Experience Description

I'm in bed in an isolation room. There are no other persons present. I was lying on my back awake.

Suddenly, I am looking down at myself from the ceiling. My position is reversed so that my head is opposite to my feet on the bed. I see myself very clearly.

I have normal vision. Then, I am presented with making a decision, although I heard no voice. I just had 'knowledge' that I have a choice. The choice is stay or go.

There is absolutely no value to either choice, which surprises me. Then I feel a sense of absolute calm. I choose 'stay'.

Immediately I am back in my body.

I am startled by the experience and fearful of telling anyone about it, as I know I might be considered odd and that might have a negative effect on my status.

I did not tell anyone about my experience, other than my wife at that time, for ten years.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: Summer 1957

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness Patients on clinical ward dying from Klebsiella Other 'Klebsiella septicemia, gram negative shock - life threating' Klebsiella septicemia with gram negative shock.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Mixed

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I clearly left my body and existed outside it

How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness When I was out of my body.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was out of my body.

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

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No

Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No

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? No

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

What emotions did you feel during the experience? The striking aspect was the absence of emotion!

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

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control

Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future When I saw my wife later that day her face was changed. I saw an ugliness that I had not seen before. That did not persist but we divorced two and a half years later.

Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes The Social Gospel now appears to be shallow. It is important but the mystical side of belief is very attractive. Thus, our choice of Orthodoxy, Icons, etc.

What is your religion now? Conservative/fundamentalist Orthodox Church of America

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes The Social Gospel now appears to be shallow. It is important but the mystical side of belief is very attractive. Thus, our choice of Orthodoxy, Icons, etc.

Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin

Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them

Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:

During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain This may have had an effect on my first marriage.

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? No

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I have gradually become aware of psychokinesis which is definitive now, especially with delicate machinery. Looking back I probably did have, or have, 'changes' that may be considered psychic. It is very hard to tell.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The lack of value or emotion and the sight I had of my wife's face afterwards. Now I am able to at least realize that I saw a part of her that later became very evident. Also, within several months I became very religious and converted to the Episcopal church. Prayer became significant.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Ten years. I only shared it with persons I felt were potentially open to such an event. I did not ever disclose it during my training and three periods of analysis to any of the three analysts.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I did not want to deal with it. Finally, I had to admit to the reality of my own experience. That was hard to do. Usual reasons - scientific proof, delusional, etc.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real At this age, seventy-eight, with ongoing varied illness such a chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (stage 0) and the death of my closest friend several years ago I am aware of the approach of death. My own NDE cannot be denied by myself. This then opens many doors although St. Thomas is my favored Saint as I continue to doubt.

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

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Looking back it is possible that it had an effect that essentially drastically altered my course in life culminating in now being married for thirty and a half years to a lady with whom we share a profound love that is deeply spiritual as well as sensual. Our marriage is not 'explained' by 'rational' or usual factors. The best we are able to construct has to do with prior lives.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Probably good to ask about mental illness. I have Dysthymia. My mother had the same and several of my children have this disease.