I’ve been involved with trying to understand and describe the Near-Death Experience since I had one on 7/18/1971, almost 45 years ago, and have seen it evolve from being called a religious experience to a psychotic break to hallucinations to confirmation that consciousness survives death of the body and proof of life after death. I’ve also seen it turned into something meaningless by people who could have been killed or nearly died or who had a close brush with death, such as this fish who had a series of unfortunate events–
Nearly dying or even being resuscitated after one’s heart stops, is not a “near-death” experience as defined by Dr. Raymond Moody (Life After Life), who coined the term. What makes an event a near-death experience is becoming aware one is outside their physical body, still conscious, still able to see and hear what’s going on around them, with the ability to move through solid walls. Conscious awareness leaves the body and exists independently then returns to the body and remembers an out-of-body experience. Some people may only experience a brief glimpse and then their consciousness quickly returns to their body; some nothing at all; others may travel toward the Light, meet other beings, have multiple experiences in other dimensions, and be given the choice to return to their body. A brief flash or an extended period of time out of body, these are all near-death experiences.
There have been attempts in literature to explain these strange experiences, perhaps from psychedelic drug trips of the authors. I’d say from my own experiments with drugs trying to recreate my own near-death experience that Lewis Carrol probably did mushrooms (I saw all those strange underground people too) and Frank Baum probably did cocaine (I would compare it to LSD visions but it wasn’t around in 1900). It’s the shift from black and white to colors in Oz that make me think so. But not a one of them was comparable to my near-death experience.
I’ve seen some weird shit too that is very difficult to put into words that accurately describe what I experienced but since I experimented with LSD, cocaine, mushrooms, and MDMA (Ecstasy) 15 years later hoping to recreate my NDE, I have something to compare it to. I remember the details and the emotions I experienced during my NDE, but very little from any drug experiences even though they were more recent. The NDE changed who I am, the drugs did not. I have no fear of death since my NDE. The main thing I found is that every drug trip felt unreal, unnatural, bizarre, strange, not quite right, out of my control in one way or another. During my NDE, everything seemed more real than life on earth, like this was home, this was the true reality and I felt loved unconditionally, that I belonged, that I had done this dying thing before, and it’s all part of our spiritual journey. When I talk with another near-death experiencer, we know exactly what we’re trying to convey. We can finish each others sentences. But to try to tell someone who hasn’t been there is difficult.
I have to use analogies from the physical world. The closest I can come using a visual comparison to “seeing the Light” in the physical world is if you were SCUBA diving in crystal clear ocean waters, down about 50-60 feet… turn over on your back, become very still and look up at the surface of the water. In this crystal clear water, it seems like there is nothing between you and the surface, and you are simply hovering in space. There is no gravity or pressure on your physical body so it seems as if you are simply one with everything. And there is this light shining down from the surface. It is the sun, with rays of light that extend across the top of the water making it sparkle and twinkle like diamonds. Tiny water droplets form orbs that flirt about as if they might be angels. You can look into the light but it doesn’t hurt your eyes. It’s compelling, almost calls you to it; beckons you to join it, become one with it. And when we do, we remember who we really are and what we learned along the way.
And that’s what dying is about. It’s a welcome home after a sojourn on planet Earth. We just can’t re-create that with a drug trip. A drug trip can be a great experience or a terrible experience, it could expand your consciousness or shut down your mind. A near-death experience may cure cancer and heal a broken body or a wounded soul.
We’ll just have to wait until our bodies give out to experience that bliss and, really, drugs are an experience not a lifestyle… in the meantime we’re here to have fun, learn, explore, create, imagine, invent, play, learn to communicate, have relationships, help each other grow and thrive, figure out who we are and why we came here, so Earth remains one of the best places to live an occasional lifetime as a human along our eternal spiritual journey.
• • •
The 8th annual
Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale
July 1 through July 31
This promotion represents a massive collaborative effort where thousands of Smashwords authors and small independent publishers show their appreciation to readers by offering their titles at exclusive deep discounts of 25% off, 50% off, 75% off and FREE. Use code SFREE at checkout.
All of Diane Goble’s ebooks are FREE at Smashwords
The above two ebooks are combined in a single Kindle version titled
Available in paperback and Kindle version titled BEYOND THE VEIL: OUR JOURNEY HOME
THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO
Readers’ questions to a near-death experiencer at BeyondtheVeil.net
As a bonus, I’ve added two articles that I posted on an earlier version of my website, BeyondtheVeil.net, under “Spiritual Lessons.” This one relates to my own spiritual journey of awakening to higher consciousness thinking and living since my Near-Death Experience in 1971.
The Challenge of Being Human
Awakenings are really rememberings because our Soul already knows everything. It is a challenge to each human being to remember that we are Souls having human experiences– awakening to our higher consciousness. All the struggle falls away… all the suffering, the grief, the anger, the mistrust. All the fear dissolves when we recognize ourselves as spiritual beings come here to experience the joy of being animated in the physical world.
An evolution of consciousness is the central motive of terrestrial existence.
• • •
Read the entire article in
Learn more about the author at BeyondtheVeil.net
THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO
Readers’ questions to a near-death experiencer at BeyondtheVeil.net
As a bonus, I’ve ended this ebook with two articles that were originally posted on an earlier version of my website, BeyondtheVeil.net, under “Spiritual Lessons.” This one relates to my own spiritual journey of awakening to higher consciousness thinking and living since my Near-Death Experience in 1971.
Journey of a Mystic
I feel the more information we have about how the universe works, the easier it is to conceptualize things that are beyond our normal understanding. It gives us a broader frame of reference to help us make sense out of it and fit into our thinking processes so we begin to see it in our Mind’s Eye during our meditations. This is the Time for Science and Spirit to reunite.
Sometimes when you hear a concept explained many different ways, the whole picture suddenly emerges. It’s hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame, you need to step back and take a wider view. This is how our minds synthesize knowledge. We suddenly get an Aha! or the light goes on, and we say, of course, I knew that, I just never heard it explained that way before! We’ve had a sudden Realization, taken a leap in consciousness, and will find it easier to grasp other higher concepts that eluded us previously. It’s about waking up to the truth and no longer being seduced by those who seek to control the masses through fear and intimidation.
So don’t just take my word for it, I’m not asking anyone to believe what I’m writing is anything but the ramblings of a delusional mind. I didn’t ask to have a near-death experience 44 years ago but I did, and what I’m writing is because of it. I see the whole and understand it from a higher perspective. The difficulty is putting it into words that will awaken others. That is my challenge in this life. I’m just putting it out there as I see it through my life and death experiences, and hoping others will think about it, add it to their growing knowledge, and continue seeking Wisdom.
If you want to see how easy it is to change your mind with new information, to shift your perception, check out this popular illusion…
Is it an old woman or a young woman?
Can you shift your perspective at will…
or will you argue for your point of view?
• • •
Read the entire article in
THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS
by Diane Goble
When Diane Goble began developing her first website in 1996 to talk about her near-death experience by drowning during a white water rafting accident in 1971, she had no idea she would eventually connect with millions of people all over the world with her message from the other side that
“WE DON’T DIE!”
She received emails from thousands of people from 140 different countries, from ages 16 to 94, from all religions, as well as skeptics, all wanting to ask her about her experience, what she learned, her perspective on the meaning of life and God– spiritual seekers hoping for answers to questions they’ve never dared ask before, wanting confirmation that there is more to life beyond this life, and that we get to see our loved ones again.
But even more, these people wanted to share their pain and spiritual angst with someone who understood and wouldn’t judge them. They poured out their hearts and many found their souls.
For the next 10 years, Diane’s spiritual path became responding to all those emails and allowing the message to come through her to her keyboard. She expanded her website to include lessons and resources for spiritual seekers, as well as for healers and caregivers. On her online Seekers Open Forum page, she posted many of the emails she received and her responses, and invited others to share in the discussions. There weren’t as many trolls back then but she wasn’t afraid to take them on and had quite a few provocative exchanges.
As it turned out, a lot of people asked similar questions about the same subjects so rather than continue to personally respond to everyone and repeat her answers, she grouped similar questions and put a sampling from various subjects into this book to provide a variety of perspectives about similar topics, such as
Near-Death Experiences, Fear of Death, Grief, The Afterlife, Paranormal Experiences, Reincarnation, Suicide, and Spiritual but not Religious.
It is her hope that making this information more available at this time will encourage further conversations that will lead to more people on the planet waking up… becoming aware that there is more to “life” than we’ve been led to believe… that we have become mental prisoners of lies forced upon us by those who need to keep us dumb slaves so they can become more wealthy and powerful… that we are brainwashed into becoming warriors willing to die for the military industrial complex as if it were an honorable thing to do… that we are lolled into complacency by the media so we won’t notice what’s really going on right in front of our eyes. If we realized who we really are, they couldn’t control us.
“If we’re going to save the planet and Humanity,” she says, “now is as good a time as any before. Just as things couldn’t get any worse, the wave is cresting. The turmoil is at it’s height. The Shift is happening. Those who are already awake, need to awaken others to Cosmic Consciousness— the Realization that We Are One… that we are all in this together.”
Open your heart… Expand your Awareness… Imagine Peace…
Whatever else you believe, do everything with Love, Forgiveness, Gratitude
Comments from emailers–
Thank you SO much for your kind and thoughtful response. You are a nurturing soul… I am very eager to get a handle on this… I often feel that I am not from around here … or don’t want to be here … not like wanting to be dead, just not wanting to be on earth. –Molly
What a relief to communicate with someone who understands how I feel. I have just been in the garden contemplating things. You have hit the nail on the head in so many ways. –Lenny
Thank you Diane for your courage to speak out. I never wanted to say much about it [childhood NDE] because I felt people would think I was crazy. Now I’m grown and live a good life and I treat people like I want to be treated. — Bobbie
I very much enjoy your words and outlook, I think you really are here to calm humanities fear of death. What an awesome life mission to have. –Pete
You have no idea how glad I was receiving your email! Just the thought that you actually took the time to answer me shows what a caring and lovely person you are. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I continue reading your site and I printed all its contents, which filled a thick binder. It is for me like a Bible and whenever I feel down or scared I consult it giving me comfort. –Maria
I was moved to tears. Some how I wanted to cry with joy for what I was reading. I was so deeply touched by your insights some how you’ve articulated so many things I’ve felt. –Sonny
I needed focusing into what I was already aware of and you helped. Thank you soooo much!! –Carly
…your site certainly came into my view at the exact time period in which I could not have needed it more. Thank you for your courage in sharing your story, and for the manner in which you decided to share it. –Patricia
Your Q&A approach covers every question that I had before I had thought of them yet. “Nothing on Earth Had Prepared Me For the Reality of Life After Death” (Chapter One) was the most profound, insightful piece of writing I have yet found in all of the NDE books I have read. I know how impossible it is to put NDE subjects in relatable or fresh terms, but I think you succeeded. –RJ
Thank you so much for your reply. It is the BEST explanation I have had. — Laurie
… thank you for responding to my message and, of course, for telling me, a complete stranger, about the life-altering experience you had. –Paul
… please accept A Heartfelt Thank you for your inspirational site! It is encouraging to connect with one who is walking their talk as a living example of truth/god in action! expressing it-self in physical form! –Donna
… you have a wonderful website and your words are most comforting for those of us that fear disease and death. —Bob
Thank you for this site. This site will always benefit people. —Dave
I will also remain very thankful that our paths crossed. You were right when you wrote on your website about the fact that there are no accidents. I was led to the site for a reason, and thanks to your kindness and patience I understand that reason much better today that I thought possible. Thank you again… you are a very kind soul indeed… —Kaleb
I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing all your experiences and knowledge with the world. You see, you were partly responsible for saving my life. — Shawn
You have articulated my own thoughts much better than I have been able to myself… –Greta
I just found your web site since I just woke up this morning and am gratified to find it. I have been crying a cry of recognition reading the feelings and experiences of your other Emailers. –Mike
I’ve been a confused Christian for 31 years and within a week of reading from your website I feel a newfound joy in wanting to understand the soul’s purpose, journey, etc. in a positive way. –Adam
I appreciate your willingness to respond to people about your experience and what you have learned. Your response put into words a gut feeling I have had for a long time. Thank you! –Scott
When I read your email, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. It’s like I always knew that but was afraid to think it because it’s not what I was brought up to believe. I’m so grateful to you for opening my eyes. –Marianne
Born September 19, 1941 • NDE July 18, 1971
During the summer of 1971, just before I turned 30, I was with my husband John and our three young children in the mountains of northern Georgia while he was working with the camera crew of the movie “Deliverance.” On weekends, some of the cast and crew, and their families would take the 4-person rubber rafts out on the river for a little R&R.
They filmed on the same part of the Chattooga River we rafted on and, of the eight of us on this particular Sunday afternoon, July 18, 1971, four of us, including John and I, had rafted down this stretch once before. But the river was different this time. The water level was lower from several days of no rain; different paths had to be taken through the many rapids we encountered on this 5 hour journey. Sometimes the water level was so low, we had to portage the rafts and gear or take a different path through the rocks and around the fallen trees.
This was the case at the last set of rapids at Woodall Shoals. We couldn’t go around the far right side that we had traversed previously. It was either portage 100 yards over the rocks down the riverbank or take our chances over the hydraulic.
A “hydraulic” is a churning white water phenomena caused by a deep hole beneath a waterfall, this time with about a 5-6 foot drop due to low water level. It tends to suck anything that crosses over into itself and not let go unless it can be quickly and cleanly cleared. There were a couple of broken kayaks along the shore attesting to its destructive powers.
I learned recently from experienced kayaker, Doug Woodward, who worked on the movie as a wrangler and stunt double, that this is the most dangerous section of the Chattooga River (Wherever Waters Flow, p. 183) and a number of people have drowned there since “Deliverance” attracted adventurers to the river.
We read the river and figured out how to get a raft into the current and head directly through the rocks and over the hydraulic. We took everything out of the raft John, my 16-year old sister JoAnn, Skip Cosper’s wife and Jon Voigt’s standin were in, and put it all in the raft I was in with Wally Worsley and Sue Dwiggens (Production Manager & his assistant), and Skip Cosper (Assistant Director). This included coolers, cameras, extra oars and life vests, shoes, clothes, sunscreen, etc.
We positioned their raft into the current, shoved them off and over they went with no problems. Hoops and shouts were heard as they negotiated the rest of the rapids toward the calm pool below. We turned to each other and agreed that went so well that we’d just jump in and follow them so they wouldn’t have to make the trip back up and carry all the gear back down.
What we failed to consider was that the four of us guided their raft and shoved it head first into the current. We walked our raft into the stream, and before we were all in the raft the current grabbed it and swung it into the current as we scrambled to get inside, grab our oars and begin paddling. The raft quickly spun around and was sucked backwards between the boulders and down the waterfall, but instead of sliding across the hydraulic, the tail of the raft plunged into the water, knocking Sue out immediately. Wally and Skip were hanging on inside the raft but I was straddling the side facing the waterfall, trying to hang on to the slippery rubber, reaching for something to hang onto.
The front, now back end of the raft smashed down to the base and the raft was stuck there. Water would fill the inside of the raft which would then buck, throwing the water and everything inside out. It was like riding a bucking bronco (not something I was familiar with). I felt myself slipping off the edge and being pulled down by the waterfall. One of the men grabbed my arm at the last second as I was going over but now I was caught between the raft and the rocks, with the force of the waterfall pouring down on my head and the circulating action of the hydraulic pushing me up and sucking me down. They were trying to pull me back into the raft, but the most they could do was enable me to catch an occasional quick breath before I was sucked down again. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place!
During the three or four minutes of all this happening, my mind had been racing… oh, my god, oh, my god, oh my god… and then a peaceful feeling came over me as very consciously and very calmly, I knew I was going to die. It was just a matter of how. There was no more panic or fear. Being smashed against the rocks was painful and slow, so I rationalized that drowning would be the better choice. The next time the water pushed me up and Wally or Skip pulled me up enough that my head was above the water, I yelled Let go. I heard him yell, Are you sure? I shouted Yes! And he did.
I felt the water pull me under and I relaxed into it. I knew there was no point in struggling. I didn’t try to hold my breath. As I breathed in the water, everything quickly went black.
For a moment…
The next thing I knew I was vividly conscious, well above the river and the tree tops looking down at the raft stuck against the rocks below. I saw Wally and Skip, still struggling to hold onto the raft, looking into the water for my body to come out from underneath. I saw Sue’s body rushing downstream. I watched John and JoAnn and the others, including people who had been picnicking down by the calm pool, as they were running back up the hill to find out why all the debris had arrived in the calm pool.
I watched John climb out onto a rock in the river. He couldn’t hear what the two men still in the raft were shouting to him over the roar of the water. He had no idea where I was or what had happened, but he knew I was missing. He looked as if he wanted to jump in to try to find me and I suddenly found myself at his side trying to stop him because he wasn’t much of a swimmer and I knew there was no point. When I reached out to stop him, my arm went right through his body. I looked at my arm, which appeared to be translucent, and thought… oh, my god, I’m dead!
In that instant, the physical world fell away and total knowledge of reality appeared to me. I saw the multi-dimensionality of the universe. My consciousness expanded so far beyond the physical plane that I was no longer aware of it, nor of having a body. I was so much a part of it all, there was no distinction, no duality. It appeared as a brilliant flash of light and I was allowed to see into it for a brief moment and experience a feeling of love so profound, powerful and overwhelming that I can only describe it as Pure Bliss (even though that doesn’t begin to describe it).
And, suddenly, I was whisked away and found myself traveling rapidly through a vortex toward a beautiful white light in the far, far distance. I continued to experience an overwhelming feeling of love within me and around me. There was no fear, no anxiety, no worry. I was filled with joy. I had no sense of being in a body, no feeling of limitations or boundaries; no regret that I was leaving my life. Yet, I was still me and aware that I was having this amazing experience.
My consciousness was flooded with memories of past lives and I remembered that I had made this journey many times before. I knew I was going home. Reincarnation and karma suddenly made perfect sense! I understood the Oneness of the Universe and that “God” is more than any religion ever taught (and yet all religions contain some grain of truth). The message of the Bible suddenly made complete sense to me and it wasn’t what religions taught.
God is not a human-like being sitting on a throne surrounded by angels singing praises and disembodied souls worshipping some Lord God Almighty while awaiting some Judgment Day. There is not a Heaven or a Hell for these souls to be sent to depending on whether they followed the rules or believed in this god/religion or another (these are human concepts). I saw that “God” is the Light from which every thing comes forth, of which all things are created. God is the Source of All That Is and we are the quintessence of God. We are God unfolding. Expressions of God. God Self-realizing. These are the only ways I can (now) explain it.
Before long, I realized I wasn’t alone. There was a presence, which I can only describe as a Loving Being of Light, traveling beside me… at the speed of light! Yet it was as if we were standing still. This being knew all about me and still loved me unconditionally. There was no sense of judgment or need for forgiveness. There was a sense of timelessness to all of this, everything happening at once rather than a sequence of events.
This presence had no form or countenance but was pure energy. We communicated mentally, telepathically. This was someone I have always known and I knew that as soon as I sensed the presence of this being. Yet I cannot now tell you who it was with a name. I didn’t have the sense that it was any familiar religious figure or deceased relative, but rather a special friend who is always with me wherever I am, throughout many lifetimes on earth and otherwise; perhaps, my guardian angel. This Being told me that I had a choice about going back. I thought, no, no, no, I want this to go on forever!
Suddenly, we burst into the white light and a whole new reality was revealed to me, similar in appearance to the physical world, but, in this higher vibration, more colorful, more beautiful, more amazing. I saw plants, trees, mountains, lakes, animals, and shimmering crystal-like buildings, some very large and ornate. There was no sun but light was everywhere; no shadows, no darkness. Also nothing seemed solid, rather always changing; borders weren’t well-defined. There were no edges.
I saw beings moving around, light beings going about their daily lives in groups. They didn’t have physical bodies, but they were distinct fields of energy. Some of them had features that made them appear human-like but most were featureless beings of light. They didn’t walk, they floated.
I didn’t see any vehicles of transportation. I was told they traveled by thought. Think about where you want to be and you’re there! They have lives much like ours, but without the struggles and sorrows, those are human dramas we create when our egos are in play. Here there is only love, peace and joy… by no means boring as human minds/insatiable egos might anticipate.
I had many questions and they were all telepathically answered by the Being of Light as soon as they occurred to me. We traveled over healing centers where I was told new souls come after the death of their human body to readjust to spiritual life without a physical body. Healer souls are there to acclimate new souls (somewhat comparable to physicians and hospitals on earth). We have to relearn how to control our higher mental faculties, which bring us whatever we desire immediately.
I was shown how we are working to develop this ability as humans, but it’s more difficult to manipulate matter. Some things, I learned, are easier or harder in different dimensions because of energy, matter and the time/space continuum. This is due to the process of development of beings who are both human and divine with higher consciousness. We are working on this both in the spiritual dimensions and as physical beings. The evolution of consciousness is the next step in human development.
We also traveled over areas where souls live their daily lives, where families gather and entertainment abounds. We no more lie around waiting for Judgment Day than play harps all day long, nor are there virgins and wine awaiting others as gifts for any human sacrifice.
There are musicians and choirs, and beautiful music can always be heard. They are also artists, dancers, singers, inventors, builders, healers, creators of magical things… things they will manifest in their next lifetime in a physical world. True, we don’t have to work or earn a living nor are there masters or slaves. Instead we are able to manifest everything we desire and are free to express our creativity and love for each other in many ways. Sex? That’s a physical thing; love is magical!
We left the areas that could be called “cities” (although nothing like suburbia on earth) where souls existed in small groups and we traveled across vast stretches of green hills where animals grazed in small herds. We passed over many rivers and lakes, fields of colorful flowers, and many varieties of trees. We approached a cluster of crystal-shaped spires, which grew taller as we approached until it looked like a city of very tall, crystallized skyscrapers.
Again, the Being of Light told me it was my choice to stay or go, but that there was more for me to do as Diane if I chose to continue with that life. Still reluctant to leave, I was told that if I chose to go back, I would be given certain knowledge to take back with me to share with others. I was told I wouldn’t remember everything at first because Diane had more work to do in order to make sense of it all but that it would gradually come back and I would know when humanity would be open to receive the teachings.
That didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me but after much discussion about this mission, I agreed to go back and, with that, suddenly found myself at the base of a tall conical-shaped building; so tall, it seemed to go up forever. I was told this was the Hall of Knowledge.
I entered the building (was sucked into it) and flew, spiraling upwards, through what appeared to be shelves, like in a library, of many millions of books and scrolls, and I flew through them all. It wasn’t just that I was absorbing knowledge as I traveled through/within this timeless state, but I was also sitting at the feet of the masters hearing their teachings directly from their mouths.
At the same time I seemed to be moving very fast and looking ahead I saw the pointed top of this structure coming closer and wondered how to stop. At the point of reaching the spire, I burst through it into a kaleidoscope of sparkling colors, like shards of glass shattering, flying slowly away from me in all directions and, at the same time, my head popped out of the water.
My body was down river about 100 yards from the raft rapidly approaching the calm pool and everything was back at frantic speed in real time. The sounds of the raging river, the feeling of being out of control, of having to take a breath, the commotion of the water all around me, brought me back to the physical world.
I immediately became aware of where I was and grabbed for the nearest rock. I was able to pull myself up and I coughed up a lot of water, but needed no medical attention– which was a good thing because we were miles through the forest to the nearest road which was still in the middle of nowhere.
I noticed Sue and Wally were both clinging to rocks in the river near me and I could see that Skip was still in the raft stuck in the hydraulic looking around for me. It was only when my head popped up that John saw me and made his way down river. He helped me out of the water and (recently) told me that I muttered something about having been somewhere else but that was about all I said.
I was in a state of shock not only because of what my body had just experienced in the river, but what I experienced consciously after I inhaled the water and drowned. Those around me assumed I was dead and were looking for my body to wash down the river. Once I was back in my body, I was awestruck, speechless, blown away. I had never heard of anything like this happening to anyone. I could hardly speak much less begin to try to put this ineffable experience into words. The peace. The beauty. The love. The returning home. The remembering who I was… who we really are, what this is all about…
I don’t know how long my body was swirling around under the raft or how long it took my body to travel from point A to point B; no one was looking at their watch at the time. It could have been a minute or two or five or ten, it seemed to me that I was on the other side for days, years… a thousand years. There was no time where I was.
I can’t say that I was clinically dead, perhaps hypothermic because the water was quite cold, but I have no memory of struggling under the water or trying to hold my breath until I reached the surface. (I’ve been a swimmer, water skier, scuba diver, and surfer, so I’ve had plenty of close calls under water before when I thought I might die before I reached the surface, but nothing like this. Those other times I remember perfectly well struggling to reach the surface, my lungs about to burst from trying not to inhale the water, totally aware of my physical experience, and I never had an out-of-body-experience.)
What I do remember during the time my body was at the mercy of the river under the raft or traveling through the rapids until the moment my head popped out of the water is what I have told you. The local river experts suggested the reason I survived was that I surrendered to the river… which I did.
I walked around in a state of shock for months afterwards, not knowing how to describe my experience nor integrate it into my life. When I did try to tell someone what I experienced, I was patted on the head and told to forget it, that I was lucky to be alive… or maybe I shouldn’t tell too many people or they might think I’m crazy, which is why I suppressed the memory and tried to get on with my life. Now I would say I had PTSD, then I just felt like I was walking around with a ticking time bomb inside me.
It wasn’t until 15 or so years later that I picked up a book titled Strangers Among Us by Ruth Montgomery which described similar experiences that I finally knew I wasn’t alone… or crazy. It was some time after that I learned of Raymond Moody’s book, Life After Life, which defined the near-death experience (NDE), and it actually became acceptable to talk about it for the first time. Then I found IANDS (International Association of Near-Death Studies) and felt absolved.
What happens after death is so unspeakably glorious that our imagination and our feelings do not suffice to form even an approximate conception of it. The dissolution of our time-bound form in eternity brings no loss of meaning.
–C.G. Jung, Psychiatrist and Near-death Experiencer
My life changed immediately and drastically after that day in the river and I went through some very tough times because I didn’t know what was happening to me, including a divorce (John had no clue what I was going through after the NDE and just thought I must be crazy), child custody battles, trying to find a job after not working for almost ten years, being single again. At one point someone I thought cared about me tried to kill me in several different ways. I was forced to change my name and move a number of times, including across country because he threatened to kill me if I tried to leave him, to the point I had no money, no friends and was basically homeless.
My kundalini was running amuck causing depression and suicidal thoughts and I had no idea what the problem was. I had another profound spiritual experience as I sat meditating, contemplating suicide by an overdose of pills, where I found myself in a dark void clinging to a rope that was fraying above me. I could have waited for it to break and fallen into the dark abyss below or climb above it toward the light and save myself. I suddenly remembered when I was in the 5th grade I was the only girl who could climb the rope in gym class all the way to the ceiling and I climbed up that rope as fast as I could because I decided I wanted to live!
My dark night of the soul led me on a long, winding path, to becoming a seeker of my higher purpose. I knew there was a reason I chose to come back when I was on the other side, but, once back in body, it was a mystery to me I even had a purpose. My life was in such a mess, what purpose could there possibly be, I wondered. I was overwhelmed by existential angst.
A series of coincidences and synchronicities led me to go back to school (7 years later) at age 37 to study psychology. After 5 years, I had a BA and MS in psychology and have been a counselor ever since. In college, I realized the significance of the library I flew through during my NDE. All the books I studied while at the university, it was as if I had read them already, and had no trouble making the Dean’s List most semesters, in spite of working part time (cleaning houses, dog sitting, tutoring, typing) and raising three teenagers as a single mother.
I began my metaphysical studies several years after graduation, reading every metaphysical, religious and spiritual book I could get my hands on, and talked with many teachers and gurus over the years. I began meditating a few years after my NDE, mainly to deal with stress, but eventually, by getting my kundalini under control, learned to reach and maintain a higher level of consciousness in every day life. I became an ordained minister and a spiritual counselor, and earned another master’s degree in Clinical Hypnotherapy, which lead me to past-life regression as a therapy. My education beyond the veil continues to this day and has evolved my thinking into a higher consciousness perspective.
My purpose for coming back manifested in writing Sitting in the Lotus Blossom in 1989 (it is now available as an ebook), during which time I was a Hospice volunteer, followed by Through the Tunnel: A Traveler’s Guide to Spiritual Rebirth in 1992 (out of print).
I began my web site BeyondtheVeil.net in 1996. In 2008, I developed an online training course for people who wish to teach others to be Transition Guides and have trained a number of very special spiritual midwives for the dying. Training is still available… contact me for information if you are interested.
In 2011, I put some of the conversations I had with visitors to this web site over about 12 years into two ebooks, Conversations With a Near-Death Experiencer and More Conversations With a Near-Death Experiencer. In 2012, I released a new ebook titled How to Die Consciously: Secrets from Beyond the Veil so anyone could learn the practice of conscious dying for themselves or to help their loved ones prepare for transition. In 2013, I revised some of the spiritual lessons from my web site and put them into two ebooks, The Path to Peace & Joy: a practical meditation and Reincarnation and the Evolution of Consciousness.
As a psychospiritual counselor for almost 30 years, my mission is to empower people with the tools and information they need to see beyond the veil. Becoming someone’s guru or making someone dependent upon me for his or her spiritual enrichment has never been the goal of my work. I want everyone to be his or her own guru, his or her own spiritual seeker. My role is simply to try to awaken my readers to the possibility that there is more to life than we’ve been led to believe and it needs to be investigated if you want to evolve your consciousness.
I look forward to the glorious experience of returning home when my work here is finished, but I’m not in any hurry. I still have a lot to do here on earth before it’s time to leave this body, and continue my education and development on the other side. In the meantime, I’m here to help those in need of spiritual uplifting from a near-death perspective. As I find myself in need of financial support in my senior years (because I have rarely charged for my time and expertise in the past), if you contact me for a consultation, I request a donation equal in value to the benefit you feel you receive following our interactions.
Now… I realize this near-death experience was part of my soul’s pre-birth plan to return home at some point in this life so that “Diane” would remember this secret teaching (the kind we forget during birth) and contribute to releasing it to the rest of the world. The secret is that there is nothing to fear… we don’t die… only the body dies but our consciousness is of our soul, which is eternal and lives many human lifetimes attending the University of Life on Earth through its process of spiritual development. We become physical beings to learn and to grow and to express unconditional love as we evolve toward God-Consciousness.
© 1996-2014 Diane Goble
When I returned from a quick trip west for my daughter’s wedding, I heard enthusiastic reports of the fun to be had on the river. The second unit crew had made an excursion trying to retrieve a camera lost on the river, and although their search was unproductive, they had a great time shooting the rapids at Woodall Shoals. I was easily persuaded to join Sue and Assistant Director Skip Cosper on the adventure.
On July 18, a Sunday, we headed out with two rafts and a group including me and Sue. The rapids at Woodall Shoals had a “hydraulic” in the center section, we had been told by river men, but the right side was not too difficult to navigate. The first raft went that way with no trouble, but the second, our group, was not so lucky: we went right into the hydraulic.
Though the raft stayed upright, it was tossed violently into the air and Diane (Goble) Connor, wife of an assistant cameraman, was immediately thrown overboard. Skip and I grabbed her and lost her more than once. Then, seeing her pulled under the raft and ejected downstream, I took the initiative and dove in. I struggled mightily as long as I could before surrendering, totally exhausted and ready to meet my Maker. Then I, too, was sucked under the raft and spit out downstream where Diane and Sue were surviving swimmingly. Later, our river experts told us we survived because we gave up the struggle and let the river have its own way.
~Excerpt from From Oz to E.T. Wally Worsley’s Half-Century in Hollywood. A Memoir in collaboration with Sue Dwiggins Worsley, Edited by Charles Ziarko (Scarecrow Press, London, 1997, page 110-11).
When John first saw us out in the middle of the river, Wally was trying to hold onto my arm and Skip was trying to help, the waterfall was pouring down on my head, and my body was going up and down between the raft and the rocks. He saw Sue floating down river. He and my sister were standing on the rocks in the river across from us but we were too far out into the center for him to reach without getting caught in the current. His thought was that I was not going to make it and he needed to stay alive for the children so he wasn’t going to jump in.
I’m thinking in my version when I say I came down to his side to stop him from going into the river and drowning too, that he got my message. He says he heard me yell to Wally to let go and when he did, I was sucked under by the hydraulic force and he thought I was gone because he didn’t see my body come up nor did he see me struggling in the current or floating downstream (I had become one with the river). He kept looking around the raft for my head to pop up but it never did, then Wally jumped out of the raft and when John looked down river, he saw me hanging onto a rock. He says he ran down to where I was and pulled me out of the water.
What I remember is getting out of the water feeling fine, and then helping to get the raft unstuck from the hydraulic by jumping back in the water to grab the rope that was tied to the raft and whipping back and forth in the current so we could all pull the raft out… and that Skip was still in the raft. My husband’s memory is fuzzy on that. JoAnn, who was about 16 at the time, didn’t have clear memories of details.
John remembers me telling him something about going to another place and then coming back, but I wasn’t very articulate about it and he just dismissed it as some sort of confusion during the ordeal (poor thing, she must be in delirious!).
He said there was quite a roasting on the bus the next morning on the way to location about a bunch of idiots shooting the rapids and almost getting people killed!
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Ken Ring (Lessons From the Light) interviews a number of near-death experiencers, and presents twelve insights that sum up their new attitude, proposing that, if you were actually to live by them, you would become a truly free person:
1. There is a reason for everything that happens.
2. Find your own purpose in life.
3. Do not be a slave to time.
4. Appreciate things for what they are.
5. Do not allow yourself to be dominated by the thoughts or expectations of others.
6. Do not be concerned with what others think of you.
7. Remember, you are not your body.
8. Don’t fear pain or death.
9. Be open to life and live it to its fullest.
10. Money and material things are not particularly important in the scheme of things.
11. Helping others is what counts in life.
12. Do not trouble yourself with competition – just enjoy the show.
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