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Cynthia L's Experience

Experience description:   

A few weeks prior to my experience, I had attempted suicide.  I was living in unbearable turmoil following years of abuse. I took several pills.  That night, I experienced an empty blackness and begged God to give me another chance at life.

Then, I went to a spiritual retreat, at the suggestion of a teacher I trusted.  I went to please him, because I continued to harbor a deep seated resentment toward God, for the experiences I lived through as a child.  I vaguely remember an exercise, where, with eyes closed, I raised my hands to other students who asked who God was to me.  I rehearsed my response: a friend, I would say.  Except that I wasn't able to say it.  Out of my mouth spewed gibberish.  I tried responding 3-4 times, then, embarrassed, left the room.

That night, we were asked to write letters to God in the chapel. I wrote one essentially that said, I have not known love, I want to love others, teach me to love myself, so that I want to live and love others.

I stayed until everyone left the small chapel.  I knelt and prayed what I could only describe as being very sincere.  I did ask for a sign.  Then, I chided myself for doing so.

And, WHAM.  A fast all encompassing bright, beautiful light seemed  originating from a distance and a point entered me.  It is difficult to describe.  I felt stupefied at first.  I tried to make the same kind of light appear by squinting my eyes, to no avail.  There were no windows.  It occurs to me today, given that the chapel was located within the convent, there were likely many nuns praying for the students,

I was filled with a renewed energy, an almost palpable hope.  I remember looking in the mirror and laughing with joy.  I have not shared this with anyone,  my husband knows.

At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event?   No 

Was the experience difficult to express in words?  Yes     It was like...the invisible deaf blindness bubble I imagine people experience in movies after surviving close proximity to a bomb.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?    After the light entered me.

How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness?      More consciousness and alertness than normal   Can't.  It was almost like I was completely out and in my body at the same time

Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.   Not do much vision per say.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.   it was like a loud silence.

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?   Yes   Again, the otherworldly light directed into me.

What emotions did you feel during the experience?   instant shock.  Disbelief.  Exhilaration.  

Did you pass into or through a tunnel?   Uncertain   It's more as if the tunnel of light came to me. From above ceiling level.

Did you see an unearthly light?   Yes   Started 'away' and at a concentrated point above ceiling or just at ceiling level, then radiated toward me maybe like a tunnel, at split second speed...maybe millisecond speed.

Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice?   No

Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)?   No  

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?   No


Did time seem to speed up or slow down?   Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Well, I don't recall I wasn't aware of time following the experience, in a way, making it meaningless.


Did you suddenly seem to understand everything?   Everything about the universe
Just that, it was God, because I asked for a sign, and that he is light.

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?   No

Did you come to a border or point of no return?   No

Did scenes from the future come to you?  No 

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness suggesting that there either is (or is not) continued existence after earthly life (“life after death”)?   Yes   Simply that there is more dimension to our limited perception.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that God or a supreme being either does (or does not) exist?   Yes   I prayed for a sign from God.  The light appeared milliseconds afterward.  I therefore associated the two.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that you either did (or did not) exist prior to this lifetime?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that a mystical universal connection or unity/oneness either does (or does not) exist?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s meaning or purpose?   Yes  


During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s difficulties, challenges, or hardships?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding love?   Yes   To love without limit.

During your experience, did you encounter any other specific information / awareness that you have not shared in other questions that is relevant to living our earthly lives?   Yes   Prayer is somehow important,

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge or purpose?   Uncertain   To love.

What occurred during your experience included:   Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience  

How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience?   I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience.   I will never forget.

Discuss any changes that might have occurred in your life after your experience:   I no longer felt emotional turmoil, and I wanted to live.

My experience directly resulted in:   Large changes in my life

Did you have any changes in your values or beliefs after the experience that occurred as a result of the experience?  
Yes   Increased certainty, faith

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience?   Uncertain   Have not explored this.  Actually, I thought about this some more.  Yes.  Yes.  It was like I was communicating with God through prayer, but having....sensations...vibrations to give me...direction.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you?    
the light.

Have you ever shared this experience with others?  
Yes  Immediately shared with best friend.  Later told husband.  I told someone who was suffering once.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?   Yes   I remember my cousin had had an Ned, but did not talk about it.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:   Experience was definitely real  

What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time:   Experience was probably real  

Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?   Yes   I have tremendous compassion.  I am regarded as kind by my friends and colleagues.

Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?   Yes   Pray more.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience?   Yes   I was travelling to my cousin's wedding.  My then boyfriend was driving, on the TransCanada hwy to Sudbury, Ontario.  I remember just looking sort of down into my lap, at the passenger door, when everything seemed to turn brighter, and that deafening silence was upon me again.  And time seemed to stretch like a yawn, and I looked up, we were on the other side of the road, and before us was a head-on vehicle.  I remember looking to the shoulder of the road, and the ground seemed to have layers of brightness just above it.  Then, my husband swerved onto the opposite shoulder of the road, and everything had the normal color/light again.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience?   no.

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

What could a national organization with an interest in near death experience (NDE) do that would be of interest to you?       Unsure

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience?                        I have been looking for people who are alive when they have this experience, which I was.  I would be curious to know of others who experienced something similar while alive