Yesterday I posted a new true story called The River (my near death experience). Well… I actually wrote this back in 1996 or ’97 for creative writing class, but for some reason had forgotten to include it on KalinBooks.com for the last eight years or so.
My experience near death, as I word it to test my SEO strategies was one of the most powerful seven seconds of my life, and there’s a few things I find interesting about it.
First is the fact that the thought of God never even occurred to me until ten years later when a Jehovah’s Witness told me that there’s no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole. I’d never heard that before so I couldn’t call him on it, but found out later that there are numerous cases of people coming face-to-face with death without God or prayer ever crossing their mind, such as the classic survival story Touching The Void. Perhaps what they mean is that atheists don’t like going to war.
This is certainly not to say that my experience near death wasn’t deeply spiritual.
Another thing I think about regarding this is the strangeness of fearing death. Before this I had always worried about death, I suppose the way normal people do. It sits in the back of your mind, reminding you it could happen at any time.
However, when I was actually there and accepting that I would never take another breath, I realized it wasn’t so awful. The world would go on. The trees would still be green, the water would still be fresh and clean, people would still live and love and have amazing adventures. I would still be a part of all that, somehow, even if just as a memory. Even in that moment I didn’t have a shred of regret about taking risks that day.
The third thing I find interesting is just how similar this experience was to a mushroom trip. Someone once told me that acid and mushrooms affect the same parts of the brain that fire when a person is in sudden, tremendous danger. I haven’t researched this, but it would make sense, explaining why in this experience and my mushroom trips, colors seem more vibrant and it feels like I can see and hear in far more detail and my thoughts seem to get far more focused on my physical surroundings. Also the uncontrollable laughter, deep spiritual connection with the universe and the sense of the moment are all similarities between shrooms and near death experiences.