This experience, which lasted for months, occurred when my wife of ten years admitted she had been cheating and was pregnant. I had three young children and was not prepared for the life changes this entailed. She expressed distress, as she did not know how to proceed, but her actions up to and after that point showed me that our relationship had ended.While we were talking about her being pregnant, I found my consciousness floating above my body, to the right and slightly above my shoulder. My conscious self then started coaching my physical self on how to get through what was going on. I observed myself crying, and instructed myself to drop my chin lower 'so the anguish would be more apparent.' I could see that my physical self was suffering immensely, but my conscious self was experiencing no pain. In fact, I felt very empowered and elated, as my consciousness filled the room and I could observe all that was within it from all angles. I knew my task was to coach my physical self through this experience. The experience of floating was not a sensation. There was no 'feeling' of floating, only the fact that I was. I felt empathy and overwhelming compassion for my physical self, but the pain evident within that body was not felt by this part of me. I was within the room, but I wasn't confined to my body; it was as though I was everywhere and anywhere within the room all at once. For a few moments, I oriented myself with this new freedom, moving about the room and observing the environment from various angles. That was short lived, though, because my attention was needed.My physical self was operating like a puppet. Everything I told that self to do, it did. When the conversation had ended, I told my physical self it was time to leave and reflected on whether 'it' could drive. I watched until I was certain it could manage the trip, and so it drove the twenty minutes to town. My conscious self was rarely in the vehicle during the trip. Instead, it floated above, observing the turns and feeling comfortable that my physical self would make it to the city. I recall thinking the words 'you will be fine' as I floated above the vehicle. My thoughts still guided my physical self, but I was aware it could cease to function. I would best describe the body as 'the habitual self' and the spirit as 'the conscious self.' It was as though the habitual self could operate from memory, while unquestioningly accepting thought-based instruction. The spiritual, 'conscious self' was fully in charge. Floating above my moving vehicle was an empowering sensation. Moving was effortless; I simply thought myself to be where I wished to be, and there I was. I felt no motion or touch sensations of any kind. As I followed the vehicle, I could see objects on both sides of the road, as though I were in a low-flying plane. My van appeared to be about the size of a quarter, so you can imagine what my peripheral vision was like. The odd thing was that I saw objects that I had never seen before, set way back from the side roads. The view was complete and accurate to every minute detail, even though I never had been down those roads. (After the experience, I drove down those side roads to confirm what I had seen.) When I got to town, I went to my workplace (not recommended, but I had support there and nowhere else nearby.) I don't remember much of what took place there, save one girl who provided counseling. It was not her role at the workplace, but she did it for me and it helped me a lot. I recall while she spoke with me, that I was flitting in and out of my physical self. I could feel the emotional distress within my body and did not want to return to it completely at that time. I remember being out-of-body as both the most empowering and most devastating experience of my life. I remember the awe I felt in realizing that my physical self was only a husk through which I experienced my life; that it wasn't 'me.' At the same time, I could feel neither the pain of that body, nor the joy. I would hug my children but not feel the love, which I so desperately wanted to feel. This went on for months, where my conscious self was only marginally attached to my physical body. I recall reflecting on the anger and frustration I felt because I could not become 'whole' within my body again. I would estimate that it was more than nine months before I could experience a genuine emotion as a whole self. It was years before I fully returned to my body to experience life as one being. Until that time, I spent much of my worldly existence as a marginally attached spirit. I want to be clear, however, that this spirit was fully me and fully whole in itself. It was difficult, being outside of the body for an extended period. Initially, I felt bliss, awe, and amazement for the revelations that one has while out-of-body. Great understanding came over me, for I knew that the self exists apart from the physical. However, I neither moved on to the afterlife nor back to the physical life. Instead, I found myself remaining in stasis as an observer guiding a puppet. I did not see God, or any spiritual beings, perhaps because I really wasn't seeking to. I felt as though I had a duty to see the body through this traumatic experience. At many times the pain was too much for the body, and it would break down in a convulsive display of tears and agony. My spiritual self would feel compassion for that other self, comforting and caring for the emotional needs of the body, and providing understanding and reassurance. When the body was not tormented, my spiritual self would busy itself on logic puzzles, and sometimes it would travel from room to room exploring the environment in more depth than was possible while working. That too, was very liberating, and I learned a lot about my workplace that surprised me. At a few points, my spiritual attempted to rejoin the physical. The pain of this world was tremendous, and on more than one occasion, the attempt at rejoining my body resulted in suicidal contemplation. I envisioned my death many times, picked the method and place, and one time fear brought me bawling to a doctor, who in turn found me help. Note here that the spiritual self isn't accustomed to experiencing the pain we go through in life. It tends to feel much more compassion and love. It cannot process the pain humans can experience or inflict upon others.
Date NDE Occurred: 'May, 2001'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes 'Illness, trauma or other condition not considered life threatening'
My experience lasted nine or more months, involving both extreme emotional trauma and a high probability of suicide.
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 I stayed near my body through most of the event. I coached it from above, and experienced life through two mediums at once.
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 Everything was crisp and clear. There was no physical or emotional fog to impair thoughts and perception. My physical self needs glasses, but my spiritual self does not
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was at my highest level while traveling above the van. I knew the body within the van could get to town without issue, so I explored the surroundings from above. I viewed the hills, path of the river, side streets, and some of the buildings set back from the highway. It was most astounding, because I was able to visit these new places later, and indeed they were exactly as I had perceived them to be.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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 had full 720 degree vision. I could see all above, below, and around me at once. Everything was clear, unlike in life, where little of what meets your eyes is actually 'in focus.'
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing was not different when I was in the vicinity of my body. When I moved about outside of the body, there was no sound, but I was aware of no apparent absence of sound either.
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? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I remained within this world, but it was nothing like what we usually experience, because my consciousness was separate from my body. I could travel through walls to visit other parts of my workplace. I could think of a place and instantly be there, triggered by even the most minuscule of desires to be there. While I was out of my body, I explored houses within the community; traveling down streets I'd never been on, to admire the craftsmanship and artistry of the homes, other structures, and creations there. I explored nature, consciously strolling through parkways, and I often visited the wilder parts of the mountainsides. I had never daydreamed in my life, as I cannot visualize things with my eyes closed. These events could not have been dreams, unless I had been able to dream differently in the out-of-body state than I do while in it. I'll add that I reviewed many of the more unexpected discoveries again afterwards, and what I viewed with my consciousness was repeatedly confirmed.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? The feeling while coaching my physical self through the breakup was glorious. I felt great compassion for my physical self in such pain, but my surroundings left me in awe.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
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 I became an explorer during the event. During my life, I have felt compelled to understand most things. Freed of my body, my nature changed significantly. I no longer wondered why, but instead experienced and explored. The desire to understand was very weak while within that new freedom. There just wasn't a need. I understood.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
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 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- Other Christian
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No I used to appreciate God, but not understand. Now I understand, and the appreciation has grown one hundred fold. I thank 'All That Is' because I appreciate using prayers of my own words. I do my best to treat every living being, as I would want to be treated. I have always cared, but now my love shines. It is more wonderful than words can say.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths I am spiritual but have shed the religious dogma that surrounds my beliefs. I do study to become more, and find the lessons in Buddhism hold great knowledge.
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 lived 100% in the physical, and rejected spiritual notions with fervor. I remember hearing about people who had been out of body and thinking they were quite delusional... playing with a partial deck. Imagine my shock when I realized they were right, and that I was the one that was delusional! To a scientific mind, spiritual adventures seem impossible, but to one who has experienced them there can be no other truth.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My spiritual beliefs remain, but the religious dogma surrounding them is gone. In my mind, God has been redefined as 'All That Is' (and there is nothing else.) This is truth, and it is the core of spiritual understanding.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I returned knowing we are all one. I do not know how I came to understand, only that I do. I had no notions of such prior to being out of body.
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? Yes I became very aware that the belief we have of individuality is wrong. We perceive as individuals, so that we can express free will. But we are a part of All That Is. What was once faith is now fact. I went into the event without the question, returning with new beliefs and understanding. I do not know where the understanding originated, as my experience was many months long. I do not recall any specific discussions with God or spiritual entities, and yet my entire experience was spiritual.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes My new understanding entirely changed my life, but this occurred through reflection on the experience; it was not information I received during my experience, if that makes sense.
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? No
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 Specific awareness that life exists apart from the body. We identify with and experience through our material selves, but we are not our material selves. We do not cease to be when the body dies.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not 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? Yes I experienced what might be described as nine months of lucid dreaming in chains, containing countless events that were confirmed in life afterwards. It showed me that our lives on this world are not as we perceive them in body, and it also showed me that the self and body are separable. I now realize that the body is a part of me, rather than me being a part of the body. The spiritual self is the true entity and the body is a manifestation of that greater self.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes There was personal validation from my spirit that my decisions in times during trial and tribulation had been appropriate, and that I was living true to my values.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Life without love is tormenting. Countless times I hugged my children and felt desperate to feel the love between us, but I could not do so until my selves reunited.
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 changed careers, finding a leadership role where I can help leaders help others. I have lost my desire for material wealth. I have lost my ability to work having only money as a motivator. I love people more, and have learned to suspend judgment, as those who perform the actions will provide all the judgment necessary; judging themselves in the long run. I have realized there is no evil to oppose good; there is good and there is a lack of understanding (or need for growth and knowledge of goodness.)
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I used to be comfortable around people who were scientifically grounded, and I didn't believe in spirit. I now believe fully in spirit, and have trouble relating to those who do not. I could never be close to anyone that is heavily focused on material life.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The mechanics are easy to explain, but words do not do justice to the emotions and the tremendous freedoms felt during the experience.
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 My recollection is crystal clear, like pictures etched into my mind. Which is odd, because I don't remember anything else in picture form.
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? My understanding of 'All That Is' as well as of life, purpose, and truth, are invaluable. I would not have them if not for this experience.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have shared it with a few who are close to me. Most people aren't prepared to understand, so I don't bring it up often. I mention it when I see others that need healing, or who seek understanding that I can help bring to them.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I had only heard a few sparsely detailed stories which didn't interest me, as, in my opinion, the people telling them had clearly 'lost it.'
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real My experience was a gift. It showed me that there is so much more to life than we take for granted in our material state. It was joyful, and quite wonderful to explore the world, free of my body!
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I am grateful for the understanding this has brought me. In a way, I feel as if I have cheated. While others live their lives without knowing the truth, I am fully aware. This creates a great and constant tribulation, for I now know the importance of living true to ones values (the good side) and I also understand that living true to values is essential (but I miss the 'get out of guilt free cards.')
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Only that for all the pain, I am happy to have experienced this part of life. I believe it would be more difficult to live in a world where the pain is real, and believing that there is nothing at the end of life. Knowing there is more has made all the difference. I'll also add that being out of body is a fantastic experience! If death is anything like what I experienced while out-of-body, it will be a most adventurous ride!
I was pulling out of a side street onto a four-lane road. The traffic was stopped. A driver indicated he would let me cross his lane, unaware that there was a cube van coming down the lane next to his. As soon as I entered that lane, I was broadsided by the van. My driver's side window was down, so I did not hit my head on it during the impact. When I looked up and saw the van barreling toward me, I realized that there was nowhere for the driver to go other than through me. I remember thinking I'd be hit and might die, but I wasn't afraid. I was upset because my children were at the beach and would be in need of a ride home. I was worried for them, not for me. When the vehicles collided, time stopped. I felt exceptionally alert, but I recognized right away that I was not in my body! I was still inside the vehicle, above and to the right of my body. It felt perfectly normal to be in this state, as real, or perhaps more real, than when I'd been inside my body. Now, having time stop when you are in an accident proves to be a very interesting experience! The first thing I did was view what was going on within the vehicle. Every shard of glass from the broken windows was suspended in the air; not falling. I was caught up in the beauty of the moment, admiring how each shard of glass was refracting the sunlight differently. They looked no different from other shards of glass from a wreck, but these were all alive with light, shimmering in the air. I could perceive every shard in its entirety. My spirit moved around the suspended shards, admiring them for a few moments, and then I turned to the 'task at hand.' This body (to which I felt no emotional attachment) had just been in an accident, and I wasn't sure it was still inhabitable. I know that sounds odd, but that was my question; was this body still intact, could I still 'use' it? My consciousness positioned itself in front of the body to examine it, to scan it, from top to bottom no damage. I was pleased, because I needed to pick up my children. I knew they would be confused if it was time for them to leave and I wasn't there to pick them up. When I realized I would need time to arrange alternate transportation, there was an instant 'blip' of urgency to return to the body, and immediately I was inside it again. The part of this that amazes me is that everything I described in the previous paragraph happened during the instant that I was hit. There was no passage of time; all of what I experienced had simply happened in that one instant. The driver of the cube van was certain he had killed me. He ran over and I greeted him in a more or less jovial way, so that he would not be concerned. I told him I was not injured. Though my mind was still in shock and I hadn't fully checked for injuries, I was pretty sure there was no damage because I'd checked during that moment of suspended time. Police and medics arrived, and I assured them I was fine. For whatever reason, they did not attempt to check me for internal injuries, and I was able to retrieve my children from their swim.
Date NDE Occurred: Summer 2007
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was t-boned by a cube van while driving a small car. The impact was on the driver's side and, though the car was written off for damages, I was not physically injured.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes There was no passage of time, so nothing happened on earth during this event. I was able to view my body, and was aware of the precise nature of the damage to my vehicle. Things that I could not have known before I was hit were exceptionally clear within that exact moment.
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 Every sense was amplified while time was stopped. During that full moment, I could perceive everything, such as the suspended glass shards, from all angles. This freedom to move about let me see the effects of the bright sunlight through multiple perspectives at once. We cannot do this in-body, and as a result, we experience only a small portion of the glory that is.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was more alert and alive while out of my body than I ever was while in it. The event was short and my senses remained heightened for that full moment in which there was no time.
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 simply didn't pass. When I examined the body and made the determination I could continue to use it, time resumed.
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. In that one instant, I could see everything with perfect clarity to the finest detail. My vision was '720 degrees,' meaning I could see the full 360 degrees around me, and everything beneath and above me, all at the same time. There was always a 'focal point' toward which my attention was directed, but the other surroundings looked perfectly clear as well. It was not like when you look at something with your earthly vision and you can see what you focus on clearly, while all else around it is a blur. Everything was in focus, and I would choose what to direct my attention to.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. There was no sound, save the thoughts in my head.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was calm and collected, much as I am in life. Viewing the body was for determining the course of action I would need to take next. There was no worry, nor was there fear. I was concerned about the confusion my children would feel if they finished swimming and I wasn't there to pick them up. I felt compassion for my children, and love for them.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No I have shed the religious dogma that surrounded my spirituality. I realized that religion is a tool used to educate those who have not had personal experience, and to offer guidance so that we can be more proud of our lives when we reflect back upon them. It has, unfortunately, ceased to be the great avenue for understanding that it was created to be, as people focus too much on the rituals and not enough on the spiritual lessons within.
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths Spiritual but not religious
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 I had been out of body once before, so that part of the experience was not new. My prior event was very different though, as time did not stop during that event. My life was changed by this experience, because it explained some of what I'd thought from my prior experience.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I returned with a new understanding. We are one. Perception of isolation is the myth. One cannot be isolated from God, when one is one with God.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain I realized that the spiritual nature of the world is ignored in our society. I realized there is infinitely more to existence than what the sciences suggest. I did not return knowing there was a 'God' but rather that our concept of God is incorrect. God is All That Is, and we are a part of All That Is. All thoughts we have of separation from God are illogical, because we are a part of God.
I cannot explain the origin of this understanding, except that my views of God and spirituality changed when I returned to my body. What I understood when I left my body was not what I understood upon my return.
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes It was very apparent that I am not my body. The body is a mode of experience, not a source of existence.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
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
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Slight changes in my life I returned with the understanding that God is 'All That Is'. My spiritual beliefs seem to have been cleansed, in the sense that I have shed the religious dogma that used to surround my beliefs.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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 This memory does not fade.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Time stopping was very significant to me. It showed me that time is not a prerequisite for thought, nor is it necessary to experience time in order to experience life. Being out of body was important because it showed me that I was not the same as my body. I am not my body. The emotional detachment from the body was significant because it was such a stark shift from what we experience in life. I realized that the overall importance of the spirit is greater than that of the body.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I do not recall how long it was after the accident that I shared it. I have shared it with very few people. Most people do not understand, so I only share it with those I am closest to.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes This was my second experience, so I knew what it was like to be out of my body. I did not read about others' near death experiences until recently. Both my experiences were genuine, and I returned to this world with elation over the fact there is more to existence than I had thought.
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
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? The experience of returning to my body was two-fold. Out-of-body I had a tremendous sensation of freedom and empowerment that I wished I would not have to lose by returning to my body. However, once I had returned, I continued to feel buoyant, elated by what I had experienced and learned.
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