I woke up lying in my hospital bed but unable to breathe. Every joint in my body was in excruciating pain. I was panicky. I felt that if only my clothes were off maybe my skin could breathe for me. I knew I was in trouble. I couldn't find the button to call a nurse. I thought 'I am just a bother and they hid the buzzer for the nurse. They want me to die.' My panic rose and my thoughts were irrational. I had to talk myself down from this and apply some logic. I told myself, 'I am in a hospital. They have put the call button somewhere and probably close. Stay calm and look.' I found it at my upper right, wound around the bed rail. I remember such pain as I finally found the button and pushed it. The nurse answered and asked what I needed. I told her I felt panic and could not breathe. She came to my room and talked to me soothingly, while she took my blood pressure. It was 0/30 and thus my long journey through near death began. In the days that followed, my heart stopped beating four times and my family was told I most likely would not make it. This time for me is blurry and I had two near death experiences, but do not know at which times they happened. The first time, I went through a light (it is the only way I can describe this) and I was totally saturated in unconditional love. It was the most wonderful experience I have ever had. Unconditional love saturated me and it was so filling! I then went through a life review. It was all about my relationships with others in this review. During this, I felt what they felt in my relationship with them. I felt their love or their pain or their hurt, by things I had done or said to them. Their hurt or pain made me cringe and I found myself thinking, 'Oooh, I could have done better there.' But most of what I felt was love, so it was not too bad. No one was judging me during this process. I felt no disapproval from anyone else, only my own reactions to it all. That feeling of unconditional love saturating me continued to be there. I was judging myself, but no one else was judging me in this review.I was then asked if I wanted to come home (meaning there) or wanted to come back here. I told them that my two sons needed me and I had to go back. I was suddenly in my body again feeling my achy joints flaring in pain. I really don't remember what was going on around me at that point, just that I hurt. I still felt that love though and could rest.The second experience; I found myself in a city and was told that this was the City of God. I was at a water fountain with a man in a long white linen robe tied around the waist with a chord. He told me I could ask any question I wanted and said he would take me on a tour. Because I had been raised at a time where Catholics said to even go into another Christian church was a mortal sin, and Lutherans said that those Catholics were going to go Hell because they had statuary in their churches and prayed to saints, I had a very pressing question. The first question I asked was, 'What is the right religion?' I was told, 'They all are. Each religion is a pathway trying to reach the same place.' I was shown a mountain, with each religious group trying to reach the top, separated from each other by distance, but each one was trying to get to the same place. I was then told that people choose to be born into whichever religion or group that will help them achieve the lessons they are sent here to learn. I was told that the Earth is like a big school, a place where you can apply spiritual lessons learned and test yourself, under pressure, to see if you can actually 'live' what you already know you should do. Basically, the Earth is a place to walk the walk and literally live the way it should be done. It was made clear to me that some people come to the Earth to work on only one aspect of themselves, while others come to work on several aspects. Then there are others who come to not only work on their own nature, but also to help the World as a whole. The other side does not have the physical pressures that having a body has. Here on Earth, you must feed and clothe that body and provide shelter for it from the elements. You are under continual pressure of some sort to make decisions that have a spiritual base. You are taught on the 'other side' what you are 'supposed to do,' but can you LIVE it under these pressures on Earth? From what I saw and heard there, on the other side, it is all about relationships and taking care of each other. Perfection is not expected of people but learning is expected and considered good progress. All of our experiences in a lifetime tend to follow some sort of pattern and often will recreate the same lessons only in a different way and under various circumstances. This is how you know what you are here to learn and test. If you examine the patterns, certain themes will become clear. I was shown a library filled with gold covered books. These are the lives of people on Earth where their life plan is laid out, and what they hope to achieve through certain key experiences. From what I was shown, people have free choice as to how to get to these preset key experiences. They can take a meandering path of experiences or a more direct route, but there are certain events that are preset and will happen no matter what. Each of those key events are benchmarks and one's reactions to them will show how much you have learned and what more needs to be done, or learned. The economic turmoil we are now going through is one of those 'world events' that was preset. People have a choice as to how to react to these events. From what I was shown, the spiritual way is to help each other and help those in need. This is the ultimate act of love. But there is also the choice of becoming more protective and self-centered; less sharing and keeping one's own possessions as primary in one's reactions to what is there. This is a materialistic way of viewing it all as if the material world is more than the connection between all of mankind. So what choices will the majority make? It is still to be seen. I was shown in 1981 that this time would come and that banks were paper empires, built on paper and nothing more. But, too, so are many other businesses - paper empires - built to collapse under pressure. How do people react to all of this? This is the key event and will test many. Will they reach out and take care of each other, or will they become more and more self-centered and protective of the material? There are always choices in this just to determine which choices individuals will make. I was shown other parts of the city as well where souls were working with people on Earth; scientists, the arts, and more. There is always a push there to 'inspire' those on Earth to create beneficial things for mankind in every area. There was so much more too. But, more than anything this place was filled with love; love of mankind, love of everyone on Earth, and of the Earth itself. Communications were transparent there; thoughts shared as in a conversation here. The people I saw were all working, happily so, and in great joy. Though I was also shown a much darker place where people did not seem to know that they had moved out of their bodies and continually fought each other for material things. Material possessions were their focus and all the actions were self-based there. Above them were also a legion of beings waiting. Whenever someone looked up and asked God for help they were whisked away to another place, a place more peaceful and tuned to God and God's love. But many seemed lost in this place, never looking up and never asking for help. This city had many different places all geared to a different need. There was a place of rest where souls could recover from traumatic lives on Earth. There were working places where souls could help mankind and others grow and be more. There were libraries, theaters, and schools. And there was also the Temple of God.I was taken into this large hall and before me were beings of pure light. One was sitting directly in front of me on a chair or throne. These beings did not have human shape but were more like pure energy of light. I found myself prostrating before them in awe. The love that emanated from them, particularly the one in the center, was overwhelming. I definitely did not feel their equal, but did feel this great, great honor to be there. I was embraced by this entity in the center and told, 'You have done well, My Child, and I am pleased.' The love that came flowing through me and the approval made me weep. Was this God? Was this the ultimate? I really don't know. I just know that I was and am so much less than this being and those who were nearby. Yet, the love was so wondrous to have too. I found myself, upon returning, wanting to just be worthy of that love. What were the end results of these experiences? What did I take away from it? I live my life in the moment, enthralled and appreciative of all the experiences. I love living this life. I try to always 'walk the walk' not just saying the right thing, but living it as much as possible. I do not fear death. Though I am not anxious to leave this life, I still have much to do. But death is not something I fear. I know I will someday go 'home', and it is there not here. What is most important? I would say it is human relationships, loving and caring for each other. Religion has its place and is there as a pathway to more but it is not the ultimate in any way. Religions are not God; they are just pathways. Emphasis should be on that golden rule: Love your neighbor as yourself. Take care of each other whenever you can.
Date NDE Occurred: August 1981
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I had Toxic Shock Syndrome and my heart had stopped beating on 4 different occasions.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No
I lost awareness of my body
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 much as anything, it was the ease of communication and how effortlessly you could change locations. Nothing was impossible.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I feel the entire experience was at that level.
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
Time did not really have any meaning. There was no sense of rush or delay either.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was more a sense of complete security and safety and difficult to describe visually. The buildings in the city looked like milk glass to some degree with veins of gold going through it. But there seemed to be a great deal of flexibility to its construction as well. Seats seemed to be able to mold to your shape.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Thought transfer rather than words.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
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 I saw some family members, but did not speak to them. They were busy in different places. However, I did not see everyone I know who has died by any means.
The experience included: Void
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 Both the light I went through and the light of the beings in the temple were unearthly.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm See narrative above.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Love and clarity
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 or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I could see purpose in everything and patterns became clear.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? I remembered many past events
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future There were several scenes from the world's future, including the economic turmoil we are going through now. Paper empires crumbling everywhere and people begging for mercy who deserved it not.
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 I knew my children needed me.
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? Other or several faiths I was raised Catholic and Lutheran, but was and am unaffiliated with any particular religion, though I do feel deeply spiritual.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain I do not feel a need to belong to any specific religion. I also do not feel the fear that religions seem to try to push on people. If that helps someone do the right thing and take care of others - through fear - great. But religion in and of itself is destined to always be interpreted by man. Their interpretations are often lacking real clarity and have many falsities in place too. One of the things I was told was to look always to 'who benefits?' in rules made by religion. If it is particular men, or the power structure itself, chances are that it is not really something of God. Many rules are definitely man made and put there to benefit either the structure or those in charge of the structure.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated I would call myself Christian, but am not affiliated with any particular religion at all today. I see all religions as having value, but do not agree with any of the doctrine totally. Thus, it would be hypocritical to belong to any one of them.
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 My basically Christian molded background might have led to certain expectations...but none of my experience was near to what is taught. I could see how different religions might try to explain all that I saw and felt, but there was so much more than any of them promote. My experience was something of a conglomerate of many religions...though not following any specific doctrinal ideal or image. It is like all of them might have a piece of the whole...but not all. What became crystalline clear to me during these experiences is that the problem comes more in how man interprets relgion than in the religion itself. What I saw was so much more than one religion. However, there also seemed to be purpose in all of the religions...people drawn to the ones that would help them most with whatever "theme" their life purpose happens to be in this lifetime.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Accepting of all people and where they are in life. All of us are still learning and it is okay. It is okay to make mistakes and we do not need to, nor should we, judge each other. Each one is doing what they must do to continue the learning and testing they were put here to do.
My Christian-molded background might have led to certain expectations but none of my experience was near to what is taught. I could see how different religions might try to explain all that I saw and felt, but there was so much more than any of them promote. My experience was something of a conglomerate of many religions though not following any specific doctrinal ideal or image. It is like all of them might have a piece of the whole, but not all. What became crystalline clear to me during these experiences is that the problem comes more in how man interprets religion than in the religion itself. What I saw was so much more than one religion. However, there also seemed to be purpose in all of the religions and people are drawn to the ones that would help them most with whatever 'theme' their life purpose happens to be in this lifetime.
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 As described earlier, beings that seemed to be the energy of light, separate but without real form. The beings above the darker place may be described more as 'angels' I suppose. Sometimes, they also shed tears as they waited for these souls to ask for help. Those drops would fall on those below too, but did not seem to be noticed.
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.)? Uncertain Again...those beings of light
But, too, the beings above the darker place may be described more as "angels" I suppose. But, sometimes, they also shed tears as they waited for these souls to ask for help. Those drops would fall on those below too, bu
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes From what I was shown, we have many lifetimes on earth.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes It seems there is a deep connection betweeen the other side and our earthly existence. And one thing clear was that we are ALL connected here too. It is just that our bodies' physical density dulls that knowledge.
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 The beings in the Temple were definitely superior to me and filled with such unconditional love too.
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? Yes Again patterns, and a much larger picture, and why; and the purpose of the events shown to me.
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 Earth life is a big school and testing area. It is a place where we can literally walk the walk under intense pressure of the physical conditions...or not...according to our choices and reactions to experiences.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes From what I was shown, the other side is home and earth is just a place to test yourself. But, too, it was clear that we have more than one life on earth. From what I could see, we come back to earth whenever we need to test our growth under pressure...
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? Unknown
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 meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? Yes Future events and possible outcomes. Choices by the majority must still be made to see where it is going to end up.
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes Patterns, life benchmarks as an individual and life benchmarks as a world or large group...all with the purpose of seeing how we react and whether we have grown spiritually or not.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes All of it was unconditional...no judgments whatsoever attached.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Slight changes in my life Wanting to live my life in a way that is worthy of that unconditional love I felt. That means always putting people first.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain I don't really know. I love, but have always loved. If anything I just try not to judge and maybe I was more prone to that before. I try to love others as unconditionally as I felt loved throughout the experiences.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Any references used here to explain it has to be done in earthly and material terms, when the experience there was so much more. For example, to speak of going through a light and feeling saturated with unconditional love is not doing it real justice. This light is not easily explained in material terms though the description of light is the closest you can come to it.
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 Many of the world events were not even discussed when these experiences occurred. Yet, several have already come to pass, with more still to come. On a more personal level, I was promised a better life in the future compared to where I was at the time, and that has also been true.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain It much depends on how you describe psychic. I can tap into that other side whenever I really feel a need but more than anything is a feeling of a great sense of gratitude for all being exactly as it should be.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Feeling unconditional love has impacted me most and continually wanting to be worthy of that.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It took a few years, as it was deeply personal and I did not feel ready to share it with everyone.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I really needed time to sort it out and assess it all.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I have heard scientific explanations about the thalamus and cortex of the brain shutting down and creating this experience. Maybe they are correct. However, it really doesn't matter to me whether they are or not. I had such a great experience that if it is death and all an illusion, it does not matter. My experience was real to me and I feel I have purpose in living. What else matters?
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I can sometimes visit the city of God by thinking about it. However, I rarely feel that need. Early on, I could also recreate that sense of unconditional love. After all these years, the intensity of it is not so easy. At the same time I do not have that same need of it that maybe I needed back then. I look forward to that love filling me once again when I leave this particular life.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? From what I was shown, the other side is home and Earth is just a place to test yourself. But, too, it was clear that we have more than one life on Earth. From what I could see, we come back to Earth whenever we need to test our growth under pressure, to see if we can actually live the lessons learned on the other side.
It seems there is a deep connection between the other side and our earthly existence. One thing clear was that we are ALL connected here too. It is just that our bodies' physical density dulls that knowledge.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Not really
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.