Experience Description

I had been given a general anesthetic and barely recall losing consciousness. The next thing I recalled had nothing to do with the earth or people. I was conscious of my thoughts and of having no physical body. I was a speck of light or energy suspended in a curved hallway that had no ceiling or floor. The hallway walls where white, curved into infinity on either side of me. The walls were infinitely tall. I do not know how wide the hallway was it felt like six to ten feet had I a physical body. Where the ceiling and floors would have been there were dark voids. I floated in the hallway. I could stretch my light in a single line horizontally or vertically but I was always centered at one spot in the hallway. The view was always the same. I explored the space as much as my new existence (speck of light energy) would allow me. It was not much - just stretching into a vertical line or a horizontal one. It was completely silent there. Then I began to wonder how long I had been there. Had I just arrived or had I been there a thousand years already? I began to panic. I felt very alone. My mind began to call out for something to respond to me.

After a bit, I started to see a small patch of pastel colored lights on the right side wall. I observed them. I loved them. They fascinated me and gave me a sense of not being alone. They seemed to pulsate slightly. I asked them questions but I do not recall the questions. The pastel lights did not speak for a long time. Then I heard low deep sounds I thought might be a voice but I could not make out any words. I encouraged the 'voice' to continue speaking. I wondered if it was God speaking to me and I asked as much. I could not understand the voice; it was no language I have ever heard. It was not like a human language at all. I was very relieved that I was no longer alone in the hallway. I had been so frightened that I had been and would be alone in the hall for eternity. Very, very slowly I began to hear more sounds, garbled voices. Then the voices became clearer and although I cannot recall exactly what they said, it was something along the lines of expressed relief and that I was regaining consciousness.

I recognized my mother's voice. The first thing I was aware of was that my feet were elevated very high. I saw my mother's face, she spoke but I don't know what she said. There were several people gathered around my bed and speaking. About six to eight hours had passed since I had gone under the anesthesia. I have not shared this experience before.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: August 1974

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Childbirth 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death' Postpartum shock after late term abortion at a clinic.

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? At the beginning I was intensely curious about my new 'body' of energy-light and my surroundings. I was excited until I realized I might be alone in eternity and I panicked - I had such profound despair that it lingers with me and I am afraid that when I do die I may end up in that hallway again with those same feelings. When I saw the pastel lights I was incredibly relieved and experienced great hope.

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 I could not tell if I had been in this other place for only a moment or for a thousand years. I had a sharp pinprick sense of eternity and a very calm sense of infinity.

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 could see complete blackness (top and bottom voids), perfect white (endless walls). I was connected emotionally to the pastel colors in a small spot on one of the white walls. I could see my mind energy and watched it stretch in a line in both directions vertically and horizontally ad infinitum if I so desired. However my stretching seemed to accomplish nothing so I preferred to remain a mindful speck pondering my situation.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. At first there was complete silence. I had vision. Then I was aware of my own thoughts as sounds in my being. Eventually sound was clear but low and distant and non-directional, as if it were around me. I had not heard this sound before (or after). It was very slow and deep. When I saw the pastel lights, my mind attached the sound to the lights. The sound morphed into human voices as I regained consciousness.

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? Uncertain I was in an enclosure but I did not 'pass into' or 'through' it. I observed it and extended into it. It might be called a tunnel of a sort but it did not have curved walls. Both the ends of the hallway were curved into forever. There was no top or bottom to the 'tunnel.' Rather, they were voids. The walls were flat vertical plains that could have been either extremely thin or unbelievably thick I do not know their thickness or was I concerned about that.

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 was only aware of my energy speck was the only brilliant light and it was so small. Everything around me was vast except for the pastel colors on the wall. The sound was around me at first and then I linked it to the colors. The sound and the pastel colors were the only other beings. With them, I felt love and hope. With them I was no longer lost and alone.

The experience included: Void

The experience included: Darkness

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? Uncertain I saw a group of three, hazy pastel colored circles of light on the white wall. They seemed to be to my right (if direction has any meaning). Yes, I can definitely say there was a wall to my left and a wall to my right. And the wall on my right had the colors of light on it.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The pastel lights were beautiful, I wanted to absorb them into me and yet keep them as companion.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Extreme emotions. Intense curiosity. Loss of time. Feeling infinity. Feeling eternity. Alone. Intense fear. Absolute despair. Powerful loving (but not human). Embracing hope.

Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness

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 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

The experience included: Boundary

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I was bound in that my light energy could only extend in a line, not in a plane or circle. Also, in that I could only reach out vertically into the dark voids above and below my speck of light or horizontally around the never-ending curves of the hallway. In retrospect I don't think I tried to extend my light in any other ways but I can't say that it would have been impossible for me to do so.

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? Conservative/fundamentalist

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My experience does not appear based on my Christian upbringing except to say that for a time I felt I may have been in hell or purgatory - but there was no devil, demon, fire or burning. I felt tortured by my loneliness. I believe there are as many conceptions of life after death as there are beings in the universe. I personally believe in existence after human death. I believe hell and purgatory exist, perhaps purgatory is passing through hell and hell is remaining forever alone.

What is your religion now? Liberal

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes My experience does not appear based on my Christian upbringing except to say that for a time I felt I may have been in hell or purgatory - but there was no devil, demon, fire or burning. I felt tortured by my loneliness. I believe there are as many conceptions of life after death as there are beings in the universe. I personally believe in existence after human death. I believe hell and purgatory exist, perhaps purgatory is passing through hell and hell is remaining forever alone.

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 existed as only mind (thought), light and energy. As such, I could still see and hear. I did not miss or even consider having a body, human or otherwise. At a point time, itself was immaterial. What was most important to me was connection to another being. This makes me believe that I exist apart from, or in addition to, my human form.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes They have changed only to the extent that I have shared my experience with someone. I have a number of friends and acquaintances but only a handful of friends I would consider sharing this experience with at this particular point in time. This is certainly the first time I have shared my experience with an organization. I am doing so anonymously. I can't say what has compelled me to do this. Perhaps a combination of things happening in my life recently. I feel as if standing on the brink of change. I don't know if I will take the step.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? No

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain In the period 1989-1990 I had a few odd mental experiences and a very unusual dream. While at a church service, I saw my deceased mother's mother come and sit beside me briefly. She waved her hand at the church altar and said 'All this is nothing.' While standing alone on the sidewalk near where I was living, a vague human-like being descended from not far above me with a glowing yellowish watermelon-shaped thing which the being attempted to give to me. My mind replied 'I cannot fit that inside of me.' The vision disappeared but later I thought that if I turned it on end it could have fit inside the dimensions of my physical body, if it was even meant to fit inside me physically. I had a dream in which my deceased father was present. I cannot recall my father; he died in an accident when I was four. I had never dreamt of him before nor since (that I can remember). Unlike many of my dreams, except for his presence in it, the dream was very down-to-earth. My partner, Dana, my mother, my father and I were all in a cafe along a street-front in France. All four of us seemed to be in our thirties. We were all inside. Dana and I seated at a table adjacent to the table where my parents sat. My father began to sing a song called 'I'll Be Seeing You' to my mother but he was singing it in the French language. They both seemed to be very much in love with each other. While my father sang, I translated the song into English and sang it to Dana. I recall nothing in the dream before this scene and nothing after it. I did share the dream with Dana and with my mother shortly after I had it.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? All of the experience is meaningful and significant to me. I am startled by how much I experienced in only a few hours of earth-time. The experience gave me a sense of the unimaginable. My concepts of universe, time and space have been drastically altered. I can tell someone I know what eternity and infinity feel like. They are feelings that disappear as quickly as they come but I can feel them repeatedly. I know that I don't need my body in order to exist. I know I need to have a connection to another being in order not to despair. Alone in infinity for eternity is purgatory to me. I hope I am never there again. I feel I must somehow do something in this human life to avoid that place if at all possible.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared all three of these experiences with my partner Dana shortly after they happened. She thought they make me 'special' in some way. Other than that, I am not sure how they have influenced her. She does like me to recount them to other people/friends of ours if similar topics come up in conversation. I have since longed for the vision of the being with the glowing object to return to me and this time I would accept it. When I told my mother about the dream, she is very calm about it. She did say that 'I'll Be Seeing You' was a favorite of hers (I did not know this). The song may have been popular in the 1940s when my parents met and married. I know it from a Judy Collins album I bought in the 1970s.

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

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I found your questionnaire very helpful. It has helped me to describe my experience. I do not know if it was a dream under anesthesia or, because I really had recovered from blood-loss shock, an actual near-death-experience. Because of the circumstance I am thinking it was the latter.