Upon my return home after attending college at about midnight, my phone rang. A neighbor requested my help for someone who was being assaulted.Without a thought, I went to help and on arrival, one of the many gunshots being fired hit my cranium (or right parietal). This caused a significant loss of encephalic mass. I fell to the ground, where I remained conscious but I do not recall for how long. I remember hearing ambulance sirens and the police then moments later I felt that my body was lighter and slightly outside of the physical body.Close to death, I was taken to hospital where it was confirmed in ER that I would die within a short time. This meant that there would be no further attempts to save my life. Nevertheless, the paramedics were work colleagues of mine and insisted that I be sent to the capital, Santiago de Chile, since they hoped that I could be saved there. At the insistence of my friends' and colleagues' they themselves transported me to Santiago with faith and conviction that my life could be saved.It was during the journey in the ambulance, that I regained consciousness for a short time, albeit slightly diminished due to the effects of the sedatives. I could hear the paramedics talking, saying that I was to be intubated to improve my breathing and prevent me from choking. As they proceeded, I wanted to stop them and tried to let them know by flailing my arms and legs around because I felt the procedure was harming me.It was precisely in that moment, that I was transported to a dark place, which I later defined to be a universe where nothing existed. All I saw was absolute blackness with no reference points, but my mind did exist, at least that is how I understand it today.I attempted to look at my body but it did not exist as I had known it. I could still think, therefore I was ‘thought’. I do not know how to describe it, the brain or soul, it was indescribable, but definitely ‘a something’.After traversing in that dark abyss, I found myself flying as if I were a bird, an Eagle. This flight took me over hills and places of great greenery. I was asking myself what it all was and when I felt an answer had come to me, it was of no importance.It was three years before I decided to tell anyone about my experience. After that, I was invited to speak about it on the radio and television.
Date NDE Occurred: 3 de noviembre de 1993
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Criminal attackDirect head injury 'disparo de un arma de fuego, el cual impacta zona parietal derecha del craneo, con perdida de masa encefalica importante, segun epicrisis.' Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I had been shot and was close to death after trying to help someone who had been assaulted by armed criminals.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
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 above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was in hospital and close to death I saw two great friends of mine at my bedside.
I felt confused since I knew that one of them, a former service chief and police colonel, had died of cancer many years before and the second, an ambulance driver, was very ill with cancer, in the city of Rancagua.
After a few days, the doctor authorized my wife to visit me. She told me that my great friend in Rancagua had died from cancer.
I have never been able to explain how two people who had died were looking and smiling at me from my bedside. Nor have I received a satisfactory explanation from professionals including psychiatrists and psychologists.
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
I don't know if I would call it a mystical place, but without any doubt it was supernatural.
When I was in that dark universe, where nothing existed, but I knew I was there waiting for something. When I tried to look at my body, it did not exist.
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. Mainly in the moments when lying heavily wounded on the ground. I felt my body was much lighter and as if something wanted to come out from inside.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Definitely. Policemen, paramedics and people that were watching were not speaking as we know it, I could know what they were thinking.
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? Yes I think I died and passed through a completely dark place where nothing existed, only my thoughts. I then felt reborn into a place where I could see a very bright light, which guided me to a place guarded by people that resembled armed Roman soldiers, and where I was refused entry. From my position I could see unidentifiable people wandering around in a fenced off and protected area.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
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 was able to see people wandering around or moving behind that fenced-off and protected area that I was not allowed to enter.
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? Yes As I explained previously, a bright light guided me to a place that I was not allowed to enter.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm el relato lo explicita. pude ver lugares bellos, tambien otras dimensiones donde yo me estaba creando, o quizasexistia de una forma diferente a la fisica corporal.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Emotions without comparison to any other I have experienced. I was living through a situation where, even though I knew I was dying, I did not care. I felt calm and quiet.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I was able to see all of my life flash before me. When I was close to death/dying, I was doing so with the memories of the most beautiful things I had ever experienced, Living with my children when they were little, playing in the sands of a very beautiful beach, and that became my reality at the time I was dying, I was re-living the moment. I believe to this day that memories are important.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future What I became sure of after my experience, was that what I found hard to understand before became more simple. I am now able to accept things that could not accept before be it due to false religious beliefs or misunderstood morality. The experience gave me a new beginning, a rebirth with different view and more understanding. I have a conviction that we all are all part of the same universe. The petty things that divide us are just that.
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I felt that my body was just a means of physical transportation. I felt no conflict at not being allowed beyond the boundary. Boundaries as we know them physically did not exist there.
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 'catolico por tradicion familiar, aun cuando rara vez asisti a la iglesia respectiva.'
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No I do not follow any religion. After my accident, I learned about many religious beliefs. I was searching for answers to my questions, but I did not find them. I discovered what they call faith and through this I learned to respect all of those who have faith, since generally this concept allows one to keep living even those who have been cast away by society.
What is your religion now? Liberal 'liberal, en el sentido del respeto por cualquier opcion religiosa, y ninguno, por carecer actualmente de una opcion religiosa, motivado principalmente por mi experiencia personal con la ecm.'
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No I do not follow any religion. After my accident, I learned about many religious beliefs. I was searching for answers to my questions, but I did not find them. I discovered what they call faith and through this I learned to respect all of those who have faith, since generally this concept allows one to keep living even those who have been cast away by society.
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
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 My experience led me to try to understand what I had been through. For this, I thank Dr. Bruce Greyson for his research. I consider that my experience was close to the lines of the research of Dr. Stuart Hammeroff, since I felt I was a part of a whole. The universe was a part of me and we are all a part of it, even in the smallest cosmic particle. We are all a part of a universal gear.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain I am not aware that they have changed much. What changed was me. I was a paraplegic and today I walk with a cane. I see things in a different way, I live in an adrenaline-producing way, as if time is short and there is so much I wish to understand. I am on a course that I feel is right and with the help of professionals interested in the subject, I hope someday to be able to clarify many unknown things.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes In the beginning it was hard to express in words. I thought that no one would believe such a thing could happen. With time and maturity, I found it easier to talk about. Later I chose to share it only with people I knew well.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes It is not every day that someone has the opportunity of transcending beyond their own physical limitations and see, understand with such clarity things that were so difficult to understand before.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? On the whole it was, and still is the most significant experience of all the experiences I have lived through. Previously I had exposed myself to many situations where I put my life in danger.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I knew about NDEs from conversations with friends during gatherings where tales of this kind of experience were sometimes told.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real My life and perception of my surroundings changed completely after the event. I took an interest in things that were of no interest to me before, Life is different to me now, and everything matters. Nothing is a lie; everything can be relative. If there are things we still do not understand, we need more information and experimentation.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real My reality today is that we exist through thought first. The physical seems irrelevant in the face of the universal truth. Without ‘us’ the universe could not exist as we know it.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No Not in the beginning, several medical professionals concluded that my experiences were due to the excessive use of painkillers. But this did not explain how or why I saw two people I know had died being present at my bedside. They simply said that they had no explanation for this experience.
The experience has not re-occurred, but I remember it as if it happened yesterday.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? The experience that made me pay attention most, was when I was in my bed and could see a being, facing away from me. The being spoke to my mind, giving me a message for my wife that ‘she should not worry because everything would turn out fine’.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Any questionnaire can be perfected, even though I consider that this one was well-conducted. I would like to suggest the possibility of mentioning all who work in the research of NDEs and perhaps provide a way enabling experiencers to communicate with them through the post, e-mail, place or institution where they work.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.