by In Wales
Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 01:18:21 PM EST
I write this diary to try to encourage those who wish to write about their own experiences to do so, especially if it challenges what could be described as the 'comfort zone' of ET. I write it also to encourage those who may pile in with their perspective that anything that is not easily explained by science or that has a 'spiritual' element to it is all a waste of space - that perhaps even so, there is value to the topic or experience.
As most people here know, I am a scientist. I like my logic and my evidence and finding an explanation for why things do the things they do and how it all comes together. I'm not religious.
But I have a conundrum. How do I explain my near death experience?
I saw this on BBC online and contacted the researcher.
BBC NEWS | Wales | Journey to unlock 'out of body' mysteries
In September, medical teams at 25 hospitals across the world revealed they were undertaking the largest study of its kind into near death experiences (NDE).
Researchers want to know if there is any truth in so called "out-of-body" incidents reported by gravely ill people.
She's not some kooky, hippy weirdo. She has extensive experience of collating people's NDE tales and has published a book on it. The current research programme involves placing artwork in emergency rooms/operating theatres that can only be viewed from high up, in an attempt to verify whether or not reported out of body experiences have any substance to them. (Excuse the pun).
I experienced my NDE when I was 9 years old. I didn't tell a soul about it for years. But it has always remained vivid. To date, I still don't think I have even told 5 people about it before I discussed it with the researcher. Partly because it is deeply personal and doesn't easily pop into conversation (I'm not the attention seeking type). I also don't especially want people who have no idea what I've experienced trying to tell me it was a dream or some trick of the mind. I can't be bothered to argue about such a profound thing.
I'm actually having an argument with myself as to whether or not to post the details here. I don't think I can make the point I want to make unless I do.
I had whooping cough and I was extremely ill for many weeks with it, not able to keep fluids or food in me.
The Doctor did home visits since I was too infectious to be taken to hospital. There was one particular night where I was at the worst of it because I was still coughing and very weak and when the doctor visited in the evening apparently he told my parents that he didn't expect me to survive the night and there wasn't anything more that he could do to help.
My parents put me in their bed (I had a cabin bed that was too high) and they slept in the spare room.
This was the night I had my NDE. Although I do not remember waking up in the morning or the immediate period that followed, it's often been spoken of, of how I 'recovered overnight'. I went to bed, dying. I woke up recovered, apart from the weakness and residual cough.
I 'woke' during the night because there was a bright light spilling into the room around the edge of the door and I could hear my name being called. I don't wear a hearing aid at night and can't hear external noise.
I got up out of bed to see what the light was and turned round to see myself still in the bed, asleep. But the voice kept calling me so I opened the bedroom door and it was just this pure brilliant white light and I stepped into it and kept walking towards the voice. I was just walking in the light, there wasn't anything else.
Yes, it sounds so cliched doesn't it, walking into the light?
Then I was in a room and saw my life playing in front of me and I realised there was a presence behind me and he put a hand on my shoulder but told me not to turn around. Then he said that I had to go back because I have a job to do. It went white again and I walked back and saw myself on the bed again and climbed back in.
The quackery jargon for that is 'life review'. Apparently it is very unusual in children. I've been asked about it, why I thought I'd been 'shown' that and whether there was any judgement from it. I didn't feel any judgement other than I was trusted to take from it what I needed to take. That's very ambiguous isn't it? I judged myself and realised that I was presented with a choice. I chose to be 'good'.
Fortunately the whole thing gave me a sense of self belief that I am meant to be here and I have something important to do with my life. That quiet confidence has kept me alive. I don't have a clue what that 'important thing' is. I just don't know.
I refer you back to my summer diary 'Whirlwind Journey of Discovery'.
European Tribune - Whirlwind journey of discovery
My obsessive documentation of interesting angles on everything I see through the camera lens in the quest to get a shot of that building/construction/thing that would somehow stand out from the millions of other similar shots in people's photo albums all across the world, would drive most people up the wall if they had to put up with that for too long.
I approach it that way because I want to learn while the opportunity is in front of me, I just want to drink in all that information, the culture, the differences and similarities. I don't know what my brain is doing with it all but I am convinced it is doing something. And one day my brain will find all the links it needs and will consolidate everything I have seen, read, learned and thought over and my master plan will present itself to me. Whatever it is.
Hopefully you can see the connection. I have been shaped beyond measure by that experience at 9 years old. My thirst for knowledge, for experience for meeting new people and seeing new places, is all part of my quest to work out why the hell I am here. To see if I can figure out what I am meant to be doing. I cannot change that about myself, and even if on my deathbed, it all turns out to be fruitless - well at least I've lived, I've stepped out of my comfort zone and I've been the best that I know how to be.
I have a PhD in physical chemistry. Science has classified NDE's with aliens and ghosts and spirit mediums. It has quackery stigma attached to it because current science can't explain it.
If I were religious I could easily explain it by saying that it was God/Jesus who had called me, but I'm not religious.
If as I scientist I follow current thinking and say well it was just my brain shutting down, starved of oxygen, then it is as though I am invalidating a profound experience that changed how my life turned out. Anyway, it doesn't explain it.
Science itself is a constant quest for knowledge or a certain type of truth but it can be too rigid and not open minded enough when something appears to contradict current thinking. But that's how new paradigms and narratives evolve. Once upon a time the earth was flat. Once all the other planets revolved around us. But unthinkable evidence came along and the paradigm shifted.
So maybe something suitable will develop to explain NDEs although somebody is probably going to have to play Gallileo before it's accepted.