Wesley S's Experience
(My good education and my writing skills were helpful in describing this event. Otherwise I might not have been able to convey some of the concepts I experienced.)
I do not fear death.
The reason is twofold. First, I am a Christian. But the second reason is an incredibly vivid dream I had some years ago. The dream was so powerful and so vivid that I believe it was a vision. I have strong dreams but nothing like this one. So I will relate this to you, and I want you to share it with everyone. Some may consider this simply my subconscious providing a justification, but I do not. I consider it was a message. In the vision, I died.
At the time, about 1982, I had no serious problems or difficult situations. I was in a fairly level period in my life. Then came the dream. I'll tell you this as much as I can, and I remember it as if it were yesterday.
First in the dream, there was a sort of prelude. I was 'visited' by beings whom I took to be angels. Now, in common belief, when people die they become angels. But in fact there is no biblical basis for this. Angels are angels and people are people. When people die they don't become angels - they remain people but move on to the next level. Angels are special beings, messengers of God. And I knew they were angels, so I'll call them that.
These angels had no gender. They were humanoid in shape, but were neither male or female. And they weren't hermaphrodites either. Sex was simply not a characteristic of their makeup. They also did not have recognizable faces. They were abstract representations of human appearance. This is difficult to explain, and it is one of several difficult aspects of this dream. Such aspects do not fall within the normal parameters of our real, temporal life. This makes them difficult to explain in normal terms. So bear with me, and try to see that I'm doing my best, using everyday human language to describe a completely non-everyday experience.
Some of my experiences were genuinely out-of-world. The things that happened were beyond normal descriptive terms. So I can only use analogues or similarities to describe these events and experiences. A precise and absolute description is not possible, because it is not in our realm or our universe. The afterlife is, after all, another universe.
Angels are not human but they are similar. They resemble humans in the abstract. So they do not have gender as we understand it. The biblical descriptions are simply the writer's attempt to describe them in familiar terms - the writer used familiar phrases.
Their apparel was also unusual. When angels are described, it is usually such that they wear white 'robes', but this is only the writer's attempt to describe them in common terms. The writer's mind saw the angel's body 'clothed' but in fact they were not wearing actual physical clothing. The apparel is often described as 'raiment' which is an abstract array of clothing.
I had never understood what this meant until my vision. They were not precisely 'wearing' robes. It was similar but not exact. Their 'clothing' shimmered in a white sheen, as if the robes were glowing. But it wasn't really clothing and it wasn't glowing. It was more like some electronic shield or computer-generated robe that covered them from neck to foot. It wasn't white but had a white aspect. It wasn't cloth but had a cloth-appearance. Difficult to describe. In many of these items, the appearance of these angels was an abstract of what we see in a concrete, hard-image earthly world.
The number of these beings was also not apparent to me. There were 3 or 4, maybe more. And it didn't seem that their quantity remained the same. Their quantity was in the abstract, too.
The final thing is that they didn't 'speak' to me verbally. Their words appeared in my mind, like telepathy. They communicated with me mind-to-mind. But in my descriptions I'll say that they 'told' me or 'talked' to me.
So. These beings - angels - appeared to me in my dream, and they told me that I had been selected, chosen. I had an opportunity. I could experience 'death'. I had a choice - I could wait until my normal time came, or I could choose to have the experience now. I told them yes, now.
With that, the angels withdrew, and it began. I started to fall into darkness. You know when you jump into a swimming pool, the strange bubbling sound you get with the water displacing the air in your ear canals - it's a sort of bubbling that rises in tone. This was what I heard - not exactly a bubble sound, but a humming sound that rose in tone until it rose beyond hearing range. The tone was not loud but it was pervasive. It was the only noise - this rippling sound that was also felt as well as heard. It enveloped me like a cloud of sensation.
I also fell. I fell not only down, but within. Again, this is difficult to explain. It's like I was imploding, a feeling of being sucked down, yes, but also being sucked and contracting inside myself. It was like being drawn into a black hole - my entire essence was being pulled into a single point, a singularity. The falling feeling was absolute, and it was also an inner feeling. My total existence was shrinking, falling. And with this, the loneliness was terrible - I was not only alone as a person, but I was alone in my soul, my very being. I was also falling in to blackness, a blackness so absolute as to be another universe. I was shrinking within myself, and my soul was also being compressed into a dot.
The feeling was terrifying. I was not just falling into a black hole in my experience, I was falling into myself as a spirit - a soul being drawn into emptiness. It was horrible, the most terrible fear, the greatest panic and loneliness you could imagine. More than you could imagine.
Well, I was drawn within this black hole, this depth and inner blackness. And then, as I reached a single point of being, I popped out to the other side.
I was in complete emptiness. It was blank around me, a white blankness. The phrase "without form or void" is perfect. It describes where I was. I was surrounded by a white void but the color wasn't 'white', it was simply without any color or texture. Absolute emptiness.
I also could not feel anything or see anything. I was floating, suspended in emptiness. I could not even feel the presence of my own body. There was no sound, sensation, touch, nothing. I was neither hot or cold or anything. I also had no sensation of movement. And I was as terrified as when I was falling. I was absolutely alone.
An uncountable passage of time occurred. Time was not functioning normally, because aside from my own mind, I was isolated and alone.
Then the angels were there again. I didn't so much as 'see' them as sense their presence. They were around me, comforting me, telling me that it was all right. They were speaking directly into my mind.
They then allowed me to 'see' things around me - and understand, it wasn't seeing with my eyes as we now do, but it was a sensing of my surroundings that gradually began to clear and to become more perceptible. Remember in 'It's a Wonderful Life', in the beginning where the chief angels help Clarence (Angel 2nd class) see George Bailey as a boy? It was like that.
I was naked, but not naked in the sense of how we imagine it, because I was now on the other side, where things were not within the normal realm of perception, and because my body was no longer a regular physical body that we now inhabit. I was changed. So my nakedness was not a sensation of being unclothed. Instead it was simply not a factor. There was no shyness or any sexual feeling. Clothes or the lack of them was not an operative feeling or concept.
The angels then began to help me move. They had me raise my arms so they were extended out to the sides, and they gently bore me up and carried me forward. Now, in this new universe, the movement itself was not like our world. It was a 'progress' rather than a directional movement.
Again, difficult to describe. But in this universe, the 'beyond', movement was not in three dimensions, but along planes of existence that had referent coordinate systems that did not apply to our current existence.
Remember that Einstein said that an object does not necessarily travel along a straight line, but along the path of least resistance. Our movement was something like this - not 'forward' or 'up' or 'down' but instead, progressing along a 'pathway' in the void - realize also that I could now perceive my surroundings, but they were not geometric or in the 3-dimensional physical world, but in a new existence, where movement was not 'floating' or 'walking' or 'flying' - it was 'travel' from one point to another along the lines of perception, and how that perception let us govern how and where we traveled. We moved without moving, if you consider 'moving' as in our common earthly way..
The angels told me that I was in a transition zone. And although they did not say so, I knew that I was in limbo. The actual limbo of the universe - no form, no sensation, no perception. The only way I was able to 'see' and to 'move' was through the intervention of the angels. They were my guides.
So we began to move, 'flying' along (though we weren't really flying) and I began to perceive a change in the sameness and the whiteness of my surroundings (it wasn't really white, but an absence of color). I could now 'see' ahead of me a brightness. There was a direction to our movement, a gentle increase in speed, toward the bright place. The light was pure and was becoming brighter by the moment. It was beautiful and very soothing.
As we moved, another thing came into my perception. Off to the side (to my left, I think) was a glowing reddish area, a cloudy red light. I felt a strange attraction to this reddish light, and looked toward it. As I did, I became more and more attracted to the reddish glow. It seemed to draw me toward it. Yet I sensed an evil presence there, pure evil. And still I was drawn to it.
The angels told me, they warned me, not to look at the smoky red light. One of the angels took his hand (I say 'his' only for convenience sake, because 'he' had no gender), and he put his hand up alongside my face, shielding my eyes from the glow. "Don't look at the smoky red light. It will try to pull you in."
So I lost interest in the red light and began again to look toward the white light. As we neared it, I then began to hear music. It of course was not music as we perceive it, but a purity of music, an abstraction of music that had within it a glory that transcended any music you could hear. Of course, I was not 'hearing' it in my ears but sensing it directly in my mind.
As we moved closer to the pure white presence I began to feel a comfort, a peacefulness that cannot be described - it was as though all my anxiety, all my fears, my discomfort was slipping away, and I was entering into the next plane, the level where I would find peace eternal.
Then, as we neared the white light, as it began to spread across my perception, to fill my whole being, we halted. The angels told me that I could go no further at this time - that final step would remain until the time I really crossed over.
I was suddenly in a 'room' - not a real room of course, but a different space. The wondrous white light was gone but I was still immersed in the memory of it. The angels were all around me. Then they draped me with a white robe - not a real robe but a shimmering raiment that covered me but had no substance, no physical existence. It was a spiritual robe.
And they took what seemed to be paintbrushes - again, not real brushes, but a strange symbolic brush, and drew swipes of gold paint across the tops of my feet, the backs of my hands, and across my forehead. The paint, again, was not physical but was spiritual - and it was absorbed into my body as it was applied, yet I still had the presence of the paint there, the perception of it.
"This is how others will know you, how you will be recognized. You will be known as one who has passed through death." This is what the angels told me. Then they told me that I was to describe this experience to everyone who would listen. I then woke, finding myself in my bed. I lay there for nearly an hour, thinking about what I had experienced. I am certain it was genuine, and not simply a dream. It was a true vision.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?
As I neared "heaven".
Was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience different from normal every day consciousness and alertness?
Far greater than everyday
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
Everything was an extension, an "essence" or "concept" of the normal. In other words, a "color" wasn't a physical color but an essence of color. See my narrative.
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
What emotions did you feel during the experience?
At first, when I "died", immense terror and panic. Later, as I was in limbo, loneliness. Finally as I approached "heaven", great joy and peace.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? Yes
When I "died" I passed through a stricture as though I was being sucked into a black hole, a singularity.
Did you see a light? Yes
Two types of light. The bright white light was delightful. The red light was menacing.
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes
They were "angels" -- sexless beings with human form in the abstract. I saw nobody I know.
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions?
The "limbo" I was in was white and featureless. The approach to "heaven" was completely vivid.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes
Time and space were totally without meaning. I "moved" without moving, time was suspended.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes
Only as I approached "heaven". I felt terrific certainty that all would be well.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain
I was only permitted to "view" the edges of heaven because it wasn't my time.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes
I shared it immediately with my sister and some good friends. Some believed I had a vision, some thought that I merely had a vivid dream.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes
Had read of NDEs. Also knew about the "smoky red light" from Tibetan "Book of Dead" (as a result I may have 'inserted' this into the vision/dream subconsciously, but I don't know. If the smoky red light is REAL, I may have actually seen it). Also had a general concept of angels as ethereal beings as created by God.
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you?
The way that movement through space was not "moving" as we do, but traveling without moving. The "raiment" the beings wore, not clothing but a "concept" of clothing.
How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:
Experience was probably real
It was so vivid and complex that I didn't really consider it much likely to be a dream, but an actual vision.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience:
Experience was probably real, Same as #40.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? Uncertain
I have never been afraid of death. Now I am less so. But I don't think I have altered my behavior as a result. And my earthly relationships are always difficult, before and after.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience?
Please read my narrative. As a professional writer, I'm grateful I had the skills to describe the event. Otherwise I would have been unable to convey some of the concepts. I believe my description is one of the more scientifically accurate and yet spiritual NDE I've ever read (I've only read a few sketchy accounts, like "floating above the room" and "going to a light".
Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes
They were quite well listed, but you might split a couple questions up, allowing for BOTH bad and good experiences to be described within the same NDE.
Please offer any suggestions you may have to improve this questionnaire:
Everything was quite clear and understandable.