want to believe that my prior feeling was related to the accident which followed, and that we might have been able to avoid the accident and injuries.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I was only a small child and hadn't thought about such things. I'm not sure I actually knew exactly what death was, even, though I had heard of people who had died.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. I had no way to (and no thought to) review the reality of my childhood experiences, of a loving presence, or of my life review experience when in the water during a near (or not-so-near) drowning incident. I was a child under age five with the former, and maybe seven during the later of these experiences.The phenomena I experienced as an adult over perhaps a fifteen year time span, including predictive dreams and strange 'urges or feelings/commands' I viewed as real but definitely outside my ordinary experiences.I talked with my husband, mother and relative about these things because they were involved in these incidents in some way and it effected our decisions in some way.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. My husband did not previously believe in life after death, nor in the existence of a loving interactive creator. When we discuss these events that happened in the past, he varies between believing a being may be involved in communicating with us for people's benefits and believing these could simply be many strange coincidences and strange feelings.For me, all these experiences together have convinced me that the universe was designed by a personal, loving creator. Our creator still wants to guide the development of creation, who cares for all of the creation and all of us creatures, who wants all of us creatures to continue to learn as much as we can about the world, the universe, and about ourselves and others and to continue to develop in loving, positive, constructive ways.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No I've never had these reproduced by medications or stress, but I have experienced the sense of the same loving presence at times when therapeutic breakthroughs are reached with patients or when a very difficult situation has been resolved for another person or for myself or for my family. I also feel the same sense of gratitude and wonder.
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