Jasna P's Experience
A flat bleak grayish-bluish space with a distant horizon. In the sky, above the horizon and to my left a swirling cloudy turmoil is slowly approaching. As it gets nearer it turns out to be a mass of turbulent pitch-black clouds with lightening arrow-like flashes. The black clouds are throbbing with ominous, deep booming thunder and the lightening flashes are shrieking like banshees. I am mesmerized by the sight but I also start being frightened. This awesome thing is coming nearer and nearer. It starts pulling me towards it. By now I am terrified. I realize that it's madness - if I let it pull me in I'll remain in this mad horror forever. I resist with all my might but it holds me firmly in its grip. It's very near now, on the point of sucking me in when, out of sheer terror which gives me strength, I manage to wrench myself away. The impetus of this wrench throws me to the right, spinning. I land near the edge of a vast, limitless expanse of a shiny blacker than black blackness, like a black ocean. It's calm. It's silent. It's alive. It's stillness is terrifying. I realize that this is death. And it too is pulling me in. I resist again, my terror giving me strength, I manage to wrench myself away - only to spin back into the clutches of the throbbing shrieking madness ... I went back and forth between the two in this way many times ...
then, without any transition, I am on the settee in our sitting room, my husband holding me, comforting me - I am greatly relieved, happy ...
suddenly - again without any transition - I am back again fighting the pulls of madness and death, flinging myself from one to the other. I begin to lose my strength. I am growing tired. I am growing weak. There is no way out and I can't fight them any more. The only thing I can do is make a choice. I choose death. Awesomely terrifying as it is, I choose it as the lesser evil.
The next instant I am floating in this blackness - it's over and below me, all around me. Nothing but black blackness. I am in an infinite black void. I am weightless. It's so peaceful. It's so welcoming. A thought crosses my mind "why did I fight so hard not to get here? why was I so afraid?" - but I don't really care. It doesn't matter. The black void envelopes me. It rocks me gently. It loves me. I am one with it. I share in it's peace and tranquility. This is where I belong. I am snug and safe as in a womb.
Then - again without any transition - I am lying on the settee in our sitting room, still in this beautiful tranquil mood. My husband is kneeling beside the settee, looking extremely worried. I smile at him. I tell him not to look so worried, I'm fine. He doesn't react in any way. He continues looking at me with the same anguished face. He doesn't seem to have heard me. I repeat that I am fine and to stop worrying. His face again remains the same, exactly as if I had said nothing. I realize he can't hear me. This puzzles me. I look at him more closely and I notice that he is actually looking slightly to my right - as if at somebody lying next to me. This puzzles me too. Then I notice that there's actually a barrier between us - like a thick glass wall - and my husband is at the other side of it. That's why he can't hear me. I realize I can't reach him. It doesn't worry me. I sit up. Now I see my husband's back, he's still leaning over whatever it is that he's looking at. I look through glass wall. On the other side of it is life. I am watching the living world - and it's a mess. So much turmoil and confusion! So much unnecessary suffering! It's because the living don't know. They don't know that they are struggling over trifles, that so much of what they do does not matter. I feel great pity, deep compassion. I so wish I could tell them, help them. But there's no way to reach them from this side of the wall. Ah well. It's as it should be. Everybody must pass through life and its confusion. Nothing can ever be done about it. The confusion of life is the necessary part of the order of things. Everybody must pass through it before they can get to where I am.
The next instant -
again without any transition - I am floating up a black tunnel with light at the
end of it. I know it is the extension of the black void and the black void
feelings are with me - calm, peace, serenity, harmony. I can't even say that
they are feelings because for that there must be someone who feels them. Rather
- I am serenity and harmony. Suddenly - a nasty giant grabs me and snatches me
out of there. I hate it, I struggle violently ...
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Yes The experience was so much out of the scope of our normal everyday awareness that words and language are totally limiting, inadequate. It's like attempting to perform brain surgery with a flint knife, or print Shakespeare in pictorial script.
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Uncertain Overdose of hashish - I don't know whether it was actually life threatening or not.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the experience my consciousness was of an entirely different order than our normal consciousness. There are no levels to it.
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal every day consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal
If your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain: During the experience my consciousness was of an entirely different order than our normal consciousness. There are no levels to it.
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.)? No
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? Fear, terror, calm, peace, love, compassion, serenity, hate (when snatched out of the tunnel).
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? Yes I am floating up a black tunnel with light at the end of it. I know it is the extension of the black void and the black void feelings are with me - calm, peace, serenity, harmony. I can't even say that they are feelings because for that there must be someone who feels them. Rather - I am serenity and harmony. Suddenly - a nasty giant grabs me and snatches me out of there. I hate it, I struggle violently ...
Did you see a light? Yes At the end of the tunnel.
Did you meet or see any other beings? No
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 My husband confirmed that I was unconscious and he was in a terrible quandary whether to seek medical help or not (seeing that it was drug-related). He made me throw up and this may have saved my life assuming I was at death's door which I believe I was. I also believe throwing up was "the giant" who snatched me from the tunnel.
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? Yes I land near the edge of a vast, limitless expanse of a shiny blacker than black blackness, like a black ocean. It's calm. It's silent. It's alive. It's stillness is terrifying. I realize that this is death. The next instant I am floating in this blackness - it's over and below me, all around me. Nothing but black blackness. I am in an infinite black void.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes Space was infinite and there was no time.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes I call it my "cosmic consciousness". It's out there. All we have to do is tap into it - which, under normal circumstances, we can't do. It's a freely given total understanding of "what it's all about" - but this description is woefully inadequate and can be easily misleading. It's being one with the universe. It's understanding life and death. This all sounds bombastic, but there is no other way I can put it. Also:
I am watching the
living world - and it's a mess. So much turmoil and confusion! So much
unnecessary suffering! It's because the living don't know. They don't know that
they are struggling over trifles, that so much of what they do does not matter.
I feel great pity, deep compassion. I so wish I could tell them, help them. But
there's no way to reach them from this side of the wall. Ah well. It's as it
should be. Everybody must pass through life and its confusion. Nothing can ever
be done about it. The confusion of life is the necessary part of the order of
things. Everybody must pass through it before they can get to where I am.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes The first boundary was the edge of the black ocean-void, the boundary between life and death. I crossed it into death.
The second boundary was
the glass wall - also the boundary between life and death. I was on the side of
death, and I couldn't cross back to life.
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? No
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes I told my husband about it straight away. He ascribed it to drug-induced hallucinations. I agreed that the 'madness' part was a hallucination. But once I crossed into the black void - everything after that was real. I told him I knew what it was like to die. I got the 'yes, dear' treatment. I didn't blame him. It could see how crazy it would sound to someone who didn't have the experience. At that time (1967) we hadn't heard of NDE, nobody had heard of it in our environment. The first time I heard of it was 18 years later, in 1985 I chanced upon a newspaper article about it. It was an absolutely wonderful feeling - that there are so many people out there who had had the same experience and who all knew that it was real. I was not alone any more. Nevertheless I didn't tell anyone for another 10 years or so. The experience was so deep and precious to me, I didn't want to tell it to people who I knew couldn't or would refuse to understand. Finally NDE became common knowledge and was at least accepted as a phenomenon bandied about. Since then I told my children and some friends. The reactions are mixed. Some take my word for it - others remain skeptical. Those who take my word for it hope that I am right and that it really is beautiful to die. They like this idea. The skeptics tell me that it's all due to change of chemicals in people's brain at the time of death. I tell them I couldn't care less whether it's chemicals or not - the point is that I know what it's like when we are dying. They are not convinced.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened: Experience was definitely real At first, I was enormously surprised that it was real. I thought, maybe, with time, I will also accept that it was a hallucination - or a dream. But I didn't. It remained real.
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you? It was a physicist I think who coined the phrase the 'indifferent universe'. It's true. The universe is magnificently indifferent. This sounds awful to most people because they immediately jump to the conclusion that then there is no love in it. And this is not true. Of course there's love in it. It's just that love is not more important than anything else. Everything matters and nothing matters. Maybe the above phrase should be rephrased as the 'indifferent harmony of the universe'. Everything fits together, is finely balanced, and is part of a whole.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience: Experience was definitely real It's still real. There is no 'why'. I can't substantiate it, or prove it.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? No
Have your religious beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience? No
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Yes I was diagnosed with cancer. I knew nothing about cancer then and I automatically took it for granted that I had a few more months to live. Instantly - I was back to being one with the universe. My 'cosmic consciousness' rushed back to me - crystal clear, as it was during my NDE. This time, however, I was also propelled into an intense experience of being ALIVE. All my senses intensified hundredfold. I saw every grain of sand, every blade of grass. Water running out of the kitchen tap was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Streets, houses, trees, textures, colors, light and shade, scents - all so unique, so marvelously beautiful. It was a wonderful miracle just to exist. Then it turned out that I didn't have cancer after all. I didn't lose it all straight away. It ebbed away slowly, over a period of a month or two. Eventually I returned to my normal everyday consciousness. I tried to retain the other consciousness but could not.
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? Yes - two things.
One - I find the account given by Dr. George Rodonaia deeply intriguing. Obviously we were both in the same black void. He says "all about me there was darkness, utter and complete darkness - the greatest darkness ever, darker than any dark, blacker than any black". If nothing else, I would recognize it by it's being "blacker than any black". There can be no two such places. The salient, most distinctive feature of the black ocean and void is that it's 'blacker than any black'. Blacker even than Caravaggio's black. I am convinced that it's the same place. And yet - we experienced it so very differently! For me - this blackness embraced me, enveloped me with love and peace, and made me one with the universe. He was shocked to find himself in it, disliked it and rejected it. I was a consciousness, I had no self or identity. He strived to regain his identity. If I had been made to remember my individuality it would have jarred as superfluous and incongruous. I can still go back at will, and when I do, I find Descartes an irrelevant trifle. I find Dr. Rodonaia's account fascinating because - before I read it, I was sure that anyone in that place would have felt the same as I did. On the other hand, when he comes into the light, his experience is very like my own.The other comment I would like to make is that my experience helped me to come to terms with the manner of my father's death. He died in a hospital, at night, alone. This was unbearable to me. That he died alone, at night, in such a bleak impersonal place. Supposing he regained consciousness just before he died, as people often do, and found himself abandoned, left to die alone? I now know that - if he did - he didn't mind. He died peacefully.