Experience Description

I had this experience on Friday 2 August 1974 - five days before my 20th birthday. I had finished work for the weekend and was standing in the street where I lived chatting with a friend. I owned a motorbike, which at the time was one of the things that made my life meaningful for me, it offered the means to get out of my daily environment and move around.

We were chatting about what we might do over the weekend. It was very early evening and there was still a lovely sun shining. We lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, not the sunniest of places in the world, but that had some compensation, you appreciated it all the more when it did shine. This particular early evening sun was just lovely to stand in and made me think of a weekend in the countryside. I suggested that we grab a tent and a haversack of tools and head north with the bike to spend the weekend camping. My friend thought this was an okay idea. He went off along the road to his home to get his stuff while I got the tent, tools and motorbike ready.

Within half an hour, we were heading north. I remember crossing the Forth Road Bridge and noticing that sense of difference. That feeling I always had of actually physically moving away from Edinburgh. Like as if when the wheels of the bike finally left the bridge and slid onto the road ahead that I really had got away onto something different.

We made it into Glenfarg as dusk started to settle in. We came out of the Glenfarg road and drove on making it past a place called Bridge of Earn. From there we kept going and were within nice distance of Perth. I suggested to my friend that we just get through Perth and, as it was now getting dark, find a place to camp for the night. This was fine with him.

We made it onto the Edinburgh Road, which was the main entrance road to Perth from the south. As we drove up that road, my friend and I saw to our right a large grassy area, which looked like a park. In the park, there were marquees set up and it looked like there may have been some kind of fun-fair set up for the weekend. We were occasionally glancing at the sight of people and tents and I thought to myself that maybe we could stop off for a while and have a look around. Communication on a motorbike can be a bit of a hassle at times. The difficulty for the driver is that if you want to talk to the pillion passenger you first have to catch their attention. I turned round to ask my friend if he fancied stopping and going over for a while. As I tilted my head round, I noticed that he was sitting watching the tents and people. I looked back round to the road then tapped him on the knee to catch his attention as I turned my head once more. We both had full-face helmets so to be heard I started to shout to him and ask him if he'd like to go over. He shouted and nodded back that he would. I turned my head back to the road and to my horror saw that we were just about to run into the back of a stationery car.

Many people who been in a crash might be familiar with the way that things seem to go in slow-motion as the fact that one is about to crash starts to flood into one's mind. The thing that always strikes me about this is the sensation of inevitability that comes with it. You can actually see that it is going to happen; you can see that there is absolutely nothing you can do about it - there is just no time left - and yet it all seems to develop, come into being so slowly. My hands and feet moved to the brake and gear levers. I got one touch on them as I watched the front wheel of the bike start to contact the rear bumper of the car. I sat and watched as the front wheel started to deform from the impact. I felt the back of the motorbike start to rise in the air. I suddenly felt my friend's hands on my shoulders and knew, and began to see, that he was being catapulted over the top of me, to my right, and over the top of the right side of the rear of the car. At the same time as this was happening I felt myself being pushed forward onto and above the handlebars of the bike. I also felt and saw the bike start to rebound off the rear of the car. The force of rebound was quite tremendous. To my friend all of this sudden movement had the effect of turning the part of the bike that he was sitting on into a sort of ejector seat. As I felt the full height of the rear of the bike rise behind me, I saw my friend start to fly through the air. At this point, the ferocity of the motion of the bike and the energies being played through it and myself started to force me towards a partial standing position as my head started to move into a very violent downward motion. As I started to, it seemed to me, go over the handlebars of the bike. I thought that my face was going to smash onto the rear of the car and remember wondering if my helmet would be able to handle the impact. Then very suddenly and very violently I saw the rear of the car start to recede away from me.

My bike had rear-view mirrors fitted at the end of quite long stalks that rose from the handlebars. As I started to move back from the car I was momentarily aware of the fact that I was bending the stalk of the right mirror with my crutch, though I only seemed to feel the pain of doing so for the most fleeting of moments. It was as if some things had started not to matter to me. As if, I was starting to dissociate from normal consciousness. I had experience of this type of sensation from a previous crash on a motorbike about a year before this one - so none of this surprised me.

There was it seemed to me a very sudden and even more violent movement backwards. The injuries that I sustained in this crash were fractures to my right wrist and right femur (thigh-bone) - though I did not know this at the time that they happened. Likewise, though I did not know it at the time I would now know that this extra violent movement backward was most likely caused by the handlebars smashing onto my leg, fracturing it, and then somehow trapping me and dragging me backward with the rebound of the bike from the car. I felt as though I was some kind of rag-doll that had just been gripped by some huge invisible beast of enormous strength. The violence of these movements were so extreme they momentarily managed to defeat the slow-motion effect I have mentioned above. That slow motion effect did not return until I hit the road.

I felt myself starting to fly backward, eventually leaving the bike and landing with a thud on my back on the road. I momentarily saw that I had in fact travelled backward from the car by several feet. The bike as best as I momentarily made out, though I was not consciously trying to 'make out' anything, merely receiving incoming sense impressions as the side of my crash-helmet struck the road, had travelled just a bit further backward than I had. Though that said I was now aware that my state of consciousness had changed in some way that I did not understand, in a way that I had no previous experience of. I would now know that I had started to go into a state of quite deep medical shock.

As I turned my head back up from its striking the road, I suddenly felt a searing pain running through my body. I seemed extremely puzzled by this and could not understand why I should be feeling such a pain. With this awareness of this pain, I started to realize that in some way I was not in a normal state of consciousness. My thinking and consideration of my body seemed to have a tinge of an emotion in it that seemed to be suggesting to my mind that in some way I was considering my body as an object, in a manner in which I had not done before - though this seemed to be happening in short waves. I seemed to be thinking amid surges of pain moving through me that I was in some way losing my sense of self. I seemed not to be able to locate where 'I' was. I say this, but (at that immediate point in time) it seemed as if this sense of being aware where I was and 'what' I was seemed to come and go in short waves. I began to struggle with these sensations - to try to understand them, to try and understand what was happening to me.

During one of the waves of pain that I was feeling, I struggled to try to understand where it was coming from. As I did this, I began to become aware of a sensation, which I seemed to manage to locate as being my back and the backs of my arms burning in some way. I could not understand how this could be. Then a wave of not knowing where or what I was started to sweep across me again. I struggled against this wave and managed to start to pull myself out of it again. As I did this, I noticed that I was feeling a sensation as if that away deep inside me I was cold. I noticed that my jaw had started to tremor or tremble - apparently in response to this deep cold that I had inside me. I tried to stop this from happening but found that I could not do so with complete success. At the same time as doing this, I was still struggling to try to understand where my pain was coming from and why the skin on my back should feel like it was burning.

I seemed to be in an in-between phase of knowing whom and what I was when my eyes looked towards the direction that I knew some kind of car should be. As they did this, I noticed my knee in the air in my line of sight. I seemed to consider this with some, though a strangely abstract, sort of interest. In some way, I seemed to be fascinated with my knee being where it was. I started to bend my neck a little raising my head to look at my knee and I saw that my right leg was bent at an angle with my right foot flat on the road, hence, my knee was in the air. This apparently abstract consideration of my knee seemed to have the effect of pulling me back toward knowing where I was and of strengthening my sense of self. The consideration in itself as far as I could tell had not been initiated by 'me', but by something that was taking an abstracted view of all this, but I did work out that if I could identify the sensation that I was abstracting something and fasten to that that it seemed to help in fighting the waves of losing myself. I latched onto this notion and lay looking at my leg. It was at this point that it suddenly dawned on me that the source of pain was my leg. I seemed to have an automatic response to this thought and, as if I wanted to confirm it, I started to try to lean up. I seemed to want to touch my leg to see if I could work out why it should be causing so much pain to be spreading through my body.

I remember managing to raise myself slightly and starting to try to reach out to my leg. But, I found that my arms would not do what I wanted them to do. I felt a massive wave of losing my sense of self come flooding onto me. I started to slump back and as I did so I found myself in extreme distress for I began to realize that I was losing the ability to co-ordinate my bodily movements. I began to realize in some way that the waves of losing myself were extremely dangerous to me.

As I slumped back, I noticed that the sensation of cold at my core was much deeper than it was before and that my jaw was now chittering in a near entirely uncontrollable fashion. This distressed me even further, more so as I was wearing a full-face crash-helmet and the sound of the chittering and modified breathing was amplified inside it. The wave of the loss of sense of self and where I was seemed very strong and my head slumped to one side. As my head did this, I became aware of a smell inside the helmet that I could not explain. I think this happened because at this point my sense of my body was so compromised that what sense orientation that I had left - the sense of smell to which I would normally not place any great emphasis on - was left free to come to the fore. Now, I became aware that I was very near to the point of losing consciousness entirely. I started to try to fight this off with as much as I could muster though I found this very difficult. I became aware that I had a full-face helmet on and that the visor was down. I thought that if I could lift the visor then I might make things better for me by giving myself more air. It was as I thought this that I became aware that the smell in the helmet was the smell of petrol (gasoline). For some reason I seemed to be breathing petrol fumes, though I could not understand why. I then thought that perhaps this was the reason why I was nearly losing consciousness. It seemed that thinking this was of help to me in fighting off being swamped by waves of near losing consciousness.

I grabbed to the thought and seemed to manage to start to raise my hand towards the visor of the helmet, though I was also aware that I was finding it very difficult at times to tell where my hand was. I found that I had to struggle very hard to understand where my hand was. I saw that I had raised my hand but I was having difficulty in getting it to go where I wanted it to go. This further distressed me. I saw that it was in the air and decided that I might have a better chance of getting it to the helmet if I just let if fall towards the helmet, rather than attempt to steer it. I let the hand fall and felt it strike the helmet lightly near to where a lower visor-stud was. I remember thinking that the smell of petrol in the helmet was even stronger than it was before. Though I struggled to do so I could not understand why.

I could feel my whole body was starting to tremble with the cold though my back still seemed to feel as if it was burning in some way. I tilted my eyes down sharply to see where my hand was and saw that it was close to the bottom of the visor. I struggled and managed to move my fingers to the visor but found that I could not unclip it from the stud as I lacked the co-ordination to do so. (I had leather gloves on which were padded and this made it all the more difficult.) I then saw that there was a crack in the visor stemming from the stud I was aiming to free. I seemed to manage to get some focus on this crack and thought to move my fingers under the crack and below the stud. Again, this having this thought to fasten to, seemed to help in my resisting the sustained wave of losing myself that seemed most difficult to resist. I saw that I had managed to wedge two fingers under the visor and I gave one heave. Again, this lacked co-ordination but, like letting my hand fall, it was a movement that did not require a lot of coordinative focus. Whether the stud came away or the visor simply cracked round the stud I could not tell, but the visor flew up and I had a sudden rush of air fresher than that in the visor enclosed helmet. I gasped this air and suddenly found that I could resist the swamping of me.

As I did this, I recognized that I was still in a compromised state but realized that I had revived slightly and that the revival was getting a bit stronger. With the removal of the visor and the influx of air, I noticed that I could see slightly better. I raised my head slightly to look at my leg, which was still sending agonizing waves of pain through my body, indeed my whole body felt as if it was my leg. As I did this, I saw my friend some distance away. He was sitting on the road. Some people were standing near him. I saw him rubbing his legs as if they might be causing him problems. I saw him start to turn round to look at me and tried to catch his eye. At the same time as this, I went to raise my hand in greeting but found that I was unable to do so. I suddenly slumped back as a short wave of not knowing where or what I was moved across me. I remember that I was so intent on trying to signal to my friend that as I fell backward I saw my fingers raise a little which seemed to be the best that I could manage. This distressed me quite considerably as I knew that I had to consider my revival as suspect as I still seemed not to be able to coordinate my physical movements properly. This further distressed me as I knew that my capacity to judge my state as I fluxed between sense of self and lessening sense of self was now also compromised.

As my head went back, I seemed to lapse for a while into a state in which I struggled to try to understand how I could possibly find a way of judging my state that I could rely on. As I was doing this, I became aware of sounds and of movement around me that I had only vaguely been aware of before. I moved my head from side to side a little and could see that there were people standing around me, watching me. As it moved to my right side, I saw someone coming across the road and guessed that these people must have come from the place where the tents were. The sounds of their voices seemed very strange to me for I could not make out the words that they were saying. It all sounded like a sort of gibberish, which I was unable to understand. I noticed how dark everything was, for the night had settled in by now, and the effect of street lights struck me as very strange.

Then my head tilted a little bit further and I saw that a part of the road was shining. This seemed to be in a streak from where the bike was and where I was lying on the road. I then noticed that I could, again, smell petrol. As I thought about this, it began to dawn on me that I must be lying in petrol and that this must in some way be connected with the burning sensation that I was feeling on my back. My clothes must have absorbed the petrol and now my skin was too. All of these realizations were conducted in a state in which I was trying to fight of successive waves of losing my sense of place and of self.

The voices seemed to strike me as particularly curious and I tried to understand what it was that was being said - though at that point I could not do so. I looked at an individual that had just come running from over the road. He was a youth and looked quite unconcerned about what was going on. He raised his hand to his mouth and I suddenly realized that he was smoking a cigarette and that the length of the cigarette was quite short. I was made very anxious by this sight and tried to tell him to go away but I seemed not able to speak properly as most of the effort that I had was going into trying to prevent myself from being swamped by loss of sense of place and self. I looked at some of the other people standing to the other side of me and started to try to indicate with my hand and eyes that this youth was smoking a cigarette and that this was causing me problems. At first, the people just seemed to look at me then it seemed that one of them caught on to what was going on. At this point, I heard a voice saying that there was petrol around here and for the youth to get away with the cigarette. I turned to look at the youth who looked back at me, sneered, and then stepped over the top of me. As he did so, his foot caught my raised knee and moved it.

I felt the small of my back involuntarily arch off the road as a flood of searing pain hammered its way through me. It was as if my whole body was trying to get away from itself. I felt my back start to lower back to the road as what I knew to be a tremendous wave of loss of place and self-started to surge up in me. This wave distressed me very considerably as I knew that it was so strong and was rising so fast that I might not be able to resist it at all. As this thought came to me, I sensed a quick movement near my head as someone came to kneel beside me. I thought I heard words like, 'We're nurses! Get out the way! Move back!' I looked to see a face near me then felt the wave start to swamp me. I knew I was not going to be able to resist it, it was so strong. It was rising too fast for me to get a hold of and deal with it. I felt it rising, I felt myself losing, and... (It was at this point that, I would later know, I lost consciousness.)

I was in a dark, blank, black place. I could see nothing at all but blackness. Though I had registered that this was so it was not a matter that in any way I felt concerned about. I seemed to be disinterested in this. It was also the case that I seemed not to have a body, I was existing only as consciousness, and this did not in any way concern me. What was of more interest to me was the nature of something else that was occurring. (I would note that over the years I have read accounts of NDEs in which this kind of situation is spoken of as being a 'void'. I do very much see the parallels between what I have written and the descriptions of such 'voids'. However, I have not used the term here, as I did not experience this place as a 'void' while I was in it. Specifically, I did not have any experience of 'negation' of anything at all while in this phase of the experience. I just experienced it, as it was a 'dark, blank, black place'. However, I do see how others may refer to this as a 'void' particularly so if there is sense of 'negation' associated to being in that place.)

It seemed to be the case that I had somehow asked a question. When, how and why I had come to ask this question I did not know. But, by backtracking on my emotions, I knew that I had seemed to have asked a question about my family - about the people that I cared for. I had asked this question as if I was in some way concerned about their future. As if I thought or felt that there might be some kind of impediment to my being able to help them. And the notion of this impediment, whatever it was, made me feel very sad. The feeling was like that I would not be there for them. I had no idea as to why I had had these thoughts, and why I had these feelings - only that this was so. In some ways, it seemed to me that my feelings understood something that did not have a direct, fully cognizant, analogue in my thoughts. As I noted this and noted its existence something happened which very briefly took me by surprise but in no way frightened me. A voice came into being.

Where the voice came from I had no idea, but I could recognize that its source was exterior to me. However, though being exterior, it had such a power in terms of authority, understanding and gentleness that so affected my feelings as to make me feel as if in some way the voice were entering me in a way that I had never experienced a voice to do before. The presence of this voice manifesting around, and then, inside me, seemed to be soothing my sadness away in some way. The voice was saying outside me and also inside me, 'It's okay. They'll be fine. Nothing can hurt them. They cannot even be touched.' At the same time as this was happening I had a strong sense of a being that was close beside me, but I could not see it as it was so black and dark in this place.

I would have to say that this voice was curious to me because of a strange effect it had that I had not experienced before. Though it was evident that it was literally answering a question its answer did not manifest in me in a way that I understood, for its effect was such that it was clear to me that I was being given the essence of an understanding (not just receiving what, in ordinary life, we would call an answer). The very strange thing about this was that in the way that it was being given to me it seemed that the voice was actually communicating to something inside me that actually already knew of the validity of the answer that was being communicated. The voice was communicating directly to a part of me that knew that this was true. There was an amazing sense of authority embedded in that voice and the communication. It was clear that the being that was producing the communication wasn't guessing as to the truth of its answer, it was utterly clear that it knew what it was talking about. No if's, no but's, no maybe's, it knew.

There was then something like a very brief pause. In ordinary life, we might say that it was something like taking time for thought. However, what I seemed to be doing was something that I hadn't been aware of doing before. I seemed to be comparing my sensations of sadness against the understanding that the voice had given me. It was as if I was comparing them in some kind of terms that could be best described as 'how two frequencies matched each other'. As if, my feelings were conducting a dialogue with themselves. Then suddenly the dialogue was over. Though I had a slight residual sense of sadness, I seemed to accept the understanding that had been given to me and the complete validity of it as an answer. This acceptance was of the form of almost being the equivalent of a physical act, as if it were the determinant of what happened next.

As soon as I felt the truth of, and accepted, this answer I had a sudden sense that I was moving. It was a sense that I had turned to one side and just started to move upward (and away from something - which I took to be connected to the answer). This sudden turning and moving brought other occurrences with it. I could no longer feel the presence of the being that had been communicating with me, though this did not concern me. The dark blankness seemed to disappear - though this requires some qualification. It was still dark, but in as much as the 'blankness' might be said to be something without form, it seemed to me that this acceptance and movement in some way started to cause or create something which we might understand as the coalescing of form out of blankness. It is not possible to describe this in words properly but it might be said that it was as if I started to form out of this 'blankness'. By which I mean that in the act of turning - though it was not an actual concern of mine whether I did or did not possess one - it seemed that I had a formed a body, a physical form, of which during receiving of the answer I was not aware of possessing. (I need to emphasize and qualify this - this was not a matter of concern to me. It is as if things that would be of concern to us as warranting our attention here just don't matter there and they just so much don't matter that they are not used as any form of referent for what is occurring. That is the referential system has, is, changing, but you are in a state in which you are not aware that it has done so. And, of course, you cannot explain this difference of state because the old one has gone - and you are not even aware that it has done so. You have no comparison to compare with - what is, is. That 'is' is as of the nature of being here and every bit as convincing - in the ordinary course of life you will generally not question it. That is as close a description as I can get to.)

At the same time as I made this turning move and started to move upwards I started to become aware of a sound. I was struck by a strong thought that the actual acceptance of the answer and my actual 'turning to move' had acted almost as if throwing a switch to produce production of a form of myself; the generation of the start of the sound; and the coming into being of an 'immediate space' (which I mention in a moment). All of these events seemed linked to acceptance of the answer and the turning to move off. At first, this sound was quite quiet, but as my upward movement progressed, the sound started to get louder. This sound had a rhythm to it. That is to say, it had a periodicity like a beat. At the start it reminded me of the sound of a helicopter blade starting up - and by way of analogy this is the nearest that I can come to describing the sound. So there was a low energy part to the sound and high energy part. As I started to move upward and become aware of the sound starting I also became aware of what I sensed as an 'immediate space' coming into being around me.

(To qualify this I would say that I have since read of similar experiences in which people describe this as a tunnel. I did not identify this as a tunnel as such though can see how someone with a slightly different orientation might readily identify it as a tunnel. I myself have not used the term 'tunnel' here because that definitely was not how I identified it while I was in it. I have also not used the term because while writing this and at one point calling it a 'tunnel' I strongly felt that I was reducing it to something that I did not perceive it as and that that would be misleading to the reader. Whatever it was I perceived it as a very subtle phenomenon.

I found this immediate space slightly puzzling to me, as I seemed to imagine that for some reason my vision was being constrained in some way. As if I expected to be able to see what was beyond this immediate space but was perplexed to the point of being baffled as to why I couldn't see beyond it. This sensation was further compounded by the fact that I had no idea at all, as to why I should have expected to see beyond it and likewise no idea at all, as to what I expected I might be able to see even if I could.)

As I moved further upward, my speed of movement increased rapidly. This as best as I could see was in some way linked to the periodicity of the sound. That is that the sound got louder and louder and the duration of 'silence' between each of the high energy sections of the sound got shorter. (Again, a rotating helicopter blade that is picking up speed is a good analogy.)

As I have previously mentioned, this started in a 'dark blankness'. The nature of this immediate space seemed to be linked to speed of movement and the periodicity and volume of the sound, for there was something of the nature of what this space was doing - for this space was active - that would suggest to me that it had, what we would call here, near physical properties. Or at least properties that can be pointed at by physical analogies. It appeared to me that this space had - or alternated between, being a space and having, or revealing - an underlying matrix structure. Of this immediate space, as I moved more definitely into it, it should be said that it appeared to be 'ribbed' (or one might say 'ringed'). By that I mean that it would look something like a extensible hose of the type that one might see on a vacuum cleaner. Though with the metallic 'rings' arranged individually, not as a spiral. These rings were equidistantly arranged up the immediate space. They were also translucent. I need to qualify this. The reason why I say they were translucent is that they emitted light.

My sense was that they themselves were not rings of light but containers of light. It seemed to me that the light was being seen by me in a manner as if it were passing through a membrane - or membrane-like surface (though I could not actually see the membrane). The light had a diffuseness about its nature that strongly suggested that there was a barrier between myself and direct sight of the source of the light. It seemed that my movement up this immediate space was centrally in relation to these rings of light. (I.e. that I was constantly within the region of the center of these circles of lights and moving upward in that regional constant).

My reason for offering two ways of describing this - ribbed or ringed - is because of the fact that the way that the light seemed to reveal its translucency suggested that the membrane (again I say that I did not see an actual membrane) suggested that the surface that the light was passing through was lightly 'folded' at each ring. (Very much like one would see on a vacuum cleaner hose.) And, hence, my leaning towards the term ribbed is really revealing of a relationship between the light of the rings and my seeing of it that suggested a possible membrane. The light itself was not bright, quite diffuse in fact - again much as one would expect of a light passing through a membrane or surface. The light was so diffuse that in no way did it 'light up' the immediate space that I was in.

Thus far I have focused on the start of my movement, the rings and have made mention of a sound that had a definite beat to it. As I moved up this immediate space, my speed of movement was in a state of rapid acceleration. This acceleration seemed to bear a relationship to the periodicity of the beat of the sound and it should be said that the sound got louder and louder as the period of the beat reduced. However, an effect that went with this seemed to have something to do with the actual nature of the immediate space that I was in.

As I have mentioned, at times it seemed to me as if the space was not all simply space as we understand it but had some kind of matrix structure within it. This matrix that ran through the space seemed to be in a state of being revealed to me and then disappearing, again, in time with the beat of the noise. The matrix itself was not uniform in its arrangement. The closest thing I can think of that helps to describe it is that it was a bit like looking down a kaleidoscope wherein irregular 'granular structures' appear to mesh together. Though here there was no 'kaleidoscope of colors' only fleeting shades of dark or grey. Also, looking in a kaleidoscope, one does have an impression of a three-dimensional granular structure. Here this underlying matrix of space seemed to be of a two-dimensional nature. As if one were viewing flat-on the 'area plane' of a slice - like a photographic plate. My point is that it looked granular and non-regular in arrangement. As my speed increased this matrix would be revealed and then 'hidden' again with such rapidity that, though not in itself alarming in any way, did have a slightly disorienting effect on me as I sped faster and faster upward.

It should be realized that as my speed increased it had the effect of making the rings of light seem to have lesser distance between them - though I did realize that they were always equidistant from each other. Hence this movement upward in this immediate space was an occurrence in which there was a tremendous amount happening. My speed increased to a rate, which here I would say would be held to be simply unbelievable by most people. It really was absolutely phenomenal. As I sped upward, I had a strong sense that all the events that I could see happening around me, the passing of the rings, the appearance and disappearance of the matrix, and my actual rate of movement were all in some way synchronized with or by the sound. I should now say more of the nature of this sound.

This sound, when I first heard it, started off as something quite indistinct. That is, as if heard from a distance. However, this 'hearing' of the sound had an effect that marked it as quite distinctly different from normal hearing of sound. Though I did hear it, it also had an effect such that it was also being registered as an interior vibration. I would emphasize that this sound source was definitely at all times exterior in nature but it did seem to vibrate through me as well. As my speed increased and the duration of period between the high and low energy parts of the sound decreased this effect of vibration was markedly heightened. This to the extent that at points I seemed to think that the immediate space that I was in was in danger of collapsing in some way if the sound continued to get louder and the underlying beat of it faster and faster. As my speed of movement gained to a level that would have to be described as phenomenal, (for words really do fail to describe it) the volume of the sound was such that it was simply all-encompassing. I noticed that my speed had become such that it was close to the point of making it very difficult to tell if the rings had any distance between them now.

I would have easily understood this but for the fact that at times, it now seemed difficult to tell if there were, now, any light-rings there at all. The 'rings' - or rather the light which they appeared to emit - now seemed to phase in and out of existence, as did the matrix, and, though I always seemed to sense a periodicity buried in the sound it was so short that the sound could be near taken now to be single roar. Its volume was beyond description. And this phasing effect - this coming into appearance and then going out of appearance - was likewise happening so fast that it defies normal human description. As I write this, I am aware that I think that a normal human being would simply not have senses operating at levels of frequency capable of dealing with perception of events being displayed at this speed. Though I would note that at its high-point, in an overall sense, I would be inclined to say (if one can see what I'm getting at) that it was like 'being in a stroboscopic environment'.

Up until this point, my entire reaction to all these events was one of a very relaxed slightly abstracted observation of what was going on. I did not in any way seem at all perturbed by these events - this to the point that my reaction was one of near disinterest. I was merely observing phenomena. However, there came a point at which the phasing was so fast that I started to sense that I was developing an emotion of fear to what was going on. My fear seemed to be based on an awareness that if this sound kept accelerating and the energies it was emitting kept on effecting the nature of this immediate space in this way that the whole immediate space would simply shatter because it would not be able to contain the energies. I seemed to fear, not that it would explode, but that it was in danger of collapsing, or imploding. I felt my fear rise as the sound grew to speeds and levels that are utterly un-conveyable here. The whole nature of the immediate space seemed as if it was about to shake itself to pieces because the rapidity of the phasing seemed to be reaching levels that bordered on the occurrence of one state of the phase negating the possibility of the other state of the phase being able to occur at all. It was as if I had a sense that the immediate space would no longer be able to sustain its existence because of the contradictions that seemed to be part of its very fabric. My speed had reached levels, which are absolutely beyond any capacity for words to describe. The noise was at such a level that it seemed that its roar permeated everything in the immediate space, as if the noise were the very fabric of everything. Then, very, very suddenly, my fear vanished completely, I no longer cared about the collapse, I seemed just to accept it with disinterest, as if I had reached a silent-point inside myself. I just noticed this when...

The 'immediate space' was gone. I was floating in space. (When I say space, I mean space as we would regard the physical universe to be composed, in part, of vast distances of space.) I was aware that in some way my state had changed though I could not determine in what way. I found myself at complete peace and without any fears or concerns of any description at all. I felt myself to be of an enormous size. I need to qualify this. Though it was not any concern of mine, I did see that I had a body. To all intents, it seemed that this body that I had was taken by me to be the same as I would here regard my physical body. So when I say that I felt myself to be of enormous size I am here alluding to a situation which here we might regard as a psychological condition such that my ego was in some way stripped away, or was replaced by a much greater, much larger sense of self, to an extent that I have never known since. My sense of ease and of peace was of a type that I had never known prior to this state. It really did feel as if I had cast off something, which could only be described as sheer weight. I had a sense of completeness of self that I had never known before. Such peace that here it would be unbelievable. Compared to there even the most at ease among us is nothing but a twitching struggling creature feigning a sense of peace. I also became aware that I seemed to have lost my sense of time; everything had a sense of magnified immediacy that is just not possible to describe.

As I became aware of this state of complete peace and to recognize it for what it was I started to look around me. As I did this, I became aware of something. All around me, at near distances (though even the near distances were 'far') and at what I sensed as far distances there were lights. These lights I took to be stars. That is to say that here we would ordinarily refer to them as stars. Their colors were more various than I have ever seen in an ordinary night-sky. But there, these 'stars' were something else to. They were beings and they were utterly conscious. The entire universe, in which I was now lying and beginning to observe, was completely and utterly aware. All of it is conscious. I mean that - all of it, the very space itself is permeated with consciousness. There was nothing there that was not conscious. This did not seem to surprise me in any way at all. I did not regard it as curious or as bizarre in any way. Far from it, I seemed to regard this as in some way entirely natural - which is the nearest expression that I can think of that even remotely points in the correct direction - and my feeling sense was of like 'being home and now completely safe'. Every single burden that I ever knew was utterly gone. In fact in many ways it was only while here and feeling myself in this state that I realized just how burdened I was. I was now lying in space among these beings that I seemed to know so very, very well. (I need to emphasize that these were the kinds of feelings that I was experiencing as I lay there in space and started to look around me. These feelings were completely comprehensive and beyond any of even the vaguest of doubts. There were no doubts.) This was so very distinct a feeling. I definitely felt that I knew these beings and that I had known them for a long, long time though I could not specify the duration of the time - it was simply sufficient to accept it. (Here to all intents and purposes we would say that I had known these stars for periods so vast that we would call it eternity.)

As I looked around, I became aware that all these stars were in communication with each other. They were all 'talking' with each other. (At this point, as I sit here writing this, I now run into a very, very severe difficulty. The difficulty is that there are no words to in any way adequately describe what was happening here. We have no vocabulary that in any way even approaches being able to describe what I am trying to describe here. The vocabulary simply does not exist.) The communication system there is entirely different from anything that I have ever experienced before or since. Here, in our ordinary everyday lives, we use words to try to transmit something of what it is that we are thinking and feeling. A response is made in words. If the intent of the communication is to reach agreement on something then a system is set up of transmit, response, transmit, re-response and so on. This arrangement is inevitably linear. It has a linear dynamic. The communication that I have just described is fairly straightforward (at least in its manifest dynamic) between two individuals. But if that takes place simultaneously between many hundreds of individuals then it would rapidly take the form of seeming chaos - a veritable Babel.

The communication system there is one of direct transference of thought and feeling. (Again, I am running into severe problems with language here: the two are not discrete there. There they effectively become one and the same thing. There is a great difficulty in that many people, like me, might automatically regard words as necessary to 'thought'. There this is not the case. Words are not required for thought or communication.) I need to qualify this. Here we all know that we all have feelings. Some, it is said, might have more feelings or at least more access to a range of feelings than others. For my own part, I would like to try and make an analogy to music here. With respect to living people it might be said that some have, say, one instrument to play, at that quite badly, from the choice of an entire symphonic orchestra. A lucky few might have the capacity to play with a choice of two or three instruments, though quite badly at that. These are the sum total of the expressive-affective capacities available to us here - in the ordinary course of events. It should be realized, then, that any attempt made between us at communication with such a limited range of instruments, my one, your two, his or her three, is constrained in its capacity to communicate with respect to that with which it can attempt the communication. Likewise, the same constraint is brought to bear in our capacities to attempt to receive any communication. If we regard the purpose of such a communication to be the creation of a thought and understanding from affect then it might be said that the thought will in itself remain constrained by our capacity to communicate affect. I would underline that I am here talking of a translation system for in trying to do this at all we are following the line of affect, to words, to thought and back to affect. There, all of this happens simultaneously. There is no need of translation. Words are redundant with this at one's disposal.

I found that my capacity to distinguish between 'ranges, shades, or nuances of affect' to be extremely expanded. This it seems to me is necessary for the communication system. My sense was that this was not necessarily a property of 'mine'.

As I have mentioned the communication, system there is based on direct transference of thought-feeling. It should be understood that in a communication system of that type it is perfectly possible for another being to directly transfer to you without any shade of ambiguity, without any form of in-exactitude of any kind at all, exactly what the sum total of their thought-feeling is at the time that you receive it. Which is exactly what I found to be happening to me, therefore, the thought-feeling is not necessarily a 'property' of you. It is the very 'property' of another inside you. Not only did that happen but I also knew that I was doing the same to that other being. It is as if being in 'possession' of another mind and affective complex (though I would emphasize that none of these beings would ever try to possess you) and being able to, at the same time, distinguish that you are still an entity in your own right.

Thus far, for the sake of simplicity, I have written this in terms of only being in communication with one of these beings (stars). Now I need to complicate it a bit and say that of all the 'near' stars that I could see every single one of them was in this state of communication with all of the others. The thing that is really difficult to try and describe about this is that as I was party to this communication system I knew and could feel deep inside me all that was going on in terms of the thought-feeling that was permeating the very universe that I was lying in. There were literally hundreds of these stars 'talking' with each other all at the same time yet there was not one single bit of clash of thought-feeling, not one single bit of misunderstanding of thought-feeling (my sense is that that would be utterly impossible there), there was not one bit of any kind of a sense of any being transmitting anything other than what was the absolute truth of what their thought-feeling state was (my sense is that it would be impossible to lie there). I have mentioned here that I regard elements of this communication as making matters such that it would be impossible to falsify one's state. This is true because the essence of a being there is its thought-feeling complex (or, if you like, constellation) and that cannot be falsified.

Now I need to make this even more complex. As I lay there in this space, in this conscious, thinking, feeling, utterly active universe I was being permeated by the very thought-feelings of these beings so that I could quite literally feel them inside me (though I knew them to be all around me). As I looked around, I could literally see one of these stars and know it's thought-feeling inside me. Not because that thought-feeling had just arrived inside me but because it was already there. I had only to look at that star to be able to identify that the presence of this particular communication inside me belonged to that individual. The complication is that as it was inside me too (as well as in that individual) that communication was also part of mine - it became part of me. (This is not in any way at all to suggest that I experienced my own individual identity to be in any way at all at threat from any of this. That was absolutely not the case.) Now it is necessary to understand that there were literally hundreds of these 'near' stars, and 'they' were all inside me at the same time.

Now I need to complicate this even further. (It should be said that this complication only lies in trying to put this into words. As I write this it is clear in my feelings, it is the attempt to put it into words that in any way point at what I'm trying to describe that is difficult. There all of this is in practice easy beyond belief.) It is important to understand that I have mostly here written about this matter with my focus on the individual stars (beings). But as I have said, they all communicate with each other and all at the same time. And they manage to do that with absolutely no conflict whatsoever in their communications. Even though they all had individual identities - they had personalities, if you like - they were always in agreement. There were literally hundreds of communications going on and all individuals were communicating with all other individuals all at the same time. Communication between them, it was clear to me, was instantaneous and involved them all at the same instant. Whatever was happening was not something that we would be able to understand as a linear communication system. (This in itself was further complicated by the fact that I had no sense of time there. The time frame if there is one at all is utterly different from here. This to the extent that to me it makes no sense to talk of time there. Something is happening there that nullifies time in any sense of the way that we understand it, feel it, or believe it to be.)

So, as I lay there watching this, I could identify the communications of individuals and at the same time be aware of the totality of communications occurring. This totality was of a nature that is near indescribable. This because the totality of the communications produced nothing but harmony. In the totality of the communications, there was no sense at all of any deviation from what might be best described as a meta-communication. It was as if the total of all the individual communications was in itself a single communication that had formed itself from the individual communications arising. This seemed to happen so fast that the individuals that fed into the totality would themselves become aware of the effect of their communication on the totality as instantly as they had made their individual contribution. I know of only one thing that comes anywhere near this - and at that imperfectly - and that is music. To lie in, feel, think, participate, modify, be modified by, feel the essence of each individual, feel the essence of the totality of the thought-feelings of the group of individuals, feel all of them affecting all of each other, and having a response back that affects all of them - all happening instantaneously - is one of the most profound sensations I have ever experienced. It is like 'listening to music'. And here if 'music' were to be taken as a play on a range of feelings and thoughts the 'orchestra' there had a capacity to play those feelings and thoughts that was well beyond anything that I would be able to bring myself to call human. This 'music' (keep in your mind that I am talking about a communication system) was not just an 'event' that happened isolated from everything else but one that permeated everything.

I have said that I was aware of this as being the state of communication of the 'near' stars with each other and with me. I have tried to emphasize that these communications form a meta-communication, which in itself operates as a thought-feeling, which has characteristics of its own. If you like that, the meta-communication is a personality in its own right (though never separate from the group that forms it).

I would like to return to the matter previously mentioned that my sense of self was expanded to an extent that would (here) be unbelievable. Part of that expansion of self was as I have said to do with my sense that my ego had fallen away (or had been subsumed and attenuated by this enlargement of sense of self) - I was aware of that in a nascent sort of way, though I would emphasize that it was no concern of mine at all. However part of what stood in its place was a unity with this 'total mind'. In effect, I was part of this total meta-mind and my sense of self expanded accordingly. I should like to say that my sense as I write this is that in terms of there I suspect that I was a novice in this communication system. My sense is that in many ways I was in fact being (re-) introduced to it by these stars (beings). It needs to be understood that I really am talking about the mind of 'something else' entering one. And that includes the capacity to teach in a very, very direct way.

I had one sense of something that I did not understand. This was to do with the 'far' stars. It seemed to me initially that I could only feel, participate, know, the communications of the near stars. It was as if the far stars were in some way 'blocked' from my knowing. Or as if there may have been some kind of barrier that prevented me from knowing, what the far stars were communicating. However, when I became aware of this it did not interest me for long. This place has such a sense of 'perfection in rightness' about it that one does realize that things have a purpose and that the way things are is right.

So, as I have said, I lay and became aware of these stars and this universe all around me being conscious. I also became aware of the communications of these stars. I now need to try to describe more specifically, what these stars were communicating to me. It was in essence very simple - though as I have said the communication system is utterly stupendous - in the 'first part' of their communication they let me know that they knew me. In the 'second part' of their communication, they let me know that they were happy to see me, again. They were so very, very happy that I was back with them, to join them again. In the 'third part' of their communication, they let me know that they loved me very, very much. I need to point out here that I have written this as first, second and third part of the communication. This is wholly inaccurate - it is a limitation that we have in our thinking because of our use of language. This communication was one massive stream of 'music' that played in the very fabric of the space that I was in, that moved through me, and from me and back to them. For I, myself, was in such a state of joy to be with them again. (This did not strike me as in any way peculiar or strange to me.) At the same instant that that was happening, I was also aware of the meta-mind of the communication as a unified and completely non-conflicted whole.

It needs to be stated that the nature of the meta-mind that was produced is something like a radio broadcast transmitter in that the signal of such a transmitter will always be composed of energies at a given frequency range even though the content of the messages can vary widely. There the nature of the meta-mind that I was in, that was communicating with me and I with it was one of love. I could not begin to describe the sensations and ease of being that I felt to be in an environment that was literally composed of love as its base-essence or base-frequency.

I need to emphasize that these communications were 'plays' on 'thought-feelings' neither thought nor feeling being distinguishable each from the other. Words in this kind of environment, while I have no sense that they could never be used (if one wished), are nullified as a communicative device when this is at one's disposal. This is direct thought-feeling transference to the extent that one is merged with it all and with no loss of an individual identity. The precision with which a stream of thought-feelings in this place (do remember that these are coming from others but are actually manifestly happening inside you too) can indicate intention and meaning is absolutely astounding in its subtlety; we simply have nothing here that even approaches it. I cannot even speak of this directly. We do not have the language to deal with it.

This entire communicative 'sequence' was 'started' by one individual star that I looked at as I became aware of where I was and what was going on around me. I looked at this star and it 'said' communicated to the others, what translated to words would be a message similar to, 'Look, here he is now. He's back with us again. He's here now.' The thing was that as I looked at that 'initiating' individual star I knew that all the other 'near' stars already knew, that I was there, knew the message of the individual, knew their own responses, knew my feelings as this ripple of communication of thought-feeling spread out and around and back again. I do not know how long I lay drifting in that area of space that I found myself in. It could have been minutes, it could just as soon have been forever, I neither knew nor cared. The sensations of being welcomed, of being loved, of being back again, of being at ease, of being nurtured, of being caressed, their acceptance of my returning of my love for them, of having them inside me, and me inside them, of feeling their extreme intelligence and wisdom, of feeling the extent of their knowing of the fundamental nature of things. I lay among these beings being welcomed and loved by them for how long I do not know. Then I 'heard' a sound like a low rumble in the distance.

I turned towards my right side, to the side that the sound seemed to be coming from. I say that I heard this sound and did in fact do so. The capacity of hearing there is similar to that of hearing here. However, my hearing was not restricted to just this form as I also 'heard the sound inside me'. That is, like there was a vibrational analogue of a sound moving deep inside me. I looked in the direction that I thought I could hear the sound coming from and at first could see nothing.

The area into which I was looking was far off in the distance and in a dark area of space with no stars in the immediate vicinity. Then I thought that I momentarily saw a slight change at one point in that space - as if something had appeared for a second and then disappeared again. Like as if I had just vaguely identified one pin-point of movement in all that far away space. Then I saw the pin-point again, for a little longer this time, then again, and again, and again. This appearance and disappearance had a slight shimmering quality to it. This did not involve light as such (a pin-point of light) only recognition that something different from the overall background of space was present in that area. Then this thing appeared and stayed in appearance. At that point, I knew for sure that its staying in appearance was because it was getting closer. I knew that there was something there and it was apparently moving in my direction.

I don't know how long a period this occurred in. Time there does not exist in the way that we understand here. There is something done to time there that nullifies it in some way. I do not know how this works; I only know that it is that way. Events happen but their 'gauge' is not time as such. There is something like time there but it is not anything like what we understand as time. It could be viewed as in some way linked with the communication system and also with changes of state. It should be borne in mind that the communication system that I have tried to describe is very much one which intimately involves changes of state at all in the one time the individual, group, and meta-group (or unified group) levels. Again, I stress that this meta-group level with its own meta-mind is in itself a distinct personality.

As I identified that there was something moving in the distance I felt a silence come upon me. This had nothing to do with fear - I had in fact no fear at all of anything here. As this silence fell upon me, I noticed that all the stars (and 'the group') had also fallen silent. It was as if the whole space was made pregnant by this silence. As if, as if one had a feeling that something profound was about to happen, even though one had no idea of what. It was as if all the stars had withdrawn into a state of contemplation. As indeed, I had myself. The object, I could see, and hear, and feel-hear inside me was getting closer. As it got closer, all this hearing and feel-hearing got louder. This so that I could feel my interior start to vibrate to the sound.

The sound itself even at the point where the object arrived right at me never got loud in the sense that the sound I have described in the 'immediate space' got loud. It just increased in volume but never became overwhelming. In tonal terms this sound was like a low, bass rumble at all times. As I looked, the object started to get nearer, and nearer it got to a point where I could see that what was moving towards me was a slowly tumbling rock. Almost as if it was rolling in space - though its rate of rolling was very slow and in no way a gauge of its actual rate of travel. It was, roughly, spherical in shape. As it got nearer and nearer I could see that, its surface was quite rough, irregular (just like a huge rock here would be). Its path toward me I could see was occurring as part of a huge arc.

As this rock got to about mid-way to me I found that I was aware of some its apparent properties. These properties seemed to perplex me in some ways. This perplexity was not in any way confusing and in fact did not amount to any concern in me at all - it was simply present, that is all. One of the properties that I understood of this rock was that it was not positionally fixed in space. I seemed to be aware of this as a distinct property of this rock that made it in some way different from all else that was around me. I knew that this rock had a freedom of movement that marked it out as different from everything else. I was also aware that I was not aware of the consciousness of this rock in the same way that I was aware of the consciousness of the stars. (Though again I say that the stars had now fallen silent and had been silent for some time.) I was also aware that in some way the consciousness of this rock was not being made available to me. Though I must say that there was no element of deception involved in this. My sense was of something approaching that in some way was un-knowable and that ineffability had something to do with the state it was in. I had a sense that this rock and its movement was extremely volitional. Whatever this was it was not an object approaching by chance because of some random path it was on. It had volition. I was also aware that this rock was ageless - by which I mean that in our terms it was old beyond our wildest imaginings.

Now, all of this apparent noncommunication was a communication from it to me. It was only that I did not understand the elements of the communication that it appeared to me that there were no elements of a communication. However, though I could not distinguish communication elements directed by it deliberately to me it was clear to me that those aware nesses that I did have merged to form an over-arching communication (or meta-communication, if you like). And that communication was that this was fate. Whatever was happening now was something that was destined in some way. It knew why it was there, though (at that point) I did not. This was why this object was volitional. It was, if you like, keeping an appointment. And it knew, from what we would call the beginning of time that it would be here now to meet me. I did not at that point understand that I was meant to be there to meet it, that awareness on my part was in a nascent state. I tried, as I had done so with the stars (though with them it was not necessary to 'try') to reach out to the consciousness of this object, merge with it in the very definite way that I have also described, but found that I could not do so. All that I got was what I have described above.

I watched it come nearer and nearer and as it got very close realized that there was nothing that I could do to preempt its intention. It was now so close that my entire field of vision was filled with the rough surface of this rolling rock. It was now so close that I thought that I could reach out and touch it if I wished. It was now so close that I could see that it was going to roll into me. This did not concern me in any way at all. In no way at all did I seem to be afraid of it. Just at that point, I looked up and down to see nothing but this huge rock above and below me as it rolled right onto…

I was lying, suspended, drifting in nothing but light. Everywhere around me was light. There was nowhere that was not light. Light as far as I could see. Light, I knew, further than I could see. This light was very bright but in no way at all did it hurt my sight. This light had a singular property that is indescribable in the extent and scope of its sheer magnitude. The singular property of this light was one of absolute love. This love was utterly unreserved, completely unbounded, and utterly infinite in its scope.

This love was possessed of a personality of which I could feel with every fiber of my being flow into me, through me, touching every single part of me. There was no part of me that was not touched by this love. There was no part of me that was not to its completely essential core utterly permeated by this love. I know of no sensation ever given to me that in any way approaches the extent of the sensation freely extended to me by this being without reservation. This being, this light, was total love.

Within that, total love there came also the knowing of the intelligence and wisdom of this being for I was bathed and permeated by this also. The extent of the intelligence and wisdom of this being, of this light, was utterly indescribable other than to call it infinite. This intelligence and wisdom was of a magnitude that knew that there was nothing that was out with its compass. It knew there was nothing of which it was not aware, that knew there was nothing that was out with its scope.

As someone sitting here trying (and failing) to write about the un-writeable I have no option but to drop the pen and say that in the extent of its power and its magnitude without limit this being was awesome in its beauty. There are no words that can describe this being and its sheer magnificence in its magnitude. However, it has to be said, that all of this, all that it was capable of, all that it did, all that it gave, could be reduced to its essential quality, all of it was poured into this one quality without reservation: it was sheer unalloyed love absolute. And this indescribable beauty of it moved through every part of me as if I were being permeated by the very shining itself.

I have written what I have written immediately above so that what I write now can be understood (to some extent) - I need to prepare the reader for the sensations that came upon me immediately I entered this light. So what follows now is, initially, a backtracking to the point where I found myself in the light.

I was lying, suspended, drifting in nothing but light. I could see that my bodily position was one of lying as if at an angle of around thirty-degrees with my arms, like my legs, lying outspread from my body. I was, if you like, lying in a 'prone' position. Seeing myself this way lying in that light lasted only what could have been a fraction of a second. Suddenly, almost instantaneously, on this light exploding, coming into being around me, my sense of expansion of self-rocketed to unbelievable proportions, it was as if I had just suddenly exploded outwards in all directions; I could not identify where my 'self' was. (This happened very, very quickly on this light coming into being.) It was in this state that I first became aware of wave upon wave upon wave of love moving into and through me from every spatial direction imaginable. I became aware of love coming into being inside me and radiating from me in wave upon wave upon wave without remission, and directed at, I knew not what. Then I became aware of the presence of a being of a power, magnitude and intelligence that was utterly indescribable and that was this light that I now knew to be here. (What I am trying to indicate here is that on first finding myself 'inside the light' is that I 'exploded' in size to unbelievable magnitude and that, in terms of having an identifiable 'form' I just completely disappeared. Literally, I became one with what that light was, strange though it may sound it was as if I in some way became the light, I was completely merged with it. That lasted I do not how long, it could have been twenty seconds, it just as easily have been for eternity. Once that 'having no form of my own' ended it was like I re-formed into an identifiable form 'out of the light', as though I was extruded from it, though I was still in the light and still experienced myself to be, psychologically, massive in size, but I had 'regained' an identifiable form. Sorry, I'm finding this extremely difficult to put in words. It was like, briefly, becoming the light itself, and losing form because of that, then, once that part was over, reforming again but still being left in the light.)

Then it came upon me that I knew I was inside this being and it inside me. We were merged so that there was no separation - and yet I also knew that I existed, as did it, as a discrete entity. (This I know sounds like an impossible paradox to us here. But there, this is easy. There this is perfectly natural. I had, after all, already experienced this to some extent with 'the stars'.) As I became aware of this being that was moving in me and around me and I in it; as I became aware of its properties and of its indescribable magnitude I felt arise in me a sense of reverential awe. I also felt rise in me a sense of my own indescribable thankfulness to be united with it again. I have to say that this was a strong sensation in this experience - it really was as if some part of me knew about this place already. As if some part of me did have a sensation of knowing of these things and beings from before. (Though I did not know how I could be coming to think-feel these things, nor did I question this in any way - that was a matter of no interest to me at all.)

I transmitted (communicated) my thought-feeling sense of reverence and thankfulness to this being. It was not necessary for me to do this as it already knew. It did however thank me for this with more love, which I knew it would not have withheld anyway. I surrendered myself to this being, I wanted to be open to this being, I wanted to be so close to this being forever. We united in mutual love. I could not begin to describe the comprehensiveness of this union. There is no union like this in ordinary existence between people on Earth. This is love expressed with no barrier of any form between the direct experience of the love of the other which is now not other. The sensations generated by union in this condition are beyond belief in their scope and in their subtlety. Again, it is only explainable by metaphor. I remind the reader of the 'one, two or three instruments' analogy. Here was an entire philharmonic orchestra composed of millions upon millions upon millions of instruments.

I have mentioned before that communication here is by direct transference of thought-feeling to the extent that thought and feeling are not separate facets of a communication. I have also mentioned that this is an incredibly subtle form of communication system. Likewise I have mentioned that the whole is conducted in a fashion which can (with the limited means available to me for description) be compared to the unfolding of a musical score which is literally being played as it is constructed and that there is never a mis-note or dis-chord played as it is constructed. I have also said that (to use the musical analogy) the range of 'instruments' available and the tonal affects possible because of that are beyond comparison with anything known to us here. I have also said that out of the communications of individuals, a single meta-communication arises out of the multiplicity of the individual communications and all are placed in a situation of communicating with the meta-communication too. It should be borne in mind that all of this happens as a synchronicity. This is not of the nature of a (wordy) linear discourse, as we know it. That meta-communication seemed always to be played out (or land at, if you like) a single unifying theme; that unifying theme was always love. This was not a dominating constraint - to all it was always most welcome, most held in high regard - this is, if you like, the culminating point of all communication in this place - love. This, if you like, is the living essence of the harmony among the 'stars' (those beings, lights, whatever they were): this communication system that always culminates (though it is an ongoing process and hence does not end) in never-ending love.

It is impossible to describe the subtlety of this type of communication system. However, for what I am trying to describe here it is very important to realize that this system is so dynamic and so subtle that a single communication for a single individual can contain thousands of strands all playing on each other instantaneously and always culminating in love. Thus it should be realized that from a single communication many things can be transmitted within (if one likes) that unifying theme.

As I first became aware of myself within this being of light (after I had 're-formed') and its communication to me of absolute love (and of all that I have written of above) it was made clear to me as part of that 'initiating' communication to me that 'we' were now to take part in a 'judgment'. This was made completely clear to me. This did not worry me in any way whatsoever. (When I say 'judgment' I would very much underline that there was no prospect of any kind of condemnation involved in this.) I felt so at ease, so nurtured, so wrapped and rapt in the care and concern of this being for me that I knew it would never ever do anything to harm me. I knew that this being was not human. This being I knew was so unspeakably far above the human that it is impossible to qualify or quantify it in human terms. I knew this being to be utterly powerful yet that I was to be 'judged' in no way concerned me at all. In fact, I welcomed it. I welcomed this because I knew that this being was total love. This being despite its magnitude and its power I knew without question was completely benign. There was nothing that this being would ever do to me to harm me - ever. This being was in fact - of its own essence born of the extent of its intelligence and of the sheer depth of its wisdom - incapable of condemnation. To be 'judged' by this being is to be exposed to its total love for you.

As this being, this light, conjoined me in and with its love, and I returned mine to it, so that both merged together so that neither existed except the two in the one I knew (it did let me know) that it was 'looking' for something. It was feeling its way through and around me (though I stress it was also it in me, or me in it) searching for that upon which 'judgment' could be made. This needs some qualification.

It has to be realized that this 'judgment' is not a matter of the sole-discretion of this being. This 'judgment' is still conducted within the parameters that I have attempted to describe above of the communication system there. This 'judgment' is one in which that individual who is being 'judged' is utterly and intimately involved in their own 'judgment'.

I have since having had this experience read of some other accounts of this part of the death process and have read that some people actually see images or aspects of their lives played out for them, as if a 'review' was being made. This did not happen to me. Yet I did know that I was being 'judged', or rather that I was participating in a 'judgment'. I knew that this light, this beautiful being was 'sifting through me'. Looking for something, gauging something, vibrations, frequencies, taking them into its love, knowing the whole. This did not feel intrusive, I was happy for this being to 'look at me' in this way, I welcomed it, and loved it for this thing. And I knew that it was on this thing that 'judgment' was based. This is 'judgment' based on the essence of you within an intimacy that would simply be impossible on any understanding we have in ordinary life. This 'judgment' has as its basis the answer to a single question that would translate to something quite precise - 'What is, was, the essence of your love?' If you like, in a summative sense of the whole, what vibration, or frequency, did your love resonate at? Wave after wave after wave of love washed through me from this being - and I returned this to it. Then there was what I can only describe as something like a pause, it was clear that the 'judgment' was over.

I knew that I was still in the being and it in me. I knew that I was still bathed in the light. But now everything had gone silent. I was no longer subject to wave upon wave upon wave of love flowing all around and through me. Everything had gone silent. I lay in the light in a state of absolute peace and calm. In a silence of feeling the like of which I have never known before or since and which could only be described as pure peace in rest and acceptance. And then…

I was looking upward at a dark sky - at the dome of the heavens. As I became aware that this was what I was doing, I became aware that my head was turning to look to my left. As it did so, I became aware of a sphere of rock immediately to my left side, no more than an arm's-length away. The rock was in the process of moving away from me, slowly tumbling away into space. I started to watch it go.

It was still in communication with me, though the form or intensity of the communication was much attenuated - in some ways its communicative state (or my own depending on your point of view) was similar to that of its approach. In any case, the communication system was starting to break-up.

As it gained some fair distance from me, it made a communication which in words would translate to something like: 'I will see you (or meet you) again later.' Again, I need to state that this attempt to verbal translation is a failing one. The communication contained many strands, some that dealt with love, some that dealt with an indicated time frame (as a setting of context of the communication). It was clear to me that it was leaving me, going off on a volitional path that would take it over what we would call immense distances. It was made clear within the communication that this 'later' that it referred to was (in our terms) an immense distance of time away. We as human beings simply do not think in terms of these types of time frame at all. We just do not do it. It was 'speaking' of a vast distance of time away. And, I knew, that this 'time' that it was using as reference meant absolutely nothing to it. Not a thing. So much of nothing that it was meaningless. 'Meaningless' in the sense that it (time) is a frame of reference that has no real meaning to, or for, it. It meant nothing to it at all.

I looked at it as it communicated this to me. I thought-felt my way in the communication. I thought that I wanted to follow it, and indeed made a slight movement to do so as I thought-felt that it was abandoning me. Then I realized that it knew absolutely what it was doing and knew that it was not abandoning me. I knew that it would as it had 'said' meet me again later - whenever that 'later' was to be. I knew that this was okay. That this was fine. That everything would be all right and that all of this was right.

As I realized this, I saw its arc start to take it towards the side of a small planet that was in its now immediate vicinity. I thought that this was curious, as I had not previously noticed this planet there at all. Yet I knew that I had looked in that direction when I had first arrived here. I did not trouble myself to puzzle over the (now) presence of this planet. I watched the rock arc its way behind the planet and realized that it was now gone from me so I turned my sight away. I looked upward a bit and turned my head in an arc looking at the entire dome of the dark sky above me. I realized that all the 'near' stars had somehow, now, disappeared. I also realized that the space I was now in was not permeated with consciousness - as it was when I first arrived here - everything was silent. All that I could see were 'far' stars away off in the great distance. I could thought-feel no communication from them. I was turning my head and as I did so, I was aware that I was trying to make a decision on where I would go now. I stopped turning my head at a point in the heavens that was a little to my right and above me. There I could see some far stars. I could see an area of darkness between these far stars and seemed to think that I would head off in that direction. It did not seem to me that I had made a firm decision on going to any particular place - only that I felt that to go to that region would be the next thing that I would do (here). I raised my left arm as if in a movement to fly off into that region. Even though in our terms this would have involved covering an immense distance I had no kind of a notion that this travelling to there would take any kind of significant time at all. I felt myself start to move in the direction in which I intended to fly and…

I was aware of a female voice calling my name. I seemed to think this was my grandmother (with whom I use to stay at that time) calling me. I seemed to think that I was being called to get up and go to work in the morning. I remember mumbling something like (though I do not know if I was heard), 'I'm not going to work this morning. I don't feel too good.' As I said this, I opened my eyes and at first was dazed as to where I was. Then it dawned on me that I was inside an ambulance. Then suddenly my pain, though now fairly reduced, flooded back to me and I started to become re-aware that I had been in an accident.

I was taken to Bridge of Earn Hospital, treated and though still in a state of now mild medical shock put to bed. I spent the next day and a half in a state bordering on near stupor at times and felt quite unwell, refusing to eat much.

Midway through the second day one of the nurses asked me why I wasn't eating and I said that I didn't feel like it because I was feeling fairly constantly nauseous and had prolonged gnawing headaches. I complained of a strange smell that seemed to be around but that I couldn't identify. The nurse opened my bed-locker and as he did so, the smell of petrol fumes poured out. My clothes had been put in a polythene bag but the bag had not been sealed properly. I had been lying near a steady trickle of petrol fumes. He took the clothes away to be incinerated.

Later that day I started to recover though in the intervening period I had decided not to speak of my experience in case anyone thought that I was mad as I had no formal context into which I could fit the experience, though I knew that what had happened was completely real.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: 2nd August 1974

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) I had crashed on a motorbike and died because of medical shock.

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 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

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? On leaving the 'immediate space' all the way through to, eventually, coming out of the light.

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 Think this is dealt with in main narrative. In short, time really lost all meaning.

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. Vision was about the same as normal however the colors of the 'stars' were more subtle than normal vision. There were colors that we don't have here; I don't know how to explain this.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I could hear as I would normally hear. However, in my experience, hearing there is different, magnified, because I wasn't just hearing what would be audible sound, I could also feel the sounds inside me. (This, I think, is connected to the communication system there.) I would note that when in communication with the 'stars' and with the light this communication did not have a component that involved 'hearing'. Hearing isn't necessary in that circumstance as the thought-feeling communication is all that is required, in that respect thought-feeling communication far surpasses anything that hearing the spoken word can do.

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 did pass through a tunnel. However, at the time that this was happening I did not identify it as a 'tunnel'. I regarded it as 'an immediate space beyond which I could not see'. This is dealt with in the main narrative. (I can see how someone with a slightly different psychology to my own might easily regard that as being a tunnel. It's a tunnel, of course, it's a tunnel.)

Did you see any beings in your experience? No

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain The nature of the question is throwing me. I saw/met 'lights' that were clearly beings. Whether they had previously been 'alive' elsewhere was unknown to me. What was clearly known to me was that they were alive and conscious beyond anything that we could imagine on Earth.

The experience included: Void

The experience included: Darkness

The experience included: Unearthly 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 I'm not certain to what part of the experience this question is addressed. I did not see a light 'at the end of the tunnel'. I did, however, later on in the experience see and merge with a 'light'. Dealt with in main narrative.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I would say that when I left the 'immediate space' and came into 'space', as if speaking of the physical universe, I would regard that in a sense as an 'unearthly world'. Reason why is because it was all permeated with consciousness - clearly not at all like our normal experience of space.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Think this is dealt with in main narrative.

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 the universe This was strongly so when merged with the being of light. Dealt with in main narrative.

Did scenes from your past come back to you? No

Did scenes from the future come to you? No However, on leaving me the rock (which was the light in a different form) did let me know that it would see me again in the future. It did not specify where and when that future might be I could not tell as the time frame was set in the 'frame' that exists in that conscious space that I was in - it close to impossible to get a fix on 'time' in that space.

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? Unaffiliated- Agnostic I have selected 'agnostic' however it would be fair to say that at the time I was distinctly anti-Christian as a way of religious belief. Really in teenage rebellion mode. I wasn't well educated at the time so really wasn't aware that there might be other alternatives. Specifically I didn't have any awareness that religion and spirituality could be regarded as two separate domains. To want to be spiritual seemed to equate to having to be involved in a formal religion. So for whatever spiritual impulses I did have, precious few, I had no outlet that I knew of.

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I think I've dealt with this a fair bit above. However, I did become much more spiritually orientated after the experience. I would underline that I became spiritual not 'religious'.

What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me

What is your religion now? Other faiths- New age I chose 'Other faiths - New Age' because it best describes my attitude to spirituality (not, strictly speaking, to 'religion', I see the two as different). I do take spirituality seriously though I am not affiliated to any formal religion - I feel quite uncomfortable in formal religious settings of any faith. Generally I'd say I have a fairly open and eclectic attitude to spirituality. Over the years following the experience I mostly identified with Taoism and Zen Buddhism at least to the extent that they seemed to be suggesting that we are all living a huge 'mind'. I could not fully identify with Buddhism because it denies the existence of a 'God', or at least of a 'Creator God', depending on who you are listening to. Eventually, within the last few years, I've distanced myself from Buddhism as well. Currently I have a spiritual practice in the form of meditation which I've done for many years. That will have to do me (I'm getting on now), I don't fit into formal religious settings at all well.

With respect specifically to religion and NDE's I do currently feel significant disappointment with the way in which some members of the Christian faith make attempts to assess NDE's as supporting the dogmatic view that 'only through Jesus' will anyone be 'saved', 'go to heaven' or 'have an afterlife worth having'. To me that is a scare tactic to attempt to force people to accept Christianity as the ONLY way. I find that kind of thing going on in the NDE arena to cause a great deal of sadness in me. It's a damaging proclamation and far removed from my experience. I can see why someone that has an NDE with Christian motifs and/or characters might see things in that way, and would actually defend their right to make that point of view as an individual. But when it comes to churches promoting that, then I part company with them, it is an abuse of NDE's - a different thing altogether. I would also say the same for any religion trying to commander NDE accounts as proof of their own religious dogmas.

Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience Though not a church goer I had been brought up within a Christian culture. Nothing that I was ever taught in that culture in any way prepared me for the richness of this experience. Nor, did any teaching even come anywhere near to matching what I experienced in the experience.

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes A specific after effect of the NDE was that though I knew that 'God' existed I could not bring myself to call it 'God'. To explain: that being of light that I was with I think many people would have no difficulty in saying that was God. I regard it as such. However, the difficulty I have with that is that the word God in no way comes anywhere near doing what it is any justice. It was way beyond any imaginings that I used to have in trying to conceive of what God meant, or what God might be. It is truly awesome. So I ended up in a position of knowing (very different from believing) that God exists but unable to call it, or refer to it as 'God' and feel comfortable with that. When I think of it now I think of it as being 'It' - much closer to what I experienced. I hope that makes sense.

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 Instances of this are dealt with in the main narrative.

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? Yes Dealt with in the main narrative and in questions above. The beings that I met there I knew from before, and they me.

During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Dealt with in the main narrative. There it can clearly be seen that part of what I'm trying to describe very much deals with 'universal connection'. The meta-mind there is beautiful and is greater than the sum of its 'parts'.

Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists

During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes Think this dealt with in the main narrative. That being of light that I was with I would regard as 'God' though I wouldn't refer to it as that because the term 'God' is wholly inadequate in trying to describe what it is. I prefer to just refer to it as 'It' - this gets away from the God word and the limitations and the abuses it has been put over the years by us humans.

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 possibly 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? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists

Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Uncertain (a) On leaving the 'immediate space' and finding myself in the conscious space I knew that I had been here before, so much so that I regarded this a 'home'. This was a crystal clear perception on my part.

(b) The communications of the 'stars'.

Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown

Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death

Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life

Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life

Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant

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? Yes Dealt with in main narrative. However, love, at the very essence of existence, is what everything is about. It all comes to love.

Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others

What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life After the experience, once I was back in normal life again, I did start to read books on spiritual matters a lot. I didn't do this in any way like it was a conscious decision on my part to pursue something. As best as I can describe it I did so on auto-pilot, I just found myself gravitating in that direction, which was something of a surprise to me. However, most of what I read soon following the experience was of Eastern origin, and I found to my surprise that did resonate well with me. I found a way of dealing with my spirituality via that route. This change was quite a strong change in my life and one that lasted.

I think I got a little bit smarter following from the experience. I would, for example, read books with complex concepts and get more out of them than I would previously. (Particularly so with spiritual books.) Eventually, many years later, I went to college and found that I could deal with things that I couldn't deal with at all at school. These changes were fairly large changes in my life.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No This is a difficult one for me. I am and always have been the loner, reclusive, type of person. Beyond work and/or study environments, I don't have much contact with other people. I never feel lonely so never really experience any need to be involved with people. Whenever, I have tried to be involved with people I really don't feel comfortable. They mostly strike me as being overly involved in what they have, what they think they are going to get, and where they think they are going to get to - I find that I don't really resonate with that way of living.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Think this is dealt with in the main narrative.

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 I don't really have any recall of other life events that occurred around the time of the experience. I do though have rich recall of the experience.

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? I think it all meaningful and significant.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I first spoke of this experience in the year 2000, about twenty-six years after the experience. That was to a group of three students, during a mid-seminar break, while I was at university studying for a degree. I only spoke of parts of the experience, I did not think I was in the kind of environment that would make it okay to speak of all the experience.

I don't really think I was party to their reactions. They didn't look like they discounted it out of court, but I don't think they totally believed me when I said it was definitely real, not a dream or an hallucination. I have no idea if they were influenced by it in any way. What did come as quite a surprise to me, though, during this was the extent to which my recall of the experience was crystal clear. This also involved my feeling elements of the experience as I was relating it (to the extent that I could while here on Earth). This was to the extent that as I ended my relating of the experience I would have to say that I was transfigured by the emotions I was feeling - very, very pleasant. That really surprised me. During 2004/2005, I did a write up of the experience. I gave a copy to the head of a Salvation Army homeless hostel I was staying in at the time (I really didn't feel comfortable with trying to verbally relate the experience to him). A couple of years after that I sent a copy to a professor in a university in Wales, the university had published on the web an interest in NDE's. I got no word back from that, not even an acknowledgement.

The account that I have sent here to NDERF is a slightly reworked version of my original write up. I thought I might be able to make it clearer for NDERF what was happening during the experience. However, I keep running into extreme difficulties with language and trying to relate the experience. Hence, there has to come a point when as a writer, you stop trying and say, that's it - I just can't improve on the attempt to explain, language is inadequate. I really don't want the experience to be lost and NDERF will at least publish on the web so it may help someone sometime by that means.

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 definitely saw the experience as real. The reality of being there was more real than ordinary everyday reality. I don't know how to say this without sounding hyperbolic, but the whole experience really was super-real or hyper-real. Capacity to experience nuances of emotional states expanded; capacity to communicate expanded even beyond anything that I would regard 'telepathy' to be; general awareness expanded; and the experience of that light was unspeakably far beyond anything that I could even remotely dream up. I did not have a single doubt over the reality of the experience. At the time I did not want to speak to anyone about it because I didn't have a context to put it into (that came later) and knew that if I tried to explain, then I might be considered as quite out my senses, fobbed off as dreaming or hallucinating.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Absolutely, definitely, real. I have never had a single doubt on this at any time.

However, as mentioned above, at the time of having the experience I had no context into which to put it. That context came around a year later (1975) when I went into a bookshop to browse around for a book to buy. As it so happened, there was a special little display set up for a book that was proclaimed as a new international best-seller. The book was Raymond Moody's 'Life After Life'. 'Oh,' I thought, 'wonder what that is about.'

I picked up a copy and started to dip into it. I couldn't begin to explain the range of emotions I was feeling as I read this bit, then that bit, then this bit. It quickly became very, very clear that what I was reading was accounts of an experience by people who had been through the same kind of experience that I had been through. It had to be that because they couldn't be saying what they were saying if they hadn't had that experience. I was standing there with my jaw dropped in a state of sheer human joy and nearly crying in the shop because of it. I thought I was the only one! But here were accounts by others. The book did not provide proof of the reality of my experience for me, I didn't need that, I never had any doubts of the reality of the experience. What the book did was vindicate my already existing knowing that the experience was real - others had had the same experience too - and it instantly put it into a context that I could see was absolutely right.

I bought the book and spent the rest of that day and night reading it in a state of overwhelming gratitude and joy, often with tears rolling down my face, for what it contained. It also greatly helped me in slotting parts of my experience into a structure that allowed clearer understand of the experience.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes During, I think, 1979 (five years after the experience) I decided that I would like to learn to meditate. I had no motive for this beyond just wanting to learn meditation as a means of relaxation. I went to a local Transcendental Meditation (TM) center. There were a couple of evenings of lectures explaining what meditation entailed, how it worked, likely benefits, and so on. I was then given a day-time appointment for my formal induction to TM. These inductions were on an individual basis.

I went to my appointment, which was in small room, with a small altar and two chairs for sitting in. The woman that was inducting me told me to take a seat in a straight-back chair. She then took from me a small flower offering that I had been instructed to bring along to the induction. She took the flowers and did a small ceremony, using (I think) Sanskrit, of offering my flowers to the guru, a photograph of him being on the altar. She then gave me a personal mantra, which I was to use as the focus of the meditation; the meditation was to be twenty minutes long. She instructed me to close my eyes and meditate with the mantra; she would call time at the end. I started to meditate.

I was meditating and couldn't really say that I felt it to be having any effect other than I was getting a bit relaxed. Then it came close to the end of the meditation. (Though I didn't know that, obviously, as I was just meditating away and really not being conscious much of time.) Then a curious thing happened. (I am now going to run into problems with language because it will fail to adequately describe what I can only point at. At all times, I had my eyes closed.)

Suddenly the size, or scope, of my 'visual field' seemed to expand, or open outwards if you like. I had a very distinct seeing of (I would have to call it a 'vision') a vast area of dark space in front of me. (This was very different from normal 'seeing of images' while thinking or trying to visualize something.) It seemed that my consciousness in some way expanded into that space. Then suddenly, rightward and a bit upward in that space I saw a movement in the otherwise blank area of space. There was coming toward me, on an arching path, a tumbling rock. I clearly saw this rock and its movement toward me. It was getting closer and closer to me. Then suddenly it was as if it sped up in its movement toward me. Then suddenly it shot toward me, as fast as an arrow. Then suddenly the rock either touched or sent out a bolt of energy to my third-eye area. It could have been that it touched my third-eye and then released a huge surge of energy. This happened very swiftly but did not have an effect of startling me. As soon as that touched my third-eye, my sense of self expanded instantaneously. I felt myself to be bigger than outside of this building I was sitting in meditating. What seemed like a few moments after this happening the woman who was doing the inducting called time on the meditation.

I opened my eyes. She asked, 'How did that feel?'

I can't remember the exact words I used but the conversion was in this way:

I said, 'Look I don't know how to explain this to you but I feel absolutely huge. I'm so large I'm not contained in this room. I'm so large I'm not contained by this building. I'm outside this building too.'

'Oh, that,' she said. 'That usually doesn't happen till years later.'

'I can assure you it's happening right now.'

I have to admit that I was a bit perplexed at how she could be taking my announcement so much in her stride, so to speak. But in any case, I really was astonished to find that I was in this state, my sense of self very enlarged, very calm, very peaceful, very at ease. And that was that. She asked me to leave the room. I left the room and the building and was in that state for roughly twenty minutes (it was difficult to judge time in that state). Then the state just left me, I don't know how, it just evaporated and I was back to normal consciousness though in a very reflective mood.

It's interesting, since then I've tried to equate this with the closing communication from the rock (the light) during my NDE, 'I will see you (or meet you) again later.' After having read Raymond Moody's book I had taken that communication to be referring to reincarnation, basically that I would meet the light at some point between lives. Yet here it was in this experience now. Now I'm not certain how to take that closing communication, was that what it meant, or did it mean this (what had just happened), or might it mean both. I can't resolve it for myself. I do though know that time will tell.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? No.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? 1. On the questionnaire webpage provide a link to a downloadable document that replicates the questionnaire. That way a respondent can print it out and work on it offline. If this were done make the downloadable questionnaire with a minimum of fancy formatting, colors and emboldened text - makes the questionnaire affordable to printout.

2. Another possible enhancement would be to make the questionnaire webpage 'save-able'. It takes a long time to complete the questionnaire. So could arrange things so that a respondent could partially complete it, 'save' it for later, retrieve it later and complete the rest - if you see what I mean. To avoid amassing many partially completed questionnaires, set a time limit on the saved file. If not fully completed within, say, a month then the questionnaire auto-deletes.