AngelicView: A very detailed story and great example of a FDE (Fear Death Experience). This happens when a person is sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are about to die. Their spirit pops out of their body. This happened as this guy had been rock-climbing and fell from a high ledge. He was surprised (probably not a strong enough word for it) when he landed fairly softly and without much injury.
It all started when I was alone at Christmas time again and I was due to go to Nepal to climb in the Himalaya and so I wanted to break in my new pair of high altitude climbing boots. I decided to drive to Hadrian’s Wall and walk along the low path below the crags that I had climbed on for many years. I was in a dark mood and not at all feeling pleasant or cheerful.
I left the car in the high car park and walked below Peel Crag admiring the many climbing routes that adorned it before reaching the gap between it and the next climbing crag (Crag Lough) which was by far the highest and longest in the area.
As I continued on my way below Crag Lough, I started to think about some of the strange events that I had experienced but got distracted by a group of climbers on Hadrian’s Buttress. I became annoyed that they seemed to be enjoying themselves whilst I was in such a negative frame of mind. Given that I was hooked on rock climbing it should be no surprise to learn that I suddenly found myself stuck at the crux of a route, some sixty feet above the ground on a small ledge on a route later identified as Jezebel Direct, a Very Severe climb of some 70 feet. How I got there was and still is beyond my comprehension but there I was stuck just below the top unable to move in any direction and to cap it all, it started to rain heavy again.
I had no idea how long I had been perched on that ledge but my body was starting to shake with the intense cold. The rain began to pulsate down the rock face in tiny rivulets, finding its way down inside my sleeves, past my neck, through my clothes and down to the boots.
I looked around and in horror saw directly beneath me the large boulders which lay menacingly in their dank surroundings some 60 feet or so below. Spanning out below that extending down to the lake, was the scree slope that was also strewn with boulders of every shape and size and which looked as inviting as walking into a lion’s den with a feather duster to defend yourself with.
I was aware that I was unable to feel my toes in my boots so could not tell whether they were on the small lip but reasoned that they must have been as I was still standing there. Seconds seemed minutes which seemed hours as I was unable to move side-wards, upwards or downwards. I knew I had to try for the hold I could see over to my right but was just unable to reach it with my outstretched arm. I decided that I had to make for the hold as there was nothing else I could do other than drop off and take my chances on the rock strewn scree below, an option I discounted immediately I thought about it.
As my hands started to lose contact with the rock surface, I began to slip away from the rock. I accepted that there was no doubt that I was going to die right there and then and that the ferryman was at last going to be rewarded for all their patience throughout my life and finally collect my soul. For what seemed minutes but in reality can only have been a micro second, I had a mental discussion with someone to this effect and I felt them say that it was ok to feel this way and ‘they’ were ready for me so ‘just to let it all go’.
I suddenly became aware that I had become totally detached from the rock face but something was wrong, I was not falling. I sensed time had stood still. Total darkness descended. Everything went quiet yet I could hear the blood coursing through my body with every heart pounding beat. I felt warm and cozy both internally and externally in addition to feeling happier than I have ever felt before. I was at peace with not only my-self but with the universe and everyone and everything in it. I distinctly remember knowing every answer to every question there ever was and ever would be and that all negative feelings and emotions felt on this material plain was meaningless and futile.
I spent an eternity wallowing in a universe of knowledge that made me whole, connected and an integral part of everything that had ever existed, past present and future. I felt what love really is, not an emotion but knowledge and it was housed in every gene that my identity and awareness was composed of.
I welcomed such a feeling with eager open arms like a long lost friend. It resonated with being back in my mother’s womb, safe and out of harm’s way and I had no cares in the world. I was surrounded by peace which permeated the very core, soul and essence of my body.
Then without warning I was conscious again and was surprised to find I was still in the same position as I was when darkness engulfed me. I became acutely aware of everything around me and I was able to spend time looking at the very rock texture in front of me which I had just become detached from. I saw tiny schist particles shinning in the sunlight that had broken through the brooding clouds and noticed the rain had stopped. But I was still not moving. Time appeared to have ceased to exist. I looked into the very rock itself past the individual particles that made up the rock and saw in them life itself in every conceivable detail. I saw dancing colored lights in everything, and was able to steer my mind’s eye in any direction I wanted it to go in.
I felt something touch me in the centre of my back just like I did when on the Dream of White Horses and the darkness engulfed me once again which I welcomed back enthusiastically and unconditionally.
I sensed I was once again floating in this sea of darkness although I had no sense of smell, touch or hearing but did have a distinct and acute sense of intellectual awareness. I was so happy that I wondered what all the fuss about death and dying was all about. As I floated in this sea of darkness, I felt the love of everyone I had ever known caress me in a way that made me feel whole, safe and satisfied that I had lived my life as it was meant to have been lived. I sensed that the universe was in order and that what was about to happen was meant to happen right there and then.
My ‘mind’ felt rich and full with all the answers of the universe once again and I felt powerful and in total control of my thought processes. I saw everyone I had ever known both those still living and those who had since ‘passed on’ and felt connected to them directly. Then it happened. I came face to face with my soul my internal spirit and I suddenly knew everything there is to know about spirituality in the human context. I remember laughing at the idiosyncratic ideas mortal human beings have of both the soul and spirituality as they are not the same thing, at least mine isn’t!
Time continued with no apparent movement and my senses became heightened to such proportions that I heard everyone I had ever met talking all at once yet understood what they were all saying all at the same time. At one point I even recognized my own thoughts as they swept over my very senses and it all made perfect sense at long last.
Once all the voices and thoughts had dissipated, I floated endlessly in a sea of unconditional compassion, understanding and recognition which gave meaning and explanation to every question I had ever asked and thought about the concept of the word ‘love’. I was totally happy and content. I did not want this feeling to ever stop.
The dancing colored balls of light were part of the energy that I sensed was me and that their very movement exuded songs that wafted in and out of my being leaving nothing but feelings of love. The darkness was still there but I did not have see as I felt and sensed everything that ever was and ever would be. If this is the meaning of heaven here on earth then so be it. I was totally and unconditionally free.
All of a sudden I heard a whooshing sound as I opened my eyes to see the rock face zooming past at 32 foot per second per second. I was filled with utter horror and dread, fear and terror then it all went black again and I was back ‘home’ in the sea of tranquility. All was well with the universe once again.
I had no concept of time or space, let alone my place within them. I just became aware of ‘being’ but in a sense I had never experienced before. Everything surrounding me and within me felt dark, not a shimmer of sliver of light anywhere but it was not a frightening darkness more of a comforting blanket. No wind, no heat or cold sensation and no noise just a soothing feeling floating in and around my senses. I felt no part of my body but this did not seem to worry me. It was as if my mind, my brain my very thought processes was in tune with everything and had no problems to consider so was also at total peace with itself.
Then I felt control of my eyes and slowly opened them to witness pale blue skies above, birds flying in circles over me then a sudden and unexpected tender touch of a soft breeze as it blew across my face just like it does on a warm balmy summer’s day. There was no sense of anything other than this vision. All was peaceful and quiet. Just as suddenly as the soft breeze came, along came a strong sense of smell of newly mown wet grass and I was pleased that I was in heaven at last.
As time had no meaning the thought of it did not enter my head and I was happy to just exist in this wonderful peaceful and solitary scene before my eyes. Suddenly some white fluffy clouds came into view and I took great delight in the knowledge that if this was heaven, then all those in my past who said that you have to lead a totally blameless life without sin, in order to go to heaven, was wrong. All fear of being dead or even of dying had evaporated and I was content to exist in this state for an eternity no matter how long this actually was.
As I could neither see nor feel my body, I assumed that my soul had left its bodily shell and had travelled through the darkness to come to rest at a place which it felt at most peace. As I lay there I sensed that time was something that had no meaning here in my little piece of ‘heaven’ which suited me perfectly. I heard voices over to my left and was pleased to see groups of people standing around on a sea of green bedecked with wild flowers. I moved towards them and was pleased to see a river of blue bells, my favorite wild flower flowing in the breeze to my left and right. They stood so tall I allowed my hands to gently brush their dancing heads and as I made contact I felt their energy pulsate into my body which I still could not see but could definitely feel.
As I approached the first group of people they disappeared which made me want to express my annoyance but all I felt was love permeating my thought processes. I turned towards another group of people and they did the same. This repeated itself for group after group and so I decided to stop moving.
In an instant I was looking back up into the blue sky above with a gentle summer breeze wafting across my face. I cared for nothing and decided that if I heard any more people talking I would wait for them to come over to me.
As I stared into the pale blue sky above, I started to see shapes in the clouds as they floated on the breeze across my line of vision. First I saw Geordy, then Milky Bar Kid D and then a rush of faces as they sped past at a rate of knots that would make any self-respecting athlete be pleased with. My head was spinning and I was beginning to feel nauseous so wanted the scene to stop but when I opened my mouth in an attempt to shout for it to stop, there was nothing but a deafening silence. I started to panic thinking that if I could not be heard, then when I met up with any departed family or friends I would not be able to converse with them which made me sad.
Suddenly I was looking into a dark light which on one hand appeared familiar but on the other hand appeared disturbing so I tried to look away but my head and eyes appeared to be frozen in front of the dark light. I saw a multitude of hands reaching out for me but I knew I did not want them to touch me so made every effort to scream to make them go away but the cold hands flowed over me like a tidal wave and just when I thought I was going to drown, everything vanished.
My heaven if this is what it was, was shattered when a face appeared over the top of my head complete with climbing helmet. “Are you ok pal” came his question which vexed me as I thought that if anyone was to be with me in my ‘heaven’ it would either be a relative that I loved or a climbing friend who shared similar values about nature and the environment, but this was a total stranger.
His question made me move my head which is when I felt the sharp rock protruding into the back of my neck. Up until then, I was totally unaware of it so was a little annoyed with him for bringing this to my attention. Then another face came into view, then another, and then it hit me. I was not dead.
This was not my heaven. As I tried to move, I realized I did not know where my left arm was or my right leg and struggled to get them moving just to let me know that I had not broken my neck or back, but nothing happened.
Just then, someone said to lie still as they had sent for the mountain rescue team and an ambulance and they were already on their way.
I was both shocked and taken aback at where I had landed. I thought I would be lying at the bottom of the rock face but I was in fact lying down by the water’s edge way below the crag. How did I get there? Why did I not have any broken bones? Why did I not have any cuts or bruises? Why was my head free of any injury? Where was all the blood? Such questions came and went in micro seconds and then were interrupted by someone telling me to get onto the stretcher.
We arrived at the Hospital and there waiting was a medical team clearly expecting to see a mangled body with severe injuries when the call came in that a climber had fallen. Instead they saw me walk out of the ambulance without a scratch. Their disbelief at the lack of injuries swept through the hospital as nurses and doctors even medical orderlies came to have a gawp at the patient sitting in a side ward.
Before I walked out of the hospital, the doctor who met the ambulance came over to me to ask if I really did fall 60 odd feet without a helmet on and did I really walk to the ambulance. Once I had convinced him that this was the truth he just shook his head and said “your’ guardian angel must have been with you that’s’ all I can say”.