I was with a group on a scuba trip. I was working in a strenuous job and swam about a mile a week, so I was in very good shape. The air temperature was 50 degrees, and I had on a wetsuit but no booties, mitts or head cover. We swam a little over a mile and as long as we were swimming, I was fine and then went down to over 100 feet and stayed the recommended time for the depth. The water temperature, while down, was low 40'sF. Upon coming to the top the group was discussing how much colder the water was than we had expected. I realized that I didn't have the facility to pick up my mouthpiece and put it back in my mouth or to pull the emergency cord to inflate my vest. My diving buddy was close and the last thing I remember is my saying 'Ken, don't leave me.' The best I can explain is my spirit submitted completely. I knew God was there and it was as if I was resting within him, not as a separate entity. It was truly the greatest peace anyone could know. My buddy inflated my vest, apparently alerted the others. They swam and floated me the mile back to our camp, which was fairly isolated. We were about 40 miles from a medical facility. They decided the best thing was to lay me on a bedroll in the sun and cover me with the other bedrolls. They said my breathing was very low but constant. It was over 2 hours before I woke up.
Date NDE Occurred: 1976
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Unconscious. Life threatening event, but not clinical death. I was aware and knew I leaving this world and had surrendered to that.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? At the beginning, there was no fear and I felt this was my natural state of being. At the time, I was searching and yearning for spiritual growth. But with my upbringing and the situation I was in, it was very stressful and it was an emotional fight. To reach this peace, knowing and lack of fear was a great comfort to me. I definitely wanted to stay.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Time didn't exist.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It really wasn't a vision but more a sense of being.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I didn't hear, just was and that was: being within God.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
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? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Uncertain Sort of, it was as if the light was subdued and it was part of being.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? None, it was as if I had none or wasn't connected to emotions as we know them.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
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 It was as if I had access to knowing if I needed it.
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 Immediately, it was as if I submitted to going.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant I was raised Southern Baptist but had been searching, reading Cayse, Metaphysical and Spiritual books
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes Searching, seeking wisdom from where ever it comes. The joy of being, spiritual and physical healing.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant I am currently Episcopal with great searching and Buddhist influence
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 knew where I was, was not right for my purpose in life and had been searching for Truth so to speak
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes The changes include: Looking at things with a non-judgmental attitude; Living without fear, seeking time with God through meditation; Striving to live in the present, so I can be aware of fullness of life.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No There again, it wasn't words but being and knowing.
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? Yes I felt that I had always been.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I was in and part of God
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes Immediately"knew" that God was there and I exsisted in Him.
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 To live life without fear
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes That earthly life was almost an incidental part of our exsistance.
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 I felt I was in the afterlife already
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? Greatly 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 possibly meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes That I should trust myself in searching for the Truth.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes Earthly life and problems were not the important thing that we had been led to believe.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I felt that I was completey loved, unlike anything I had ever known before.
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 Large changes in my life. The actions of my life greatly affected others, and spiritual seeking was more important. As I have grown spiritually, the effects of the experience have had more and more influence and effect. For example, I had less fear, synchronicities especially in helping others.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes Definitely, the importance of how our lives affect others and the responsibility of that affect.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Absolutely, the words, 'knowing', 'feeling peace', all seem so inadequate.
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 The expierence made a great impact on my beleif and understanding.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Realization and awareness of the synchronicities of life
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The comfort of not being afraid.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I have only shared it with my Priest up to this point and that was recently. It's been almost 40 years and the influence of it still is a big part of my spiritual and physical experience.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes My father passed when I was 10 years old. He had asthma and emphysema and was in the hospital. My mother was staying with him when he stopped breathing, she ran out and there were two doctors going down the hall with the gas machine from surgery. They did something, (this was 1953, so resuscitation, as we know it now, wasn't in existence), but whatever they did brought him back. He woke up and said 'why did you bring me back? It was so beautiful.', and then he passed.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real It was such a difficult and stressful time in my life that I needed something to assure me I was loved, and I could trust myself and my intuition to make choices.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It was meant to be a part of my belief and understanding that I have never questioned.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.