Lynn R's Experience
The tree outside our kitchen window, in a dance of pleasure, displayed its new leaves to me. It was May, 1973 and a new spring had come. The tree’s old branches twisted in awkward directions in reaction to its environment. My mind played with thoughts of the coming summer. The end of winter offered the opportunity to go beyond the confines of our homes. We could spread out like the old tree to the sun’s warmth.
The hot sudsy water went unnoticed as I mechanically washed the dishes. Leah was now in grade one and Brad attended afternoon kindergarten. After lunch I had kissed them off to school for the afternoon and tucked Wendy away for a nap. She was getting to the age where she really didn’t need a nap. Still, I needed her to have one. In the coming summer she would be allowed to give up the practice for good.
Afternoon was the perfect time to get things done. Then once the housework was finished, I could find some time for myself. My second year of college had just ended and I planned on immersing myself into the quiet before the children were home for the summer.
As my mind meandered amongst the forest of my thoughts, I was unprepared for what waiting there for me. Without warning, my brain seemed to have a mind of its own. The tree beyond the window reached out to me and embraced me in its reality. I had the overwhelming and unquestioning feeling that the tree and I were inseparably and totally one.
I had often felt a kinship with trees. These majestic silence creatures continually give and ask little in return. Yet, the experience I was immersed in, like a bottomless pool, was far deeper.
In a way I could not account for, I became the tree, and the tree, in turn, became me. An essence within the tree was also within me. Through this fundamental nature we shared our connectedness.
Joy and love surged through me and filled my awareness. I experienced a connectedness to all of life. Within the happiness was a profound feeling that everything was in its proper place and all was as it should be.
Unaware I was dripping suds onto the floor, I consciously thought of other forms of life; fish in the ocean, lions and elephants in wild, a bird that sat in the tree and the bug the bird was about to eat. Whatever form of life I thought of I became completely enmeshed with it. I was not able to tell where the creature began and I ended. There simply was no difference or separation.
The experience slipped silently away into memory. I suddenly was awaked to the world and water was dripping on the floor.
The event lasted less than a minute yet the effect was a lifetime of learning. I now knew that the world was not a bunch of separate beings living life. Deep in the center of my soul I knew everything in the world was wonderfully connected in a way I did not yet understand.
Eastern philosophies talk of similar experiences. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to witness one of the great mysteries of life. Little did I know that this was only the first of a series of parallel occurrences.
A few days later, I busily spot-washed fingerprints off the hall walls. The quiet house lulled me into a state of peace and serenity. Without warning, my conscious thought seemed to be taken over by something beyond me.
A moment ago I had been washing marks off the hall walls, now I was intensely aware of an atom playfully dancing in my mind. Without trying to capture my thoughts and return them to their proper shelf, I allowed my mind to float in its own direction. There was an atom with its stable nucleus. Electrons industriously spun around the core. As though each electron had its own consciousness, it knew exactly what it was to do. Planning and order of the atom’s actions dominated my awareness.
In a flash the image in my mind changed. With no control on my part, the vision of the atom was replaced. Now a representation of our solar system whirled before me. The sun sat contentedly in a semi-stationary position while the planets busily spun around it as if in a perpetual game of tag. Once more the emphasis was placed on the deliberate order, rhythm and planning of what I was viewing. Inexplicably, I knew some form of intelligence was behind all I was being shown. I knew deep in the core of my being, that the order and planning of the universe was not just an accident.
Again the vision expanded. Now I looked at our galaxy. The Milky Way Galaxy spun before me like a spinning ice skater. Once more the order, planning and intelligence embedded within the universe was stressed. It seemed that nothing I saw had happened come about by accident.
The view of the micro and macro universe over and over gave the same message. The order and rhythm of everything in the universe were not accidental. There was intelligence and planning behind all that was.
At this point another message shoved into my awareness. This new idea kept me wondering for many years. No voice spoke, yet the information was so powerful that I was immobilized to dispute or deny it in any way. It came like an irresistible force that crashed into the center of my gut. "Your being is intricately connected with the operation of the universe!" the message said.
Although the information was like a force on its own, I instantly attempted to deny what I had learned. Yet, no disagreement was possible. The message rang as true as the reality of my name. Yet, I had a real problem with the last piece of understanding.
I don’t have delusions of grandeur, I told myself. When it comes to the universe, I was smaller than a speck of dust. If so, then how could my being have anything to do with the operation of the universe?
A few days later, the last experience was offered as a peaceful gift. It vibrated deep within me with even greater knowledge. As before, the afternoon house was quiet. On this particular day, I stood in the living room after picking up the children's toys. The large space and high ceiling gave the impression of great expanse. I scrunched down low to catch any toys hiding under the couch or easy chair.
Even now I do not understand how it happened, or why. All I know is that one more time, without warning, I was being led into the world of mystery and joy.
I saw nothing out of the ordinary, yet I was not alone. There was a presence in the room with me. I hesitate to call the presence a being or person because no being I knew could do what happened next.
An enormous blanket of love, peace and joy engulfed me. Overwhelming love was being beamed right at me. I did not struggle or wonder what was happening. I simply allowed the experience to overcome me.
Then I felt an umbilical cord in the centre of my being directly connecting me to the presence. Happily I basked in the pleasure of the love and peace. It was then I heard actual words.
Unlike the messages of before, where I was given impression and thoughts; this time the words were clear and as open as a child’s face. The presence spoke directly into my right ear with words that were unmistakable. There did not seem to be a gender attached to the voice. It could have been a woman with a low voice or a man with a soft medium level voice. The words simply told me, "This is where you came from and this is where you will return."
And then, just as suddenly as it had begun, the experience was over. I was alone in the room with no presence, no voices, and no blanket of love and joy. That may have been the last of these experiences, but it was not the end for me.
For months I floated in ecstasy. Nothing bothered me. The children’s noisy play usually set my nerves on edge. Not any longer, they could squeal and play and I easily shut their noise out. I lived in my world of joy and serenity.
Before these experiences I was terrified of dying. As a little girl of nine or ten, my paternal grandfather died of heart failure; my first human death. This event shoved the realization at me that I too was destined to die. I lay in bed thinking of this horrid eventuality. When I could find no way around the surety of it, I called out to Mom.
“What’s wrong with you?” my atheist mother asked.
“I’m going to die,” I announced.
“What are you talking about?”
“Some day, I am going to die just like Grandpa Pilling.”
“Oh, stop worrying about silly things. You have another hundred years to go before it ever comes to that.”
With this she swished away to join my dad and aunt down stairs.
Still, the terror of my impending doom never left me. Night after night I struggled with the reality of my death. When I could come to no understanding or acceptance I eventually went once more to my mother. By this time I was a teenager and she felt that I was able to hear the truth.
“Well,” she said, “there are many different thoughts about death. Most of the faiths believe that we carry on in one way or another. I don’t happen to believe that. I think that we simply disappear after death. Nothing happens, we just stop being.”
The idea of ceasing to be sent even greater shivers of terror down my spine. I could not accept that I or all the people I love would just stop being with nothing else. No there had to be another answer.
At night I worked myself into a worried mess asking over and over what will become of me. Will I disappear into nothingness? What will happen to the people I love?
The instant I had the mysterious experiences, I stopped asking about death. Now I had my answer. Now I knew where I was going. Now I could look forward to dying. Never did I become suicidal; I just knew that when the day came it would be a positive experience.
Another change happened after my spiritual experience. I was a serious nail biter. My bitten nails were gnawed back so far that I could not chew any more. When I ran out of nail I chewed the skin around the nails. They looked like bleeding, piggy fingers that mice had been snacking on. After these beautiful experiences, one day I looked down at my hands and I had nails. I do not recall stopping myself from biting them. It just seemed to happen unassisted.
It took me
many years to understand the meaning of these spiritual events, but the learning
made me feel alive. Life has become a joyous adventure. When I think back to
the experiences as a whole, I believe that the entire experience was designed to
teach me about the Oneness of all. I have come to realize that if we are all
one and there truly is planning, order, and Intelligence within the operation of
the universe, then we must all be connected to that Intelligence and the
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are no words in English that can accurately describe the experience.
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? No
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? All the way through 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: More alive and involved with life especially at the end
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 Absolutely, I saw things I had not known existed. I had knowledge that was mind boggling at the time.
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.)?
Yes Yes, I heard words in my mind, aside from my own thoughts.
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Excitement and happiness in the begging. At the end elation, joy, love and peace.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? No
Did you see a light? No
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes Although I did not see anyone else with me, I felt an incredibly strong sense that someone was there with me. A presence I could not explain.
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? No
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? No
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes Time had no meaning. I have no idea how long any of the experiences took.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes Absolutely, I felt that was the main reason for the experience.
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 I have a deeper sense of what is going on with other people. At times it is as if I could read their thoughts/feelings.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes I was confused and uncertain and searched for answers about six years later.
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 I just never doubted it. I knew I had the reality and that it was real. However, it took me many years to come to an understanding of it.
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you? Yes the end left me with peace about my future death some day.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience: Experience was definitely real There is no doubt in my mind that it was real.
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? Yes Yes, before the experience I wondered if here really was a God. Now I know there is.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain No to the medications, but I did have a strange event after the one above. I was sitting at my desk at work writing a report and I clearly heard a voice by my right ear say, "I want to use you." My immediate reaction was fear and rejection. I did not want to seem weird or strange to others and didn't understand why me. I remember asking, why me? Why not some good, born again Christian. I didn't even know the bible. No matter how much I asked, I got no answer. I even went to psychics to see if they could tell me what I was to do. I felt very frightened and worried I would not be able to do whatever was asked of me. After hearing nothing more I decided that it was just my imagination and forgot about it. Four years later I was in a restaurant with my daughter when the voice came back. It said, "I still want to use you, you know." Well, I had just gone through some traumatic events and felt burned out. I just thought back, "Okay, but I have nothing left to give." The voice answered, "Don't worry, I'm preparing you now." and with the last statement, I had flash pictures of a man and a lot of money. I have no idea if the man owned the money or if the money was to help me in what I was to do. I just gave up worrying about it. It has been been twenty-three years since that time and I still don't know what I was to do. Perhaps I've done it or perhaps it is still to be done. I just don't thing about it anymore, maybe it just came from my soul.
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? Yes, prior to the experiences, I had taken a meditation course and tried to find time to meditate every day. While during the experiences I had been working, I wonder if I allowed my mind to open up to the experience.
Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes I still don't understand it all, but feel comfortable with all that I have answered