While under water and being pulled every which way by the rapids, I was really surprised that there seemed to be no time, no boundaries, just feeling. I was surprised that I couldn't feel the cold of the frigid glacier run-off water, and I had only briefly felt the pull of strong current pulling different parts of my body in different directions and not being able to move or feel connected to my body. Soon I felt nothing physical and I wasn't anywhere. I wasn't aware that I wasn't breathing, and just felt a sense of contentedness. Nothing in this World feels that way; a complete lack of worry, sadness, just indescribably vivid feelings and awareness that go on forever. The physical world didn't exist. I could process what happened as it was happening and what was going to happen, a million thoughts at once and each clearly experienced. I thought about how strange it was that the cold didn't bother me. I was wowed by how strong the water was (until I couldn't feel it anymore). I felt the absolute peace of everything feeling perfect. I thought about everything that had ever happened in my life, but not distinct thoughts, just a sense that I was aware of everything that has happened. I was confused as to why I felt this way and was trying to comprehend a world without sense and absolute awareness. I really don't know how long I was pulled under for, but it felt like just a few seconds. But at the same time, the amount of awareness and thought and being totally aware of everything in my entire life felt like an eternity - felt like there was no time. 10 seconds, 10 hours, time just didn't exist. I could not see, hear, and feel. I could not sense anything in this World. Yet in another way, I sensed everything. My brain comprehended everything there was, I even comprehended that I comprehended everything. Next thing I remember is popping up (thanks life vest), and taking a huge breath. I instantly looked forward and saw a huge boulder that the water was rushing me towards at an alarming rate. I swam as fast as I could, but the powerful water managed to do the work for me as I slipped right past it somehow. I had braced for a bone-breaking impact that didn't happen. I then managed to get back to my family's boat where the rapids were calming. We have 2 photos of this incident as it happened at the most dangerous part of the river and we had a photographer on shore; one with just my head surrounded by churning water, and another with my raft missing one person (if I remember correctly). I think there was another photo but my parents didn't want to pay for it.
Date NDE Occurred: June 1992
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning. Life threatening event, but not clinical death
Near drowning. White water rafting with family and friends down a very treacherous river in an eight man inflated boat. During a very scary part of the rapids, I saw my brother put his leg over and straddle the side of the boat. That looked more comfortable and fun, so I tried to copy him right as a huge jolt knocked me overboard.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
Did you feel separated from your body? Uncertain With the lack of the 5 senses, I didn't feel connected to my body. I didn't feel the churning of the water, and I didn't feel exactly 'there.' I didn't feel physically in my body, but I didn't feel like I was anywhere else either. Just an amazing thought process and awareness with a lack of being anywhere.
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 It was completely different way for my brain to process things. I thought many different things at once and was able to instantly comprehend everything. My consciousness was not constrained by anything physical, just infinite thought and wisdom with no time.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was very aware the whole time. I don't know if I lost consciousness or not.
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
Absolutely no time. All of these things that happened, happened in a world free of time constraints. I really don't know how long I was under. My thoughts on it later that night were that it felt like I had only been down for a few seconds but at the same time when I think of the experiences and thoughts, there really was no time.
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. Before the incident my vision was normal. I still have 20/20 vision. I vaguely remember seeing the rapids, and my brother sticking his leg over the side to straddle the boat (which is what I tried to copy until I lost my footing). These visuals are as clear as everyday visuals that have faded by almost 20 years.
Being pulled under the water I don't know if my eyes were open or not. But I saw nothing. Not blackness or whiteness, just a lack of anything.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't remember hearing anything specific beforehand. I do have average hearing, so I'm sure I heard the excitement from the others in the boat and the loud roaring waves. Under water, I didn't hear anything. It went from churning water sounds to absolute silence.
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? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Euphoric. With all of the physical world gone, I wasn't restrained by anything. All hurt, pain, everything negative was instantly gone and I felt infinite peace and goodness. There are no words to describe the feeling.
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 myself or others As part of my life flashed before my eyes, I also felt I understood and could comprehend everything there was to know about myself and my world. Not any specific memories, but just the feeling that it all made sense and I was at peace with myself.
The experience included: Life review
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? 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? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated Went to Christian church sometimes as a kid, but it wasn't important or a big part of my life. Grew up in a lack-of-religion household.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Not important to me
What is your religion now? Do not know
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 It was just an experience and not a lot of thought was put into it. I went to church and wanted to be Christian at the time, I just didn't know what to make of the experience and didn't try to categorize it.
It wasn't until recently (20 years later) that I realized it may have been a near death experience. I don't think the experience was a religious one, so I can't really answer how it compared to my spiritual beliefs.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes A feeling of complete contentment, all things were right with the world. I felt at peace with this world and very connected.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably 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 probably does not exist
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 probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I moderately fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not 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 probably 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? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown 20 years have gone by, and going from a kid to a parent changes things. I thought about the experience once in a while, but didn't realize what it was or categorize it. My spiritual beliefs have evolved over time and currently I'm in a place where religion isn't important to me.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are no words that describe these all-encompassing feelings. There is just nothing in this world that feels like it or lets your brain be so aware.
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 Very vivid compared to other things. The euphoric feelings and awareness that is not describable is something that never leaves you.
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? A feeling of complete contentment, that all things were right with the World. I felt at peace with this world and very connected.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I've mentioned it a few times over the years. But without words to really explain the feelings and sensations (especially in the vocabulary of a kid), the story comes across as confusing and unimportant.
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 probably real As a kid that had never heard of NDEs and had nothing to compare it to, I didn't know what to make of it. I didn't understand how the infinite feelings and thoughts could be real. I thought maybe it was a dream or something, just nothing I could label it as or compare it to.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I went through it and very much remember everything vividly.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No Absolutely not.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It was just an experience and not a lot of thought was put into it. I went to church and wanted to be Christian at the time, I just didn't know what to make of the experience and didn't try to categorize it.
It wasn't until recently (20 years later) that I realized it may have been a near death experience.
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