first near death experience - struck by lightning
From immense pain I found myself engulfed by peace and tranquility. It was a feeling I had never known before and have not known since. It was like bathing in a glorious calmness...
A tunnel was forming, opening like the eye of a hurricane, and coming towards me... There was the sound of chimes as the tunnel spiraled toward and then around me... soon the tunnel engulfed me completely, and the intensely beautiful sound of seven chimes ringing in rhythmic succession.
I looked ahead into the darkness. There was a light up there, and I began to move towards it as quickly as possible. I was moving without legs at a high rate of speed. Ahead the bright light became calmer and brighter, until it overtook the darkness, and left me standing in a paradise of brilliant light. This was the brightest light I had ever seen, but in spite of that it didn't hurt my eyes in the least. Unlike the pain one might feel when walking into sunlight from a dark room, this light was soothing to my eyes.
I looked to my right and could see a silver form appearing like a silhouette through mist. As it approached, I began to feel a deep sense of love that encompassed all of the meaning of the word. It was as though I were seeing a lover, mother, and best friend, multiplied a thousandfold. As the Being of Light came closer, these feelings of love intensified until they became almost too pleasurable to withstand. I had the sense of becoming less dense, as though I had lost 20 or 30 pounds. The burden of my body had been left behind, and now I was an unencumbered spirit.
I looked at my hand. It was translucent and shimmering and moved with fluidity, like the water in the ocean. I looked down at my chest, and it too had the translucence and flow of silk in a light breeze.
The Being of Light stood directly in front of me. As I gazed into its essence, I could see prisms of color, as though it were composed of thousands of tiny diamonds, each emitting the colors of the rainbow.
I began to look around. Below us were other Beings who looked like me. They appeared to be lost, and shimmered at a rate that was far slower than the rate at which I shimmered. As I watched them, I noticed that I slowed down as well. There was a discomfort in this reduced vibration that made me look away.
I looked above me. There were more Beings, these brighter and more radiant than I. I felt discomfort when looking at them as well, because I began to vibrate faster. It was as though I had drunk too much coffee, and was now speeding up and moving too fast. I looked away from them, and straight ahead at the Being of Light, who now stood before me. I felt comfortable in his presence, a familiarity that made me believe he had felt every feeling I had ever had, from the time I took my first breath, to the instant I was sizzled by lightning. Looking at this Being, I had the feeling that no one could have more empathy, sympathy, encouragement, and non-judgmental compassion for me, than this Being.
Although I refer to the Being of Light as a "he", I never saw this Being as either male or female... none of the Beings I met had gender, just great power.
The Being of Light engulfed me, and as it did, I began to experience my whole life, feeling and seeing everything that had ever happened to me. It was as though a dam had burst, and every memory stored in my brain flowed out.
This life review was not pleasant. From the moment it began, until it ended, I was faced with the sickening reality that I had been an unpleasant person, someone who was self-centered and mean.
As I reviewed my life in the bosom of the Being, I relived each altercation - I felt the anguish and the humiliation my opponent had felt. Now I was forced to feel their pain.
Now I knew the pain I had caused everyone in my life. As my body lay dead on the stretcher, I was reliving every moment of my life, including my emotions, attitudes, and motivations.
The depth of emotion I experienced during this life review was astonishing. Not only could I feel the way both I and the other person had felt when an incident took place, I could also feel the feelings of the next person they reacted to. I was in a chain reaction of emotion, one that showed how deeply we affect one another. Luckily, not all of it was bad.
I discovered that it is not what you do that counts, but why you do it. For example, having a fist fight with someone for no real reason, hurt me far more in the life review than having one with someone who had picked a fight with me.
"we are all a link in the great chain of humanity" said the Being. "What you do has an effect on the other links in that chain."
I looked at the Being of Light and felt a deep sense of sorrow and shame. I expected a rebuke, some kind of cosmic shaking of my soul. I had reviewed my life, and what I had seen was that I was a truly worthless person...
As I gazed at the Being of Light, I felt as though he was touching me. From that contact I felt a love and joy that could only be compared to the non-judgmental compassion that a grandfather has for a grandchild. "Who you are is the difference that God makes" said the Being, "and that difference is love". There were no actual words spoken, but this thought was communicated to me through some form of telepathy.
I was allowed a period of reflection. How much love had I given people? How much love had I taken from them? From the review I had just had, I could see that for every good event in my life, there were twenty bad ones to weigh against it...
As the Being of Light moved away, I felt the burden of this guilt being removed. I had felt the pain and anguish of reflection, but from that I had gained the knowledge that I could use to correct my life. I could hear the Being's message in my head, again as if through telepathy: "Humans are powerful spiritual beings meant to create good on the earth. This good isn't usually accomplished in bold actions, but in singular acts of kindness between people. It's the little things that count, because they are more spontaneous and show who you truly are."
I was elated. I now knew the simple secret to improving mankind. The amount of love and good feelings you have at the end of your life is equal to the love and good feelings you put out during your life, It was just that simple.
What happens now that I'm dead, I wondered. Where am I going?
I stared at the beautiful Being of Light who shimmered before me. He was like a bagful of diamonds, emitting a soothing light of love. Any fear I might have had, at the notion of being dead, was quelled by the love that poured from the Being before me. His forgiveness was remarkable.. deep and meaningful... I was bathed in the love that embraced me through the light, and had to give nothing in return.
... I put my trust in the Being of Light.
We began to move upwards. I could hear a hum, as my body began to vibrate at a higher speed. We moved from one level to the next, like an airplane climbing gently into the sky. We were surrounded by a shimmering mist, cool and thick, like fog off the ocean.
Around us I could see energy fields that looked like prisms of light. Some of this energy flowed like great rivers, while some eddied like tiny streams. I even saw lakes and small pools of it.
Through the mist I could see mountains the color of deep-blue velvet. There were no sharp peaks and craggy slopes with jagged edges in this mountain range. The mountains were gentle, with rounded peaks and lush crevices that were a deeper blue.
On the mountainside were lights. Through the mist they looked like houses turning on their lights at twilight. There were many such lights... and we were headed directly for them.
We were floating the way I always imagined that angels do, just lifting of the ground and flying....
Like wingless birds, we swept into a city of cathedrals. These cathedrals were made entirely of a crystalline substance that glowed with a light that shone powerfully from within. We stood before one. I felt small and insignificant next to this architectural masterpiece. Clearly this had been built by angels to show the grandeur of God, I thought. It had spires as high and pointed as those of the great cathedrals of France, and walls as massive and powerful as those of the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. The walls were made of large glass bricks that glowed from within...
I was awestruck. This place had a power that seemed to pulsate through the air... we moved forward up a splendid walk and through glowing portals of crystal.
Brinkley goes on to describe sitting in the presence of 12 more Beings of Light, one for each sign of the zodiac, as they gave him glimpses of the future of mankind, and inspired him to return to his body and to devote his life to spiritual ends.
He then defied doctors by coming back from death and disability, and subsequently met the renowned Dr Raymond Moody.
NDE traitsMoody is a specialist in near death experiences (NDEs), who has published several books on NDEs, starting with "Life After Life". Through his many case studies, and over several years, Moody evolved a list of 9 common traits from NDEs:
1) a sense of being dead : you know you are dead
2) feelings of peace and comfort : you no longer feel bodily pain
3) an out of body experience : your subtle body floats above the physical body, and you can see what is below
4) a tunnel experience : you travel rapidly up a tunnel, to a spiritual realm
5) seeing beings of light : you encounter religious figures, or angelic beings, or else departed loved ones in a radiant form
6) being greeted by one particular being of light : you meet a spirit guide
7) experiencing a life review : you relive events from your entire life
8) a reluctance to return : you want to stay in the spiritual realm
9) a personality transformation : you return to life with a different attitude, no longer taking nature and kinship for granted, often with many psychological and behavioral changes.
Brinkley experienced all of these aspects, which the book claims is unusual. I myself have also experienced all of these aspects, over the two NDE's that I have experienced. As with Brinkley, these experiences have changed considerably both my attitude to life, and my behaviour. I had my experiences younger, and took longer to learn from them. Here are excerpts from Brinkley's description of his second NDE, after 14 years of practicing what he learned from the first one:
second near death experience - heart attack
I could hear chimes ringing, three sets of three with a tone at the end of each of them. In the darkness, a tunnel opened. The walls of this tunnel were grooved like furrows in a freshly plowed field . These furrows ran the length of the tunnel toward the bright light at the end. They were silver-gray, speckled with gold.
At the end of the tunnel I was met by the Being of Light, the same one that met me the first time... neither time did I see a face, just a brilliantly glowing spirit that was firmly in charge of me... He drew me towards him, and as he did he spread out, almost like an angel spreading its wings. I was engulfed by these wings of light, and as I was, I began to see my life all over again.
The life review that came with this second near-death experience was wonderful. Unlike the first which was filled with mayhem, anger, and even death, this one was a pyrotechnic display of good deeds. When people ask me what it is like to relive a good life in the embrace of the Beings of Light, I tell them it is like a great Fourth of July fireworks display, in which your life bursts before you in scenes that are spiced with the emotions and feelings of everyone in them.
The Being of Light was vibrating. As we moved upwards, that vibration increased, and the sound emanating from the Being became louder and higher-pitched. We moved up through dense fields of energy, that changed color from dark blue to a whitish blue, at which point we stopped. Then the Beings' pitch lowered, and we moved forward again. As in the first experience, we flew forward towards a range of mountains, where we dipped down, and landed on a plateau.
On the plateau was a massive building that looked like a greenhouse. It was constructed of large panes of glass that were filled with liquid in all the colors of the rainbow.
As we passed through the glass, we also passed through all the colors contained in the liquid. These colors had substance to them, and felt like fog off the ocean. They offered a slight resistance as we entered the room.
Inside were four rows of flowers, long stemmed beauties with cup-shaped petals the consistency of silk. They were every color imaginable, and on each of them were drops of amber-colored dew.
Among these flowers were spirit beings wearing silver robes. These were not Beings of Light. I can best describe them as radiant earthlings. They moved up and down the rows of flowers, emitting some kind of power that caused the flowers to become brighter in color as they passed. These colors would leave the petals and beam through the panes of glass, sending back a rainbow of colors. The effect was like being in a room surrounded by ten thousand prisms.
I found this environment tremendously relaxing. The colors and surroundings combined with the humming vibration of the Being, to ease stress.
As I breathed in the scent, I heard a chant resonating through the building. A-L-L-A-H-O-M went the chant, A-L-L-A-H-O-M.
This chant made me aware of everything around me, and I began to breathe the fragrance deeply, and observe everything with such intensity that it was almost as though I were bathing in it. A-L-L-A-H-O-M, A-L-L-A-H-O-M, went the chant, and I became more and more absorbed in my surroundings. As I did, I began to vibrate at a speed equal to everything around me. I became one with everything around me, and could experience everything. At the same time, everything was experiencing me.
As I delved into this heavenly world, it also delved into me. There was an equality to the experience. Not only was I given a heavenly experience, I was giving one... I was an equal to all things there. I realized that true love and understanding make us all equals. Heaven is that kind of place.
I find these accounts truly inspirational. The details of what Brinkley experienced - the crystal cathedrals, the prismatic greenhouse - the 12 beings of the zodiac, differ from my own experiences, but those experiences were similarly extraordinary, and other-worldly. The final description of enlightenment and oneness, nirvana, satori, call it what we will, is truly uplifiting.