My near-death experience at the age of five, when I drowned:I know that death is not the end of life. I know this because I am one of the lucky people who have had a 'near-death' experience. When I was five years old, I drowned in a tributary of the Danube River in Mosonmagyarovar, Hungary. Like many other children, I was carried away by the rush of springtime water. My mother took her eyes off me only for an instant, and in that instant, my life changed forever.I was revived shortly after I drowned, but nothing was the same again. Something happened to me that I could not put into words. It was a 'knowing' that challenged my thoughts and beliefs for the rest of my life. I had vague memories of my drowning, but what happened after that defied my knowledge or experience as a child. I carried images and feelings in my heart that I knew were not memories and had very little to do with my physical experience.I started meditating for long periods of time in a dark place. I lived in Hungary, where many apartments had an inner and an outer door, with a space of about two feet between them. I sat in this space in total silence with my doll. I felt at peace. I craved this familiar peace.Another place I spent time was in front of a three-way mirror. If I tilted the mirrors at just the right angle, I could see many images of myself, the mirror, and my doll. I imagined the images seeing even more images. I wondered if there was an end to the images of me or an end to me, period. Instinctively, I knew there wasn't. I became obsessed with infinity.My infinity obsession did not stop in front of the mirror. When I started school, I asked my father to teach me how to multiply. Instead of two times two, however, my numbers were millions and zillions. He thought it was a rather odd request, but I assured him that I wanted to make him proud by getting the best marks in my class.Although I lived in a communist country, I went to church and had weekly classes in religious education. A priest came to our school, or sometimes we went to a chapel. I loved these sessions because the priest read fascinating stories to us. His instruction was more spiritual than religious. I couldn't get enough!The priests were part of our community, and we spent a lot of time with them. I challenged a young priest with constant questions, such as how many buckets it would take, to empty the oceans of the world or how many steps I would have to climb on Jacob's Ladder in order to reach Heaven. He, in turn, asked how long it would take me to figure out the mystery of the Holy Trinity. I told him I already knew that one! I knew because I had 'experienced' the answer. I no longer remembered how I knew, but that knowledge became my truth. I knew that I was a very powerful being, that I was a part of God, and that my Spirit would never die. I was Spirit in a human incarnation.The church was just behind my home and on the way to my grandmother's house. Each day, I went in, whether for mass, benediction, or just to meditate. I loved the smell of incense, the light of the candles, and the peaceful feeling I had when I sat in a pew next to a coffin that contained the remains of a saint. I felt safe there. Another place that brought me peace was the cemetery. I played there almost every day, visiting my baby uncle, aunt, and cousin's graves and carrying on conversations with them. The gravediggers knew me well and were amused by my many questions and insights.I lived much of my life inside my head and created dreams for myself. I taught myself how to create my life. To this day, I feel at least partly responsible for the Hungarian Revolution. I wanted desperately to come to 'Amerika,' and I put a lot of desire and energy into that dream.In university, I studied English and philosophy. I found philosophy very disturbing. It asked me to question everything that finally made sense to me. It also recalled a 'knowing' that was buried deep inside. I didn't comprehend what that was because, in those days, what happened to me was not written or talked about. I repressed it consciously, but it kept creeping into my life. For example, the final thesis I wrote for my English degree was called 'The Intersection of Time and Eternity.'I was almost thirty when I realized that I had had a near-death experience. It was a secret I carried inside me - a secret even from myself. Then one day, I saw a TV program about NDEs, and from then on, I started devouring books on the subject. Suddenly, everything made sense, and nothing did, but I understood why I perceived life in such a different way.Once I realized that I had 'died,' I knew I could help take the fear from others who were facing this transition challenge. For a number of years, I became a hospice volunteer, helping people deal with their biggest fear - death. I put together prayers, readings, and music that I thought would make the process easier.Often, when I meditate, the light and warmth comes back to me. I hear a voice telling me that s/he loves me and is always with me.My NDE is not just a memory. It is something that is a part of who I am. It is a signpost that guides me toward God, but away from religion. I never saw Jesus or any other 'being' on the other side, even though I was a strong Christian at the time. I do, however believe in God because I experienced God as love.The following poems are descriptive of my drowning. I floated down the river with my eyes open. The sun was shining brightly above the water, and I could see it through the water. I was in horrible pain when the water entered my lungs, and then it felt as if I could breathe water. I remember thinking I must have turned into a mermaid. My body then started speeding up, rushing toward a bright light. I went through a tunnel of sorts, but it was more like a light tunnel. On the other side was a warm, all-encompassing light. I felt a loving presence such as I had never before experienced. I felt comforted and so very happy. It then communicated to me that I had to go back. I was very angry that I had to leave and begged Him/Her to let me stay. The rest is in the poem. To this day, when I have a massage on my back, pain and anger resurfaces, probably from cell memory. My back was pushed and punched to get out the water, but I think the real pain was about being sent away from that incredible experience of love.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DROWNING IN THE RIVERDrowning in the riverSpitting like rain, cold as pain.Bubbles sparkle my last breaths of airI flow on and on,Keeping my gaze on the sun,As the river carries me along.My life is flowing in the river.My peace is flowing in the river.My joy is flowing in the river.My love is flowing in the river.See ME flowing in the river.Swirling and dancingunder the sun.Have I become a mermaid?I'm breathing water now.Effortless dolphin waves aresplashing against my brow.Bobbing, lightweight, like a cork,I flow on and on,feeling the river run.Eyes wide open, guided by the Light,So familiar, so loved, so free.Far from illusion, heading toward the sea.I reach a tunnel, the water is gone,my body no longer in sight.My spirit soars lightning speed ahead.Much to my delight,I am on other side of life!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ON THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFEWith my eyes wide open, I saw the light.My being was filled with pure delight.Where am I? What place is this?It is so bright! So bright!I melted into a warm embrace - I felt no fear - not even a traceof regret or sorrow or judgment or pain.There was only love.Nothing but love - warm love, overwhelming love, precious love,expanding, embracing, accepting, nourishing, arms-wide-open BIG HUG LOVE!Warmth and light covered me like a blanket.I heard a message in my heart'My Dear Child!' it said,'I cherish you and bless you.You are a beacon, my shining star.Filled with my light - that's who you are.'My SELF expanded.I knew I was in the presence of God.I breathed His love into my perfect soul.'I am always with you.'I heard God's message loud and clear.And then it was over - I felt a tear.'Come back to us,' my mother cried.God's voice was within her, as she triedto push water from my lifeless lungs.Urgent hands, slapping, punching at my back...I breathed. I felt a burning in my chest.I became aware of pain again.'Please let me stay,' I begged 'I'm so happy here.''Please don't send me away.'God's love again filled my heart,and I knew we could never be apart.In my mother's eyes, I saw the fears,But I glimpsed God's love behind her tears.I was only five - my life barely begun.I had much to do - my time had not come.I slipped fully back into my body then.My new life was about to begin.
Date NDE Occurred: 1951 or 2
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Accident Other Not sure how long I was under the water or whether I was clinically dead. I drowned.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was very alert the whole time, but the experience of being loved on the other side was immense.
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 hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing was more in my head than actual hearing.
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 Eyes wide open, guided by the Light,
So familiar, so loved, so free.
Far from illusion, heading toward the sea.
I reach a tunnel, the water is gone,
my body no longer in sight.
My spirit soars lightning speed ahead.
Much to my delight,
I am on other side of life!
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I felt only a loving being.
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 With my eyes wide open, I saw the light.
My being was filled with pure delight.
Where am I? What place is this?
It is so bright! So bright!
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? From my poem:
I melted into a warm embrace - I felt no fear - not even a trace
of regret or sorrow or judgment or pain.
There was only love.
Nothing but love - warm love, overwhelming love, precious love,
expanding, embracing, accepting, nourishing, arms-wide-open BIG HUG LOVE!
Warmth and light covered me like a blanket.
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
The experience included: Special Knowledge
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
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? Moderate Roman Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes See box above.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'I am very spiritual, but I no longer belong to a church or religion.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes See box above.
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? Yes I had a feeling of infinity, that there was no end to me or to God.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I cannot believe in a conventional fear-based religion because I know that God is total love. This causes some problems with people who believe in fear more than love.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No At the time, I had no words to explain it. I was only five. I had no knowledge about NDEs until much later, so I didn't talk about it.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I feel very comfortable talking about death and have never forgotten or lost the experience. I also am very connected and can manifest what I want most of the time. I am very sure about my beliefs. God sends me messages every day, and I know where they are coming from. I have learned to listen and know the truth.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? I didn't learn to swim until I was eighteen, but since then, I crave being near water. It is the place where I feel most peaceful and happy.
When I meditate, I feel the presence of the Being very strongly and often cry from the intense experience.
I have had the Light fill my room once since then and assure me that everything would be okay. I was about to lose my business. Everything turned around in the following week.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Twenty-five years. I did write an essay in College called 'The Intersection of Time and Eternity,' but I had no idea then why.
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, but I didn't know why. I got involved with some weird activities for a five year old. Please read my story.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It is not a memory. It is always with me.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes No medicine was involved. The experience is always with me and returns when I need reassurance or when I am meditating deeply.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Please read my letter.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? It's great.
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