Joe H.


‘That had to be a plane,’ I thought to myself. Nothing else could possibly be moving that fast. The force of the impact had snapped the drivers seat off and I felt the car being catapulted forward. That in itself was alarming.

I had been traveling north on I-75 just north of Atlanta, GA and had just been readying to exit the North Marietta Loop traveling at about 60 mph when the impact from behind had occurred. Just a couple minutes prior I had seen some jets taking off from Dobbins Air Base. It wasn’t a plane that hit me though. It was an uninsured 19 year old driving an unregistered vehicle. Witness reports put his speed at over a 100 mph as he wove in and out of traffic coming up I-75.

The impact caused the back end of my car to jerk out to the right. The wheels on my Toyota Corolla seemed to grab the road surface. I could feel the car begin to turn over. I knew how fast I was going. I knew the car would be turning over and over in a wild tumble. It was without a doubt one of those ‘entire life in a flash moments’. There wasn’t a lot of time for any lengthy reminiscing though.

Just two thoughts went through my mind. The first was a pondering why Divine Spirit had chosen this time for me. ‘Wow, I really thought I’ve learned a lot in this life. I’m just at the point in life where I might be able to offer others something worthwhile. Why now?’ The second thought was expressed in a spirit of surrendering, ‘God, I really only have one request. I’d really like to take all that I’ve learned with me to my next life. Please don’t require me to learn everything all over again.’ Reincarnation is something that I’m completely familiar and comfortable with.

The car began to flip over. I could hear the metal shearing and the glass shattering all around me. I felt the tumbling effect. I felt like I was inside a long tunnel like whirlpool. In the center of that incredibly fast spinning darkness I saw a bright white light, warm like the sun, very quiet and very serene. From experiences I had earlier in life, I immediately recognized the warm inviting, perfectly blissful Light. I felt myself being drawn through the tunnel into that loving Light.

Total silence.

I opened my eyes. ‘Cool,’ I thought. ‘I made it through this and I’m not even hurt! No pain at all!’

Then I tried to move. Not so much as a finger responded. I was lying face down, head in the back seat, my feet somewhere up around the area of the steering wheel. A thumb was pressing hard against my nose and lip. I could see that it appeared, by it’s relative positioning, to be the thumb from my left hand, but it was my right thumb. I could also see that my right arm bent in an awkward position under my throat. ‘God, I’m glad I’m paralyzed because that would really hurt if I could feel it,’ I said to myself.

‘Totally paralyzed,’ I thought to myself. ‘Quadriplegic. I will be a burden on everyone for the rest of my life.’ I then concluded that because I was unable to feel any pain, that I probably had serious internal injuries as well. I would die here, but at least I would die without pain. I thanked Divine Spirit for that blessing.

I could literally feel myself, as Spirit, sinking slowly down and out of my body. It was a deeply sickening feeling. I heard tapping sound. ‘Are you all right?’ a woman’s trembling voice asked.

‘I’m paralyzed. Call the police, call the ambulance.’ I said. At least I could talk, I thought to myself.

That started a flurry of activity. Over the next half hour, I heard sirens, people yelling and screaming, and the unmistakable sound of a helicopter. All the while I laid face down, head in the back seat, not moving. All the doors were jammed. The paramedics were frantically trying to reach me and couldn’t. They kept saying, ‘Stay with us now, stay with us.’ They ended up cutting off the entire roof of the car and very carefully they lifted me out. I was placed on a stretcher, moved to level ground, and was immediately given an IV.

At least 5 or 6 medical personal surrounded me. The one directly above my face said to me, ‘Mr. H, you’re going to be all right.’ Then a woman’s voice said, ‘Mr. H, have you made arrangements for organ transplants?’

‘Yeah,’ I said. ‘It’s on my drivers license.’ I could see the guy directly above me stare down the lady who said it.

Then another voice spoke up. ‘Mr. H, do you have a living will?’

‘No,’ I said. I looked up at the guy above me and said, ‘I’m in it pretty deep, huh?’

He smiled down at me and said I’d be fine. ‘Yeah, right,’ I thought to myself.

They strapped me in the life flight helicopter. Off I went to the Spinal Trauma Unit, the best such facility for hundreds of miles in all directions. Upon arriving I was placed in the operating room recovery room. Apparently there was more room there for all the medical personnel to gather round me.

After being taken for CAT Scans and an MRI I was returned to the recovery room. After the initial blur of activity, another seriously injured person was brought into the room. She was obviously near death. The doctors began working on her feverishly. For just a minute or so I was left to my own devices. That’s when it started.

The pain.

I could feel almost like a twitching. Streaks of pain began shooting across my shoulders and down my arms. I didn’t understand it at the time, but the initial IV they had given me was beginning to work. It was a special IV cocktail mix that reduces swelling in spinal cord injuries. It literally sucks the sodium and fluid out of your system, allowing the blood to once again resume carrying vital fluid to the brain stem. This IV mix was brought to the forefront by Christopher Reeves. It is one of several procedures and treatments for spinal cord injury victims that Reeves insisted be carried by advanced trauma paramedics. I found out later, that had I not had that IV mix, I would most certainly would have been dead in less than three hours. If the IV mix treatment would have been given an hour or so later, I would have suffered permanent paralysis, similar to what Christopher Reeves had.

But the pain. Oh boy. I now understand why the body goes into paralysis. It’s excruciating. As the nerve endings begin to re-fire, the body’s internal electrical system begins to short circuit. Entire muscle groups begin to tremor, then spasm, then vibrate. My pectoral muscles were first. Then my thighs. I looked like one of those characters in a Star Wars Movie that had their body taken over by aliens.

At that moment I was still lying with no clothes or robe. One of the technicians noticed my vibrating body and said, ‘Hey Doc! Look at this guy. He’s vibrating.’

The doctor came over quickly, and said. ‘Everyone, come look at this. It’s a very rare phenomenon that occurs only in spinal cord injuries. Hurry, get some fentanyl. Give him maximum dose.’ Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic morphine many times more powerful than regular morphine. He watched the nurse give me the injection. I felt the slow warmth and calm come over me. The pain didn’t stop but at least I could stay in my skin. The doctor said to the nurse, ‘Give him maximum dose every hour. Keep him comfortable.’

It was the ‘keep him comfortable,’ message that struck me. That’s the line in the movies that the doctor always says when someone is going to die. I was to discover he knew what he was talking about. A few minutes later, a medical staff member wheeled me to another large room with a bank of windows up to my left. Apparently the doctors didn’t think there was anything they could do for me at that time.

As the afternoon passed and the evening wore on, each and every hour before my hourly injection was increasingly more painful. Some thirty-two years prior, I had learned an ancient esoteric mantra while studying some mystical spiritual teachings. I had practiced daily this mantra (a Love Song to God it’s referred to in current times) for the past 32 years. The idea is to place one’s attention on God or Jesus or whatever spiritual Master you fervently believe in and fill your heart with Love. Although this ancient mantra can be found in several mystical teachings, I had come across it while studying the teachings of Eckankar. It was now time to put it to the supreme test. As the hour between injections would slowly elapse, my body would begin to vibrate until I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. I would slowly start to sing HU, an ancient name for God. Ideally, it’s sung softly, reverently and with love. It would take about 2 or 3 minutes and I would slowly feel myself lift just outside my body. My body would relax and I was still somewhat cognizant of the room around me. I could see the nurse. He would watch the clock, sometimes holding the syringe in his hand waiting. My physical body and voice was still singing HU but my conscious state of awareness was outside. I didn’t know it then, but when those incredible periods of spasms and pain invade the vital organs death oftentimes results. By being outside my body I was able to avoid the tremors, spasms and convulsions from entrenching themselves in my body.

As soon as the injection was given, I would slip back in my body. I would be okay for another 45 minutes or so. On several occasions, the nurse would ask me what I was saying. On one particular occasion ( I think it was around one o’clock in the morning) when I was out of my body for over a half hour gently keeping my conscious focus on that warm Light beyond the operating room, he said to me, ‘How can you do that?!!! What are you saying? No one can do what you’re doing. What is that sound you’re making?’

We spoke a lot about my mystical teachings during that long night. I told him about what I called spiritual exercises. And every hour he would get a demonstration. There was no doubt in his mind that a person could exist outside the body while still in it. I would have most surely not survived that night if I hadn’t had the training and know how that I’d been developing for over 30 years. I didn’t know it at the time, but the large room with observation windows that I was in was an operating room. A surgical transplant team was patiently waiting for me to die. Apparently, my body was a treasure trove. My internal organs were quite intact and quite suitable for transplant. But the hours came and went; through the afternoon, through the evening, through the night and into the next morning, I managed to stay one step this side of death’s threshold.

But the greatest miracle wasn’t to occur till the next morning. Shift change occurred at 7 AM. By then I had been moved into an intensive care room. As my hour began to approach I called out for Mich’l, the nurse. The pain was beginning to build. I had made almost the entire hour.

A lovely young nurse stuck her head in the door. ‘Can I help you?’ she asked.

‘I need my injection,’ I said quietly.

She said, ‘What injection?’

I said, ‘My pain stuff; the fentanyl.’

She responded, ‘Oh, that’s very strong stuff. I just can’t give you something like that without strict doctor’s orders. What is your level of pain on a scale of One to Ten?’

Very calmly, I said, ‘Ten.’

‘Oh, you’re telling me this is the worst pain of your life? I don’t believe that.’ She turned, threw up her head in a tiff, and walked out the door.

I was incensed. My pain was intensifying by the second. I was angry because she hadn’t taken the time to thoroughly review the previous nurses notes and doctor’s orders. I was angry at her flippant immature attitude. I was extremely angry at her unprofessionalism. But I was most angry at her because she looked at my situation from her own limited experiences, and made a judgment call that could have very likely cost me my life.

To effectively do the spiritual exercises, one must be in a loving state. Thinking of someone you love, placing your attention on God or Jesus or some other Spiritual Master who you truly love. Love is a gift. When we love someone, we are in a giving state. Opening that channel allows us also to receive love. My anger at this young nurse was preventing me from achieving that loving state. The pain began to build exponentially. I was trapped in my painful body and anger was what was holding me in.

This was the crossroad of my life. I had to make a choice. Waves of pain began crashing on every corner of my body. Let go of the anger and forgive the young nurse, even if it was temporarily or suffer painful agony, perhaps even death. It took me a while, maybe twenty minutes or so, but I finally let go of the anger I had toward the nurse. I had to dig deep down inside and express forgiveness. When I did, I lifted peacefully out of my body. I focused all my mental and emotional energy on the sound of the HU. Rather than fight the pain I immersed myself in it. I felt the heat. From the heat came a bright, warm light. I immersed myself in that warm, loving light. I was so far out of my body I don’t even remember the nurse giving my injection that came an hour and a half late. She later apologized and treated me like a prince the rest of her shift but that single experience will always be with me.

Pain comes in many forms. Sometimes we get sick or injured. Sometimes we lose a loved one. Sometimes someone we trust lies to us, or betrays us, or steals from us. These are all painful experiences. We can dwell on the pain. We can suffer immensely. We can say ‘I have every right to be angry.’

Or we can choose to focus on Love, in whichever form it comes to us. Sometimes it’s through another person or even a pet. Sometimes it comes to us in a dream. Sometimes we can begin the process by watching a movie or reading a book, but ultimately it’s where we consciously place our attention. It frees us to explore the mystical wonders of God’s Love and all its myriads of form. One can move through mystical dimensions, known and unknown.

It can begin with the singing of HU. Hu is a very ancient name for God. It is more of a descriptive sound than a name, but it can be found in the annals of some of the world’s most ancient spiritual teachings. The sound of HU can be heard when listening to the call of a mourning dove, the cry of a lone wolf, the haunting call of a whale, and the soft ‘cooing’ of a contented newborn baby. It is the sound that resonates deep within our being. It is at our deepest core. It is, in many respects, the Word of God as our consciousness can perceive it.

Take it with you if you wish. It doesn’t matter your religious background or training. The benefits that can be derived from the HU are available to all. Use it as you wish. Use it with Love.

MRIs and CAT scans revealed the injuries on that fateful October day of 2004 to include six ruptured discs, and one vertebr’ that had been jammed deep into my spinal cord, damaging the central cord and blocking essential fluids from traveling to and from the brain stem. The ligaments holding my skull to my vertebrae had been severely stretched and torn rendering me a true bobble head doll. The neurosurgeon suggested in the most forceful manner that I have a metal plate inserted to reconnect my skull with the upper vertebrae and to fuse the six ruptured discs. I was told that I had sustained brainstem injury and my ability to remember was significantly and probably permanently damaged. To his dismay I chose a long and arduous regimen of therapy instead. I spent 12 days in the hospital, almost dying on several occasions, but after 4 months of pretty intense and painful therapy, I was able to function without a restrictive cervical collar and I have all the movement and feeling back in my arms, hands, fingers and legs. Ironically, while I was lying the hospital, Christopher Reeves died. His courage, his determination to help serious spinal cord trauma victims survive helped save my life and made it possible for me to live an almost perfectly normal life. I salute his Spirit. I will forever treasure his existence in this world.

I am also convinced that the sound of HU and the benefits derived from it enabled me to exist in a quasi state between life and death until my body was once again able to function without the need for extraordinary measures. I also give enormous credit to the spiritual teachings I’ve been so fortunate to discover during my life.