The Trigger of Death:
most obvious trigger for a near-death experience is by actually
undergoing the process of dying. It is very likely that more
near-death experiences are triggered by death than by any other
method. Although science has not really been able to define
death precisely, there is an
Sometimes a near-death experience can occur during a
where the patient is purposely flat-lined. The condition of
the patient meets all the criteria for clinical and brain death.
After the procedure, the patient is revived. Sometimes, the
near-death experiences triggered this way are quite unique.
The following is an example of a
near-death experience, by a man named John Star, which was triggered
by the process of death. His near-death experience also appears
in Kevin Williams' book,
Nothing Better Than Death
One day, without any
warning, John Star found himself face to face with the fact
that life in this world is terminal. He was swimming in Lake
Michigan about half a mile offshore when he got in trouble.
He was swimming free style, like he had done at swimming competitions,
when he turned his head to breathe and inhaled water from an
oncoming wave. His lungs were full of water when he wondered
if he could swim half a mile at top speed without breathing.
He tried. What resulted was an extraordinary near-death experience
and a miraculous return to life. Here is the account of
his near-death experience.
"I had only gone a few
yards when my head began to buzz and I felt dizzy. A few yards
more and I heard a loud snap. Suddenly the world was calm and
clear. I could see the shoreline, still in the distance and
noticed the sun shining overhead. It seemed brighter than usual.
When I looked down I got the surprise of my life. There was
my body, still swimming toward shore, moving as straight and
smooth as a motor boat. I watched for a while, indifferent to
the plight of my body. I was far more concerned with trying
to figure out where I was.
"I noticed a light coming
from somewhere behind me. It was a peculiar light. It had feeling.
When I turned to see where this light was coming from, it would
remain behind me. Somehow though, I managed to get turned around
so I could look right into the light.
"The light was delicious.
I soaked it up like a dry sponge soaks up water. I felt like
I had been sealed up in a vacuum packed jar for as long as I
could remember. Now the jar was opened and the pressure was
gone. I could breathe again. I could feel energy flowing into
me, loosening and softening parts of my being that I did not
even know I had. My whole being thrilled with well-being and
joy. A feeling that I had known before, though I could not remember
where or when.
"Time itself seemed to
be softening. For as long as I could remember, the minutes,
days and years of my life seemed to be fixed, like the markings
on a steel ruler. Now, the measuring stick of time was becoming
soft and flexible. It would stretch and shrink, like a rubber
band. I could return to events of my past, examining them with
greater clarity and detail than when they had originally happened,
lingering there for what seemed like hours. But then, when I
would return to where I was, it seemed like no time at all had
gone by. Back and forth I went. Deep into episodes of my personal
history, and then back into the light.
"Time could also be contracted,
I found. Centuries would condense into seconds. Millenniums
would shrink into moments. The entire civilization that I was
part of passed by in the blink of an eye.
"'Look at that,'
I marveled. 'The whole civilization is no more permanent and
no more important that a patch of wild flowers! It's so simple
from here, and so beautiful. Whether it is a patch of wild flowers
or a mighty civilization, the process is the same. It is only
life, trying out different shapes and then returning from where
"I was being pulled into
the light. Or was it that the world and the life that I knew
was receding, the life that I had come to assume was the only
life there is. All of my certainties and all of my doubts, all
of my pride and all of my guilt, all of my pleasures and all
of my fears, were all fading away. All that remained was the
light and the awesome feeling of well-being that the light contained.
It felt like I was waking up, like I had been in a deep sleep,
dreaming an intense and detailed dream when somebody came into
the room and turned on the lights. Now I was waking up and the
dream was fading away.
"As my sleepy eyes slowly
became adjusted to the brilliant radiance, I could make out
shapes in the light. There were people there! People that
I knew and loved. The place was completely familiar, as though
I had been there just a few moments before.
"'Did you have a
nice rest?' one of my friends asked.
"My other friends broke
out into roaring laughter. They were making a joke. They all
knew what a grueling ordeal such ventures into the material
world can be. They had all made such ventures themselves, many
times before. I joined in the laughter. How good it felt to
laugh so freely. How strange, to be so open, and yet it was
all so familiar. I was totally alive again - an aliveness that
was beyond beginning and ending - an aliveness that was eternal.
"The world that I had
entered was now as solid and real as the world that I had left
behind, but the light was still visible. It was a living light.
It had vitality and feeling. It was focused in every living
thing just as the sun can be focused to a point with a magnifying
glass. There were colors, too, not only the colors that I had
known on Earth but many octaves of color. Surrounding all my
friends and every other living thing was color, arranged in
intricate geometrical patterns, each pattern unique, every pattern
original. Permeating the colors and patterns was sound, countless
octaves of sound. It was as though the colors could be heard.
It reminded me of bagpipes. Filling the entire region were the
droning sounds. Octave upon octave of invigorating, vitalizing
sound. It was very subtle, practically imperceptible but immense,
it seemed to reach to infinity. Superimposed on this vast life-giving
hum was the melody, which was created by the individual sound
of every living thing. Light and sound, color and geometrical
patterns were all combined into a totality of harmonic perfection.
"It seemed like years
had gone by. There was no way to tell, though, whether it had
been minutes, hours or years. Where I was now, be-ing was the
only reality. Be-ing, which was inseparable from the moment,
inseparable from the eternal NOW, inseparable from the life
that was in all other beings. Even though this place was as
solid and real as the world I left behind, time and space was
not an obstacle.
"To an animal, a closed
door is an insurmountable obstacle. They do not have the faculties
necessary to overcome such a barrier. In the world that I had
left behind, time and space were just such an insurmountable
obstacle. I did not have the faculties necessary to overcome
such a barrier. Now I was free, like an animal that had learned
how to work a doorknob. I could go in and out of worlds without
getting stuck. I could stay inside as long as I wanted. I could
become acquainted with people that lived there and get to know
their particular customs and their curious opinions, conclusions
and beliefs. Then I could leave that world and return to a world
without end - a place where there were no opinions, conclusions,
or beliefs. It was a place where there was only be-ing, a place
of awesome beauty and joy, a place of total harmonic perfection.
"Images of my former
life began to flicker in my mind. Fleeting images at first,
but now they were growing stronger and clearer. Visions of people
who were dear to me that I had left behind. Visions of things
I wanted to see and things I had wanted to do. From somewhere
deep within my being, a powerful voice welled up:
"You have seen enough of eternity.
It's not time yet for you to stay. Return now to the
Land of Shadows where the mortal creatures play and
be a puff of dust in the wind without being blown away."
"I raised my head to
see what was making that sound. It was tiny wavelets breaking
along the edge of a mirror-still lake, rattling the small pebbles
that lined the shore. I was laying in the sand on the shore
of Lake Michigan, just a few inches from the water. I felt good,
like I just had the best rest that I had ever had."