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This being the sixth anniversary of the beginning of my near-death
experience, I thought I might exorcise a little melancholy by
sharing it here (alt.consciousness.near-death-exp newsgroup converted to web page by permission). Be warned--it's not very exciting compared to
others I've heard of, and I was on enough drugs at the time to
be unable to decide what was "real", what was drug-induced, or
even if those two questions are ultimately of any use.
Sometimes, shortly after it was over, I felt like a character in some
movie who was asked if he had any spiritual revelations while
almost dying; he answered, "I didn't see JACK! Not a Godamn thing."
I didn't see much, but, for what little use it may be to he honest
seekers on this group, here goes:
I woke up one morning feeling a little out of sorts--no pain or
discomfort or feeling of impending doom, just a sort of "got up on
the wrong side of the bed" thing. While taking a shower, I started
coughing up blood. First a little, building up within a few minutes
to a half-cupful with each cough (the shower looked like something
out of "Pyscho"). I had absolutely no pain and was clear-headed
though terribly scared. I made a snap decision that I could drive
to the hospital faster than call an ambulance. That was very
dumb, but I made it. When I got to the ER I'd stopped coughing,
so they actually made me wait with the twisted ankles and such.
Finally, a doctor checked me and said they would need to "put me
under" and see what was going on. I woke up ten days later.
What had happened was that a congenitally malformed vein had burst
in my lung. It could have happened for no reason or could have
been agitated by stress (I was under huge stress at the time, but
that's another story) or by a fall from a ladder a few months
While I was "out" I nearly died several times (106 degree fever,
pneumonia, etc.) At one point the nurses told my wife "he
probably won't last the night" and she brought in my sons and
my sister-in-law and asked the Catholic chaplain to perform the
As my wife tells it, the priest at one point told them all they
had to "let him [me] go". My sister-in-law said "NO--I won't let
him go" very loudly.
OK, here's the NDE. I remember at one point "dreaming" that I
was on the bridge of a Star Trek-like spaceship, just standing
around watching the crew doing their stuff at their consoles.
There were some doors along the wall, and I realized, in a very
matter-of-fact way, that one of them led to an area of
beautiful light. I was drawn to it, but before I could go
through it, I was distracted by my sister-in-law, whom I had
not noticed was on the bridge, saying something very loud. I
love her dearly, but she does irritate me sometimes by being
really loud in public, and I said something to the effect of
"Margy--hold it down a little, will you?" In the process,
I forgot about the door, and I guess the "dream" ended there.
Well, there you have it. Not exactly material for the
Penguin Book of Great Spiritual Experiences. I hope it may
be of some slight use to someone.
Oh, incidentally, I hope all of you who are trying to understand
more about these matters will not neglect the work of William
James, that great adventurer in the spiritual world.
Godspeed you all in your own voyages.
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