In the summer of 1985 I was at a beach in California with my family. There was a picnic area away from sight of the Ocean and my family was up there eating. I walked down to the beach by myself. I walked into the water up to my knees. The water was cold and very murky with kelp floating all around me. After my legs got use to the cold, I walked out a little further up to my waist. My mother didn't want me going out that far so I turned around to see if she was watching. While facing the shore a large wave hit me and slammed my face into the sandy bottom. The wind was knocked out of me. I stood up to take a breath of air and another large wave hit me, slamming my face into the sandy bottom again. I started to panic because I had no air and I was taking in water through my mouth and nose. I stood up again to get some air and was struck again by a large wave. At this point, I was in full panic and thoughts of death came to mind. All of a sudden, I felt very peaceful and calm. I heard a male inner voice say ‘relax and let go.’ So I did. I stopped fighting and just accepted what was going on. It didn't matter to me any more if I lived or died because I got the sense that I could never die because I have always existed and I always will. It was quiet and still. I felt like I was in a womb filled with amniotic fluid and pure love. There was no time it just didn't exist and it didn't matter. Suddenly I popped up about 30 yards to the north of where I first stepped into the ocean. I was coughing and I may have vomited I'm not sure. My face hurt but I felt good. I went back up to the picnic area where my family was and they asked me what happened to your face? I looked into the car mirror and saw that my face was scratched and swollen from the sandy bottom when the wave slammed me into it. I didn't tell anyone until I was an adult because I didn't think anyone would believe me and I didn't want to get into trouble with my mother for going too far out into the ocean. My NDE has changed the way I perceive the universe forever.
Date NDE Occurred: 1985
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
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 I understood everything in the universe at that point. I had no questions during the experience it was like I already knew the answers through my feelings.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Towards the end.
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
There was no time. That's the best way I can describe it. I have no idea how long I was under water and that time doesn't matter.
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. Everything got brighter: the sun light coming through the murky water, the kelp seemed to be alive with bubbles coming out of it.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My hearing went away. I felt like I was in a sound proof room.
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I felt like I was in a womb surrounded by warm amniotic fluid and pure love. I felt safe as though nothing could harm me.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt fear, panic, calm, at peace and acceptance.
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 no longer in conflict with nature
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe It's hard to put into words. I understand and I know is what keeps coming to my mind.
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- Protestant
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I believe that the spiritual aspect of my life has changed drastically over the past 3 years. I had several events in my life that I was able to overcome because of my new outlook on life. My brother, a Firefighter Paramedic, committed suicide in July 2010 and I found his body. If it wasn't for my new way of thinking, I don't think I would've been able to handle it. I feel like I understand death and that it’s just part of life.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Do not know After my NDE I stopped going to church because I felt that what they were teaching was not accurate. I realized that god is pure love and heaven is not somewhere you go when you die it is now here on earth
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 felt that organized religion had it all wrong. GOD is not to be feared and God does not get involved in our lives. We have within us to live a life of heaven or hell. It's our choice.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Yes I became very compassionate towards others.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify I heard a calm male inner voice say ‘relax and let go.’
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 became aware that I have always existed and I always will.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes we are all one entity.
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? Yes God does exist. I was aware that God is not a man or women. God is everything, a pure love energy. We are god because we are one entity.
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 I do not fear death or anything. It's all meant to be. That was the message I got from my NDE. Everything is love. I felt I knew why I was put on this earth but I didn't figure it out until I was about 20 years old.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
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 There is no such thing as death. our inner being has always existed and always will.
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? 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 after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Uncertain All of my answers are short because they were felt as emotions not heard.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes Do not fear death or anything. It's all meant to be. That was the message I got from my NDE.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes Everything is love.
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 After my NDE I began to be obsessed with spiritual and paranormal beliefs.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes At the time of my NDE I was too young to put the words together to describe what happened to me. I was afraid to tell others because I thought they would not believe me. My mother is very religious and I was afraid if I told her that her church has it all wrong she would punish me. I kept my NDE story to myself until I was an adult. I only told a handful of people of my 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 This incident changed my way of thinking and the way I see the universe for the better.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes Working on a 911 ambulance, I can locate victims when lost in areas that are difficult to search. When we are out looking for a body the group will go in one direction and I'll get pulled into another. I always find the body if there is one to find.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The experience I had helps keep me calm in everyday events. I remember that inner voice saying to me to 'relax and let go'.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I didn't share this incident with others until my 20's. They reacted with belief but they just couldn't fully understand. It’s almost not worth mentioning because it’s so hard to explain in words. It was all emotion and feelings. I'm not sure if they were influenced. I usually tell the story at work when I am on a drowning emergency call.
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 it was real because it changed my way of thinking forever. It was like I was woken up from a deep sleep and given all the knowledge in the universe. It’s more like wisdom than knowledge.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It was meant to happen to me. It made me the man I am today.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I started meditating in 2009 because I broke my right collar bone in a motorcycle accident. I refused to take pain medication thus I learned to meditate for pain control. Sometimes in a deep meditation, I get a glimpse of my NDE. The emotions and feelings of pure love and inner peace come back to me.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? No
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