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Helen R's Experiences

Experience description:   

I have two experiences to share that might be of interest to your readers:  My family, growing up, were not particularly religious, although we went to church occasionally.  When I was four years old, I remember that my mother asked my father what he wanted for Christmas that year, and he asked for a Bible. I vaguely knew what that was, and was happy when Christmas came around to see that he got one.  That night my father decided to read us the Christmas story from Mathew, and gathered us around.  (I was the oldest of three children, having two younger brothers.)  He read the first chapter aloud to us, and when he didn't get to the end of the story by the end of the chapter, he closed the book and said he would read it to us the next night. That began an almost-eight year practice of reading us a chapter of the Bible before bed every night.  We went all the way through the Bible three times in those years.  We did not attend Bible studies, nor were we told how to interpret what we heard.  Several years after ending this practice in our home, I found myself alone in the sanctuary of our church one night.  I was a senior in high school, my next oldest brother had died earlier in the year, quite unexpectedly, and I suddenly found myself talking to God for the first time.  I told him that listening to the Bible all those years was a lot like listening to someone reading the phone book out loud.  I asked him if he was real, and told him that if he was I wanted to know it.  No response.  Fast forward three and a half years:  I was just starting my senior year of college and was living with my grandmother.  The young man I was passionately in love came through town and stayed with us for a night or two.  He had been working at a Christian conference center on the Oregon coast over the summer, and had made friends with a young man who lived near my grandmother.  His friend had to leave the job a bit before the end of summer, but wanted to hear the talk given by a pastor who came after he had left.  My love  (& that 'love' was very fond of me, but did not reciprocate my passion) recorded the talk his friend had wanted to hear.  The morning after my guy arrived at my grandmother's, he announced he was taking the cassette tape over to his friend's house to play it for him and asked if I wanted to go along.  I sure did.  When we arrived at the friend's house, a cassette player was laid on the floor of the living room, the cassette inserted and we all began listening.  I wasn't talking but looking south out the picture window and watching the sun crest a hill to the east of the house, and enjoying the bright light shooting across the lawn.  Suddenly, I became aware of a much brighter light behind my head, in the room.  I turned my head and looked.  In the doorway between the living room and dining room was a tall column of light, reaching almost all the way to the ceiling.  I couldn't see a figure in it, but i knew instinctively that this was Christ.  He began moving toward me at the speed of a mortal man walking.  I quickly glanced at the others to see if they could see this light,  No one else seemed to notice it.  When He arrived chair side, he said to me, telepathically ""Well?"".  I could 'hear' that he wanted to know if I was going to walk with him or not.  I joyfully said yes, and He immediately left.  The joy of that encounter stayed with me for many days, many weeks, and remains in a more muted form even today.  I remember clearly realizing within days that every cell in my body had altered because of the encounter. 

Almost two and a half years later, I was going to graduate school and living in a very old dormitory that had been set aside for graduate students.  While it was a 'coed' dorm, the men had two floors and the women had one.  The classroom on the middle floor was now the TV lounge, but as it was on one of the men's floors, the women rarely ventured in.  I, however, had no problem going into the lounge to watch what I wanted, and quickly made friends with many of the men, although I didn't date any of them.  They adopted me as a 'sister', and at least one of those friendships continues today.  While I had a degree in literature, I was studying education at the time, in preparation for becoming a teacher.  But then, as now, my interests were wide ranging and I enjoyed reading in many different areas.  In December, toward the end of the semester, I had begun reading George Gamow's book, One, Two, Three....Infinity.  By chapter three I became quite excited because I suddenly understood, in a flash, how easily a theory of infinity could prove God's existence mathematically.  Within a day or two of realizing this, I went to the TV lounge at noon one day -- another sunny day.  I didn't see any of my dearer friends in the room, but there were a dozen young men in the room.  I was standing next to a blackboard and noticed chalk in the tray below it.  At that time, a young man named Christian, who had just finished his Master's in math, and I began talking about God.  I hardly knew him, and was surprised that we took up this topic so readily.  He said he was an atheist.  I asked him what he would think if I could prove God's existence to him through mathematics.  You can imagine how skeptical he looked, but he allowed me to try.  I picked up the chalk and began outlining my idea on the blackboard.  Suddenly, while I was talking and writing on the board, I found myself across the room, standing with my back to the far wall, watching myself.  I knew that there was an entity of some sort to my right, but no communication occurred between us.  I was quite surprised and looked to see that half of the young men in the room were gathered in a line behind me and the other half were standing behind Christian.  I had the impression that they were choosing sides.  I saw that i was still talking and writing and wondered how I was doing that when I  was clearly across the room from my body.  I suppose I panicked at that moment and instantly I was back in my body.  When I finished talking I looked at Christian, who was by then gaping at me.  He finally stammered that he would have to say that he was no longer an atheist but that he had to think about things, and that he was going to claim agnosticism for the moment.  That was good enough for me, and I rather staggered out of the room.  Within a few hours I had completely forgotten what i had told him, and felt like I had to forget it, that I needed to forget what I had understood about infinity and the proof of God. 

At the time of this last experience, I was able to tell when people were going to die, beginning with JFK's assassination and continuing with the death of my brother at the beginning of my senior year of high school.  I was uncomfortable with this talent.  When I returned to the graduate dorm after Christmas vacation, I got to the floor with the TV lounge, on my way up to my room, and the air was thick with 'death'.  This was like fog, or a scent, or a combination of the two that I cannot successfully describe.  I soon learned that two separate young men who lived on that floor had died in separate car accidents on their way to their respective homes for the holidays.  One of them was Christian. 

Soon after that, I asked God to take away my ability to know when death was 'in the air' as it upset me deeply.  He did, and I have not had issues with that since.  On the other hand, being dead holds no fear for me at all.","In the first experience, when I talking to the Light, Christ.  In the second, when I was watching myself from across the room while i talked about infinity.

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

Was the experience difficult to express in words?       No

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?    More consciousness and alertness than normal

How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness?      In the first experience, the brightness that caused me to look away from the earthly sunlight was exceptional, and when He talked to me, I was not aware of the recording playing in the room.  I was also aware of the fact that He was indeed Truth, and was very aware that what He said was 'it' -- that there was no trying to convince him of my side of things, if I were to try.  But I had no need to.  In the second experience, the point of greatest alertness occurred when I was across the room watching my body work.  My sense of self was with me across the room and not in my mortal body.   No

Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.   The same, normal.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.   I clearly left my body and existed outside it

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?   I saw myself drawing on the chalkboard, explaining my proof of God's existence.   Joy, deep joy, with the first experience; real surprise and enjoyment with the second.

What emotions did you feel during the experience?   Incredible peace or pleasantness  

Did you pass into or through a tunnel?      Yes

Did you see an unearthly light?   The light in the living room was brighter than the sunlight outside the room, but quite easy to look at.  I had the impression that it was 'toned down' so that I could look at it.   A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin

Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice?   When the light reached my chair, I looked up at it, where His head would be, while he asked me,
"Well?"  I have chuckled over his rather laconic tone many times since then.  However, it was telepathic.

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.)?   I understood immediately upon seeing the Light, that He was Jesus, the Christ.   Yes

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?  

Did time seem to speed up or slow down?   No

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything?   No

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?   No

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

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that God or a supreme being either does (or does not) exist?   There was no doubt that the Light in my first experience was identified as Christ.  In the second experience, there was someone whom I did not see or speak to standing beside me to my right, someone 'unearthly'.   No

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that you either did (or did not) exist prior to this lifetime?      Yes

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that a mystical universal connection or unity/oneness either does (or does not) exist?   If you count talking to an unearthly light who is self-identified as Christ, then I definitely have to say that there is a mystical world, a world beyond the boundaries of human senses.   No

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

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?      No

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

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge or purpose?   I clearly understood a very simple mathematical proof of God's existence, a proof that I forgot very soon after the second experience.   Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience

What occurred during your experience included:   While I was raised on the Bible, and my family were definitely identified as Christian, and I had heard the scriptures about Christ being the Way, the Truth and the Life, it was quite memorable to encounter him as Truth.  As a teacher in the following years, i often had cause to chuckle inwardly when a youngster would try to argue his or her way out of trouble, having obviously succeeded at doing so many times earlier in their lives.  I knew, as a result of my experience, that there would be no arguing Christ into taking their word for things as they tried to convince him that they weren't at fault for what they did or didn't do.   I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of th

How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience?      I was uncertain if God exists

Discuss any changes that might have occurred in your life after your experience:   Large changes in my life

My experience directly resulted in:   Yes

Did you have any changes in your values or beliefs after the experience that occurred as a result of the experience?  
The Bible went from being a 'phone book', to being powerfully personal, touching me and guiding me.  I often feel the presence of the Lord, where before there was nothing.   Uncertain

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience?   I could tell when death was entering the picture, starting with JFK's assassination when I was 13.  (I remember telling my mother the Sunday before he died that he shouldn't go to Dallas).  But afterwards, I could walk down a street and see what people had on their minds. Too many of those minds had unpleasantness in them, so I don't practice that at all now.   I have been so intensely uncomfortable with some people who seemed 'normal' that I have avoided them, only to learn later that they were doing things that were dreadful to themselves or others  I have had many dreams that carried messages for me.  I have heard voices telling me things i need to know.  I have help cooking, if I ask for it (getting a 'nudge' when things in the oven are done, that sort of thing).  But for the most part, I don't seek out these special gifts as so many of them also pertain to darkness and fear.  My life is challenging enough to not want to pursue activities that let fear or unkindness into my life.   Yes.  Having Christ come to me, rather than the other way around, was quite shocking.

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

Have you ever shared this experience with others?  
Several weeks after meeting Christ before I told it to anyone. It felt 'holy', and I was reluctant to just pass it around.  I didn't share it too often at first, but I have now told it many times and have never had a negative response to it.  If someone felt I was crackers for it, I either didn't pick up on it or didn't worry about it. I feel like most people whom I tell are open to the idea. 

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?      Experience was definitely real

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:   As I say, it felt like a 'holy' experience, to be treasured, pondered over, and rejoiced in privately for some time afterward.   Experience was definitely real

What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time:   Christ is an increasingly powerful presence in my life.  I knew from my early years that my life would be difficult, and if He had not made himself real to me, I seriously doubt that I could have shepherded my family safely through the trauma that we underwent for decades (my husband came from a very abusive family; his sister says he was 'savagely abused' growing up, and while he worked hard to not pass that abusive behavior on to his own children, our years with him while we were raising our sons were extremely difficult.  I felt strongly that had I left him he would have tried to kill us or would have left and never contacted his children again.  We had one son who spent 8 or 9 years doing drugs and drinking himself into oblivion.  There were other major family issues as well during this time.  Our sons have come through as decent, hard-working  men who love their wives deeply and treat them well, from what I can gather.  My husband has quieted and is slowly learning to be generous with others.  He is 'a work in progress' (as am I), and has made great strides.  I feel that at least a share of this success has come because I have prayed, prayed, prayed for understanding, help and guidance, and have received it as needed.   Yes

Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?   I don't dismiss the sense that I have of someone as being 'unclean', or not to be palled around with, as I would have done before my experience with Christ.  I have many friends and feel loved and supported, and those friends have all proven to be reliable and kind over the years.  I also don't feel I need to have friends, if for some reason no one is around, as I feel loved and comforted no matter what.   Uncertain

Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?   I have always had trouble with church and Bible studies, as i find that so often what is being taught is inaccurate or incomplete.  I don't like being told how to interpret this scripture or that.  I read the Bible to my sons, all the way through, two and a half times, and continue to love it and treasure it and read it today -- but i find it very difficult to belong to a particular group within the faith.  I am deeply disturbed by the notion that one political party is "Christian" while the other is not.  That notion is worse than absurd, and will lead to our destruction if we don't bring about a course correction on the matter, sooner rather than later. I also believe the God has his people in all religions and regions around the world, in all social and financial strata everywhere, whether Christianity is there or not, and that they do His work and will be with Him in heaven.  Before my experience, I used to wonder how God could create millions of people who would never hear the Christian salvation message and then dump them into hell because they hadn't accepted him.  I also wondered how the prophets and ancestors of Christ in the Old Testament could get into heaven if they hadn't accepted Christ.  I now understand that God does not intend to withhold his love from us for any reason, no matter where or how we were raised.  i now understand (and I understand the Orthodox to believe this) that we have the choice to make that decision to stand with God, accepting and spreading his love, after we die.  When Christ says he is The Way, just as he is The Truth, he wasn't kidding.  I think all those who recognize Him, want to be with him, no matter what they were trained up in life to call him, will be with him. And the rest will be able to enter into heaven whenever they are ready and willing to accept his love and forgiveness.   No

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience?      The experience of meeting Christ has given me joy, guidance and support over some difficult years.  I don't take it lightly, and when I meet someone who has had a similar experience, I know that it was because they needed it to get through this life.  My concern now, in these quiet years left to me, is to focus ever more on my thoughts and behavior, trying hard to become more adept at being fully gracious and positive in all aspects of my existence.  I want to be the best I can be.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience?   Yes

Did the questions asked and information that you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?      Maintain your current website, so that people with this on their minds have somewhere to go to connect with others who share their experiences and concerns.  And joys!

What could a national organization with an interest in near death experience (NDE) do that would be of interest to you?      While it might not be pertinent, it would be good to know how people other than the authors who are involved in these NDEs or OBEs, fared.  Did the baby live?  Did the other passengers die or did they walk away?  Did the experience bring healing of any sort?  That sort of thing.  I often find myself praying for people in these stories when their outcomes are not clear, worried about them.