Time and the Near-Death Experience
What is time? Is it
the movement of the sun across the sky?
Is it a ratio of numbers on a clock that
represents change from one state to another?
Theory of Relativity
proved that time is subjective to a person's
own relative position. Einstein's theory
even allows for time travel which is an
aspect to many reported near-death experiences.
The following is a brief introduction of
all the insights concerning time from near-death
experiencers profiled on this website.
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Introduction to Time After Death
After death when we enter the
spirit realm, it feels as though we were there just
a moment ago. Our time on earth seems like only
a brief instance. Time in the spirit realm does
not exist. By getting rid of the illusion of time
from our minds, we have the power to expand our
consciousness. We will realize that we are already
living in timelessness right now. This means a person
can remain in heaven for eternity if they desire
before deciding whether to return for another earth
life. In the spirit realm, if we desire, we can
travel instantaneously from the beginning of earth
history to the end. We have the power to grow forever.
We are powerful spiritual beings.
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Time as Experienced by Those Having an NDE
"The fact of a pre-earth life crystallized in my
mind, and I saw that death was actually a "rebirth"
into a greater life ... that stretched forward and
backward through time." (Betty
"Time's measurement on the physical plane is
based on the vibration rate of
cesium atoms, which was approved by
international agreement in 1964. On the Other
Side, time is simply the sequence of activity
recorded in consciousness. And since our
awareness is on a higher frequency in that
world, progression (what we see happening) is
greatly accelerated. In some situations it would
seem to be at the speed of light. In 'Return
George Ritchie, M.D., writes about his life
review during a near-death experience: 'There
were other scenes, hundreds, thousands, all
illuminated by that searing Light, in an
existence where time seemed to have ceased. It
would have taken weeks of ordinary time even to
glance at so many events, and yet I had no sense
of minutes passing.' The specified lengths of
time that we on Earth call seconds, minutes,
hours, days, and so forth do not apply over
there. The Bible's definition of God's time (the
plane of heaven) is that
one thousand years equals one day - a
remarkable extension of third-dimensional time.
I was out of my body for close to four minutes.
If we agree with the Bible equation, that would
be about three years on the higher plane. That
seems like an awfully long time for my
particular experience; maybe I just didn't
adjust to 'heavenly time' the way others have.
For example, in the book
Intra Muros by NDE experiencer
Rebecca Ruter Springer says: 'Days
lengthened into weeks, and weeks into months,
and these in turn crept into years, and the
duties and joys of heaven grew clearer and
dearer with each passing hour." (Jan
"It does not matter that we leave family and friends
behind because time becomes irrelevant. It is certain
that once we enter the spirit realm, it will be
just a blink of the eye before they join us." (Mac
"Before we're born, we have to take an oath that
we will pretend time and space are real so we can
come here and advance our spirit. If you don't promise,
you can't be born." (Jeanie
"Space and time are illusions that hold us to the
physical realm; in the spirit realm, all is present
"Time did not make any sense. Time did not seem
to apply. It seemed irrelevant. It was unattached
to anything, the way I was. Time is only relevant
when it is relative to the normal orderly sequential
aspects of life. So I was there for a moment or
for eternity. I cannot say but it felt like a very
long time to me." (Grace
"During an NDE, you can't tell if you were in that
light for a minute of a day or a hundred years."
"Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm.
There is no concept of before or after. Everything
- past, present, future - exists simultaneously."
"From the onset of this rather superconscious state
of the darkness of the tunnel, there was something
that was totally missing, and that was what we call
time. There's no such thing as time in heaven! As
I thought of and formulated a desire or a question,
it would already have been recognized, acknowledged,
and therefore answered. And the dialogue that took
place, took place in no time. It didn't require
a fifteen-minute duration in time; it simply happened."
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NDE References to Time Travel
Albert Einstein's theory
allows for the possibility of time travel. During
an NDE, some people have reported traveling back
in time and some have reported traveling into the
Time Travel Near-Death Experience:
|Christ says to Don
Brubaker, "Don, do you want to stay or go
|"I want to
go back," I answered immediately, knowing
I made the right choice.
|Jesus smiles. "You
have chosen well. Go. I am with you,"
Jesus says gently.
again, as if someone has turned a page in
a book. I see myself in the midst of a huge
crowd. It's not a modern crowd. They are
dressed in the clothes of Bible times. I
look down at myself. So am I.
|The crowd seems
to be jeering at me. Why? Then I see more:
I help a man, someone who has been brutally
whipped and abused. The crowd is upset because
I am offering assistance. But the beaten
man has eyes that burn with love and compassion.
|How could anyone
want to hurt this man? I lift the man off
of the dusty road to his feet.
|The man turns, and
from somewhere he lifts a huge wooden cross
to his back. The man begins moving toward
a hill. The hill is called Golgotha. With
each new moment, I realize more and more
clearly what I am seeing. These people are
going to crucify Christ.
|I follow, stunned,
I watch in horror as Jesus is nailed to
the cross, the spikes pounded through his
wrists and the sensitive insteps of his
feet. I watch helpless as the cross is propped
up and dropped into position with an ugly
thud. I cover my face with my hands.
If only others
could see what I've seen. The world would
get on its knees ... The world would be
at peace. (Don
"Everything in this experience merged together,
so it is difficult for me to put an exact sequence
to events. Time as I had known it came to a halt;
past, present, and future were somehow fused together
for me in the timeless unity of life ... I could
be anywhere instantly, really there ... I felt it
necessary to learn about the Bible and philosophy.
You want, you receive. Think and it comes to you.
So I participated, I went back and lived in the
minds of Jesus and his disciples. I heard their
conversations, experienced eating, passing wine,
smells, tastes - yet I had no body. I was pure consciousness.
If I didn't understand what was happening, an explanation
would come. But no teacher spoke. I explored the
Roman Empire, Babylon, the times of Noah and Abraham.
Any era you can name, I went there." (Dr.
The light replied, "Let us go back in time, as far
back as possible, and tell me how far back we should
go". I was thinking for some time. Eventually I
blurted out, "Stone Age?" I did not have much time
to think about all this, because, all of a sudden,
I saw human beings back on earth. I was looking
down on a group of people, men and women, who were
dressed in furs, sitting around campfire. (Guenter
"The box opened to reveal what appeared to be a
tiny television picture of a world event that was
yet to happen. As I watched, I felt myself drawn
right into the picture, where I was able to live
the event. This happened twelve times, and twelve
times I stood in the midst of many events that would
shake the world in the future." (Dannion
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More NDE References to Time
Going through the tunnel during an NDE means traveling
through the various afterlife realms. One of the
realms that you can see on either side of the tunnel,
is an outline of houses, walls, trees, etc., but
everything is motionless. As you travel further
up the tunnel, you can see more light and movement
in what appear to be normal cities and towns. (Edgar
note: Cayce didn't mention it, but
the motionless realm he saw, I believe, is the physical
realm. If it is, then it shows how time stands still
in the physical realm when entering the spirit realm.)
"An expansion of consciousness can be achieved through
meditation. With this expansion comes the realization
that we are in eternity now." (Edgar
"There is no time and space in the spiritual world.
If one is in the highest realms, love reigns. And
where there is love, there is happiness. Where there
is happiness, there is no awareness of time. Therefore,
there is no time as we know it there. In the
lower realms, because people are very unhappy, time
seems to drag forever. There is space, but it is
a reflection of the qualities of the people who
live there. Where love reigns, there is no distance
between people." (Nora
"The occupants in outer darkness are there for various
lengths of time. It is peculiar to discuss length
of residence by a measure which does not exist in
that dimension. For most of us it is very difficult
to relate to a timeless condition, so the use of
finite terms helps us to better understand. Some
residents feel they have been in outer darkness
for weeks or months, others for eons. No doubt all
are correct in their assessment of length of time
spent in this realm. In a reality of pain and torment,
even a moment can seem like an eternity and there
is no way to judge length of stay until after one
has long departed. Some souls have occupied
outer darkness for what we would measure as hundreds,
even thousands of years. But it is more likely that
most stay for a considerably shorter period. It
is not possible for souls to be forever confined
to outer darkness, since in such a case there would
be no hope of redemption." (Harvey
"In the void during an NDE, there is a profound
stillness, beyond all silence. You can see or perceive
FOREVER, beyond Infinity, in pre-creation, before
the Big Bang, in the Eye of Creation. It is like
toughing the Face of God and being at one with Absolute
Life and Consciousness. You can experience all of
creation generating itself. It is without beginning
and without end. You realize the Big Bang is
only one of an infinite number of Big Bangs creating
Universes endlessly and simultaneously. The only
images that even come close in human terms would
be those created by supercomputers using fractal
geometry equations. You learn that you are an immortal
being and a part of a natural living system that
recycles itself endlessly." (Mellen-Thomas
"Time and space exists only in the physical realm.
When you leave the physical realm, you leave such
constraints. Existence there is never ending and
ongoing, forever and ever eternal. The only true
movement is without the distortion of time and space.
It is expansion and contraction, as if the existence
that exists were capable of breathing. What
appears as a progression, a time-line of starts
and stops and ever-changing variations, is but an
overleaf, an illusion, that helps us to focus on
whatever realm we currently inhabit so that we will
accomplish what we set out to do (or at least have
an opportunity to), and not be distracted by The
Truth that under-girds reality. Using radio as an
analogy, dying to this physical realm and entering
a spirit realm is comparable to having lived all
your life at a certain radio frequency when all
of a sudden someone or something comes along and
flips the dial. That flip
shifts you to different frequency. The original
frequency where you once existed is still there.
It did not change. Everything is still just the
same as it was. Only you changed, only you speeded
up to allow entry into the next radio frequency
on the dial. You then fit into your particular spot
on the dial by your speed of vibration. You cannot
coexist forever where you do not belong. (P.M.H.
"When you die, you enter eternity. It feels like
you were always there, and you will always be there.
You realize that existence on earth is only just
a brief instant." (Dr.
"After death, you can literally travel at the speed
of light and see all of the people on earth simultaneously
in one moment. You can see people in all manner
of activity instantaneously. You can see people
praying in mosques and temples, synagogues, and
churches. You can see people individually expressing
their own silent prayers. You can see indigenous
tribes in all different parts of the world drumming
and chanting. You can see God sending multitudes
of angels to earth to assist in answering all of
the countless, millions of prayers being offered
up at that single moment." (Dr.
"When you die, everything stops and you enter eternity.
It is like finally getting to the nanosecond, where
time stops. Like a watch, our body stops at that
time. Yet our spirit and consciousness continue
to live on in a dimension beyond sequential time.
We go beyond nanoseconds into a space-time measurement
we cannot know here on earth. It is the eternal
now where past, present, and future are all merged
into one. Eternity is the present, the now that
never ends." (Dr.
"After death, you can go through the end of time
all the way back through the beginning of time,
then back into the present time where you started.
It lasted forever, and was over in an instant. It
is a paradox." (Dee
"After death, you can view one afterlife realm as
if it was first grade. People stay there until they
were ready to go to the next afterlife realm. This
is the eternal progression, from one realm to the
"The sense of timelessness after death makes you
feel unaware of how long things last, but it can
feel like a long time - maybe days or maybe weeks."
"Everything in the spirit realm is kept in place
by an all pervading Master-Vibration which prevents
aging. Things don't get dirty or wear out. Everything
looks so bright and new. You can then understand
how heaven is eternal." (Arthur
"In the spirit realm, travel takes no time at all.
Any experience can seem like eons. But that same
experience also seems like seconds." (Dr.
"In the spirit realm, It can take eons of time as
we understand it before some people go into the
light. It depends on the person. You're in control.
You hold the reins. Those who've come through those
darker levels have said that they've had to face
themselves and realize that if they don't shape
up, in other words, learn more about themselves,
they're not getting anywhere." (George
"Space and time are illusions that hold us to this
physical realm. In the spirit realm, all is present
"After death, each person shapes their own eternity
to correspond with their real inner nature. Some
are taught by their friends about the state of eternal
"One experience in the spirit realm can feel like
forever. Time no longer seems to apply and seems
irrelevant. Time is only relevant when it is relative
to the normal orderly sequential aspects of life.
The experience can feel like a moment and an eternity.
You realize that you are eternal and indestructible.
You realize that you have always been, that you
always will be, and there was no way you could ever
be lost. It is impossible to fall into a crack in
the universe somewhere and never be heard from again.
You are utterly safe and always have been forever
and ever." (Jayne
"Life is about having experiences forever and ever
and ever. As we bring this awareness permanently
into our consciousness, our connection with God
will be there and not somewhere in our unconscious.
We will be consciously aware of who we are all the
"The experience lasted for hours or eons and now
it seems that eons passed in only moments." (Virginia
"We wandered in this beautiful place for what seemed
an eternity." (Karen
"The experience was a few seconds, but it seemed
like an eternity." (Rev.
"In the spirit realm, time and space becomes nothing
more than attenuated wisps of human invention. Both
were webs of light created in my consciousness."
"The human spirit is eternal and we are not alone
in the cosmic scheme of things." (Brad
"In the spirit realm, people don't talk about time.
They talk about opportunity. People don't think
about time because it is not measured off in days
and nights and months and years." (Margaret
"Our souls are immortal and eternal." (Sandra
"Many events of eternity can pass through you. You
can bathe in them and become them. They can be infused
into your soul." (RaNelle
"We are intricately connected to all that exists
throughout eternity." (Jan
"On the other side, one event follows another just
like on earth. But looking at it another way, time
on the other side doesn't pass at all because there
is not enough change to make the passage of time
evident. From another viewpoint, time in the afterlife
stands still because it is always now. The past
and future are of equal length because there never
was a beginning and never can be an end. This flexibility
of time on the other side can be compared to the
earth experience when a person is enjoying themselves
and time just seems to fly by. But another person
having the same experience but who is absolutely
miserable, time can seem to last forever. As Einstein
discovered, time is a factor that is relative to
a person's own experience." (Kevin
"I glanced at my wrist to note the time, since there
was no sun in the sky. My wrist had no watch on
it, nor was there any telltale evidence of a watchband
... A strange sense of timelessness gripped me.
It was simply awesome! ... We exist here in that
timelessness, the eternity of God, the kind of life
that does not perish! It is our gift of love, eternal
"There is an overall awareness of the earth's future
as it will be in six weeks, six months, or perhaps
two years ahead. It is like being in an airplane
looking down, and you can get a prevision of what
is going to happen, due to being able to see things
in broader perspective. However, there is not a
complete vision of the entire future of earth. But
there are souls in the spirit realm who, through
much tribulation and service, have been permitted
to see the earth's future in a more extended way."
"Time is not linear. Energy moves in a continuum
and if we would consider the past as a time passed
we would release pain from the body. We get stuck
because we stay in the past, instead of realizing
that we have passed!" (Lynnclaire
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5. John Star's Extraordinary NDE Concerning
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
"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
"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 it came.'
"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
"'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
"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
"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
"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."
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