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Willie W's Experience

Experience description:   

I was on my own in a public swimming pool.  I had become bored, so spun around in circles to make myself dizzy.  I wanted to see what it was like to float whilst dizzy.  When I floated, I became disoriented.  I could not find the surface.  I managed to stand up at one point, but it felt like I was standing horizontally, and I fell back into the pool.  This time I could not get to the surface.  After struggling for awhile, I gave up.  I was near the bottom of the pool, staring at the tiles on the floor.  I thought, "God, I'm coming to see you now."  I waited for the end, wondering what angels looked like.  I was apprehensive, but peaceful at the same time - a mixture of feelings that I struggle to describe.  I think I closed my eyes and waited.  The next thing I knew, I was standing upright in the pool, coughing water out, but alive. To this day I have no rational explanation for how I came to be standing in the pool.  There was nobody nearby who could have rescued me and I'm certain I did not propel myself upwards.

Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? No      

At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event?          Yes     I almost drowned in a public swimming pool.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?    Probably after I stopped struggling.  Up until then, I had been in a blind panic.  When I realized I could not save myself, I resigned myself to my fate.  I was very alert, waiting to see what would happen next.

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:            Probably after I stopped struggling.  Up until then, I had been in a blind panic.  When I realized I could not save myself, I resigned myself to my fate.  I was very alert, waiting to see what would happen next.

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?     No

What emotions did you feel during the experience?            Panic during the drowning experience.  Peace with apprehension and expectation when resolved to dying.  Relief when above the water again; also confused about how I came to be there, and why (i.e. why was I saved?)

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?           Uncertain      I believe something pulled me up from the bottom of the pool.  There is no other explanation.  I did not see anybody.  However, the moment from closing my eyes and resigning myself to death to being above the water again was instantaneous.  There was no rise to the surface.  It was as if I translocated somehow.  Whilst I did not "feel" a presence as such when this happened, afterwards I felt I had been visited by some presence that had rescued me.

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     As above - the feeling of being translocated instantaneously from the bottom of the pool to the surface.  I am reasonably certain I did not black-out and was conscious the whole time (though I can't verify that).  Unless I blacked-out (so that I have no memory of moving to the surface), I translocated instantaneously.

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?     No      

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?     Uncertain      I think the experience altered my perception of the world, so that I saw it differently from other ten year-olds.  I had the perception that there was more to this world, this existence, than meets the eye.

Have you shared this experience with others?         Yes     About nine years.  I shared this as a youth group leader with the group's members as a personal testimony, witnessing the possibility of miracles and the direct action of God on the earth.  I think they generally accepted my story, but it also challenged them.  I noticed a few faces deep in thought.

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 believed it happened and was definitely real, though I was confused by it, because things happened that I did not understand and could not explain.

Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you?            The peace that came with resignation to death was comforting and still is.  The unexplained rescue is significant to me, confirming my belief in God.  I often wonder why I was saved then, thinking that perhaps I have some purpose to fulfill.

How do you currently view the reality of your experience:            Experience was definitely real    I still believe it was definitely real.  Even though it happened 27 years ago, I can recall the event very vividly.  I still cannot explain it rationally; only supernaturally.

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     I was raised in a nominally Presbyterian household.  I was made to go to church and Sunday School, which I didn't really like.  After this event, I became much more spiritual and found myself hungering for knowledge about God and other aspects of Christianity.  By the time I was 12, I was able to teach other kids Bible teaching.  I have remained "religious" throughout my life and am now studying towards ordained ministry in the Presbyterian Church.  This experience changed God from a theory to a reality for me.

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?         No                  

Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?         Yes