Christmas Day, 2000, dawned with the usual blue sky and cool temperature
that has made winter the favorite season of most
, I started loading the 14-foot truck
that I had rented on Christmas Eve. While my wife continued to pack boxes
inside, I carted them and anything else I could lift outside. Everything was
moving along nicely until
when I suddenly became tired and told
my wife that I needed to rest for a few minutes. I can’t emphasize enough how
quickly this tiredness came over me. It was only about five minutes between
feeling normal and having a great need to lie down.
remember lying down on the bed fully dressed. My boots were still on and so,
with every intention of going back to work within a few minutes, I put something
under them to protect the bed and I placed my gloves and hat beside me.
closed my eyes and almost immediately found myself in a state that was neither a
dream nor a hallucination. I
found myself enveloped within the lining of a slowly revolving vertical
pipe-like affair. One might even call it a tunnel except that it was revolving.
By looking across the “pipe,” I could that the diameter was only about eight
feet. The lining or wall was just thick enough for my body and was made of a
light-brown, smoke-like substance that seemed to swirl but extremely slowly. The
inside of the tunnel was smooth but the outside seemed fuzzy. In fact, the
outside seemed to transition from the light brown smoke to a progressively dark
gray, which gradually gave way to solid black.
interior of the tunnel was vacant of anything whatsoever. I
soon realized that I was capable of moving only my eyes. Neither my head nor
fingers would budge. I remember desperately trying to move even a toe to no
avail. It was as if I was enclosed in a transparent plastic but I knew this was
not so because I could see the slow moving swirls of
“smoke” in the lining of the opposite side of the tunnel.
by looking beyond the other side, I could see that the “pipe” was surrounded
by blackness. Nevertheless, as I continued to revolve around and around, I had
the distinct knowledge that something scary and unchangeable would happen if I
should somehow manage to turn around.
was not scared but rather, I was preoccupied with trying to move different parts
of my body. I was also wondering why there was no one else in either the lining
or the tunnel and why I was neither going up nor down. There were absolutely no
sounds and no smells whatsoever.
came out of this with my wife calling me and saying that I had been resting long
enough and that there were many things to take out to the truck. I agreed and
said I would be right there. I put my head back down to consider what I had just
experienced and before I could even question whether it had been a dream or
whatever, I was right back in the same place. Nothing had changed.
scenario repeated itself at least five more times until finally the sun
and my wife decided it was a lost day
and decided to ask some friends to come and help in the morning. I kept trying
to tell her what was happening but I was becoming weaker. Finally around
, I arose to visit the toilet and
shamefully went to apologize. I tried to explain but I could hardly find the
words because I was still trying to understand it myself. Months passed before
my wife realized how this Christmas Day experience had impacted me.
The next morning I woke up with the flu and had only the strength to help
supervise where the stuff should go in the moving truck. I did end up driving
the truck and unloading it but not until another day had passed. The flu was the
worst I had ever experienced and lasted for weeks.
night a month or two later, I awoke and could not return to sleep. My wife was
out of town and so I decided to listen to the radio. It was Art Bell
interviewing Sarah about her near-death experience. What made me take notice was
her description of the colors of the smoke in the hellish regions. I caught the
web address for “nderf.org” and looked it up the next day.
reading everything on the site, I discerned that I must have had an obe. After
devouring the NDERF site, I went on to the IANDS web pages and only recently got
through everything there. Meanwhile I have read half dozen books on the
near-death experience as well as “Destiny of Souls” by Michael Newton and
“The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche. I find myself
drawn to Buddhism now because it seems that these teachings are the only map we
have of a terrain we all must eventually traverse. I still, however, read
everything I find on the near-death experience.