I was visiting my brother at his home. He is single and lives alone. I was only staying two days to visit him and then drive to another state, where I live with my two sons.It was about 22:00 p.m. when I climbed in my sleeping bag to sleep. I was not yet sleeping but had my eyes closed. I saw a bright flash. I next remember a dark tunnel and two figures on both sides of me guiding me towards a very bright light. I remember instantly of reading or hearing of people talking about this type of experience when I was younger. I instinctively looked to my right to see if I was in a dark tunnel.It was a surprise to see stars, and I made a point to note this for some reason. There was no fear at all in me. I just glided along with the two figures, one holding each arm. The light was getting brighter ahead of me. Finally, we were near what look like a four tier Golden Arch. Beyond this Arch I can see all my relatives who passed away, especially my Mother. All looked very happy and were all smiles. We could communicate, but not by talking. Beyond and in the midst of my family were hills and hills of what I considered people. They were wearing white robes and all looking at the bright light on my right side at about forty-five degrees, singing and praising toward it. The light was high, and below was a high building with columns. Between these columns was a person dressed all in white with dark, long hair. I turned back towards my family who were on the other side of the Golden Arch, and asked the two figures holding me if I could go closer. They told me I could not go past the Golden Arch. We moved towards the Arch and I was able to put one leg just inside. Instantly the light was inside me, total bliss, a feeling of feeding me with love and not requiring anything. This is hard to explain to anyone. The experience of how you do not want for anything while in the light. A voice on my right told me 'You must go back now'. I wanted to stay but was not permitted. I was a little disappointed and looked at my family there. They were all still smiling, telling me it was ok, and they were waiting for me. Every family member looked the same as when I last saw them but totally happy. I was guided back from the Golden Arches and the light became less noticeable, as in a cave but I knew it was not because when I came I remembered the stars on the way to the light. The two figures guiding me were larger than myself. Maybe six and a half to seven feet tall.I was then laying back on the living room floor again, with the bliss filling from the light still inside me. I went in and woke my brother. It was 03:00 a.m., or near that time, and I told him what had happened to me. We talked for several hours about this experience and he was supportive of what I was saying. He mentioned he had heard of this happening to others but had not experienced it himself. I do not consider myself religious and have not attended any church in years. To this day, the bliss I felt from the light affects me in how I look at life and how I treat others. It is as if I understand much more about how small this life is if compared to what lies ahead. My brother and I talk about this often and his fear of dying is less frightening to him after this happening to me and sharing it with him.I felt if anyone should be judged for unacceptable behavior it was me, but I did not since that happened. It did not feel like a warning either. It was more like 'ok, this is what you have to look forward to after death. Now live your life good and to the fullest and spread this experience'. This is difficult for me. I did not want anyone to think I was NUTS so I hid it the last several years, only telling very few people, afraid to be mocked or laughed at.
Date NDE Occurred: March 2004
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No No problems. I just laid down to go to sleep Other Sleeping overnight at my brother house one the living room floor.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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? When I wanted to look to the right in the dark but saw stars. Once I saw the stars, I knew I was experiencing something out of the ordinary. I remember everything like it was a movie. Colors, smell, smiles, the four Tier Golden Arches and especially the blissful light. I do not remember saying goodbye to my family because of the blissfulness feeling and knowing I will be back to be with them. I wanted to stay but I was told to go back and it was not time yet for me there.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
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. As bright as the light was I could still see the person between the columns very clearly.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes It was like a tunnel with dark on both sides, but when looking at the stars I knew it looked like a tunnel because the light in front of me was so bright.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes My family who have passed on were all there, like they were waiting for me to come. The communication was not talking, but different. It was like they were saying 'this is what you have to look forward to'.
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
The experience included: Light
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? Yes The brightest light, radiant and beautiful - a light like I never could have imagined. The whole area was lit, but the most brightness was coming from the building with the columns.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No I only noticed the stars while on the way there.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was curious at first, happy when I saw the light and very happy to see my family, but once my leg passed just inside the Golden Arch I was in total bliss. I was not afraid to come back when I was told. I remember I did not want to come back to my old life but accepted it.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
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
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control It was like I was not there to be judged.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal I believe how I live my life is between my higher power and myself.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I thank my higher power much more for what I was able to experience. I feel much more relaxed knowing that the afterlife is not fire and brimstone. I follow the golden rule much more than before this experience.
What is your religion now? Moderate I believe how I live my life is between my higher power and myself.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I thank my higher power much more for what I was able to experience. I feel much more relaxed knowing that the afterlife is not fire and brimstone. I follow the golden rule much more than before this experience.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No Not to fear death.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I have much more respect for deficiencies in others. I treat people like we all count, and know we will all be in one place after this life.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The light. It is hard to explain total bliss to people who have never experienced this. I only shared this experience with two family members I trust.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The bright light and the blissful feeling it gave you. The other was seeing the person between the columns at the large building (which could have been a temple in the European sense).
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Two of my brothers, and a friend who was dying in a hospital.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I did not know it was called NDE. I only heard stories about it on TV or in the newspaper, which was very little. I was not much interested. I enjoy traveling around the world as a seaman, and did not like to think about dying or afterlife until this happened.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real Thinking of the blissful feeling will always be with me, maybe not as strong as when in the light but it is in me. In my lifetime, I received several awards for hard work or bravery and always was shy to receive them. I do not like being put into the spotlight. I could have lived life without these awards or heroic citations. Seeing and feeling the light confirmed my thoughts of what you do for others is what is expected of us as humans. It is hard to put it in words after this experience, but I do not fear death as when I was much younger. Nowadays if you mention this to an employer your job is in trouble and people think you've lost it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Sight, touch, smell and hearing - I sensed all these during the experience. I was not on fast forward. All that happened took time, and I was given this time to take it all in. There was no rush. I believe the higher power wanted me to feel the blissfulness of the light and possibly help or console someone near death.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I did not fear the two figures on each arm. It was like mentally they were reassuring me I was going to be safe. It was as if I was picked to experience this for some reason. Not sure yet how that figures into this experience, but maybe someday I will find the answer.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Spread the word.
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