A dank, gray November night, 1991.
This was a rough time; a depressing day had passed. At this time in my life I was eating poorly and sadly out of shape (not overweight -- very skinny actually, just unfit). After drinking a pot of coffee in an attempt to lift my sorrows, it was impossible to fall asleep. Lying in bed, tossing and turning for several hours, I found sleep evasive. Around 3 A.M., still alert and wired, tossing and turning with annoying restlessness, I was lying on my back, listening to the relaxing drone of my heartbeat, like counting sheep.
I listened to the sound produced by the form of muscle called the cardiac that beats like clockwork: Lub-thump..lub-thump...lub... --(silence) — the heart came completely to rest in my chest. I could immediately feel the blood flow slow down, then completely stop in every part of the body. In that first second, my spirit "detached" from the body and hovered within and around it. It was possible to see the surrounding bedroom and body although my eyes were closed. Being free from physical limitations I was suddenly able to think hundreds of times faster, and with far greater clarity than is humanly normal, or possible.
Realizing that the next beat did not arrive, I continued to feel the blood "oxidizing" as it completely rested in all veins and arteries. At this point I realized and accepted that I had died; it was time to move on.
It was a feeling of inexpressible, total peace, utterly devoid of fear or pain, and didn't involve any emotions at all. Time itself, as we perceive it, abruptly became infinite and irrelevant. In "earth time" perhaps only about fifteen seconds had passed until the heart re-started beating, but "I" was also in "zero time" (for lack of a better phrase), or actually outside of linear time, which could only be described as eternity itself.
This seemed to be a natural progression; an automatic review of my entire life transpired with every event and thought ever experienced complete with emotions (but viewed objectively) rolling in front and around like a simultaneously superimposed panoramic movie. From physical birth to death, in a linear fashion, observed without sadness or remorse; if anything, it seemed I was judging myself.
In "earth time" the life review only lasted, in my best estimation, a quarter of a second, yet weeks seemed to be spent replaying my life. Once it was complete, there were a few more automatic "instructions," and I boldly proclaimed with a sense of ominous surety, spontaneously, "God, take me now." I then became immersed in indescribably infinite peace, bliss, ecstasy, and unimaginable Love, and acquired understanding so great, so awesome and so boundless as to be humanly incomprehensible.
While I was there (and only there), instant access was given to knowledge; "everything that ever was, is, and will be." The true nature and constitution of the entire universe was suddenly clear as a bell, like a giant jigsaw puzzle. It seemed to have an elaborate, synchronistic yet simple and immaculately perfect order to it. In fact, it was evident I was soon to become part of and One with it. I was about to join the entity which could only be described as ... GOD; so vast in dimension, scope and power even Biblical words cannot approach a proper description. Yet I checked back to observe my physical body, and couldn't leave until it was totally devoid of life.
At this point about 13 heartbeats (about 15 seconds) had failed. The body I observed lying in bed was mine ... but "I" (soul/spirit, nearly losing all sense of identity, ego) knew it was not yet time to leave. The time on earth was not finished; there was still a purpose to be completed, but I could not discern this upon returning. I found out years later, in October 1999. (Of course, I know now what this is: the angelic duty of Daniel.) When I was jolted back into the body, a stark realization hit: here I was lying on this bed, rapidly losing physical consciousness, with no breath, blood flow or heartbeat! I then did the human thing and panicked in wide-eyed terror by jumping out of bed, pounding my chest with my fist. My heart re-started. I walked downstairs in a nervous caution, shaking like a twig, dripping sweat; my heart was still beating, but irregularly. I was astonished that I was alive, and at what I had seen.
The skeptical doctor who treated me after I had hastily driven myself to the hospital suggested that the heart muscle was suffering loss of nutrients along with the excess caffeine, which most likely caused it go into arrhythmia. There were a few close encounters shortly after, but they soon disappeared after a diet and exercise change. But the doctors seemed almost cynical of the situation, given my youthful age.
I was not able to retain this knowledge given in the celestial realm upon returning; the human brain is much too primitive and limited to house it. This intelligence and wisdom and consciousness require an entirely different dimension to exist and comprehend. Yet it is part of our physical, three dimensions as well -- just hidden out of view and range of our limited five senses. But I retain enough to remember the sheer awe.
All fear of death vanished thereafter, and the meaning of our very short mortal lives became clear: to live and learn -- to re-learn who we are; experience the physical; go through trial, tribulation and joy which results in growth. We are students at a school called Earth; when the bell rings we go back home, with lessons learned. What we deem "reality" is actually akin to a lucid dream, and the true reality exists on the other side, to which we awaken after death.
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