An out of body experience?
QUESTION: I have a question that I hope you can answer. Recently, I choked on coffee in a restaurant and stopped breathing. All I recall is that I was looking down on 2 or 3 people walking towards me and 2 or 3 people walking towards the door. I could hear voices but didn't hear what they were saying. Then, I experienced a strange feeling. It wasn't like being sucked back into my body. It was like being 'sucked' back into consciousness. I then sat up and struggled for breath. I coughed twice which cleared my airway and then I was fine. My friend, who I was with, was standing at my side with her hand on my shoulder. She told me that when I stopped breathing, I collapsed on the table and against her as a dead weight, definitely no consciousness. She said that a couple had walked over to our table and talked to her while I was out, so it had to be more than a couple of seconds.
Would that be an NDE or simply an out-of-body experience? It took a few days before I realized the significance of what I had experienced. At the time, it just seemed like part of being unconscious. Now, I am really curious. If I did, in fact, die for a few seconds, it reaffirms my belief that I don't have to give in to death before I'm finished raising my son. That is something I've mentioned to you before. I am strongly determined to be here until he is grown. I have managed to keep going through stage four breast cancer several times when they thought I was going to die.
The coolest thing about this experience I had is that, due to the tumor in my lung and how it has caused breathing problems from time to time, I have been terrified of being unable to breath. I thought it would be a torturous experience. Now I know that it won't be. I'm no longer afraid.
Thanks for your time. -- Melissa
PMH Atwater's reply: Out-of-body experiences are extremely common; in childhood, they occur daily, sometimes many times a day. We spend so much money as a country researching insignificant things, when we could and should spend that money for out-of-body research. We've also researched things like coughing, scratching, humming, sneezing, the sounds we hear and where we hear them, but not a penny goes to one of the greatest phenomena of them all - the clear and coherent perception of being able to leave one's body and then return to it. We acknowledge the mystical, spiritual, psychic aspects of this trait - never once admitting that it is a normal physical response that happens to us physically. It is 100% real!
Out-of-body experiences, though, tend to be more frequent during times of stress or relaxation, especially if you are drunk or on drugs, ill, threatened in some manner, or at the edge of death. The two most frequently reported elements of the near-death experience are the light and the out-of-body component. No other elements are reported with anything near the frequency of these two. Forget "tunnels," as less than a third of the people ever see one. The first Gallup Poll Survey done on near-death experiences in 1982 found that only 9% of the people ever encountered a tunnel. "Tunnels" only became a popular subject when Raymond Moody's book, "Life After Life," became a best seller.
There are two camps on where we "draw the line" in research. One sticks closely with the Moody Model and is considered the core template on which a researcher can determine whether or not an individual had a genuine experience. The other model is wide open as far as elements are concerned, paying more attention to the intensity of the experience, how real it was to the individual, if there were identifying features that could have third-person verification, and the spread of aftereffects. I am solidly with the latter. I have found in 26 years of research that the Moody Model does not hold up in broad-based studies. That's why I don't use it. The model I follow recognizes that there are different types of near-death experiences and that the pattern of aftereffects is a stronger referent than how many of what element was reported. In this model, the "Initial Experience" is recognized as valid.
The Initial Experience only consists of one, or maybe two or three elements max. Nothing more. Yet it is so impactual, so intense, that the full range of aftereffects can and often do follow it. Elements can be such simple things as an encounter with the friendly dark or the living nothingness, a friendly voice, a brief out-of-body experience, a visitation (or greeter). Children have a lot of these, 76% in my research base, 20% with adults. Yet aftereffects can be life-long for them and just as intense as with someone whose scenario was long and complex.
You had or at least started to have an Initial Experience. The way you know how genuine is with the aftereffects and how intensely it affected you. Although you made no mention of aftereffects, just the fact that the experience was so important to you, showing you that loss of breath is an easy thing, not at all difficult, is a godsend. The fact that you had been faced with life or death issues before and may soon face them again, suggests even more to me that this event, losing your breath for a brief period, was an empowering event - as if a "gift" considering the depths of what you gained from it. No one can say if you will survive long enough to raise your son, but considering how meaningful this event was for you, all that you learned from it, it is as if your own soul is showing you that you can accomplish your goal.
Get my book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Near-Death Experiences. It is truly an encyclopedia to the entire subject and will have many passages in it I know you will find deeply meaningful - along with an in-depth discussion of the aftereffects of near-death states.
P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., Ph.D.
ANNOUNCEMENT: I am very sensitive to energy fluctuations in the ethers, changes in pressure, the air, vibrations, the pulse of life. It's as if when I returned from death, I came back knowing and responding to a different language other than English. This "new" language is fluid and non-verbal. It is a true language in how receptivity to stimuli follow a "code" or vibrancy that has meaning and can be interpreted and responded to and used. During my research of near-death states (26 year's worth with nearly 4,000 people), I found that the majority possessed this new language skill afterwards, too. With this said, I'd like to share what I've been "picking up" this year - not just intuitively, but in accordance with this elemental language that has its own vocabulary.
Global energy shifted in February of 2004. For some, this was subtle, not particularly noticeable, but a shift nonetheless. I could taste the change. The saliva in my mouth even tasted differently than before this shift. I began to notice how this seemed to be affecting others. People were abruptly turning around in their lives, making decision that seemed rather radical for them. Many up and moved, and to places that you or I might regard as unsafe - like smack atop an earthquake fault line or next to a rumbling volcano. Strange moves. Those who loved solitude wound up in cities; city dwellers moved to ranch lands and open spaces. And they were very happy about this, as if they had done exactly what they should have done - even though they could not explain how they reached such a decision. They just did it. All manner of switches occurred: people starting or leaving jobs, the same with relationships.
This shift remained rather subtle until June of 2004, just before or around the time of the Venus Eclipse, which occurred on June 8th. Now, things were serious. People were dying right and left, even young people who were not sick. People were losing jobs, homes, marriages, their health. Some made sudden gains, too, but most of the shifts were the twisting kind, troublesome. I did some digging and discovered that we have now entered, as of June 8th, the eight-year time of preparation predicated by the Mayan Calendar, a time when light and darkness, good and evil, struggle with each other and with equal force. This time ends June 6, 2012, just before the Mayan Calendar ends on December 21, 2012. I really felt like we, the people of this earth, did indeed pass through a "doorway" on June 8th. Perhaps you felt it too. These kinds of issues are the subject of my next book. I am now on Chapter 17, the last chapter, and hope to be finished in a month. It is interesting to me how the world around me always reflects where my mind is and what I am doing. We are in since with each other.
If you too have been affected by these changes, these new or strange feelings, I want to make a few suggestions which may be helpful to you. Now more than ever before, keep yourself grounded. Eat healthy food. If you are a vegetarian, be careful to make certain you are receiving the full eight amino-acids that compile a full protein. Do some research to learn about what food combinations will do this for you. Beware of sugars and alcohol. They will really throw you off now. Prayer and meditation are always important, but include more exercise than usual, fresh air, and water. Put some fresh lemon or lime in your water once or twice a day. Drink it right down, as those fruits are very acidic. No other fruit will do. Lemon or lime steadies the soul in the body and enables the brain to work better, the emotions to be steady. Go out of your way to bring laughter into your life (see a funny movie or have a good time with friends). Be alert, and be cautious. Change is in the air, globally. Yes, we have an important election coming up - DO VOTE - but every decision we make during these eight-years will be important as well.
Conservative Christians call this time "The Hour of God." That's a good name, actually. It expresses how important are the times in which we live, a time of faith and a time of action. Just thought I'd share this with you, so you wouldn't feel as if you were going crazy or becoming strange with this new energy afoot. You're just fine. It's the world around you that's a little odd of late. Get used to it. Mother Earth is making a few changes, whether we like it or not. Keep that in mind as you build a home, take a trip, or seek to balance your checkbook. Energy patterns are not returning to their former levels, that means you must change too.
Many blessings, PMH