Travel in the Spiritual Worlds
Baha'i Faith Educational Series Video Tape
Reno, Nevada 1989
This is the full text of a near-death experience which happened to Renee Paraslow as a teenager. She had the experience when she lost consciousness after she had an allergic reaction to some food that she ate.
It is unusual because in addition to containing many of the classical elements of an NDE, it also contains mystical elements normally not associated with near-death experience - an encounter with and immersion into spiritual light.
After Renee fell unconscious, her mother's first thought was to put her in the car and bring her to the hospital. But since Renee was not breathing, she decided to lay her on the sidewalk and wait for an ambulance to arrive. A crowd then gathered around Renee's swollen body.
Renee describes her experience:
I only became aware when I heard the very loud sound of the fire engines arriving... I heard my best friend from elementary school calling to me. She was calling, "Renee, don't die, don't die Renee".
And I heard this and it seemed as if it was in a foreign language to me, and I finally computed the meaning of this and I realized that my life was in danger, and I had an obligation to fight for my life because of my mother and my friend, because she had such terror in her voice that it cut through to my heart and I tried to fight for my life, but the battle became overwhelming.
At this point I just surrendered myself, my soul, to the power that brings us all into existence and that gives us all life, knowing that this was the source of all life and the way of all things, and I surrendered to that and I entered a state of peacefulness...
Then, like that (clapping her hands) I became like a ball of light or energy in the midst of this crowd that was circling the body. I became massively aware, unlike any awareness I had had during physical existence, because I was aware really not of myself. I was aware of everyone around me. I was aware of my mother and my neighbors, and my friends and the firemen and what they were thinking and what they were feeling and what they were hoping and what they were praying. This was such a pummeling input of emotion and information that I was at once overwhelmed and confused, and rather disoriented.
I followed their attention to something on the sidewalk and I looked at this body on the sidewalk, and I looked at the curve of the wrist bone, and I recognized that and I remember looking at it and thinking "that looks so much like my wrist bone". And then I became aware that that thing on the sidewalk, that thing that suddenly became a piece of meat to me, was what I had identified as myself before, and I had no connection with this thing on the sidewalk other than that I had been with it for a very long time, but it had nothing to do with me because suddenly, I was more a person than I had ever been; I was more conscious than I could ever be; I was free of the limitations of being a physical being. I looked at this body and I was repulsed with the grief and the tumult around it and by the very idea that I had ever considered something physical to be my reality, to be a human reality.
And with that (taps the table) again like this, I bumped way up, up above some light wires and from that point I could watch everyone beneath me, but I was not as closely associated with them so I was completely feeling everything they were feeling. And I watched my mother and a boy come out of the house up the hill that I could not have seen physically, and I watched the fireman. And I was very sad for my mother; I was very sad for my friend who kept calling me, and I was very said for the child who had come out of the house, and I was very sad that he would think this was death...
And so my concern was for them and I spent my time observing them and calling to them, calling to them that everything was as it should be, that everything was fine, that I was free, that it was wonderful; that I loved them and that they loved me and that that bond, unlike physical bonds, would never be destroyed...
I tried to communicate this to them over and over again, and I realized that I had no mouth, I had no body, that they could not hear what I was saying to them, and that I would have to leave them in the same hands I had left myself in the process of dying.
And with that I turned away, just sort of like a ball, just turned away. My attention turned away lovingly but knowing that there was nothing I could do, I turned away from them, and began to pull up, and became aware, it was as if I were a camera on a space ship or something, I became aware of our place, my particular little street and then my particular little town, and I kept pulling up and pulling up and pulling up to a point where I could observe the whole earth and this was wonderful!
Because the earth was alive and the earth was singing, and it was singing a single song, and in that song everyone had a voice. Every human being had a very important note to add to this precious song of the earth. It was a song of love and every living being had something to add to the song of earth, and every one of these essences was very much connected. I was seeing it not like we see normally. I was seeing it both from a macroscopic (from the point of view of the spaceship) and from a microscopic vantage point. [It was] microscopic in that I could see that amoeba in the ocean was connected to the song of the heart of all humanity, and that this world was responding to the song in our hearts in a miraculous and unified, and beautiful way. And I too began too sing I was so overcome with joy. It wasn't a song obviously with the mouth. I had no mouth. I had no body. I simply was. But I became a part of that song and very full of joy that I could have something to contribute to this sacred beauty of our earth, and our planet and of all people.
I became very aware that we as people have a unique influence on the world even if we are not actively doing something. We influence this planet by our state of being. We influence this planet very positively if we are filled with love and respect for others or negatively if our hearts are negative.
At this point I became aware that there was a light calling me from somewhere else, and I entered what people speak of as the tunnel. I will speak of it as that although I did not quite perceive it as a tunnel. It was a transition place where I became aware of other beings who seemed to be rather disoriented, rather confused and lost and some of these beings were moving through to their home. I simply wanted to go home.
I moved through this place and I became aware that I was not moving like we move physically. When we move physically we have an intent, we have a goal, and we move step by step to that goal.
But what moved me through this place where I was aware of people who were not moving through and were somewhat confused, what moved me through this place was love. It was the love of God, and the love all things sacred and all things beautiful and all things just, and I could go on and on and on but this was what propelled me on was my connection and my affection for God.
As I came to the end of this place, I wondered if I would be alone, and just like that I was with, I was one with my uncle, just like we were two lights that were put together. [We were] one red and one blue that made purple light, and I was aware of things about him that I had never been aware of in life. I didn't spend much time with him and I didn't know him well. He lived in the south and I lived in California
But it was a very joyful reunion and I became aware that he was concerned that I was there because he communicated to me instantaneously that my mother could not stand the loss of a child, and he was confused, and yet he knew that everything was as it should be.
From that point I became very attracted to the light and this attraction was like an irresistible magnet... I loved that light I loved what was pulling me home. I moved past my uncle into what I can best define as a sea of light. It was as if every atom in the universe had been electrified with color and light and sound, but more that with totally unconditional love. And it was a welcoming to me, and I dove into this ocean with each moment with each movement, feeling more rapture and more joy and more just absolutely unspeakable love.
As I moved through this sea, I became aware I was moving to the center of the sea of light which I perceived to be, how could I say this, as if you were an gnat and you were flying into the sun, and that is the perspective that I had for this sea of light.
And then in a instant, again like a clap, I entered into this light and I became one with this light, and of this light, and no longer an individual, no longer a person, but simply a part of this light. I became like the phoenix. I was destroyed, and it was the most blissful, the most excruciatingly beautiful moment that I could imagine. It seemed to me to be the apex of all existence to get to the point where one was no more. One simply was a part of this light.
After being in this state for what seemed to be a time beyond time, I was gathered again together like sands from the shore as an individual and I was called to recount for my deeds.
Renee at this point describes a number of things she was shown such as a group of individuals on the earth she referred to as "the just" who were working towards the unity of mankind instead of focusing on divisions like many countries and religions do. She describes seeing groups of individuals she "knew as well as here own parents" who were living and working in other non-physical worlds.
She then describes an encounter with "a being of light" who showed her various elements of her past past life and reviewed them with her. She talks in general terms about how little acts of kindness were far and away more important than the activities we usually give so much value to in normal life. She describes how the most positive thing she did was to give special attention to a not so lovable boy at a summer camp so that he would know he was loved. During the review, she said this act of kindness was more important from her viewpoint of expanded awareness than if she had been president of the United States, or the queen of England.
After the life review, the being of light told her "it was not time" for her to enter that world. She then described returning to her physical body:
I was catapulted back down what I did perceive to be a tunnel this time, down a rainbow tunnel of light and sound and vibrational frequency of love and with a terrible hard crash, I became aware of the scene I had left earlier - the fire trucks, and now an ambulance had arrived, and there were men who were picking up the body and loading it into the ambulance. And I was in a state of complete grief. I felt that I had become Eve and was cast out of the garden of Eden. As I was descending down this tunnel, my heart was already attached to my home beyond. And I was begging not to leave. And I crashed down into this plane of existence and was suddenly confused by time and space. It was as if I had never existed physically.Renee goes on to describe how she did finally return to her body as a result of her doctor's last effort to revive her. She also told of facing depression and had difficulty adapting to the physical world after the experience. The medical professionals she talked to did not know how to deal with her experience, and eventually said her experience was a religious one and they were not qualified to give advice in that area.
And I was suddenly disoriented. And my concern was for my mother, because she was by herself and she was losing a sixteen year old daughter, and she knew that this was happening because the ambulance attendant looked at the driver in front and said "DOA, DOA" which means of course dead on arrival, and the driver turned off the siren and slowed down the ambulance. Before, he had been driving in a very reckless manner. We were coming out of the mountains. And as he did that, my concern was for the pain of my mother. I simple wanted to comfort her, to wrap my soul around her. And to assuage the loss of a daughter, the loss of a child, and found myself simply praying for her.
I followed the ambulance to the hospital and I watched as the body was unloaded, and my mother followed the gurney into the emergency room. And I watched as the first doctor went to work on me. I wasn't particularly interested in the first doctor because the first doctor had that day been through motorcycle accidents coming out of the mountains, and he had been through a very long day, and he was not concerned with someone who had been brought in dead on arrival. And he had no connection with me, he didn't care, he had no affection. So I had no interest in watching what he did because my interest was based on affection and love.
And I then left the emergency room and was above my mother and was above some friends who had followed them into the other room. And I again tried to communicate with them. I tried to let them know that this was a very joyous occasion and that I was dead on arrival and hopefully all would go well and they would never be able to revive me. And I was going to be dead now. And death had become life to me. Death was not something to be frightened of but something to look forward to.
What happened then was the first doctor pronounced me dead and was sending the body off to the morgue, when my own personal physician who was a country doctor and a very gruff man stormed into the emergency room in a tuxedo with his black bag. And he looked at the nurse on the phone who was calling the morgue, and looked at the doctor who was washing his hands, and looked at the [covered] body and said, "what the hell happened here?" And he said, " where is the patient?"
They said she was dead on arrival and he said, "the hell she was". And he proceeded to scream at the other nurse who was sort of standing off in the corner "I want injections of adrenaline, and bring them to me immediately and come over here and assist me", and he began to go to work on the body. He began to beat on the chest and began to shock. I was simply terrified by this turn of events and disgusted that they would treat a body so brutally. All of a sudden I sort of became protective towards my body, even though I wanted nothing to do with it, I began to be protective. They could at least be nice about it.
But they were beating on the chest and shocking the body, and I was up in the corner of the emergency room accompanied by other essences who were keeping me contained in that emergency room. And this seemed to go on for a very long time until my doctor stopped and asked if there was a cardiologist on duty. And they said there was no cardiologist on duty, and I [telepathically] heard-felt my doctor thinking about injecting my heart with adrenaline, and this was something I had never heard of before - it seemed a barbaric and brutal and appalling thing to do, and I was just repulsed by the very idea. But there was no cardiologist and my doctor was swearing at the nurses that that should happen and decided that they would try one more time - that they would give up to six shots of adrenaline.
Now the other doctor started arguing with my doctor that this was a dangerous thing to do - to try and bring me back now because there could be brain damage, and I was brought in dead on arrival and it was best not to do that and that he could do terrible damage trying to revive me. And my doctor looked at him and said, "what the hell, she can't be any worse off than she is already".