My Near Death Experience – On the Edges of Infinity, Journey to the Source and Back
In January 2013 I had a minor motorcycle accident that led me to contract a very serious case of cellulitis with multiple strains of infection. This caused me to be on an antibiotic drip for more than 16 days during which I underwent many procedures that involved removing dead skin. I was in a lot of pain and suffered a fever that lasted for almost two of those weeks. I was very sick indeed. The daily change of wound dressing was becoming more than I could bear.
The initial treatment I received was in a clinic in a very small town in the mountains of northern Thailand – this first procedure was done with no anaesthetic originally and then by injecting local anaesthetic directly into the wound. I screamed from a very deep place of terror and I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by friends who held my hands through this traumatic ordeal. The follow up treatments took place in a bright, modern and efficient hospital in Chiang Mai.
One day as I lay in wait for another wound change I was full of dread. It didn’t seem to matter what drugs they gave me, my leg was so swollen that a mere gentle touch would solicit a reaction from the rest of my body. The nursing staff had been so gentle and so patient and tolerated my commands, my tears, my temper and my fear.
I’m sure they had seen it all before and I was witnessing first-hand what it is like when you have been in a lot of pain 24 hours a day for getting on for three weeks. Like sleep deprivation, it is enough to make one insane or simply want to give up.This day, the day I journeyed to the edge of infinity, was in so many ways no different to any other of the days spent in the treatment room at the hospital, except it was different. I had had morphine on the previous day and was curious about how it caused me to dissociate from what was happening. I could feel everything they were doing with my leg, I could even feel the pain, but I was so dissociated I simply didn’t care.I did not know if that was how morphine was supposed to work or not, but that is how it had worked for me. It was a curious state of consciousness; to be in pain and yet not care about it. No emotional reaction, only dissociation. On this particular day the nurse administered the morphine and left the room immediately stating that she would be back in a few minutes. No sooner had she left the room I started to feel sensations that I had not previously experienced.
There was a strange electrical tingling throughout my body and a buzzing sound indicating some sort of voltage in my head that was interspersed with popping sounds. I tilted my head backwards and looked at the monitor – I knew that the numbers were not as they should be, pulse was low, blood pressure very low and in that moment, as I wondered if I would be ok, I found myself floating up above my body looking down at myself. It was quite unlike the previous experience of being in pain but dissociated, for in that moment I was anything but dissociated; at first I was rather alarmed. As I gazed downwards at myself, the first thing I noticed was the size and shape of my body and the thought, ‘you really ought to go on a diet,’ crossed my mind and then I spotted my dear friend sitting in his chair, clearly unaware of where I was. My heart filled with compassion for him and I became deeply concerned. I was worried that if this was the scene of my death than it may be too much for him.
How would he cope with informing family and friends and how would he organize all the practical aspects of someone dying? I wanted to shout at him, ‘Don’t bother to ship my body, just choose the easiest route for yourself,’ and with that thought I found myself back in my body.
I was now back fully in my body and I noticed that I was gripping the sheets and that the buzzing feeling and sounds were back. In that moment I heard the very same voice, the same deep masculine tone that had asked me if I wanted to live during the armed robbery in South Africa some six years previously. This time the voice greeted me with, ‘just let go, it is more difficult if you grip, just let go’. As I knew this voice and had an inherent trust of it, for after all, a miracle had happened on a fateful night in Johannesburg 6 years previously during a horrific armed robbery, I followed the instructions and let go deeply.
A part of me was confused, as I just didn’t expect this to be my time. I had assumed that I had survived a gun being put to my head in South Africa as there was still lots of work for me to do – so although I did not feel complete, I did however accept what was presenting itself and realized that on the level of my personality I could not possibly understand the big picture of what was going on. I felt sad at the thought of death as I felt that there were still things I wanted to do and see, and yet I accepted it in that moment. I let out a breath, released my grip and once again found myself floating up close to the ceiling, looking down at the treatment room, my friend and my own body. This time however my vision had changed.
It was ultra-clear, ultra-sharp, no longer were my reading glasses going to be needed. In addition to being ultra-sharp, the colours looked different; there was a vibrancy I had not witnessed previously.My vision also changed to encompass all 360 degrees, meaning, I could simultaneously see not only below me, but also above me and to the sides: my vision was spherical, for want of a better description.In writing this, just as I have been aware of the same problem when telling this story live or on video, I am presented with issues of vocabulary and descriptions of linear and chronological time that are not strictly true. I will use words like ‘up’ and describe events in sequence when in fact there were no directions, no beginning and no end.
As I create the story of this experience I must use terms that make sense to both me the writer and you the reader, for in reality, there are very few words to actually describe where I was, what I experienced, what I saw and what I felt. What I mean by that is that time was fluid and many experiences seemed simultaneous and I even experienced colour for which I had no name, no equivalent.
This wasn’t like encountering a shade of blue and not knowing whether it was cyan or turquoise, it was encountering something I had never experienced before. However, it was not in the moment of viewing the colour that I questioned it, for in the moment it seemed as if everything I saw was already known to me as it felt so natural. It was only afterwards on recounting the experience that I ran into word difficulties, ‘What was that colour?’
My experience of floating up on the ceiling with 360 degree vision deepened as I noticed that above me was a vast black space encircled by what appeared to be an ultra-fine gold thread that was as thin as it was bright. Its brightness was astounding, along with its thinness. It appeared to be no thicker than the average hair and yet the energy and brightness it was emanating belied its insignificant size. I gazed at the vast black space. I was curious as I had always heard that in these moments there should be a tunnel with light. However, I had no sense that I was disappearing into some dark underworld for the vast blackness I had become aware of was radiating a profound sense of benevolence. I stared into it and could see what I can only describe as a black light. As odd and as contradictory as that sounds, it appeared to me to be a black light, maybe it was a deep cobalt blue, maybe it was a deep purple, but even today as I write this I know that if I say it was either deep purple or blue, it would not be true, it would only be for the convenience of avoiding describing something that I cannot even grasp in my day to day experience.
This black light was alive, more than that, it was conscious and it was aware of my presence. I felt as if its emanations were reaching across time and space to greet me, to welcome me, to simply say hello. I actually longed for it to touch me, I wanted it to wrap around me and coil up inside me, for the benevolence I felt coming from it was more than I had ever experienced in my entire life. It was more benevolence than I could measure or conceive of.
I became aware once more of the thin golden line which formed the boundary between this world and the one in which the benevolent black light resided. I noticed that I was being pulled upwards. It was a very gentle movement, a gentle tugging that felt as if my belly was being drawn by a magnet towards the vast space.I knew instinctively that if I passed through the golden ring there would be no return and that I would then be in the world of the dead. As I started to pass more completely through the golden ring I looked down once more at my friend and at my body. I was at peace and knew that he would survive this experience and would eventually be more than ok. I released any thoughts of worry I had had about funerals and other inconveniences.
Finally I looked down and saw that I had passed through the ring of gold completely. At that moment I experienced only what I would describe as a gasp. I did not literally gasp for I was not in a physical body with which to draw the air for a gasp. However, I use this word to convey a flood of awareness that was as astonishing as it was magnificent and full of wonderment. I can only liken it to a moment when, miraculously, each and every wish you’ve ever had comes true in the same instant. This gasp, this astonishment was with the realization that I had merged with the black light, with that source of benevolence that was so complete, so very, very complete in every way that I could not imagine ever needing or wanting anything else.
To be merged for a second or for a few moments in perfection, bathed in perfection, embraced by perfection, felt like a thousand years of total contentment and resplendent bliss.
In my awareness I could experience myself being embraced by this deep dark velvet whilst at the same time being not only merged with it, but actually aware of being it. I was simultaneously aware of being ‘me’ in the experience of being embraced by the Benevolence, of being the benevolence itself, and of being the part of me that could observe both.There was not a single moment when I questioned my ability to be focussed in multiple vantage points simultaneously, it all felt so very natural. For a while I did not know what to call this benevolence. It challenged some of my notions of god and it certainly felt as if I may be going out on a limb to say that I had met god. However, for me this benevolence could not be anything other than that I have come to know as god. As part of this merging experience I knew that the Benevolence absolutely knew everything about me – we had no secrets, not at all. Absolutely nothing was hidden. I was as naked as the day I was born and each of my thoughts, my feelings, my pains, my sufferings, my joys, my hopes, my aspirations, my jealousies, my dishonesties, all of my history – everything was known.
To be that known and to be so deeply held in a way that transcended all sense of shame and unworthiness is a life changing experience. There was no hesitation from the Benevolence, and furthermore, we were now one.As the realization of oneness totally and completely passed through me I suddenly saw myself looking down at the earth as if from space. How beautiful she was: A blue and white jewel floating in an ocean of blackness. The sight of her was breathtaking, I felt so much love for our home, and it was pure adoration.
Here again words fail me for as I choose terms like ‘love’ and ‘adoration,’ I know that they are each nothing but an empty carcass of a word in comparison to the true feeling that had passed through me. Just like the colours for which I have no name, the word love is only an estimation, a mere hint of what really transpired as I simply do not have words to describe something, that is adoration to the power of a number with too many zeros to count. It was completeness in every sense of the word. Just as science describes ‘absolute zero’ on the temperature scale, this then is an absolute that breaks the rule by becoming infinite. Just as I was gazing at the blue jewel my attention came to a covering of grass upon it. I suddenly found myself staring at a patch of beautiful green grass at very close quarters. It was very green grass and seemed so vibrant, so much greener than any other grass I had seen and it shone with an aura that seemed a little spiky, but very bright.
My entire consciousness seemed to fill with the presence of these blades of super green grass. As I became more completely conscious of them I became aware that each blade of grass was not only emanating a luminescent colour but also a tone, a sound. The tone itself seemed a very high pitch, and not something I had ever heard before, certainly not at that particular octave, or however that could be measured. What happened next still astounds me today and in that moment it was the deepest and most profound experience I had ever had. I suddenly became aware that each blade of grass not only emitted a sound but that each blade of grass had a unique tone. In that moment I realized that a unique tone was no different to the sounds we make that are called names.
Just as that happened I became simultaneously aware of every single blade of grass on each and every continent and island of the earth in one moment – as I perceived the unique tone of each blade of grass I became aware that the name of each of them was known and remembered by the Benevolence – it astounded me and even now as I write this I am moved to tears once again. Not only was each name known, each and every blade of grass was deeply valued. From this vantage point I experienced the merging of each individual tone into a grand orchestra of grass beings across the planet. This music was unlike anything I had ever heard. I could only describe it as the most adoring celebration of life through music into which I was folded.
Not only could I hear the music, I was folded up into it and it was playing inside me as if the grass had sung a song just for me. I had previously heard the choir of forests when meditating amongst the trees, but this experience far outstripped any of those extra sensory experiences I had had whilst in the body. As if this was not enough I unexpectedly saw beautiful white sand on a beach that was bordering an azure blue sea. The grains of white sand glistened in the bright sunshine and once again I found myself looking close enough to take in individual grains of sand.
What I noticed is that not all of them were white and each not only had a unique shape but were also composed of different materials. Surprisingly these grains of sand were not still. Although from a distance they simply looked like stationary grains of sand, right up close I could see that they were moving – there was a general agitation, they were vibrating and then the experience expanded to understand the vibration I could see – it was sound, it was music!
Just as each blade of grass had a unique tone, so too did the sand. My awareness continued to sharpen and expand until I was holding within myself every grain of sand from every beach and desert across the entire planet and I became fully aware that the Benevolence knew each of their names and heard each of their songs, united into a vast, harmonious orchestral melody that was the epitome of perfection and pure magnificence: each grain unfettered in its essence, just happy to be a grain of sand.
I gasped and I gasped and I gasped but nothing prepared me for what came next. What came next was holding the grass and the sand in my awareness, being aware of each of their unique notes, their names, their history and origins and their locations, but what I was not prepared for, beyond this expanded and yet infinitely detailed awareness, was that the Benevolence held each and every one of them as exquisite and precious beyond any words I have to describe it, with any justice or true meaning.
Love is such an impotent word. I was in a total and profound gasp of realization of something that perhaps only a poet could grasp, a realization of the truth of love; it was beyond any kind of love I had ever experienced and even today words fail me.
I prefer exquisite and precious as they indicate the possibility of their being a Benevolence that exists above and beyond the very impoverished states of love we, for the most part, experience here on Earth. And there I was, all of it rushing through me as I gasped and gasped and gasped. It was like being on a wonderful winding road in the wilderness when every corner that is driven around opens up to a new vista that is even better than the one before – one wonders, just how beautiful can this get? It was so profound to have the direct experience and knowing that even a blade of grass and a grain of sand was adored by the Benevolence, adored by what I am at peace to claim was god.
Yes, I met god.
That’s the truth of it for me, I met god and god was good and kind and more benevolent than anything I could imagine. god loved me more than I can comprehend even on this day, for it is not something to be understood, only experienced. The greatest gift beyond being in the presence of god was the merging. The gift of experiencing myself as being a part of That which resides everywhere and in everything, to know that even for a second, even for just one breath, is a gift worth more than a galleon filled with gold.
The tone of the experience changed and now I was looking at humanity. At first I could hear music, Mozart, Brahms, Verdi, African Drums, Mongolian Overtone Singers, Indian Classical Music, Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Reggae, Flutes, Violins, Mexican Trumpets. I could see painters, sculptors, chefs of all persuasions, artists of all kinds, great and wondrous canvasses covered in paint, human expression creating a landscape of beauty and sheer magnificence, inventors, writers, poets, embodiments of compassion, farmers who loved the land, and those who tended the animals in their care with great respect and kindness; I was moved by the magnificence and enthralled by our collective beauty.
Then the tone changed once more and now I saw bombs exploding and the limbs of women, children at home and young men sent to war flying through the air in a macabre display of human creativity in total distortion.
I could hear and see the horror of every rape on the planet, I could see and feel all of the living beings affected by oil spills, deforestation, pollution, chemical waste and by the sheer lack of respect shown to them. I saw wars, tanks, bullets, crime, hate; I saw political factions, the extremists and all those who claimed to have god on their side.
I was witnessing the darkest nightmares that humanity had created: Auschwitz, Rwanda, the Middle East, Cambodia and much, much more. There was so much contrast to all of the beauty I had just seen and celebrated. Then the view shifted again. I could see and FEEL every mother who abused and beat her children; every mother who neglected and abandoned her children; every mother who spoke harsh and cruel words to them and then I saw and FELT each mother who adored her children, who held them in safety and cared willingly for each and every one of their needs and encouraged them with love to become who they were meant to become.
Then I saw all of the fathers who were violent with their children, all of the fathers who had abandoned their children or who took no interest in them; every father who had abused his child in every way possible. I saw all of the cruelty, all of the damage and all of the insanity. And then I saw and FELT every father who worshipped and adored his children, who loved them more than he loved himself, who would give anything in selfless service to them, who protected them, educated them and guided them with gentle and kind leadership. My focus now returned to viewing the blue jewel from a distance and all I experienced was god’s peace and love for all I had witnessed. My focus returned back to humanity and I was shown every hair on every head of every human who lived and had ever lived and will ever live. Each hair was known and like the grass and the sand, it too was held as something exquisite and precious. God said to me, ‘If I love the hair on your head to that degree, then how much more do I love thee?’
In that moment I looked down at myself as I lay in the hospital bed and my heart was filled with compassion for the man I could see. I could see all of his attempts at being good, all of his trying hard to become something; I could see that he was still caught up in the idea that one had to become good in the eyes of god.In that, I once again lost the distinction between myself the individual and the Benevolence that I call god. I began to see myself as god sees me and I was moved beyond words and a great sense of relief overcame me, knowing that no matter if I failed or succeeded, there was nothing I could do to either win more of god’s love or lose it.
The only thing standing between me, and the awake and aware experience of the Benevolence, was my allowance of it, my ability to surrender fearlessly to what had always been within me and around me. With this I suddenly found myself back in my body and I laughed, and I laughed, and I laughed.
My laugh continued all day and into the next too, and here and there for several days more after that. What I was laughing at was what seemed to be some sort of cosmic joke – all of the effort to become ‘good’, all of the effort to be ‘important’, ‘make a difference’, to gain some sort of absolution for everything humanity had ever done.
I laughed because everything I thought I needed and was looking for was either not true or was simply as close as my own heart. It was the mother of all ‘aha’ moments, the ‘aha’ moment to silence all of the others, so I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed at the futility of all of my efforting. My dear friend, my eternal friend, the Benevolence, had never left, had not turned its face from me, had never forgotten me and indeed loved every hair on my head. How could I possibly get more of what was already complete? How could I get more love out of a love that already encompassed everything I both was and was not? It seemed hilarious to me and I laughed for days.
Much of my time in the days that followed was spent in silence and drifting in and out of sleep. I would often awake with a laugh or simply start talking about what, to some, could have been experienced as gibberish. However, the friend taking care of me had the foresight to record what I was saying on his phone. Almost every time I would re-enter this reality from the dream world I would laugh at the illusion of it all – it was a Divine Comedy on the grandest of scales and what was even funnier is that most of the actors had become so wrapped up in their soap opera roles that they thought that this particular episode of ‘the truly bold and very beautiful’ was absolutely real. It is also true to say that most of my laughter was at myself for I had been experiencing many varied layers of coming to the realization that much of what I believed was simply not true, or seeing that it was a futile attempt to get something that I was already in possession of.
Some of this process also involved deep sobbing for I also touched in to the hurt I had inflicted on myself and others over the years. It was as if in these days nothing was hidden, everything was revealed and I no longer had the capacity to keep secrets from myself. Deep sobs would emerge from within me; deep feelings of regret, and also the movement of feelings I had kept frozen. I had come face to face with my own broken heartedness at how I had walked away from the god of my childhood convinced that ‘He’ did not want to know me, that I was in some way truly bad and truly not welcome.
I had forgotten that I really did know the truth. I had forgotten my childhood anger that the church was telling so many lies about my dear friend god. When I was a child there was an old man who stood by the tree in the front garden of our home in Singapore. He was not a man that anyone else could see, and I would see him standing in front of what looked like a doorway to light and behind him was the same presence that I now recognize as the Benevolent. I am so relieved to be able to swap the word ‘god’ for the Benevolent, for that is such a fitting name and title that tells far more truth than all of the distortions and lies we have been feeding one another about the nature of god. The ‘old man by the tree’ would tell me that difficult times were ahead but that one day I would not only remember him and his presence but that all of the suffering would also be understood. A few days after my life changing experience with the Benevolent, I begged to be taken to the shopping mall. I had reached my limit of simply staring up at the ceiling and being confined within the plain coloured four walls. I needed air, I needed to see people, I needed smells beyond iodine, disinfectant and mustiness, and I wanted those smells to be replaced with the fragrance of Thai food!
As I sat in the open restaurant I gazed at people as they walked by. I was captivated by the knowledge and the experience that the Benevolent was visible everywhere. As each person walked by I would smile to myself, even giggle, for I began to recognize that, which I had merged with, as residing inside everyone. I could suddenly pierce all of the levels of what they presented as themselves to see a reflection of the Benevolent as the magnificence of their inner being. I would smile broadly to myself with joy, knowing in my heart that all was ok. My eyes fixed upon one man who looked all modicum of joy. His shoulders reflected great burden and he looked to be in a permanent bad temper. As I looked at him I laughed to myself, not to mock him, but in the realization that no matter how hard I tried I could only see the Benevolent in everyone. In my giggle I said inwardly to god, ‘You almost had me there, you are the last I expected to see when I looked, that’s a really good disguise,’ and I laughed some more.
Immediately after that a woman who I would usually be inclined to feel at least some judgement for, walked on by. Her apparel was overtly sexual and I spotted the lustful looks of men and the condemning glares of other women. As I wondered how she could possibly walk in the shoes she had on, for they looked to me to be at least 90 degrees, the laugh came back as suddenly as the first time – there ‘he’ was again, the Benevolence in disguise. I was chatting to god as if she was a good friend, with absolutely no need for formalities. I found myself saying, ‘wow, very good disguise. Who would have thought it? It’s perfect, you’re setting up everyone for judgement, and there you are, concealing yourself as this woman everyone loves to judge or treat as an object. You nearly had me there, I almost did not spot you’.
This dialogue in the shopping mall continued for a while as I began to recognize the truth of the Benevolence in each and every person, simply walking by, and going about their business. What I was perceiving was a reflection of what I had experienced during my total merging with the Benevolence and it was telling me that that merging is always present, in everyone and in everything even when the other, or indeed myself, is not aware of it. It was reminding me of the truth that sat hidden under layers of what we perceive to be reality. In those days I was relieved to be able to see beyond what I usually perceived; I was no longer seeing other people’s auras as I usually do, the astral and ancestral world had become temporarily invisible to me, I could only see distilled truth and essence beyond any other expression, dimension or aspect of any one person or soul.
Within all of that, all was well. There was no suffering, no pain, and no pointlessness. There was only experience, consciousness and the awareness of the all pervasive Benevolence.
On the fourth morning after my experience I woke up and ‘it’ was gone. Somehow I was back to my ‘normal’ self before any of that had happened. I felt it the moment my eyes opened and I was back to seeing the world we live in through my usual limited perception. Something was very different, but I cannot deny that I felt quite crushed by this. The experience of acceptance, being fully loved and being the presence of love held me in a place of deep peace. I was deeply disappointed that the experience had come to an end and I even wondered what could have gone wrong. Why was I back to ‘normal’ again? A great anger arose in me and as I went about my day I once again could see and feel the suffering of humanity. Once my anger at god for allowing me to slip back into the ‘old’ me had subsided I noticed that I had far more acceptance about not only the suffering I saw around me, but also more acceptance of my own suffering. The deep knowing that all will be ok and the memory of seeing the Benevolence everywhere assured me that I would be ok.
My period of adjustment lasted for several months, and in some ways life was much easier with a deeper sense of inner peace, and in some other ways, life was more challenging. In the days after my experience I came to realize and to notice that my sensitivity had increased along with my extra sensory perception. I could see more, hear and, especially, feel much more. On the one hand my greatest gift is my sensitivity, on the other hand it is my greatest burden. What had definitely changed for me was that I no longer felt the need to hide my extra sensory perception, I no longer felt the need to hide the fact that I speak to frogs and sheep and trees and butterflies and all manner of animate and inanimate beings. Consciousness and souls had always been everywhere for me.
#NDE #Neardeathexperience #OBE #Outofbodyexperience