Alistair M's Experience
Prior to NDE:
I started smoking cannabis from age 15 recreationally, by time I was 17 I began noticing that it had strange effects on my mind and body. While smoking cannabis I would feel a tingling sensation up my spinal column as if there was an energy rising up my spine, I remember particularly having strange pressure sensations on my forehead and at the crown of my head. I would concentrate on these areas when falling asleep and was able to create pictures and movies in my mind when my eyes were closed. The pictures and movies were seemingly random. One night while falling asleep I heard a voice in my head, it was if there was someone sitting right next to me and shouted "BOO!" in my ear. All these sensations i just put down to smoking cannabis and thought nothing more of it.
Growing more curious as to what these sensations were I began to start meditating while smoking cannabis using a deep breathing technique. It was a warm summers day when I lay down on my back on my bed, I would close my eyes and concentrate my two eyes into the middle of my forehead, the pressure on my forehead and crown of my head got increasingly stronger it wasn't painful but a bit uncomfortable. With every deep breath I took I could feel an energy rising up through my spine and pulsing in my head. I suddenly felt a feeling of dread pass through my body as if I knew I was going to die, I got very scared and adrenaline flushed through my body. I had to make a choice there and then, either stop the meditation and wonder for the rest of my life what was happening to me, or face my fear of dying and let whatever was happening happen. (I was at a very stressful point in my life, depressed, annoyed at myself for choices I made in my life, a general feeling of not wanting to be there, fighting suicidal thoughts and having what I have come to call an existential crisis.)
I chose to let whatever was happening to me happen. The pressure in my head got a lot more intense, I was scared. I started feeling like there were two slightly different tuned humming sounds in my head, like binaural beats. I could consciously tune these two sounds and when I got them tuned to the same frequency (by that time I had let go of all fear of dying and accepted my fate) a peace came over me, and I heard a loud cracking sound like thunder in my head. At that point I fell through my body through a dark tunnel at tremendous speed. As I fell I felt like I was also being spread out flat to what felt like the size of the universe. I felt one with everything and nothing at the same time. I had a vision of Shiva who was sat in front of me with all sorts of symbols around her that I had never seen before (I can't describe them to this day). Nothing was said to me but I felt at peace and a feeling of bliss was coming over me. It was a white light like nothing I had ever seen before, I felt unconditional love and pure bliss as this light engulfed me. A feeling of connecting into the origin/source of everything. The time scale makes this story confusing to tell as there was a sense of timelessness, or everything happened all at once, or a knowing that time was an illusion. Another vision I had was that of being in space and watching 2 galaxies colliding with each other, it was very destructive but very beautiful at the same time. Another feeling I had was that I was connected to a "database" of everything that had ever happened and a fountain of knowledge was available to me in this state. I remember a feeling of familiarity, like I had been there before, wanting to call it home, a feeling of "this is where we all come from". I felt like I was hearing things I'd never heard before, tasting things I hadn't tasted and smelling, and colors I had never experience before. The whiteness of the light was like nothing I had ever seen before, and the power of the unconditional love was incredible
The "last" thing I remember was sensing that I wasn't alone, I felt a presence around me. Out of the white light came a being of light, it was very tall and I was overwhelmed by its magnificence. It came towards me but I grew scared by its awesomeness. It did not say anything to me but I had the feeling that I wasn't supposed to be there. I wanted to stay but It said to me (without speaking) that it wasn't my time and that I must go back. That's when I felt myself falling away from the light, and all I could see was a tunnel of light getting smaller and more distant. All of the sudden I was back in my body again.
I sat up quickly, was not in any pain, quite the opposite I was still feeling some of the bliss and unconditional love, I cried with happiness and remember looking out my window and seeing the trees and they felt so alive, they were glowing and I felt a connection to them, feeling that they were me, everything was me. I looked at my hands and they had a glow to them too. I looked at my wall in my bedroom and it looked like it was melting, I remember thinking that this was what I imagined the peak of an LSD trip to be like, but instead of thinking that I'm "really far out" I said to myself "I'm back in my body, things are normal again".
After the NDE:
I did not speak of this to anyone for a few weeks, I told my dad of my experience and he seemed a bit shocked and he said maybe I should see a Buddhist monk or something. But at that point I was just still really unsure what happened to me.
I tried for years to make sense of it, but the more I tried to explain it the further I got from the essence of the experience. So I decided not to try and think/explain it for a few years and try to let it sink into me with time.
To this day I still don't really know how to describe it, however I find that reading religious/philosophy/esoteric mystical texts, I feel more comfortable using them as tools in easing the description of the experience. I have gone from calling the experience a near death experience to a spiritual/religious experience, to a cosmic consciousness experience, to a kundalini awakening, to enlightenment, to a stress induced psychotic episode, but none of these terms stick however I feel that there are truths to all of them.
Since the experience I
feel I am more intuitive, creative and have no fear of death. I am more
empathetic towards people and understanding too. My respect and understanding
for religions has increased more and more with every year, however struggle to
call myself religious.
At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Before I left my body I was aware that I was going to "die". A feeling of dread passed through my body filling me with adrenaline. I felt like I could have stopped it by stopping the deep breathing meditation technique, however wanted/needed to know, wanted to "die". Last thing I remember was a loud cracking sound in my head before I left my body.
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Definitely. Trying to define or describe something in a linear fashion using words is hard when describing an experience absent of such things like linear time. The experience was a sense of "oneness", "Wholeness". The very nature of describing things is to separate them from their surroundings. Trying to describe a sense of Wholeness is a paradox.
It's like trying to describe everything in the environment/reference of nothing.
I have spent a few
years to try and describe the event, but I find that the more descriptive I make
it, the less meaningful it becomes.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal I felt alert and conscious all the way through, however I felt that the experience of "the other side" was more real than the reality I perceive before and after the experience, it felt richer, "more real". I felt alert when I felt the presence of the being of light, but not too sure if that was just because I was so amazed and at awe with it. I felt that the experience of "the other side" was more real than the reality I perceive before and after the experience, it felt richer, "more real".
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I had seen colors I had never experienced before, much richer and beautiful to the colours I knew before and now. The white light was millions of times more brighter than the sun.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I heard sounds that I had never heard before or since. Beautiful sounds, I don't know how to describe them.
Did you see or hear any earthly events that were occurring during a time that your consciousness / awareness was apart from your physical / earthly body? Uncertain The only thing I can think of is the vision I saw concerning two galaxies colliding together, it was very destructive but strangely beautiful, I can not verify if this is real or not though.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Intense bliss, sense of peace, pure overpowering unconditional love. Intimidated by the awesomeness of the tall being of light (not in a bad way though). All were intensely positive emotions.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I fell through my body into a dark tunnel that felt tremendously fast. Upon entering my body from the light I fell down a tunnel of light.
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The light was very bright, and awe inspiring and full of love. It had colors I had never seen before. There was a being made of light that was very tall.
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 I felt the presence and saw a tall being of light, it did not speak to me but it felt very powerful, and told me (not in words) that I must go back.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
Did you become aware of past events in your life during your experience? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I fell out of my body through a dark tunnel that felt like a void of darkness, the further I fell the more spread out/connected to everything I became. I then remember being bathed in brilliant white light. I saw no structures or anything physical, just a light/source/origin of everything/oneness.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Time lost meaning, I remember thinking that time was an illusion but can't explain fully why. It felt like I was in a dimension above the 4th (time) dimension, which allowed me to see that it was a constraint/illusion that the perspective from the normal 3D physical realm experiences.
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe It wasn't an understanding of everything in terms of speak able knowledge, but more of a feeling of being at peace with the universe and my place in it. Everything was in it's right place.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain The boundary that I came across was the tall being of light, it stopped me and sent me back to my body.
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
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge or purpose? Uncertain A feeling of loving everything and accepting everything is the way to live, something to aspire to.
Discuss any changes that might have occurred in your life after your experience: Moderate changes in my life I feel I am more aware of my surroundings, more compassionate towards people, more thoughtful about my actions and find it easier to find the light/good in every action.
Did you have any changes in your values or beliefs after the experience that occurred as a result of the experience? Yes I developed a deeper understanding of religious ideas, and developed more empathy and compassion towards people.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I feel I can read people and see their intentions more clearly.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I first told my father 2 weeks after the experience, he is a man of few words and advised me to talk to a Buddhist monk. This surprised me because my father is in no way religious or spiritual.
I found it hard talking
to other people about it because there is a stigma attached to it, I have had
some strange looks from people when I tell them and they seem wary of me. I fear
that when I talk about it I am preaching it in some way, so I tend to keep it to
myself as this can be dangerous for some people to hear.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes I heard a few stories of people coming back from the dead and telling stories of where they had been, but was very skeptical of it all. If anything I think my ignorance may have amplified the profoundness of the experience??
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened: Experience was probably real It was hard to come to terms with the experience, I saw it very much as a religious/spiritual experience which was new to me, I don't know if I died, but I certainly felt reborn, like there was a new way of looking at the world. I felt lucky to be alive. I saw it as something wonderful that happened to me, and thought about it everyday.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time: Experience was probably real I believe it happened, but I don't know if the tall being of light was a God figure or if it was a figure of my imagination/reflection of my true self behind the ego (which I sometimes think is what disappeared to have that experience). It certainly felt real, but I'm stuck between wanting to call it God or myself, I want to tell other people that they are God too sometimes.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes I seldom tell people about my experience which can make me somewhat of a mysterious character to some people, I am a bit more removed from people these days, I feel I look at life differently to most.
Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience? Uncertain I understand and respect religion a lot more, I do not attend houses of worship, I still meditate on occasion but am more careful and aware when doing so.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Did the questions asked and information that you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes Although it is very hard to describe such experiences I feel this questionnaire gave me help to explaining it. It even got me asking myself some questions about it that I may not have asked, which was interesting to me. Thank you
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? When I felt the presence of the tall being of light I was fearful, I am sometimes confused as to why I was sent back. Was it not my time, or was I not good enough to be there, had I been caught somewhere I shouldn't be. This has caused me to look at my life and my actions towards others a lot more.