George Rodonaia's NDE
for clarity by Ron
Dr. George Rodonaia holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. in neuropathology, and a Ph.D. in the psychology of religion. Most recently he delivered a keynote address to the United Nations on the Emerging Global Spirituality. Before immigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1989, he worked as a research psychiatrist at the University of Moscow.
Dr. Rodonaia underwent one of the most extended cases of a clinical near death experience ever recorded. Pronounced dead immediately after he was hit by a car in 1976, he was left for three days in a morgue. He did not return to life until a doctor began to make an incision in his abdomen as part of an autopsy.
Another notable feature of Dr. Rodonaias near death experience and this is common to many is that he was radically transformed by it. Prior to his near death experience, he worked as a neuropathologist. He was also an avowed atheist. Yet after the experience, he devoted himself exclusively to studying the psychology of religion. He then became an ordained priest in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Today he serves as an associate pastor at the First united Methodist Church in Nederland, Texas.
The first thing I remember about my near death
experience is that I discovered myself in a realm of total darkness. I had no physical pain; I was still somehow
aware of my existence as George, and all about me there was darkness, utter and
complete darkness the greatest darkness ever, darker than any dark, blacker
than any black. This was what
surrounded me and pressed upon me. I
was horrified! I wasnt prepared for
this at all. I was shocked to find that
I still existed, but I didnt know where I was. The one thought that kept rolling through my mind was, How can I
be when Im not? That is what troubled
Slowly, I got a grip on myself and began to think about what had happened, what was going on. But nothing refreshing or relaxing came to me. Why am I in this darkness? What am I to do? Then I remembered Descartes famous line: I think, therefore, I am. And that took a huge burden off me, for it was then I knew for certain I was still alive, although obviously in a very different dimension. Then I thought, If I am, why shouldnt I be positive? That is what came to me. I am George and Im in darkness, but I know I am. I am what I am. I must not be negative.
Then I thought, How can I define what is positive in darkness? Well, positive is light. Then, suddenly, I was in light; bright, white, shiny and strong; a very bright light. It was like the flash of a camera, but not flickering that bright. Constant brightness. At first I found the brilliance of the light painful. I couldnt look directly at it. But little by little, I began to feel safe and