Thursday, July 14, 2011

Near Death Experience - not quite

Below is another Shift in Action post I put up a few years ago. Many people have shown an interest in this one and I decided to publish it alone.  The experience dates from about 1980 and is related exactly as it occurred:
I was sharing a house with two other single men around my own age (27 at the time)and was in excellent health. I had decided to have an early night and went to bed. Prior to going to sleep I was reading Ouspensky's "New Model of the Universe" (the chapter on the 4th dimension). I was alone in my room apart from my German Shepherd dog which slept at the foot of my bed. I hadn't been asleep very long when I was awakened by a chill running up and down my spine. It was extremely cold and felt as if I was being blasted with liquid nitrogen or similar. I had the feeling that there was a "presence" in the room and I was terrified. I lay flat on my back, not daring to move and listening to the dog breathing in her sleep at the foot of the bed. I could not bring myself to look around the room but remember sensing the presence of 2 nuns in traditional black habits.

Suddenly my mother's voice (she was alive at the time) came to me but I heard it through a hole in the back of my head rather than through my ears. Mum had always claimed experiences of astral projection but she was prone to exaggeration and I took it all "with a grain of salt". Her voice kept saying, 'It's only me I want you to come flying with me'. Her voice relaxed me and I responded non-verbally telling her I loved her and trusted her. I felt my body begin to lift, floating horizontally toward the ceiling of the room; (this was my first but not my only experience of astral projection). I was becoming more relaxed and confidant and felt I was about to "let go and take off" when another voice came to me, a man's voice which said, 'She's going for good'.

My whole consciousness immediately moved. I experienced an instant and comprehensive memory of my entire life and was then standing in a garden, dressed in a red robe adorned with black salamanders and reading a book on a stone rostrum. The book told me the purpose of my life and listed all the tasks I had to accomplish. The entity I was then said, "I can't go, there's too much to do" and I immediately returned to my body where I slept fitfully until awoken by one of my housemates coming home.

Upon awakening I felt compelled to go to my parents home some 10 kilometres away. My mother was ordinarily an incredibly light sleeper and my father the opposite. I eventually awoke my father by banging on the bedroom window. Dad let me in and I went into the bedroom. Mum was still sound asleep and laying flat on her back. For some reason I instinctively touched her lightly on the centre of her forehead. She awoke instantly.
Mum had no recollection of anything outlined here. She had never enjoyed good health and continued not to do so. She passed in 1998 (18 years later).

For many years I never thought of this incident as an NDE but rather as a mystical experience. It does however have many elements common to an NDE and I now wonder if that is what it was. I do know that what happened was not a dream but something I actually experienced. I accept that my psyche may have dressed up certain elements (eg: the salamander robe and the book on the rostrum) to make them comprehensible, but I do know that my consciousness shifted to an astral state and then to something beyond that which was all knowing and universal. I have never formed an opinion one way or the other as to whether Mum may have passed that night had I not felt compelled to go to her. When I think back to what was written in the book, my mind immediately goes back to a painting I began when I was at school but never finished of a dingo (Australian native dog) standing on a cliff looking out into the desert.

I would appreciate any thoughts on this experience; it contains so many elements common to an NDE its nature perplexes me.

I sent this account of my experience after posting it, to the International Association for Near Death Studies Inc. and yesterday received their analysis as included below:

"About 25% of the people who submit their experiences to our archives say they were in good health at the time of their “near-death” experience. We have come to call the experiences that fit the criteria of an NDE in every other aspect except being near death “near-death-like experiences” or NDLEs. NDEs andNDLES both belong to the same family of mystical or “spiritually transformative experiences” or STEs. There are many known cases of empathic experiences in which a healthy person accompanies a dying loved one into that mystical realm or dimension, if you will. In your case, it appears to be enough to have been told that your mother was “going for good” to trigger an empathic NDLE from your astral or out-of-body state. (People who have said they’ve experienced both astral projections and out-of-body experiences say they are different in terms of their dream like qualities – an out-of-body experience seems to be much more vivid – actually more “real than real” than an astral projection).

NDErs or NDLErs often say that one gets the experience in the way we need it most in order to learn the importance of unconditional love and/or knowledge.NDEs and NDLES often contain literal or real metaphors or symbols to convey that message. A dramatic example is a woman who found herself quite literally walled in. Each brick was a literal representation of a person she had mistreated in her life. One could reasonably speculate that we often see a light at the end of the tunnel, because that is such a meaningful and hopeful metaphor in our culture. Tunnels have not been reported in NDEs in other cultures. You might ask yourself if there is more meaning you can derive from the red robe, black salamanders and stone rostrum and what they might have represented to you at the time of your experience. That appears to be very significant."

If you've had a similar experience which you need help demystifying I have found IANDS to be an excellent resource. 

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