Beverly B's NDE-Like
I was raised in a conservative Jewish family in Philadelphia. The culture was materialistic and judgmental. Bookish, shy and serious, I went through my teens as an atheist. Since learning of the Holocaust at age eight, I had turned angrily against any early belief in God. How could God exist and permit such a thing to occur? At age 17, just after graduating high school, I was devastated by a sudden, fatal heart attack that took my father’s life unexpectedly. I loved him dearly and felt abandoned. To add insult to injury, I learned during the mourning period that the prayers of we three survivors, my mother, my sister and myself did not count because we were women. Furious, I turned to Eastern mysticism for comfort. My relationship with my mother, which had never been good, deteriorated to the point where I left home. During the summer of 1970 I moved to California, looking for adventure, a new life, and inner peace. I got all of this in a dramatic and unexpected way while staying in Venice Beach outside of Los Angeles in July 1970, when a motorcycle accident led to my near-death experience.
The motorcycle ride, my first, was part of a celebration of arrival. A boy I met took me to see the play “Hair,” which celebrated the hippie counterculture and the Age of Aquarius, where “mystic crystal revelation and the mind’s true liberation” will somehow transform our society into one of “harmony and understanding.” Riding back on a small highway where helmets were not required we were struck by a drunken driver. I was thrown to the ground headfirst and suffered a fractured skull and numerous broken bones in my head. When the police arrived, they started to book the driver of the car on manslaughter charges since my head was so badly mangled they assumed I was dead.
This was not the case then. I spent two weeks in the hospital, where my fracture was sutured and I was given sufficient medication to handle the pain. When I was released they told me to just take aspirin. Being too young and naive to understand what now faced me I didn’t argue with them. However, when I got to my temporary apartment I was filled with such despair that I was determined that the first night would be my last. My pain threshold was very low and the contusions that had torn off half the skin from my face shattered my self-image. I had no family to speak of and nothing to live for. The pain was now unbearable and no man would ever love the grotesque creature I had become. I lay down on the bed, becoming an agnostic as many atheists do in times of trial, and prayed from the bottom of my heart for God to take me.
Somehow an unexpected peace descended upon me. I found myself floating on the ceiling over the bed looking down at my unconscious body. I barely had time to realize the glorious strangeness of the situation - that I was me but not in my body - when I was joined by a radiant being bathed in a shimmering white glow. Like myself, this being flew but had no wings. I felt a reverent awe when I turned to him; this was no ordinary angel or spirit, but he had been sent to deliver me. Such love and gentleness emanated from his being that I felt that I was in the presence of the Messiah.
Whoever he was, his presence deepened my serenity and awakened a feeling of joy as I recognized my companion. Gently he took my hand and we flew right through the window. I felt no surprise at my ability to do this. In this wondrous presence, everything was as it should be.
Beneath us lay the beautiful Pacific Ocean, over which I had excitedly watched the sun rise and set during the few days I had been there. But a greater magnificence directed my attention upward, where a large opening lead to a circular path. Although it seemed to be deep and far to the end, a white light shone through and poured out into the gloom to the other side where the opening beckoned. It was the most brilliant light I had ever seen, although I didn't realize how much of its glory was veiled from the outside. The path was angled upward, obliquely, to the right. Now still hand in hand with the angel, I was led into the opening of the small, dark passageway.
I then remember traveling a long distance upward toward the light. I believe that I was moving very fast and through an immeasurable vastness, but this entire realm seemed to be outside of time and space. Finally, I reached my destination. It was only when I emerged from the other end that I realized that I was no longer accompanied by the being who had brought me there. But I wasn't alone. There, before me, was the living presence of the Light. Within it I sensed an all-pervading intelligence, wisdom, compassion, love, and truth. There was neither form nor sex to this perfect Being. It, which I shall in the future call He, in keeping without our commonly accepted syntax, contained everything, as white light contains all the colors of a rainbow when penetrating a prism. And deep within me came an instant and wondrous recognition: I was actually facing God!
I immediately lashed out at Him with all the questions I had ever wondered about; all the injustices I had seen in the physical world. I don't know if I did this deliberately, but I discovered that God knows all your thoughts immediately and responds telepathically. My mind was naked; in fact, I became pure mind. The ethereal body which I had traveled in through the tunnel seemed to be no more; it was just my personal intelligence confronting that Universal Mind, which clothed itself in a glorious, living light that was more felt that seen, since no eye could absorb its splendor.
I don't recall the exact content of our discussion; in the process of return, the insights that came so clearly and fully in Heaven were not brought back with me to Earth. I'm sure that I asked the question that had been plaguing me since childhood about the sufferings of my people. I was deeply disturbed by first-hand reports I heard at my job in Philadelphia from shell-shocked boys no older than myself about the horrors of the war going on then in Vietnam. I do remember this: there was a reason for everything that happened, no matter how awful it appeared in the physical realm. And within myself, as I was given the answer, my own awakening mind now responded in the same manner: "Of course," I would think, "I already know that. How could I ever have forgotten!" Indeed, it appears that all that happens is for a purpose, and that purpose is already known to our eternal self.
In time the questions ceased, because I suddenly was filled with all the Being's wisdom. I was given more than just the answers to my questions; all knowledge unfolded to me, like the instant blossoming of an infinite number of flowers all at once. I was filled with God's knowledge and suddenly saw how the universe worked. It was so simple and beautiful, over there. The feeling I brought back was one of interconnectedness of all things and the continuing unfolding of the unconditional love I had first rejected upon meeting this ineffable Ground of life.
What I’ll never forget also was the feeling of being Home, to the heart’s forgotten longing, the center of the circle of infinity, the fulfillment of all our unspoken dreams. Yes, I was alive there, unimaginably so. The contrast is so great that I cannot even make a mathematical comparison. An imperfect analogy would be to compare our body’s life essence on earth to the flicker of a single candle, and the Life coursing through the separated soul or spirit as the blazing forth of a sun.
But my journey of discovery was just beginning. Now I was treated to an extraordinary voyage through the universe. Instantly, at the speed of thought, we traveled to the center of stars being born, supernovas exploding, stars dying, visions from the outside of galaxies majestically swirling through radiant space, including our own Milky Way. The impression I have now of this trip is that it felt like the universe is all one grand object woven from the same fabric. Space and time are illusions that hold us to our plane; out there all is present simultaneously. I was a passenger on a Divine spaceship in which the Creator showed me the fullness and beauty of all of his Creation. There was no darkness there, or between any of the objects. Every object was clothed in light and was alive, aware, and loving.
The last thing that I saw before all external vision ended was a glorious fire - the core and center of a marvelous star. Perhaps this was a symbol for the blessing that was now to come to me. Everything faded except for a richly full void in which That and I encompassed All that is. Here, I experienced, in ineffable magnificence, communion with the Light Being. Now I was filled with not just all knowledge, but also with all love. It was as if the Light were poured in and through me. I was God's object of adoration; and from His/our love I drew life and joy beyond imagining. My being was transformed; my delusions, sins, and guilt were forgiven and purged without asking; and now I was Love, primal Being, and bliss. And, in some sense, I remain there, for Eternity. Such a union cannot be broken. It always was, is, and shall be.
Suddenly, not knowing how or why, I returned to my broken body. But miraculously, I brought back the love and the joy. I was filled with an ecstasy beyond my wildest dreams. Here, in my body, the pain had all been removed. I was still enthralled by a boundless delight. For the next two months, I remained in this state, oblivious to any pain.
I felt now as if I had been made anew. I saw wondrous meanings everywhere; everything was alive and full of energy and intelligence. The light and love filled every object, whether natural or man-made. Although in time this precious gift faded, I understand now that that’s all that exists. In our fundamental nature, we are love and we are each loved and forgiven in each moment.
After the accident my actions showed this transformation. In the past I had been painfully shy and felt myself unworthy of being loved. I went out with my head swathed in bandages and landed a job in one week, made many friends, and got involved in my first real romance. After the Sylmar earthquake in 1971, I moved back East and went home to my mother, with whom I became reconciled. I have been a vegetarian for most of my adult life because I know the love and light dwell in animals and the natural world as deeply as it is within us. I started college at 23 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Since then I have married and become a mother, which I understand to be part of my mission.
When I discovered IANDS in 1989, I finally broke the seal open on this hidden mystery and decided to share the gift whenever I have the opportunity. Like many others, I have become more spiritual than religious. Many religions have lost the golden key to understanding—that God is immanent and transcendent; here and everywhere, all at the same time. Those of us called to the spiritual quest have discovered that the door is already open and the mythical new cycle is here. We are all facets of the brilliant diamond heart of our Creator and of each other. What a wonderful time to be alive, to be able to talk about the Truth and connect with the forgotten wisdom in other souls!
Although it's been 36 years since my heavenly voyage, I have never forgotten it. Nor have I, in the face of ridicule and disbelief, ever doubted its reality. Nothing that intense and life-changing could possibly have been a dream or hallucination. To the contrary, I consider the rest of my life to be a passing fantasy, a brief dream, that will end when I again awaken in the permanent presence of that Giver of life and bliss.For anyone who grieves or fears annihilation in death, I assure you of this: there is no death; nor does love ever end. Modern physics assures us that matter does not die, but is instead transformed into energy. I see the body as a coat housing the immortal consciousness within. When our mission is complete we remove the coat and take on our glorious form, complete with the full spiritual understanding we vainly seek during our earth days. Then, having graduated this temporary school, we get our report card in the life review, with extra credit for love, forgiveness, and service to others. Now we can continue on our journey unencumbered, free, and truly alive. Someday you who are reading this and I will be together in this realm of love, light, and unending bliss.