Alan Z's Experience

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Experience description:   

Before describing this NDE, perhaps it is best to describe a prior experience that occurred when I was 17 years old.  I was just out of high school, living with a group of young men my age in Palo Alto as part of a quasi-religious New Age consciousness raising group.  We had just spent the summer as farm workers to have a "boot camp" experience of sorts given that we'd all come from affluent backgrounds.  I wasn't Christian, but we'd been talking in recent days about Jesus and his teachings.  It was a sort of encounter group and was very stressful given that my identity and persona were being scrutinized. 

One night I dreamt I was in a dark, primitive room made of mud walls.  Around the perimeter of the room were shadowy people, including myself.  Suddenly, I was in the center of the room looking back toward where I'd been standing along the wall.  In my place was now a glowing woman in colorful flowing robes.  Then, I saw a bright white light in the shape of a cross shining on floor in front of me from a skylight above.  I looked up into this impossibly bright white light and the dream cracked open with a highly dramatic surge of power going up my spine.  Suddenly, my vision changed and I saw the face of Jesus and a voice say "I am Jesus".  Then, my face was transposed onto Jesus' face and I saw my own cracking into pieces.  The vision left and I was left weeping in my bed, very frightened by the power of the experience.  Soon after, I left the group and went back to school, not knowing how to integrate this experience.

Five years later, one night during finals week in college, my mind was focused on studying environmental issues and preparing for a summer research trip to India the following week.  I dreamt I was in my room and everything began to turn white and take on a buzzing energy.  It built up quickly and then suddenly I was violently thrust through what felt like grayish veils toward a super bright white light.  Immediately, I found myself in a clear, colorless void, perfectly calm.  I said to myself "I'm dead.  What ever that was just killed me."  After a pause, I said "I can know all there is to know right now.....but I'm not ready." 

Right then, I heard a faint groaning/whimpering sound that got louder as I felt myself getting pulled rapidly from behind downwards.  All of a sudden I was in my bed gasping for air.  My hand was behind my neck for cervical support, and I became concerned that my loud gasping had woken up my other housemates.  Then, very quickly, I found myself in another, darker void.  In front of me was a floating sphere of bright, liquid-like colored swirls that represented my life.  An extremely rapid life review took place and a very calm voice said "All the issues of your life shall be resolved." 

I heard music, excerpts from a song I'd heard a few week earlier at a school drama production of "Hair".  The music I heard was a chorus singing "Let the sun shine in".  Then, I was in my bed feeling a profound peace, looking up into my dimly lit room with warm tears of gratitude rolling down my face.  I knew I'd been given a gift.  I knew in that moment that all of life is a classroom and we are here to learn to love. And, that this reality is like a dream, and that we are all interconnected.   A few days later I recall looking out the airplane window on my way to India and realizing that I had no fear of death.

The experience, combined with my earlier experience of white light and Jesus, has had a profound impact on my life.  After college I worked briefly but then went to a Quaker retreat center for a few months to try to integrate my experiences.  This led to my getting my masters in transpersonal psychology and being introduced to the concept of Kundalini, the Sanskrit term for the life force or energy that is believed to lie at the base of the spine and, under certain circumstances, rise upward activating the energy centers of chakras of the subtle body.  While most Kundalini experiences arise from religious discipline or yoga, my experiences also are consistent with a spontaneous, if partial, Kundalini "awakening".  After a relatively quiet fifteen years, I had a series of very powerful spontaneous Kundalini experiences (each arising out of dream states) beginning last summer, each with their own correlation to NDE phenomenology.  From my own experience, I would posit that NDEs and the Kundalini experience/process are highly related phenomena, both with the potential to inform/transform one's life.

Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience?     No

Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Yes

Particularly at the time, it was so profound and personal, and unusual, that I simply kept it to myself.

At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event?          No

What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience?           My started from within a dream, but became distinctly "real".  Indeed, being in that realm was more "real" than anything here in this reality.  I felt very alert and calm while in the clear void.  In the second, darker void I felt like a spectator more than anything else.

Was the experience dream like in any way?   No.  While my experiences came from within dream states it was returning to this reality that had/has the dreamlike quality.  This sense of this reality being relative has been an enduring residual experience.

Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body?     Yes

In the clear void I felt I was without a body.

Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises?           A rushing sound, really a roar, going through the veils, then a perfect silence in the clear void, followed by the faint but growing sound of my own body gasping for air.  In the second void, I heard the song 'Let the sun shine in' from the musical "Hair".  Plus, the voice saying "All the issues in your life shall be resolved".

Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure?          Yes

            Describe:      Through grayish veils toward a super-bright white light.

Did you see a light?           Yes

A super bright white light.

Did you meet or see any other beings?           No

Did you experience a review of past events in your life?    Yes

As I'd described, the ball of liquid color represented my life and a super-fast flashing of images represented my life issues.  I learned from the voice saying to me "I'll the issues in your life shall be resolved."  I've gone back to that memory for reassurance in subsequent years more often than I could count!  Plus, the absolute knowing that we're all interconnected, that this life is a dream, and a classroom, and that we're here to learn to love.

Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?          No

Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions?           Yes

Certainly the clear, colorless void qualifies as beautiful in it's light, boundary less being ness.

Did you have any sense of altered space or time?   Yes

Yes, in the sense of being in a different, more "real" reality than this consensus reality.

Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?    Yes

In the void, when I said "I'm dead.  Whatever that was just killed me.  I can know all there is to know right now.....but I'm not ready".  In retrospect, I feel I was being given the option to go "further", but I think that I would probably not have come back to this life.

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No response

Did you become aware of future events?       No

Were you involved in or aware of a decision regarding your return to the body?       Yes

In the void, when I said "I'm dead.  Whatever that was just killed me.  I can know all there is to know right now.....but I'm not ready".  In retrospect, I feel I was being given the option to go "further", but I think that I would probably not have come back to this life.

Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience that you did not have prior to the experience?         Yes

I would say that the experience heightened a pre-existing sensitivity I have to others.  My intuition became stronger.  I have been on the receiving end of some absolutely uncanny synchronicities which are simply gifts of grace.

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?   Yes

Highly diminished fear of death.  A continuing inquiry toward finding Truth.  An ever stronger spiritual base.

How has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices? Career choices?       This NDE, as well as the Kundalini experiences before and since, have served to profoundly affect everything about me, and not always in comfortable ways.  I have growing drives to simplify my lifestyle, act responsibly and ethically in every way, see God in all people, strive for peace in my daily living practices, and be of service to the world during a time of strive, resource depletion and growing environmental concern.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?         Yes

Yes, in that I now see through our society's compulsive attempts to find life's meaning through consumption.  Like Ram Dass said, the definition of compulsive behavior is "you can never get enough of what you don't really need."  Rather than trying to find happiness through acquisition, what we really need is to learn to love, and the rest will just fall into place.

Have you shared this experience with others?         Yes

But, only a small handful of people.  There are so many opportunities for people to misunderstand and judge.  Rather than share my experience directly, I've tried to convey it through the way I treat people, animals, and the environment, and through the choices I make throughout the day.

What emotions did you experience following your experience?  Peace, which diminished over time as the noise of daily life displaced it.  Gratitude for being given such a gift.

What was the best and worst part of your experience?      The best part was knowing the underlying purpose for our life is to learn to love.  The worst part was having to spend years struggling to sort out the convoluted ego issues which get in the way of loving unconditionally.  Of course, this struggle continues!

Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience?        I would very much appreciate being pointed toward any existing literature or contacts regarding the interconnection between NDEs and Kundalini.

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?         Yes

As described above, the Kundalini experiences I've had reproduced a number of parts, including the entrance from a dream-state, the white light, the roaring sound, the numinous quality, the spiritual insights, assurances of positive destiny, etc.

Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?               Yes

Yes, it felt very comprehensive.

Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire.    What a great service you offer!  I just found your site from Google after entering 'near death experience', and I'm so pleased.  Of course, there are no mistakes in life, and my finding this site is no accident.  So, I'm curious as to what will come from my posting my experience!  Many thanks.