Unfortunately ( and another reason i've never told many people ) my story began with lsd and pot. I was attending a concert and the drugs and music got me extremely worked up. At some point I got the overwhelming urge to go upstairs to the bathroom and shut myself in one of the stalls. Everything was very unreal at this point, but I attribute that to the acid. Once I had sat down on the toilet, the experience began in earnest. I had taken acid many times before and had never experienced leaving my body in this manner. I could clearly see myself sitting on the toilet for a short time, and then I rapidly "ascended" or expanded away from it. The term "expanded" is important to attempt to describe the feeling. It was as if I had been in a dark prison all my life, hobbled, and then suddenly released into the wide open sunlight. But even this is a woefully inadequate description. As I ascended I began to "unfold". Time and space were attributes of the physical world that I left behind. There was no time or linearity where I was. Everything just was. There were no words. I was just "being". Primarily an emotional being. I was in ecstasy. I had escaped pain, work, loss, etc. I was free. Now as this occurred long ago, unfortunately some of the details have been obscured by time. But I do remember being in the presence of a love like none I have ever known before or since. This love seemed to come from a group of beings, there seemed to be about 5 but I caouldn't really be sure. All I knew was they were intelligent, they loved me, and they weren't human. They existed outside time, outside the physical world. I felt a peace unlike any other, perhaps "The peace that passeth all understanding". It was indescribable unfortunately. The beings had no form, other than perhaps light. I felt like I was "home". This was where I had come from, this was where I belonged. At that point, all I wanted was to stay as I was forever. I felt as if I was in the presence of God.
There was some communication between us. The beings told me ( but no words were used ) that they loved me. They also told me that it wasn't my time yet, that I would have to go back. And although this was the worst news that I could imagine, I remember being only mildly disappointed, which is outrageous if you think about it. They also told me that the reason I had to go back was that there was something that I was to be involved in that they wanted to happen, but I was not told what that was. I was also told not to worry, that whatever happens, no matter what, is meant to happen. This has been a major source of confusion in my life. I know there was other communication but I'm unsure what it was, so rather than report something inaccurate, I'll just omit it.
As I was told I would have to come back, I began to recede back into my physical self. Someone else used the phrase "being poured into a funnel" and this is a very good description. I felt as if my formless self, which had no limits, no anything, was being "stuffed" back into my body. My spirit was being hooked back into time and space and all the accompanying hobbles.
As I regained consciousness and became aware of my (mundane) surroundings, I left the bathroom and tried to leave the auditorium but all the doors were locked. Now normally I would be very nervous and afraid about being somewhere that I wasn't supposed to be, i.e. a closed auditorium. But I wasn't. Some measure of the peace that had accompianed me on my journey remained with me still. I heard a janitor cleaning up the stage and I approached him and asked to be let out. *He* was very nervous about how I had gotten in the auditorium:) I felt that my calm demeanor somehow calmed him and after I explained that I had "drank too much" and passed out in the bathroom, he let me out. I then called a friend to come get me and waited on the sidewalk in front of the auditorium. This was approximately 1am. The concert had ended around 11pm I was told. This means my experience lasted almost 2 hours! Anyway, as I was waiting, a police car pulled up and the officer proceeded to question me. Again, normally I would be extremely nervous being interrogated like this, but I was completely calm and not at all afraid. The police seemed satisfied with my explanation and left.
My friend showed up and took me home. One other thing I remember now that I was "told" by the beings was to tell no one of what I had seen. My friend, who is interested in the supernatural was very frustrated by my reticence in relating my experience. I kept it secret for a very long time, but now it seems as if there is no reason for it to remain a secret, as so many others have related similar experiences, I have tempered my conceit regarding the experience somewhat, and I have a much clearer understanding of the context in which the experience took place. That is to say, I no longer believe God plucked me from the earth as his "chosen" but rather that I was such a fool as to overindulge to the point of nearly killing myself.
As I said earlier, at the time I had never heard of an "NDE". I was totally mystified as to the meaning of the experience. Over time I became extremely afraid and paranoid about it. I thought perhaps that I had some secret knowledge that might get me hurt if anyone found out about it. I deeply mistrusted the information my senses were giving me about the nature of reality. In short, I suspect I went insane for awhile. I should also add that, subsequent to the NDE I did fall into a depression of sorts, with all my senses feeling dead and lifeless, perhaps due to comparing mundane experience with divine experience.
That's it. As to readings, I would recommend _Life At Death_, by Ken Ring.
One poster asked about behavior changes subsequent to the NDE. For me, there were a few. First, I never willingly did acid again. I also became very serious about trying to make my life all that it could be. I began to study marital arts, zen, philosophy, psychology. I began to exercise in earnest. I got an MBA in marketing and took over the family business. For the first time in my life I felt as if my life truly meant something and I felt an obligation to the loving being I had met to put my best efforts into making myself the best person I could be. Love did that. All my life I had been neglected in certain key ways, I had not cared much about myself or living. My NDE turned that around 180 degrees. Or more properly, I should say that this unbelievable love experience had turned around 21 years of neglect.
I would like to address the poster who said something about the fact that NDEers have the attitude "I've had an NDE and I know it all". I wouldn't say that I felt that I knew it all, but the fact that I had an unshakable belief in the *validity* of my experience, that no mundane quasi-scientific rationalization of the experience was sufficient to explain what had happened; this could be perceived as having that "know-it-all" attitude. However, I will admit to a feeling of being *vastly* superior to those who had not been "chosen" as I had. Wouldn't you, given the nature of the experience?? But, remember, I did not lord it over anyone, and in fact I think this is why I was told not to tell anyone. If I had I am certain I would have done it with a definite "holier than thou" attitude. Now when I tell it, I remember that my experience comes as a result of weakness, overindulgence, and accidently almost killing myself. Reflecting on this is quite humbling enough to remove any illusions I may have about my own moral superiority:)
Finally (:)), my heartfelt thanks to Mark for starting this group. It has allowed me to get back in touch with something that had obsessed my every waking thought for many many years subsequent to the experience, but lately had been almost forgotten. The act of writing this down has brought back many details..
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