I remember being concerned, and being prepped, and wheeled into the operating room, but I don't think I made it to 99 counting back from 100. I recall floating upwards, to the ceiling and seeing everything in the room in proper perspective from above. I could identify myself on the operating table. I continued to float upwards, towards a bright light, white and warm. I had a very good, exceptionally loving feeling. It was most tempting to keep going through the tunnel. There was a diaphanous curtain that I would have to part to keep going, and once I passed through that, I knew that I could not go back.I was at a gathering, a wine and cheese event, some year and a half to two years later, when I found myself chatting with the physician, Dr. X, the brilliant surgeon, who performed the operation on my leg. It was only a short time before that operation that equipment and techniques were available to successfully save the leg and he was one of the few who could do it. As we picked our way amongst the cheeses, crackers, and pickles, he took me aback by saying, 'By the way, did you experience a near death experience during the operation?' Startled, I replied, 'Yes, as a matter of fact, I did.'
Date NDE Occurred: Mid-June 1974
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Surgery-related 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I had extensive surgery on my leg while under anesthetic.
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? No I was being worked on. My body was on the operating room table and there was no sound.
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 I was out of body at the time, which is not normal.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? All through the experience.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No There was no sense of time at all.
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. Normal
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. There was no sound.
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 The 'tunnel' was a conduit, moving me (the out of body me) towards the intense white 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? An unusually bright light
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes I saw an intense, warm (the warmth that love gives), white light.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No No, but if I passed through the curtain, there was an 'understanding' that I would.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt some sadness for myself on the table and intense love, more than you experience in life, and a longing for my wife and family.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
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
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes There was a diaphanous curtain. It was limiting in that if I passed through it, there could be no return. That is, I could not return to my life. It was as if that was the price I would have to pay for the reward of going on to the loving warmth, the peace. I could express eternal except that there was no sense of time.
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? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated A christian-protestant background but unaffiliated in my adult life
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No I have left religion, and particularly organized religion (all of them) behind many years ago. I believe there is a 'spirit' in all of us. I call that spirit, God.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated A christian-protestant background but unaffiliated in my adult life
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 The experience was consistent with my beliefs, and parting from loved ones the painful part of the experience; the loving peaceful state was a surprise
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes That we are all connected; we are one. If there is a God, it is that oneness that connects us all. I value life and love in my life
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? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably does not exist
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? I am uncertain if God exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes That death was not a pain-filled, existence ending, experience, but rather a loving, peaceful, all-embracing state.
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? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? I am uncertain if an afterlife exists Uncertain Because there was definite a choice that I was being offered, the warmth and lovingness at the price of leavinmg my loved ones behind (That is returning to my life) the assumption would be that of a continued state (existence?)but I would not know that un
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I slightly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly 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 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? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life I became a more loving person; more forgiving, less self-centered, more compassionate; less of a jerk. It definitely saved my marriage.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes I am definitely a better person since the experience.
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 This experience occurred almost 40 years ago, yet I am relating without notes
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? What were most meaningful were the conscious choice I made to return to my life, and somehow do better, and to be thankful, and the importance of my wife and family.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my wife, after some time, and no one else for a very long time. I still have not shared this experience often.
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 I did not consider the experience for some period after I had it, so 'shortly' is not appropriate to the experience. When I did share it with my wife she understood completely. We see and share things similarly
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I believe free will. The experience follows my beliefs but in another sense was outside of my experience. Two years after my experience my surgeon raised the question of the experience with me. I could see both sides of this 'life' issue. My summation would be:
With all due respect to Dr. X, and his skills as a surgeon, it is my belief, and from my experience, that if a person wants badly to go, in other words loses their will to live, that regardless of the skills of the surgeon, they will pass away. I also believe that without the skills of the surgeon, that choice may not be there.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Everyone should have the experience I had. I would wish it for everyone. We would have a better world as a result.
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