Charles F's Experience
I was 30 years old at the time and living in a house that I was renting in Illinois. I was attending a church in a nearby suburb which had become nearly an obsession. I recently had left my job with a company in Chicago when the organization closed their downtown division. It was an oil company and I had been offered a position in corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas. I was born and raised in Texas and it had been a difficult decision for me to turn down the promotion and move. My decision in rejecting the transfer was solely due to my involvement with the church.
Among the parishioners of the church, I vaguely knew a man who owned a fairly successful company. He had heard of my decision to stay in Illinois because of my involvement with the church, was apparently impressed with my devotion to this church, approached me and offered me a position with his company. Almost without giving it any consideration, I had accepted his offer.
The day of this experience (which was in the evening) had been my first day on the new job. In retrospect, what preempted my emotional state at the time of the evening had been an intense feeling that this new job was wrong. What was wrong about it I don't know, but it just felt wrong. I do know that had it not been for both me and my new boss's involvement with the church, I would have never accepted the job. It was nearing midnight on the evening of my first day at work, I was in bed attempting to fall asleep while at the same time I was in a furious debate with myself over the job and whether or not I should quit before becoming further involved. I was frantically trying to determine what "God's will" was over this. This is what happened.
Inside my head I heard a voice say very audibly, "This is ridiculous, I'm getting out of here." There was a very sudden "swoosh" (my attempt at explaining what happened) following by an intense static field (similar to a radio between channels, an electric sound) then, when breaking free of the static an overwhelming feeling of relief ("Thank god I'm out of there" were my exact thoughts), a wonderful "cool" washed over me (like a wind, though there was no wind), and a conscious feeling of being "home, back where I belong." It felt as though I had been encased in a steel tomb. I remember thinking how "heavy" it had been "down there."
Unexpectedly, I "rolled' (at least that was the sensation) and below me (not that far below, though I had no feeling of being in the room or house that I'd just left) I saw "Him" breathe. (Him being my body. Through the remainder of the experience I described my physical body as "Him" and my consciousness as "me.") Next I had this specific thought, "Wait a minute, if I'm out here why isn't He dead?" It was accompanied by a definite feeling of surprise. I was extremely aware that "He" was still breathing, in fact it had been movement in his chest that initially captured my attention and alerted me to his being alive.
For the remainder of my experience it was as though "his" breath had captured me. I remember having the specific thoughts (I'll describe what it was like to have thoughts out there shortly) "I had no idea that 'he' was so beautiful" and "this feels so good" (meaning his breathing which I had begun floating on). It was similar to being off shore on a raft and feeling the rocking of waves. That's what floating on "his" breathing resembled. It was so peaceful and safe, I remember wondering in the beauty of it all.
My thoughts were whole thoughts instead of a string of words. "He is beautiful" was a whole thought which conveyed the idea of the words without the words.
After a time during which I had no awareness of time (it had been in fact about 8 hours) my revere was sharply interrupted by annoying jolts. I would described them as small electric pulses going through me. I saw "him" abruptly sit up and begin doing something that I didn't recognize. I had the urgent thought, "He needs my help," and suddenly I was going though the same electric field which I had passed through going out of his body except this time I was going in. I found myself sitting on my bed and speaking into the telephone repeatedly, "Hello, hello, hello, etc." while the voice on the other end was my new boss who was saying, "Where are you, it's eight thirty, are you alright, why aren't you at work, etc."
I stopped saying "hello," felt very confused and yelled into the telephone, "I'll call you back," then hung up the phone. I remember laying back on my bed thinking "What just happened," and then yelling out loud, "Oh my god, we don't die!" I had never entertained that thought before. I had no idea what to do with what I'd just experienced. I decided to tell no one but just see what happened. What happened with an increasing disinterest in any kind of religion until I left perusing any completely. Today I have no interest in religion.Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience? No
you have any sense of altered space or time?
Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? No
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
Did you become aware of future events? No
Were you involved in or aware of a decision regarding your return to the body? Yes I very much made the decision to return to "his" body to "help" him.
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience that you did not have prior to the experience? Uncertain I first had what I would describe as a psychic experience when I was 12. I had already had several dreams which had been vivid (meaning they were actually happening) before the OBE. Since then I have had many vivid dreams all of a symbolic and instructive nature. They have occurred without a pattern but with enough regularity (between 6 and 18 months) that I soon recognized a purpose for them and began paying attention to their symbolism. They still continue, by the way. I also had two situations where my life was in danger in which I was "rescued" by a paranormal event. In both instances there was a witness who acknowledged what happened.
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes Most definitely. As I stated at the end of my description, I came away from this experience very assured that "we" don't die, though our bodies do. I have had several health related situations (heart disease including open heart surgery), cancer with surgery, and diagnosed with diabetes. In every situation my doctors have been amazed by my mental/emotional state and how rapidly I recover or respond to treatment.
How has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices? Career choices? This gets complicated as during my period of attending that church was the only time during my adult life that I was not a heavy drinker, until age 41. In fact, after leaving the church (though my own decision and influenced by my experience) I resumed drinking heavily and eventually entered treatment for alcoholism. I have been sober 30 years. It has lead me to recognize that my alcoholism has been my own path and my spiritualist experiences (what I now call the paranormal and psychic) have just been accompanying and helpful experiences. It (the experience) lead to totally altering my view of human life and religion and the choices that I've made since. I am still bewildered as to why all of this should have happened to me.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes Prior to the experience I was filled with insecurity relating to the judgmental nature of the god I was raised to believe in. I now know that understanding was completely wrong. Though I have no certainty as to the purpose of life and if there is or is not a god, I am comfortable with my life and the decisions I have made.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes I haven't told many people due to a fear of their not believing me. I have become less cautious recently and was happy to find your site as I've been wanting to share this on a broader scale. I no longer care what others think, I know what I experienced.
What emotions did you experience following your experience? Immediately following, shock.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? The best part was just the happening and the reality of it happening. The worst part has been learning to accept that none of us will every have all of the answers.
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? Not at present, though possibly after I've thought about it.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain That is difficult to explain since on occasion I have clearly heard from a dimension which is not of this one.
Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes I'd say reasonably well, I'm surprised. However, I can't emphasis enough how the dreams which came later and still continue have influenced me. I don't know if my experience opened me to being more receptive or what, but I value them. I recently sought counseling with a man who came highly recommended where I laid out samples of my experiences (including the OBE), events (including life threatening), and dreams, and asked him for his reaction. He said that he believed that I, in some way, am open to receiving messages from a global consciousness level. I've become recently acquainted with the TMI group in Virginia (there is a Houston chapter). I attended one meeting but found that I have no desire to have another OBE. One seems to be enough for me, though I'm trying to reevaluate that stance.
Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire. If I were doing this, I'd be very interested in a person's religions background and state at the time of the occurrence. I'm of the opinion that when people experience "the other" (for lack of other words) they interpret the experience though their perception of life, including religious beliefs.