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