David M's Experience
In outer respects, the story that follows is more of a religious conversion experience or OBE, than an NDE. There was none of the great physical trauma regularly associated with NDEs. On the other hand, there was a tightness of chest and many other qualities associated with an NDE, and so it provides a rather interesting bridge story between NDEs and OBE/religious experiences.
I wrote the event down close to the time.
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I was born in Kent, England in 1971, and brought up an atheist as a child, and managed almost entirely to skip religion throughout my schooling. At 18 I left school and went to Durham university. Entirely unintended, about 1990 I came to read the book "Human Personality and Survival of Bodily Death" by F W Myers, who was one of the great founders of scientific research of psychic phenomena. For an atheist, this book was an absolute and astonishing eye-opener, and I did my own research by asking personal friends whom I could trust for genuineness, for their own unusual experiences. A little bit on, and I had encountered the Qur'an and the Bible, and having read them both, I was now wondering which to go by. At that time I was also extremely depressed and had been for a few years, which I considered to be a late-rising response to a car accident as a child in which I nearly died (and seem to have had some kind of NDE in).
Now it was the warm summery months of 1991, and the illumining rays of sunlight were streaming through my window in Kent. My bed was stationed in the very centre of my room, surrounded by carpet and clear space; and as I was lying there one morning, I suddenly felt that it was most arrogant that anyone should decide for themselves matters concerning God, when God, if He existed, would know best, and should be the first One to ask, as the Knower; and therefore at that very moment, roughly 8.15 in the morning, I sat up, upon the midst of my bed sheets, and prayed for a distinguishing sign. My hands rested upon my upper legs, and my head was tipped and lowered slightly forward. Eager as ever to be helpful, I recommended to God half a dozen signs He might find helpful to use for convincing to me - they are almost too embarrassing to enumerate; things like producing in my hand a coin with certain words inscribed on, so I could never fail to look back upon it and be convinced it wasn't imaginary, and I promised I would never show such clear proofs to others!!! After about fifteen minutes of thoughtful suggestions, I snuggled back into my covers, and began listening again to my music, I think it was Mozart or maybe Haydn. After nearly an hour elapsing, I had entirely forgotten the short prayer I had just prayed. What happened next (29 Aug 1991), I recorded some months later, and it has remained as clear as day throughout my life.
It was 9.30am, and I was 90% awake. As I was listening to the music, I suddenly found myself flying quickly across fields of green grass; I passed some ball games of tennis or golf; and then there was a very bright flash of all-encompassing light that poured down like a curtain across my vision - immensely bright yet absolutely soft - and a great roar - loud and yet soft - and I was separated from my body.
There were two worlds: I could see in the spiritual world, yet I could also see with my material eyes. I was still in the same place as my body, much as an imaginary ghost could feel as it passed through a wall.
When I raised my arm, I felt it lift, I saw it lift, I felt the breeze as it lifted, through the sheets, yet materially my eyes saw it did not lift, it remained in place - such was the manner of movement.
There was an ache or tightness upon my heart, and I wondered who it was who was breathing, me or me?! - that is, the physical or the spiritual me?
Then I wondered, if my mother were to call me, my response would be in the spiritual, not in the material, and I knew she would see me silent and unresponsive and rush me to hospital.
There was no fear at all, except the fear of the bizarreness of the situation and not knowing what to do next. Try desperately as I might for all my life, I just couldn't see how to return to my body - I was in the right place, but I was entirely separate. What to do!!?! I felt I might be stranded separated for an indefinite time, and there was no one who could help me! when you are used to ordinary three dimensions, you know where you want to be, judge your distance from it, and then you just strive to move to be there. But how does one react to being clearly separate and at a 'distance' from your body, when you see you are in exactly the same position as it?! it is truly baffling and an awesome experience. No action, learnt or calculated, is of any use in solving this need, it seemed so truly baffling beyond solution.
I felt an allurement attracting me to take myself away on a distant flight, and it was certainly an unusual opportunity. There was a feeling that things here happened entirely on impulse. In the material world, if you see a cake, you can decide against your impulse not to eat it; but in this condition, impulses seemed to be what determined action. Everything was silent and tranquil.
Although I wasn't a Christian, suddenly I cried, "Jesus Christ, Emmanuel!" five times, it came right through me like I was a reed being breathed or spoken through, and upon the fifth calling I found myself perfectly reestablished in my body.
The above differs from familiar accounts I have subsequently read of leaving your body, in two respects: firstly, I was separated from my body without departing from its position. In the standard accounts one leaves one's body and looks at it from afar, often from above; and secondly, unless your body is in a critical state, normally the slightest thought of one's body or the wish to return to it will cause an instantaneous return to physical reality. But in this experience, despite wishing with all my life to return to my body, I could not.
At the time, I took the experience to be a call to Christianity, and only later considered it as an encounter with the Spirit of God, contextualized into my own culture of understanding, and that the path called by Christ is the same path of the Spirit called for by many other religious founders before and since.
Three days on, I happened to be in the attic, where my mother lived. It was 11 pm, and I vividly recall saying goodnight, and wandering down the steep stairway, ambling along the red carpeted passageway, past my sister's room... crossing my eldest brother's room... then my next eldest brother's... and then, unsuspectingly, on this ordinary, commonplace day, opening the door to my own room...
What I encountered in my room was beyond description, or human imagination; it was full to the brim with Forces on a truly galactic scale. Everything was overwhelmed by the terrifying intensity of these forces. There was no sense of running away, any more than you would attempt to flee from the air, or from an exploding sun or galaxy, they were there and all-encompassing, all-involving, all-touching. Never before, nor after, has my prayer ever been so perfect and complete as it was at this moment, such was the necessity, as my room filled with immense terror at the indescribable magnitude of such all-pervading power. I must surely have prayed all night; I cannot recall amidst the overwhelming experience what happened. At length I awoke the next morning, an entirely transformed person. Before, I was the shiest of all people, and suddenly I was now both outward going and also inward looking; before, I was afraid even of the dark, and of many things; yet suddenly, I was unafraid of all things; before, I was extremely unhappy, and now suddenly I had come into a happiness that never leaves, not even for a moment. In retrospect, what had seemed to be three extraordinarily terrible and malignant forces within my room, seem now to have been the dark shadows of my self caused by the all-compelling and ineffable brilliance of the encounter. This awakening took place on 1.9.1991.
Roughly a week after, I figured I had better ring my brother Peter, and explain my sudden change of heart about spirituality and religion. He lived elsewhere in the town, and I had not seen him for some while, particularly since I lived the other end of the country. As I unraveled to him the sequence of events over the phone, he explained to me an amazing matter that had been occurring at his home. On the morning of my becoming separated from my body, he had suddenly been overcome by an inexplicable and great urgency to pray exclusively for me for 40 minutes as if I was in terrible danger; this happening each morning, until the morning when I awoke transformed, at which very point, the need to pray for me entirely dissipated from him. He had not experienced such a strange and pressing need to pray for another, before or since.
This experience has lived with me ever since, both reminding me directly and also shining in me a radiant hope. I was radiant from it a whole decade, until I was grounded by some very exceptional personal disasters.
It is hard to say if it opened up any "psychic" latency; I have such things, sometimes very strongly, even amazingly so: but I suppose most people do too, and it's hard to say or compare this with what I would have had had I not had this experience.
I can certainly say that after becoming acquainted with them, I have had an intense fascination with NDEs ever since.
Briefly regarding my car accident. I was asleep in a tent aged 3 and 9 months, and a car ran over it. Terrible injuries, I almost died. I was flown in a helicopter to a hospital, and on the way I was able to look out from the helicopter at all the fields below. I can still remember them vividly. I always just assumed the door was open, like you see them flying in the air, or perhaps my stretcher was above window line, which wouldn't quite explain seeing down to the fields. Then much later I began to wonder - why on earth would they have had the helicopter doors open, I would fall out! and so I asked my mother, who was in the helicopter, and she said I was below the window line and could not have seen out of the helicopter - so this makes me think I could well have had an NDE then, but I have no details of it. However it may be useful for studying whether people who have one NDE are more likely to have a second, especially like experience narrated in detail above.
May we travel forever on the rose-scented path of the spirit,
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain The quality of separation from the physical is not ordinarily experienced and doesn't fit well into language
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Uncertain Tightness of chest during experience, had been 90% awake
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was drifting from alertness and then after the light and roaring sound I separated from the body and was immediately fully aware right until my return
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal every day consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness
If your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain: I was drifting from alertness and then after the light and roaring sound I separated from the body and was immediately fully aware right until my return
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.)? Yes Felt I moved through things; that there were two strata; things happened on impulse
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? Yes
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Great perplexity, awe and astonishment
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? No There was an attraction to an inner horizon which wasn't followed through
Did you see a light? Yes The light was very bright yet soft and came down like a curtain with a loud yet soft roar
Did you meet or see any other beings? Uncertain I called out to a being ("Jesus Christ, Emmanuel") and a rescue response came, but I did not see anyone
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? Yes The period of three days coincided with my brother praying urgently for me
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? Yes I flew across green fields prior to separation from the body
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Uncertain I was distinctly separate from yet in the same place as my body - this seemed very alternative!
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
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? Yes My room filled with immense forces three days later and I awoke a different person.
Beyond that, certain
intense dreams come which are obviously important, but are only clear in their
meaning after their occurrence
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes shared the first part immediately to people, and the both parts with my brother; have shared both with many others since. most ; sister interested; brother (a Christian) pleased. People generally have been variously interested or inspired.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No I'd recently read about psychic experiences for the first time, but don't think I knew anything about NDE experiences with their light, tunnels etc until some time after.
How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened: Experience was definitely real I felt it was the answer to my spiritual quest I had recently began.
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you? All of it. The first day enlightened me on what is out there; the third day completely transformed me from a shy, at-the-time sad person to a non-shy happy person.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience: Experience was probably real Once you find other pillars in your spiritual life, individual experiences become less attached and receive a more impartial or lateral approach to it.
I tend now to attach less to the outer form of the experience and more to the inner transformation.
At first the inclusion
of Christ was important, then that became a general spiritual representative.
So, had I been in a Buddhist country, the Buddha would perhaps have been the
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes Became interested in spiritual things, and I lost all interest in non-spiritual things for many years. They eventually came back to a balance, but you always value material things for their spiritual purposes.
Have your religious beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes Went from atheist/agnostic to being Christian for a period, then ever since a Baha'i.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Subsequently sometimes I have had experiences of separation and flying from the body near or during sleep, or falling through the bed.
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? Under HOW PUBLISH, the tick box "With my address" could distinguish whether it means a non-exact location (such as a town) or an exact address (with door number) - I suspect it means the first, but it's ambiguous.
Reset button is dangerously close to the Submit button - I hope the Reset buttons asks "Reset - are you sure? Yes/No" when you click it!Many thanks! d