When I drowned, I experienced excruciating pain for what seemed like a second. Then it became natural for me to breathe water. I remember my thoughts very clearly because I thought I had become a mermaid. My body undulated in the water, as if I had a tail that moved up and down like that of a mermaid or a dolphin. I also remember making a decision to keep my eyes open. I wanted to see where I was going as the light was beckoning me to follow it.
Before long, I started speeding up. I was moving so fast that my body couldn’t keep up with me. I felt blissfully free and ecstatic. I entered a tunnel with a bright light at its end. Then, I became part of that Light. I saw no one, yet I knew I was in the presence of God.
On the other side of life, I was enveloped in warmth and love such as I had never before experienced. I felt safe, free, and limitless. Although I cannot recall any visual images, I knew that I was home. I was totally supported in anything I could possibly want to do. I was part of the Universe; I was a part of the sun; and I was a part of God! I had a feeling of total safety and was deliriously happy. I was not aware of being a child or having any form, but I knew who I was. I knew I was a part of everything, but I also had a sense of individual identity. I was filled with love and joy.
Then I heard some voices in the distance calling my name. My mother was crying and telling me to breathe. I knew I had to go back and chose to do so, despite looking toward the Light and begging to stay. Suddenly, I felt excruciating pain. People were hitting my back, trying to get me to breathe. I was taking air into my lungs and it hurt as much as taking water in had hurt when I drowned. I was angry about the pain. I was angry about having to be ‘born’ again. It hurt! To this day, when I get a massage on my back, that anger rises from my cell memories.
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 as I craved the familiar peace from my experience.
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 would come 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. I asked things like ' 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 either 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. I would carry 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 the university, I studied English and philosophy. I found philosophy very disturbing because it asked me to question everything that finally made sense to me. I 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 30 years old when I realized that I had had a near-death experience. It was a secret I carried inside me that was secret even from myself. Then one day, I saw a TV program about NDEs. From then on, I started devouring books on the subject. Suddenly, everything made sense. 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 was a hospice volunteer, helping people deal with their biggest fear. I put together prayers, readings, and music that I thought would make the process easier for those who were about to transition.
Date NDE Occurred: 1952
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No. Drowning Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain
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 norma.l Emotionally, I had never experienced that kind of unconditional love and understanding.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I drowned, I was very aware of being in water. I went through a tunnel and then out of my body and into the light. I can still see that light when I meditate.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
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. I was aware of being in water and thinking that I could breathe underwater. I thought I was a mermaid. I was also aware that I was speeding out and away from my body.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. No awareness of special hearing.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I started to speed up and was conscious of leaving my body behind as I entered the tunnel and sped into the light.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Unearthly 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 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.'
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm. With my eyes wide open, I was guided by the Light. The Light was so familiar. I felt so loved and so free.
It was far from illusion and headed toward the sea.
I reached a tunnel; the water was gone; and
my body no longer was in sight.
My spirit soars at lightning speed ahead.
Much to my delight,
I find myself on other side of life.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? With my eyes wide open, I saw the Light.
My being was filled with pure delight.
I thought, '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 trace
of regret, sorrow, judgment, or pain.
There was only love;
Nothing but love. It was
precious love, expanding, embracing, accepting, nourishing, and arms-wide-open
BIG HUG LOVE!
My SELF expanded.
I knew I was in the presence of God.
I breathed His love into my perfect soul.
'I love you and I am always with you.'
I heard God’s message loud and clear.
And then it was over. I felt a tear.
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? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
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 importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Catholic
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I do not believe in Sin, Salvation, or Saviors. I feel that I am a part of God. The God I know is only loving and positive.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Agnostic Spiritual but not religious.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience. I believed in God, but this God did not have a face and was not Jesus. It made religion harder for me to accept.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I believe that God is unconditional love and cannot accept most religions.
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? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes I became aware of unconditional love, such as I had never experienced before.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain I did not see any landscape or people, only the light. But it was amazing.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes I knew I was in the presence of God, whose message to me was, 'I love you and I am always with you.'
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Uncertain I understood that what I knew was not all there was. I have been searching all my life for answers.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes I was told I had to go back and understood that I was part of God.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? I am uncertain if an afterlife exists. Yes I experienced unconditional love and felt I was in the presence of God, but not the God of my earthly religion.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I wrote a poem about all this. Here is the part that describes the love:
There was only love.
Nothing but love—
precious love, expanding, embracing, accepting, nourishing, arms-wide-open
BIG HUG LOVE!
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life
Since I was a young child, I was not really aware of what had happened to me. But I did become obsessed with infinity. I lived much of my life inside my head and created dreams for myself. I taught myself how to create my life. For example, the final thesis I wrote for my English degree was called 'The Intersection of Time and Eternity.'
For more than 30 years, I went to many conferences on Spirituality and obtained 16 energy healing certificates. I manifested many things in my life that seem hard to believe. I've written 900 children's books and truly believe that I can achieve anything I want in life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I value people in my life and feel that they are a part of me even after they have died.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience. My experience is not a memory. It is a 'knowing' that is part of my life. I experience it often during meditation.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have always been able to manifest almost anything I wanted in life if I believed I could.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Feeling that incredible love and knowing it is always there.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I did not know what had happened to me until I read about NDEs after I was 30 years old. I do share it with people. Those who are spiritual, love to hear about it. Those who are religious do not believe me. I worked as a hospice volunteer for several years and am thinking of returning to it. I have written a book about my NDE, but I did not publish it. Parts of it are being used at funerals by a local minister.
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 It took me many years to find out what I had experienced. I was just a child so I did not understand what happened to me. But even then, I knew it was real. 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.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. Because of all the things I did in my life that I could not explain, I know that this experience was the start of it.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I sometimes feel the love and light during meditation. Most people who have drowned are scared to go near or in water, but I feel happiest when I am in or near water. I lived in the Bahamas and Hawaii, where I felt happiest. In summer, I live in my pool.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I suddenly realize how powerful this experience has been in the way I live my life. Whatever I've wanted, I have been able to achieve. I know now that my NDE was the start of it all. I've read many books on the subject and seen movies, which show very different experiences, but mine is similar to childhood NDEs, which do not have a lot of detail.
One interesting thing I learned was that when I was taking a HADO Instructor's course with Dr. Masaru Emoto, almost everyone who attended that course had an NDE while drowning. Also, I studied Hawaiian Huna, and its principles are very much in line with my beliefs: 1. The world is what you think it is. 2. There are no limits. 3. Energy flows where attention goes. 4. The moment of power is now. 5. To love is to be happy with. 6. All power comes from within. 7. Effectiveness is the measure of truth.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? What interests me is all the detailed stories. Are those real, or are they based on people's religions or imaginations? Since I saw only a strong light and no people or religious figures, I wonder what is true and what is part of being brainwashed by religion. I wonder how a murderer who had an NDE would experience the afterlife. Have any people who have killed in the name of 'God' shared experiences that might stop others from doing so?
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.