I floated downwards into a huge cavern filled with many people. It was a network of caverns, I suppose, with lots of people either huddled together or waiting by graves for something to happen. The sensation was not unpleasant, nor was it pleasant. There was a feeling of expectation. Everyone was waiting for something to happen. The time aspect was the most interesting. It was like there was just the ‘now.’ As a theologian, the experience was in keeping with my philosophical cogitations regarding the afterlife, but it conflicted sharply with the teachings of my faith (I am a lifelong Catholic.) The experience reminded me of what I had read in philosophical texts about Sheol. The only thing that was different was the presence of huge bronze embossed doors. I knocked on them, but I woke up or came to, before they opened. The physical sensation was one of being wholly within a single space, not functioning through a body. We were all just like shadows, but with a degree of physicality.
Date NDE Occurred: 2005
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Criminal attack. Drug or medication overdose. Life threatening event, but not clinical death 1st accidental drug overdose, 2nd beaten to near death.
I took a recreational drug that stopped my heart. Several years later I was beaten in an assault that left me hospitalized and in need of surgery.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? After a minute or so of being enveloped by a sort of relaxing feeling, I started to float down into the caverns. That's where I was able to be aware of a high degree of detail. That awareness faded away as I floated upward again.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
There was just the ‘now,’ though everyone was waiting for a future event. It's hard to explain, other than we were all in the now, though we knew that something was about to happen.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Not more vivid, just different after the floating bit. Only the floating sensation seemed unusual.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Whispers. Everyone seemed to whisper, like they didn't want to disturb or be too loud.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
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? No
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place A dim world with no light, though I could see clearly. There were shadows of people sitting and standing around in vast caverns, just waiting.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Expectation. Relaxation. it was neither happy nor sad. We were all waiting for something to happen or for someone to arrive.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt no longer in conflict with nature
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No I felt indifferent. Everyone seemed to be waiting for something that was about to happen, though ‘about to happen’ seems to mean nothing in the here and now.
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? No
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 I am a practicing Catholic having spent over a decade in a religious order. I have degrees in philosophy and theology. Ph.B,. and M.A.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience sheol conflicts with purgatory. The bronze doors were a gate to something though I don't know what, and I felt that Jesus was not there, though I like to think we were all waiting for him.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I felt that certain aspects of human morality were critical to living a good life. Afterwards, I felt there is a lot of leeway regarding living a good life.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Yes, in the sense that everyone (irrespective of era of origin) was waiting for the same event or person to arrive.
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? No
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? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Uncertain There was a feeling that what was gong to happen would effect all life.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I floated downwards and I felt that the people in the caverns where of different eras and ages, but that they all were just there "now" as far as they were concerned. when I moved through them they were indifferent to me because they were all focussed on
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not 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? Not fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are possibly 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? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? No changes in my life
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
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 as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience I remember everything. sounds, smell and the dimness of it all.
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? No. I loved the experience, even though it conflicts with the teachings of my faith.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes After an hour. They were dismissive of the experience.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I had dismissed them as chemical reactions of a closing-down brain.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real The experience was unforgettable. I have never forgotten the sensations of the whole affair.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It conflicts so sharply with my expectations that I cannot dismiss it as fantasy. If it had been a fantasy, it would have been something consistent with my faith.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I had the exact same experience after I was beaten so badly that I lost consciousness.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I would have it again if I could.
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