At age seventeen, I took a street drug with several girlfriends. It was a beautiful fall afternoon, we drove out to the country, and three of us climbed a tree. We spent hours and hours talking and communing with nature. It was all beautiful, blissful, and spiritual. I said, 'This must be the ultimate good; heaven or nirvana. But there must also be an ultimate bad or evil or hell to balance it.' I honestly don't know where I got that idea but I seemed to KNOW it, to understand the idea that I now know is called yin yang. It was the idea of opposites, duality, and polarity - whatever.
By night, we had all completely come down from the high; totally sober. The same group of girls went to a costume party. We all drank. I had one or two beers and - weirdly - started experiencing very strange sensations. I'd be in one room talking to someone and suddenly, I would be in another room talking with someone else. I thought I was time traveling!! Then I figured I must be experiencing blackouts and it was really freaky so I stepped outside of the house for some air. I saw a girl - who I knew - arriving dressed as a devil. Suddenly, my body was propelled forward screaming and I ran in circles and fell on the cold, damp, ground screaming and convulsing. As I said, these were major seizures, jack-knifing about on the ground. Most of the kids freaked out and ran away but fortunately, a good friend stayed with me. He kept trying to hold me down as I was jerking and flipping all over the place. I jumped up and ran at breakneck speed down the road. I remember thinking: I can't run this fast! What is making me run like this? I felt as if something else had hold of my body. Although it felt very strange and abstract, I was raised Catholic and aware of exorcism and such and did believe (when I had any awareness at all) that some evil creature had taken possession of my body. I was running straight toward a car and knew I would be hit and die. Then suddenly it felt as if something good shoved me from behind and I fell and tumbled down a ditch just missing the oncoming car. Then more seizures, flipping, and flopping around.
By the time the friend caught up and grabbed me, I felt this scream come from my body and I knew - I had died - and then all was calm. I felt myself lift out of my body lying on the cold ground and heading upward. It reminded me of toy telescopes with segments that pull out and elongate but this telescoping feeling was me going infinitely upward. It was like a tunnel, too, I suppose and it was dark but with a light at the end. The light got bigger and bigger and then I felt as if I'd exploded into the infinite white light. It was peaceful and fine and I was content and beyond words and beyond thought.
Then, a thought formed: My parents can't handle another death. I am the fourth of six children and the oldest had been killed in the Vietnam war three years before this. Just that tiny thought or realization was enough to send me hurling back down through the telescope/tunnel and SMACK back into my body and screaming again. The seizures then continued.
Very interesting to me: The friend who was with me also thought I had died. He said the scream that I had let out was unworldly, then I stopped breathing, and his thought was, 'How was he going to tell my parents!' He said he was already thinking he would get in a car accident and make it look like I had died accidentally because he knew my parents couldn't handle my death by drugs.
Wish I could say that I was wonderfully transformed by the experience, but I think I was a slow learner! I still did drugs a few more times and, fortunately, never had that terrible experience again. I did get paranoid each time, so eventually stopped all drugs and alcohol. I did learn to meditate (Transcendental Meditation) a few months later, and traveled overland from Europe to India and back to Europe again between ages of eighteen to twenty-one.
For a recent journalism story on hypnosis, I underwent hypnosis and had a total white light and blissfulness experience. Had a similar experience a couple years earlier when I went for 'energy work' also for a story (which never ran). I've come to think of the white light as my own private Idaho. I can't buy into the traditional images of God after years of Catholic school education so maybe have turned it into something abstract and 'transcendental' beyond words and thoughts. That makes it (to me) more meaningful and spiritual than some Jesus guy or Guru or dead relative giving me lessons in life.
Date NDE Occurred: august 1973
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes seizures brought on by mix of street drugs & alcohol Other seizures brought on by mix of street drugs & alcohol
Seizures brought on by mix of street drugs and alcohol. I was experiencing grand-mal seizures at the time but didn't know that until later. For a few seconds at a time, I would be aware that my body was flipping around on the ground and that people were trying to help me but then I would fade back to black.
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 lost awareness of my body
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? Immediately before coming smack down back into my body.
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
I had no sense of time. Learned later that the seizures lasted for about two and half hours! The most intense time described above in the near death but continued then for a long time.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
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? Yes Described in detail above.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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: Darkness
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 Described in detail above.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Want to say that FIRST left body and existed outside of it and then lost awareness of body altogether. Emotionally - simply calm.
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
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? Liberal Raised Catholic but not emotionally with church at time of experience
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I think I became more inclined to trust the wide universe to be my spiritual guide over any organized religion or guru.
What is your religion now? Liberal none
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I think I became more inclined to trust the wide universe to be my spiritual guide over any organized religion or guru.
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 death is WAY more complicated than angels and gods and heavens and is really more like an explosion and rearrangement of molecules.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I think I'm wiser than most people!!! Made me 'spiritually arrogant!' Sort of kidding.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was very abstract. I'd never heard of NDE at the time. I thought the experience was unique.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Although also had one before the experience: My psychic experiences have been (sleep) dreams that have come true in waking life. One was my brother's death. The other, an affair my husband was having. My dream occurred the exact TIME he and a woman had sex - and we were in different countries but I woke from the dream, wrote down the time, and sent him a letter. He and his girlfriend were freaked out. I was more amazed that I'd had another psychic dream so was less concerned about the actual infidelity!!
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes The one friend who was with me, knew immediately. Other friends knew days later and others years later. It was an important turning point for me.
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