At age 17, I took some kind of hallucinogen. I'd taken drugs possibly 60 times or more before this day, tablets and blotter sold as LSD, mescaline, acid, liquid sunshine, window pane. This one particular time something that was sold in pill form as THC, which sounded low key and natural because THC was in weed. I had a most lovely, warm, magical trip with several girlfriends. Three of us ended up sitting in the branches of a tree for hours and I remember, very clearly thinking, 'This is nirvana. This is what heaven must be.' Several of our friends had had a terrible trip, spending hours looking for us! When we finally met up again, we were all coming down, back to normal. I went home and had dinner with my family. That night, we friends all met up again to go to a party. I had one beer and felt as if I were jumping through time. I'd be talking with one person and the next thing I knew, I'd be in another room talking to someone else. It was really disconcerting and I knew something wasn't right and so stepped outside. I started having grand mal seizures.
I was aware of floating above my body watching the seizures. Then suddenly my body got up and ran down the road straight toward an oncoming car and I thought, 'Oh, this is the end' but it felt as if something, somebody, pushed me really hard and the car missed me but I fell into a ditch. A friend caught up with me and I felt myself leave my body again. I heard a strange unearthly scream and realized it was coming from me and then I was lifting upward very quickly toward a white light. The sensation was that of periscope opening long and longer as I was speeding upward faster and faster toward this light.
I felt utterly calm, content. Somehow, I knew I was dead but I was okay with that as I kept moving toward the light. Then I had a thought, until then, it seemed everything was beyond words or thought, but this thought came into my head, 'Your parents cannot handle losing another child.' And whack! I was back in my body and screaming my head off.
Date NDE Occurred: October 1973
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drug or medication overdose An 18 year old friend stayed with me. We both thought I died for several minutes Other An 18 year old friend stayed with me. We both thought I died for several minutes
I had a reaction to a combination of alcohol and tablet form THC, but who knows what it really was.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes Explained above. I saw the car, saw my body, and was aware of my friend sitting beside my body, holding my body.
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 I did a lot of drugs, as mentioned above, and a seeker of sorts. Going through a lot of existential angst about the meaning of life, not so different from many teens.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was heading toward the light. By the way, I'd never heard of NDE back then in 1973. Weirdly, my friend helping me also knew I had died and thought about how he would put me in a car and get in an accident because he knew my parents couldn't handle losing a child to drugs. A car accident was preferable and he was willing to risk his own life to cover up my mistake.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or 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. The white light was more than something to see; it was something I felt; a warmth, a sense of love, a sense of goodness?
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. What I heard seemed to be apart from me. I heard a scream and knew it was coming from my body but also knew it was not coming from 'the me' who was floating above looking down.
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 Well, I was heading upward into this periscope tunnel thing that seemed to go unfolding up and up toward a light.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain A sensation or thought, rather than a person. Awareness of the physical world brought me back. I did not meet my brother or grandparents though I have since met them and other people who have 'passed' in dreams.
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Described 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? Utter peace and calm. I can't even say I wanted to come back or was given a choice to come back to earth, I simply went from abstraction to thought and that thought of my parents grief brought me back.
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
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
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 Described elsewhere: I knew I couldn't die and leave my parents who were already grieving for my brother who died in Vietnam. We were a family with six children. I was the 4th of six kids.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic Raised Catholic, attended Catholic school 1-8; My oldest brother died in Vietnam when I was 13 so I was questioning the existence of God, the purpose of life and was, by age 15, taking LSD, mescaline, anything I could get my hands on.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I was leaning towards a general spiritualism and away from Catholicism and this confirmed my leanings.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated I believe in being a good person. I've meditated twice daily since I was 18. I don't believe any one organized religion has the answers but know that many people find comfort in them. I did a sort of Siddhartha journey at age 18 and traveled to India. I don't have patience for organized religions because they usually seem myopic to me. God or the afterlife or whatever is bigger than we can possibly understand. I think that some part of who we are carries on after death but think it is probably far to abstract for humans to grasp but they try with descriptions of heaven or reincarnation. I've come to believe it may be something similar as to what happens in nature. A flower dies and it returns to the earth and nourishes new life but you couldn't point to that new life and say, "That was the flower that died last year." I suspect the essence of who we are also returns to a bigger pool of spiritual life but you can't point to one person and say "He is a reincarnation of Bob."
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience Like heaven and God but far more abstract
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I knew I needed to see the world. Life was short. I was on the physical plane for a reason. I needed to experience the physical world!
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify As said: it was kind of a thought, but not really my own thought, just an idea about my parents.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
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 I was not sure of eternity, unconditional love, infinite light until that experience
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Sensed it. described in previous boxes
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain I felt love and light. Not sure if that was God or what. Just love and light and eternity,
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes Love WAS
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes Unforuntately, felt it in a vague way. I knew that I needed t return to earth, knew that I wasn't "done" and have since traveled tons and written lots but not sure I am fulfilling the reason for being
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes Sorry, I just knew! Felt it and experienced it completely
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not 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 prior to your experience? Unknown
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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Love WAS
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 I decided to do a Siddhartha and experience the world, so I traveled at age 18 with no money through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal. Life was iffy. I needed to LIVE FULLY.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I've sought people who understand that kind of spiritualism; non-traditional. Although, maybe it has since become traditional in that there is this form!
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes For years if I tried to talk about it, I would tremble and cry.
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 as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience It has stayed with me all these years.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes A dream of my husband having an affair with a random woman and it turns out my dream occurred at the moment they had their affair.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? It was like heaven and God but far more abstract.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Immediately, with the friend who was with me; very, very slowly with others. I was sure they would think I was crazy. I thought I might be crazy. Or that others would dismiss it as a drug dream and I KNEW it was more than that.
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 knew then, and now, that it was absolutely authentic. I have actually wished it had happened without drugs so it could not be dismissed as hallucination. It was NOT a drug induced hallucination.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It happened. No doubt. My perspective then and now was accurate. It was pure light/love/eternity.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Dreams. The death of my grandmother: I felt her slip from her body and hover above and then return with a slam when her husband demanded it. My father was in the room and said he sensed the same.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I thought the survey was thorough.