Bridgett A's Experience
Having been raised in fundamentalist background, I was taught the standard doctrines of Christianity. However, I felt my spirituality and connection to God was deeper and more complex than what I had been told. Often I would travel for work as a tradeshow manager and would experience isolation of being in a new city in a new hotel with no immediate family contact. I would often pray at these times, deeply asking God to see with his eyes, feel with his heart, and hear with his ears "reality" according to God. On this occasion I was very conflicted because the religion in which I participated by regular church attendance was Jehovah's Witness, and they taught that it was not possible to have direct connection to God without their religion.
Something deep in me told me this was not true, but I was afraid to follow this lead because it would potentially result in ostracization from my family. I prayed very deeply for insight and began to read my Bible (which I do not any longer feel is the only path to "truth"). I was reading the account where Jesus told his disciples just before his death that unless they allowed him to wash his feet, they would not have a connection to God. I felt deeply that the message that was unless we are recipients of love and forgiveness, we miss the purpose of God's love is to bring us together with him in union. I was crying and very much emotionally moved by the realization that receiving love and feeling lovable was deeply difficult for me because I perceived myself as a "giver" and in truth often felt that I did not live up my deep compelling to share and care for others rather than my own interests. Many would consider me a very good and giving person, but I could see my own selfishness and the many times in my life when I had let myself or others down. So I prayed with my whole heart for God to help me accept the love he had for me, to feel with my heart the experience of unconditional love offered by "Jesus" in the act of washing my feet. I visualized the washing of my feet of someone who was pure love and I felt shame and tears, but prayed for help in loving myself and experiencing the unconditional love of God represented by this biblical account of Jesus washing my feet. I felt that not resisting this act of love by God was so profoundly difficult - who was I too receive such love? This was all conscious, prior to my "out-of-body" experience.
After a few hours of prayer, I was really overwhelmed by sense of peace and a conscious concept of the an ocean of love covering the entire earth, man - woman - child, covering all with unconditional love. But even so this was not the experience I hope to share. I went to sleep feeling both peach and a profound sense that it was vitally important to be a receiver of that love that was so freely offered by God. In the middle of the night, while sleeping, I had this profound experience: I woke up, fully conscious, some might call it a lucid dream, but I really felt fully awake - not as if in a dream. The experience was this: I woke up. I crouched down, folded if you will, on a vast dark plane. The darkness extended in every direction - infinitely. Yet I felt no fear. No fear at all. I felt a sense of vastness, like that you feel when looking at the darkness of the universe extending infinitely in all direction when you look into the night sky from deep in the wilderness. I raised my head and looked around, and I felt a sense of wonder than I could be in such an infinite blackness and yet I felt no fear. I would describe it as a void - but one that was peaceful and unthreatening. I was only in this space for a few minutes it felt, but fully conscience of myself as existing on this plane without any other presence.
Within a few minutes I heard a sound - the sound of rushing wind. I could feel a breeze, a movement coming toward me of some presence like the wind. I was not afraid. As the rushing came close, I saw in the distance a tremendous bright light. The light like the golden light of the late summer afternoon, and I felt a deep longing to move toward that light. Before I could consider further where I was or what was happening, I felt myself lifted up - like into the air, and rushed forward with tremendous speed toward the light. If felt a knowing sense that an "angel" had picked me up and was flying me into this light, which grew brighter and brighter the nearer I drew. Within moments, I reached the light. For me, it was as if the light was pouring through a gateway, through an opening in the vast darkness that extended around me, like a doorway to which I was brought.
The presence which lifted me and brought me to the doorway deposited me just outside the doorway, on its very threshold. I stood there, still filled with a profound sense of humility, just outside the border of the light and the vast expanse of this void. I took a step onto the threshold, but was not allowed to walk into the light. I cannot explain how I knew, but I knew that I could only stand on the threshold of this light and that I was here for a purpose. I took a step forward and gazed up at the light, which was brighter and more beautiful, golden and full of unconditional love than I can begin to express in words. As I stood there, looking into what I simply knew to be the presence of God, I "heard a voice" - not with my ears, but deep within, as if someone could speak words into your very being without sound. What I heard, translated as words was: "You are loved. You are accepted. You are approved." Those 3 statements, but not in the terms of approval in the human way of thinking, "you reached the bar I set, you passed the test" - it was a sense that I was "wholly loved, wholly accepted, wholly approved with the utmost unconditional loved."
that moment -- I woke up in my hotel room. It was not like 'waking up' from a
sleep, but like being transported back to the physical realm within the blink of
an eye. It was so real, so conscious that I felt absolutely that my real being,
my essential being was transported back to the 'physical world.' It as such a
real, visceral experience of really being returned from elsewhere that I
literally lay awake until dawn. I felt no fear, only wonder at the experience,
while it occurred. But returned to the physical reality, I wasn't sure I wanted
to close my eyes and be transported unexpectedly again! This profoundly
changed my sense of God, my understanding of "religion" and I just knew from
that point forward that love is more unfathomable that we can begin to
comprehend, and that religions story of what occurs does not begin to compare
with the wonders that await us - but also how profoundly deeply loved we are,
even though it is hard to accept ourselves, God's love is deeper, more profound,
more eternal than we can grasp in our physical life.
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? No
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? No
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The point at which I stood in the presence of God in the light.
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal every day consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal
If your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain: The point at which I stood in the presence of God in the light.
Did your vision differ in any way from your normal, everyday vision (in any aspect, such as clarity, field of vision, colors, brightness, depth perception degree of solidness/transparency of objects, etc.)? No
Did your hearing differ in any way from your normal, everyday hearing (in any aspect, such as clarity, ability to recognize source of sound, pitch, loudness, etc.)? No
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? Uncertain
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Love, peace, wholeness and acceptance.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? Uncertain Passed through a 'void'
Did you see a light? Yes
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes Carried into the light by an unseen presence.
Did you experience a review of past events in your life? No
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? Uncertain limitless void and edge of limitless light, but not a "city" or other landscape. Definitely other dimension.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes Altered space of void and light.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes Universal love similar to ocean covering entire span of earth.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes Void vs. limitless light.
Did you become aware of future events? No
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? No
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes A few. I shared with 3 people over the following 12 years. They seemed indifferent. I don't think that sharing the experience influenced them. Words just can't capture the reality of the experience. I left the church (Jehovah Witness) because I could not accept the 'acceptance' of only one religion after feeling/experiencing the unconditional love that clearly was expressed to me but I was given to understand applied to all creation, regardless of how the individual interpreted "god or religion"
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened: Experience was definitely real My experience of the reality was so concrete that it is a clear to me 12 years later as it was the day it occurred.
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you? Nothing specific, the most impactful part for me was the transportation - participating in existence and reality totally separate from my physical body/existence.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience: Experience was definitely real This experience was unlike any other I have ever had. So concrete, so conscious and so clear that I am certain that I was in fact transported in essence to a place between 'physical life and spiritual life'
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? No The experience is deeply personal and I am unable to translate in a way that those who have not had similar experience can understand fully. No one I am close to has had similar experience.
Have your religious beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes I left JW religion. I feel a knowing that all walks, all faiths, all persons are loved unconditionally, that there path to the light - to "God" is built by God - I guess I mean that I feel deeply that everyone likely gets there eventually, but that god works with each one as personally as a parent to a child, but that some paths may be longer and more difficult than others.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Ever since this experience, I cannot take any type of pain medication. I typically do not take anything stronger than ibuprofen for a headache on rare occasion. But I had minor surgery and was prescribed Percocet, which I could not take because as soon as I began to drift to sleep after taking 1/2 tablet, I would feel a wrenching sense of lifting out of my body into space above myself. That happened a few times right after the surgery, I just didn't' take it anymore, it freaked me out.
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? No.
Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes
Are there any other questions we could ask to help you communicate your experience? No, was good.