In my childhood and adolescence, I had extraordinary experiences I could not explain. I didn’t dare to tell others, fearing ridicule from people with a materialist way of thinking. I am an engineer, and I have spent my life with a love of math and physics, yet I never rejected the idea that this is not the only life I have lived.
After many years of wondering, I was fortunate to find the explanation for these experiences in ancient Chinese teachings, but that is another story.
I was born in an Eastern European Communist country, where the materialist perspective was especially strong. My first memory is of being under the table at my grandparents’ house as the family sat around. I thought to myself: “Who are these people? This family is not mine.”
Another memory is of lying on my bed as a child, my head on the pillow, pinching my own hand to see if this life was a dream. I was about 2 or 3 years old and nothing felt real to me. I remember thinking at that young age that my real parents would come to take me home, or I would awake from a dream, leaving this family I didn’t recognize as being mine. “Of course my real parents will come and take me home,” I thought.
Image of a child lying in bed via Shutterstock
This feeling more or less followed me through life.
When I was 22, I had an extraordinary experience: I was clinically dead, then revived. During the time in my life leading up to this experience, I suffered a great mental burden. I felt a constant inner struggle with many thoughts arising.
I was on a subway train and it felt like my thoughts sped up, like a big engine in my mind working faster and faster and faster—suddenly I knew it would be the end.
I felt all the functions of my body stop one by one, and my last thought was that I have to get out of the train. I had to get onto the platform, taking a big step to cross over the space between the train and the platform.Getting out of the train, everything became black in my mind, and there is a blank spot in my memory.
Next, I saw my body inert, lying on the seats in the underground station, with many people around me, trying to bring me back to life.
I was watching them from somewhere above and I heard people calling me and talking to me. A neighbor of my mother’s was in the crowd, and saw me lying there. She called to me using the name my family uses for me.
I saw and heard everything, but I really didn’t want to go back. Why? Because I was in a special dimension, a special world without fear, without suffering, without pain. I felt only a kind of happiness that is difficult to explain.
Free of Fear, Pain, Suffering
It was not like the emotions experienced in life, because emotions usually fluctuate in intensity, up and down. What I felt was more of a permanent state of mind and heart. If I could make a “soul chart,” it would be shown as a linear feeling at the highest point of happiness, but a happiness that transcends the earthly happiness. It was liberating.
Seeing everyone trying to bring me back to life, I said, “I haven’t the slightest intention of returning from here.”
I felt in the middle, looking down on my body below, and then up at a path of light extending from me into a very blue sky. At the end of that path of light, I saw a lady dressed in white with long, black hair waving to me. The emergency workers had not yet arrived below and as my body became cold, stiff, and purple, people tried all they could think of to revive me.
After trying first-aid measures, someone tried some strong scents, then a man with nothing to lose, as a last resort, slapped me hard across the face. I awoke with the impact.
Return to Life
I remember the sadness I felt when I came back. All that happiness was transformed into sadness and hate for the person who brought me back, and tears started to roll down my cheeks.
I started to feel the blood circulate, a lot of tingling in my body, and I saw how purple my body was. My body began to return to a quasi-normal color. I had no strength to get up. My heart was so heavy and I felt only sadness at being back in this world.
Only about a decade later did I understand, looking back, why I had to return to life. I can see that my life here has had purpose and made an impact, and I greatly treasure the opportunity given to me by the divine.
*Image of a train and light via Shutterstock