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Phillippe R's NDE


I was spending my holidays with my parents at my mother’s uncle and aunt’s place, in Toulon. 

It was summer, everyone was indoors. I had remained outdoors and I wanted to swim in the swimming-pool. I usually swam with a buoy because I didn’t know how to swim except if I stayed on the steps where I could stand in the water. 

Therefore I went down to the last step to get immersed as deep as possible within the reach of the steps. Unfortunately I slipped and I immediately found myself driven to the bottom of the swimming-pool. The slope drove me to the middle of the pool. 

I can remember that I wasn’t scared. I was sitting at the bottom, looking at the surface above. The sun was coming through it and its undulations made the light move. 

I didn’t feel any fear, I can’t even remember trying to swim or going up. However I didn’t know how to swim and I didn’t know what to do. 

I started to feel very cold and I shut my eyes. Then I found myself outside the swimming-pool. I was flying several meters high above it and I could see my body deep under. I strangely felt nothing at this sight, no panic, no fear, only an acceptance of what was happening and a loss of interest about my physical envelope. This was not really important after all.

Then, I somehow « swiveled », but the word isn’t accurate because I didn’t really have a shape. What I can tell is that I couldn’t see the swimming-pool. I was “into a white color” (this is the only expression I have found to describe this stage when I happen to tell this experiment, and to my mind, it’s the most accurate). 

Everything was white, I was bathing in this white. Time was suspended, I found myself in a state of supreme serenity. I was where I had to be, I was feeling so calm, in a state of total perfection and fullness. 

This state seemed to last for ages if I can say so because time simply didn’t exist.

The white color then quickly dissolved into a red-orange color, I was bathing in a sunset. However it was but for a brief period of time because I suddenly felt back into my body, still deep in the water. 

I heard a strong noise and I saw a shape diving towards me. I was lifted by my armpits.   

I can perfectly recall seeing that the person who dived had pierced through the surface but the moment that came after is confused as everybody was moving and talking at the same time.

I haven’t been reanimated nor anything of the kind, I simply spat the water I had swallowed. 

In fact, fortunately, my mother’s cousin had gone out the house to fetch something. The fact that he was seeing me at the bottom of the pool was no surprise to him : he had grown up in a house with a swimming-pool, therefore he knew how to swim and he naturally thought I was able to. He went back to the house and just said : “Philip, he is now able to swim and he is down under the surface”.

My parents were of course panic-stricken and said I didn’t know yet how to swim. My mother’s cousin ran outside and plunged to rescue me. While I was still “into the white”.

Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words?

Yes and no, what is so difficult is to be able to process so much data at the same time, and my tale seems very long though in fact the experiment didn’t last that much.

At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event?         

I had slipped to the bottom of the pool and I was drowning.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?   
While I was « into the white ».

How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal every day consciousness and alertness?    More consciousness and alertness than normal

If your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain:            While I was “into the white”.

Did your vision differ in any way from your normal, everyday vision (in any aspect, such as clarity, field of vision, colors, brightness, depth perception degree of solidness/transparency of objects, etc.)?  Yes    

Yes, when I was floating above the swimming-pool because I had no shape. I could see “globally”, even if I first focused on my body deep into the water.

Then, while I was « into the white », there was nothing to be seen. No shape, no distance, only white.

Did your hearing differ in any way from your normal, everyday hearing (in any aspect, such as clarity, ability to recognize source of sound, pitch, loudness, etc.)?            Yes     I don’t have any memory of a sound from this episode.

Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body?     Yes

What emotions did you feel during the experience?            Serenity, calmness, a feeling of well-being and happiness.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure?          No      

Did you see a light?          
Uncertain     If the « white » into which I was bathing can be considered as such, well yes. But I didn’t have the feeling it was physical light, even if I suppose it can be called so (what accounts for my answer to question 17).

Did you meet or see any other beings?           No      

Did you experience a review of past events in your life?    No    

I first learnt that physical life isn’t everything. This is an important limit most people usually feel and in my case, this limit went off when I was a child.

Some people believe in God and in an afterlife, or something that « comes after ».  Personally, even if I find it difficult to express this “something”, I don’t believe, I KNOW, and this really makes a difference.

I then learnt that there is something after life on earth. I questioned every single given pattern (God our Father, angels, paradise or hell, etc.) because I hadn’t seen any of those things. And when the following year or two years later, my mother sent me to have a religious education, I criticized a lot what we were being taught. The person in charge of this religious education didn’t like me very much because of my attitude and I stopped going (either I was not wanted any more, either I didn’t want to go, I can’t remember.)

Even if I didn’t die, I have learnt not to fear death, I don’t even wish it to occur. On the contrary, I have become conscious of the value of life and how important it is to live it through its very  end.

As a consequence of it all, I started from that time on to ask myself many questions regarding the universe, its creation and so on. I started to investigate in order to get answers to questions I had not before. My whole spiritual quest, since I was 6, has derived from this experiment.

Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?          No      

Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions?           

I think that this « white » was a threshold,  the dimension that was coming right after the loss of the physical body.

Did you have any sense of altered space or time?  
Yes     As I mentioned before, time didn’t exist and there wasn’t any space within this « white », nor shape nor dimension.

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?    

I was able to understand it all : the universe, why Man exists and so on … a kind of omniscience.

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?
Uncertain      Je pense que le passage dans le rouge-orangé, le coucher de soleil, était le palier suivant. J'ai réincorporé en en ayant eu juste un bref aperçu, donc peut-être que c'était une limite que je npouvais pas encore franchir, n'étant pas vraiment mort. 

I think that this passage through the red-orange colour, the sunset, was the next step. I re-entered my body after a short glimpse into it, therefore maybe that was a limit I wasn’t yet able to trespass because I wasn’t really dead.

Did you become aware of future events?       No      

Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience?     Yes    

I met several times spirits, ghosts, whatever you call them.

I have been performing spontaneous out-of-body experiences (some people talk about « astral journeys ») since I was about 12 years old. As a teenager, I couldn’t really master such a  phenomenon. The first time it happened, I was astonished and I quickly came back into my body. During this re-entering phase, I was paralyzed. Then I failed in every further out-of-body experience and it turned out as paralysis during sleep.

Today, I know how to overcome this paralysis and to control the fears and hallucinations it may lead to, this has enabled me to achieve three successful out-of-body experiences.

Have you shared this experience with others?         Yes      

Yes, but only on the internet to people who really share an interest on the matter. I’m reluctant about talking about this topic to people I know, I fear to get labeled as a “schizophrenic” or a “mystic”, something like that. People are afraid of what they don’t understand.

The people I communicated with though the internet reacted very well ; most of them are open-minded and are interested, some of them have experimented similar situations.

I don’t know if my story has ever had an influence over them, we should be able to ask them about this.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?    No      

How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:            Experience was definitely real   

As I was very young when it occurred, I couldn’t have a doubt about what I had been through.

Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you?           

When I was « into the white » because I was experiencing total serenity.

How do you currently view the reality of your experience:            Experience was definitely real   

The memory is still as vivid as it was. Moreover, some phenomena I went through during my life regularly bring me confirmation of the sheer reality of that experience.

Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?           No      

Have your religious beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?            Yes    

I have put aside the catholic religion since my childhood because I didn’t feel a presence, I didn’t see angels, paradise etc. Everything I was told to believe in appeared to me as lies. 

For a long time, I thought I was an atheist, but not completely because I knew there was something (but something different from what tradition tells us). 

For four years now, I have turned to Buddhism because I practiced yoga and meditation, relaxation in order to overcome my paralysis during sleep ; in the meantime I have discovered amazing similar facts to my own experiment in some Buddhist books.

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?        

No medicine, no drugs (I have never taken drug of any kind, I have never smoked). However, as I already said, I have become able to separate my conscience from my body quite easily.

Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?        

Words are not strong enough to describe such an experience. 

Moreover, I mentioned an « omniscient stage » while I was having this experience, a stage I lost at the moment I re-entered my body. Therefore, as a logical consequence,  I can’t really be up to the point, even though I have tried to describe the experience as precisely as possible.