Peter W's Experience
I've had what might be called "psychological" NDEs. They occurred while I was completely alive and wide awake. There was no oxygen deprivation or any such physiological brain stress. Such biological trauma is often cited to "explain away" the Near Death Experience. My experience shows that the NDE is more general. It is related to the actual experience of dying, not to chemical changes that might take place when the heart stops beating, or whatever.
One NDE was very brief, in 1983. At the time, I was working alone on some electronics, bent over a rack, digging through a tangle of cables, looking for the lost end of one that had come unplugged.
At the time, I was a complete atheist. I thought God was Santa Clause for gullible grown-ups. C'mon. There's no such thing. But as I was bent over this electronics rack, hands stretched to the floor, clawing through that spaghetti-pile of data cables, suddenly I heard a shout, "PETER!"
Instantly, in far less than a heart-beat, I recognized God's voice. There was not a shred of doubt. About half-way into the heart-beat, I realized I had heard that voice at least a million times before. A flood of brief memories poured through me, just the last moment of a lifetime lived as some creature. Most of those lifetimes I had existed in some four-legged form. That's about as much detail as I can remember, except the fact of so many of them ended upon hearing that all-too familiar voice.
My first thought was, "I don't want to talk to you now!" What I did, however, was immediately began to stand upright and to look upward, in order to answer God with "What do YOU want!?!"
Before I got the chance to ask, however, by about the second hear-beat, I noticed a buzzing sensation in my arm coming from my finger-tip. I recognized that quickly, too. AC electricity was running through my arm. As I turned to face God, my hand came out of the tangle, and the circuit was broken.
There was no conversation with God. All in that moment, I realized what had happened: an ever-alert God had turned me away from death. Or so it seemed.
In reality, it took years to accept the experience at face value. My atheistic mind searched in vain for a non-spiritual explanation: the electricity sparked some circuit in my brain, which caused some neurons to fire, which caused me to hallucinate God's voice. But no such explanation made sense. Why would evolution create such a convoluted survival mechanism? Complete with memories? In the end, my first impression was the only impression that fit the facts.
Of course, there was always that nagging question: why me? People get electrocuted all the time. You read about it in the newspapers or hear about it on TV. God does not intervene to save them. Why me? Its only about 20 years later that I even feel comfortable sharing this.
In 1990, I had another close brush with death. There was no "paranormal" experience associated with this event, but it left me with a strong feeling that the rest of my life was sort of a gift, a bonus, because I could have died then. So I took it upon myself to "change the world."
Kinda like Jesus did, I got into trouble with the authorities. By 1996, the powers-that-be in Arizona had had enough of me. They hatched a master plan to shut me up for good: 20 years to life in prison, without possibility of parole. In today's society, we are proud to practice a "kinder, gentler" means of crucifying people: the Mandatory Minimum.
For me, it was truly life-or-death. At my age, 20 years in prison without possibility of parole as a result of a successful political black-mail would have been a fate worse than death. To give the reader some measure, 99 lifetimes out of 100, I would rather end it nailed to a cross than rotting in some American prison. The proceedings dragged on for over 2 years. It was psychological torture.
Before one particularly odious court hearing, I could not sleep for five nights in a row, worrying. Lying in bed about 3 a.m, puzzling over something, I suddenly felt myself lifted into heaven. God answered the puzzle in my mind, then began to explain a few things about life.
God described man as going through a difficult transition, which many species have gone through on many planets through-out the universe. God revealed that as the sun heats up in the coming billions of years, life is intended to migrate to the out planets: First Europa (a moon of Jupiter), and then around Saturn, etc, as the sun continues to heat up. Whatever beings are around a billion years from now will seed the outer planets with life, to continue the party out there.
The point is, I recognized the experience by description. By this time in my life, I had read several books on NDEs, and I realized this was such an event. But I was somewhat confused. I seemed to be definitely "on the other side" as described in the books, but I couldn't remember dying. I realized it was the result of my political antics, but I could not make the connection. I really didn't understand how I had gotten to heaven without dying.
After what seemed like hours, but was probably far less, God said it was time to wrap things up, and I was back in bed. I sat up. I was alive and well. I hadn't died, but I definitely had had a "near death" experience.
Skeptics might discount this experience as being brought on by physical brain stress: I hadn't slept in five days. But in fact I experienced what they are talking about four days later after continuing without sleep: a total psychotic breakdown. The two experiences were decidedly different.
The "near death" experience was distinct, spiritual and bounded. I was "lifted up" out of my body; I was "there" for a definite period of time; the conversation with God was about spiritual matters; at a definite time I was "returned" to my body, which as far as I know, had not moved. It was not dream-like at all.
The psychotic beak-down that followed, however, had no real beginning or end. (I am still sometimes uncertain what is real and what is not.) Before finally getting some sleep, however, I was doing the complete mad-man thing: running into doors, shouting that the earth was about to tilt on its axis, etc. My world became psychotic and dream-like, not real at all.
The psychosis can be explained in text-book terms of what happens to an over-stressed brain. The spiritual experience preceding the breakdown cannot. The experience was brought on not by "death" (a cessation of vital signs). It was brought on by the feeling of being caught in a death-trap with no way out.
Anyway, the reason for sharing these episodes is to demonstrate that the NDE is a general phenomenon. It is not restricted to cases of physical "death." In the first instance, I was completely unaware of any danger, yet a spiritually transforming experience took place. In the latter case, there was no physical danger, just a feeling of being hopelessly trapped.
I've read many of the NDEs posted on this web site. I wonder, how many stories will it take before society in general, and scientists in particular, finally accept these reports at face value? There is life after death. There is life before birth, before conception, even. We've all been here since the beginning of time. We'll all be here at the end of time. These NDE testimonials all point that way, yet these ideas are still ridiculed.
it happened, president Bush died, and thought he had gone to heaven. He had his
moment of doubt, however, when he ran into Osama bin Laden. "What are you doing
here?" the president asked the terrorist leader. "I have been granted Paradise,
as promised in the Koran," answered bin Laden. "What are YOU doing here?"
Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience? No
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain
I can describe it, but not certain if its clear what I mean.
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Yes
What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? Wide awake
Was the experience dream like in any way? No.
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? Yes
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? God calling my name
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
God spoke to me telepathically, in a voice that seemed to come from behind and above.
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? Yes
"Heavenly" is all I can describe it as. It was not a particular place, and there were no particular objects, such as flowers and trees.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes
Time seemed to have another dimension to it, as if you could move through time in another direction, while time on earth stood still, or crawled.
Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes
I felt like the purpose of life is to experience the many wonders of God's creation.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
Did you become aware of future events? No
Were you involved in or aware of a decision regarding your return to the body? Yes
In the first instance, God called my name in order to turn me away from a deadly situation. In the last instance, God said it was time for me to return to my body, and I did.
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience that you did not have prior to the experience? Yes
I am often able to understand plants when they try to communicate with me. I now understand them to be conscious, sentient beings, different from us, but with thoughts, feelings, likes and dislikes.
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes
I am now quite certain there is a God, and that life is an eternal gift.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Yes
Psychedelic drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms can produce similar effects, but these experiences tend to be jumbled and nonsensical.