My experience happened when I was 25 years old in 1975. I was in the peak of health, and certainly not looking for any particular religious confirmation or death like experience. I have always thought it was important that this experience occurred BEFORE I had ever heard of NDE, nor read or heard anyone else's account. I was having some dental work done at the University College of Dentistry, and I do not know what happened at that point. I sensed that I was in a black void, probably confined in a large clear tunnel, moving very slowly along as one would in outer space weightlessness. I sensed there were others along with me in some sense, but did not see or communicate with them. At the extreme end of the tunnel, or far down the tunnel, was an extremely bright light. I felt like I was moving toward it. It was like the light of a train, maybe from miles away. I felt drawn toward it and wanted to go to the light. I momentarily felt that I was looking down on the earth, as it might seem at night from the Space Shuttle. I saw lights of cities or homes. The feelings I had were the most intense part of the experience: overpowering love, peace, and harmony. I know of no words to convey the emotion, except perhaps how a baby feels when held in its mother's arms. I wanted to go to the light because it seemed to be the source of the peace and love. But I did not get there or move much closer to it. As I recall, the next thing I remember is being slapped around by the dentist and being back in the dental chair. I did not see or talk to any beings, people or deceased beings. I think I was 'going there', but did not make it. After the experience, I felt that the experience was real, profound, important, and 'something I am going to remember,' which I do, to this day.
Date NDE Occurred: 1975
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No. Surgery-related. Other: Having dental work done
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
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? Normal consciousness and alertness I was not aware of any difference
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I guess I can't answer because I don't know or recall
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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. The same
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Don't remember hearing playing a role in this experience. The tunnel was quiet.
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 I went through a fairly large, clear tunnel, and through a black void. I had the sense I could 'see' through it. Perhaps a clear pipeline would be a better description.
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: Darkness
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 Like the light of a faraway, oncoming train at night. But it radiated more than just light because I felt peace, love, and well-being coming from it.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I felt amazement, awe, love, peace, and well-being.
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? I felt united or one with the world
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
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? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant I was raised in a Presbyterian Church, a believer, but not actively involved or too interested. I was finishing up my optometric classroom and clinical training and more involved in that
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My religious practices were placed more front and center in my life. I guess I am not an active weekly churchgoer, but I pay attention to my spiritual life in all ways now.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant Attending a Methodist church, probably paying more attention now, but still not actively involved
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Reassurance about my beliefs/religious training and faith. The thought that we are likely, at death, to stand before God for an accounting of our lives, with the desire that the accounting should go well. I also pay more attention to Biblical direction for life; and to try to incorporate that better into 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? 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 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 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 definitely exists No
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? 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? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes The feeling of experiencing overwhelming love
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life A desire to read/learn about others who have experienced similar events. I am more confident about life and death, and have a feeling that I will see deceased family and loved ones again.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes The emotions or 'experiences' were unprecedented to my human experience. Our earthly language does not contain adequate words to describe the sensations of love, peace, and security that I felt.
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. The experience seemed so special and important that I told myself I should/was going to remember it.
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? The sense of well-being, peace, love
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Several years, no significant reactions recalled
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 All my senses and being told me it was real. It SEEMED very important. I do/did not know why, but I felt God was giving me a peek into the afterlife. I felt it seemed unique and too important to ignore.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I still feel it was a valuable look ahead for me. The only thing that concerned me was why this happened. I remember thinking that perhaps in the future, my life might be going to face a tragedy, and perhaps this was God's way to prepare me for that. Happily, 40 years later, my life is a happy one with no tragic losses of loved ones or anything else
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? My education/training is medical (optometric) or scientific. I think if my experience had occurred later, after I had heard or read other accounts of NDE, I would have questioned the validity of the experience. I would have been thinking that perhaps my brain was just dredging up the information in attempt to justify my own situation. The fact this occurred long before I heard of NDE or was 'looking for' religious confirmation. It happened out of the blue, you might say that it gives the experience much credibility and significance to my mind.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Not that I can think of
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