A Personal Account of NDE by a Walk-In
I was at Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia. I had just been told that I had a "blockage" in my spinal cord, from fourth to seventh cervical vertebrae at level of neck, that had been responsible for symptoms I had been experiencing. My right arm was paralyzed, my legs were spastic, and there were sensations like electric shocks running through my body when I moved my head. I was told that I had to have an operation immediately, and that if I lived through operation, I might come out of it a quadriplegic. When I asked if I had time for a second opinion, I was told that if I coughed or sneezed at that time, I might die. Naturally, I agreed to have operation in a few hours.
I realized that according to what doctors had said, I might be dead in a few hours. I went through stages that many people go through when they know they are about to die. First, there was sense that this was a movie set, and that these things were not really happening to me. I found myself negotiating with what was happening, bargaining if I could, for something different to happen. Slowly, realization that it was real, and happening to me, came closer and closer, until I had to emotionally accept that I might very soon be dead.
When I accepted unacceptable, my body shook violently as an intensity of energy moved through me. I opened more and more to it, and after one or two very long minutes it was complete. I felt a calm inside that I had not known before. All my senses were sharper. My vision was clearer. Colors were brighter. Hearing was clearer. Sensations were more alive.
I realized that I had released a perceptual filter that had been standing between me and experience of life, and ironically, it had been fear of death. Now that I had released that fear, I was experiencing more of life, more of being alive, even if just for a short while longer.
I thought of life I had lived, and things I could have done but didn't, and I found myself saying to myself, "I wish I had." There were a lot of "I wish I hads." I thought to myself that it was, in fact, a sad way to end a life, and that if I had to do it again, there would be a lot of "I'm glad I dids."
I had to decide what I wanted to do with short time I had left. If I spent my remaining time worrying or feeling bad about what was, in fact, inevitable, I would have just wasted rest of my life, thrown it away, and it was too valuable for that. I decided to spend my remaining time feeling good, and just thinking of things that helped me to feel good - color of paint on walls, smell of flowers in room, anything positive. I knew I could always find something.
Finally, time came. I was taken to operating room, and as I was being given anesthetic, I thought that this might be last experience I would ever have. I had no idea what might come afterwards. I had been agnostic, with no beliefs, believing in nothing that I had not experienced. Perhaps next step after death was just oblivion. I let go.
I began to experience a vertigo, a sense of spinning, and it didn't feel good, so I stabilized myself in center of it until I was still, and everything else was spinning around me. I was moving through spinning scenes, which were memories from life I had lived, memories which were calling for my attention. If I put my attention on them, though, I felt myself "pulled," because I was moving through these spinning memories, like being pulled through a tunnel, or falling down a well, but discovering that half-way down well. Reaching for walls would not work. My only hope would be to aim for water at bottom.
I had to withdraw my attention from these scenes, then, these memories, and put my attention on place to which I was being drawn, aiming for it. I was headed there anyway, but aiming for it gave me more of a sense of being in driver's seat, and that was a lot more comfortable for me. It was a bit like riding a roller coaster in front car, and pretending that you're driving thing along tracks. It gives a totally different ride, I can assure you, than being swept out of control.