Gustave P's Experience
The experience began as a dream. My dreams have always been vivid and some have been lucid. I had been having lucid dreams before my NDE, though at the time I didn't know what they were. (It's also worth mentioning that I had no idea what an NDE was. I had never heard of them and had never heard of the term OBE. I was 11 years old and had grown up with no exposure to these subjects.)
As to lucid dreams, I simply knew that I could occasionally "wake up" in my dream and do whatever I wanted. This, perhaps, gives me a unique perspective (inasmuch as NDEs are compared to dreams).
It's also important to mention that my grandfather had just died (three days before my birthday) and that in the weeks following I often found myself imagining my own death. I was not suicidal, but I recall that I often imagined my death in a childlike way (I guess).
Here is how my experience begins:
I remember dreaming that I was on a grassy hillside. The rise of the hill was on my right and descended to my left. I recall that my dream became lucid. I lay down. I remember, clearly, saying that I just wanted to die. I kept repeating it to myself: "I just want to die. I just want to die." Figures appeared. They surrounding me, looking down at me. They said to me: "No you don't." I said: "Yes, I do. I just want to die."
At that point, I saw myself looking at one of the town gas stations. I was still dreaming. I saw a circle. I saw a line go through the circle, bisecting it. The instant that the line bisected the circle, everything changed.
My whole consciousness shifted. I was no longer dreaming. I know that there's no way that I can convincingly communicate the shift that occurred. No skeptic would have any reason to be convinced by my experience, but that's not the point I'm writing this. This is simply to share.
During an ordinary dream, I don't control the imagery. I don't know why I "saw" the corner gas station, but I think this sort of unpredictability is normal in dreams. This was *not* an OBE.
During a *lucid* dream, I know that I'm dreaming and can often control the imagery, but there is still an element of consciousness that is asleep (or fooled). For example, If I see a friend during a lucid dream, I sometimes tell them to remember the dream so we can talk about it the next day. I forget that they aren't real.
The shift of consciousness that occurred during my NDE was the same as when one *wakes up*. For a brief instance, I saw myself on the bridge of the USS Enterprise (because I loved Star Trek as a child) and then that surrounding faded away. I felt as though I was in an enclosed sphere, or space, whose walls glowed. I immediately wondered if I had died.
(I've always wondered why I saw the bridge of the Enterprise (and not Jesus), and I think it's because it symbolically spoke to me in a more immediate and meaningful way than if I had met a figure like Jesus. What did it symbolize? - that I was no longer on Earth.)
I was fully conscious. I knew that I should be sleeping. I knew that I was no longer dreaming. I thought that I had died. I was surprised that it was so sudden and easy. Most significant of all, I had 360 degree, 3-deminsional vision. This is not something I had ever imagined, heard of or experienced. This, alone, told me that I was experiencing something I had never experienced before.
I often read that skeptics, and even the accepting, can't imagine how one can see without a physical apparatus (or how the blind can see). Based on my own direct experience, I can explain how this is possible. My own experience was that I was not "seeing". I answer others (who have asked me the same question) that the soul doesn't "see". The soul, or our consciousness, is in all things and *is* all things. I wasn't seeing, so much as *being* what it was that I wanted to perceive. If I wanted to look at a pine tree, I wasn't actually "seeing" the pine tree, I *was* or *became* the pine tree from whatever perspective I chose to "see" it. I could see it as a tree or at the molecular level. Since *I* was also the tree, there was no limitation as concerns my ability to "perceive" or "know" the tree. In fact, this is a better way of putting it. The soul (or the nub of consciousness that we become once we leave our bodies) doesn't "see" things -- we "know" things. If we want to see a pine tree, we "know" it. We don't see it. Concepts like "near" or "far" are meaningless to the "soul" because we are one with all things and all things are one with us. We see things distant with the same perfect clarity as the things that are nearby because there is no such thing as near or far. We don't "see" the spectrum of visible light, we "know" the spectrum of visible light because this facet of the universe is no different from any other.
I could see in all directions at once: front, back, left, right, up and down. Strangest of all is that I could focus in all those directions at once - something that even now I have a hard time imagining. The faint glow that surrounded me faded away and I was in a black void.
I was momentarily lost, then saw a faint pinprick of light grow steadily "closer" or larger. I was draw toward it, or it toward me. I had no sense of relative motion. The light was beautiful, white, and just profoundly beautiful. I remember the moment it enveloped me. I experienced pure and unconditional love. I can't even write this without tears. I won't be any better at expressing that love than any other NDE'r. I knew, wherever I was, that I never wanted to leave it. I didn't think in terms of "going back", only that I didn't want to leave.
I was also shown, or made to understand, everything that had ever happened or would happen and it all made perfect, beautiful and flawless sense. Like so many others, I just remember how obvious it all seemed and how perfect. The experience of being in the light is pure jubilation, joy, understanding and love.
I next found myself standing on a path. There was grass to either side and a small tree ahead of me. The path went around the tree to the right. I couldn't see what was beyond. There was darkness above, to left, my right, and ahead of me. I remember feeling lost. At this point I started walking on the path and calling for my grandfather (who had just died). When I reached the tree (more like a sapling) I felt something push against me.
At the next moment I was being "sucked" back into my body. I'll never forget that experience. I describe it as akin to a genie being put back into a bottle. I went from a complete, weightless, oneness with the universe and all else that contained the universe, to the bottle of my body. The experience really *was* like being sucked back into a small enclosure.
immediately sat up. I remember this with perfect clarity. I looked out my
bedroom window and saw the first, faint, dark purple hint of morning. I was in a
cold sweat - the first time in my life I had ever experienced a cold sweat. It
took me seven years before I shared my experience. I shared it with no one. I
was afraid to.
At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain My heartbeat has been irregular and has, on occasions, entirely stopped since I was a child and has, on occasion, caused me to black-out. (I once had to wear a kind of 24-hour heart monitor.) My heart has always "restarted", if that's the correct term *on its own*. It's possible that my heart stopped that night, but I can offer nothing in the way of evidence.
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Yes, the qualitative difference in consciousness between a semi-lucid dream and the NDE is almost impossible to describe. How does one describe the difference between a lucid dream and every day consciousness? The tremendous love expressed by the Light is also profoundly difficult to communicate.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The instant that I was embraced by the Light.
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 The experience of being able to focus in all directions at once is not something I can presently imagine. Also, the experience of being encompassed by the light was indescribably powerful.
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. As stated above, my vision during the experience was like nothing I had ever experienced or imagined. I could "see" in all directions at once and focus on all those directions simultaneously.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I remember hearing my own voice when I was calling for my deceased grandfather, but nothing besides that.
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? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Bliss. I thought that I must have died. When the Light enveloped me, returning to my "life on earth" couldn't have been further from my thoughts.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes The Light didn't feel as though it had a personality or identity. It simply *was*. It *is*. It is Love and complete knowledge. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. I don't know how else to describe this *experience* that was the Light.
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.)? Uncertain I write uncertain because I began looking for my recently deceased grandfather (my adoptive father). As soon as I called his name, I was "pushed" back into my body.
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain See answer to question 20.
Did you become aware of past events in your life during your experience? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place
After experiencing the Light, I saw a path. The path went through grass and the grass was short. The path veered right around a small tree, making a semi-circle. There was darkness to my left and right and beyond the tree so that I actually felt as though I were in an enclosed space. I felt that I should walk along the path but when I reached the tree, and began calling for my grandfather, I was pushed back into my body.
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 all meaning. That's the best I can do.
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes
Something wouldn't allow me to go further than the tree.
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
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 When I was embraced by the Light, I was shown that everything had happened for a reason and that everything which was *going* to happen would be for a reason. The universe made perfect and beautiful sense.
During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that God or a supreme being either does (or does not) exist? Uncertain The Light simply *is*. There was no sense of "a God" or "supreme being", though I jokingly like to say that I "met God". In reality, I experienced complete oneness. This oneness was four dimensional (in a sense) because I also experienced *Time* as a oneness and not as something that is linear. Time, for lack of a better analogy, was like a block of wood that I could look at, examine and turn around. As to God -- my experience of Oneness left me with the knowledge that all is God and God is in all things. To speak of "a" God or "a" Supreme Being is to imply a separateness that doesn't reflect my experience.
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? Yes Yes, being in the Light permitted me to experience complete unity, at every level, with BEING.
During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s meaning or purpose? Uncertain
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 The Light's embrace, that pure inexhaustible experience of Love, was something I immediately understood as the fabric of all existence.
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 At no time did anyone or being "explain" anything to me. The experience *itself* was the information. I hope that makes sense.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge or purpose? No
What occurred during your experience included: Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I was eleven years old. Nothing in the experience was consistent with anything I knew or had been taught.
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 This experience is as clear as the day that it occurred. The power of the experience has never diminished.
Discuss any changes that might have occurred in your life after your experience: This is hard to quantify because my experience occurred when I was so young. The NDE has influenced every day of my life since. I love reading NDEs. To me they're like Postcards from Home. I never tire of them. I'm not religious. I don't belong to any religion. I'm not even sure I would call myself spiritual. I love life. Life is what it is. If we live life to the fullest, compassionately and with Love, then we are living spiritually.
My experience directly resulted in: Unknown
Did you have any changes in your values or beliefs after the experience that occurred as a result of the experience? Uncertain My values and beliefs were unformed prior to my NDE. I was a child.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I have had many wonderful dreams since the experience, including communicating with deceased loved ones. I constantly feel guidance during my life. If I ask a question, of a spiritual nature, I always receive an answer. I once asked how we could be both separate and one. I was shown a vision of an infinitely multifaceted diamond with Light inside it. All the tiny points of Light broadcast by the facets of the diamond were our individual souls, separate but also *of* the Light itself.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Being enveloped by the Light was especially meaningful.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Seven years passed before I shared my experience with anyone else. I never shared it with my grandmother. I always worried that she would misinterpret the experience as a "death-wish". Sometimes I feel as though I've been guided to share my experience with certain individuals.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened: Experience was definitely real There was no question but that I experienced something real. The experience of consciousness separate from anything I had ever *physically* experienced, the panoramic vision for example, deeply and profoundly affected me. I experienced consciousness outside my physical body and beyond the capabilities of my normal senses. I knew it was real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time: Experience was definitely real Since that experience, I have read hundreds of NDE's. Each NDE is like a postcard from home. I know what these other NDEr's experienced and I can't help tear up, sometimes, when I read their testimony. I do wish that I had seen some of the beautiful landscapes described by others; but I think I've experienced these landscapes, later, in dreams.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? Uncertain I was a child when I had my NDE.
Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience? Uncertain My beliefs and spiritual practices were unformed.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It's possible that I was not "Near Death" during my NDE.
so, then perhaps anyone can experience an NDE at any time.
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?
Please put together a book. Just experiences, no analysis or commentary.
Organize them by age.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Please ask this question of others:
Did the experience make life more or less important to you?As for myself, the answer is both at the same time. I feel less attached to life. I don't fear death. Life, at all costs, is indescribably less important to me. But the experience also makes me want to enjoy life as a gift and temporary experience, rather than as my only moment of desperate consciousness in a cold and indifferent universe.