My experience began one cold night as a lost 13-year-old child. I was living in the lonely confines of a boarding house. I was taking drugs, or anything that was available at the time, as a way of escaping reality. This became habitual. I had no form of income, so I used liquid petroleum gas. I would remove the locks from my window and would slip through the window and into the night. I would usually go across the street to a school. I would look for a large gas cylinder and escape my world.

I find myself ‘somewhere’ that I now call a tunnel. It was a grayish-dark-type color with blotches all through it. The best way I could describe this tunnel is it was like being wrapped in a space made from the static on your TV when it fails to receive a signal. Along with that is what I call a Universal humming that was pleasantly familiar somehow. At this point, I become aware of a sudden knowing and feelings of oneness with everything. I had no real sense of the Universe at that time. I was too young and stupid even to consider the cosmos. But today I think of the experience as if I was speeding up so fast through the Universe and I knew absolutely everything about everything. I became one with everything that ever was and everything that ever will be. I knew I’d left the physical world somehow because I specifically remember saying to myself, ‘Wow, I’ve got to bring this knowledge back!’

In the tunnel, I learned the secrets of the Universe, meaning of life, reasons for war and poverty, cruelty and everything else. Everything made complete sense and I needn’t question anything. Then seemingly, out of nowhere, I found myself at the bottom of a short staircase. At the top of this staircase, stood Jesus Christ himself. I’m absolutely overwhelmed by joy and happiness. I’d never ever been so happy before. He stood, as a being of warm light. He was bright and completely welcoming, with arms out, as if to accept me. Just as I was about to run into his arms, BAM, (like a car that I never saw coming), I was ‘squished’ back into my body. There are no words to describe the feeling; it was just horrible.

I suddenly find myself, lying on the cold, dark school lawn. I was still overjoyed by Jesus. I was just with him, so where is he now!? I immediately jump to my feet and begin running toward the school by the stairs. It’s the logical thing to do because the stairs in my vision were similar to those at the opposite end of my location. I was just stunned that I somehow don’t recall the physical travel from there to my current location, but this does not bother me now. All I want to do is get back to Jesus. I’m now getting close to the stairs but cannot see his light yet. Time (seemingly) slows to milliseconds and I’m really closing in now. Yet, I still fail to see this light. I make it all the way to the stairs and he’s not there. There is no light, only darkness. I’m shattered and deflated. It makes no sense. I walked back across the street, slipped back into my window, went to sleep, and never to think of it again.

That is until around 18 years later, when I see a TV show about near death experience. The show has me saying excitedly, ‘Hey, I’ve had one of those!’ I’m intrigued, I begin to watch more and more, and become wondrous as I begin to come across those similar to mine. This is the first time I’ve opened up about my personal experience. I’ve always felt that this should never be shared with anyone because it was so sacred and dear to me. But lately, I’ve become so depressed because it changed me so much, and it continues to become harder and harder to deal with for me as time goes on. I just want to get past the continuous thoughts, wonder, and move on. I want to integrate myself back into the community like a ‘normal’ person. This experience has forever changed the way I am. I can no longer work a normal job. I can no longer stand small talk or ignorant people who are, in my eyes, living a life of non-purpose believing it to be truth. I can’t stand many things now and live a quiet rural life, running my own business where I’m the sole employee, working by myself.

What makes my experience so amazing to me is that religion, or anything like this, was the farthest thing from my mind at the time. My Mother never believed in God, or religion. In fact, she would snarl like the devil himself anytime it was bought up, so I never believed or had much of an inkling even to think much about it. At the time of my experience, I recall owning a heavy metal band T-shirt by ‘Deicide’ and may have even been wearing it at the time of my occurrence. If my experience weren’t true, why would I have had the encounter with Jesus? It may as well have been the cookie monster. It’s because of this: I know Jesus is indeed real. I don’t go to church, never have had much of a further inkling to study the bible or anything. I just know that Jesus exists and that he cares for me. I love him, too. I cannot remember any of the things I told myself to ‘bring back.’ They were lost as soon as I re-entered the physical realm. As I grow older, this experience becomes more and more profound. It is sometimes both a blessing, and a curse. But if I had my time again, there is no way I’d have it any other way. I know now what’s important and what is not. I just wish society knew, too.